Sunday, June 21, 2020

Rebuilding “Ms. Merry” the Amerigo– And the Story of the Flimsy bed–Part 2

Part 2 of  the ongoing rebuilding saga of Ms. Merry's Snap-N-Nap!   When we left off yesterday, we'd discovered that the flimsy plastic of the accordion wings was all that was holding the bed pan to the outer clamshell of the Snap-N-Nap bed, which wasn't exactly a very strong setup.

We'd hoped that after doing some more digging in the interior that we'd find another piece of wood fiberglassed into the wall of the outer clamshell that was supposed to have a piano hinge attached to it to bear the load of the bed, unfortunately, during today's investigations, what we thought was wood was actually just dirt inside in hollow cavity that was formed in the fiberglass to allow wiring to run for the tail lights, so sadly, we're going to need to rebuild the wings as they were.

Since we can't change the design, I decided to go with rebuilding the wings from scratch and building them so that they're a proper structural piece made of a laminated truss.

To start, I used the dismantled wings to trace out the pattern of the original design on some thinner door skin plywood I had on hand for this sort of thing, then cut out two new uppers and lowers.

The wings were made out of this sanded plywood because we'll be coming back once these are fully laminated together and finishing the exterior sides and frame edges with fiberglass resin and then painting it with a glossy polar white epoxy paint to match the sides of the Ms. Merry.

Compared to pre-made filon, these are thicker and much more structural stout.   The center of the Uppers and Lowers will be filled with foil-sided Polyisocyanurate insulation foam which will be glued and laminated in as part of the wing structure. 

For the main structure, I used 1x4 and 1x3 lumber to make the frame, with 1x4s used along the edges that would be getting clamped in place when the bed is deployed so that latched could be attached to the wings allowing me to remove the hinged clamp boards that were used originally in the camper. 

A quick side by side of the new lower and the original with its non-structural loose wooden interior pieces.   That wood is only attached loosely to the outside plastic, and what was bearing all the load of the deployed bed pan and carrying the load into the outer clamshell structure. 

The only thing carrying all that weight is that disintegrating plastic, it literally was crumbling under my fingers, I am truthfully amazed the bed didn't drop out, when the Snap-N-Nap was used for storing building materials in the past couple years.

Another side by side, and yes, the new wing is built the right direction.  Gardner Industries used the same wing piece for both sides, so on one side the seam of the overlapping plastic faced inwards, on the other it faced outward.   With the thin fiberglass insulation removed, you can see the original color of the Snap-N-Nap wings, and how much they've yellowed in the last forty-five years!

Ran out of time today to get the last upper assembled, but all the pieces were cut, and tomorrow I'll be able to finish the assembly and start cutting the new insulation and trace out the inner skins.

And here's one of the new sides test laid out on the workbench :).  I'll likely  trim the little corner on the upper so that it ends flush with the lower (This is an exact trace of the sides, and they're not the same size, and there's no real purpose to one being half an inch longer than the other). 

These should be a tad stronger than the flimsy plastic originals and I won't have to worry about them catastrophically failing while on a trip. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey, thanks for posting about your Amerigo project. I've read some posts here and there and I was checking back for the past couple months to see when you'd post again. Those pieces on my Snap-N-Nap are taped over in spots, and brittle probably, too. Are you in the business of selling aftermarket Amerigo parts? Haha...

    I got an Amerigo in August last year but I've not got much done to it yet. Here's a short bit of what I have: I've almost got a better video made, so sorry if it's hard to watch the first one, it's a little fast paced.