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Satellite Radio Antenna
Posted By Good Sam On July 10, 2012 @ 11:22 am In Tech Tips | 1 Comment
I would like to install a magnetic antenna for a satellite radio on my 2003 Minnie Winnie Class C. Because of the vehicle’s overhang, there is no acceptable location on or near the cab that will work effectively. Do you have any suggestions on how it can be installed on the roof without cutting a hole or screwing it down?
St. Helena, California
Bob: Frank, you can mount a metal plate on the roof using two-face tape (the strong stuff) and then install the magnetic antenna to it. That’s exactly how I did it on my rig. Years ago, a guy in Quartzsite was selling plates for this exact purpose. They were round and powder coated. I have no idea if anyone is still marketing these plates, but they are easy to fabricate.
The wiring is much more difficult. I’m not a fan of drilling holes in the roof, so I prefer to route wiring down the refrigerator vent. While the wire to the antenna is on the long side, it may not be able to reach the cab of the motorhome. You can use an extension-wire kit if need be.
Before you go through the trouble of mounting the antenna on the roof and routing long lengths of cabling, attach the antenna to the front bumper. You may be surprised how well it works. In this configuration, however, you may experience temporary signal loss, depending on the position of the satellite and direction of travel.
Even though it may not be pretty (depending on where the wire needs to be routed), you can always use the metal plate on the cabover roof and route the cable inside the transition molding and into the cab via the driver’s door jam. Obviously, there are a number of ways to approach this, including passing the wire through a cabover window and into the cab area via any logical route.
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