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Old 04-28-2016, 06:59 PM   #1
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Default Winegard Rayzar Automatic TV antenna

We are in the process of planning a Sportsmobile Sprinter build. We are looking at this TV antenna for the van. I read recently that Pleasure-Way is using it on their Class Bs. Does anyone have any experience with it on a Class B of any kind (but especially a Sprinter) that they could share? Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:22 AM   #2
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Default Razar Automatic TV antenna

Yep, I have one. I won't travel with it till fall but it seems to work very well in the home driveway in Phoenix. I taped it to a Roadtrek roof with VHB tape and covered that with Eternabond tape then sealed any openings to the VHB tape with caulking.

One discrepancy I have noted: It has a choice of two connectors for signal out to the TV. I found the one coming directly out from the circuit bored gives a stronger signal than the one on a 3" or so lead. Don't know why that is.

I mounted the control box on half of a circuit box rather than cut into the panel. I can't remember how many stations it picked up but it was more than any other antenna I have. The original Roadtrek antenna was buried in the roof and I have the classic Winegard that cranks up on another RV.

I won't have a better report till November.
Harry 2003 C190P and 2006 RB Lazy Daz
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Old 04-29-2016, 03:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. If I may ask, what is the brand of van that your Roadtrek is based on? I ask because our build will be based on a Mercedes Sprinter van. That van has a roof that has fairly tall narrow ridges running front to back. It will require the use of fabricated mounts to raise the antenna above the ridges. There is no way that I can see that the antenna could be fastened with tape alone. Also, am I correct in assuming that you have mounted it on a metal roof?
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Old 04-29-2016, 05:59 PM   #4
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Roadtrek 2003 Chevy 190P with fiberglass roof. Take the dome off and you may find the rotating part is high enough. I'd set it up there without a mount and see if it works. I bet it does.
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:38 PM   #5
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Perhaps I didn't clearly describe the roof problem. It is not a matter of raising the antenna for height. The ridges on the top of the van's roof are very narrow--too narrow to mount the antenna on them. Thus, the antenna must be mounted on the flat parts between the ridges, but the antenna mounting feet are too short too have the antenna base clear the ridges. Thus, the antenna must be mounted on brackets that will raise the base high enough to clear the ridges (it is not very high, but high enough that the antenna base won't clear the ridges without some elevation).

I'm glad you responded, but the fact that your roof is fiberglass is not entirely helpful with my situation. The Sprinter has a metal roof, and I'm trying to determine, among other things, whether having the metal roof so close to the antenna will adversely affect reception.
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:49 PM   #6
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The metal roof should have no negative affect on the antenna. Most antennas need a ground plane and I'm sure the Razar Automatic's ground plane is built in. Adding another one beneath it should be no problem. It appears your mount among the ridges will be your biggest problem.

The VHB tape mount was easy, at least till it blows off. I have a TracVision sat antenna mounted with tape with no problems in five years. Same with a 100 watt solar panel so I expect all to be well.
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:59 PM   #7
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I would bolt the antenna legs to box section aluminum and tape the aluminum to the roof. This assumes the box section aluminum can be arraged to sit on a flat section of roof.

That is what I did with the TracVision satelite TV antenna. Five years with no problems but I do check it now and then.
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Old 04-29-2016, 07:12 PM   #8
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Something like that is what I have in mind. Thanks.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:20 PM   #9
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I bet you would be happier with a TracVision A9 except for the price. We have an A5 (standard definition) on a class C. A7s are occassionally available used. KVH will no longer sell parts or repair an A5 so you don't want one of those. Our A5 is 10 years old and going strong.
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:03 AM   #10
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That looks like that is a satellite system. All I need is an OTA antenna. Frankly, what it comes down to is this: it looks like the Rayzar Automatic beats an indoor antenna in the ceiling, and I would use a Sensar except I'd be afraid of driving off without remembering to lower it. We have a travel trailer with a Sensar,; it works fine but we will sell the trailer after one more trip. I am concerned that the Sensar on a Class B because I expect that the Class B will be moved much more often than a trailer. I can see sooner or later driving off with the Sensar extended.
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:46 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mechmike10 View Post
I would use a Sensar except I'd be afraid of driving off without remembering to lower it. We have a travel trailer with a Sensar,; it works fine but we will sell the trailer after one more trip. I am concerned that the Sensar on a Class B because I expect that the Class B will be moved much more often than a trailer. I can see sooner or later driving off with the Sensar extended.
I bought a bunch of magnetic reed switches (intended for home alarm systems) and used them to remind me of all kinds of things, such as shore power still plugged in, Fantastic Vent left open, etc. One of them signals that the antenna mast is still up:

Antenna2.jpg

All the switches are wired in parallel and go to ground. The + side of a little buzzer is connected to the "ignition" wire from the chassis and any open switch provides the ground. Cheap, easy, and very effective.


I used to have a Sensor, but it got nailed in a Texas hailstorm. I replaced it with the Rayzor Air.

Antenna1.jpg

You can use the old mast. Works great.
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Old 04-30-2016, 04:45 AM   #12
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All the Pleasureways are using the Rayzar now. It's a nice, compact antenna. I wished WGO used it, as many would like to install solar panels on their roof racks, but the King Antenna sticks up too far.
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:45 PM   #13
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I'm aware of that. I'm hoping to hear from someone with a Pleasure-Way with the Rayzar Automatic as to how it does bringing in stations.
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Old 04-30-2016, 05:43 PM   #14
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The other issue IIRCC with the King Air is you need to aim it manually - so WGO locates toward the front near the TV to be accessible. There is a 2-1/4" hole in your roof to accomplish this.

The Winegard Rayzar is automatic, so no manual control (and no hole in the roof), so location outside does not need to align with location inside, if I understand correctly. So there is a lot more latitude as to placement on your roof, so you can coordinate location with any solar panels. Only holes are for the electronic control cable and 3 mounting holes.
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Old 04-30-2016, 06:11 PM   #15
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There is no doubt that I would rather use the Automatic than anything else out there. I have heard some comments that mounting it so close to a metal roof would cause signal problems. That seems unlikely if Pleasure-Way is using it on all of their new Class B's, many of which are Sprinters with metal roofs. Still, I'm hoping to hear from somebody who has this combo as to how well it works.
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Old 04-30-2016, 07:15 PM   #16
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I have a Winegard portable indoor Rayzar that is installed inside my air conditioning cowling. That means it is obviously not directional and it cannot be raised. However, it picks up more signals at home than my previous GWVan with the old Sensar wings. Also, last year and this year we camped at White Tank Regional Park on a mountain west of Phoenix that overlooked the valley. Evidently it depended on where you camped as to how many channels you could pick up as it varied as we moved around. At the campsite I picked up 73 channels. Down in Sun City in the valley about 10 miles closer in I could only pick up 54.

We watch so little TV when we travel we seldom turn it on or worry about it. I mostly just tune it in out of curiosity and then turn the TV off. Most of the places we like generally have little no over the air reception anyway.

I suspect the Rayzar Automatic would work better than my setup and if I seriously wanted to improve my reception I would go with it over those crank in the air paddles that take up so much roof real estate.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:08 PM   #17
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I'm aware of that option. Our builder would put that kind of antenna between the roof and the ceiling. Neither that nor the A/C shroud option appeals to me. We presently have a small travel trailer with a crank up Sensar, which works fine for us, but I don't want that on the Class B. We do like to watch the news when we are traveling and the weather. Also, we travel to Florida in Jan.-Mar. and I like to be able to catch the football games when possible. We frequently stay in parks without cable, but with decent OTA reception if we have a reasonable antenna. Hence, my interest in the Automatic.
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I suspect the Rayzar Automatic would work better than my setup and if I seriously wanted to improve my reception I would go with it over those crank in the air paddles that take up so much roof real estate.
I agree, and I would have done the same thing when I replaced mine, except that (a) I already had the mast (and the corresponding hole in the roof); and (b) it serves double-duty as an inside pointing device for a Ubiquiti Nanostation directional WiFi antenna (you can see it in the second picture I posted above). Although I don't use that much either, it does permit connecting to WiFi hotspots at distances far beyond what could be accomplished in any other way, which occasionally provides Internet connectivity where there would otherwise be none at all.
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