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Old 10-23-2012, 09:04 PM   #1
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Default RV Antennas

Are there RV antennas available other than these?

King Controls - Jack antenna


Winegard Roadstar


Winegard Sensar IV with Wingman for UFH


Winegard Sensar III


Wingard RS 3000


Winegard RS 1500


I'd like to mount a TV antenna on the fiberglass roof of my van. I'd go with the Winegard Sensar IV with Wingman if I could but I can't find enough space on the roof for it. The King Controls Jack antenna would need some sort of custom shim to make it sit level on my curved roof. Mounting for the Winegard Roadstar takes of too much space (19+" equilateral triangle template for base). The performance of the Winegard RS 1500 looks weak. Same issue with the Winegard RS 3000. The last two at least have a very small base that should the easiest to mount.

Are there any others?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wineguard sensar amplified.jpg (8.9 KB, 3046 views)
File Type: jpg winegard sensar iv with wingman.jpg (7.8 KB, 3044 views)
File Type: png RS3000_winegard.png (73.1 KB, 3045 views)
File Type: jpg RS1500_winegard.jpg (5.4 KB, 3104 views)
File Type: jpg king controls jack antenna.JPG (18.4 KB, 3045 views)
File Type: jpg winegard roadstar.jpg (9.9 KB, 3044 views)
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Old 10-23-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: RV Antennas

This is what the roof looks like:



Limited space left ..........
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File Type: jpg 120 watts solar on my van.JPG (220.1 KB, 3028 views)
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: RV Antennas

I have a Winegard that mounts on PVC poles; I didn't want to drill into that roof - Murphy would have me big time!!! I ordered it online about 5-6 years ago; comes with a bracket under the saucer, held in place with a U type pipe holder, with the cable coming down the pipe and slipping in between the rear door seams. I mount it right on the ground, fastened to the spare. It worked for us, and easy set-up and take down. Safe travels, Ron
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: RV Antennas

I've got the "built into the fibreglass roof" model from the factory.
It seems to do the trick for our needs, although the direction/aspect of the van does seem to have an effect on reception in marginal OTA situations. If we're not going to bother setting the satellite rig up, I try to park such that I point more towards the nearest likely transmission point (like the nearest city or town) or directly away from it.
The "antenna signal booster" they included doesn't seem to help at all, same signal strength with or without. I was going to try replacing it, but couldn't find one with the same footprint, so I just gave up. It's bypassed right now.

I'm thinking nothing improves reception like clear line of sight, and proximity to source. If you can achieve those two things, you'll get good reception. Again, IMO, the signal boosters promising perfect pictures and some of the fancy and bizarre looking antennas touting themselves as the answer, are just more smoke and mirrors.
Bad weather is probably the biggest nemesis of OTA reception. We've been to the same places in clear conditions and got multiple signals, and in bad weather and got nothing.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Does yours look like any of these Ron:

Winegard MS2002-RV KIT - Omni-Directional


Winegard HA-0130 - Opens and closes like an umbrella, stores inside weatherproof tube


Winegard RV-7020 - lowers to side of vehicle when not in use


Mike - I agree - when I was renovating here I tried and returned a couple of antennas - some of them rely too much on amplification. A simple folded dipole made out of wire outperformed them because it was much larger. I think that's what the built in RT antennas are - a dipole or folded dipole - maybe large enough for VHF channel two. It would bring in channels primarily from two directions as you describe unless you were close to the transmitter.
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File Type: jpg Winegard RV-7020.JPG (17.2 KB, 2948 views)
File Type: jpg Winegard HA-0130.JPG (20.1 KB, 2948 views)
File Type: jpg MS2002-RVKIT_Winegard.jpg (14.0 KB, 2948 views)
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:53 AM   #6
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Marko, looks like the MS2002, but the pole(s) and stand were not offered then. Has worked well so far. Safe travels, Ron.
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: RV Antennas

I'm going to try two J pole antenna mounts fastened to the back of the roof.

One will be for a WiFi antenna and the other will be for a TV antenna. I hope it will look ok....

Flipped photo - this is the passenger side of the van.


I added an antenna to this flipped photo of my van to give a general idea of what it could look like. That's an omnidirectional antenna in the photo.

I ordered two mini J pole antenna mounts made by Ubiquiti (UB-AM) - I'm have trouble getting info on them but I think they are powder coated white and about 16" long.





The highest point on my van is 8' 3" so I could let the top of the poles reach 8' 6". I will keep the highest point (wifi antenna) under 9'.
I might lower (or remove if necessary) the antenna(s) for traveling. I'll see how strong / solid everything is after installing it.

Also, I might be able to mount both antennas on one J pole antenna mount. That might look better.

The TV antenna will be a King Controls Jack antenna - pole mount - not RV mount. It is a directional antenna that I'll probably have to aim if I am too far away from the broadcast source. I'll just look at other campers and see where their antennas point



The WiFi antenna will be an EnGenius EAG-2408 8dBi Omni Antenna. You can find them for as low as $25. I already have a spare router to use as a repeater.



This is not a very stealthy solution but I lost that when I put the rear window air conditioner in ..............
Attached Images
File Type: jpg flipped photo.JPG (112.6 KB, 2854 views)
File Type: jpg ubiquiti.jpg (2.1 KB, 2912 views)
File Type: jpg ub-am.jpg (6.9 KB, 2913 views)
File Type: jpg jack antenna.JPG (14.3 KB, 2856 views)
File Type: jpg engenius eag-2408.jpg (11.0 KB, 2854 views)
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Old 10-30-2012, 03:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Those "J pole" antenna mounts can be had at most satellite TV places. Shaw uses them as house mounts for their dishes, and they are a fairly common part. You might also try an electronics recycler. They probably have bins full of them. Are there any satellite installers near you? Best Buy or The Source might have them, too. Or pick one up in the US next trip south.
We are getting a pounding right now from Sandy. High winds but not too much precip. Power failures are likely.
Any idea how much a main panel transfer switch (street power AC/AC generator) would cost to install? Might like to run the house off the Roadtrek's Onan once in a while.
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Old 10-30-2012, 01:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Re: using the Onan - two extension cords from the van to the house would let you use the 2800 watts at 120 volts from the generator. You could do it a bit more permanently burying wire to a new outlet in the house completely separate from the existing house electrical. No doubt you already know not to backfeed power.

Next step up would be adding a small sub panel for fridge, some lights and TV & satellite that can only be activated when the main breakers are off. Not sure if it worth the extra expense because of the limitations of the generator. For backup power with a transfer switch etc. a 240 volt generator with at least 3600 watts would power more items.

I happened to see an automatic transfer switch on the web (at Home Hardware) that is installed behind your meter - nice .......... but the price is too expensive: http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/in...1&Ntt=240+volt

This one is more realistic: http://www.homehardware.ca/en/rec/in...Ntt=Generators

This is what I'll do at some point. Safe but low cost: http://www.interlockkit.com/

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Re: J poles - I've ordered two - hopefully they're powder coated white, not gray and they are smaller than typical sat dish or OTA antenna J poles.
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Old 10-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Is the Onan 2.8KW found in many Roadtreks a "floating neutral" generator?
I certainly wouldn't be diy-ing something like this, and I saw somewhere that building/electrical codes are a requirement so permits and an inspection is required, too.
Option 2 looks not too bad price-wise, but option 1 looks easier to engage, if required. I may ask my cousin how his works. He has the whole UPS package, including automatic transfer switch and generator activation. I imagine it's not cheap, as seen in your (much appreciated) research.

Sorry, I wasn't aware of the smaller J-pole mast being available. I confused it with the run of the mill gray model which is powder coated, as you are probably aware, having Shaw as I now recall. You may get some amused looks/comments if your van ends up looking more "Galaxy class" than "class B" with dual flying saucer antennas on the rear.
Excusez moi, je vous en prie.
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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Default Re: RV Antennas

D
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
............... You may get some amused looks/comments if your van ends up looking more "Galaxy class" than "class B" with dual flying saucer antennas on the rear.
Excusez moi, je vous en prie.
Yup, from a galaxy far, far away. Two more J pole mounts in the front for flags and I'm sure to bring a smile to people's faces!

-------------------------------------
Re: your Onan Gen: Neutral most likely bonded to ground in your RV mounted Onan, so not floating - I suggest calling Onan with your exact model number to be 100% sure.

------------------------------------
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Old 10-30-2012, 07:12 PM   #12
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Then "make it so", Number One.
Oh no, there are closet trekkies on the good ship ClassBForum!!!!!

I suspect it isn't floating neutral either. If I ever get that far on that project, I'll call them.
Might be easier to add another portable gen, but since I already *have one*, I thought I'd casually look into it.


"live long, and boondock" - Mr. Spock.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: RV Antennas

A 120 volt 15 amp inlet on the side of your house where you park your Roadtrek would be a simple solution to get "weather tight" power from your RV generator into the house. No doors or windows open.
Plug one end of a 15 amp extension cord into your Roadtrek and the other end into the house inlet.



Connect it to a new outlet inside the house - labeled and completely separate from the house electrical system. Then, a couple of extension cords in the house would let you power the 120 volt items you need. Depending on how many item you run you'll have to disconnect some when you run others because you'd be limited to about 1800 watts.

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Re: my wifi and tv antennas - all of my purchases have shipped - can't wait to get started
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: RV Antennas

I received the pole mount style Jack TV antenna yesterday.
Based on weight (light) and size (small) I'd normally guess it would not work well.

Hopefully I'll be very surprised as it does get a lot of good reviews on the internet.
Just waiting on the mounts for the van to arrive.

I'm 41.7 miles from a digital broadcast tower so I'll know whether it works soon enough and will report back here.

My 24" x 33" Channel Master CM-4221 antenna picks up signals from that tower easily.

Stay tuned ..................
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: RV Antennas

I assembled the parts for trial fit tonight.

The overall height of my van will be 9' 5" to the tip of the WiFi antenna............

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Old 12-07-2012, 02:14 AM   #16
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
I received the pole mount style Jack TV antenna yesterday.
Based on weight (light) and size (small) I'd normally guess it would not work well.

Hopefully I'll be very surprised as it does get a lot of good reviews on the internet.
Just waiting on the mounts for the van to arrive.

I'm 41.7 miles from a digital broadcast tower so I'll know whether it works soon enough and will report back here.

My 24" x 33" Channel Master CM-4221 antenna picks up signals from that tower easily.

Stay tuned ..................
Just referencing what I noted previously. I am pleasantly surprised by the Jack antenna.
It picks up UHF 27 and 29 (both digital) very well with the antenna mounted on my van which is parked inside the garage. The antenna is not even aimed properly at the broadcast tower (off by 30 degrees or more) that is 41.7 miles away from me but it still brings those two channels in.





The strongest signal here is digital VHF 11 (22.8 miles away) but the Jack antenna does not pick it up. I guess it is optimized for UHF. My Channel Master CM-4221 antenna easily picks VHF 11.

I'll bring the van out of the garage to see if that helps get VHF channel 11.
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File Type: jpg 024.JPG (121.2 KB, 1271 views)
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: RV Antennas

I moved the van from the garage to the driveway and VHF 11 came in very clear on the TV. Drove around town and could pick up that channel wherever I stopped. The picture would break up if the antenna was not pointed in the general direction of the broadcast tower but you can be 45 degrees off on aiming and the signal still comes in. The antenna does work.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: RV Antennas

mission accomplished?
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: RV Antennas

almost
I want to add an electric antenna rotator. I've run wire for it but may add it later. $50 antenna but $120 for a rotator better than having to go out in the rain etc. to move the antenna.
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:15 PM   #20
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Default Re: RV Antennas

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
almost
I want to add an electric antenna rotator. I've run wire for it but may add it later. $50 antenna but $120 for a rotator better than having to go out in the rain etc. to move the antenna.
couldn't you just reposition/turn the van? i know it's not always possible, but it might be cheaper.
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