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Old 05-17-2008, 12:21 PM   #1
phredsee
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Default RV Ham & CB usage?

Just joined Open Roads and need some advise with "JMHO" thrown in.

1) Currently have a Yaesu FT-8800R dual band, 2m/440 radio that I'll be installing in my class c mh. I've had this radio for a few years and has worked well in a pickup with a hood mounted antenna. I was thinking about using the same type installation (antenna) but realized this may not be the best antenna to use considering the size of the mh. Suggestions for antenna type and where to mount would be appreciated.

2) Considering buying either a mobile mounted CB with permanent antenna mount, probably on mirror bracket or portable, handheld CB. My purpose in considering a CB is for traffic only situations and to monitor problems that may develop on the road. Do handhelds to the job for my intended use?

Any other suggestions are always welcomed!
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Old 05-17-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard Fred!

There's a bunch of motorhome guys on here and they'll come along and find this post and be able to help you. I the mean time make yourself at home and join right in.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:05 PM   #3
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1) I have a cheap-short dual band MFJ antenna for mobile ham and I used a clamp-style mount on the ladder for it. I intend to get a high-gain antenna for when I am parked and want to reach out further than "down-the-road."

2) I used a handheld CB for years and for traffic it works fine. With a larger radio I sometime hear a little too much distance. It is invaluable to have a CB to ask questions like "okay guys, where do I hit the ice NorthboundI-17?"

The antenna broke on the handheld and a replacement costs more than the radio!

I bought the cheapest dash mount that I could find at Radio Shack and didn't mount it so that I could move it from my Toad to the MH easily. Still need to mount an antenna on the MH though.
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Old 05-17-2008, 03:32 PM   #4
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I put the Diamond Dual Bander (A no ground plane required type) on one of the VELMAC mirror arms

Since the motor home is fiberglass over wood...I put the CB antenna INSIDE the motor home.. Range is not the greatest...... But I am not complaining.

This would not work in an aluminum sided rig.

NOTE: I have used "indoor" CB antennas for some years.. My car is also fiberglass
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Old 05-17-2008, 05:27 PM   #5
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Is the MH fiberglass and what are the requirements for the mounting of your dual bander antenna.
Some require a ground plane which you will not get without some sort of metal plate. Then again some don't.
But most would work well up high with just a little loss.
I also have a Diamond dual bander and I went to the lumber store and bought a lumber bracket for it. Tapped it into the fiberglass dead center in the middle front of the home. I felt this would be as good as I could really come up with keeping it simple. I thought too that if if wanted a ground the galvanized plate may serve well. I in turn grounded it to the driver's cage inside the home so it would have a chance to serve as a ground plane hopefully.
It seems to work well.
And I agree with the other poster on the handheld CB if you want on. Get one that runs on 12v and has a plug and you can plug it into the power adaptor directly pretty cheap. If you want more range go to a mag mount antenna on the hood of your MH.
Or consider using FRS HT's unit to unit on the road if that's your use. Better than CB for that use to me.

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Old 05-17-2008, 05:51 PM   #6
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Told you the MH guys would find you...
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Old 05-18-2008, 12:07 PM   #7
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Thanks for the welcome and can tell by surfing around this will be a great site for me since my (2) main hobbies are ham & rv.

mh is fiberglass, class c type (B+ advertised) with Ford chassis and just found out the hood is fiberglass, as well! The antenna I've used and have is a Radial/Larsen, dual band, 2/70 model, using a hood type clamp mount. Used to have it mounted on a Chevy pu and seemed to work fine. My concern is signal blocking due to mh size and now that the hood is fiber, presents maybe another problem. My plan is to hook it all up and do a testing, testing thing.

Regarding the CB, I think you guys are right on with the portable unit. I'll be looking around this week for a good one.

By the way Stephen (AE5BI), awesome website!
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Old 05-18-2008, 04:07 PM   #8
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For mounting antennas inside a fiberglass motorhome. I took the metal covers made to go on Electrical boxes, I put them in the overhead on my "super C" and attached a wire to each one and ran the wire down to the frame of the motorhome for a ground. I then sat a mag mount antenna on each one. Worked fairly well first time out with then, even though I have not put a SWR meter on them yet. Made one for each of 2-meter, 10-meter, CB and mobile scanner. After I tune them with a SWR meter, I think they will work well.
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Old 11-18-2008, 10:08 PM   #9
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Friend of mine attached a metal plate to the roof of his Class C and used a mag mount for his 2m/440 antenna. He was a bit more adventurous than I and put a bulkhead SO-239 through the roof to bring the coax in.

I don't know what I will do yet with the Class A we just purchased.

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Old 11-19-2008, 08:07 AM   #10
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For the CB the Dual Trucker Mirror Mount is likely the best option on the Class C, that puts the antennas out beyond the "house" and gives you some gain to both the front and rear of the rig,, Right where you need it, very handy.

For ham radio, Well, on "The world above 50MHZ" as the ARRL calls it "Height is might" however 13.5' is a "limit" in fact one place I accidently found myself 12'6" was the limit... Thankfully that is the UNLOADED height of my class A.. Loaded.. I'm a few inches shorter

I use a Diamond dual band no ground plane antenna on my TM-733

I'm thinking of making a J-Pole for 70cm for the roof of the rig for the TS-2000... But have not yet done it (Going up on the roof,,, Not something I like to do) But it will have to be spring mounted

I'm not sure yet what I"ll do for 2mtr on the TS-2000 yet I may continue to use my flag pole (I don't use the TS-2000 in motiion cause it's next to the wrong chair.. The TM-733 is next to the driver's seat.. the TS-2000 is on the counter in front of a different seat... That way if I have to go where you have to go when you have to go during a QSO... I'm there already )
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Old 11-19-2008, 09:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post

I use a Diamond dual band no ground plane antenna on my TM-733
How did you mount the antenna to your RV?

73,
Kurt
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Old 11-19-2008, 03:45 PM   #12
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for my 2m/440 dual band mag mount, i'm trying out a cookie sheet in the bunk over cab...locally seems to work fine...will see how it works for trip south later this week
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Old 11-19-2008, 06:16 PM   #13
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Friend of mine did the same thing with a cookie sheet. Glued it on. Gets out very well, as well as running APRS effectively.

Good luck.
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Old 11-19-2008, 10:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtJan View Post
How did you mount the antenna to your RV?

73,
Kurt

On the mirror arm
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
On the mirror arm
Could you give me a few details on the type of mount used as well as the antenna your choice?
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Old 11-20-2008, 11:34 AM   #16
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It is a single hole mount. I have VELMAC mirrors on the MH, I simply drilled a hole through the metal of the arm and that's where I put the mount... NOTE to anyone attempting this

The metal is very thick, the standard 3/8" single hole mount will NOT work I suggest a PL-259 bulkhead connector, Drill tight and use a PL-259 mount antenna.. Had I done that it would have been about 500% easier,,, As it is I had to do some serious metal work.. Thankfully I own the needed tool
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