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Author Topic: 2003 Ford F150 Supercrew 5.5 ft Heritage style bed  (Read 6602 times)
AE7VA
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Posts: 37




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« on: June 09, 2012, 12:36:11 PM »

I have a 2003 Ford F150 Supercrew with the 5.5 ft Heritage style bed.  These beds have a plastic/decorative bed side top caps on both sides that snap into a series of small slots/holes.

I want to put my Diamond SuperGainer 2m/70cm antenna in the left rear corner of the bed.  There are several problems.

1.  There is no access behind any of the sheet metal to add a nut/washer.
2.  The Heritage beds do not come with stake bed holes. I actually removed the caps (carefully not to break all the plastic clips) and found no stake holes.
3.  The interior walls run flush to the top caps with the exception of two small indents above the bed tie down anchors.  The indents only have a very small lip that don't appear to be sufficient to d-clamp anything to.
4.  The top of the bed near the top cap angles outwards a few degrees.  So if you use a standard 90 degree metal mount placed flush on the bed wall, due to the angle and length of the antenna, the top of the antenna half a foot out of plumb and is exposed way out beyond the side of the truck.

I don't have a tool box or bed rails and I no longer want to have a mag mount on the roof with coax exposed.  I also don't want the antenna directly behind the cab as I don't want the antenna impacting the truck body as it flexes in the wind and while driving over uneven surfaces.  And I don't want to have anything in the bed that would interfer with loading/unloading.  The other reason I want it along the bed is so that I can reach the bend-over feature to park in my or other garages without having to stand on the seat to reach a roof mount. 

Has anyone with this style bed found a mount that will work for this particular situation?
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 12:40:02 PM by AE7VA » Logged
K1CJS
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Posts: 6042




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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 08:20:11 AM »

The only suggestion I have is to have a mount plate fabricated for the angle of the interior wall to keep the antenna straight.  As to the side panels, how about cutting a small access port and then putting an access hatch in it--such as the access hatches made for accessing a valve or a junction in a ceiling or wall?  The hatch can be painted to match the interior wall of the bed and clamp pieces can be made to keep it in place.

As I said, just a suggestion.  73!
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WN2C
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Posts: 466




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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 10:03:18 AM »

I use the super gainer also and it seems to work best on the roof of the truck.  I have mine mounted in a tri-magnet mount so it's not going any where.  There was an article in a recent QST about antenna locations on vehicles, so you may want to look at that.

73 de wn2c Rick
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9910




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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 12:02:28 PM »

there are several things you can do here.  Pick a spot and drill a hole. a half inch hole for a pl259 type mount or one slightly larger for an NMO mount. You can punch a hole in the roof of the cab and put a NMO mount there ( nmo's tend to be water proof when installed properly).  you can make up a flat plate  with a mount on the end that you can bolt to the bed in the area between the bed and the cab and mount something there, ( I reccommend on the drivers side,  easier to see in the mirror, and no "little hands" to twang the antenna when walking down the side walk.)  you can also use a  ball mount into the side of the bed or cab.  Also look for something like a trailer hitch antenna mount, or you can even go under the truck and bolt or weld a plate under the chassis say a couple of inches wide and long enough to stick out past the body and mount the antenna there.  there are many ways to do this. let us know which way you go.
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WD5ABC
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Posts: 37




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« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2012, 09:36:36 PM »

I have a 2004 with the same style bed but I think mine has stake holes.  I know it does at the front of the bed.  I made a bracket out of 1/8" stainless, bent it in the shape of an "L", turned it upside down and mounded it on the inside of the bed at the front stake hole.  I didn't use backing nuts, I used 3 big heavy duty sheet metal screws, I've used this same bracket on several different trucks since 1979 and haven't had any trouble with it.  I had to put on a new ball mount for my Hustler HF antenna last weekend, my old one finally stripped out after about 2 decades.  If you don't have a stake hole you may also not have a place that is (almost) flush with the top of the bed, in that case you'd need to make some kind of a spacer.  I can send a picture of mine if you like.

73,
Kerry, WD5ABC
Victoria, TX
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