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Author Topic: 2 meter installation in Travel Trailer?  (Read 791 times)
KT4HY
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« on: January 23, 2005, 05:03:13 PM »

I have a new 28ft travel trailer that I would like to install a vhf rig.  I am wondering what would be the most practical or sensible antenna and what other considerations I should look at for the wiring the rig to the trailer's battery.  I have searched the web endlessly for information on installations on travel trailers, not motorhomes, and have come up empty.  I have only installed a mobile rig a few times in a vehicle and never in a RV.  Thanks for any and all suggestions and comments.

Phil
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KT4HY
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2005, 05:06:22 PM »

I forgot to mention that the trailer has a rubber roof with an am/fm antenna and the collapsable TV antenna on top.
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K5LXP
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2005, 07:29:19 PM »

Antennas- low profile would be good, so a quarter wave would be the antenna of choice.  Just make sure you have an adequate groundplane underneath it.  As far as a DC connection, it doesn't get any more complicated than plus to plus, minus to minus.  What were your concerns?

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KT4HY
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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2005, 08:12:14 PM »

Well, I guess my concerns on the power hook up is geared more toward the travel trailer aspect of the installation.  I have got to locate the wiring that runs directly to the battery power supply and not the ac.  I am not sure how to do that, although I understand if I find the dc then many of my concerns are solved.  I am also wondering if there would be a good way to mount the antenna without going through the rubber roof.
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K0BG
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« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2005, 06:45:52 AM »

Travel trailers are almost in a class by themselves when it comes to antenna installations (rubber roofs included).

Some manufacturers color code their wiring (I hope yours did) and schematics are available from the manufacturer. At least it is a place to start.

As for the antenna, I don't think I'd go through the roof either. Perhaps a bracket off of the aluminum siding might be a better choice. Not as efficient, but adequate I'm sure.

Alan, KØBG
www.k0bg.com
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K5LXP
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« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2005, 11:14:26 AM »

I once made a groundplane for a camping trailer out of sheet steel used for furnace ducting.  Basically it was a 1" high by 20" square box.  Just siliconed it to the top of the trailer, ran the coax in through a hole in a window frame.  As far as 12V wiring, I wouldn't even attempt to use the factory wiring, I would run my own.  Depending on where you mount the rig you might be able to use their wiring raceway or channel.  By running your own wires you have complete control over what size you have, you get independant fusing and no chance of problems due to overloaded or mystery wiring branches.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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KE4SKY
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« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2005, 12:47:48 PM »

A half-wave dual-band, through-the-glass Larsen is an obvious choice for an easy install here.  
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KT4HY
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« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2005, 08:00:21 PM »

I like the through the glass idea as well, problem is this is a travel trailer, not a motor home which offers a much better mounting location than a low window on one side of the travel trailer.
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KE4SKY
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2005, 05:30:26 AM »

If the travel trailer has a roof rack, bond and bolt an L-bracket with NMO to that and use the half-wave dual-band antenna.
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KB3IUX
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2005, 07:05:03 PM »

Our travel trailer has a power jack. I cut down a 10' mast so as to be level with the trailer roof (for road clearance)and clamped the mast to the post of the power jack and bonded it to the trailer frame using flat braided ground strapping.

I mount an Arrow Antenna dual band J pole antenna to the mast when situated at a campground. I ran coax through the trailer floor (inside a cabinet, hidden from sight) and through the bottom insulation, terminating in a barrel connector. This allows me to run a length of coax from the antenna to the barrel connector, when I mount the antenna. I figured having coax exposed to the roadway might permit unseen damage to occur to the coax. With this arrangement, I only have the barrel connector exposed through the bottom of the insulation, and protect it with a spare PL-259 connector when not in use.

I am going to be adding some horizontal loop antennas for VHF SSB operation. For this, I will be mounting another mast to the spare tire carrier on the rear bumper of the trailer. An additional short length of mast can be U-bolted to the existing mast when destinated, to give some additional height. I will be running additional feedlines up through the floor, to accomodate the horizontal antennas.

For power, I am currently using a power supply to run the rig. I find the 12v coach power to be subject to interference from various accessories, such as ventilation fans, etc. and prefer to operate from shore power (ac). If you are running off of coach battery power solely, perhaps look at some sort of line filtering.

I hope my installation offers some ideas for yours.
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W1ITT
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2005, 05:30:31 PM »

Phil...
Be careful of the DC from the trailer battery.  Some of the internal trickle chargers are just plain nasty.  It doesn't much matter with lighting and fans, but ripple and spikes won't do solid state equipment any good.  If you can look at it with a DC coupled scope...to make sure it's just a straight line at 13 volts.... you may feel a bit more confident when you plug the rig in.  
Happy Trails...Norm
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KT4HY
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2005, 08:58:04 PM »

I really appreciate this information.  The post on antenna mounting has given me an idea that I had not previously thought about.  Thanks for the power supply and dc wiring suggestions as well.  I am hoping that I will be able to go directly to the battery without any interference.

Phil
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