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Old 07-24-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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1981 31' Excella II
Richmond , Texas
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There are many uses for an antenna on an Christmas decorations!....HA!
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Bob (K5RPS) and Gail (MAAAA)

31' 1981 Excella II
2001 F-250 7.3D Crew w/8'bed and Pullrite 180degree

"Ask the Man Who Owns One" (Packard, Of Course)
"Ask the Woman who lives with one...or more!" (Gail)
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:09 PM   #16
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2004 30' Classic
Roseville , California
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 22
ham antenna mounting on Airstream


I use a Don Johnson (SK April 2010) W6AAQ DK-3 screwdriver antenna on our trailer. I use a piece of wood I have cut two holes the diameter of a R-S TV mast and one large hole that fits the diameter of the electric jack in the front. Since we have an Hensley hitch I can screw up the tightness of the weight bars to hold the wood in place. The two mast holes come out past the triangular hitch where I have mounted two R-S clamps that use U-bolts to secure the mast to the triangular part of the hitch and the hole through the wood to ground.

I use two five foot masts and mount the DK-3 on top of ten foot of mast. Using a 1 inch braided lead for ground which is attached to one bolt of the U-bolt on the mount on the hitch. The coax goes along the road side of the trailer into the side opening under our dinette. That coax goes to an ICOM IC-706 MK II G radio and SWR meter. The ICOM has the 10 watt test generator so I can tune the antenna with the screwdriver. Power for the screwdriver also goes through the same path as the coax.

Seems to work well and have made some good contacts using this method.


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Old 03-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #17
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2007 34' Classic S/O
Hillsboro , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 78
I made a frame extension on the rear curbside and mounted a 6 ft. aluminum tube on the extension. I have a mid-point support to the belt rail of my Airstream trailer. A mobile mount is mounted at the top of the tube for my Yaesu ATAS-100 mobile antenna. A length of braid runs from the antenna base mount to a screw on the window frame of the back window. Coax is routed through the floor of the rear storage compartment and up toward the front and under the dinette. I use a Yaesu FT-847 HF/VHF/UHF transceiver in the dinette. Another braid runs from the radio to a screw in the window frame (between screen and glass). Has worked perfectly for 6 years. The antenna is removed when travelling.

John, W9CJX
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:38 PM   #18
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
1978 Argosy 30
1985 31' Excella
Sacramento , California
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 323
Mounting a 5btv vert to the airstream

WELL THAT is interesting... as I was the orginal one the made up the (back then) 4BTV now 5BTV antenna mount for the 31 ft. airstream trailer we had in 1973.
I took it to the rally and that is where the guy from 8 land took pix asked questions... and then wrote a article in QST showing how he did his... that was nice... that he never gave credit for where he got the idea from... although at the time I didn't care.
I have sence re-published the article with some of the design changes to make it even better after all these years... He didn't see the fold back of the spider tubes on the cap hat so non of that was shown in his article.

You can go to EHAM and look up my call WA6CDE which then should take you to the pages that will show you how I did mine...
To mount the 2/440 antenna we used the alu vent on top of the refrig... you can get a fold back mount from the Truck stop CB store... so that when traveling you can fold it back down below the height of the A/C... and with a broom stick can flip it back up to vert... the coax runs inside the refrig vent and then follows along the base/floor of the trailer to the station location.
I would not use the on board univolt for my 12 volts... instead I would use one of the ASTRON 35-55 amp power supplies...and adapt it to charging the bats as well as when power fails... it will put the radio across the house bats... but, fans, heater and other run'n things need to have filter caps and chokes put on them or you won't hear the alarm clock next to you when they are on.

As to mounting the 5BTV... one could use the jack stand in front or tag it to the rear frame rails... which was the original position... but, today we also see the antenna used as a free standing flag pole as well... or as a vert mast to hold a wire antenna up as simply putting a pully and haliard up under the 3/8-24 stud where the 80 meter resonator goes...

Also we now use a choke balun to keep the RF out of the trailer... before we used 10 turns of coax like the antenna instructions said... today a torid with turns is much better... also... ground radials attached to the frame/body also help the radiation pattern of the antenna... quick attachemnt points are easy to make... so its not a ordeal to get the station on the air.

Hope to hear you on the RV net... G.M>

(Rev 2015)

I got real tired of seeing my design that others claim that they came up with for the Airstream RV antenna mount. I decided that I would again show others what I came up with in 1970's and some of the improvements that now are incorporated in MY original design. (Yes I know that the ARRL published MY design in a article, written by an 8 call person, that had copied mine without permission. I originally wrote the article and showed others at the Airstream Club rally how to make one. I designed this antenna installation and through the years made improvements' to it. I will show all some of the improvements made to the antenna design and continual revisions to it.

This antenna was designed to be mounted on a 31-foot Airstream travel trailer. With minor changes it can be used with any other recreational vehicle (RV).

Installing a 5/6 BTV on an Airstream
by G.M. Amthor, WA6CDE on June 20, 2015
A deluxe RV 5-band antenna
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:23 AM   #19
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1961 24' Tradewind
1969 29' Ambassador
1970 21' Globetrotter
Jamestown , Tennessee
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Posts: 1,781
Originally Posted by GM Airstream View Post
[FONT="Times New Roman"][SIZE="2"]WELL THAT is interesting... as I was the orginal one the made up the (back then) 4BTV now 5BTV antenna mount for the 31 ft. airstream trailer we had in 1973.
I took it to the rally and that is where the guy from 8 land took pix asked questions... and then wrote a article in QST showing how he did his... that was nice... that he never gave credit for where he got the idea from... although at the time I didn't care.

Installing a 5/6 BTV on an Airstream
by G.M. Amthor, WA6CDE on June 20, 2015
A deluxe RV 5-band antenna
Interesting bit of History. I have seen many of these, or variations of these mounts over the years. They were very popular in the 70's. I have even seen the remains on a used trailer owned by a non ham.
I use a 5 BTV mounted on the back bumper of my trailer but carry it in 3 pieces in the truck and assemble it and put it up in about 5 minutes. While the lay over mount is more convenient and easier up we tend to park under trees so I need to poke the antenna up through a hole in the tree cover fairly often so a layover approach will not work. The 5 BTV is on the curb side and a high Sierra Screwdriver is on the road side. If I need to get on the air quickly I can put the whip on the screwdriver in a rest area etc.
I have been intermittently on the RV net (eastern) since the late 60's but don't know to many of the western folks

Rick Davis 1602 K8DOC
61 tradewind, plus a few others
13 Ram 2500 TD
99 Dodge TD 577K miles

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Old 01-04-2017, 12:26 AM   #20
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
1978 Argosy 30
1985 31' Excella
Sacramento , California
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 323
We also have a 5btv cut down to fit into the locker

Yep... we cut one of our 5btv's down so that the biggest length is the base tube cut in half... we used couplers of tubing inside to section it back togeather.. works but you have to use the nox so as to keep the contenuity... or the antenna just won't work right.
But.... we wanted something that you could push up...and didn't take a wad of money to get on the air quickly... thus if you assemble the antenna you need to re-adjust it every time for placement. The new current fold over does not fold along the lateral side of the trailer roof.. instead it is mounted on the rear frame and extends over to the other side across the top of the sewer /utility compartment door... does two thing.. one easy to flip up... second keeps someone from lifting your sewer hose and electrical plugs... the rest of the antenna has locking rings on the tubs so that you only have to slide 'em in to the ring.. and clamp 'em up... we found that this works... somewhat...

Another new location that others are playing with is the front jack post... where they attach the antenna base to it.. and leave it... only to slide the vertical up on to it when parked... it also serves as the flag pole too so they are saying... but if you use that point with a screwdriver antenna you could also run the coax from the TV to it... and it should work as your going down the road too... then when stopped just change the coax and control cable to the trailer interior... quick and simple too... as another idea...

Indeed back in the late 60's early 70's their was a lot of interest on adapting the 5btv to the trailers... they seemed to work great for the effort... and were as rugged as the trailer itself... I know that I was told their was several articles written from the orginal consept we had...

Today we are seeing a lot of auto antenna equipment.. such as the tar heel auto lay down.. used with several antennas... non with the hustler 5 yet though... but mainly the screwdriver types of antennas... and they seem to be quick and easy to operate... only problem is the base sells for over 400 bux.. ouch...

Another item that seems to have favor with the RV's is the autotuners... better known as transmatches... such as the AH4 and SGD ones... here you only need a wire antenna going away from the trailer up into a tree... or use a fiberglass flag pole... and it auto tunes or matches what you put up... simple but again more expensive than the fixed vertical.. however it does give you the whole bands unlike the 5 that the hustler does...

Of course the good old wire antennas such as the inverted V or delta loop seem to be the cad of the airwaves.. but in a lot of places you can't string up the wire without catching some nightwalker... with a surprise...

so it narrows it down right now to just the hustler 5btv, the screwdriver... and the autotuner with a fiberglass pole... etc...

I started playing around with a vert loop.. i.e 30 ft up in the back.. 30 ft across the top to the jackpost then down to 12 inches below the bellypan of the trailer.. and terminating at the starting point in the back... will let everyone know how it works out... but right away we can see it has a directional aspect to it... so you would have to change the position of the trailer to get sigs that are louder in the 90 deg plane...

always looking for new way... G.M>WA6CDE
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:32 AM   #21
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
1978 Argosy 30
1985 31' Excella
Sacramento , California
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 323
Some ask how to run the coax cable... inside or what ?... well we found that punching holes in the interior bulkheads.. is destructive... so instead what we do.. or did.. is run the coax under the bellypan... i.e. ground side... and use aircraft adel clamps located at each frame x member... I have seen others put the coax inside a piece of PVC tubing and attaching that to the under pan again using adel clamps at each frame x member using self tap'n sheet metal screws... either way it allows one to run the cable under the trailer till you find your operating position.. then you come up through the belly pan into the floor of the trailer... either with the gas line or other... so that you keep the hole drilling to a min...

As to the UHF/VHF antenna... one could get a second roof vent cover.. and put the mount in it... run the coax over and down through the refrig vent hole...

although a lot of others have built a 0.050 thick metal plate for the mount... that then is riveted to the refrig outside top vent lip... three 1/8 inch rivet holes are better than one big 3/4... and when you remove it.. just fill the rivet holes with rivets... none the wiser... and if you don't use a NMO or other mount... the magnetic mount then will pop on and off the plate... leaving only the coax connection to be made... to the antenna.
I have attached a pic of the whole assembly that is easy riveted to the refrig vent cover lip... this one has a 1 inch mini ball that can be adjusted so it folds over easy

Hope this helps...
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:50 PM   #22
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
1978 Argosy 30
1985 31' Excella
Sacramento , California
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 323
Question: mounting the UHF/VHF antenna on the airstream refrig vent....

No I wouldn't mount it directly to the refrig vent.. its not that strong... and if you put the plate over some of the opening.. you are restricting... some of the air movement...

No.. instead I would have a piece of metal that is about 050 thou thick alu... perferbly a 6061 plate that allows a 4 x 4 inch mount .. i.e that is what some of the larger ball mounts are...
I punched a hole in the center of mine... so that I can mount a NMO mount or any other later on.

With 1 inch tabs on the top and bottom of the bent piece.. you can either use rivnuts or if you think it going to be their forever.. go ahead and use some aircraft 3/16 cherry max rivets... I also use some of the aviation PRC sealant to keep the rivets from leaking.. but most of the time the cherry max rivets will seal up... without anything else being used... seal along the top of the lip of the plate and you can seal any water from coming between the bracket and the airstream hull... On mine I used 4 -3/16 cherry max on the top and bottom.. and I also have a lip bent over the edge of the mount to add to the strength of the metal... its solid... you almost could stand on it as strong as it is...

Run the coax on the cooler side of the refrig vent... no need to punch new holes.. as it can be fed through the screen and allowed to follow down the side of the refrig compartment... from the access already built into the trailer...

The coax cable I use is regular RG-58U... for the length is has little loss...

If you wanted a fold over antenna you can use a lot of the CB trucker parts... and attach them to the side of the mount...
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Old 04-29-2018, 07:48 AM   #23
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Fort Worth , Texas
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CB has suffered in quality all sorts of ways past forty years. K0BG mentions (and I’d second) the use of mounts, etc, by Hank Breedlove (Breedlove Machine) where they intersect with desire.
1990 35' Silver Streak Sterling; 9k GVWR.
2004 DODGE Cummins 305/555; 6-manual; 9k GVWR.
Hensley Arrow. 12-cpm solo, 19-cpm towing (fuel)
Sold: Silver Streak Model 3411
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:00 AM   #24
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2018 16' Sport
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 11
My two cents -- I don't think I would mount an HF antenna on my trailer. Seems like an opportunity for a water leak. Instead, I use a Buddipole or an end-fed or dipole up in the trees. If there are no trees around, then a telescoping fiberglass mast.

~ Joe

2011 Chevy Silverado 1500 4X4
2018 16-RB Sport - portable solar and Honda generators
2015 T@B Max-U Outback
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