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Old 12-04-2005, 02:15 PM   #1
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Mounting ham antenna on Airstream trailer

Ham radios can be a good compliment to cell phones. Cell phones are great in the city and along Interstate Highways but in the rural part of sparsely populated western states, service can not be depended upon.

VHF and UHF ham radio repeaters are frequently located on mountain tops where they provide service to much of the rural areas.

Now the question, how to mount the antenna on the trailer?

The standard 5/8 wave mag mount 2 meter antenna used on the steel roof of a truck wont adhere on the aluminum trailer. A bolt or screw on mount could work but would be in the way when trying to park the trailer in the shed. The trailer being so tall, removing the antenna is not convenient.

Suggestions??
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Old 12-04-2005, 04:34 PM   #2
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If you have a crank up television antenna, you could mount it on that.

BTW, I hope you did not offend Porkey Pig with the tittle of this thread!
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Old 12-04-2005, 05:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream25
... Now the question, how to mount the antenna on the trailer? ... Suggestions??
Here's how my CB antenna is mounted.

Tom
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Old 12-04-2005, 07:32 PM   #4
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Tom,
I checked the picture of the CB antenna on your web page. Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:27 AM   #5
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I installed an NMO mount in the refer vent cover and fished the coax down into the refer compartment, then into the trailer. It can be done (barely) without removing the cover. I use this for an external cell phone antenna. I will probably add anothe NMO for a ham or CB antenna. I use the NMO mount for almost all of my antennas, so they will interchange.

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Old 01-14-2006, 02:44 PM   #6
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What Is A Nmo Mount? Thanks, Jim Kb6oin
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Old 01-15-2006, 07:23 PM   #7
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The NMO (New model Motorola) is a very common VHF/UHF antenna mount. I have CB, cell phone, and ham antennas that use it. You can find it with or without cable in many different configurations at Ham or CB stores. The roof mount, which I used on the Airstream refer vent, requires a 3/4 " hole.

Terry
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:10 AM   #8
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Radio Antenna Install

Quote:
Originally Posted by Airstream25 View Post
Ham radios can be a good compliment to cell phones. Cell phones are great in the city and along Interstate Highways but in the rural part of sparsely populated western states, service can not be depended upon. VHF and UHF ham radio repeaters are frequently located on mountain tops where they provide service to much of the rural areas. Now the question, how to mount the antenna on the trailer? The standard 5/8 wave mag mount 2 meter antenna used on the steel roof of a truck wont adhere on the aluminum trailer. A bolt or screw on mount could work but would be in the way when trying to park the trailer in the shed. The trailer being so tall, removing the antenna is not convenient. Suggestions??
--------------------------------------------------------------------
I have a 3 stage extendable steel pole for antennas that is mounted on the hitch and is removable, It is on a bracket that allows me to lower it, extend pole then put it back up. I disconnect it during travel even thow in its retracted state it is no taller than the AC on the trailer, I just dont like having it there full time only when I plan on using it.
You can find this pole available from most ham radio stores, mine was given to me and came from HRO.

Sarge KG4KWP
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Old 09-15-2011, 09:26 AM   #9
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For VHF/UHF I would suggest the NMO mounts permanently installed and 1/4 wave antennas which would only be 19 inches at 2 meters,and are flexible enough to get out of the way when going into the garage or whatever.
Based on many years on an antenna test range I can assure you that you will see no difference in performance with the 1/4 wave as compared to the larger 5/8.

On low frequencies we have pipes U bolted to the back bumper on each side.
One has a screwdriver antenna. We remove the whip when traveling. The other can be used for a Hustler 5 BTV when we are parked for longer periods.
The 5 BTV does provide a noticeable improvement on 75 meters where I do most my operating, less so on 40 and probably little or no improvement on 20 meters and up when compared to the screwdriver
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:18 AM   #10
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How about a leighweight aluminum pneumatic mast assached to the tonge / a-frame ...
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:48 AM   #11
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For all things "mobile ham" I begin on K0BG's website. He (Alan) is the master!
KØBG.COM
I prefer my ham radio in the truck or if there is internet available I can remote my entire home HF station. Now that is a blast!!!!
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:11 PM   #12
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Hi to all HAMS...
Unfortunately, as age increases, one has to start winding down on activities. Unfortuantely, Packards, Planes, and PCs, and AirStreams have been in my life longer than radio, so I am reluctantly starting to downsize some of my equipment.
I have an antenna that was mounted on the back of our 1981 Airstream. It was specifically designed for the Airstream many years ago....in fact, an article was published on its specs. It is mounted on the back bumper and can be lifted with a bar.
I am not home at the moment to give particulars, but if there is a HAM who would be interested, I will forward details.
We are located 25 west of Houston....
K5RPS
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Old 07-14-2012, 06:31 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ole81 View Post
Hi to all HAMS...
Unfortunately, as age increases, one has to start winding down on activities. Unfortuantely, Packards, Planes, and PCs, and AirStreams have been in my life longer than radio, so I am reluctantly starting to downsize some of my equipment.
I have an antenna that was mounted on the back of our 1981 Airstream. It was specifically designed for the Airstream many years ago....in fact, an article was published on its specs. It is mounted on the back bumper and can be lifted with a bar.
I am not home at the moment to give particulars, but if there is a HAM who would be interested, I will forward details.
We are located 25 west of Houston....
K5RPS
I would be but getting it from Houston to TN maybe a problem, I would be interested in the particulars of maybe remaking another one for myself.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #14
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Sorry for the delay in supplying more information about the antenna mount. I had misplaced the info that I have.
There was a 3 page article in some book (maybe an antenna book?!?!)...chapter 15, p6-8. The article talks about a Deluxe RV 5 -Band Antenna....and references information by Charles Schecter, W8UCG, which was published in QST Oct, 1980.
The design was intended for a31' Airstream....the year may be irrelevant.

I don't feel it would be appropriate to try to post the 3 pages on the forum, but if any HAM would like a copy of what I have, send me a private msg.
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:25 PM   #15
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There are many uses for an antenna on an Airstream....like Christmas decorations!....HA!
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:09 PM   #16
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ham antenna mounting on Airstream

Hi:

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.

Paul KA6NFP
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:06 PM   #17
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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, 09:38 PM   #18
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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 well...by 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>


DESIGNED By G.M. AMTHOR WA6CDE (1971)
(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.

A DELUXE RV 5-BAND ANTENNA
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
http://www.eham.net/articles/34302
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
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
http://www.eham.net/articles/34302
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

K8DOC
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:26 AM   #20
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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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