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Old 12-02-2013, 01:44 PM   #1
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Need metal base for magnetic mount

Has anyone come up with an unobtrusive way to attach a metal base to an Airstream to seat a magnetic base Wilson Trucker antenna preferably up high?
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Old 12-02-2013, 01:51 PM   #2
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Try VHB (very high bond) tape.
Its a superduty double sided tape auto makers use to attach vechicle trim. Can be removed when needed.
Available at WalMart in the auto section. Look for 3M autobody tape. Like $3

Use this tape to adhere a metal disc to the aluminum roof.
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:00 PM   #3
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Find a location by a vent, A/C, etc. Remove the trim to expose the area between the skins. Buy and glue in place a large magnet (observing polarity). Place antenna on outer skin above installed magnet, sandwiching the skin between the magnets.
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Old 12-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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For a small Wilson (not the big trucker) I made an L shaped bracket and drilled a hole in it, and then put a bolt the size of the interior of the awning rail through it and put it in the front awning rail hole.
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:05 PM   #5
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Talk to your local automotive audio installer. Head units with built-in GPS receivers need to mount a magnet-base GPS antenna on the dashboard, and the installer uses a stick-on metal plate that's about an inch and a half square that comes in the kit with the head unit. The guy who installed my replacement Kenwood head unit said that he has those little stick-on steel bits (black powder-coated) in abundance, because not every install needs one, and so he saves the extras in a box in his shop. I didn't need any at the time, but he offered me a handful if I wanted them.

Your local audio installer is probably the same way, and you could get one or three just for the asking.

Because the steel plate is so small, the typical magnetic-mount antenna base will cover it completely. How discrete is that?
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Old 12-02-2013, 03:11 PM   #6
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This is what we use. It's kind of a kluge and not very convenient to put up for an hour or two, but it works for us when we stop long enough to disconnect the Bambi from the TV:

* Flag pole mount (this goes under the tongue-jack foot): Amazon.com: Flagpole To Go Portable Flagpole Tire Mount: Sports & Outdoors

* Pool skimmer pole: Amazon.com: Jed Pool tools Inc 50-560-16 16-Feet Professional Deluxe Anodized Telescopic Pool Sk: Patio, Lawn & Garden

* Cookie baking sheet (ask your better-half for an old one that's dented, bent and/or burnt). For a cell phone frequency antenna, the baking sheet should be at least 9" in width. A large pizza pan will also work.

* TV antenna mounting brackets (you need two of these): Amazon.com: Channel Master Roof/Attic Tv Antenna Mount: Electronics

Note: The links above are provided for reference only. Some are not the exact parts I used, but they are similar. You may have to substitute whatever is available locally or online, if and when you decide to assemble something like this.

Use one U-bolt to clamp mounting brackets to the skimmer pole in opposing positions. Then, drill holes in cookie sheet, and use nuts and bolts to attach sheet to mounting brackets. Actual configuration is more apparent when you have all of the parts in hand.

Installation instructions:

1. Before disconnecting hitch, lower tongue jack foot onto flag pole mount.

2. Place magnetic-base antenna on top of cookie sheet.

3. Insert end of skimmer pole in flag pole mount. Use bungee cord or similar strap to stabilize pole against tongue jack.

4. Extend skimmer pole to raise antenna.

We run the antenna cable into our Bambi through the stove exhaust vent. However, I am thinking about a more convenient, permanent connection; preferably one that doesn't involve making a hole through an outer panel.

By the way, if you have something similar that works for you, please post details. This is just something that I pieced together, and it is probably not the best setup for everyone.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:41 PM   #7
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Thank you all for a great selection of answers. Now, to pick one...
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:37 PM   #8
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I ordered a Wilson antenna this week but a different one. What I noticed when looking up your antenna is that it has a built in ground plane so the use of metal base is not required-nice. The power jack is a good place. The only option aside from drilling that I can think of is to make a custom base that fits in a spot on your roof where you can put it up when you need it and take it down. My roof spot would be between the skylight and the fantastic vent to slide it between. You COULD attach it that way and bring your line down the refrigerator vent to the inside or just run it to the door frame with some sort of creative bundling. ?>?>
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:18 PM   #9
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I would use caution when considering permanent attachment of a ferrous metal (iron/magnetic) base or plate to an Airstream's aluminum skin, due to galvanic corrosion:

Galvanic Corrosion

If you live or plan lengthy visits to areas that have lots of rain or humidity, especially coastal areas, this could lead to future corrosion problems and/or leaks.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
I would use caution when considering permanent attachment of a ferrous metal (iron/magnetic) base or plate to an Airstream's aluminum skin, due to galvanic corrosion:

Galvanic Corrosion

If you live or plan lengthy visits to areas that have lots of rain or humidity, especially coastal areas, this could lead to future corrosion problems and/or leaks.
The adhesive tends to form a gasket; there's no direct metal-to-metal contact.
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:28 PM   #11
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This is why I suggested the 3m tape....
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Old 12-03-2013, 03:34 PM   #12
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All the magnetic antennae I have had incorporated a rubber or plastic insulator under the magnet.
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicNo13 View Post
Try VHB (very high bond) tape.
Its a superduty double sided tape auto makers use to attach vechicle trim. Can be removed when needed.
Available at WalMart in the auto section. Look for 3M autobody tape. Like $3

Use this tape to adhere a metal disc to the aluminum roof.
This is the idea I ended up adopting. I 2-side taped a large steel finish washer to the roof. I was boon docking in the Valley of fire State Park above lake Meade NV. No cell service whatsoever. So I put the magnetic base Wilson trucker's antenna on the roof, plugged into a the Wilson seek, and got 4 bars.

Thanks to Atomic number 13
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Old 02-07-2014, 01:59 PM   #14
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I mounted mine to the batwing antenna. this gives it the height for better reception. here are pictures of an installation that I used for reference. I placed the amp in a corner of the front cabinet then ran the internal antenna to a location just below the front window next to the dinette. This dramatically improved my signal.
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