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Old 07-22-2018, 03:36 PM   #1
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tarpon , Florida
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Need help with antenna routing

New member working on new airstream (19 30' FC RBQ).
I am trying to run a antenna(cell) from the roof through the Fridge vent. But once I get it down to outside fridge compartment I am not sure where to go, If I want the wire to come inside in the overhead lockers over the dinette. Also wondering about the panel over the fridge I think it is screwed in according to the furniture schematic but wanted to check here if there is a clean way to get that off without pulling the fridge. Really looking for pics to help visualize whats behind the fridge and best way to route the cables. I have searched for over 6 hours looking to see how others might have accomplished this. So far not finding anything.
TIA.
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Old 07-22-2018, 04:04 PM   #2
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Hi

Welcome !!!!

Since you have a 2019 and AS is known to change things up .... who knows what you've got ....

Pictures of what you have in the vicinity of the fridge / locker / vent might help people figure out if what you have is what they have.

Bob
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Old 07-22-2018, 05:57 PM   #3
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Need help with antenna routing

I was planning to do just as you are thinking for external cell and WiFi antennas on my Ď18 30í Classic, until I had my solar panels installed. AM Solar installed the panels; on 30í Airstreams they mount a roof combiner box just forward of the vent on curbside, penetrate the roof there and run the cables down the inside of the clothes closet. If you look inside your locker to the right, you will see a vertical channel in which the vent pipe is tucked. The roof penetration is just forward of the vent pipe.

I then decided I can mount a weatherproof box just forward of the solar combiner box and drop through the roof there, but the tech mentioned that many people just run their cables through the solar combiner box and itís penetration, so I am now planning to do that.

Either way would be a clean install. The box is well sealed with Sikaflex, I am not concerned about leaks.

If interested I can post pictures tomorrow.

Ps another advantage of putting the router in the closet is a very short (6 foot) cable run from router to antennas.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:02 PM   #4
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Hmmm I will have to take a look at this option. I have solar from the factory and the combiner box is in the middle of the roof just behind the skylight so this would be a new hole and another combiner box. Not sure I want to do that yet as I was planning to add more solar in a year and not sure if I would be able to use same box or have to add a new one. Post pics please.
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Old 07-22-2018, 08:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

Welcome !!!!

Since you have a 2019 and AS is known to change things up .... who knows what you've got ....

Pictures of what you have in the vicinity of the fridge / locker / vent might help people figure out if what you have is what they have.

Bob
Here is what I have internally
Not a great pic but you can see the fridge, the dinette, and the overhead cabinets.

You can also see on the roof below. I was going to mount the Trucker antenna just behind the front AC or in front of the rear AC.


fFrst time posting photos so hopefully these work.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:02 PM   #6
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I will be watching the responses as I am ready to do install the same in our 2018 Classic 30RB Twin. I bought a new endoscope to help look between walls and other hard-to-access places. I have removed every drawer along the floor, at some time, to actually see all the wiring.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:10 PM   #7
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Ok hereís some photos of what I am doing.

Photo 1: roof from curbside. Antennas will be mounted on trailer centerline, between Winegard antenna and the skylight.

Photo 2: solar junction box mounted forward of vent.

Photo 3: solar junction box. Iíll add a strain relief for the antenna cables, dig out the dicor filling the penetration, then reseal.

Photo 4: inside top right front corner of the wardrobe, showing roof penetration.

Photo 5: inside wardrobe, right front corner, showing channel in which vent pipe runs. Router will mount on the wall below the hanger rod.

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Old 07-23-2018, 12:50 PM   #8
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2015 Classic 30. I ran my PDQ SureCall antenna coax through the refrigerator vent and drilled a hole in the plywood overhead and snaked it to a hole drilled in the street side of the TV recess. My WiFi booster and router are mounted behind the TV.


You can also snake it up to the existing opening at the dining overhead locker where the other TV and HDMI wiring enters the locker. I replaced the vent cover with Sikaflex and stainless steel sheet metal screws.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:42 AM   #9
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Look carefully where the rivets run up the side of trailer. This will tell you where the support struts run.

There are very few places where cable runs traverse thru struts forward and backward of the trailer body. Finding one of there openings is difficult. Most of the cable bundles run thru the belly pans or spaces between subfloor and belly pan.

I chose mounting the Omni directional 700-2600 mhz wifi-g2, g3, g4 LTE dome unit on back side of Dometic front A/C frame.

Routing transmission cable thru skin then between two struts down to equipment cabinet on port side of vehicle in dinette locker. Three screws remove mounting box that exposes all audio, blueray, satellite transmission cable and XM Radio reciver module.

The hole for the cell antenna lead is 9 inches aft the front A/C unit. That lines up just 4 inches aft the interior ceiling light inside cabin.

By rotating the silver ring around the light fixture counter-clockwise the ring can be removed to expose three screws. Remove them and you have access to where the transmission cable will enter vehicle.

Using a coat hanger you can snake the transmission cable down to the cable bundle that enters the equipment cabinet and from there to your booster, wireless router of choice, or what ever else.

You will have to swipe power from 12vdc supply to audio equipment and down convert to some 5vdc devices. 110 vac is available but GenSet or shore power will be necessay . I choose 12vdc gear.

While your there you might consider moving the Dometic thermostat processor out of the dinette overhead locker to the exterior wall against the refrigerator wall next to the Alde controller. You will need a 2” hole saw to flush mount the device.

It is much happier there. Heat from fridge does not seem to be an issue because if the double wall at that point.

Removing the Polk control head also allows access for routing the antenna cable as well.

With care, the screws holding everything in place can be removed and replaced. There is plenty of slack in wiring.

Use a breathing mask! Lots of dust and beware the A/C duct work in the area. Don't crush or puncture it.

Have fun!
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:15 AM   #10
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Not sure if it helps with your bigger unit but on my 25í FC I mounted the cell booster itself inside the hall closet, penetrated the roof right above it with a combiner box for the outside antenna and then ran the inside antenna lead through the AC duct going right over the closet with the wire emerging right next to the AC vent over the dinette where the antenna is mounted. The ducts are handy ways to get cables lengthwise down your unit.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:53 AM   #11
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A couple of members on the Airstream Addicts FB page were discussing how they successfully do it this way:

"Thinking of installing the exterior antennae on a flag pole, running the coax to the Sat port on the exterior and then connecting the interior electronics to the coax under the blu-ray player."


"I had an old extending paint pole lying around and repurposed it; it sits nicely in the v of the towing frame."

Seems more straightforward to me and doesn't create any new penetrations, though I haven't done it myself yet.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWRVR View Post
2015 Classic 30. I ran my PDQ SureCall antenna coax through the refrigerator vent and drilled a hole in the plywood overhead and snaked it to a hole drilled in the street side of the TV recess. My WiFi booster and router are mounted behind the TV.


You can also snake it up to the existing opening at the dining overhead locker where the other TV and HDMI wiring enters the locker. I replaced the vent cover with Sikaflex and stainless steel sheet metal screws.
Was there anything you had to watch out for in the fridge vent? DId you drill the hole in the upper plywood and then run a snake up from the hole to bring the cable down?
My TV is not recessed and i think i have a double wall right behind the TV thus I cant see how to get through the double wall to where all the TV connections come out. Maybe I have to put a snake in there and see if i can find the bottom. but getting back there from the fuse panel is difficult. thanks I have more exploring to do.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:14 PM   #13
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I havenít done this on the 30, but on my 27FB it was a fairly simple matter to remove the roof refrig vent, peel back a corner of the insect screen, and drop a weighted string down the flue. As the refrig condenser tubing winds around inside the flue, I needed to fiddle with it a bit to fall all the way through. It will land in the open space behind the fridge. Use the string to pull the cable through. No drilling of the plywood panel to get the cable down behind the fridge.

Once there, getting the cable to where you want it, presumably the dinette locker, is a different matter. Perhaps drill through the bulkhead behind the tv, but I have not scoped that part out yet.
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Old 07-25-2018, 08:35 PM   #14
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With respect to getting the cable from back of refrig to the dinette locker, this is what I was thinking of doing. Keep in mind Iíve not checked this out, and my liability is limited to the cost of my advice ($0.00) :-)

That plywood panel you see looking up from the refrigerator access door, I believe is the bottom of a big empty box which reduces the size of the flue sufficiently to produce adequate draft over the condensing coils inside the flue. The flue only needs to be a few inches deep, and as wide as the refrigerator. There is probably nothing in the box, other than the 110v wiring to power the refrigerator. On my 30, the 110v receptacle is in center of that plywood panel.

If I were to investigate how to get a cable through there, Iíd try removing the 110v receptacle and box, and use a bore scope or inspection mirror to find a route to the dinette locker, it is possible you might be able to fish a wire directly from there to the locker.

Hope this helps.
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