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Old 11-18-2016, 09:28 PM   #1
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
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Replacing Winegard RM-8000 with Trav'ler

We traded our 2001 Safari 25 for a 2002 Classic 30 S/O in February. The Classic had a Winegard RM-8000 on the roof. I contacted the original owners about some other things, but asked about the satellite system. They said that had it for Dish Network, but it didn't work well so they never used it.

After reading the manual and discovering it could be set up for DirecTV, I changed the dip switches so it would find the 101W satellite and tried it out. The cable wrapped around the dish feed arm while searching and I had to go up on the roof to straighten it out. It turns out it was improperly installed. I corrected the installation and it worked great, but only got SD (as I understood it would). We enjoyed having it on several trips, but I wanted to go HD.

An opportunity arose and I purchased a used Trav'ler following a discussion on here and the mention of a unit on Craig's List. The owner packed it well and shipped it to me. I am now installing it.

The first item of business was to remove the RM-8000. The hardest part was getting through the 15 year-old caulk, but the roof is now clear and the cables pulled out.

I bought the steel mounting plate because the Trav'ler is heavy and would largely be supported by the roof skin unless a plate was used to span several ribs. After thinking about how to mount the plate to the roof and the dish to the plate, I decided to tap the plate for 10-32 screws and use the shortest screws I could find instead of the long screws provided with the plate to mount the dish. I'll also use shorter SS sheet metal screws to mount the plate to the roof, but I think the screws will just hold the plate in position until the sealant sets up.

The plate is tapped and ready to go up on the roof tomorrow. I'll snap some pictures of the install process and post a step-by-step description as I complete the installation.

Al
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Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 11-22-2016, 09:49 AM   #2
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Remove the RM-8000

I peeled and scraped the sealant as best I could and pried the RM-8000 off the roof. Most of the scratches were from previous owners' re-sealing the roof around the antenna.

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I disconnected the cables inside and pulled them out from the roof after attaching a messenger string so I could pull the new cables back in. They were pinched somewhere, so I had to pull them one at a time, starting with the second TV cable which had no connector on it, followed by the multi-wire cable and finally the primary coax with a connector. The hardest part so far was getting the old sealant off the roof to provide a flat spot to install the new antenna.

I purchased the steel mounting plate to add some rigidity to the roof. The RM-8000 was mounted to the skin between ribs and would oilcan the roof when touched. Prior to the installation I decided to use stainless hardware rather than the chromate hardware provided with the plate, and to use machine screws just thick enough for the plate mount the dish to minimize new holes in the roof so I tapped the dish mounting holes in the plate for 10-32 hardware. I positioned the plate and marked the outline and all the mounting holes.

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I drilled small holes at the mounting holes at each end of the plate and stuck toothpicks in them for locating pins so I could get the plate lined up with the holes as marked and drilled the rest of the mounting holes for #10 sheet metal screws. Then I caulked all the holes and laid a bead of sealant all around the perimeter, as directed in the instructions.

I set the plate in place, installed all the mounting screws using plastic spacers when the gap between the flat plate and the curved roof approached or exceeded 1/8" and ran sealant up under the plate and on top all around.

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Next post - install the antenna.

Al
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"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 11-22-2016, 04:15 PM   #3
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Ta-Da!

It's done. And it works!

First task was to get the heavy thing up on the roof. It weighs about 50# and that is beyond my capability, with two bad shoulders, to carry up a ladder. I attached a line and, with DW guiding from below, I pulled it it up the ladder until I could reach it and hoist it aboard.

Next I marked the perimeter to make sure that sealant gets applied uniformly around the edge. I didn't take pictures of this part because it is almost identical to the plate mounting process. I used two 10-32x1 studs in a couple of the tapped holes as locating pins and dropped the antenna onto the plate. I then marked the perimeter for sealing and removed the antenna. I applied a generous bead of sealant all around and lowered the antenna over the locating pins onto the base plate. 10-32x1/2 screws with split locks and flat washers all around and then sealed the edge and the screw tops with sealant. I used a knitted poly expandable sleeve to protect the cables from sunlight and secured the cable to the roof with clamps and sheet metal screws.

Here is a picture of the final installation.

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As an afterthought I took a picture of the ladder. On my trailer, just behind the slide, there are two ribs ideally spaced to support the ladder. As someone suggested some time ago, I cut lengths of pool noodle and split them to go over the ladder rails to protect the skin.

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The last part of the installation was to pull the cables in to the TV location. This is where the wheels almost came off. The old cables were hard to pull out and the new ones would not pull back using the messenger string. I used a mirror and a flashlight to look up the side wall of the refrigerator compartment and saw there was a pinch point between a piece of wooden frame and the refrigerator side. Someone on here that was pulling a WiFi or cellular booster antenna cable suggested dismounting the refrigerator and sliding it a could of inches into the cabin. I removed the five mounting screws that the refrigerator installation manual described and the three that it did not.

I was then able to tip the refrigerator into the cabin enough to free the cables and pull them to the desired location. I coiled the surplus cable and secured it in the refrigerator compartment.

All stowed and ready to go!

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This was not rocket science. Just remember to step only on the ribs!

If the cables hadn't already been here, I would have had to plan how to get them down to the TV, but that is a manageable problem. If you want to get satellite, you can install it yourself!

Al
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"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 11-22-2016, 11:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the detail and the pics. I do like the mount plate.


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Old 11-23-2016, 01:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for this post, wife is wanting a dish, but I am resisting as we use for camping only, and part of it ohs to get away from everything. I may have to break down to make her happy... this is very useful.

One question, is it lower than the AC unit, or does it add height to the trailer?

Thanks
Rich
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:21 PM   #6
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
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Great installation and photos.
I also upgraded to the Trav'ler to get HD. I removed an old dome that was fastened with 4 little feet and sheet metal screws and lots of caulk. The old dome had its wires run thru the refrigerator chimney, so I used the same idea and it worked well. In my case, the Trav'ler was right over a rib. Set it in place and it seemed sturdy. So I mounted it right to the deck, and shimmed areas that had gaps due to roof curve. It has worked well and there is no sign of roof skin stress. May not work for everyone, but ok on my roof. The system was worked great.
Tip to pass on: After a few trips, my system quit working. After checking, the HDMI cable from decoder box to television was bad. Turns out, standard HDMI cables are not very reliable. The specs are stretched beyond the limits, and bending radius and pulling stress affects performance. And w digital, it either works or doesn't. So if you are pulling HDMI cables thru walls and behind refrigerators, use Active HDMI cables. And test the system with the cable prior to fishing it thru the walls. Redmere brand cables from monoprice.com are good. Active HDMI cables have an IC in the connector that buffers the signals so they all have strong performance margins. Note, they are directional, one end is labeled Source and other Display.
Happy Trav'ling!
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troutboy View Post
Thanks for this post, wife is wanting a dish, but I am resisting as we use for camping only, and part of it ohs to get away from everything. I may have to break down to make her happy... this is very useful.

One question, is it lower than the AC unit, or does it add height to the trailer?

Thanks
Rich
When stowed it is lower than the AC. One fine point - for a 33" circle centered on the circular base, there can be nothing taller than 10". I havs a skylight butted up against the circle and inside the 33" radius, but it is only a couple of inches tall.

Al
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"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 11-23-2016, 01:44 PM   #8
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Replacing Winegard RM-8000 with Trav'ler

Hello Al
Great and detailed post
my traveler sure looks good on your trailer! Enjoy
CJ
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Old 11-23-2016, 04:49 PM   #9
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Nice job with the description and pictures!!! Thanks.
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Old 11-23-2016, 05:31 PM   #10
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Replacing Winegard RM-8000 with Trav'ler

I'd like to get one for our big trailer but have never been able to get one question answered. We boondock a lot and need to watch power draw. Once the dish locks onto the satellite, can the power be shut off and it still function?

Managing power usage lets us use a freestanding dish but I'd hate to have a few amps eaten up by a pointing system when I don't need it.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:25 PM   #11
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Thanks so much for posting all the installation details. This may be in our future.

This may a dumb question, but are you at all worried about corrosion developing between the metal sheet and the roof or with the SS screws and the aluminum?
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:39 PM   #12
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Having had the Winegard SD dome and Trav'ler on different rigs we prefer the SD dome. The SD dome picture is great and the dome is faster to acquire signals, uses less power when off shore power and is less apt to have problems. The dome protects physical parts and connections that are exposed on the dish.
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Old 11-24-2016, 12:39 AM   #13
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Next time I would use aluminum instead of steel. BTW, pound for pound aluminum is stronger than steel. So you could have had as much strength with less weight and no corrosion from dissimilar metals.
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Old 11-24-2016, 06:44 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiHoAgRV View Post
I'd like to get one for our big trailer but have never been able to get one question answered. We boondock a lot and need to watch power draw. Once the dish locks onto the satellite, can the power be shut off and it still function?

Managing power usage lets us use a freestanding dish but I'd hate to have a few amps eaten up by a pointing system when I don't need it.
The controller has an emergency power off function. You press two buttons (power and select, I think) and the power turns off and leaves the antenna where it is. Power is only needed to point and stow.

Al
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"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 11-24-2016, 06:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NC Camper View Post
Thanks so much for posting all the installation details. This may be in our future.

This may a dumb question, but are you at all worried about corrosion developing between the metal sheet and the roof or with the SS screws and the aluminum?
In a word, no. There is enough sealant to prevent corrosion, I think.

Al
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"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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Old 11-24-2016, 08:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by guskmg View Post
Next time I would use aluminum instead of steel. BTW, pound for pound aluminum is stronger than steel. So you could have had as much strength with less weight and no corrosion from dissimilar metals.
guskmg
I actually considered that, but a sheet of 1/8" aluminum was about the same price as the base plate and then I would have to cut and drill to make the plate. Given the paint on the roof over the clearcoat and the sealant I wasn't that concerned about corrosion and I didn't worry abut a couple of pounds added to the 50# dish on a 9000#+ trailer.

Al
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"You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"

Al, K5TAN and Missy, N4RGO
2002 Classic 30 Slideout
S/OS #004
2013 Dodge 2500 Laramie 4x4 Megacab Cummins
2001 Safari 25 RB Twin (Gone, but not forgotten)
WBCCI 1322, TAC FL-39, AIR 82265

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