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wyhjr 04-25-2004 03:23 PM

CB Antenna
I'm thinking of installing a CB in my Safari and am focusing on the type of antenna best suited for a Stream. Obviously, the magnetic base types are out. The thru glass mounting types wouldn't be tall enough. What does that leave?? :confused:
Anybody got a suggestion on a nice installation?
I'm assuming I'll have to drill thru the roof :(

RoadKingMoe 04-25-2004 03:38 PM

The best setups I've seen on a LOT of WBCCI members' Airstreams are the folding center-loaded gutter-mount type antennas, mounted either on the refrigerator vent or on the fin between the AC and the refrigerator vent.

The problem is that with cars and trucks no longer having rain-gutters, gutter-mount antennas are getting really hard to find. I don't think Radio Shack even carries them any more.

For us, we use a handheld Cobra CB/Weather unit, tied into a Wilson Little Wil magnetic antenna on the truck. It has awesome range on the highway, but the rubber ducky antenna SUCKS for transmission out there. I'm hoping it's good enough to pick up Rally news from inside the trailer.

wingfoot321 04-25-2004 03:46 PM

I am going thru the same thought process for international this summer.

I am thinking of riveting a piece of steel plate to the refrig vent. Then use a magnetic antennae with the wire coming thru the vent, down the back of the refrig, and coming into my tv console below the laminated shelf where the tv sits.

I saw an installation similar to this for an external cell phone antennae.

wyhjr 04-26-2004 09:00 AM

Thanks for the input!! I'll ponder the problem awhile with these ideas in mind.

MarkE 04-27-2004 04:00 AM

A few years ago I installed an aftermarket AM/FM/CB antenna on my Airstream. It was designed, and sold, as a O.E.M. replacement for Nissan and Honda cars and is a direct O.E.M. replacement for late model Airstreams.
It looks and fits just like the original radio antenna found on Airstreams of 90's & 00's vintage.
Although I'd guess it may not have the range of some of the "top-mounted" ones, commonly seen on Airstreams, it works very well for sending/receiving at the International rallies (which is all I have ever used it for.)
As I recall, it cost around $35.
This antenna does a dynamite job of bringing-in FM, too.

wyhjr 04-27-2004 09:20 AM

Say Mark,
Do you remember where you bought that OEM antenna? (car dealer, etc.)

MarkE 04-27-2004 08:22 PM

Hi Bill,
I purchased my antenna at the local Wesern Auto store (now known as Advanced Auto, or something like that).
J.C. Whitney catalog used to have the same thing but when I checked my latest copy, last night, I didn't see it.
If you can't locate one, and want to go this route, let me know and I'll look through some more of my automotive parts catalogs. 'Should be able to come up with one as those Hondas and Nissans are pretty popular cars (I'm not too sure how "into" CB's the young crowd who like to modify these models is, though).
I don't know exactly how our Western Auto store became Advanced Auto. It may have been just a local thing, or a corporate buy-out, or just a change of name. It just occured to me...if you have trouble finding this antenna where you live, I could check to see if this place still stocks (or can get) one.
As I said, it works fine for my purposes and, other than the small adjustment knob at the top of the mast, it looks just like the one the Airstream factory installs.
Good Luck

steelbird312 04-27-2004 09:14 PM

My solution
Hello Guys,
Just me with my once every 3 month post. I just finished a long search of a way to mount one on a friends trailer. Long story short, the gutter mounts are almost totally extinct (I have an old one in the shop right now) so, I made a 90 degree L angle out of some aluminum, about 4" by 7". The 7" side was bent at about the 3" mark making the vertical side 4", the horizontal side 3", and lokking from front to back, 4" long. I drilled a hole almost at the bend, where I mounted the antenna post, and being located there, it allowed room for the coax to come down, and then turn toward the rear of the trailer. I mounted this to the refrigerator stack cover using 3 rivets on the bottom edge and 2 on the top side. This works very well. I also installed a spring to protect from the occasional tree limb. The antenna I used was a Uniden, center load 3 db gain. It stands approx 24" tall. I ran the coax thru the fridge vent down inside the flu area, and then thru the side wall of the fridge surround. Makes for a very clean installation inside the trailer.

wyhjr 04-30-2004 10:19 AM

Thanks Steel, for the great description of your rooftop installation. Now I know of a way to route the cable without adding another hole in the roof!!

steelbird312 05-01-2004 09:47 PM

pics of described antenna
4 Attachment(s)
Here's a few pics, Bill. The spring will save tearing it iff with a tree branch.

talmage 05-02-2004 06:32 AM

What kind of range does he with with the unit? I did not think aluminum was a very good signal for RF [radio frequency]

steelbird312 05-02-2004 07:35 AM

As for the signal, most of these units are used in a 'local' meeting area, where there may be anywhere from rwo units to two thousand units (WBCCI International comes to mind) that want a communications network. In these cases, 2-3 miles is more than adequate, and this particular unit has performed admirably. The entire trailer and it's skin is aluminum. The antenna mount is as well, thereby forgoing the likelyhood of dissimilar metal corrosion. It is mounted right at the top of the rig for no blocked signals, and the size of the unit does a pretty good job as a ground plane. A 1000w radio station, it's not, but a very effective 4 watt CB setup it is.

Astrodokk 05-02-2004 08:24 AM

My CB came with the MH. I had a huge whip antenna that was attached to the driver side original side view mirror. I had been able to get some squelch and hear some voice in it. Then, when I replaced the mirrors, I removed that antenna and got an adapter that uses the one original radio antenna for the CB too, as was originally designed. Now I don't even get squelch. I was told it has to be tuned before it works properly. At least I know now that they're pretty much for just local talk at rallies and passing truckers, not supposed to get huge miles of range.

dbaverb 05-02-2004 09:17 AM

I purchased a Portable Corbra CB for my unit. You might consider that. Mine cost $75.00 and works fantastic. :)

steelbird312 05-02-2004 02:12 PM

The CB radiois limited to 4 watts by the guvment. A good radio with an excellent antenna, away from a large city with a lot of interferance can work 4 or 5 miles. The single, dual-use antenna, until recently did not work well. There is a company called Sierra Electronics that has done a good job with one sold for the Goldwing motorcycle.
When traveling with others or when at a function where the CB is used for announcements, or coordinating activities, or even for summonsing (is that a word?) help, then a good, workable, and trustworthy CB is a great asset. A handheld one is a very viable alternative, and it can be transported from tow vehicle to towed unit. Personally, I have one in each of the above, and a good handheld as a stanby. I have found them valuable on WBCCI caravans as well as rallies. I also have used them and channel 19 to work around traffic tieups,etc

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