Antenna solutions when using a fifth wheel - HF antenna

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KF2Q, Dec 11, 2013.

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  1. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    My pickup truck is used to haul a 5th wheel trailer, which means I can't put an antenna on the back bumper, or on the sides of the bed.

    The only places that seem to make sense are the front bumper, or the front portion of the bed behind the cab window. In either case I'm concerned about interference from nearby metal. I already have a dual band antenna roof mounted.

    Another thing is, sadly, I live in an area where meth-heads steal anything that looks like it can fetch ten bucks. So a fancy screwdriver antenna is not a good idea.

    On the plus side I have no vertical constraints as I never park indoors or have clearance issues.

    Figure running 100 watts out of the HF rig.

    What might be my best approach and antenna selection?
     
  2. K0BG

    K0BG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    You might look in the Photo Gallery on my web site under OTR & RV.
     
  3. K6CLS

    K6CLS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I get pretty good results with MFJ hamsticks (one for each band) and the 3x magmount on the roof of my truck. Unfortunately have yet to tame the impulse ignition noise, that is the devil of mobile installation...
     
  4. K7RQ

    K7RQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    The front bumper is a good place to mount one, if you don't mind staring at it while on the road. There are good quick-disconnect fittings available so you could stow the antenna inside to protect against theft.

    Hal
     
  5. KF2Q

    KF2Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's what I've been thinking. But I live in California and we have a lot of strange laws so I have to check if it's legal.
     
  6. AA4HA

    AA4HA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hahahaha! Put it on the front bumper and tell the police that it is a clearance measurement stick for when you tow your trailer and do not want to smack into tree branches. Just like those wide-load vehicles that have the stick on top to make sure the following load can clear under a bridge.

    Get a wide load banner to store, rolled up behind the seat. Do not even hint or imply that the banner has anything to do with your wife. We do not find that very funny.
     
  7. K9TTU

    K9TTU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an F250 and pull a 35 ft high country 5th wheel. I installed a Breedlove stake pocket mount with a short hustler mast on a spring and a 40 meter coil in the left front stake pocket. I have an SGC 237 tuner tucked up under the edge of the left side rail towards the left front stake pocket. Works good. The front cap of trailer doesn't hit ant unless I get to about 75 degrees while backing. If I use the quick disconnect and remove the ant then it doesn't hit. I'd sent you a picture, but with all of the snow I can't get the roll up tonneau open!

    Rick

    K9TTU
     
  8. WB7TXG

    WB7TXG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a 30' toy hauler.. hope to upgrade to 34 Fifth wheel maybe next year. Have used Drake TR7 and 102 foot doublet with ladder line that works well when up in the woods and have place to hang antenna. However, many of the KOA, Good Sams, etc places have nothing to string an antenna from so my idea that I am working on for next spring is:

    New rig - got a TS480HX - wanted the extra 100 watts - dont need internal antenna tuner
    Tuner - Old Dentron MT3000A - will tune about anything
    Building a HF Go Box using a Spud 7 box -- working on layout now

    Antenna I am playing with in back yard is a home made 31 foot telescoping vertical - "Jacktite"
    Using # 16 gauge wire - 34 feet to start with
    Balun design 4 to 1 UNUN
    Tripod I had up in the attic

    Antenna sits nicely on the tripod - drilled 1/2 hole about 15" from bottom - feed wire out there
    Tried with no radials, no ground, etc and SWR was lousy ( of course) but I could load it and worked a few folks
    Added just 1 radial, roughly 35 feet. SWR on 40 dropped from 4.5 to 2.1

    Worked a few stations on 20 and 40 and 17 with it

    Compared to my zero five vertical its down a bit as expected but works

    I am looking for an antenna that sets up quick, is easy to handle, and can be moved if needed while camped..

    I am also going to try a couple of Petlowany coils I am going to make for ground counterpoise... Will wrap 31 feet of #16 gauge wire spaced 1/2 in rows on 3/4 PVC pipe using 5 to 1 PVC couplers.. Idea is to wind two of these, space about 3 feet apart and then attach both to the UNUN...

    Will see how it works...

    WB7TXG
     
  9. KC8RL

    KC8RL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I do not have any ham antenna mounted on my truck at this time, but I do operate extensively while we are at a camesite. Ck out my pics on QRZ. If you have an questions or just want some advise, e-mail me. (Address listed on my page)

    73 and CUL

    Dan KC8RL
     
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