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Anyone recommend a good antenna for RVing?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KM6OQQ, Aug 31, 2018.

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  1. KM6OQQ

    KM6OQQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I travel with an RV trailer. I am in the process of taking the General test and am looking for a good antenna for this type of Haming. I'm still working out the frequencies I will be following.
     
  2. KB3WFV

    KB3WFV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Good Morning Mile

    Congratulations on the upgrade! I use two different antenna systems while camping depending on where we are staying. If my fifth wheel trailer is on an open site I use a screwdriver antenna made by Tarheel that is mounted on the roof of the RV. If we are on a tree covered site I use a portable vertical that sets up on a tripod. It is made by Steppir and is called the Crank IR. Both of these antenna systems are a sizeable investment and the roof mounted antenna is a lit of work to install. However, both antennas allow for continuous frequency coverage from 6m to 80m and work very well. Photo's and a video about the antennas can be found on my QRZ page.

    Perhaps more practical and cost effective way would be to use ham sticks in a dipole configuration. Several bands of ham sticks, the dipole adaptor, and a fiberglass pushup flagpole can all be purchased for considerably less money than what I have invested and will perform well enough to give you an idea of what frequencies you would like to use.

    Of course cheaper yet, is good old fashion wire antennas. A spool of wire and a couple of trees will put you on the air. I shy away from this type, primarily because most campgrounds and of course other campers usually do not like someone throwing a bunch of wire around in the trees.

    Good luck
    Brian
    KB3WFV
     
  3. N4MTB

    N4MTB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would recommend a fiberglass push-up pole and an auto tuner/coupler fed at the base. A few wires and your in business. The nice thing is this is very flexible and can be adapted to varying loactions and to experimenting to different designs. you can set it up as a sloper, dipole, loop or anything else.

    I use an SGC 235 for different antennas and have loaded up everything from an EMT pipe vertical to some wires thrown in some trees.
     
  4. K3XR

    K3XR Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use the telescoping fiberglass mast attached to the spare tire holder on the rear of my R-Pod RP-180. along with the 33 ft Ultimax antenna attach two 33 ft radials to the ground terminal on the balun have good success with just the tuner in the rig .
    http://www.ultimax-antennas.com/store/p2/ULTIMAX_DXTREME__.html
     
  5. N4NYK

    N4NYK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I always use a $20, 16 foot push up mast with a full size dipole (homemade of course) in a semi-inverted VEE configuration. I typically use 20 or 30 meters to minimize size, but have put up a 40 meter dipole when space allows. Simple, cheap and surprisingly effective even though it's a low antenna.
     
  6. WQ6N

    WQ6N XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Lots of good info here. Congratulations on the upgrade. For me, I basically use two antennas. I have a 10-80 screwdriver that will handle 1kw. Its an older High Sierra HS-1500 mkii that I manually control. The second and primary antenna is a 40m OCF that I mount on a 35ft heavy duty pushup mast (with tripod). The 4:1 balun is from Balun Designs which also have a built in isolator. The the model is 4116OCF. For the ends of the dipole I use military surplus stack-able 4ft tent tent poles that I can select from 12-16ft. To support the pushup mast, I purchase the guy ring kit from Max-Gains Systems (https://mgs4u.com/product/guy-rings-by-the-piece/). The 1 -1/2inch guy rings fit perfectly on the military surplus standoffs. A little pricey but they are non-metallic and do well in salt environments. Couple these antennas with a roller inductor tuner, radio and you are on the air. I do have another auto-tuned Tarheel screwdriver on the tow vehicle as a backup. Food for thought, trees really like the screwdriver antenna that is mounted on the RV. It is mounted on the passenger rear and has been ripped off once already. If possible, I would consider mounting it on the driver side rear to keep it further away from the trees or in my case, don't put it up until you use it.
    I have been experimenting with a longwire 53ft 26awg "Kite Wire" and a Balun Designs 9:1 UNUN. You could use a slingshot or crossbow to put up the far end leaving the UNUN at ground level. In SOCAL we cannot tie off anything to trees or bushes. I was concerned with the finer wire and birds running into it. The tuner is a must with the longwire and a 1:1 isolator might be a good idea on the feedline.
    Keeping 13.8vdc to the radio is outside this thread but it should be considered.
    Forgot to mention, in case of a thunderstorm, the pushup mast is extremely easy to drop and put back up. Anything mounted to the RV requires more time. Another thing is the Guy Line Tensioning Device - great for single handling guy lines. Luguna OFC 3.jpg linegripillustration.png
     

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  7. WQ6N

    WQ6N XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Always one more thing. I am also looking at spinning red/yellow safety tags for the guy lines. They are invisible at night and it concerns me with all the kids running around. A fishing swivel and multi color reflecting tape on a tag might be a good idea. Currently using strips of white cloth tied to the lines but there is always a better method.
     
  8. KM6OQQ

    KM6OQQ Ham Member QRZ Page


    Thanks, I really never thought about that.
     
  9. K5RCD

    K5RCD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    PORTABLE OPERATION FROM TRAVEL TRAILER
    My setup.
    Antenna is mounted into a threaded 1" iron pipe flange which is welded to hitch. Entire trailer frame serves as counterpoise. For traveling, only whip is removed. The rest of the antenna stays put.

    Works well.

    Ameritron SDA - 100 Screwdriver Antenna - Icom 706 MK2 G


    [​IMG] [​IMG]





     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018 at 1:39 AM
    K3XR likes this.

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