Getting the coax into the RV

Discussion in 'RV Operating and Camping' started by W6DTO, Jul 24, 2015.

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  1. N7WR

    N7WR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I helped NK7U with an install in his big motorhome and the way you describe it is exactly what we did. No holes to drill, very clean and works well
  2. W6DTO

    W6DTO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I appreciate the many suggestions, thank you. It would be ideal to have the cable enter through the floor. However, the trailer has this plastic corregated material covering the entire underside. I prefer to not compromise that.
    Entering through the trailer power service port seems to be working just fine. And, when not playing radio, I can leave the coax coiled in the same cabinet that stores the trailer power cord.
    KC8VWM likes this.
  3. WK1K

    WK1K Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use a couple of comet CTC-50s. Flat ribbon fits through any of the Windows which slide shut fine. Good for 100watts HF
  4. W6JWZ

    W6JWZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    post pics if you can or the make and model of your RV
  5. KD4YSH

    KD4YSH Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello RVer the best way to run all your coax is down through the plumbing vent. Do not run your coax next to any power lines, pop the vent cap off run wires down drill a hole in the side of vent pipe and run your wires out the side and to your equipment. Pop back on the vent cap and you are done, very easy, very simple and safe, and if you ever to run more coax use the same method. I installed a 2nd plumbing vent to run my solar panel wires down to my controller.
    Have fun
    Region 3 Asst. Director for REACT INTERNATIONAL
  6. W6DTO

    W6DTO Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you all for the good ideas. I am using the portal for the power service. In the end, this works great because the cord (and coax) enters through the bottom of a cabinet. I've rigged it so the panel removes easily and I can store the coax in there when not playing radio.
  7. K4SC

    K4SC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let me ask a followup on this subject. I have a 2008 40' Fifth-Wheel that has laminated walls and aluminum framing. I want to install one or two UHF barrel connectors through the rear of the camper close to where my operating station will be located (Flex 6500).

    Has anyone had experience with drilling through this type of wall? My hesitation is that I might open Pandora's Box, e.g. delamination. I understand the hole(s) will require sealing with latex caulk, but I really would like to ask because I don't know what I don't know :)
  8. N7ZAL

    N7ZAL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've used feed through connectors near the cable TV input and also PVC tubing in other locations. Slant the PVC so it angles externally down (rain protection). The a little caulk.
  9. KD2IAT

    KD2IAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you look at the back wall of your fiver, it's already got holes drilled in it for mounting the STT fixtures, marker lights, maybe a ladder, a window or two. Mine even has the main 220vac connector back there. The RV manufacturer put them all there. Inspect the seal around them. It's mostly butyl putty tape, and maybe some butyl or similar caulk. You can pretty much duplicate their work with attention to adequate sealing.

    One word of caution. If push on the exterior wall in most places back there, it will flex inward. Depending on what materials the manufacturer used, the interior wall may flex in some places, too. That suggests that you don't want to just use a barrel connector with a nut on each side of the wall. If you look at the taillights, they're fastened directly to the exterior wall so if the wall flexes, the light fixture moves with it. You want to do the same on the outside. What I would do is get myself a piece of 3/16" white ABS about 3"x3" and mount the barrel connector to that. I'd drill the hole in outside wall just large enough so that the nut on the barrel connector does not hold the ABS away from the wall. Then I'd drill four holes for screws in the corners of the ABS. I happen to have stock on standard RV putty tape on hand for emergency repairs and occasional mods like this so I'd lay a nice 1/2" wide strip around the backside of the ABS square and screw it down to the exterior wall of the trailer. I'd use white hex head roofing screws that have a washer backed with neoprene, but any decent SS screws will work, too. 3/4" is plenty long for this.

    You need to do this when it's reasonably warm outside. The putty tape is far more pliable when warm, and will compress down and some will squeeze out along the edges. Look at the other joints around the outside of the trailer, they're all done the same way. If you have to do this in cooler weather, get out mama's hair dryer and warm things up a bit. The compression is the key to an adequate seal against water intrusion.

    FWIW, all of this is pretty standard RV repair/mod advice. You do exactly the same to add an exterior light, replace a vent or hatch, etc.
  10. KD2IAT

    KD2IAT Ham Member QRZ Page

    A follow-up comment. Don't use latex caulk. It's not designed for use in wet applications. It will crumble away fairly quickly when exposed to the elements on an RV. Use the putty tape like I suggested, or get some butyl caulk. Silicone is not a good idea. Strike that, silicone is a BAD idea because it peels away easily, and leaves a slippery film on the surfaces which is darned near impossible to remove and nothing will stick to it.

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