Maybe can't avoid an RV HF rig but which? -Tried remote, but...

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KX4QC, Oct 11, 2020.

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  1. KE8MJL

    KE8MJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have an FT-450 and LDG antenna tuner for HF and a Kenwood TMD710 for 2m (and APRS). I built a multiband, center loaded vertical that works on 20, 40 and 80. It works well and is relatively easy to set up. I also built a 20m dipole that works great as long as you have trees. It goes up easily with my slingshot/fishing reel launcher. I can get up 40-50 feet max with that launcher. I'm thinking about building another ZS6BKW (G5RV variant) for the camper. If I'm hoisting a wire antenna, it might as well be a multiband :) My last trip took me past HRO Milwaukee, so I picked up a couple 20 meter hamsticks and a 20 foot painters pole and built a hamstick dipole. Of course it didn't work as well as the wire antenna, but I had no trees and it was an easy deploy. I made contacts on 20m and, with the tuner worked 40m as well.

    For 2m I either run coax from the half wave that is mounted on the truck fender, or hang a jpole. We run APRS on the Kenwood and can take the APRS handheld when we go for walks so we always know where we are relative to the campsite. Can also do cross band repeat to operate 2m without pulling the rig out of the truck.

    I have solar power on my truck camper and that provides plenty of power for operating. I have power poles on the radios and a convenient outside 12V tap so I can sit outside and operate as well.

    Some photos are at:

  2. KF9VV

    KF9VV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I used a QCX QRP 40M CW radio for three camping seasons. Antennas were inverted v or a couple of different versions of short verticals. Once I came to grips with using an elevated single radial, things worked well.

    Our RV is compact, it is a Winnebago Travato. Space is at a premium. I finally upgraded to a KX3 and a KXPA100 this year, and have a 30’ collapsible mast on its way, and a few months to fool around with antennas before we hopefully can head out in February. My goals are roving in a few state QSO parties, operating CW contests as we travel and do some POTA activations. The odds are pretty high that the KXPA100 will stay home. Power for QRP in the RV is unlimited off the grid with the RV, the generator or shore power is needed to run 100 Watts. We go off grid a lot, and battery only is advantageous for POTA. Generators can really make some people get ornery at a park.

    Outside of contest (or the soon to begin POTA activations) my radio time in the RV is rainy day or confined to evenings. Evening operating pushes me to want 40M and down. CW operating is my main interest, so the 15W the KX3 has is plenty to have fun as long as the antenna is decent.

    Main insights is to try and figure out your operational goals first. In my case, gaining multiband, an internal antenna tuner and small size and low power drain was a great fit. Plus, do not be afraid of trial and error to find your path.

    Jim KF9VV

    B3900146-2E01-46FD-A6F5-6EC68EE69594.jpeg 1244C2F2-4AAA-426D-9D07-B88A0558EA64.jpeg
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2020
    K3PDH and K8HIT like this.
  3. IW5CI

    IW5CI Ham Member QRZ Page

    i use a Yaesu FT-857 , small , compact and efficient. I have mouted in the dashboard of my Fiat Ducato based RV.
    3 antennas :
    vhf and uhf a dual band antenna on top of the roof
    6 meters to 40 meters Yaesu ATAS-120 automatic antenna
    80 meters a hamstick of 2,1 meters
    all works good.
  4. N8MLP

    N8MLP Ham Member QRZ Page

    for 2M/70cm/APRS, I wonder if you could mount a D710 within reach from the driver position and use a RC-D710 control panel at your HF Station? If you have the room and went all in with Kenwood and used a 590 or 990 I think they have a feature that allows you to control HF through the D710.

    If it works as well as it sounds you might be able to operate all modes while driving down the road and also have a pretty nice station when your parked.

    If your ok with older gear, the 706 and even ic7000 are pretty decent do it all radios that are very compact.
  5. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    No doubt the 7300 is a sweet rig, but in your case, you might want to consider a 7100. You can mount the RF deck out of the way, and use the control head wherever it's convenient. You'll also get 2m and 70cm, and D-Star, which can be useful. They're really cheap right now - under $800 after rebate. No internal antenna tuner, but you can add an LDG for not a lot of money. Or just use resonant antennas...
    KU4X likes this.
  6. K7GQ

    K7GQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am sorely vexed by this very question. I've got a Class B+ scheduled for delivery next week, and in preparation, I ordered and received a Xiegu G90 which I thought might be a decent fit for CW and some FT4/FT8. I took about 40 minutes of working with it - to packing it back in it's box and returning it to the Ham retailer. I then found a fully-loaded K2 for sale on QRZ but as I was preparing to submit an offer, it sold.

    Maybe I should try semaphore with campfire smoke?
  7. KG5UN

    KG5UN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use the 7100 and the 9700 currently in my Class C.
    K7WFM and K0UO like this.
  8. KC7JNJ

    KC7JNJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Try a ultimax dx100 antenna run up the longest jackite pole mounted to your ladder or the ground. My best friend was a full time RVer this is what he did. Work good for him so I put one up at my house. Works good for me....
  9. WB1CDG

    WB1CDG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I went with the Yaesu FT-818ND as my camping radio. It's a HF/VHF/UHF all-mode portable that's perfect for camping. Using an external 12V power source, I get 6w out. We camp with a 17' Casita, so don't have a lot of room to spare, and the FT-818 puts a TON of performance into a teeny-weenie package. The FT-818 is great in the tiny camper or on a campground picnic table and with a variety of ersatz antennas. It easily fits in my motorcycle saddlebag with tons of room to spare. I drop it into a Camelbak for hiking excursions along with antenna wire and a snack. IMHO it's probably the most rugged, versatile SSB/FM ham radio on the market. I don't do CW or digital modes, so can't speak to its performance in that regard. Have had it for a while now and have yet to find a "down side." Good luck!
    - WB1CDG
  10. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am not excited by outboard amplifiers...just another piece of gear you need to power up either mobile, portable. or even in the shack. I prefer barefoot. I also dislike carrying heavy batteries which I did while toting an FT-891 in the field. Operating the FT-891 portable was OK if I didn't get too far from vehicle! The FT-817 with a back up battery is less weight but still a couple of pounds.

    My preference portable is compact QRP. My MTR3B and a pair of 9V batteries fit into a shirt pocket. Use earbuds instead of headphones and they fit in a pant pocket. Slide a keyer into the duffel bag with the portable antenna d'jour and I'm off!

    I've enjoyed my FT-891, FT-817 and MTR3B! And battery technology is getting better and better!

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