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  • Installing Wilson Trucker/RV Cellular Antenna

    I've had my Wilson Trucker/RV cellular antenna for several years, and from the beginning I have tried to protect those fragile ground-plane rods. I've always it had it mounted so I could easily stow it for travel, but it took me several tries (and several broken rods) to come up with what seems to be the best solution. Scroll down to follow the evolutionary process.

    cell7  My first approach was figure out a way to mount the antenna so it could easily be lowered for travel and then raised to a vertical position when camped. I discovered a marine radio antenna clamp, which I mounted on the LD's roof rail just forward of the ladder. This was the first place I mounted it; it swiveled down toward the rear parallel to the rail. But over time, even there, I managed to catch a tree branch or two that snapped off a rod. Further down you'll see the latest position that seems to be working well. 
     cell2 It took a little finagling to mount the cell antenna to the marine clamp. I took railing clamp and the antenna mounting double-nut (at the left) to a hardware store and stood there in front of the plumbing fittings display, picking out a few pieces that would fasten together. 
     cell4 Here are the above parts all put together. The antenna mounts at the left side, and the clamp on the right. 

    Position 2:The next spot I tried was on a railing post support near the top of the ladder. I merely had to step about halfway up the ladder to loosen the clamp and rotate the antenna up or down. I chose this location not only for its ease of access, but also for the protection provided by the vent cover just ahead of the top of the antenna when it's down. 

     ld202  Another view that shows the vulnerable top part of the antenna is behind the vent cover. The antenna cable runs forward to the refrigerator vent, where it goes down into the RV.

    The Final Solution

    A few years ago Susan Fain asked me to mount her cellular antenna on her unused TV mast, I came up with what has been a very successful solution for her and then for me as well on our rig. Now we can put the antenna into its full-upright position without having to go out in the cold or rain.

     sfld04  I used one side of a mirror mounting bracket, fastening it to the top of ONE of the two mast uprights. You can't fasten it to both pieces, because they slide against each other as the mast is cranked up. I was able to use the hole at the end of the mast piece, and had to drill one hole for the second bracket bolt.  On Susan's rig, I removed the Winegard mast head, for she had no TV.  On our Rear Bath, I left the head in place, which had no impact on the installation.
     sfld08  This shows how I mounted the bracket at a slight angle. This was done to keep the ground-plane rods from hitting the roof when in the lowered position. The wire tie holds the two mast sections together, but allows them to slide against each other as the antenna is cranked up and down. I ran the cable down through the mast, just as the TV coax had done. From the base of the mast I ran the wire over to the bathroom vent stack and used that to get the cable inside Susan's Mid-Bath. On our Rear Bath, I ran the wires through the factory-installed cable vent.

     Here you can see how the angled brackets keeps the ground-plane rods safely above the roof when in the down position. This has been very successful for me - I've had the antenna mounted like this for over six years and have not broken a single ground-plane rod.

    You're probably asking what happened to the TV antenna? Susan didn't want hers so I removed it. But the exact same mounting method works with the TV antenna in place (see above).