Born Free Leap'n Lions RV Club

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 11:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Connie and I are going on the Leap'n Lions' Copper Canyon Caravan next month. The Wagonmaster called us and recommended we install a CB radio if we can. We need it to communicate between coaches. I have a CB radio and a small antenna that can attach to a car body with a magnet. I used this setup several years ago for Miata caravans with our little convertible.

That radio should work in our Born Free, but I'm not sure about the antenna. First of all the antenna is small. That means it won't transmit or recieve as well as a longer one that's a full quarter wave length long. So, I'm considering buying a new, larger antenna and mounting it somewhere on our Born Free. We have a 2001 Rear Door 22 ft Born Free. I sure could use some antenna advice on the following:

1.) Where's a good place to mount the antenna on a Born Free?

2.) What's a good way to electrically connect up between the antenna that's outside the coach and the radio that's inside the coach? If I use a coax antenna cable, how/where do I bring it inside the coach? I understand there are some inductive couplings that can transmit the signal through the glass on a coach window thus eliminating the need to somehow bring the coax antenna cable into the coach. Do these inductive couplings work well?

3.) Which antennas are good ones to buy?

Thanks for any help you can give us.. Larry

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Connie and Larry Rayher
Owners of a 2001, 22ft, Rear Door Born Free
often seen towing a fishing boat.


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 Post subject: CB Antenna Location
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:05 pm
Posts: 1989
Location: Spencer, IA
Larry,

Back on May 2006, Trisha started a thread called Where to Mount CB Antenna and it generated 23 replies with a lot of information. I made two postings with a total of 3 photos showing where I mounted a 4' Fiberglass CB antenna thru the side of my front left side metal fender. Click on this direct website link to go directly to that earlier thread on our website: http://www.bornfreervclub.org/bulletin_board/viewtopic.php?t=412&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0

Several other ideas for mounting a CB antenna on a Born Free were provided by others.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:57 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Bill,

Thanks for your reply and the link to last May's discussion. I like what you did and am seriously thinking of copying it. I'm thinking of drilling the one inch hole by successively drilling larger and larger holes until I reach one inch.. starting really small and maybe increasing it in 1/16 inch steps. Do you think this will work? I have no experience drilling holes in a finished car body and wouldn't want to damage the paint.

Thanks.. Larry

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Connie and Larry Rayher
Owners of a 2001, 22ft, Rear Door Born Free
often seen towing a fishing boat.


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 Post subject: CB Antenna Installation
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:37 pm 
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Location: Spencer, IA
Larry,

I would think your method will work if are careful not to let the bit catch in the fender metal and potentially bend the metal surface excessively. Besides the hole punch that I used, there is the type of drill bit (reamer bit?) available in most hardware stores that will progressively enlarge the hole using a single bit. Although I am not sure if those kinds of bits are available out to a size as large as 1.0" diameter. Of course the method I used was to drill a starter hole of 3/8" diameter and then use the Greenlee hole punch to make the final 1.0" diameter hole required as discussed in my earlier postings. This is probably the safest method to prevent possible damage to the fender.

By the way, you asked in your earlier post how to route the RG-58A/U coax into the cab. If you open the driver's door and look forward in the area of the door hinges, you will note an opening where the fender is attached to the frame where you can route the coax forward to the ball mount. RG-58A/U coax is appoximately 0.20" in diameter and it can then be routed thru the door's forward rubber seal by punching a 0.20" hole in this seal close to where the seal attaches to the door opening. From there the coax can be routed inside the cab to the place where you decide to mount your CB unit.

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Bill Hemme - Spencer, Iowa
E-mail: whemme@earthlink.net
2002 Born Free (Ford E-450 V10) 26' RSB
2016 VW Golf GTI - toad


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:57 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
Posts: 1295
Location: Escondido. CA
Here is a 1" step drill bit:

http://www.toolprice.com/c=JK0J7llGlV4A ... duct/6832F

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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA


Last edited by bcope01 on Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: CB antenna
PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:11 pm 
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Location: North Scituate, RI
The progressive type drill bit is also called a uni-bit and can be usually found in Lowe's and Home Depot or any good hardware store. They are very handy for what you are looking to do.

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Mel & Connie


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:00 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
What a great Forum! Thanks for the inputs about progressive, step-type drill bits. That ought to do the job when it comes to drilling a 1" hole through the steel fender. All the help everyone has given has really made a difference. I'm no longer scratching my head and worried about a good way to mount a CB antenna. I'm confident my old CB radio will be up and running before we take off on the Copper Canyon Caravan in Jan.

There's a tremendous collective body of knowledge on this Forum. What a valuable resource it is! Again, thanks everyone for your help. Looking forward to seeing many of you on the road.. Larry

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Connie and Larry Rayher
Owners of a 2001, 22ft, Rear Door Born Free
often seen towing a fishing boat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 4:53 pm
Posts: 313
Location: Tampa, Florida
the suggestions on the antennas are very good.

Personnally I had a real problem drilling a hole in that beautiful coach. I mounted the antenna on the rear ladder, ran the cable down the ladder up under the coach to the driver's side opening for wires.

Works great, no punching holes.

Brent

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Bornfree (1999 Rear Kitchen)
Traveling with Chester (The Boxer) - at least in spirit


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 7:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Brent, Thanks for the input. I'm going to take a look at this kind of setup on my BF. It sounds interesting and not having to drill holes is nice.

There are a couple of questions I'd like to ask you:
1) Do you get good reception with the antenna attached to the ladder?
2)Does your antenna stick up above the roof at all or is it below the roofline?
3)What kind of antenna do you use.. is it the kind that doesn't require a groundplane or is the ground coming from the connection to the ladder?

Thanks.. Larry

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Connie and Larry Rayher
Owners of a 2001, 22ft, Rear Door Born Free
often seen towing a fishing boat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:30 pm 
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Location: Escondido. CA
Larry, here is another possible solution if you don't want to drill through the exterior of your chassis. This stainless steel cb antenna mount fastens to the inside channel of your hood and comes with 18' of coaxial cable. There are no visible mounting holes. The included mounting hardware (also stainless steel) is hidden inside the hood.

http://www.cbradioworld.com/inc/pdetail?v=1&pid=385

Also, there are other mounts for door jams and other locations that may also work:

http://www.cbradioworld.com/universal?b=1

Matching Firestik antennas here:

http://www.cbradioworld.com/firestik?b=1

Check out pics below for install on F350 pick-up.

Bill


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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Bill, Thanks! The mount to the inside of the hood looks pretty neat. I like the concept. I'm going to explore that website and call those folks to see what's involved.

I've also done a little wild thinking about this whole thing. Fiberglass should be transparent to radio waves and the BF is fiberglass, I was thinking of maybe mounting the antenna somwhere inside the BF. I have a rear door model like you and I was trying to imagine putting the antenna up high in the back corner of the closet. The closet is at the rear of the coach right next to the entry door. I could even run a ground wire over to the antenna. It's probably a crazy idea, but I might try it. I could temporarily put the antenna back there, hook up the radio and see what happens. Might be fun to try it. Thanks again for your help.. Larry

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Connie and Larry Rayher
Owners of a 2001, 22ft, Rear Door Born Free
often seen towing a fishing boat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:55 pm
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Location: Escondido. CA
Here is a SS hood mount specially made for vans that may work:

http://www.westcoastmall.net/shop/produ ... cts_id=453


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Barb & Bill
2004 Born Free 22' Built for Two (Sold)
no longer towing a 2008 Smart ForTwo

Escondido, CA
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 2:50 am 
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Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 4:53 pm
Posts: 313
Location: Tampa, Florida
<<<There are a couple of questions I'd like to ask you:
1) Do you get good reception with the antenna attached to the ladder?
2)Does your antenna stick up above the roof at all or is it below the roofline?
3)What kind of antenna do you use. is it the kind that doesn't require a ground plane or is the ground coming from the connection to the ladder?<<<

1. The reception has been outstanding. I've had it tested several times and most are surprised, due to a fiberglass coach. I typically can get 3 miles anytime and up to 5 on a good day. Some say they get several miles but the only way to test is to go out on the highway and use the mile markers - then you know for sure. Most actually get 0.5 - 1 mile.
2. Yes it sticks up to almost 12 feet. I only use it on the highway and take it off other times.
3. I've tried several (about 4 of them) and use Francis $16.
4. I use a standard antenna. The "no ground plane" was a failure for me, only let me get out about a mile.

I tried three different set ups to get it to work.

I don't think you will have success with an inside antenna. If you're only using the CB for a caravan where reception is only going to be a half mile or less - a hand held unit may be all you need.
Whatever you end up doing, I know you will enjoy the CB if you get it set up correctly.

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Bornfree (1999 Rear Kitchen)
Traveling with Chester (The Boxer) - at least in spirit


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:28 pm
Posts: 168
Location: Central Oregon Coast
Larry:

Glad you are considering not putting a hole in your quarter panel ~~ We have had the following installation for the past 3 years, with good success ~~ Tunable Tip FireStik II, 3 foot, 5/8 wave top loaded antenna, mounted with a FireStik adjustable channel mini kit and 18 feet of fire flex coax ~~ $58.50 including shipping ~~ talks well (better to the front than the rear, but at least 2-3 miles to the latter).

It will take several hours to do the install, but I believe you will be happy with the results ~~ oh yes, we have a CB with weather channels, and the antenna picks those up fine as well.


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Larry & Sharon
2002 26' RSB
Suzuki X90 4x4 Toad
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:26 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 7:03 pm
Posts: 87
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Brent, Thanks for the input on your setup. It sounds like it works really well.

Larry and Sharon, Thanks for taking the time to send the pictures of your setup. It really shows how to install the Firestik bracket. That will a lot of the guesswork out of the installation process if I go that way.

Larry

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Connie and Larry Rayher
Owners of a 2001, 22ft, Rear Door Born Free
often seen towing a fishing boat.


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