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Old 04-26-2019, 06:04 PM   #1
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Any alternatives for jack antenna on roof?

My wife and I just put in our deposit on an Escape 19 and now have to get our build list done by May 17 (August 19 completion). I’m not big on holes in the roof (however we are getting the roof solar panel), and that jack antenna looks so fragile up there on the roof.
I’m not a television kind of person, but my wife likes to keep up on the news and watch an occasional movie. Being we will be boondocking or dry camping more than we do RV parks, are there any alternatives to the antenna on top? Are window antennas workable? Should I have the 19 at least wired for cable ready? Is the built in stand TV wall mount really necessary or are there alternatives? Sorry for the questions, but we are greenhorns at this trailering game, and we figured we would check in with the experts! Thanks in advance for your comments!
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:20 PM   #2
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Keep in mind that fiberglass does not block radio waves as tin does. Many mountain top communication antennas have fiberglass covers to keep the ice from building up on the elements.

For my FM radio installation I kept the antenna inside the trailer as high as possible. Drilling a hole in the roof to gain a bit of height was just not worth it to me.

Also I think some of the wiring ETI sneaks out the fridge roof top vent which reduces the number of holes in the roof.

As for visual entertainment...we just download Netflix movies on our big iPads and watch them when and where we want. Maybe it’s outside...maybe in bed. The download ability comes free with a Netflix subscription. No wires...no holes.
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:24 PM   #3
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It you have the TV/cable ready package you could hook up an exterior antenna to you cable in on the outside of your trailer. That would allow you better reception than one mounted in the interior of the trailer. You just need to figure out where to hang it outside.
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:34 PM   #4
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Not sure what Oregon is like, but anywhere I like to camp in BC has no or next to no television reception over the air. If we're close enough to a town with a transmitter, we're probably in a full-service campground, with cable. If so, I just run the cable in a window.
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:52 PM   #5
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Hello Karmantra.
I totally forgot to add the King Jack onto the build sheet, we talked about i and by the time we got to buildsheet number five I forgot to add antenna.We were wired for cable and TV.
This is what I ended up doing.Ordered a bracket from Poles and Holders (Google) that goes into receiver in back of trailer.Got a 22 foot mast from the same company with all the fittings and bought a replacement King Jack set up.Went to Home Depot and bought a very long coax cable and screwed it into the cable jack on drivers side of trailer..We like to catch news and weather in the morning with the coffee.I am getting really fast at setting it up.Sometimes I use the mast as a flag pole.It is made out of fibre glass.
Works for us.Good luck.Oh yeah, picked up a swing arm and mounted it on the edge of closet with ply wood re inforcement plaque on the inside.
Happy trails.
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Bornestig View Post
Hello Karmantra.
I totally forgot to add the King Jack onto the build sheet, we talked about i and by the time we got to buildsheet number five I forgot to add antenna.We were wired for cable and TV.
This is what I ended up doing.Ordered a bracket from Poles and Holders (Google) that goes into receiver in back of trailer.Got a 22 foot mast from the same company with all the fittings and bought a replacement King Jack set up.Went to Home Depot and bought a very long coax cable and screwed it into the cable jack on drivers side of trailer..We like to catch news and weather in the morning with the coffee.I am getting really fast at setting it up.Sometimes I use the mast as a flag pole.It is made out of fibre glass.
Works for us.Good luck.Oh yeah, picked up a swing arm and mounted it on the edge of closet with ply wood re inforcement plaque on the inside.
Happy trails.
Sounds like you picked a great way to install the King Jack. The antenna is up high and you still have roof space to mount a second solar panel if desired.
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:16 PM   #7
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As stated if you have cable/TV ready package you can attach digital antenna on telescopic mast using the bumper or hitch receiver as
attachment point which is what I did. I wanted the space on the roof to be available for solar panels.

Cable from antenna is run to external cable connector on trailer when you stop and setup the trailer.
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Old 04-26-2019, 07:18 PM   #8
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I dropped the antenna option on my last 2 Escapes, had the Jack on my earlier 21 and used it maybe a dozen times. I do recommend getting tv ready option, comes with cable outside and inside, then I use a window mount antenna or cable at cg, others use their own pole mount antenna, they all work fine. Recommend getting a 12v tv so ask for a 12v power vs the stock 120v power at cable hookup.
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Old 04-26-2019, 08:00 PM   #9
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Here's my solution. Telescoping PVC's attached to spare tire mast.
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:50 PM   #10
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We rigged this up on our EggCamper and then simply moved it over to our cable-ready 21'. PVC pipe (1") attached to the spare tire mount with a couple "U" clamps, telescoping painter's pole slides right down into that, OTA antenna mounted on top of the pole. We normally slide the antenna just a foot or so above the roof line, but it will stretch on up. Manually direct toward nearest big city to pick up whatever stations might be available.
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Old 04-26-2019, 11:44 PM   #11
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Like many others my Jack antenna is mast mounted at the rear of the trailer. In the "up" position it does pretty well.

My walls aren't reinforced but I mounted the bracket for my TV close to the edge where the bolts go into solid interior framing. Most of the walls have solid framing at the edges and horizontally. It's fairly easy to find it.

Ron
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:22 AM   #12
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Tom (ATHiker) of Chattanooga Tennessee has designed and built a portable antenna system utilizing the factory receiver hitch on the back of his Escape . a telescoping pole and a King antenna head . I was so impressed with Tom’s antenna that I am currenty trying to fabricate a copy of his handiwork. His design works well if you have the TV / cable teady option
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Old 04-27-2019, 06:22 AM   #13
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Ron,
What are those other items on the higher wooden pole seen in your picture? LED lights and a camera system, solar on top?
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:15 AM   #14
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I don't watch much TV, if I were to do it over I'd skip the rooftop antenna and go with a Mohu Leaf in the window.
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Old 04-27-2019, 07:19 AM   #15
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They look like a refueling depot for his air protection patrol
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Old 04-27-2019, 08:59 AM   #16
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Thanks for the comments!

Do appreciate the comments on alternatives to the rooftop Jack antenna—I will do the cable wiring and then have the option of the rear trailer receiver/spare tire mount (great ideas) or an interior/window mount. Anyone use a window mount? The Mohu Leaf sounds interesting. Thanks again!
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:09 AM   #17
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Tom’s Antenna System

Truck was used only for demonstration , designed to go in trailer’s receiver hitch
Antenna pole is removeable and breaks down into pieces that fit in the trailers front storage box . Antenna attaches to pole with clamp bracket and wing nuts

Thanks Tom (ATHiker ) for all your help
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Truck was used only for demonstration , designed to go in trailer’s receiver hitch
Antenna pole is removeable and breaks down into pieces that fit in the trailers front storage box . Antenna attaches to pole with clamp bracket and wing nuts

Thanks Tom (ATHiker ) for all your help
Steve,

Very nice! I like your setup better.

Tom
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:21 AM   #19
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Steve,

Very nice! I like your setup better.

Tom
Maybe at the Mississippi River Rendevous we can have a contest to see who can pull in the most TV stations .
A fine cigar sounds like a good wager ?
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:44 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
Ron,
What are those other items on the higher wooden pole seen in your picture? LED lights and a camera system, solar on top?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karmantra View Post
Anyone use a window mount? The Mohu Leaf sounds interesting. Thanks again!
Very funny. Two types of bird seed, suet and fuel for the humming birds that we have year round. Have to thaw out the humming bird feeder sometimes.

Some friends and I used to design OTA antennas. Yes, those small antennas do work. Heck, a shoe box and 8" of coax cable also works. But my view is that if you're going to have a TV, have an antenna that pulls in the most stations available.

Ron
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