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Old 04-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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Removable Cell Phone Antenna

Anyone using an exterior cell phone antenna which is not permanently or magnetically mounted to their trailer? If so may I ask how you have it mounted? My research tells me that I will get optimum reception in the boonies if my antenna can be located 2 or 3 feet above the trailer and be able to be pointed toward the signal. I have seen one way to do it on RV Sue's blog: rvsueandcrew.com
rvsue and her canine crew | Living on less and enjoying life more
(sorry, couldn't make the hot link work)
where she has hers attached to a telescoping pole mounted on her Casita's bumper.
Just wondering if anyone else has any other ideas?
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Old 04-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #2
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kheiser, Where is Bend?
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Old 04-13-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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Jmac...Bend is in beautiful central Oregon
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Old 04-13-2013, 04:23 PM   #4
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kheiser, RV Sue is a pro at full-timing. You could to consider building a coffee can antenna for your phone (lots of these projects shown online) and mounting it on a telescoping pole like those sold at hardware stores. You should be able to strap the pole to your trailer and rotate the pole while watching the signal bar on your phone. I would not mount it...just leave it portable. Good luck!

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Old 04-14-2013, 09:34 PM   #5
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You might check out Cell Phone Signal Boosters and Antennas at Wilson Electronics | Wilson Electronics
I have one of their larger home units at a somewhat remote farm and a smaller unit in the car. Both work well. I was also treated very well when I had a warranty problem with replacement by overnight shipping. Commercial quality products. Not cheap but great considering the quality.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:23 PM   #6
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We recently camped with a Casita friend who had a Wilson Sleek. She had a Wilson ground plane magnetic antenna on a circle of metal about 5 inches diameter, mounted on a pvc pipe mast. The antenna base was about as high as the trailer roof. At my campsite, my phone had 1X, 1 bar. Thirty feet away in her Sleek, I had 3G, 4 bars. I bought a Sleek when I returned home.

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Old 04-14-2013, 11:06 PM   #7
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Where are you from MMarvin?
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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We are using a portable Wilson Mobile Pro cellular signal booster with the accessory kit. Getting consistant, good results in remote areas for Verizon 3G phone service and 3G mobile HotSpot.
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:11 PM   #9
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I like the concept of a removable mast - is the spare tire carrier on an Escape hollow and open on top? Could drop a mast right into that if it is; otherwise attach a vertical tube alongside?
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:58 PM   #10
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Charlie-

The spare tire carrier tube on my 21 is a 1.5 inch square metal tube, closed on top. I connected my antenna mast on the side of it using hose clamps and U-bolts. This was a temporary measure, though, and insufficiently nerdy-- I think I'll have a welding shop make me some kind of rig to fasten onto the bike carrier tube and use it to hold antennas.

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Old 06-04-2014, 05:18 PM   #11
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Thanks Mike - I'll attach to the tire upright as we don't always take our bikes along.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Charlie-

The spare tire carrier tube on my 21 is a 1.5 inch square metal tube, closed on top. I connected my antenna mast on the side of it using hose clamps and U-bolts. This was a temporary measure, though, and insufficiently nerdy-- I think I'll have a welding shop make me some kind of rig to fasten onto the bike carrier tube and use it to hold antennas.

Mike Lewis
Mike,

How does the cord from the antenna get inside the trailer? I would like to do something like RV Sue, but she just slides the cord in through a window. Is there a more elegant solution?
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:31 PM   #13
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I send the cord in via the port that holds the trailer's power cord, then up past the edge of the seat. Works well enough, but I'll add another connector so that I don't have to run the cable every time.

BTW - I bought the Wilson directional cell antenna that RV Sue uses, and even had a cable made for it to connect to my hotspot, but while I was on my trip it never did me any good. I normally left the hotspot in the Tacoma, connected to a roof-mount omnidirectional antenna; the directional antenna never gave me an advantage.

But once I returned home and found that the nearby cell tower was on the blink, I hooked up the Wilson antenna to the hotspot and was able to aim it at another tower, restoring my data connection.

Mike Lewis
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:58 PM   #14
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Antennas like these don't work with iPhones or iPads do they?
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Antennas like these don't work with iPhones or iPads do they?
Yes, they do - I'm going to use an iPhone on an unlimited data plan as my wifi hub.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:09 PM   #16
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Sure they do. Wilson is the ETI of signal boosters, located in St. George, Utah. Great people-great customer service. Check them out online, or call them for advice for your particular needs.
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Old 06-04-2014, 07:52 PM   #17
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If you have the bike rack hitch, that might be a good place to mount a portable mast.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:15 AM   #18
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Mike said,

"The spare tire carrier tube on my 21 is a 1.5 inch square metal tube, closed on top. I connected my antenna mast on the side of it using hose clamps and U-bolts."

Question - is the top on this tube a plug or cap that can be removed? I'm thinking that would be a great spot to drop a temporary antenna mast into when camped.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:11 AM   #19
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There are several companies that sell flag poles and flag pole holders for RVs. I've seen just about every type of mount you can imagine on those sites. A telescoping pole and your preferred mount would get the job done and give you some choice in locations.

I have a Top Signal booster. It does a great job of making a poor signal into a useable one. I have a Wilson cradle type interior antenna hooked to it which works well with my smart phone. I currently use a magnetic mount exterior antenna. I lose the ability to get height but gain the ability to switch easily between vehicles.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:28 AM   #20
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WestEnder, just add a flat metal plate on top of the telescoping mast and you've got a ground plane AND height.............
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