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In preparation for our upcoming West trip we shared in our boost your internet connectivity post about what we plan to use to stay connected to the internet for Kristin’s day job. One of the gadgets we decided to go with is a cell antenna booster for the camper. In this post I will explain how I mounted the Wilson Dual Band Mirror Mount Antenna on our camper’s existing crank up TV antenna.
With the TV antenna cranked up, hold the cell antenna base against the TV antenna mast and mark two vertical holes on the TV antenna mast and drill through both sides of the support pole (see pictures in slider below). A few words of caution:
- Make sure that the cell antenna bracket is NOT flush with the TV antenna bracket or that bracket will not be able to fold properly when you crank it back down.
- Keep the cable for the TV antenna (which most likely runs through the tube you are drilling into) out of the way so you don’t have to thread a new coax cable to your TV antenna.
Use the bolts that came with the cell antenna kit to secure the mirror mount to the TV antenna mast. I only used the “L” bracket that supports the cellular antenna. (The other half of the bracket I kept in case I mount this antenna in another configuration on a future camper or vehicle.)
Step 3: Screw the cell antenna radials into place and crank the TV antenna back down. Do this slowly and carefully as you will need to adjust the direction of the radials so that the longer radials are NOT pointing toward the camper roof.
Step 4: To run the cell antenna coax into the trailer I decided to go though the TV antenna’s base where the TV coax already enters the trailer. I had to remove some of the caulk and use a long drill bit to drill down into the trailer. (Yes, this did mean that I drilled through the interior ceiling.)
Step 5: Actually getting the coax down through the roof was probably the most difficult. I first tried using a nylon rope but was unsuccessful. What did work was pushing a large spike nail from the inside of the camper up to the roof. Then I used packing tape to secure the spike, thinner coax, and the cell coax together and pull all three down into the inside of the camper.
Step 6: I used caulk to fill the hole in the TV antenna base back up to prevent any water from entering the trailer. Since the TV antenna base did have a bit of a flange on it, it is highly unlikely that water would enter this area, but extra caulk never hurts.
Step 7: I used zip ties to secure the cell coax to the TV antenna mast/coax to hold it in place during travel and normal cranking up and down.
We’re now wired for service!
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