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Old 03-13-2019, 10:30 AM   #1
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AM/FM Antenna Replacement Ideas

Has anyone tried replacing and had good luck with a replacement antenna for the stock metal & spring AM/FM antenna on the roof? I don't have an issue with the reception I get through it but there's got to be something better....more low-profile, better seal to the roof, not going to rust, etc. Mine was loose when I inspected the RV for it's final trip back to the dealer for warranty service before my year's up, and now that I've taken a good look at it I'm more worried about the flex of the antenna against the sealant at the base/roof and how it seems that's a strong possibility for future water intrusion.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:46 AM   #2
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I have the same antenna and haven't replaced it. Be grateful that you are getting good reception. Mine does ok on FM but the AM is nonexistent. I di try changing the antenna cable and that didn't help.
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:56 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by FarFromLiberal View Post
Has anyone tried replacing and had good luck with a replacement antenna for the stock metal & spring AM/FM antenna on the roof? I don't have an issue with the reception I get through it but there's got to be something better....more low-profile, better seal to the roof, not going to rust, etc. Mine was loose when I inspected the RV for it's final trip back to the dealer for warranty service before my year's up, and now that I've taken a good look at it I'm more worried about the flex of the antenna against the sealant at the base/roof and how it seems that's a strong possibility for future water intrusion.
It's a thin wire antenna and the flex of the antenna would only occur if it were to come in contact with a fixed object, like a tree limb. That flex would be a good thing to have. I position my identical antenna back at a 45 deg angle for that reason. Have not had any reception or sealant issues.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:20 PM   #4
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I never re-installed my antennae after having the roof repaired. I just use streaming or CDs.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:44 PM   #5
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I have the same antenna and haven't replaced it. Be grateful that you are getting good reception. Mine does ok on FM but the AM is nonexistent. I di try changing the antenna cable and that didn't help.
I honestly haven't taken mine anywhere yet where I should be able to get decent reception on at least a few FM stations, and haven't tried the AM at all yet. But I lived in Ft. Collins for a handful of years in the 90's, happily, and have traveled by car/pickup out Rte 70 and across to Gunnison many times where I was happy to have any AM reception come in! I occasionally look at real estate out there, looks like Ft. Collins and Loveland have grown up quite a bit since I was last there 20+ years ago.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:54 PM   #6
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It's a thin wire antenna and the flex of the antenna would only occur if it were to come in contact with a fixed object, like a tree limb. That flex would be a good thing to have. I position my identical antenna back at a 45 deg angle for that reason. Have not had any reception or sealant issues.
Thanks for the advice. I'm still a bit green to RVing, and trying to think ahead of the next potential problem or be preventative as much as I can. More worried about how the thick sealant is around and over the spring base part of the antenna where it enters the roof, and if the flex of that spring over a period of time in winds & through highway-speeds traveling may pull that sealant away from the spring and allow a leak. Probably overthinking it...
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:56 PM   #7
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I never re-installed my antennae after having the roof repaired. I just use streaming or CDs.
Thanks, that's probably the best advice for not having to worry about the thing leaking! And might be worth the trade-off of not listening to local channels- can probably get most of them via streaming now too anyhow.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:45 AM   #8
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We lost our rubber roof because of that antenna braking loose and letting the wind in under the membrane. We elected to not replace the antenna and are using a small ribbon antenna stuck to the windshield. it works well enough. we don't us the radio that much we use recorded music most of the time.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:57 AM   #9
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We lost our rubber roof because of that antenna braking loose and letting the wind in under the membrane. We elected to not replace the antenna and are using a small ribbon antenna stuck to the windshield. it works well enough. we don't us the radio that much we use recorded music most of the time.
Wow, I hadn't considered that possibility at all! Thank you for sharing that, definitely pushes me further toward getting rid of the antenna altogether or at least trying to replace it with something much smaller and aerodynamic.
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:17 PM   #10
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I honestly haven't taken mine anywhere yet where I should be able to get decent reception on at least a few FM stations, and haven't tried the AM at all yet. But I lived in Ft. Collins for a handful of years in the 90's, happily, and have traveled by car/pickup out Rte 70 and across to Gunnison many times where I was happy to have any AM reception come in! I occasionally look at real estate out there, looks like Ft. Collins and Loveland have grown up quite a bit since I was last there 20+ years ago.

We love Boyd Lake State Park in Loveland. We stay there when we visit our daughter.
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:44 PM   #11
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The trick with a conventional mast style AM/FM antenna, is that it works best with a "ground plane"...e.g. the metal body of a car. But up on the roof of an RV, it's a sore thumb just waiting to be cleaned off the roof. RV roofs make very poor ground planes, because they are largely make of wood.

My PUP has a stubby mast mounted on the side of the 'tub', and it's pretty much useless. But it's down out of harm's way.

These days, many new cars come with a "shark fin" style antenna, and these may have the advantage of picking up satellite radio reasonably well. Their big advantage is their low profile. Tucked in the "shadow" of a roof vent or the AC unit, they'd be out of harm's way.

On an auto, the mast antenna is mounted to solid steel. The problem on the roof of an RV is that the roof is typically rubber (or similar) adhered to plywood. Every time you sproing that thing on a tree limb or low overpass, it really stresses its connection to the roof. Fortunately, if you're not hitting your AC unit, you're within the tolerances of the antenna's flex. What matters is how well it's anchored to the roof.

The disadvantage of a shark fin is that it will be amplified...which means you have to supply power to it. Mast antennae are passive...no power needed. When you pull the old antenna, use the cable to pull your new antenna cable and power wire. Also remember that in a car, with chassis ground, a single wire might do, but in your RV you'll need to pull a pair...for positive and negative.

Here is one example of a shark fin, but Google to find what's out there.
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