Ham radio operator for around 10 years now. General ticket. Just getting back into RV'ing and planning to set up a mini shack in the RV for 2m/440 when camping. Of course my timing is terrible. My first camping trip planned with friends was canceled due to Covid-19, campground closed, reservation canceled. If I ever get to try out the new to me Forrest River, I will try to figure out a way to HF as well. Any suggestions from those of you that have been doing HF from your camper, would be appreciated.
HF is easy when camping, except 160 - too much inverter noise but I haven't tried an ANC-4 yet for that. Anyway, I use RG8X going from my old Kenwood TS140 thru a small LDG tuner to a 75 meter end fed (the one with the 49:1 transformer). I toss the wire where I can thru or around trees, often no more than 10 feet off the ground - high enough so noone can touch it. Then at the end I have a piece of stainless steel bar that the wire is tied to for weight to keep it somewhat taught. It takes only about 20 minutes to set up and 20 to take down. The wire is polyrope from Tractor Supply, aluminum strands entwined in rope. Not very thick, but very cheap. About $18 for a quarter mile spool of it. You'll need to replace the polyrope you're using every season but 1/4 mile of that stuff makes a lot of 75 meter end fed antennas!
At the camper, I have a PVC pipe that I bungee to the ladder to hold the 49:1 up in the air. No counterpoise is needed with the 49:1, the first 2 meters of feedline take care of that. Connect the ground to either the electrical panel at the site or I have a ground rod I can hammer in.
On the rare occasions where I have no trees, I have the MFJ fiberglass portable vertical. Goes on the same PVC pipe but for the counterpoise I have two 80 meter hamsticks that attach at the bottom. Once again, 10 feet up and noone can get caught on them.
That's it. On 75 meters I have no trouble talking to anyone in the Eastern half of the US, and into Canada, on 100 watts.
Much like K8ZW above, we just throw some wire up into the trees. We've been seasonal camping, so we just leave it up, but it's nothing more complicated. Depending on space we've run just a 20m dipole, or a 20-40 fan dipole. We can get all over North America with that setup. When the solar cycle was just a little better, we even picked up a bit of DX. Only trouble we run into was sharing the radio as both myself and my wife plus our oldest son have our licenses!
Rig is a Kenwood TS-480SAT. Cable is regular RG8X.
Dave in SK
VE5DLC Trailer: 2011 Cedar Creek Silverback 35K Truck: 2006 Dodge 2500 TRX4 Cummins
Seasonal at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park
Welcome aboard, I use a home made G5RV for HF and just installed an old 2m/440 rig with a mag mount antenna. My camper is Aluminum so i used Dicor to afix a cutout top from a 55 gall drum to the roof and use a mag mount dual band antenna. I painted the drum top with several coats of Rustoleum paint before install to slow down rust. De W4EDN near Charlotte, nc
My ham radio page: http://www.creativecomputersolutions.com/ham/index.html
2008 wildwood le 19BH
Tv 2018 F150 screw 3.5EB
Retired UNC Charlotte engineering professor.
Have call sign and 146.52 posted on the back of our MH, and 11,000 miles later, have yet to have a passing ham call.
When stationary in campgrounds, have had good success in giving a shout out on simplex and getting responses.
My Father, W4LYB, (SK) had the same experience in his TT and then later in his MH. Never got a call.
2011 Georgetown 378TS
CQ de K4GVO
I run a Yaesu Wires-X node in my motorhome connected to the hotspot but there don't seem to be any "RV on-the-road" rooms. I also bring along my Xeigu X108G QRP radio, a straight key, and a Super Antenna but I rarely use it.