Amateur Ham Radio Antenna mount on a fiberglass 13' Love Bug - Fiberglass RV
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-05-2023, 08:01 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Name: Will
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
Posts: 22
Amateur Ham Radio Antenna mount on a fiberglass 13' Love Bug

If you aren't a radio or amateur radio operator, you may not understand the practicality or reasoning for wanting this. I'm not looking for any replies questioning my needs or dismissing my needs for this on my camper. I'm looking for reasons why it could damage it, or alternatives to antenna mounting such as welding a small folding or collapsible mast to the hitch area, etc...

I want to add at least 1 ham radio antenna to my 13' fiberglass. I refuse to drill any holes on the roof! but clearly magnetic based antennas obviously will not stick on fiberglass. I don't wan't to glue it either. The roof appears to be in pristine condition for a '73 camper.

So as a trial I took a magnetic mount antenna, placed it on top, and then placed another cheap round magnet on the inside roof and the concept works for a small low wind profile antenna, but I'd have to upgrade the inside magnet to a stronger neodymium one for it to really hold solid. At the worst, a 4 point magnetic mount.

Bonus is this gives 1 or 4 nice light-load bearing mounting points on the inside of the camper that are not permanent I could stick something like little 360 degree rotating LED lights, tiny speakers, hooks for a few clothes hangers, etc... to the inside magnet mounting holes.

It could be moved around every few months so the area under the rubber covered magnets can be cleaned keeping the paintjob and fiberglass in good condition as well as redistributing the load as to not leave pressure on 1 to 4 round spots permanently.

The only concerns I can think of is any damage that would occur from the pressure of 2 magnets on the fiberglass over time. Anyone who has played with even tiny neodymium magnets know how strong they are. As a kid I remember putting two of them on my ear lobe to look like an ear piercing. After 1 day that pressure of the two tiny magnets (talking 0.25cm tiny round ones) removed and my ear hurt for a few days from the pressure. They are strong magnets. So that brings me to concerns about pressure on the fiberglass.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

-c
clavo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2023, 03:11 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Dan Meyer's Avatar
 
Trailer: 2000 Scamp 16 ft Side Dinette
Posts: 728
What bands (frequencies) are you planning on operating? I bolted a 4 inch square plate (a blank electrical box cover) under a bolt holding my air conditioner cover and used this as a place to mount various antennas. I mostly put a dual-band VHF/UHF antenna up, but I did run a 10 meter base loaded 10 meter antenna and it worked OK.


Good Luck, and let us know what you end up doing.



--Dan Meyer / n0kfb
Dan Meyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2023, 08:17 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 2009 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
Posts: 857
I like your creative thinking. I think that would work on my Campster since I have zero insulation. I have a large diameter mag base, but I would never leave it mounted while driving. My biggest concern would be ground plane, but you could use a self-grounded antenna.

I have an extension poke mounted on the tongue a grounded to the chasis that I use for VHF/UHF. I have tried a screw driver antenna on the mount and it did work on a couple of HF bands.
Dave Fish is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2023, 03:01 AM   #4
Junior Member
 
Name: Will
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
Posts: 22
Just an NMO mount so I can screw on and off whatever I need at this point. I have a half a dozen NMO mount antennas, so I can swap out for whatever I need at the time. My only concerns are long whips. The kind you you to take off at time to make it into a garage or will really put some tension on the base when on the highway at speed .

So to answer your question, likely just a multiband. Not much of a wind load on the highway. I just want a structurally sound base that can stay in place instead of taking things on and off all the time.

For HF, or wanting a need for height I'm trying to find if there is some sort of mast kind of attachment that I can clamp on to the A frame between the tongue and camper. Same as how the crank up lifting jack is mounted. Once you drop it on the ball you can fold and lock it at 90 degrees. Instead of a crank and wheel, just a place to slip 4 foot sections of fiberglass mast into.

Thx.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Meyer View Post
What bands (frequencies) are you planning on operating? I bolted a 4 inch square plate (a blank electrical box cover) under a bolt holding my air conditioner cover and used this as a place to mount various antennas. I mostly put a dual-band VHF/UHF antenna up, but I did run a 10 meter base loaded 10 meter antenna and it worked OK.


Good Luck, and let us know what you end up doing.



--Dan Meyer / n0kfb
clavo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2023, 05:40 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
AC0GV's Avatar
 
Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
Posts: 1,893
Registry
Antenna Mounts

Quote:
Originally Posted by clavo View Post

I want to add at least 1 ham radio antenna to my 13' fiberglass. I refuse to drill any holes on the roof! but clearly magnetic based antennas obviously will not stick on fiberglass. I don't want to glue it either. The roof appears to be in pristine condition for a '73 camper. -c
I went to Menard's and got three brackets, painted them white and mounted them on the back of my awning. I have changed out the mounts a few times over the years but now have one quick CB mount that holds a wind sock, one for my am/fm antenna, and one 3/8 x 24 mount for ham sticks.
Attached Thumbnails
10 antenna mounts 3.jpg   65Windsock.jpg  

AC0GV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2023, 08:19 PM   #6
Junior Member
 
Name: Will
Trailer: Scamp
Oregon
Posts: 22
Nice setup! I have nothing to mount to though. Not being willing to make holes in the fiberglass that aren't already there.

The clamping onto the heavy metal of the A frame of the hitch is the only option besides my magnet idea that I can think of that isn't destructive.

I could put a HF NVIS whip that goes from the hitch area over the entire camper (laugh). Bit overkill

I probably will not be going over 20W on anything just to conserve battery power.
clavo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2023, 06:23 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2003 Honda Odyssey
Posts: 231
Antenna mounts on FG trailer.

On my Bigfoot 17, I have mounted an aluminum truck box on the rear bumper, for storing the Honda E2000i Genny,. Into the side of that I installed 2 U-bolts holding a telescoping aluminum 25' mast which lowers to the roof level, but can be raised when stopped. On this I have tried many types of HF and VHF antennas and for end or middle support for wire antennas.
I have bought a Tram through the glass 2M/440 glue on antenna to mount on the front driver side window, but have not yet tried it.
On the rear driver side rear bumper, I have bolted on an L shaped welded
1 1/2' mount that comes up vertically to about level with the rear window and have an old Nott HF Screwdriver antenna, with interchangable upper 'stinger' whips. An 8 footer when stopped, but shorter when travelling if I can't be bothered to swap.
I've run several plastic pipes, tie wrapped under the trailer, with coax cables inside, to front left area where the water heater and electrical system is, making an entrance hole for the cables. Sealing with plastic putty, of course.
When not actually using this while campiing, I often sneak over to the trailer when at home as my 'Man Cave' and alternate Ham Shack.
Main rig is usually old Yaesu FT-100D or experimenting with Military PRC320.
Lots of fun.
Mike VE3EQP .....>
Michael Pupeza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2023, 07:34 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Trailer: 1993 Bigfoot 17 ftCB / 2003 Honda Odyssey
Posts: 231
Picture of Antenna System on Bigfoot

Here's a picture taken at ARRL Field Day 2023 of our Ham Radio Antenna setup (partial), showing the Truck Box for storing the Genny, the telescoping 25' pole and the Screwdriver antenna and mount. Extra antennas on mast top account for the coax cables coming down.
Probably more that a typical Ham would have.
73 - Mike VE3EQP .....>
Attached Thumbnails
Bigfoot Antennas.jpg  
Michael Pupeza is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 11:11 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Name: Art
Trailer: Scamp
Maine
Posts: 2
Mount for solar panel and flag

Quote:
Originally Posted by clavo View Post
If you aren't a radio or amateur radio operator, you may not understand the practicality or reasoning for wanting this. I'm not looking for any replies questioning my needs or dismissing my needs for this on my camper. I'm looking for reasons why it could damage it, or alternatives to antenna mounting such as welding a small folding or collapsible mast to the hitch area, etc...

I want to add at least 1 ham radio antenna to my 13' fiberglass. I refuse to drill any holes on the roof! but clearly magnetic based antennas obviously will not stick on fiberglass. I don't wan't to glue it either. The roof appears to be in pristine condition for a '73 camper.

So as a trial I took a magnetic mount antenna, placed it on top, and then placed another cheap round magnet on the inside roof and the concept works for a small low wind profile antenna, but I'd have to upgrade the inside magnet to a stronger neodymium one for it to really hold solid. At the worst, a 4 point magnetic mount.

Bonus is this gives 1 or 4 nice light-load bearing mounting points on the inside of the camper that are not permanent I could stick something like little 360 degree rotating LED lights, tiny speakers, hooks for a few clothes hangers, etc... to the inside magnet mounting holes.

It could be moved around every few months so the area under the rubber covered magnets can be cleaned keeping the paintjob and fiberglass in good condition as well as redistributing the load as to not leave pressure on 1 to 4 round spots permanently.

The only concerns I can think of is any damage that would occur from the pressure of 2 magnets on the fiberglass over time. Anyone who has played with even tiny neodymium magnets know how strong they are. As a kid I remember putting two of them on my ear lobe to look like an ear piercing. After 1 day that pressure of the two tiny magnets (talking 0.25cm tiny round ones) removed and my ear hurt for a few days from the pressure. They are strong magnets. So that brings me to concerns about pressure on the fiberglass.

Thoughts?

Thanks!

-c
I attached a 2" pipe to the bike rack on my Scamp 13 to mount solar panel and American Flag. Solar panel can be rotated on pipe for alignment to sun. Would probably work for a radio antenna too. When traveling the pipe stays attached to the bike rack and I remove the solar panel and flag.
Attached Thumbnails
PXL_20220803_181632950.MP~2.jpg   IMG_20200924_102052897_BURST000_COVER~2.jpg  

Art B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 04:34 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 851
What I am doing

This is KB9LGS. And yes this puts holes in the camper. But here is what I did.



For my HF antenna I use a eagle one antenna.
https://eagleoneantenna.com/
I and this is how I mounted it. Yeah with holes. You will note that the top mount was part of a project to put a TV computer screen in the camper. I also use the 12 volt PC you see here.


I had to upgrade my ac dc converter from the failing 15 amp unit to a higher current unit. I ran new wiring to the battery under the camper with 8 gage wire to handle more current. My radio power comes from a power stream buck and boost dc dc converter so I get reliable clean power. Make sure you ground all of this or you will be sorry.


https://www.powerstream.com/dcdc.htm


I then put in a battery voltage monitor so I can keep track of my voltage.
Attached Thumbnails
20230812_181709.jpg   20230812_181713.jpg  

20230812_181848.jpg   20230812_181851.jpg  

computerspook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 04:46 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 851
I also use a G5RV when I can setup and string supports. I have a buddy pole antenna

https://www.buddipole.com/
and have several other antennas I might use. So I need a way to get feed lines into the camper. Now this goes against normal procedures but I used a cable hatch right into the back of the living area. That way I can run feed lines and other wring in and out of the stuff in the camper. Be careful how you locate this. Measure a bunch of times and then cut once.
Attached Thumbnails
20230812_183557.jpg   20230812_183622.jpg  

computerspook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 04:49 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 851
For UHF/VHF I mounted a dual band antenna on the front. I mounted in on the side away from the door for additional rf safety. The cable goes into the camper and down through the cabinets to the back where I have a radio. Right now it is VHF only but planning a dual band
Attached Thumbnails
20230812_183640.jpg   20230812_183703.jpg  

computerspook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 04:52 PM   #13
Junior Member
 
Name: GUS
Trailer: IN MARKET
CO
Posts: 1
Just a quick comment, do you not need a "ground plane"? Fiberglass does not work as a ground plane. Best bet is mount a 2" trailer receiver on the rear end and use something like a bike rack to mount the antenna on. The frame would give a good ground plane. Good luck.
GUSRENTIT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 04:55 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 851
I use anderson power poles on all of my radios. There is a dc power strip in the camper at the back right above the table where it is handy for hooking up radios. I also then ran the filtered dc power to the door side of the camper to a water resistant jack. A custom 2 foot pigtail hooks on the location so I can do radio under my canopy in the outdoors. After all that is like kind of the purpose of camping is to get into the outdoors right ;-)
Attached Thumbnails
20230812_183612.jpg  
computerspook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 04:57 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 851
Yeah a lot of holes, which is like what you said you did not want. But hopefully it can give you some ideas.


If you have to take the inside down and put a metal plate inside, 3m spray contact adhesive works great for putting it back.
computerspook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2023, 05:01 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUSRENTIT View Post
Just a quick comment, do you not need a "ground plane"? Fiberglass does not work as a ground plane. Best bet is mount a 2" trailer receiver on the rear end and use something like a bike rack to mount the antenna on. The frame would give a good ground plane. Good luck.

Depends on the antenna. Must mostly you do. I actually use the trailer frame as a counter poise for my eagle on. Then mostly I use additional radials. The dual band was chosen as a non ground plane antenna. For a UHF VHF antenna you would need like 19 inch radius of metal for a ground plane if you use a ground plane antenna.


Boy I bet this is confusing the non hams in the group. ;-)
computerspook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2023, 04:04 AM   #17
Member
 
Name: Andy
Trailer: Scamp 16'
North Carolina
Posts: 61
Well, mine is a Scamp, and I mounted a post on the back bumper. Cheap multi band vertical clamps to it. For VHF/UHF, it is mostly rovering during the contests, so I have a 40' collapsible pole which holds my antennas. Base is an old deck umbrella holder. Heavy, but it works. I would not drill holes thru the fiberglas. If you leave a whip up while travelling, it will work the mount (stress) just with the wind resistance of the whip. Glas cracks easily, it would make me nervous, esp. to punch a hole thru the top. That sidemount shown above is a neat solution. Photo shows the setup at Shelby last year. The vertical worked well with the Kenwood TS-480 SAT, autotuner liked it. Antenna removed for travel of course. What I used was a piece of another umbrella stand, it was a bolt together unit, fit on the back bumper bolts for the rear jacks. The HF antenna is a cheap "Jetstream" vertical. Collapses down short enough to fit into the Scamp.
Attached Thumbnails
ScampHam.jpg  
Derswede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2023, 02:46 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,942
Quote:
Originally Posted by GUSRENTIT View Post
Just a quick comment, do you not need a "ground plane"? Fiberglass does not work as a ground plane. Best bet is mount a 2" trailer receiver on the rear end and use something like a bike rack to mount the antenna on. The frame would give a good ground plane. Good luck.
monopole whip antennas do need a ground plane, dipole antennas do not. There are monopole antennas that provide their own ground plane via 4-8 radial wires at the base
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-14-2023, 03:52 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Name: Ray
Trailer: scamp
Indiana
Posts: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
monopole whip antennas do need a ground plane, dipole antennas do not. There are monopole antennas that provide their own ground plane via 4-8 radial wires at the base

Most monopole or apparently monopole antennas need a ground plane. A few antennas that at least appear to be monopoles don't require ground plane. Also some times you can get away with a counterpoise instead of an actual ground plane.
computerspook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2023, 11:25 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
John in Santa Cruz's Avatar
 
Name: John
Trailer: Escape 21, behind an '02 F250 7.3 diesel tug
Mid Left Coast
Posts: 2,942
said counterpoise is what I meant by radial wires around the base.

a monopole does sorta work without a ground plane, its just not very efficient. there are vertical dipoles that look like a monopole, that are in fact tapped in the middle, usually these have a bump there, sometimes a loading coil.

for FM broadcast radio reception, I've had quite good results with the classic indoor 'folded dipole' made from 300 ohm flat cable wired as a T, but I find the double layer of reflectix insulation in the walls of my Escape attenuate the ~100Mhz signal about 50%
John in Santa Cruz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fiberglass, love bug


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Amateur radio and the fiberglass life AC0GV Hobbies & Passions 5 05-27-2023 08:58 AM
SOLD: 1976 17' love bug project 17' love bug project relics-ink NEW Fiberglass RV Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Trade 4 06-09-2021 07:12 PM
Tonneau cover & mobile ham radio antenna ColoRockiesFan General Chat 5 07-17-2016 02:33 PM
Love Bug - Love it or leave it Cat futrell Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 49 08-06-2015 09:16 AM

» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.
» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:10 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions Inc.