Ham Radio Rover - Fiberglass RV
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Old 02-04-2021, 10:58 PM   #1
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Name: Joe
Trailer: Research and Inspiration
Pennsylvania
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Ham Radio Rover

I'm a ham radio contest operator living in a deed restricted community. It's a long story so let's not go there. I'm also an old school RVer, Cut my TV teeth on a 1972 20' Dutchcraft. OK, an old old school RVer. I've recently rediscovered the world of small (micro) fiberglass RVs. My objective is to restomod an fgrv (w/toilet) into a self contained, single operator, UHF/VHF, contest rover. If you understood that last sentence you know also know what I'm up against. Bottom line, I'm here to learn.
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Old 02-04-2021, 11:26 PM   #2
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Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Scamp 16 and ham radio

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Originally Posted by Joe Btfsplk View Post
I'm a ham radio contest operator living in a deed restricted community. It's a long story so let's not go there. I'm also an old school RVer, Cut my TV teeth on a 1972 20' Dutchcraft. OK, an old old school RVer. I've recently rediscovered the world of small (micro) fiberglass RVs. My objective is to restomod an fgrv (w/toilet) into a self contained, single operator, UHF/VHF, contest rover. If you understood that last sentence you know also know what I'm up against. Bottom line, I'm here to learn.
I use a Scamp 16' with rear bunk and side bunk. If I'm set up for a few days the radios are on the big table and I sleep on the side bunk. The picture is old, now with the new split radios I have the radio body under the table on the bed extension and the heads on the table. https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...lbums2282.html has some of the mods for ham radio. Note that you will have noise problems, The converter in mine must be off and the LED lights are noisy, I'm working on replacements.
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:06 AM   #3
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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One of the biggest problems we have had in these campers is RFI from everything from LED lights to the converter to PWM controls on fans, etc. That is not as much a problem on VHF / UHF as HF of course but it is still something I would consider from the start as you put things together. Some of us have needed to shut off most everything and run straight off the battery. Speaking of batteries.. I would look at https://battlebornbatteries.com/
73
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Old 02-05-2021, 09:32 AM   #4
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,194
The SCV (Scamp Command Vehicle) is a regular feature of field days around here.
All LED lighting, A plug to add an extra 100 AH battery, Plug to power MFJ Anderson Pole distribution strip.
300 watts of solar panels on the roof
A 2" (schedule 20) tube to mount a 31 ft green telescoping TN07 fishing pole antenna.
A self closing and sealing access port.
An LP/Gasoline dual fuel inverter generator.
Antenna tuner and connections for a good ground.
My SCV was a hollow shell that only needed half of a frame, new axle, floor and entire interior and all appliances and whatever else.
I rebuilt my Scamp with two twin beds along the side and center table/nightstand.
It works well for an emergency "Go Box" to respond to emergencies, field day and scamper away from hurricanes.
I have also used that 2" tube to hold a mast to support a DX-77A 40 - 10 vertical.

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Old 02-05-2021, 11:32 PM   #5
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Name: Gilda
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California
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Welcome to the world of fiberglass RVing! While I know nothing about Ham radio, my brother is an operator who does not RV. My friend is a Ham radio operator AND an RVer, albeit a large, bus-like RV. Would it be helpful for you to be in touch with my friend? PM (private message) me if you like.
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Old 02-05-2021, 11:48 PM   #6
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Name: Kenneth
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Wisconsin
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Thaks for the offer

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Originally Posted by Gilda View Post
Welcome to the world of fiberglass RVing! While I know nothing about Ham radio, my brother is an operator who does not RV. My friend is a Ham radio operator AND an RVer, albeit a large, bus-like RV. Would it be helpful for you to be in touch with my friend? PM (private message) me if you like.
I may be back for more help after I get the next batch of LEDs.
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Old 02-05-2021, 11:53 PM   #7
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Trailer: 2009 17 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe
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I'm not a contest or or a DXer, but I do have my little Campster set up as a ham shack. It is minimal, but I've used it as the net control station for several local events. Its big enough for 2 or 3 to work in it. For VHF& UHF, I mount an antenna on a pole on the tongue. For HF, I use an FT897 with an AT120. I put the AT120 on the car to get enough ground plain.

The Campster has a 45w solar panel, but the Campster has minimal accessories so I can run it and the radio off the battery with ease. Contesting would likely require more power.

Oh, no room for a restroom in this one.

W7DAF
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Old 06-20-2021, 06:55 AM   #8
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Name: Robert
Trailer: Currently Shopping
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Another amateur radio operator, I recently got a Casita and am looking for install ideas.

AF7JA
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:19 AM   #9
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hasaf View Post
Another amateur radio operator, I recently got a Casita and am looking for install ideas.

AF7JA
VHF? HF? ECOMM? DX?

In any case.. idea #1: https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...tml#post817443

BTW.. these campers seem to be huge RFI Generators.. Converters, Solar controllers, PWM speed controllers and LED lights all can be a RFI problem (and I think all of them are in my Scamp). So (esp for HF), always keep that in mind and plan on dealing with it.
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Old 06-20-2021, 07:46 AM   #10
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Name: JD
Trailer: Scamp 16 Modified (BIGLY)
Florida
Posts: 2,194
I found that my Evever Tracer 40 amp MPPT has a terrific 40 kHz generator in the moot circuit fed from the solar panels. As a result I added the switch I have been putting off in the circuit. I ended up using a push - pull switch like an auto headlamp since the plywood I needed to mount it is was pretty thick.
Now I can turn the solar on to supplement the power from the TV and off if the frequency I am trying to work on happens to fall on the 40 kHz point.
I have just installed a new IC7100 with the main unit under a shelf of the night table/dinette. The front panel is moveable for convenience and can be removed and stored for protection while travelling.
I plan to operate CW to get back up to speed. Headphones are a must to keep SWMBO happy.
The IC-7100 is a good choice for HF - VHF - UHF coverage. I had been concerned that in an emergency the VHF / UHF might have to be operable at the same time and I plan to add a mounting spot for another radio in the future.
This Scamp (SCV) is also an ARES communications van and bug-out box in case of hurricanes here on the Gulf Coast.
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Old 06-20-2021, 10:11 AM   #11
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Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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My Scamp

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Another amateur radio operator, I recently got a Casita and am looking for install ideas.AF7JA
My 16' Scamp is my Ham radio "GO KIT". It has had many changes over the years but one constant is that the equipment is in Harbor Freight "clam boxes" for protection on the road. I'll get some pictures next time I'm set up and start a new thread,but here is the original Kenwood 440 Version . I later ran a 480 and am working on a yaesu 991 with external tuner as the next unit. The 440 died after only 30 years, the 480 is now bolted to my roll top desk in the house.
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