My Pace Arrow has a fiberglas front and rear cap (The entire front and rear of the unit). I removed the tv which gave access to an area that was the front cap of the RV.
After pushing the insulation aside, I could see the upper side of the cap where it joins the roof. (The Sensor for the compass is also located here) I then placed a dab of caulk (RPV Silicone) on the antenna and duct taped it to the INSIDE of the fiberglass roof).
Replaced the insulation, routed the wire down the side under the plastic surrond of the windshield and down to the XM unit. It works great and as the antenna is inside, no holes mate.
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Three hyper chihuahua's
Good Sam a pound rescue, Sassy and Bambi
2001 Fleetwood Expedition Diesel Pusher
Toad 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sierra hardtop
And now for an additional benefit of XM. My BTCrusier has a home theater system in it. My XM is the FM broadcast/receive type. At night I simply leave the xm plugged into the cig lighter, and dial my home theater system to the freq that the xm is broadcasting on, and I have an almost infinite supply of music to go with our fine RV dining.
My next goal is to have my home theater broadcast to wireless outdoor speakers for some low volume, easy listening campfire music.
Getting ready to install my radio tomorrow and I want to install it on the roof.
That would be really cool -- I've never seen a radio mounted on a roof! You will be the first, and the talk of the camp ground I'm sure.
I know, I know -- you were meaning you want to put your antenna on the roof.
About using a stainless steel plate. There are many different stainless alloys -- some are nonmagnetic, others are magnetic. Just use a magnet to check it out.
Most XM antennas need what is called a "Ground Plane" -- that is a metal base such as your car roof which helps the antenna function. Generally, the bigger the ground plane, the better (ideal would be an infinite ground plane). In actual practice, a GP about 2 feet square is probably adequate. The GP should be grounded to your vehicle frame. You could use aluminum if you want -- you would of course need to screw or glue the antenna down rather than use a magnetic base.
However, there are XM antennas made especially for mounting on fiberglass or other non-metallic bases -- these antennas are typically used for marine (fiberglass boats) and fiberglass RV applications. One such antenna is the Terk XM-5 Marine Antenna -- I am using this antenna on my RV. Works great with no ground plane.
Mine is one that is supposed to have a gnd plane but the guy where I bought it told me it didn't need it. They installed all their RV units with an adhesive to the roof. When I used it before permanently installing it I just set the antenna where ever it could see the satelite. On the bed, by a window, or out the back door. The only time it has a base plate is on the roof of the Jeep and there is no difference in signal. I think Delphi was being overly cautious when they first came out.
The following is the result of a great collaboration with “Bates”, “Ivylog”, and yours truly, “DanaMc”. With the growth of Satellite Radio, the interest in making this a “do-it-yourself” project is strong. I can tell you from first hand experience, the major brands are not interested in providing any simple, yet specific information about how to install them.
If you are not comfortable installing electrical accessories in your RV or personal automobile, you should let the trained installers do the job. Automotive electricity is not exactly the same as normal household circuitry.
However, if you are adept and comfortable adding a radio, CB or AM/FM, you can handle this if you want to. It is up to you. If you choose to install it yourself, you are assuming full responsibility for your vehicle and equipment being installed or equipment already installed. There are no warranties to the information provided. It is simply what worked for me.
This is what I used to install my Sirius Sportster Car Kit in my motor home:
The very best signal will come from an antenna mounted on the roof versus inside regardless of where you try it inside. There are several alternative antennas to the standard antenna provided in the car kit. I will discuss how to mount the standard, low profile, magnetic, surface mount antenna. First, it does not have to be on a metal base plane. The magnet is simply an aid to mounting it on most automobiles.
1. Determine where you want the radio base will be located. Carefully measure your antenna cord and determine where the antenna and the satellite radio base have to go and the path to connect the two.
2. From the cap or roof of your RV, determine which existing opening, i.e. existing antennas or clearance lights, will offer the easiest access to the path your antenna wire will have to follow. I used the factory installed CB Antenna. You will want an electrician’s snake/tape to fish the wire along the path you choose. A length of stiff wire might work as well.
3. Inspect the anticipated route of the cable from inside the RV. Determine how much of that path you can open or gain access to from inside. Try to identify any obstacles in your path.
4. When you’re satisfied you have a clear path, carefully remove the caulking from either an existing antenna or perhaps a clearance light on top of your RV. Tape the radio lead to your “snake” and fish it through the hole and to a point where you can control it from inside the coach. Pull it through until you have roughly 6” to 12” of lead left on the roof before reaching the antenna end.
5. Clean all the old caulk off the fixture you removed and the surface of the roof where it was attached. Have a tube of silicone ready.
6. Remount the fixture you removed with the new antenna wire coming out from under it. I used a utility knife to create a notch so the new antenna wire would not be pinched when reinstalling the fixture.
7. Caulk liberally all around and over the edges of the fixture. Then apply a liberal bead of caulk over the antenna wire. Apply a circle of caulk approximately 1 ½ inches in diameter to the roof. Press the Satellite Radio Antenna end into it firmly. Hand pressure is sufficient. Smooth the excess caulk over the antenna wire and around the antenna end. This is the “glue” that will hold it on. So be generous with the caulk. This should take care of anything on the roof. Take all your tools with you on your way down.
8. Complete the routing of the Satellite Radio Antenna lead to the location of your radio base. Leave a few inches of extra lead. Don’t glue or fasten your radio base down just yet.
12 VDC Power
One of the key decisions in addition to measuring the antenna lead is measuring for the location of your power connection to the radio base. Most “car kits” come with an auxiliary power plug (aka cigarette lighter plug) molded into the end of the power cord. This means that somewhere the power cord will have to be draped across the dashboard. This is what I didn’t want. I wanted a clean, cord free installation. If the cord is not a concern for you, you are essentially done. If you want a clean, professional looking installation, use the following steps:
1. Find the path you want to the location you need to connect your power cord.
2. Decision time. I decided to clip off the Auxiliary Power Plug to fish the wire.
3. After fishing the wire down to the firewall location under the dash, I mounted a fuse block I purchased at my local auto parts store along with some 3 Amp blade fuses.
4. I attached a “hot lead” from the fuse block to the chassis battery terminal.
5. I attached another lead from the opposite side of the fuse block. I left this lead about 6” long. I installed a paddle connector to the end.
6. Then I split the two wires on the power cord and stripped the ends.
7. I attached one to the ground point somewhere on the chassis.
8. The other I installed the opposing paddle connector and attached it to the lead from the fuse block. (Step 5)
9. Install the 3 Amp fuse.
With an electric meter, I set the range to read 12 VDC. Then I touched the center of the power plug with the Red meter probe. I touched the outer ring of the power plug contact with the Black meter probe.
If the power is connected properly, you should see a reading of a positive 12 volts, perhaps plus a little, i.e. 12.5 or 13.6. If you get the same reading except with a negative/minus sign in front of it, you have the polarity wrong, aka the wires crossed. You will need to swap the wires making the current ground the “hot” lead and the current “hot” lead will become the ground. Retest with the meter until you get the correct, positive reading. You are done with the wiring.
I use a Terk XM11 Glass mount antenna. It attaches a antenna to the outside of the glass with double sided sticky tape. You then attach the other half of the antenna with the cable afixed to the other side of the glass. Mine works great, gets the antenna outside and no holes to drill. No complaints with lost quality when compared to its magnetic counterpart.