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Author Topic: any thing special about rooftop installs?  (Read 254 times)

the

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any thing special about rooftop installs?
« on: July 02, 2020, 11:51:51 AM »
Just picked up at 2013 16dbs. Looking to do some boondocking. First thing i'm looking at is a cell phone range extender, then maybe a solar setup that could power a laptop. I've not anticipating needing needing ac while boondocking, but I do have a generator if i need it.

Is there anything special I need to know about these aluminum roofs to install the range extender? looking a the the solidrf rv pro right now. still doing research though. All advice welcome!

Chappy133

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2020, 10:39:40 AM »
I have installed a cell phone (WeBoost) repeater and a Sirius Satellite Truckers antennas on the back of our 16 TBS.  I used marine fold down antennas mounts held down with super adhesive flex tape. This idea came from a google search I found a while back.  I really did not want to screw into the aluminum roof.  Also used self leveling sealant to glue down the antenna cable over the roof top too.

Another option is to mount to the top on your AC unit but requires a metal plate (pizza pan) to be a ground phase for the antenna.  I believe that is what Merlin did.

I will grab a picture later today and upload here. 

I get quizzed all the time what are those antennas on your roof?  The all aluminum construction is great but turns the camper into a faraday cage.

As for solar I have an 80 watt suit case type that was bought for our old pop up.  It has kept our TBS batteries topped off during week long camping trips.  I would recommend getting 100 watts or better now.  The portable ones allow you to set your camper in the shade and put the panel in the sun. 

Lots of solar options are out there and discussed here on the forum too.

Enjoy.
Easton, PA

DavidM

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2020, 11:36:39 AM »
Check out this post which gives a link to an article I wrote about installing a simple solar system. https://aluminumcamperforum.com/index.php?topic=1117.msg8405#msg8405

FWIW I am less of a fan of flexible panels now. My friend John bought three from Amazon and their output was 2/3 of spec.

I prefer a portable solar panel system where they can be mounted 50' or more from the trailer in a sunny spot. If you camp in the shade, roof mounted panels won't do you much good.

David

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2020, 12:14:13 PM »
thanks for the input! all the info i can get is welcome! I'm def looking at a solar kit as well, as i dont think i'll need ac where i'm planning to boondock. for the times here in texas though, ive got a generator.  any quick calculators out there that show how many batteries one needs along with solar panel performance needed to stay charged?  I'm mainly laptop, cell booster and tunes.

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2020, 07:07:08 PM »
Pictures of the antennas and the flex seal mounting on the roof.  The WeBoost repeater cannot be near the cell antenna.  So the Weboost is mounted in a side overhead cabinet, antenna cable is routed out the side and then up over the top along the back of the awning to the antenna on the rear. 
Easton, PA

Chappy133

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2020, 07:09:07 PM »
The photos. 
Easton, PA

Merlin

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2020, 09:11:53 AM »
Dicor self-leveling caulk and non-sag caulk are excellent for external sealing (roof and walls respectively). Eternabond tape will seal and help hold things in place. IMHO, silicone sealer has no place in a camper. There are also some excellent sealants used in boats and hopefully our resident boat expert Davidm will check in with how to keep a boat afloat.
Michigan

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2020, 06:02:01 PM »
Looks like the signal booster I'm leaning towards prefers adhesive over screws, so that's good.  The only question is running cables. Are yall running them through your slide? Is there a better way? Also this works off 12v, anyone with experience tapping into the 12v?

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Re: any thing special about rooftop installs?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2020, 09:39:32 PM »
For cables, I did pretty much did what @Chappy133 did and ran wire from the external omni antenna on the A/C (with a ground plane) in a continuous puddle of self-leveling caulk on the roof to the location  of my booster, which is the cabinet on the side in the upper front right. I drilled a hole in the side of the camper and ran the wire through non-sag caulk to the booster (with a drip loop). For 12V, I just tapped into the 12V power already at the wall where the TV sits. There was a power receptacle already there on mine and since I use the WeBoost Drive 4M, it just needed to be plugged in. I use a directional interior antenna mounted on the ceiling pointing down, so lots of coverage inside with no interference with the external omni. My wife and I are heavy Internet users and we have both Verizon and AT&T unlimited plans. One or the other (but often not both!) work for fast Internet almost anywhere. Although our plans include Canadian usage, we've found the wimpiest signals in the prairie provinces.
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