Should i make a hole in the roof of my RV trailer?

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bzerull

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I have an Imagine 2021 XLS trailer that I want to add a cell phone extender to. I the only way I can see to add the external antenna is to make a hole in the roof, that I really hesitate to do. Is there a good way to do this? Any ideas as to the best way to install the outside antenna?
 

SpencerPJ

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I would be hesitant as well. Not knowing your set-up, but if I could put a hole through the side and side or rear mount it, I would.
 

Don C

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I installed a satellite antenna by going through the 14" roof vent. Drilled a hole in the aluminum side and installed a grommet to protect the wire. Went out the side near the hinge so it didn't interfere with opening the vent. Had aftermarket vent cover that I installed the antenna on so I only had to drill the one hole. By removing the interior vent shroud, I was able to route the wires so they were hidden. The vent was around 16" from the wall that the TV antenna was routed to.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Does it have to be a permanent cable connection? You can run flat coax in through a window, or run either flat or round coax in at the edge of a slide (corners work well). Yeah, it takes few minutes at site set-up time, but no holes needed.

There are coax bushings that work well if you do need to make a hole. Maybe better to go through a sidewall than the roof, though.
 

Kirk

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A lot depends on what you plan to use. I had a cell phone repeater that I ran the cable down and out of the bottom of the RV and then followed it up the ladder on the back of the RV. I mounted the antenna to the ladder and the repeater inside of the rear closet. I would not drill through my roof.
 

John From Detroit

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There are options
First you may be able to run COAX outside by following the plumgbing, Once outside you can run to one end or the other
Most motor homes have roof ladders and many trailers as well You get like a flag pole buddy ladder mount then a pole. fibeglass or aluminum and mount the antenna on top of the pole... Bring the coax out if you can via a compartment (There should be enough play in the seal to close the door on it on some compartments Stow the antenna when moving.

Trailer with no ladder? Go to the front. mount it on the drawbar (Tongue) by mounting a short pipe to the metal tongue and slipping the longer "mast" either onto or into depending on relative sizes. Two 10 foot mast sections = about 22 feet
 

jackiemac

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We have ours attached to the ladder, then the ethernet cable comes in through the floor pan and into the storage bay under bedroom then into bedroom.
 

bzerull

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We have ours attached to the ladder, then the ethernet cable comes in through the floor pan and into the storage bay under bedroom then into bedroom.
I have a ladder. The floor is covered and insulated, which makes it a little more difficult. But, i do like the idea of coming through the floor rather than the roof.
 

Lou Schneider

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Use one of the holding tank vents. Temporarily remove the top cap and drop the coax inside the pipe. Usually the pipe is exposed in the corner of a closet so you can make a hole in the side of the pipe and fish the end of the coax through the hole. Or you can cut the pipe and install a tee. Pull the coax out of the side of the tee, then cap it with a hole drilled in the cap for the coax to pass through. Use silicone sealant to make the hole gas tight.

Be sure to maintain at least the minimum distance between the roof antenna and the inside unit - it should be specified in the installation manual. If there's not enough separation the antenna will hear the inside unit and create feedback.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Perhaps you are making too much of the "hole in the roof" concern. There are already a dozen of them, and another such hole is no big deal as long as it is neatly done and properly sealed. I've mounted or dismounted roof top gadgets and added a cable or wire several times on my various RVs and never had a worry. If the roof location is what works best for my needs, I would go ahead and do it. About the only concern is to avoid a horizontal a/c duct - everything else is pretty much vertical thru the roof, so easy to avoid.
 

NY_Dutch

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Perhaps you are making too much of the "hole in the roof" concern. There are already a dozen of them, and another such hole is no big deal as long as it is neatly done and properly sealed. I've mounted or dismounted roof top gadgets and added a cable or wire several times on my various RVs and never had a worry. If the roof location is what works best for my needs, I would go ahead and do it. About the only concern is to avoid a horizontal a/c duct - everything else is pretty much vertical thru the roof, so easy to avoid.
I've found the horizontal a/c ducts can be useful for easily routing wires to locations near the intended end point. After reaching a nearby vent, fishing the wires to the top of a cabinet, etc, usually isn't too difficult.
 

Ernie n Tara

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Whet Gary said! I've installed tv antennas and all of thecabling on two motor homes (and removed from one) without problem or concern. I stuck to penetrations in the front cap running cables across the roof in channels intended for surface mounting inside.

No problems in over ten years of combined service,

Ernie
 

bzerull

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Whet Gary said! I've installed tv antennas and all of thecabling on two motor homes (and removed from one) without problem or concern. I stuck to penetrations in the front cap running cables across the roof in channels intended for surface mounting inside.

No problems in over ten years of combined service,

Ernie
Hi Ernie: i am very familiar with home construction, but not RV construction. Thus, my hesitancy. How are the new RV”s constructed? Take my 2021 Grand Design for instance: Channels in roof, insulation, etc? to deal with. Still want to tour a factory, but haven‘t gotten there yet.
 

Ernie n Tara

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Not an expert, but it appears there are numerous ducts, wires, lighting, etc. on the underside of the roof in the central part of the rv. That is why I kept holes to the caps plus that's where the wires are going in most cases. I kept hardware to less than two inches so it wouldn't completely penetrate the roof.
In both of the rv's I modified, I could see the cap itself by looking in the cabinets to verify it was clear.

Ernie
 
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