XM Satellite Radio Antenna Install

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Active member
May 8, 2006
I recently installed a car kit for my XM satellite Sky Fi II in my Jayco Class C motorhome.  For my first trip, I put the antenna on the dash and hoped for the best.  Works perfectly . . . if I can figure out how to constantly drive south.  East and West, uh, not so good.  And driving north left me wishing I'd brought along more CDs.

Anyway, I obviously need to get the antenna up on top of the roof of the coach.  I've installed the XM kits in three of our cars, so I'm reasonably handy and know what to expect.  I'm still a motorhome newbie, however, so if anyone has blazed this trail before and has some advice, fire away.

My questions are:

1)  How to get the antenna up to the roof?  My thinking is to go trough the trim around the front pop-up vent and caulk around the antenna wire.  In car installs, it's common to go through the front or rear windshild gasket.  With the issue of leaks in motorhomes, however, I'm not sure I want to go through the window gaskets in any of the cabover windows.

2)  Supposedly the antenna needs to be mounted on a metal surface for best performance (and it's magnetic).  If that's the case, my thought is to take a 12x12 piece of thicker gauge sheet metal, prime and paint it white, then adhere it to the roof using caulk or another adhesive.  Antenna would then be mounted to the metal plate.  If the metal plate isn't needed, I could simply adhere the antenna directly to the roof.

Again, if anyone has addressed these issues, I'd love to hear about it.

Thanks in advance.

In my rig, I have the magnetic mount on top of the DVD player, high up in the front cap. If you don't have something like that near the roof of the front cap, you can drill a small hole for the antenna coax through the roof. Yes, it's got a right angle connector that's much bigger than the coax, so you can either drill a larger hole, or cut the coax and splice it after you've fished it thru the hole. In order for the metal plate to be effective, it must be grounded - not alway easy to do. Try it without the plate first; it may work quite well. 

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