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Old 06-07-2007, 08:27 PM   #1
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Has anyone ever removed the interior ceiling panel space covers (rib) on a Journey/ Meridian? I want to remove the little 12" plastic rib in one of the cabinets and work on installing a cell antenna but don't know how this attaches and would rather not break it. Any suggestions before I start gently prying?
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
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Has anyone ever removed the interior ceiling panel space covers (rib) on a Journey/ Meridian? I want to remove the little 12" plastic rib in one of the cabinets and work on installing a cell antenna but don't know how this attaches and would rather not break it. Any suggestions before I start gently prying?
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Old 06-08-2007, 03:58 PM   #3
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I belive you remove the wooden plugs and then remove the screws behind the plugs. The wooden plugs are just wedged in the holes since two of mine fell out recently.
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Old 06-08-2007, 04:11 PM   #4
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I should clarify: These are the padded ceiling joint covers. They're white plastic aprox. 1" wide x however wide they need to be across the coach. They seem to slide back & forth in the crack but it sure doesn't want to come out.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:11 PM   #5
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Sorry Jeff....I don't have anything like that in my rig...only one oak strip near the front. That's the one I was referring to with the wooden plugs.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:22 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SCVJeff:
I should clarify: These are the padded ceiling joint covers. They're white plastic aprox. 1" wide x however wide they need to be across the coach. They seem to slide back & forth in the crack but it sure doesn't want to come out. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Jeff,

If you remove those I believe all you will find is the structural metal rib which supports the roof and the luan is attached to. How were you planning on using this for installing an antenna?
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:39 AM   #7
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Jeff ...

I have dropped the upholstered "ceiling" in the front cabinet above the driver on my '04 Journey.

It is fastened with two screws ... when it drops down you can see the underside of the front shell and the steel structure that supports the front TV ...

I installed my satelite radio antenna above the steel structure
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Old 06-09-2007, 07:10 AM   #8
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Jeff,

I recently installed a Wilson through the roof cell antenna on my Journey 34H (same floor plan as yours). For numerous reasons I choose to mount it amidships in the rearmost cabinet over the dining area. I mounted it as far forward and as close to the opening as I in that cabinet as possible. I then ran the cable down the front inside and along the bottom and back seams to a hole just above the rear of the window treatment below. You can't even tell the thing is there.

This location is ideal as it isn't as close to the edge as up front (avoid some branches hitting it) and it clears both the refrigerator vent and Winegard TV antenna with room to spare. And there are no electrical wires and is clear of any ribs. I have a booster which I mounted on the wall just below the outlet in the dining area and now have a complete system. If I need the cell or data card connected to the front of the coach I just add a 20ft extension cable to the output side of the booster.

I haven't taken pictures of the install yet but will expedite doing so if it will help you.

Jon
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Old 06-09-2007, 05:48 PM   #9
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Jon, I'd love to see pics of this as it's exactly what I'm up to, and in the same place. I could drill all the way through to the liner and secure it on the liner, but I'd rather tighten it up against the roof itself (and it has to be a clean install (I'm anal about that)).

I have a router mounted under that cabinet because it was so perfect for cable routing in the cavity space next to the fridge. Here's pics of the router and my (hopefully) temp antenna.

Router Antenna
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:29 AM   #10
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Jeff,

You can see my pics here. As you can see the location is pretty ideal topside. Keeping it away from the potential RF interference of the metal in the fridge vent is as important as clearance.

As directed in the Wilson instructions for the through the roof antenna I drilled perpendicular to the horizontal plane of the vehicle and used their infinitely adjustable slope adapters to mate up to the slope of the roofline. I found this a little tedious especially when tightening the bolts but in the end it worked out pretty well.

The inside edge of the cabinet meets the perpendicular to vehicle plane criteria perfectly. I used a block of wood against it as a guide and the "top" of my 3/8" drill has a leveled, square plane on it so I was able to line it up that way.

I found the padding underneath the liner is a nightmare. It appeared to me it would make more of a visual mess to go flush with the hard inside of the ceiling than to secure against the liner itself. I figured I could try it and then if it didn't work out, do it over. So far so good being mounted against the liner. I'm pretty sure John Canfield did the same thing too and when I checked with him before my install he said he's had zero problems with his antennae in the two years since he installed it.

My install steps were:
- Verified the location had no wiring or other obstructions (wiring diagrams and stud finder).
- Obtained 5/8" drill bit on reduced 3/8" shank (hard to find, had to buy on Internet, cost $20).
- Estimate location of hole on roof and cover with blue masking tape so the fiberglass wouldn't splinter.
- Cut a six point star in the linter.
- Put on safety glasses and mask.
- Drilled a 3/8" pilot hole with medium shank bit.
- Verified situation on roof.
- Drilled the 5/8" hole.
- Cleaned up BIG mess.
- The rest of the antennae install was pretty much per the printed directions.
- Ran wires and mounted booster.

The one surprise when using the slope adapters the overall height of the antenna was raised enough that the weather boot did not fit snug against the roof. So I got out the silicon caulk and made sure nothing had a change to find its way underneath.

For mounting the booster I verified there were no wires behind where the four screws would go by taking the outlet above apart to see where everything goes (there are two separate wire runs in the wall there).

For the booster power I was lucky in that there is a 110v receptacle under the rear dinette bench for the central vac. So I plugged the 110v to 12v transformer in there to keep it out of the way. Of course I can just use 12v power if I want too.

I found the booster runs kind of hot so I cut a thin sheet of silicon of the new hot pad/cookware variety to use as insulation and put it behind the booster just to make sure nothing on the wall got to hot or caused discoloration.

Separately, how are you utilizing the router which appears to be of the wireless variety? Did you run a hard CAT5 connection to the outside?
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:53 AM   #11
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Nice write-up! Your mount position is exactly what I was looking at. IF the fridge vent wasn't soooo long forward of the actual vent, what I really wanted to do was drill the roof within the 3" cavity space between that cabinet and the fridge. Presently that's where all my extra coax for my little mag-mount is, and I was able to pick up power there as well. After staring at that for more than an hour again last night, unless I pull the fridge and mount to the inward side of the vent, between the solar panel, I think what you did is the only reasonable option. You don't happen to have a pic of the underside mount?

For the router, that's a D-Link, DIR-450 EVDO router. I have a Sprint card that I plug in a rear slot, attach the antenna, it calls home, and I have an AP bubble around the coach that I have used in excess of 300' away during a range test. I see anywhere from 1-1.5mb download, and 200k+ up. I keep a CAT/5 with me only in case I manage to nuke something and need to get into the router directly to fix it. My WPA key is 63 chrs long, so there is zero chance that I'll ever have anyone show up on the router unless I give them the key on RAM disk.
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Old 06-10-2007, 09:05 AM   #12
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Didn't even know EVDO specific routers existed. Very cool. I use a Sprint EVDO gen A card frequently. I'll have to look into this.

Also, I'm thinking about adding the Wilson "inside" repeater so I the Sprint card and both my and my wife's cell phones can all share the booster/antenna at the same time and be untethered by cables.
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Old 06-10-2007, 11:50 AM   #13
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And can mount everything behind the cabinet wall, although you might need to add a fan if your amp runs hot.
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Old 06-11-2007, 06:10 AM   #14
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Jon,

I too am considering the Wilson Cellular antenna. My issue is that I keep my coach in my barn, which does not have enough clearance for the antenna.

Can you easily take the radial (or some portion of the antenna) off for lower clearance?

Jeff - how well did the mag mount antenna with the small metal disk for a ground plane work for you? How big of a ground plane is necessary for a mag mount cellular antenna?
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