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Old 03-07-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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Roof top radio antenna -poor engineering

I have a 2014 view Model M. Recently I discovered both radios were experiencing poor reception, so up on the roof I climbed and discovered both antennas broken off. The front antenna was an easy fix, just go to local auto parts, pick up a new rubber flexible mast and screw on post. The rear was much harder. The mast fractured flush with the roof, and after removing the caulking and carefully trying to retrieve the very short connector, the connector with the cable attached fell with a clunk down inside the roof. Now what? The hole was only less than 1/2 inch so nothing could be seen. I went inside coach to see if there was simple access, but ha ha, no way. Would need to dismantle wall. Next I thought if I enlarged the hole on roof and used a fiber optic inspection tool it would be a breeze to locate cable, snag, and bring back through opening. Again no success. I made a one inch opening and then discovered there are many wires bundled together, but no antenna cable in sight. At this point I quit. The FM still works ok, and the AM was always pitiful, so my conclusion was to bond a piece of substantial aluminum over hole and meticulously recaulk and go on my way. (I did call a reputable Winnebago dealer to inquire, and service rep didn't have a clue). Anybody out there have a reasonable fix suggestion???
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:02 PM   #2
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I'm curious how you broke them off. Do you have roof top air conditioners?
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
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It would help if you filled in your signature with your info.
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:54 PM   #4
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It would help if you filled in your signature with your info.

How to make a signature for your RV so we can serve you better.

1 .Click "User CP" on left side of the screen in about the middle.
2. Click "Edit Signature" on left side 7 bars down under Your Control Panel.
3. Fill out your signature information.
4. Click "Save Signature"
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Old 03-08-2016, 01:20 AM   #5
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I had my rubber antennas break off also. I was lucky and just got replacement rubber masts.
If it were me I would put a much larger hole in the roof in order to fish out the antenna line. Then I would make a cover for the hole and seal it to the roof.
If you have questions about your MH , call Winnebago, give them the VIN # and they can answer any of the tech information about YOUR Motorhome.
Good luck !
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Old 03-08-2016, 06:37 AM   #6
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Mine rusted off under the coating, now I just have a nub sticking up.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:37 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Geoffpruett View Post
I have a 2014 view Model M. Recently I discovered both radios were experiencing poor reception, so up on the roof I climbed and discovered both antennas broken off. The front antenna was an easy fix, just go to local auto parts, pick up a new rubber flexible mast and screw on post. The rear was much harder. The mast fractured flush with the roof, and after removing the caulking and carefully trying to retrieve the very short connector, the connector with the cable attached fell with a clunk down inside the roof. Now what? The hole was only less than 1/2 inch so nothing could be seen. I went inside coach to see if there was simple access, but ha ha, no way. Would need to dismantle wall. Next I thought if I enlarged the hole on roof and used a fiber optic inspection tool it would be a breeze to locate cable, snag, and bring back through opening. Again no success. I made a one inch opening and then discovered there are many wires bundled together, but no antenna cable in sight. At this point I quit. The FM still works ok, and the AM was always pitiful, so my conclusion was to bond a piece of substantial aluminum over hole and meticulously recaulk and go on my way. (I did call a reputable Winnebago dealer to inquire, and service rep didn't have a clue). Anybody out there have a reasonable fix suggestion???
Explain how shearing off both antennas, then dropping one inside the roof when attempting to remove the broken parts equates to poor engineering. It sounds like operator error on both counts.
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:36 PM   #8
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uncalled for answer

As usual here comes a response, not to help, but to display an opinion uncalled for and unneeded. If not part of solution go take a long peaceful walk in the country.
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:40 PM   #9
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As usual here comes a response, not to help, but to display an opinion uncalled for and unneeded. If not part of solution go take a long peaceful walk in the country.
The totally uncalled for comment that initiated the so called uncalled for response was blaming someone else for your situation. Please explain your assessment of "poor engineering".
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:42 PM   #10
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I got tired of the little antennas on my roof, So last spring I put a wire antenna, just like you use on a home radio, on my RV radio. It works great. Had the job done in about 1/2 hour.
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Old 03-10-2016, 04:55 PM   #11
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I lost a couple of those rubber antennas on our '02 Dutch Star. Went to Wal*Mart and bought some universal ones. But I didn't have to replace the lower unit either.
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Old 03-10-2016, 08:51 PM   #12
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1/2 inch hole with no slack in antenna cable to attach new mast. I would be very surprised if a competent tech could successfully repair without doing major surgery. If the company had allowed even 2-3 inches of extra cable to allow a tech to grab hold of, the fix would have been super simple, but saving a dime in cable led to an unmanageable condition. Bean counters win again. That is poor engineering. Again, if a reasonable fix is out there, I would like to hear it.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:27 PM   #13
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Sorry, I don't have a fix for the rear antenna either, but just to let you know that BOTH of my rubber ducky antennas broke off from the application of a very lightweight motorhome cover. No snow, no rain. 2014 Sunstar 27N

So I think they are the cheapest rubber antennas available. (I base this opinion on having driven many, many vehicles for 30 years with fire and police radio antennas. They use to call our rigs fishing boats, so many poles sticking up...But never a broken one...)

So the small amount of wire sticking up now on both antennas works okay - but if I replace them, I will be extremely careful, so thanks for your post.

That's the value here - sharing experience.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:51 PM   #14
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Geoff,

Is the end that fell down in the roof magnetic, or is it aluminum or such? If it's magnetic, fish around with one of those telescopic narrow magnets. If you were able latch on and slowly drag it to the hole, be ready with a needle nose and grab it. Then see if you can gently pull the slack you need into it, very slowly that is.

If it's not magnetic, disregard my jabberin'

Best of luck,
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Old 03-20-2016, 05:06 AM   #15
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Covers of any kind are not "light" when the wind blows, try holding one in the wind and see how that works out. How would one expect that cheap antenna to support a cover yanking it back and forth? Short of them corroding I'm sure they just don't break off on their own.

OP- rather than tying to grab coax you already know is problematic, I suggest you figure out how to install a new antenna and how to grab the new run and route it. Fortunately I can remove a TV out of the wall in the bedroom and have gobs of access if mine ever goes, but you're right about the coax being included in the harness loom. It's certainly not "poor engineering" since these harnesses are made on templates and are installed in thousands of coach's. How much slack would you like on any given cable in that loom? One would never know..

As for AM, I don't know if you listened to it previously but I have enough internal RFI generated in the coach I don't even bother with it. Those rubber duckie antennas are a joke on AM anyway.
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Old 05-14-2018, 12:57 AM   #16
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My rear one (outside radio) broke off of as well. The whole unit disappeared, mount and all, I believe from driving on a road with overhanging tree branches that I couldn't avoid without crossing the center line with oncoming traffic.

I put a temporary patch on the hole but haven't tried locating the cable yet since I don't really use the outside radio. I would think that a dipole antenna similar to that imbedded in car windshields would be a good option. One could be adhered to the roof. I'll have to do some research. I'm a ham radio operator so I should be able to figure this out.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:44 PM   #17
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Fortunately I can remove a TV out of the wall in the bedroom and have gobs of access if mine ever goes, .
In my '97 Adventurer 34WA I found and identified the yellow-striped coax cable in the bedroom as the external entertainment center output but I have not been able to locate the other end of that cable. I looked in the partition wall by the dinette when changing the step light bulb but I couldn't find it among the other wires in there, nor sticking down in the basement below. Where else should I look for it in case I want to use if for something?

There is also an extra cable (no color stripes) sticking out of the ceiling insulation directly above the front TV cubby hole. Any ideas what it's for and where it goes? It's not the Winegard antenna, I have that cable identified already.
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Old 05-18-2018, 02:40 AM   #18
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Okay, today I was on the roof to scrub the black spots off and found a sticker up near the radio and CB antennas identifying where (and what size) to drill for a satellite antenna. So now I know what that one more cable is for.
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