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Old 07-26-2009, 07:25 PM   #1
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CB Radio

Going on our first caravan & found out we need a CB Radio. Any suggestions??? Our coach did not come with a CB setup.
























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Old 07-26-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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Basically you should buy the least expensive under the dash radio with the features you want and then get a good NGN (no Ground Plane) Fire Stix antenna. Having a good antenna is what makes the radio work.

For my money, the ones with the controls in the Mic are not very good. You get a poorly performing Mic and an equally poor speaker. The through the glass antennas are pretty poor performance wise.

The radios at Camping World are pretty limited in selection. You will do better shopping at AES (Armature Equipment Supply) or like online stores.

Your cleanest power will be by taking the power directly off the battery rather than the fuse block under the dash. After you get it installed you will need to have the antenna tuned to the radio using an SWR (Standing Wave ratio) meter or you stand a good chance of blowing the final output transistors in the radio.

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Old 07-26-2009, 08:24 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information...
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:37 PM   #4
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I like the cobra model that has everything in the mic. It was easy to install and works great. I've had mine now 7 yrs. and its never failed. Should have said something at GNR.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
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I bought a Cobra with a weather band on it. What is nice about that is as long as you have the cb wired to a hot wire and the radio had been tuned to the nearest weather station at your destination the radio will turn on automatic and sound an alarm if a warning is issued. If I am sleeping the goal is for the cb to wake me up. Just installed mine few weeks ago. Bought a fire stik no ground antenna and mounted it on the ladder on back of coach and ran coax all the way to front. If I had the guts I would have mounted a side antenna at the front of the coach but I didn't want to drill any holes. I think I lost some range the way I did it but I do think I get about a mile out of it now.
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:50 PM   #6
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after thought, radio was like $129.00 and antenna $50 and coax $50
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:03 AM   #7
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What do you fellows think of mounting the antenna on a bracket attatched to the frame behind the front grill. I have about 3' of height and the front grill is non-metalic. I can mount it in front of the radiator.
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:20 AM   #8
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Porchdog,
The higher the antenna is located with no obstructions is the best. If I understand your question you will have the antenna partially blocked by the body and restrict performance and probably raise your SWR reading very high.

I would not recommend it all!
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Old 07-27-2009, 06:52 AM   #9
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AS noted above, high er is better. Mounting it behind the grill will severly limit the ability to receive and transmit to the front only. You need to get the antenna up high on the front of the coach and have a good portion above the coach roof. They make spring mounts so that the antenna can take a hit with out totally distroying it.

This does mean a hole in the coach to get the coaxial cable in as well as holes to mount the antenna bracket.

You might want to read THIS article on CB radios. HERE is the website for Fire Stix antennas.

If you want the Cb to work, you need a good antenna and mount it as high as possible. Lots of folkd use the 3' version with about 1/2 of it above the coach.

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Old 07-27-2009, 07:48 AM   #10
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I recently purchased a small Midland CB at FlyingJ for $50. For another fifty I picked up a Firestick 3' no ground plane antenna and mounted it above the driver's door. I picked up a used SWR meter for $12 and set the SWR. I get good distance at a great price. There's no need to spend several hundred dollars on a rig...however, the one thing I wish I had was a weather channel, but it's not like I can't live without it.

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Old 07-27-2009, 01:33 PM   #11
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I just installed a 2' firestik NGP on the roof. It only sticks up about 1' above the A/C and has a spring base. So far it seems to work ok.
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Old 07-27-2009, 04:43 PM   #12
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I've had a few different CB radios over time and the Cobra is the best by far. I wouldn't get any other brand now. In another few years CBs will probably be only used by truckers for the most part, RVers will be using cell phones and computers to communicate with each other even as we travel down the road. I believe that it is Nextell that has a cell phone service that lets you use your phone like a walkie-talkie. As the service grows and expands it will make CBs obsolete.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:02 PM   #13
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CB Antenna

After reading several of your posts regarding the CB radio it seems that mounting the antenna in the proper place is important. What are your thoughts on mounting it to the air horn on the roof instead of on the mirror (the narrow part of the air horn is about the same size as the bracket on a trucker's mirror.)
Thanks for all your suggestions.
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Old 07-27-2009, 05:59 PM   #14
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If I understand your original post, it sounds like you need a cb for the caravan you are embarking on. With that in mind, here is another suggestion of which I did and since we have very similar coaches you may want to consider this thought. Spending $175.00+ for a one time or even limited use time for me did not make sense and I did not want to drill holes or run coax from the outside of my coach so, I found a used Midland at a garage sale for $10.00. Worked great. Next, I went to Radio Shack and bought the high end glass mount CB antenna ($44.00) Easy to install, you can hide the coax in the window channel. The antenna took me no more than 10 minutes to install. The radio took 30 minutes. Total cost was $54.00. It is true that the glass mount does not work as well as some mentioned above but for my use and I would guess yours it should do the trick. Oh, my radio shack loaned me the SWR meter but the CB I bought had one built into it. Just a thought for you. Good luck.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:05 PM   #15
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If you are going on a WIT caravan you will need the CB only for daily departure information.

There will be opportunities to talk with your travel partners ocasionally during the day. But that is not necessary ...

I bought the least expensive CB that I could find ... hooked it up to the Winnebago installed antenna (I found the lead under my left foot ... others found them under the dash).

It worked fine for the caravan ...

I seldom turn it on anymore ... there are some folks on the CB who use language that I can get along without ...

If I am in a traffic tie-up I sometimes turn it on to find out which lane I should be getting into ... otherwise it is off
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:51 PM   #16
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if you want something just for the caravan, and not invest alot, by a good hand held walkie talkie. Rado shack sells them for about $50 for the mid price range
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:54 PM   #17
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I have a 2004 Itasca Meridian and it came from the factory with a CB antenna on the roof and the CB wiring already marked, under the dash. I have used the Cobra all in the mic CB and it works just fine, $79.00 on sale at CW. All you need is an swr meter to tune the antenna which has an adjuster nut already built on to the antenna.
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Old 07-28-2009, 07:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck 1935 View Post
I have a 2004 Itasca Meridian and it came from the factory with a CB antenna on the roof and the CB wiring already marked, under the dash. I have used the Cobra all in the mic CB and it works just fine, $79.00 on sale at CW. All you need is an swr meter to tune the antenna which has an adjuster nut already built on to the antenna.
We have the same setup as Chuck 1935 with one difference; I bought a small Radio Shack speaker which on mounted on the side of the doghouse using the enclosed bracket. It has better sound quality and bypasses the in mic speaker when plugged into the behind the dash CB module.
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Old 07-28-2009, 02:44 PM   #19
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Just a point of clarity for some: I believe after 2004 or 2005 Winny did not include the roof top CB antenna which is why the OP might have needed to install a CB antenna. I know my 06 Meridian did not come with one and all of my friends with similar units of the same year or newer had none. Just an FYI.
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Old 07-28-2009, 09:07 PM   #20
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Our 2005 Itasca came with the roof top antenna. I don't know about anything newer, I've never thought to look and see if one is up there when I'm looking at the newer models.
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