We used to have a nice sea shell filled clear table lamp for our dinner table however it went one too many miles where it lost its footing and fell to floor and smashed into smithereens. Needing a replacement lamp we decided that we wanted to keep the table top clear so we went with a multiple LED unit that I installed on the bottom of the coffee maker.
Winnebago mounted, Black & Decker Spacesaver coffee maker
You can see one other of our strategies to keep the coffee pot from flying around the coach and that's to take 2 pieces of hook Velcro 2x2 and to stick one on each side of the coffee maker. I then stretched a looped Velcro strap from the pad on the left through the handle on the pot and secured it across to the other side. It works great.
So at this point I'm on a roll so why stop now. I just received my 2008 DeLorme DVD and TL-20 Antenna bundle so I decided to install the antenna semi-permanently. I take the inspiration for this job from my good friend Mike T. Mike had his antenna on a small platform up near the roof over the passenger's seat and the GPS data was being very well received. I decided that a little bit closer has just gotta be better so I stuffed the new LT-20 thin profile antenna between the roof liner and the outside skin the right side switch and cabinet.
Note the already cut out access hole to the roof area.
I removed the right side A pillar cap to gain access to the wire raceway behind the cover. Prior to beginning the install I went to Office Deport and purchased a USB extension cable. It has a male and female USB connector.
Note the LT-20 cable coming down and plugged into the USB extension cable.
Now trying to get the antenna wire down to the computer required a ¾"¯ hole-saw, cordless drill and 2 holes. I drilled a hole toward the outside of the compartment and I drilled another hole up toward the front after removing the side shade. I snaked the USB cable through the holes, they were just about perfectly in line, no problem. I pulled the cable out and toward the A Pillar. I secured the antenna wire coming from the roof using a tie wrap anchor so it's completely out of the way.
I removed the shade and drilled up - the USB cable was right there.
I crossover tapped up the USB connection in an X pattern using ET and found a nice home for it in the A pillar raceway with the other wires. I took a piece of duct tape and positioned it over the USB connection and set it in place.
USB connector snuggles in cable raceway in "A"¯ pillar
Now since I just happed to have the A pillar cover opened and all that it seems appropriate at this time to install Colleen's new Sirrus Starmate 4. The install of the auto kit was relatively simple. The base has a huge mechanical suction cup and I mounted that to the side glass up forward about 7 or so inches up off of the dash cover. The base of the auto kit has sockets for a 12 volt plug and the Sirrus roof mounted antenna.
I experimented with placing the Sirrus antenna under the fiberglass roof and I was able to get 3 bars on the strength meter. Not at all a good signal. I took the antenna just for the heck of it and stuck it out of the window and I was able to get a 10 on the signal strength. OK – The antenna needs to go outside and up on the roof. How ya gonna do that? After lots of head scratching I decided I would do it the best that I can with an assortment of plastic cord conduit and silicone caulking. After yet another trip to Lowe's I had enough stuff to start the project. I bought 2 - 5 foot sections of the smaller cord raceway.
I removed 6 screws from the computer workstation and pulled the assembly out of the dash. This gave me a nice hole to work with. I rolled up my dash and used the empty Starmate box to hold it up.
Don't throw away the empty box.
Having access behind the dash in the Winnebago is great. I began by snaking the Sirrus antenna wire from the steering column and under and over a number of harnesses. I reached in from the workstation hole and grabbed the antenna cable and pulled it over and toward the radio location and approximated the length. I passed the plug up between the wall and the middle bottom of the panel and it popped up through the nice crack they left me. Once I had the antenna plug in my hand I made the connection on the base unit. The 12volt power plug pretty much followed in the same manner from under the dash via the right side foot well. I powered the unit from the lighter socket on the back of the arm rest next to the passenger seat.
I got it working temporarily. I am using the 89.1 MHz frequency of the RV radio. The Winnebago RV Radio has never sounded so good.
So at this point I have all the cables where they need to go so I need to start buttoning up the A pillar and workstation. I went in my tool box and retrieved by rat tail file. I matched up the orientation where I need access for the cables I just run, marked and neatly cut rounded notches in the A pillar cover with the file.
Note the file and ruler. Measure twice and cut once.
I was pleased with the results with the A pillar cover and cable placement. The job looked great. I did try both the window and it opens and does not hit the radio and the privacy curtain doesn't even come in contact with the unit when closed. That said we might have been able to locate the radio inside the curtain but hey we're probably going to bed so no big deal. I wanted to finish up by getting the GPS USB cable in the workstation enclosure and I drilled a hole in the case and passed the USB cable through the hole. "Clean!"¯ I can close the top of the workstation and there isn't a USB cable to deal with. It just gets plugged into the USB hub below the sliding table.
The plastic workstation unit has been in and out of the dash over a dozen times and it's starting to show in the screw holes. They are beginning to exhibit some deformity and cracking. To resolve this I installed a ¼"¯ stainless steel washer under each of the screws.
Ok now to finish up ... this part I guessed would be that easy. The antenna was already out of the window and sting up on the roof so I had to fasten it as best as I can without it looked too horrible. I started at the antenna and used double stick tape after I cleaned off a spot. What was key to this install was going to CVS and getting alcohol preps to prepare the surface for adhesives. The antennas was mounted with a little tail cover device that had an adhesive base and I ran a bead of clear silicone around the base of the antenna. I measured and cut 4 other pieces of channel and stuck those in the appropriate locations as close to the front cap seam as I could to help cut the wind blast. I siliconed the conduits in place to cover the adhesive strip and filled in the end holes. The conduit is in one piece and once the cable is inside all you need to do is pinch it closed and the conduits clamps itself closed. Pull the tape on the adhesive base and carefully press it in place.
Roof mounted Sirrus antenna and conduit
The least favorite part of the install is where the thin spaghetti sized cable runs under the window frame through the door opening and up and inside the cabin. I'm not committing to poking a hole in the just sidewall yet!
The white conduit is installed however I was able to paint it black in certain key appearance spots like vertically upward toward the top of the door. It appears like a white line in this shot. You can see conduit over the top of the HWH panel where the dash pod meets the rest of the dash board.
This is the conduit on the outside of the coach wall. It secured and caulked in place to protect the seal. I'm certain that this isn't going to last forever but it's inexpensive enough to do over if need be, Once I had all the conduit in place and fired up the radio I guarantee you that there isn't an extra 3 inches of cable from the antenna to the radio. It just fit.
Inside painted. When the shade is pulled down the top of the conduit and ties are not apparent.
A little spray paint and it becomes difficult to immediately pick out the conduit on the black window frame. I may yet over spray it with flat black if it becomes too apparent.
Closing out the day I changed by day nite shade. I received the shade from Winnebago Industries and it's no big deal to install it. The most difficult part is drill 2 holes 1 inch away from the end on the upper beam. There's a plastic clip on the center of the shade that holds it and the screws hold it in place securely. Roll the bottom anchors to tighten the cords and that's it.