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Old 08-01-2016, 12:08 PM   #1
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I learned my lesson (a confession, how not to do it)

I don't install anything on the roof anymore. Wife and I were complaining that the satellite radio was always losing a signal. The antenna was on the license plate on the dashboard and I did try it up against the inside front cap but it wasn't working as good as it should. Doing some research I found a nice compact marine antenna. I thought, no problem, I can put that on the roof and get the wire in. I mounted the antenna on the left side front, basically over the drivers seat. That seemed like the best spot for it. 4 screws and it was attached. Did a lot of measuring and thought I had a spot to drill for the wire to come in. I was shooting for the inside of the overhead cabinet or the area behind it and the front cap. You can see the disaster coming I hope. Through we went with the drill bit, a small one. OK, where am I? went back down to look and there is a dimple in the ceiling where the drill bit stopped. . I went back up and took a small section of copper wire to use as a fish to get that hole forward into the front cap area. Pushed it forward and it felt like it was going and then it felt like it made it. Went down to check and attach a pull string to it so I could get the antenna cable down. Got in the RV and what did I see? The copper wire out of the ceiling . I went forward, it went back some how.

My wife is going to kill me when she sees that. That's the least of my problems now. I have a useless hole in the roof and a messed up ceiling.

Back up there I went. Had to solve this quick before the wife got home. Too late, she's home and where does she go looking for me? Yep, the RV. I could have heard her down the street. We then proceeded to fix this mess. The AM/FM antenna is in the front center of the RV. I took it out and found that the manufacturer had drilled a big hole for that antenna and left no slack in the antenna cable. I drill another hole next to the antenna and tunneled the two together. Pull all the new cable through the tunnel and out the AM/FM antenna hole. We then tied off string to the existing cable and taped the new antenna wire to the existing antenna wire and pulled it inside. The string pulled the existing antenna cable back to the roof. I used a cable entry plate for the hole to the existing antenna hole. I put putty tape in and on my bad holes and covered everything up with Dicor.

I have pictures if you'd like to see the finished results. Haven't gotten the wire to the radio yet but it does give us a better signal already.

Why am I telling everyone this? I learned a hard lesson about what I can and can't do. We all have our limits, hopefully I won't have a leak because my of lack of limit knowledge.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:19 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing. My XM antenna is inside as high up the windshield as I could get it. Yes, the signal comes and goes. I was thinking of doing just what you did. Thanks for the particulars.
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Old 08-01-2016, 10:55 PM   #3
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This has got to be one of the easiest installs a person can do. First get a Marine Satellite radio antenna, one that gives you 2 options of mounting, Flush or a thru space behind it. Now the hardest part, digging into those up front cabinets and getting even further to have access to roof, somewhere close to the A/FM antenna. If you can see where the antenna cable comes down then you are spot on. using a very small drill bit, drill from either thru the cabinet up or from on top down about 3-6 inches toward the drivers side inline with the AM/FM antenna. Once done verify by checking the other side after you have place something thru this drilled hole to see. If this is good then go up on the roof with the proper size bit and drill your hole for the antenna cable to pass thru. Feed it down and attach to to the antenna. Run this down to the satellite radio, plug it in and test it.
All good, then go back on the roof and secure the antenna to it. Usually 4 screws, make sure to place RTV or silicone on the screws. Then either RTV or lap sealant around the base of the antenna, don't forget to put the seal under the antenna first and some RTV or lap sealant on top of the screws also.
Close up your cabinets below and you are done. Let's say maybe an hour's worth of work.
Or pay someone to do it for you at about $125 and hour and 2hours worth of work.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
This has got to be one of the easiest installs a person can do. First get a Marine Satellite radio antenna, one that gives you 2 options of mounting, Flush or a thru space behind it. Now the hardest part, digging into those up front cabinets and getting even further to have access to roof, somewhere close to the A/FM antenna. If you can see where the antenna cable comes down then you are spot on. using a very small drill bit, drill from either thru the cabinet up or from on top down about 3-6 inches toward the drivers side inline with the AM/FM antenna. Once done verify by checking the other side after you have place something thru this drilled hole to see. If this is good then go up on the roof with the proper size bit and drill your hole for the antenna cable to pass thru. Feed it down and attach to to the antenna. Run this down to the satellite radio, plug it in and test it.
All good, then go back on the roof and secure the antenna to it. Usually 4 screws, make sure to place RTV or silicone on the screws. Then either RTV or lap sealant around the base of the antenna, don't forget to put the seal under the antenna first and some RTV or lap sealant on top of the screws also.
Close up your cabinets below and you are done. Let's say maybe an hour's worth of work.
Or pay someone to do it for you at about $125 and hour and 2hours worth of work.
Yes and no. I did my research and got the blueprints for the coach. Blueprints were off. That's how I ended up going into the ceiling. Yep, I screwed up and I posted this as some humor and as advice to anyone attempting it. Also, posted it because I've been a ball of stress worrying about leaks. Like they say, sometimes writing it down make things better. Well, if it doesn't rain soon my lawn will be completely brown and a dust bowl and I won't know if I leak. I used a lot of Dicor up there. I also used butyl putty under the antenna base and the cable entry plate, a lot of it, some of it got squeezed out as I tightened the antenna and entry plate down, as expected. Don't take this too seriously, I appreciate the reply. This, like you said, was supposed to be an easy job that I made into a monster. Once I know it doesn't leak I'll feel better. Just on edge right now. I'll post pictures, even though I'd rather not.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:52 PM   #5
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The pictures. None of the inside mistake. Don't want to keep that in a digital archive, it's already toasted into my brain. Hopefully all of this is sealed up good and I won't leak.

The antenna. You can see the errant hole patched up.



The cable on the roof, held in place with Dicor. This is going to get cover with Eternabond when I do the front and back cap seams.



The cable entry plate next to the antenna

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Old 08-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #6
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Hey Crankshaft,
I really wouldn't feel too bad because of your boo-boo. I applaud your efforts in the first place. I've been a fabricator/welder/woodworker and more, for my whole life as well as a career fireman and, have done all my own work/installs etc. on many, many projects. I too have "goofed up" even when the best of plans and calculations are taken. It is disheartening when something like that happens, for sure. On the inside, if it were mine, I'd just maybe cruise on down to a local sign shop that does vinyl sign making and see if they have a vinyl that's really close to the color of your ceiling.
I'd have them make the smallest circle to cover up your boo-boo and be done with it. If you've already taken care of it, then forget all this. But, nice job and great effort. You live and learn Pal.
Scott
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGewl View Post
This has got to be one of the easiest installs a person can do. First get a Marine Satellite radio antenna, one that gives you 2 options of mounting, Flush or a thru space behind it. Now the hardest part, digging into those up front cabinets and getting even further to have access to roof, somewhere close to the A/FM antenna. If you can see where the antenna cable comes down then you are spot on. using a very small drill bit, drill from either thru the cabinet up or from on top down about 3-6 inches toward the drivers side inline with the AM/FM antenna. Once done verify by checking the other side after you have place something thru this drilled hole to see. If this is good then go up on the roof with the proper size bit and drill your hole for the antenna cable to pass thru. Feed it down and attach to to the antenna. Run this down to the satellite radio, plug it in and test it.
All good, then go back on the roof and secure the antenna to it. Usually 4 screws, make sure to place RTV or silicone on the screws. Then either RTV or lap sealant around the base of the antenna, don't forget to put the seal under the antenna first and some RTV or lap sealant on top of the screws also.
Close up your cabinets below and you are done. Let's say maybe an hour's worth of work.
Or pay someone to do it for you at about $125 and hour and 2hours worth of work.
WOW!!! That opening sentence had absolutely no class whatsoever! He was trying to help someone else not make the same mistake as him and you come along say something like that??? Not very cool



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Old 08-03-2016, 04:42 AM   #8
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Hey Crankshaft,
I really wouldn't feel too bad because of your boo-boo. I applaud your efforts in the first place. I've been a fabricator/welder/woodworker and more, for my whole life as well as a career fireman and, have done all my own work/installs etc. on many, many projects. I too have "goofed up" even when the best of plans and calculations are taken. It is disheartening when something like that happens, for sure. On the inside, if it were mine, I'd just maybe cruise on down to a local sign shop that does vinyl sign making and see if they have a vinyl that's really close to the color of your ceiling.
I'd have them make the smallest circle to cover up your boo-boo and be done with it. If you've already taken care of it, then forget all this. But, nice job and great effort. You live and learn Pal.
Scott
Thanks for the input. I hadn't thought about a sign shop for a piece of vinyl. I found a service called Dr. Vinyl. They are a mobile operation that repairs vinyl in cars, boats and RV's. I'll have to price it both ways, whatever the wife likes better, have to keep her happy too. Still no rain, having a better feeling that it's water tight but until the skies open up I won't know for sure.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-03-2016, 07:54 AM   #9
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Not really a good up....Just a change in plans ..
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:33 AM   #10
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That was a bad experience, but at the start I thought you were about to tell us you fell off the roof!
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:43 AM   #11
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That was a bad experience, but at the start I thought you were about to tell us you fell off the roof!
Was my first thought as well. Mistakes like these aren't fun but it could have been worse with you falling off the roof, through the roof, or off a ladder. From what you've told us, it doesn't sound too bad and is certainly fixable.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:12 AM   #12
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That was a bad experience, but at the start I thought you were about to tell us you fell off the roof!
If I did fall off the roof it wouldn't have been pretty, One side is the power lines and the other is concrete.

I don't like being up there anyway but I did it. I always walk like I'm on eggs, there's so much to walk around and I have to get too close to the edge to get to the front.

Of course before my wife left for the weekend she said that I had better not fall off the roof if I go up there. Thanks dear, you just jinxed me. Not this time though.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:19 AM   #13
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Was my first thought as well. Mistakes like these aren't fun but it could have been worse with you falling off the roof, through the roof, or off a ladder. From what you've told us, it doesn't sound too bad and is certainly fixable.
Ladders used to give me all kinds of trouble until I figured out that I wasn't making it long enough and the bottom needed to be further away from the coach. I had it too steep.

My coach is only a year old but the fiberglass roof makes some strange noises when you walk on it. I don't think I'm going to go through it, it just makes this crunchy sound in certain spots.

Hopefully I fixed the roof side so that it's leak proof and I'll deal with the inside as quickly as I can. We don't want to look at it too much longer.
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