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Forward Roof-mounted Antenna Installation


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We got the call to finalize for our late February delivery and time to make some decisions!  I'd like to have the functionality of the Cradlepoint Wireless system, but not at that price point, feature set, recurring subscription cost, and apparent reputation of Cradlepoint for not being very consumer-support-oriented.  Do any of you have experience with installing any kind of antenna on the forward roof area and snaking cables internally?  A rear mount above the attic would be relatively straightforward, but I'm concerned about signal blockage from the A/C unit.  I'm relatively unafraid of DIY mods, but would also consider an install by Oliver Service at a later date after purchase if they would do that kind of work.  These type of antennas have multiple cables which would make the snaking process more difficult - I think the Taoglas has about 5 and more advanced antennas would have even more.  I have read other posts and am aware of other options like a wi-fi hotspot, but would like to get an idea of whether such an install is possible.  I love being away from it all, but also love staying connected.  Thanks!

2016 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost 4x4 Max Tow | 2022 Oliver Elite II - due date Feb 2022

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Much more difficult than the attic, of course. I think that the best route would be to try to go straight down the front of the trailer with your wiring, then run it though the lower hull to wherever you’re going.  Trying to run them straight back through the upper hull would be on the impossible end of difficult, I’d think.

I’d test for a free path before cutting a hole though - open up the vanity base and see if you can get a fish tape up past the belly band where the hulls meet - that’s always the tightest spot.

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How big is the antenna, do you have a schematic you can share? I am dubious about installing a tall fixed antenna in front due to vulnerability from tree branches, or bird strikes, would a magnetic mount work?  Also, I seem to recall that you need dual antennas for best results with Cradlepoint, how far apart do they need to be?

The redneck method to mount the antenna is to put it near the sewer vent, run the cables down through the vent pipe and back out into the closet. The pipe is fully exposed there. An alternate and much more professional way would be to drill a hole in the roof to the right (street side) of the sewer pipe and run the cables that way, putting the antenna on top of the hole to seal and hide it. Or if the cables from the antenna are in the open, use a marine through deck (pass through) grommet.

Mount the box in the closet on the top shelf. Getting power to the unit will be a little tricky, but if you were willing to lose the functionality of the inside closet light, you could bypass that switch, since it is on its own separate circuit, disconnect the light positive and negative wires, and use that pair to power your black box. Or use the two light wires as a fish to pull an extra pair through the ceiling above the outside entry….. No need to run stuff all the way back. I actually think that the top of the closet is a much better location for small electronics. But you should add some vents, it gets toasty in there unless you leave the door cracked open, and even then, the heat is trapped at the top in the dead end space there. Installing air vents is not hard, I think Oliver should vent all of their cabinets. It would be SO much simpler if they made the holes during production. There is a whole lot of dead air that capture heat in the summer.

I haven’t done this, but if I decide to install a better outside cellular antenna, it will be in the very back on a 20 foot extendable mast coming up from the rear frame. Have you considered that approach?

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Thank you Overland and John Davies.  Those are great ideas and give me a lot think about.  According to the promotional materials given to me by our Oliver sales rep, the antenna is a Taoglas MK1506.AK.001, which is a low profile bolt-thru-the-roof form factor and actually has 6 cables (2x5G/4G, 3xWi-Fi, 1xGPS).   I'd love to have just the antenna, but another poster here got the expected NO from Oliver on that.  

I like the idea of the closet.  Is the ceiling in there just a single layer of outer hull, like in the attic, or would I have to get through both the inner and outer hull?  

Had not seriously considered a tall mast, but will take another look at postings on that subject.  

2016 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost 4x4 Max Tow | 2022 Oliver Elite II - due date Feb 2022

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22 minutes ago, Steve and Cindy said:

I'd love to have just the antenna, but another poster here got the expected NO from Oliver on that.  

Doesn't hurt to ask, anyway. The more people who ask....

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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38 minutes ago, Steve and Cindy said:

Thank you Overland and John Davies.  Those are great ideas and give me a lot think about.  According to the promotional materials given to me by our Oliver sales rep, the antenna is a Taoglas MK1506.AK.001, which is a low profile bolt-thru-the-roof form factor and actually has 6 cables (2x5G/4G, 3xWi-Fi, 1xGPS).   I'd love to have just the antenna, but another poster here got the expected NO from Oliver on that.  

I like the idea of the closet.  Is the ceiling in there just a single layer of outer hull, like in the attic, or would I have to get through both the inner and outer hull?  

Had not seriously considered a tall mast, but will take another look at postings on that subject.  

The closet ceiling has an inner and outer shell, with maybe an inch of space between. Here is a pic, the LED light opening is on the left. I ran a pair of wires up through a new hole and spliced them to the factory light wires, then stuffed everything back in the space. The Oliver wires head back across the cabin entry to the switch panel near the microwave. This is for Hull 218. Yours may vary.:

IMG_1986.thumb.jpg.0060ba9b34d6bc0c50b1c584f1fa4ce6.jpg.c32a66fddcb942919296a0019c341a57.jpg

From this thread: ... https://olivertraveltrailers.com/forums/topic/1994-how-to-santa-cruz-locking-shotgun-mount-in-the-closet/ ...  

That antenna would be perfect for the front of the trailer IMHO, no worries, it is very low down and the cable hole is underneath. Just drill straight through both hull surfaces, rout the cables to your box on the top shelf. It could not be much easier. Your cables would be super short too, that is always a plus. I don't know how big it is, you have to register to download the data sheet. maybe you could do that and add that info here. It appears to be about 6 or 8 inches in diameter. About the same size as the bath vent cover, in fact.

MA1506.AK_.001_02-1024x683.thumb.png.f734d693417d11d16f40d8c556ae68f1.png

Here is the bath vent fan, for scale. The sewer vent comes up inside the closet, just on the other side of that bath wall. A good spot for your antenna would be in front  of that white vent cover, in line front to back with the bath vent..

1AAB7D2D-CD56-4F6A-AB77-C791CBEBD3B1.thumb.jpeg.91c3f6a1633561fb6174f465c856a696.thumb.jpeg.6c086eb51819aaca2b998273ea5bb027.jpeg

John Davies
Spokane WA

  • Like 3

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Thanks for the reference to the shotgun rack posting.  I wouldn't have thought to look there.  Really helped me understand the layout better up in the closet.  It will be interesting to see where they are mounting the factory installed Taoglas antenna.  My sales rep said aft over the attic, but it just seems like a bad spot signal-wise.  Hoping to hear some field reports as the 2022's roll out.  

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2016 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost 4x4 Max Tow | 2022 Oliver Elite II - due date Feb 2022

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