Mounting a CB radio on your Motorhome is a brilliant upgrade. Once you're done, you can not only pull different radio channels but also talk one-on-one with nearby drivers.
Although, getting your first CB system off the ground is not a piece of cake. You have to ground it, use the cable in the right length and run quality checks on an SWR meter as you go.
Wondering how to mount a CB antenna on a Motorhome all by yourself? Then you're definitely in the right hands! We can get your antenna perfectly set up in a while. All you have to do is get a CB radio that works for your RV and follow the steps from here!
Where to Mount a CB Radio Antenna on a Motorhome?
A rule of thumb is to mount antennas as high up as possible on your Motorhome.
Other than the top part of the CB, the antenna wire should also stay above the roof line. For one, a higher antenna translates to better reception. The transmission quality and SWR ratings are both significantly better when the antenna is mounted to the mirror or the top of your RV.
Nevertheless, make sure that the roof-mount antenna doesn't bump into overpasses. CB radio experts often recommend using an NGP antenna with coax. Especially when you have little idea about ground planes. Anyway, the center of the Motorhome top is a safe place to mount your antenna.
It's the highest point with fantastic ground plane backing. Any other location (bumper, door jamb, fender, rear ladder, etc.) will work. But as far as transmission quality is concerned, we can't promise uninterrupted connection for these CB radio setups.
A Step by Step Guide to Mount a CB Antenna on Motorhome
Getting your antenna set-up right the first time is definitely not as complicated as people make it seem!
This is where we show you how to install CB antenna on motorhome. Rest assured, you can have nonstop communication everywhere you go!
Step 1: Install the Antenna Mount
The process isn't the same across all antenna mounts. So, we're just going to start with a standard mag mount antenna. It mounts to the antenna coax, and you'll need a few tools for this step.
CB antennas come with their own stud. It pairs with the ring terminal of the coax. The most recent models require a PL259 connector for linking the ham shacks. It's also known as a UHF connector.
Moving forward, a door jamb mount usually involves taking accurate measurements and drilling through the metal roof.
Step 2: Route the Coax Cable
Now that you have the antenna bracket installed, the next step is to route the wire. It runs from the antenna on the top of your vehicle to the radio. Generally, you want to conceal as much of this cable inside your Motorhome as possible.
Why? It's difficult to feel at home where you need to work past an 18-foot coax. You'll find all different types of tricks online for hiding it. We personally found a coax with a detachable PL259 connector quite manageable in these cases.
Avoid obstructions that could create noise interference in the line. Don't run the cord immediately next to another cord. And definitely keep the full length of the cord- all 18 feet of it.
If the distance between your antenna and radio is particularly short, you may buy cords in shorter lengths. But cutting coaxes, later on, is problematic in many ways.
Step 3: Tune the Antenna with SWR Ratings
Seeing how your setup holds up in SWR ratings is an important part of the process. Anyway, you should always tune your RV radio with an SWR gauge before transmitting with it.
If you're getting high SWR ratings for a good antenna, check whether you had mistakenly tied the excess portion of the cord in a coil.
Always tie the extra cord in the shape of a skinny 8 and bind it in the middle.
Why do CB Antennas Need a Ground Plane?
The antenna on CB radios uses the metal body of your vehicle for transmitting signals. A ground plane is a conducting surface for the antenna. It reflects signals to other parts of your radio.
An incorrect ground plate connection means that the antenna is having trouble transmitting those signals. When that happens, the signals get transferred back to your radio as heat.
The ground plane of a magnetic antenna is formed as soon as it's installed on a metal plate. It is another reason why mag mounts have become so popular since 2016. A mirror mount antenna and a fiberglass antenna are equally favorable options for off-road campers.
We've tried a lot of different antenna mounts and found this installation procedure the easiest. So, this is how you mount a CB antenna on your Motorhome. With a little help from a PL259 connector, you can get your CB radio up and running in no time! Good luck!