Two Hams on the Road

Drilling Holes in the New Camper

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It is pretty much inevitable than within 6 months of getting new vehicle, a ham radio operator will drill a hole somewhere to feed antenna cables inside. I came home from work one day to find a new hole in the roof of the new Chevy 2500 HD back in 2008.

During our trip to Florida Dave spent time thinking about where to set up to operate radio. On that trip he did put his radio in the basement, and enjoyed playing radio while sitting outside. Since there is no desk (i.e., obvious spot) in the Reflection, it seemed that putting the radio on the end table between the couch and the TV then using a tray table for the computer would work best. Once we got home, Dave got some high grade plywood and used that and an oak cabinet door to make a portable radio box. The box holds two radios and several accessories. He stained it a dark color to match the Reflection cabinetry and put a handle on top to move it around. He also bought a flag pole buddy and a new antenna to mount from the ladder. This will work either inside the camper or as a truly portable station set in the basement. Dave also put some straps on the front of the basement to hold the antenna for travel.

The weather cooperated (70s and sunny) and we spent April 11-14, 2014 at Pocahontas State Park, about 100 miles from home. Dave mounted antenna connections to the frame underneath the trailer in the streetside rear, and drilled holes to run the cables into the end table. Yes, we caulked those holes (twice). He also drilled a hole in the top of the end table, sized to a black grommet like you see in computer desks, to run cables up to the radio. The box fits nicely under the dinette table, by the window, when not in use or when traveling. After we got home, the box got "leg extensions" since it needed to be about an inch higher for the door, which opens down like a desk, to sit on the couch armrest.

It was a beautiful weekend. We got some comments from other campers about the antenna. Guess we have the only Reflection with giant rabbit ears! Molly enjoyed her walks in the woods and a brief swim below the spillway. The park is about 20 minutes from our dealer and we stopped by on the way home and made an appointment to stop and get slides adjusted on our next trip out of town. Looking forward to the next trip, 39 nights so far this year.
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