I would like to install a King Falcon Wi-Fi antenna on the roof of my rig. Do I cut the rubber roof prior to attaching the antenna or attach it directly to the roof? —Andrew, 2021 Forest River VIBE 28RL
Your 2021 FR Vibe has a rubber membrane exterior material, which is most likely Alpha Systems. The construction of the roof is rubber membrane, 1/8” luan plywood, block foam insulation with aluminum framework surrounding and, in critical areas, another layer of 1/8” luan plywood, and then interior material such as haircell fabric, padded vinyl, or wallpaper.
Installing the Wi-Fi antenna
We have installed similar products to a variety of roof materials and there are two points that you will need to penetrate in the roof and rubber material. One is the point where the coax will go into the unit, and the other is the base of the antenna which, in this case, actually has three spots for two screws each.
At the point where the coax needs to go in, you will want to drill at least a 5/16” hole to get the “F” connector at the end of the cable through the hole. I would not “cut” the rubber material, rather start a smaller hole with a very sharp drill bit to “puncture” the rubber and make it less likely for the larger bit to grab the rubber material and pull it away from the lauan backing.
At the second point, the feet of the antenna, again I would not cut any of the rubber material, but rather apply a sealant such as Dicor or 311 that is made for the rubber around the base. Then place the unit where it will have the best line of sight as directed by King and screw it into the lauan. Your roof should be at least three inches thick. So use the appropriate length of screw to go into the roof about 1” and not far enough to go through! Then, put sealant over the screw heads and coax entry. You can determine how thick your roof actually is by removing a ceiling vent shroud.
Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.
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