If You See Our Whip . . .

On our way from Fletcher NC, site of the great 2014 Region 3 Rally, two weeks ago we stopped to torque our wheel nuts. Torqued the trailer’s four wheels and happened to look up. And said, “Oh crap!”

The tall roof-top amateur radio antenna was no longer tall. In fact, over six feet of antenna was missing. Hmm, nine feet from ground to top of trailer, then almost four feet of antenna motorized base column, then 6′ of antenna whip, that’s almost twenty feet total height. So we ALWAYS lower it before towing the engine.

Except the last time. 421 times in the past seven years we lowered the antenna to horizontal position before towing days. This puts the antenna at lower height than the air conditioner, which is only 12.5 feet above ground level. But the last time, the antenna was waving around at over 20′ until the first bridge on I-26 southbound.

Somewhere out there is our 6′ whip, a very nicely machined quick-connect and solid brass mounting disc. This rendered the antenna, normally perfect for worldwide two-way radio communications, completely useless.

There’s a bright side to this though. The whip and hardware, when ripped out by some stupid bridge, cleared the trailer and didn’t strike the trailer or the solar panels. No collateral damage is good. I have a spare whip, the manufacturer (High Sierra, Heath Tech) shipped a spare brass disc to our friends house in Dayton OH, and I was able to reassemble the antenna in a couple of hours.

We're back in touch

We’re back in touch

Today the antenna is back on the roof (in travel position unless I’m using it). And we’ll not soon forget to look UP before hitching up the trailer to the truck on towing days.

See you down the road!

Jim and Debbie
dreamstreamr odyssey™
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©2007-2014 Dreamstreamr

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6 responses to “If You See Our Whip . . .

  1. Richard Hunt

    Sorry to hear about the antenna. It is a part of being human. I like the TV adv. where the guy drives into the garage with his bicycles on the roof, the gal opens her door into traffic and gets it taken off by a truck, the neighbor cuts down a tree that falls on the car, and others. I guess I have to quit thinking of you as god-like and more human like the rest of us. I forgot our Airstream was in the drive and backed into it, and I have backup sensors and a camera! Thanks for sharing the confession.

    • Rich The first mistake I ever knew my dad made was backing into my best friend’s car in our driveway. Know what you mean. Sorry to hear about your AS, and great to hear from you.

      >

  2. Some tree had the audacity to mess with our TV antenna that someone forgot to lower. Bright side….We’re replacing it with one of those antennas that don’t need cranking and the reviews say we should get better reception. All in the life of an RV’er :-)

    • Ingrid, The limbs weren’t supposed to be there! Upgrade opportunity, yes. We finally made our tv antenna right a month ago. Bought the Jack from Camping World. It fits perfectly on the Winegard parallelogram bracket, so folds down and raises well. Best of all, very high front to back ratio so great receive.

      No other antenna had worked out on our trailer, and this even is the least expensive.

      Thanks for chiming in. Nice to see you again.

      >

  3. Doug Hart n1jbg

    Jim: I will add that to my checklist when I upgrade to a rooftop vertical. Thank you for doing the field research for the rest of us :)

    • Doug,
      There IS only so much we’re willing to endure and, I think, testing the antenna against a 4 zillion ton bridge is pretty much the max. I hope so anyway.

      We’re surprised AND relieved at absence of collateral damage (roof, solar panels) and at reasonable cost to restore. And glad to have our full portable comm capacity restored too.

      Jim

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