When we traded in our last RV, I kept the Wi-Fi Ranger I had installed on it. I recently also bought the new Weboost 4G-X RV cellular booster as well.
After performing an initial test to confirm the cellular booster performs as advertised, which it did, I wanted to figure out a way to mount both the Wi-Fi Ranger and Weboost antennas on the roof without drilling any holes. I figured out a way to route the wires through the air conditioner intake vent, which works nicely!
Here is how I installed everything, which will probably take 2-3 hours if you have everything ready to go.
What you will need:
- 1 can of white Plasti Dip (Lowes)
- One piece of 1X8 inch board, approximately 24″ long (or a little shorter if you are only mounting one antenna)
- Stainless steel bolts and locknuts
- Zip ties
- At least a 1/2 inch drill bit, but 3/4 inch is better (used to drill a hole under the TV cabinet for feeding wires into the media cabinet)
- 3/16 inch drill bit (used to drill holes through the wood)
- 3/8 inch drill bit (used to countersink some holes)
- One tube of Dicor lap sealant and a caulking gun
- A small amount of silicone to cover the mounting hardware
- The first step is to remove the air-conditioner cover (4 screws).
- Next, remove the silver screws holding on the black cover that is under the Styrofoam. There are some snaps around the edge of the cover that you will need to push to release the cover so that it will lift off. It should now look like the following:
- You should now be able to look down inside to see where the intake ventilation tunnel is located:
- The next step is to remove the intake vent cover inside the RV, which is just held on with magnets.
- Next, you can rest your antennas on the roof and run the wires up through the side of the air conditioner and into the intake vent tunnel so that they can be reach from the inside of the RV and pulled through.
- On the inside of the RV, pull the wires through so that you have enough length to reach the media cabinet below the TV. After you have enough length, zip tie the wires out of the way:
- Next, make sure you smear some of that gray sticky stuff (which is already on the existing electrical wires going into the AC unit) around the new wires so that when the black cover is reinstalled the hole is sealed:
- You can now replace the black plastic cover with screws, then the Styrofoam cover, and finally the exterior air-conditioner cover (4 screws).
- At this point, I drilled a 3/4″ hole above the right-hand media cabinet (which has an electrical outlet) and just behind the TV sound bar, so that it is not visible when the sound bar is put back in place.
- I then put some Velcro on the back of the Weboost booster device and stuck it to the wall up high (we will be properly routing and hiding the wires later in this installation). I then connected the wires and verified functionality of the Wi-Fi Ranger and Weboost device (the Weboost device will sit fairly upright on the roof without mounting it yet):
- The next step is to mount the antennas on the roof. The high-level steps are as follows: As stated previously, I didn’t want to drill any holes in the roof. Instead, I purchased a short piece of 1″ X 8″ board that the antennas will amount to. The board will be glued to the roof, but removable if necessary. The board will be coated with white Plasti Dip and stainless steel hardware will be used to attach the antennas to it. The Wi-Fi ranger will be bolted to the board (yes, you could just glue this antenna to the roof as I did on our last RV, but this time I decided to put my antennas on a board), and the Weboost antenna will be bolted to the board via a bendable piece of steel. I chose a bendable piece of metal in case a tree branch hits the antenna… I would rather it bend over than break off! Because the L bracket I chose is fairly small, I wanted to bolt it to a piece of wood so that if a tree branch does brush the antenna, it won’t peel the L bracket off of the RV. Dicor lap sealant will be the adhesive used to hold the board to the roof and hold the long wire runs to the roof as well.
- The first step here was to coat the wood with the white Plasti Dip so that the wood doesn’t rot over time (I chose white to reflect sunlight). Plan on spraying several coats on both sides, but leave part of the underside of the board uncoated so that the Dicor adhesive will stick to it better (I wouldn’t want the board to come off of the RV just because the Plasti Dip peeled off when a tree branch or high winds come along):
- While you’re waiting for the Plasti Dip to dry, bend the metal plate and widen the two holes (3/16″ drill bit) that the Weboost antenna will mount to, so that the antenna will line up with the plate, as shown here (but don’t mount the antenna to the plate yet):
- When the Plasti Dip is dry, align the metal plate on one end of the board as shown here, and drill a few holes where bolts will come through from the bottom.
- On the bottom side, use a 3/8 inch drill bit to allow the heads of the bolts to be countersunk so that they don’t rub on the roof of the RV (I typically put the drill in reverse when countersinking the holes so that the drillbit doesn’t dig in too far).
- You can then install the Weboost antenna using stainless steel hardware. Then, use silicone or Dicor to cover all around the bolt heads and locknuts that go through the board so that water cannot enter.
- The Wi-Fi Ranger antenna was already sitting on the roof at the time I built this set up, so I will have to drill holes for it and mount it to the board while I’m on top of the RV (looking back, it would’ve been better to mount the antennas to the board and then run the cables inside).
- The next step is to cover the underside of the board with Dicor lap sealant and mount it to the roof. Be sure to clean the roof really well where you plan to mount it.
- Next, zip tie the wires coming from the air conditioner and use Dicor lap sealant to hold them onto the RV. This adhesive will also keep the board from falling off the RV in the event a tree branch breaks it loose. I might change this out to some type of cable hiding cover later on so that I don’t accidentally trip over the wires while walking on the roof at times.
- Next on the list is to tidy up the wires on the inside of the RV, and also cut out a notch in the air conditioner intake vent to allow the wires to come out nicely. I plan to use the following wire organizer molding:
- Here’s where I have the Weboost interior antenna and the Wi-Fi Ranger interior Wi-Fi access point. I drilled a hole between the two media cabinets to allow the wires to be fed into there.