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Old 03-02-2019, 01:41 PM   #1
jclay
2017 LTV Unity MB
 
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Default Path from Roof to Inside Coach

I have a 2017 LTV Unity MB. I posted a couple of weeks ago asking for any advice about the installation of the weBoost 4G-X RV Cell Phone Booster. I have mounted the omni-directional antenna to the side of the plastic cover that protects the roof top AC unit. I originally planned to mount the booster in the TV cabinet and power it from inverted AC plug. I have changed my mind and decided to locate the booster in the cabinet beside the microwave. weBoost also supplies a DC power adapter that can we wired into a 12V power source. I plan to splice into the power supply to the antenna booster located in this cabinet.

I cannot figure out a path from the roof to the inside of the coach. There are at least 3 existing points of entry through the roof that I can see. One is a coax connection (in use by a Winegard roof top satellite dish), a 2nd area where wires from the 2 solar panels I have penetrate the roof and a 3rd area toward the front of the roof in the antenna area. Even if I could use one of these existing points to run my coax from the booster antenna to the booster in the cabinet beside the microwave, I can't figure out a path once inside the coach. I think that there surely must be a way and maybe I just can't figure out the solution.

I even considered drilling a new hole in the roof and covering it with something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Winegard-CE10...gateway&sr=8-7

I am having a hard time figuring out where I could drill a new hole in the roof. The ideal place would be above the microwave cabinet but there is a solar panel located directly above this area. The next best area would be above the closet but that area of the roof is prime real estate if I ever decide in the future that I want to increase my solar capacity from my present 200W to 400-500W and will need additional solar panels on the roof.

If I penetrate the roof in some other area of the coach, I am worried about a path to get my coax over to the cabinet beside the microwave. I am at a point that I don't know how to proceed. The routing of the coax is my only road block right now to getting this done. In their installation instructions, weBoost suggests penetrating an outside side wall and provides a small cover plate but the outside appearance of the LTV Unity is so nice, clean and streamlined.....having a piece of coax running down from the roof and sticking into the side of the coach is not acceptable to me.

I am completely out of ideas and would appreciate any suggestions from the group.
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Old 03-02-2019, 02:31 PM   #2
SSTraveler
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

A picture of your roof and location of the booster mount location would be very helpful. I'm guessing when you say the cabinet next to the microwave you are taking about the one to the left of the microwave (as you face the microwave), in the corner above the window. If you are going to drill a new hole then it can be in the roof area directly above any of the cabinetry from the front coat closet to the microwave cabinet since all those cabinets are connected, share side walls, and it would be easy to come down through the top of one and the drill holes along the back running the wire through each cabinet until you get to you booster. If you drill a new hole then consider using a gland that allows for some cable bend (https://www.amazon.com/KING-CE2000-P...T80BWNZ89SS2Z5 or https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CSEXWC8...f-f727b54b72aa or https://www.ebay.com/itm/lot-of-5-3-...edirect=mobile). I personally do not want to drill new holes if possible. I have a friend with a 2017 that ran his solar wires through the existing hole in the front antenna by gouging out the styrofoam until he was over the front coat closet and then drilled up from the coat closet to locate the hole. Then he drilled through the back side of the wall shared by the closet and over door cabinet. To connect up with the solar prewire in the over door cabinet. I did similarly in my 2014, and used the existing roof hole from my radio gps/sirius antenna, but it was easier for me since that roof opening was much closer to the front coat closet. I didn't have much gouging out of styrofoam to find my coat closet hole. Since all the cabinetry along the passenger side all share side walls with each other, just drill through each shared wall until you run the cable down to your booster.
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Old 03-02-2019, 06:05 PM   #3
jclay
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

SS Traveler.....thanks so much for your time to respond and your advice. From my time on this forum in the past year, you seem to have done as many modifications to your coach as anyone. I appreciate your knowledge and experience and willingness to help others like me with less experience.

One question....if I do find a route from roof to coach that involves gouging out some of the Styrofoam insulation in the roof panel, would you recommend trying to replace it with something like "Great Stuff" canned insulating expanding foam or would you leave the void in the roof Styrofoam insulation?
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Old 03-02-2019, 10:26 PM   #4
jclay
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

Success! With some much appreciated input from SSTraveler, I decided to penetrate the roof directly over the coat closet on my 2017 LTV Unity MB. I have ordered this from Amazon to seal the hole in the roof (also recommended by SS Traveler). I will be sure and use plenty of dicor sealant.

https://www.amazon.com/KING-CE2000-P...sr=1-1-catcorr

After penetrating into the top of the coat closet from the roof, I ran my coax down and then I removed the monitor panel above the main cabin door. I was able to run my wires behind this panel into the first cabinet on far left above the television where I mounted my weBoost booster. The inside antenna must remain vertical but can be mounted upside down so a couple of pieces of Velcro on the bottom of the inside antenna worked well mount it to the bottom of the same cabinet that holds the booster. Pics are below.

The first pic is the black coax wire coming from roof into the top shelf area of the coat closet. You can see my drill bit nicked the edge of the cabinet frame but this is inside the coat closet near the back....never going to be noticed unless I show someone. Nevertheless, I am a bit compulsive so I wished I hadn't nicked it....needed to be over about a 1/4" more toward the front of the coach and I would have missed it. Oh well...better than drilling down directly into the top of that cabinet frame. The 2nd pic shows the booster mounted to left side of the top left cabinet over television. The 3rd pic shows the inside antenna mounted with Velcro upside down under the same cabinet that houses the booster.

No pics of the roof yet since the King cable cover entry plate from Amazon is still on order. I have to tell you that it was a "unsettling" feeling taking a 3/8" drill bit and drilling down 5" or so through the roof. Not something I particularly enjoyed doing but it might be easier if there is a "next time"
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Old 03-03-2019, 07:19 PM   #5
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

Great job! The first hole is always unsettling but its behind you now. Your well on your way to the world of modifications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclay View Post
SS Traveler.....thanks so much for your time to respond and your advice. From my time on this forum in the past year, you seem to have done as many modifications to your coach as anyone. I appreciate your knowledge and experience and willingness to help others like me with less experience.

One question....if I do find a route from roof to coach that involves gouging out some of the Styrofoam insulation in the roof panel, would you recommend trying to replace it with something like "Great Stuff" canned insulating expanding foam or would you leave the void in the roof Styrofoam insulation?
I don't think it is necessay, I didn't and my friend didn't on hus 2017. But if it makes you feel better you can do it. Becareful, It wouldn't take much that stuff really expands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jclay View Post
Success! With some much appreciated input from SSTraveler, I decided to penetrate the roof directly over the coat closet on my 2017 LTV Unity MB. I have ordered this from Amazon to seal the hole in the roof (also recommended by SS Traveler). I will be sure and use plenty of dicor sealant.
You don't need to screw the cable cover plate down, just use some 3m double sided grey tape with red cover (that you can get at any big box store) to stick it to the roof and then cover around it good with dicor to seal. It takes about 5 days for the Dicor to get good and set but once it does that cover isn't coming off.
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:41 PM   #6
jclay
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

That is a great tip about the double sided tape and then dicor around the cover plate. I was getting ready to put a few more holes in my roof with the screws that came with the plate. Thanks for saving me!
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Old 03-04-2019, 12:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

Just a little lessons learned. I actually forgot the doubled sides tape when I put my solar cable gland down. I set it in place and forgot to finish it before I started putting Dicor over all my work, including that. Once I got the Dicor all nice I noticed the cable gland wasn't staying fully squished down so I put something a little heavy on it and left it for a few days, until the Dicor set, and everything was good and stuck in place. Glad I could help!
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

If you don't mind I am hijacking this thread as I am finally ready to install my weBoost. I did an experiment and removed the rear pre-wire cover plate and tried just using the existing sat wire, but the results were poor - not nearly as strong a signal as using the correct cable - so on to the drilling. On my 2019 CB I have a little compartment on top the TV and closet combo - probably the same location as jclay - its right to the left of the entry door. I was considering drilling there but the thought of just going blindly through the roof and hoping for the best really creeps me out. I was actually considering cutting out a square area of the soft ceiling so I could see whats behind it and trying to close if off with a plastic panel later, which seems impossible since its slightly curved.

So I am trying to get up the nerve to just do it. The current alternative in my head suggested by somebody else was to run the wire up the hollow rear mask from outside. Then I could come up somewhere (perhaps under the corner bed) and take "the low road" through some cabinets going forward.

I am leaning towards the "drill and pray". I am a big chicken, so it will definitely start with the smallest pilot bit I have, not that there is a 100% safety margin with that. One pause I have - since I purchased the marine mount wilson antenna, and a nice marine rail mount for it, I am mounting it on the ladder. So if I drill the cable will have to travel on the roof all the way to the aft, and I am not certain the best product to stick the cable to the roof - and how many times on the way to the ladder.

One of my major concerns is the solar controller is just forward of this area, so I am concerned some wiring is present above the coat closet in the ceiling that my drill bit could have the extremely bad luck to find.

For reference, I am attaching a picture of the area I mean. Please ignore the wire jungle, I am just testing placement if stuff like the blue ray player in there and haven't yet cleaned up the wire mess.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

I found it better to drill from the inside up, then you know you are getting your hole started at the right spot on the inside. I used Dicor seal leveling sealant on a short run (<2') of wire for my older version WeBoost install. I used Eternabond tape every couple of feet for my solar install and it has worked very well to keep my long run wires in place.
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Old 04-13-2019, 03:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: Path from Roof to Inside Coach

Thanks. Is there a gap from the soft ceiling to the (I presume) foam behind it? I.e, if I cut a small hole in the ceiling from the underside, can I push an inspection scope up to verify there are not any wires in the way?
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