As with anything, maintenance issues arise. This applies to a traditional home, your vehicle and your RV as well. Today, we’re dealing with our RV off-air antenna. Ours is the traditional “bat-wing” crank up antenna that’s found on the largest percentage of RVs on the road today. It has served us well over the last 5 years, but for the last year or so, we’ve had failures with the cranking mechanism stripping leaving the antenna in a state where we couldn’t crank up or down. We also had an issue where the plastic parts stripped again and we were unable to turn the antenna. Both instances left us without local TV programming until new parts could be orders and the antenna repaired. Choosing not to make a 3rd repair, we decided it was time to try something different. After some research, we chose the King Jack Antenna Model OA8500.
The user reviews of the King Jack Antenna were about what we expected. When we consider purchasing a product online, we use the verified purchaser “9 out of 10 rule”. If there is at least a 90% favorable rating review, we give the product the benefit of a doubt and try it. This antenna is comparable in price to the same bat-wing style as well as other alternatives.
Removing the old antenna
We start with the deconstruction of the old antenna. This wasn’t difficult and I discuss in the video the tools and care in removing the old antenna while protecting the RV roof. The task requires removing the lap sealant around the base of the antenna, screws and coax cable. Removing the old antenna took around an hour.
Installing the King Jack Antenna – outside components
Installation for the King Jack Antenna took about 2 hours. The roof top portion wasn’t difficult, but I took extra time to ensure all directions were followed, testing before everything was screwed in place and following up with a liberal use of lap sealant around all mounting surfaces and the tops of the screws. About the instructions, read them thoroughly. There are some very specific requirements on mounting and cable runs that are recommended. I followed each as specified with very good results.
Installing the King Jack Antenna – inside components
The inside parts were time consuming. Not a fault of the King Jack Antenna, but a fact of the coax cable from the original build not having any slack and not being labeled. I had to verify the 3 coax cables using a volt ohm meter, the power and ground leads prior to attaching to the new power inserter. Not a difficult task, but a few marking from the factory would have been nice. The lack of slack in the coax cables was also a little challenging, but patience prevailed.
Tuning the King Jack Antenna
Tuning the new antenna is a breeze and so much simpler than the crank up style. Again, the instruction provided the process – turn on power, turn attenuator clockwise, turn antenna until last LED lights, turn attenuator counterclockwise until LED flickers, slightly turn antenna until if stops flickering. Done. Less than a couple of minutes. Go to the RV, scan for channels and that’s it. Comparing the King Jack Antenna to the old bat-wing, every channel was received with the same strength or better.
Overall, we couldn’t be happier with the installation and performance of the King Jack Antenna. Plus, the added benefit of not cranking the antenna up or down and the ease of locating viewable off-air TV signals.
Products discussed in this video
KING OA8500 Jack HDTV Directional Over-the-Air Antenna https://amzn.to/2Q4ptIh This is a simple, fast antenna pointing with 360-degree rotation that is up to 70 percent smaller than traditional RV antennas. We especially like the Built-in KING SureLock signal finder making it simple to locate TV stations.
KING MB8200 Antenna Mounting Plate https://amzn.to/2VFM3wX Mounting plate covers existing holes to create a water-tight seal on the RV roof. Essential if replacing an bat-wing antenna.
Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant https://amzn.to/2LGSXgF Creates a secure, secondary seal along the roof’s edges, air vents, vent pipes and screw heads. Compatible TPO RV roofs.
6-in-1 Painters Tool https://amzn.to/2HlK5ce 6 uses in one tool include gouger, scraper, putty remover, spreader and roller cleaner. Great for removing laps sealant from your RV roof.
Black and Decker Cordless Drill https://amzn.to/2wVlCUX This is a very handy drill for general installations plus those quick fixes – a loose drawer, replacing cabinet screws or just minor maintenance where a good cordless drill is needed.
Kline 11-in-1 Multi Tool https://amzn.to/2JPLM3x It would be great to have a toolbox filled with every tool I may possibly need. This is one of my favorites. I keep this multi-tool screwdriver in the RV for those times when you just need to tighten something. Well made and a good quality product.
Digital Multimeter https://amzn.to/2M4Js5O Great for troubleshooting electrical problems. I also check the electrical connection before I plug in the RV to make sure voltage is correct and the connection is safe. See more from our blog and video at blog at http://jerryn.sg-host.com/digital-voltmeters-surge-protection-and-rv-travel/
Not sure about what RV accessories you need as you start RV travel? Check out our RV Accessories page where we have listed a wide range of products from essential items to those “nice to have” RV products to make RV life more enjoyable. Every item listed is being used or has been used by Joan and I as we’ve traveled across the country in our RV.
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