Best Mobile Ham Antenna For RV Use (2021-Reviews & Buying Guide)

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Are you an RV enthusiast and at the same time a ham radio hobbyist? You love 

Having access to ham radio is essential to keep you connected with the outside world. Take the best mobile ham antenna for RV use, before you leave for your next RV trip.

We recommend using a robust and reliable RV ham antenna when you are on a remote campsite or a secluded forest. Super Antenna MP1DXTR80 is our top choice in terms of durability, strong signals and ease of use. You can install it easily on your RV and transmit or receive ham radio signals where required.

How We Decided

--We researched every product, we review with our own.

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Customers Reviews

01. Super Antenna MP1LXMAX Deluxe Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bags ham Radio Amateur

Salient Feature

  • Bands: HF: 80 cm – 6 cm VHF: 2 meter
  • Frequencies: HF: 3.5 – 30 MHz VHF: 144 – 148 MHz
  • Coverage: MC80 / MC60
  • SuperWhip: Ruggedized Titanium
  • Mount: UM 3
  • Weight: 9.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 36 x 36 x 144 inches

Super Antenna MP1LXMAX is a portable antenna system that delivers top performance for both receiving and transmitting. It is designed for travel and comes with two bags for super portability and convenience.

Antenna: the MP1C antenna is designed for unmatched precision and the same outstanding performance upon every use. It features an MC2 Super Plexer 2 meter band for operating HF at 144 MHz. Super Slider is ready to work on your favorite frequency as soon as you start transmitting.

Tuning: it gives a fantastic SWR when dialed on HF bands and 2 meters, without the use of an autotuner. It will let you enjoy all bands and all HF and VHF frequencies.

Super Whip: it is an ultimate durable antenna that features an SW1 Super Whip ruggedized Titanium. It is a characteristic feature of the Super Antenna.

Tripod: the Super Antenna comes with a TM4 Deluxe Tripod which can be easily set up on any indoor or outdoor surface.

Mount: it has a UM3 Mount that adheres to the SuperSpike ground mounting stake or a tripod.

Pros

  • It is effortless to set up.
  • It has very convenient frequency dial-up.
  • It is portable and can be transported and used anywhere.

Cons

  • The tripod is not much durable, and the handle can break easily.
  • The connectors are not much functional and difficult to attach with the base of the antenna.
  • It may require an antenna analyzer for better SWR.

02. Super Antenna MP1DXMAX Low Profile Tripod 80m-10m HF +2m VHF Portable Antenna with Go Bags ham Radio Amateur

Salient Feature

  • Bands: HF: 80 cm – 10 cm  VHF: 2 meter
  • Frequencies: HF: 3.5 – 30 MHz  VHF: 144 – 148 MHz
  • Coverage: MC 80 / MC60
  • SuperWhip: Ruggedized Titanium
  • Mount: UM 2
  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 3 x 9 inches

This Super Antenna is designed to work with every HF bands from 80m – 10m on simultaneous VHF 2 meters.

It is a world's number one HF Portable Vertical Antenna, chosen by perfectionist operators for transmitting/ receiving.  It is full HF-VHF setup from Super Antenna that comes with all essentials packed in one bag.

Antenna: this MP1C antenna peaks its performance with unmatched precision. The MC2 Super Plexer 2 adapter handles 144 MHz while working on HF.

Tuning: you can dial a reasonable SWR on all HF bands and at least two bands, without using an autotuner.

Frequencies: It covers all frequencies between 3.5 to 30 MHz, including a VHF between 144 to 148 MHz on one antenna.

Mount: A UM2 Universal mount can be used either with the clamp or the U-bolt to attach on any flat surface.

Coverage: With the help of MC60 and MC80 SuperCoils it can provide 80, 75 and 60-meter bands on 5 MHz.

Pros

  • It comes with a super handy Stealth black durable Go Bag with Velcro pockets which makes it portable without damaging its parts.
  • It comes with SuperWire Radial Sets which enable you to run on full frequency range, without the hassle of tweaking or adjustment.
  • It is a reliable and powerful mobile ham antenna.
  • Conveniently chose your best HF frequency from the SuperSlider to begin your transmission.

Cons

  • It has a narrow bandwidth.

03. Super Antenna MP1DXTR80 HF SuperWhip Tripod All Band 80m MP1 Antenna with Clamp Mount and Go Bag ham Radio Amateur)

Salient Feature

  • Bands: HF: HF: 80 cm – 10 cm VHF: 6meter
  • Frequencies: HF: 3.5 – 4.8 MHz; 7 – 30 MHzVHF: 30 – 54 MHz
  • Coverage: MC 80 with MR 8075
  • SuperWhip: Ruggedized Titanium
  • Mount: UM 2
  • Weight: 5.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 84 x 1 x 1 inches

A stable, reliable and compact system which is easily portable, Super Antenna MP1DXTR80 SuperWhip Tripod is the choice of top operators.

Antenna: It features a Q coil military-grade nickel beryllium Super Slider for unmatched precision. Choose your required frequency soits ready for transmission.

Tuning: you can dial a good SWR on all HF and VHF bands, without requiring an autotuner. You can operate with all bands and all frequencies along with a 6 meters VHF.

Super Whip: A ruggedized Titanium Whip increases the durability of this Super Antenna more than any other antenna.

Tripod: it comes with the TM1 low profile tripod allows you to set up your antenna on any available flat surface.

Mount: it features a UM2 Universal Mount which conveniently attaches with the help of a clamp or U-bolt. You can keep it anywhere, and it is easily portable.

Radials: It covers all frequencies due to its pre-tuned, quarter-wave, multi-length Super Wire Stealth Radial Sets which can be extended to full 80 and 75-meter bands.

Pros

  • It is well built for its purpose.
  • It is easy to set up and use.
  • It is excellent for travelling and conveniently fits in a backpack.
  • It can stand on its own and does not require stakes, hammering nails or digging holes.
  • It delivers superior performance as compared to wire antennas.

Cons

  • For a proper SWR, you will require an SWR meter or an antenna analyzer.
  • It is suitable for operating in only open areas like campsites, parks and beaches.

04. Eightwood Dual Band VHF UHF Ham Mobile Radio Antenna PL259 with Magnetic Base 5M Cable for Ham Radio Amateur Radio Mobile Transceiver 144/430mhz

Salient Feature

  • Bands: HF: HF: 70 cm VHF: 2meter
  • Frequencies: UHF: 437 – 480 MHz
  •  VHF: 136 – 174 MHz
  • Coverage: -
  • SuperWhip: No
  • Mount: Magnetic
  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Dimensions: 7.01 x 5.79 x 1.34 inches

Eightwood Dual Band VHF UHF Ham Mobile Radio Antenna is a lightweight and portable ham antenna that is suitable for your RV, Motorhome and trailer truck. It is made of durable material and can be carried anywhere safely without getting damaged.

This Eastwood Dual-band mobile ham antenna delivers a great sound without any disturbance.

Frequency: it operates on 136 – 174 MHz for VHF and 400 – 470 MHz on UHF. It is pre-tuned for 144 and 430 MHz.

Mount: the magnetic mount base makes it convenient to install. The compatible antenna mount connector is PL-259. The compatible extension cable connector is PL-259 UHF Male.

Versatile: It can be used as a dual-band antenna. It works perfectly for both transmitting and receiving signals. The height at which the antenna is installed further determines the quality of the signals. It works well with both low and hi-power of the rig.

Extension Cable: Extension cable length is about 16.4 feet. The magnetic base is adequate for the antenna.

SWR: It gives higher SWR, which is around 1.5:1 when at its lowest.  It performs well while going through repeaters. It makes no noticeable noise and therefore prevents from smash and grab criminals. It transmits signals to at least 2 miles on 25 watts.

Pros

  • It has good coax.
  • It gives good value or money.
  • It has a good range and reception.
  • It can be used as a dual-band antenna.

Cons

  • Some customers are not satisfied with the SWR.

05. Dualband Mobile Antenna 2m/70cm VHF/UHF Ham Radio, 137-149, 437-480 Mhz, Magnet Base PL-259 Connector, 10 Ft RG58 Cable

Salient Feature

  • Bands: HF: VHF:70cm UHF: 2 meter
  • Frequencies: VHF: 137 – 149 MHz VHF: 136 – 174 MHz UHF: 437 – 480 MHz
  • Coverage: -
  • Super Whip: No
  • Mount: Magnetic
  • Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Dimensions: 18.2 x 4.3 x 0.8 inches

Connectors and Adapters: This Dualband Mobile Antenna is made for PL259 connection radios. It does not adapt to SMA connections. An SMA – FEMALE to PL – 259 connectors when using these antennas will be useful.

It can be used with an SMA-Female adapter to work with a handheld radio. If you mount the antenna on a motor vehicle having a steel body, you can enjoy better signals. It comes with a 10 Ft RG58 Cable.

Mount: It has to be mounted vertically, and it receives signals from all directions. The 2.95-inch magnetic mount makes it an ideal for RV, Motorhomes and other vehicles. This dual-band magnet mount antenna can deliver up to 3 dB of gain. The 6.6 ft long heavy duty RG-58 cable allows you to install your antenna on any vehicle.

Material: it is made of corrosion-resistant stainless steel that is durable and an RG58 Heavy Duty antifreeze cable that will withstand all weathers.

Pros

  • It gives excellent performance at 2 meter and 70cm usage.
  • You can conveniently hit repeaters at a 25 miles distance on medium power.
  • The length of the coax cable is 10 feet, which is sufficient.
  • At 2 meter the SWR is too high.

Cons

  • The magnetic strength of the antenna is not enough to withstand winds and high-speed RV movements.
  • Inefficient mounting system.
  • The transmission cable is too short.
  • It is not much reliable.

How To Choose The Best Mobile Ham Antenna For RV Use?

No one can deny the significance of having a functioning ham radio on your RV. It connects you with friends and people all around the country without having an internet connection. It is called the “Amateur Radio Service” as it is an essential emergency communication system.

Radio Amateurs enjoy it as a hobby, but it is also a lifesaving service. When regular communication such as cell phones, the internet and regular phones are not an option, you can rely on your ham radio. We have listed the main points which you must consider before buying a ham radio antenna.

Durability:

The ham antenna for RV use is mounted in the outside of the RV or Motorhome. It must be made of durable materials which can withstand harsh weathers, rain, snow and storms.

Antenna Base and Mount:

It is essential to select an antenna that has a base matching your mount. If you do not have a mount, then you can mix and match both easily. Many types of mounts are available in the market which includes NMO, UHF, N and 3/8” threaded stud.

Wave Length:

Mobile antennas can be classified into three types according to their wavelength: ¼ wave, ½ wave and 5/8 wave. A ¼ wave antenna is more suitable for use in urban areas as it is directed at higher angles. ½ wave antennas are used when the ground is not available. It can be mounted on fibreglass and bodies made of composite materials. The 5/8" antenna is suitable for flat terrain where signals do not reach easily.

Antenna Size:

Antenna size will depend on the place where you are going to park your RV. For example, if you have to park in a garage more often, consider a shorter antenna so that I will cross the roofline without getting scraped. If you use a trunk lid or a fender mounting, you can install a giant and more efficient 40" antenna.

Antenna Gain:

Antenna gain figures are measured in dBi or dBd, in reference with an isotropic (dipole) radiator. But it should be noted that antenna gain is not an absolute value; it is a relative measurement. The antenna gain value should not be relied upon as it can be misleading unless you know the reference point.

RV Ham Radio Antenna Mounting Procedure [Step-By-Step]

Amateur radio is a great mode of communication and for sending and receiving messages. Ham radio enthusiasts find experimenting with mounting a fascinating experience. Setting up and testing with different mounts brings better results in front of the ham hobbyists. While mounting your ham antenna, you have to prevent your vehicle from permanent damage.

Step 1:

You have to decide the right place to install your ham antenna. Before final installation, make sure that it must be open from all sides. Anything near it can become a barrier for the signals. It must not interfere in the vehicle’s equipment and operation. It must not be in any way hazardous for the vehicle’s occupants.

Step 2:

Bend a flat aluminum stock into V shape to hold the aluminum angles. After mounting the transceiver to the bracket, carefully slide the bracket on its place where it will fit perfectly. It is straightforward and takes only ten minutes.

Step 3:

It must be mounted on a location where it does not interfere in anything, and nothing interferes with it. It must remain out of the way. It must be easily visible to you.

Types of Mounts:

Magnet mounts are the most convenient antenna mounting method. So, you can use it for long term as well as short term antenna mounting purpose. The magnet and metal keep it grounded, and It does not require drilling holes on the roof of your RV. It is enough to support VHF / UHF frequencies. It can accumulate crud on magnet's bottom, and if you remove it in a hurry, it will scratch your RV paint.

Mirror and Roof Rack Mounts:

Other convenient methods are mirror and roof rack mounts. It is not essential to ground them electrically to the body. In that case, you will require a ½ wave no ground plane antenna (NGP).

Trunk Lip/ Universal Lip Mounts:

Most RV enthusiasts prefer trunk lip/ universal lip mounts as they can be conveniently placed on any vehicle.  They can fit a hood, the edge of a chest, a door or anywhere on our RV.

You can use the Diamond K400 bracket to adjust your antenna in an upright position. They require a ground connection, so you will have to scrape some paint from under the set screws to reach the bare metal. Then you can attach them with set screws tightened in the metal’s bottom edge. The metal can be protected from corrosion by applying dielectric grease on it.

Fender/ Bracket Mount:

A fender/bracket mounting is also a good option for grounding. You can hold them with Comet No-Hole Fender Brackets designed for RVs. Add angle brackets on the stainless sheet screws and mount it on doors, trunk groove or rear hatches. The gap must be spacious enough to allow opening and closing without touching the bracket.

Glass Mount:

Glass mount antennas are designed for automobile glass which has a nominal thickness of 5/32”. They are not meant for over embedded AM/ FM antennas, glasses with tinting films and on glasses which have metallic content.

Electric RV Antenna Lift With Plug & Play Wiring System

The electric RV antenna lifts with plug and play wiring system are designed with a broader base plate which allows convenient and sturdy fixing on your RV roof.

They are made of marine-grade corrosion-resistant stainless steel to withstand all harsh weathers. You have to directly connect your ham antenna with the Electric RV antenna lift. Select a comfortable area inside your RV to wire the switch.

Now push the provided toggle switch, and you will see that the antenna will rise on an upright position in almost 5 seconds. Do the opposite if you desire to stow the Electric RV Antenna lift.

An optional auto stow switch allows the antenna to lower automatically if the ignition is activated. It is easy to install with a plug and play wiring system. The electric RV antenna lift comes with essential wires as well as switches.

What Types Of Ham Radio Fiberglass RV Should I Buy?

Before buying a ham radio fibreglass antenna for RV, you should know what it is and what are the pros and cons of using it.

Fibreglass Antenna:

Fibreglass Antennas are made of a fibreglass rod while antenna wire is wrapped around the outside beneath a plastic wrap. Their length is usually 2' – 7' and the antenna coil is placed on the top of the antenna.

Approximate Range:

The approximate coverage range depends on the Cable length, mounting location and surrounding conditions. This table shows an average coverage range for the size.

Length

Coverage

2’

2 – 4 miles

3’

3 – 5 miles

4'

4 – 6 miles

5'

5 – 7 miles

Pros:

  • They are an ideal choice for off-road drivers and 4 x 4 vehicles.
  • They are the most durable, and they can endure extreme rigour.
  • They can be mounted anywhere on the vehicle.
  • They can be used on vehicle specific mounts for aesthetic value.

Cons:

  • They are less potent than magnetic and centre load antennas.
  • The mount and the coax are sold separately.

Should I Buy 2 Meter Antenna For RV?

Spending your vacations in a naturally peaceful environment with your family is a great privilege. But if you are going to install an amateur radio in your RV, you often get confused with the specifications of different antennas. If you are puzzled that whether or not a 2-meter antenna will suffice for your requirements, continue reading:

A 2-meter antenna is useful for 2 Meter and 70 cm RV and Motorhome Amateur Ham Radio bands. It will transmit 140 – 160 MHz and 430 – 470 MHz dual bands, respectively for both. It is suitable for use with Mobiles and adapters which support Handhelds.

It is approximately 19 inches with an element of about ¼ wavelength long. It will put out 75 watts when working on an FT-2900. It is ideal or small trips. With 2 meter VHF frequency, the talking distance is influenced by the height of the antenna. The average repeater range for this antenna is 25 miles.

Finally, we can conclude that the 2-meter antenna is a suitable choice for RV and Motorhome use.

Conclusion

Most of the time, people use amateur (ham) radios on RV as a hobby. However, having a ham radio in your RV is a great advantage.  It enables you to enjoy your peaceful camping and stay connected to people. Even if you are at places where internet and phone connections are not available, it will not leave you alone. 

Before you leave for your new excursion, you must be sure that you have the best mobile ham antenna for RV use. It must be reliable enough to support you even in the harsh weathers and unusual conditions.

The best ham radio antennas deliver right signals for transmitting and receiving. The materials should be durable enough to endure the RV exterior environment. Having a reliable and robust antenna can be lifesaving for people who plan RV trips to places miles away from human civilization.

FAQs

What kind of antenna do I need for ham radio?

Most people use a wire antenna for ham radios. You can also use long periodic antenna, microwave antenna, a dipole antenna, dual-band VHF/ UHF antenna and travelling wave antenna.

As a beginner, you can start with a primary dual-band VHF / UHF antenna that covers 2m 70cm, including the multi-band HF antenna. It will cover most of the ham bands and gives a good start.

Can a ham radio be traced?

Your signals can make people locate you. In the amateur radio world, it is called Direction Finding (DF). Ham radios are tracked for record-keeping under Amateur Radio License in the U.S. it is done through a tracking transmitter.

How far can you communicate with a ham radio?

Ham radios are better than other options such as FRS Walkie talkie. With a handheld unit, the maximum range is 2m and 70cm bands restricted to line-of-sight range and line-of-horizon. If you also have a handheld unit, you can enjoy 1-2 miles.

How do you ground a mobile antenna?

You can ground a mobile antenna in a few simple steps:

  • Select the place where you have to place the lightning arrester or the grounding block.
  • Join the block with the wall.
  • Attach the Antenna cable on the block.
  • Using the block as a centre, run a coaxial cable to your ham radio.
  • Join a grounding wire to the block and house ground wire.

What is the best mobile CB antenna?

The best CB antenna for you RV or motorhome is the one which precisely matches your requirements. It should also be suitable for the type of recreational vehicle you are using. Consider the brand and type as well as its height. It is to note that the height where you install also has significance for an antenna's performance.

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