No more bent TV antennas on top of the coach with this simple yet professional-looking fix.
By Robert H. Faulks, F211803
On many motorhomes, the TV antenna is mounted on the roof near the front of the vehicle. This can cause the leading “wing” of the antenna to be bent upward from its lowered position when the coach is being driven in certain wind conditions.
On a recent trip, after experiencing some rather brisk side and frontal winds, we discovered the leading wing of our TV antenna bent straight up. This happened not once, but twice. What we needed was a wind diverter or air dam that would keep air from getting under the front wing and bending it upward.
We found a likely candidate at the local hardware store: a small vent hood used for clothes dryers. This white plastic hood, which cost about $3, had an attached aluminum tube that normally goes through the wall and connects to the dryer’s flexible hose for venting. Other vents are aluminum and can be painted to match the top of the RV. Either option is the right size to mount in front of the TV antenna.
The first installation step is to disconnect the aluminum tubing and the air vent flapper from the plastic housing. (You could leave the vent flapper attached, but it may bounce up and down and make a rattling noise.) Grind off the small ridge that holds the aluminum tubing so the bottom of the vent rests flat on the roof of your motorhome. Position the plastic housing in front of the antenna wing and have someone crank the antenna up and down so you can determine that the wing doesn’t touch the hood but is still very close to its sloping front. You want to protect as much of the wing as possible.
Apply a bead of silicone caulking to the bottom of the vent, position the vent in its proper location, and then push it down onto the RV’s roof for a good seal. If the antenna wing is touching the roof and making noise when you’re driving, add a layer of foam rubber (we cut a piece from a computer mouse pad) just under the wing and inside the vent. Presto! No more bent antenna wing, and no more noise.
We have seen other motorhomers attach soda pop cans to the antenna wings to achieve the same result. But since the vent is white and looks like it was made for the RV, we think this looks and acts a bit more like a factory solution.