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Camper Mod Contest Entries

Shark Fin Sirius Antenna Relocation For Ram Trucks

Welcome to the ninth entry in May’s Medium Mod-Ster Contest.  One engaging Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in May.  At the end of the month we’ll hold a reader vote to determine May’s winner.  For information about the Mod-Ster Contest, including how to enter, click here.

David Romero, Shreveport, Louisiana
Shark Fin Sirius Antenna Relocation For Ram Trucks
2017 Ram 3500
2017 Cirrus 820

I have a 2017 Cirrus 820 that, like most campers, blocks the shark fin Sirius satellite radio antenna on the roof of the truck cab. I wanted to relocate the shark fin antenna when we travel with the camper. It needed the solution to be very quick, easy and easily reversible when not needed.

Shark Fin Relocation Ram Truck

I purchased another roof top shark fin satellite radio antenna; a direct fit for my truck. I also purchased a 1900mm Cell/SDARS radio dual-cable from Mopar. In addition, I got a 12-inch by 12-inch by 5/8-inch white polycarbonate sheet from Amazon. I selected white because it matches my truck.

I went about cutting an oversized piece of the polycarbonate plate and centered a 3/4-inch hole with a Foster bit. I recessed the top side about 5/16-inch. With that completed, I could set the antenna on top of the plate and have the protruding bottom attachment point sit inside the hole.

Antenna Groove For Wires

I used a sharp 1/4″ chisel to square the hole and let the mount part sit in the polycarbonate plate. I proceeded to run a groove from that square hole to the tail of the antenna that accommodates the antenna’s wiring under the antenna. That lets the wire lie flat.

Then I used a counter top belt sander on the top of the polycarbonate plate and added a slight curve from front to back to match the curve of the antenna. The goal was to have it lie completely flat.

Shark Fin Hole To Connector

On the underside of the polycarbonate plate I used the same Foster bit to recess into the bottom of the plate and accommodate the bolt head. That attaches the antenna to the plate about 1/8-inch, give or take a fraction. With the top and bottom of this plate recessed it left about 3/16-inch of plate to bolt the antenna down.

I attached the antenna to the polycarbonate plate using the supplied bolt to firmly attach the antenna. I then scribed around the antenna to mirror the shape to the plate.

I removed the antenna from plate and used a band saw to trim the shape close to the antenna’s shape. Once that was close I was back to the belt sander cleaning up and smoothing out the shape.

Shark Fin Relocation Pieces

Then I removed the connector ends of the wiring from the antenna and slid on a piece of marine-grade heat shrink. That will ensure no water penetration. The marine-grade heat shrink has a glue inside that actually filled the void in the area between the two wires.

Shark Fin Relocation Wires Back

I proceeded to attach the antenna to the plate with a bead of clear pure silicone. That was adhered to the outside edge and to the wire groove to block out any water or moister intrusion. I cleaned off access of silicone and let the items cure overnight to firmly attach and seal it.

I proceeded to clean the bottom of the polycarbonate plate and prime it with a Loctite/Scotch plastic glue etch primer. 3M has one as well. I used single sided 3M self-adhesive magnetic tape to cover the bottom of the plate in 1-inch strips.

Shark Fin Relocation Magnet

With a small wood roller I adhered the 3M magnetic tape to the plate. The primer let the tape adhere and almost fuse. It has a very strong bond after three or four hours. It’s trimmed to shape and it looks and feels great.

Shark Fin Relocation Magnets Attached

The extension cable was also an issue of how to keep together. I again removed the connectors off the 2-wire cable. Using another long piece of marine-grade heat shrink, I covered the cable.

This was a bit of a chore. The cable is over six-feet long. Pulling the wire cable through this six-foot long heat shrink with the glue on the inside was a challenge. I used a long steel TIG rod and ran it through the shrink wrap, taped the cable to it and worked the wire through the heat shrink. It worked with a little finessing.

Shark Fin Relocation Cable Location Connection

In my Ram, the cable is behind the windshield’s pillar. It was close enough that I was able to pull the connection ends down to the inside of the dash just inside the passenger’s door.

The end plate of the dash pops off, so I am able to connect the antenna back and forth by just popping of the passenger’s side end plate. I ran the cable through under the hood and had plenty of cable. I removed the single ends of the extension cable.

Shark Fin Relocation Magnet Ram 2500

The antenna mount is very strong as long as you find a completely level flat spot on the hood. If there is any curve it tends to not adhere tightly and will move. My hood still has a metal skin, so it works well.

The antenna works great! I can now drive in any direction and still receive my XM Satellite Radio. It took me six hours to complete this modification and cost me about $100.  In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is moderate.

Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.

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If you’d like to enter a modification you’ve done on your truck camper, click here. You can enter as many mods as you want, at any time.  Good luck mod makers!

 

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