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Question Of The Week

Readers Respond Yes and No to Satellite Radio and How!

“No way!  We won’t pay to watch television and I sure as heck won’t pay to listen to radio.” – Nancy Malicki, 1995 Dodge Ram 2500, 1995 Coachmen Sportsman

“We use Sirius XM with the factory roof antenna and have not had any problems with the camper blocking the signal.  We’ve wondered if the camper being fiberglass is the reason we have not had any issues the signal getting blocked.” – Charlie Cherry, 2009 GMC Sierra, 2008 Bigfoot 15C9.5

“Yes, I have a receiver in both the truck and the camper.  The one in the truck is OEM.  The one in the camper is a portable model (Onyx) with hard-wired outside antenna and powered mount.  We move it from the house to the camper when needed for an Adventure!  Bonus question: I had to stop wearing my tin foil hat in order to get reception!” – John Wells, 2011 Chevy 3500 HD (No spark plugs!), 2012 Chalet Ascent S100F

Editor: Please keep your tin foil hat on.  It’s there for your protection.

“Yes, I do have XM radio.  It is an add-on so taking the magnet mount antenna and sticking it to the finder out past the cabover was no problem.  I have a long audio cord that I have used to plug into the stereo inside the camper.  It works out nice.” – Jeff Hagberg, 1998 Ford F150, 2006 Travel Lite 800 XBS

“We do not have satellite radio of any brand.  We do have an iPod that we can plug into the radio to listen to on longer road trips.  However, we usually just turn the radio off when we lose the radio signal.  We pass the miles away talking to each other and listening to the sound of driving down the road towards our camping destination.” – Rich Bain, 1999 C3500, 2010 Adventurer 810WS

“No, I do not have satellite radio.” – Jeffrey, 2000 Ford F350, 2001 Bigfoot 25 C10.6B

“Question #1, No.  Question #2, N/A.” – Lawrence Moorehead, 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500HD, 2007 Arctic Fox 811S

“No, I do not have Sirius XM installed on my truck.  I did have a trial subscription when I purchased a new Honda Ridgeline back in 2006.  While I enjoyed the plethora of satellite channel options, the quality was a bit pingy, or grainy.  When driving through the mountains the signal was also sometimes lost, depending on the angle of the satellite that we were connected with.

While traveling, we use our iPod with 3,360 songs on it.  Most of those songs are from our CD collection, but our local public library also uses the Freegal service, where we can legally download three songs for free each week.  Many songs in our collection are from Freegal.  We also get the bulk of our news from NPR so I check the NPR.org station list before going on a trip and see where all of the NPR stations will be as we travel.  They have a NPR Road Trip where you can see all of the stations along your path between starting and ending cities.

My sister does have the satellite radio hardware and paid subscription in her Jeep, and I know she enjoys it very much.  I’m just a cheapskate.  To each his/her own!” – TJ Purdy, 1998 Dodge Ram 2500, 1974 Airstream Sovereign of the Road

“Our truck was built last week and our camper is arriving in May.  Having had multiple trucks and cars with Sirius XM and previously having subscribed, I know the answer.  My truck will have it and I will never use it even during the trial periods.  There used to be a channel that I listened to a lot but they took it off and made it internet only.  There is nothing left that suits me and internet only defeats the purpose. – Jim McCrea, 2013 F350, 2013 Northern Lite 10.2 CD SE

“There is no issue with Sirius reception what so ever, with 10,000 miles since my purchase in December of 2012.” – Larry Petty, 2012 Ford F150, 2012 Hallmark Milner

“The prior owner had an XM radio so I simply bought one and used his antenna wire in the hookup.  I installed it the night before leaving on a camping trip.  We had to call on our cell phone to get the service connected.  We spent all day with Sirius trying to get a channel to work.  I even told them I had a camper that extended over the cab.  They said it shouldn’t hurt anything, duh!  Anyway after getting an add-on antenna, I was faced with the challenge of the pop-up camper with aluminum fittings.

I screwed a fat fender washer into the aluminum on the upper left front corner to attach the magnetic puck too.  Then I had to deal with needing one length of cable when the camper is down and another length when the camper is up.  If you forget that you tied the excess cable around the rear view mirror when raising the camper you have to buy another antenna.  A small take up reel attached to the rear view mirror (optional wide add-on) would be nice, but I just now thought of it.  I wonder where I can get one that small?” – Gene Lueg, Ruston, Louisiana, 2004 Toyota Tundra, 2011 Northstar 650

“I have the factory installed XM.  I also have a portable Sirius radio.  Since the Dodge has the antenna mounted on the roof at the back of the cab, the XM doesn’t work at all when the Lance is on board, neither does the navigation system.  So far, I haven’t found my way to install an antenna.  When I do, I plan to install the antenna on the roof of the Lance so the signal won’t be blocked.  In years past, I mounted my CB on top of the camper with an L bracket, which worked very well.  I just had to remember to disconnect it before I off-loaded the camper.” – Harry Palmer, 2008 Dodge 2500, 2008 Lance 915

“I subscribe to Sirius radio.  I like it because Sirius has NASCAR.  I purchased a Sirius radio external antenna from Best Buy and had my Ford dealer get me a adaptor from Ford.  It’s plugged into the antenna adaptor with the wires run to the front of the hood where I used double sided tape to mount the antenna.” – Gary Gade, 2011 Ford Super Duty 350, 2010 Lance 1181

“We have the portable Sirius radio going in through the cassette player.  I put the antenna on the front of the hood, centered where a hood ornament would be.  It is partially hidden by a bug deflector, but works great.” – Kent Douglas, 2003 Ford F250, 2000 Coachmen

“No.  The stock AM/FM/CD plus dual band amateur radio plus scanner are plenty for me.” – Steve Singhose, 2000 Ford F350, 2004 Arctic Fox 1150

“Yes, I had to add an extension to the antenna and mounted it to the top of the Alaskan camper with Velcro.  I need to leave enough slack so that when I raise the camper it does not pull off the antenna.” – Mike Troeger, 1995 Ford F350, 2005 Alaskan 10′

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