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Tuesday, July 6, 2010

To CB or Not to CB, That is the Question

Breaker One-Nine.  Come in, Good Buddy.  Looks like we got ourselves a Convoy!

Remember the Citizen's Band (CB) radio craze of the 1970's?  CB radios are still used on the roadways today, a favorite means of communication by over-the-road truckers to break up the lonely hours and get traffic information, weather and road conditions up the road or even call for help.

RVs often times have CB radios, too.  Just as useful for the RVer as a trucker, plus it helps to communicate to fellow RVs when traveling together.

My previous motorhome had a CB radio antenna on the roof right from the factory along with the associated wiring and antenna cable already installed.  All it took was for me to plug in a CB, which I did.  I purchased the model CB that had all the workings and speaker all built in to the microphone.

It worked okay, but was very limited in range, most likely due to the poor factory installed antenna.

Our Journey did not come from the factory with any CB antenna or wiring, I'd have to install it myself.  I'd like to install the CB, but I have an issue...I don't want to drill a hole in my RV!

So the only option is to use a through the glass antenna, which is notorious for poor performance and limited range.

Or I just need to grow up and drill a hole to mount an antenna.  The hole would need to be sealed with caulking to prevent leaks.  Also, a special type of antenna is required, a "No Ground Plane" unit because it is mounted on a fiberglass body instead of a sheet metal body like a truck or a car.

There is a top brand, call a Firestik, that is a No Ground Plane unit, and it has two varieties, a top mount:

Or a side mount that would require not one, but two holes (gasp!) even though they'd be smaller.

One other issue comes to mind, the language that truckers use on the radio.  Do I want to listen to truckers talking like @^!Q_%#*! *%#)#*!! ?  Not really. 

I know the radio has an On/Off switch and it was usually off in our previous motorhome.  However, the few times I might need to switch it on to find out what's up ahead may make it all worthwhile.

In the mean time, I'll have to think this through, after all, I've had the Journey now for three years.  It's not like I'm rushing into this...

Just curious, what do you use in your RV?  Do you have a CB?  Do you find it worthwhile?  Do you use it?  And...did you drill a hole in your RV to mount the antenna?  I'm such a chicken...

Thanks for visiting and please leave a comment.


  1. I have the same CB you show in your picture but it has pretty limited range. I am not sure it is the antenna as I have checked that out and it appears to be a good match. I have an old CB that I may switch out to see if the range is any better. Like you I don't want to listen to all the &*%$ chatter but when you need it, it is nice to have.

  2. We don't have a CB but it does hold some appeal. There's something about being connected to others live out there on the open road. So I like the idea. In fact, maybe John and I should think about it. Does a CB have a police scanner in it too? But that hole in the roof would be an obstacle for me too. I mean, it is so permanent and what if something goes wrong with that hole? Anyway, I want to thank you guys for your wonderfully supportive comments on my blog. They make me smile every dang time! Take care...The Camp Host Housewife and Photographer (smiles)

  3. We have a CB in the rig. Nice to have but not always needed. We used it most when travelling with 2 other couples, it was easier than dialing cell phones all the time, and all three of us could be clued in at the same time on fuel stops, attractions or changes in plans.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  4. I don't have much to say about a CB but I can relate to the hole in the roof. We recently drilled a hole in the fiberglass roof of our Brave to install a cellphone antennae to get internet. Also had to make our own ground plane. Use butyl tape instead of caulk. An rv service shop has plenty of it. It still hurt to drill it.


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