Replacing our old antenna with the King Jack RV Antenna with Signal Finder – OA8501 was not a terribly difficult process. Start to finish the whole project should not take more than 2 or 3 hours at most. It took me that long and I was filming everything for our companion video which you will find later in the post.
Order The King Jack
First things first, order all the supplies you need for this install. What you don’t want to do is start then find out you are missing a part then you have an open hole in your roof till it arrives. In the video, I mention running to get the hole saw locally because I didn’t realize I needed it. If you have it great, if not don’t forget to order it through the links below.
- King Jack Antenna in Black https://amzn.to/2TZMNLG
- Mounting plate https://amzn.to/2CvDEAr
- Butyl Tape and Self Leveling Sealer Caulking COMBO DEAL https://amzn.to/2HxYROi
- 2 1/4″ Hole Saw https://amzn.to/2TqvFuo
Remove The Old Antenna
I have everything, now what? The next step is to remove the old antenna. Start out by removing the interior handle that rolls the old antenna up and down. For this you’ll need an allen key and a philips screwdriver. The handle, spring, shaft guide and beauty ring should all come off here. Once these parts are off it is time to climb on to the roof and remove the one that came on the RV to begin with.
To get the old antenna off the roof you are going to need a scraper and a phillips screw driver. The base will be sealed with self leveling dicor. When removing the dicor be sure that you are careful and do not rip the roof material. It is quite durable but the scraper is a lot sharper than you think! If you do happen to rip the roof, hopefully the base plate is going to cover it.
Take your time and remove small chunks of the dicor and getting it all off and perfectly clean is not necessary. You just need to be sure that it is semi smooth with no huge chunks. After the dicor is removed you will need to remove the screws. They will have the caulk over them as well but if you push good and hard you really don’t need to bother taking it off the screws. Just be careful you don’t strip the screw head.
With the dicor and screws removed you should be able to pry the antenna off of the roof. It will probably take a bit of force to get it off because it will be attached with the butyl tape as well. You can use your scraper to get between the base of the antenna and the RV’s roof to use it as a lever. After it is removed you will have a little more clean up to do.
Prep for New King Jack Antenna
With the old antenna out of the way you are almost ready for a beer! Everything else is pretty easy going from here. The old hole for your turn shaft was most likely 3/4 inch. The new shaft hole needs to be a 2 1/4″. Watch the video for a trick on how to enlarge the existing hole with your hole saw. It is super simple and will keep you from destroying the roof, fingers, wrists, drills etc. It will also take less time and save a ton of frustration!
Once the hole is drilled I would suggest doing a dry run and hooking up the antenna to make sure nothing is defective. Once you seal it to the roof it will be A LOT more work to exchange it if there is a problem. If you are all set with a good working King Jack antenna it is time to start assembling and installing it.
First hook up the cable coming from the RV to the splitter, then you will attach the base plate to the antenna with the included screws and nuts. After that is done apply the butyl tape to the bottom of the base plate. I ran strips all the way across all 4 sides then a few strips in the middle. This does not need to be pretty since you are the only person who will see it.
The next step is to put some dicor around the joint where the black antenna enters the white base (where the cable is in the above picture). Be careful with this step. Too much dicor in that area will cause the shaft to not spin and you need your antenna to spin.
Installing Your New King Jack
Installing the Antenna
This is it! You are about to start the install. Carefully align the shaft in the hole along with the cable that goes to the signal finder and position your base plate so that all the holes in your roof are covered. If you have any holes that are not covered, hopefully they are screw holes and you are able to position those extremely close to the edge of the base plate. That is what I wound up having to do. If you like the position give it a nice solid press down so it stays in place since we are done on the roof for the moment.
Installing the Signal Finder
The signal finder and turning knob come in about 3 pieces. The base is the first piece you will install. Connect the cable coming from the antenna itself to the signal finder. After that is nice and tight, you will secure the base to the ceiling with about 5 screws but be certain you do not over tighten them. The ceiling material is about 1/8″ thick and not super sturdy. When you are installing the base plate make sure that you have the shaft protruding through the hole far enough that you can pull it out a bit more if needed.
The next part you install is the knob. It will have a screw that goes through the center of the knob into the shaft to secure it in place. After that is in and tightened to the screw all that is left is to snap on the cover. You may have to place a sticker on the cover that explains the sensitivity adjustment. At this point you have yourself a working antenna. Turn your TV on and do a quick search and make sure everything is working correctly one last time.
Weather Sealing the Antenna
With everything working you will have to get back on the roof. You can reuse the old screws, which is what I did, to screw down the base plate to the roof. They do not predrilled holes telling you where the screws need to go. Use your best judgement, the more screws you use, the more you have to seal. I used eight. I put 1 in each corner and then put 1 in the middle of each side.
If you have never used a caulking gun before I explain how to use one in the video. This is the point where you need to not rush and take your time. Sealing is the MOST important step in my opinion because who wants to chase down a leak? Not this guy! The dicor is a self leveling product if you get the seems and the screws covered pretty well you should be good. The dicor will do the rest by spreading out and seeping into any cracks.
Congrats enjoy your new antenna! The video is below.
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