Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

Now in Crawfordsville, Indiana

We are now in Del Rio Texas

We are now in Del Rio Texas

Missing the bad weather and Removing and Packaging the Satellite Antenna

May 7th - 9th, 2015  

On Thursday morning, the 7th, we are in no real hurry to leave as our next stop is only a little over 200 miles north.  We are up at our usual time between 7 and 7:30am to start our usual routine of coffee and internet.  

I start with MSN to get the news and then to FB to see what is happening with friends and such.  After that I switch to reading some of the other blogs I follow.  During this I have 2 cups of coffee and a bowl of cereal for breakfast.  Then I either do one of my two resistance training exercise routines or I do a walk/run routine of 5 miles.  

Today I did one of my resistance routines because it was time and there wasn’t any place to walk outside anyway. Most days Patty will walk with me for the first 2 miles of my 5 mile routine.  On the days I am doing my resistance routine she usually plays games on the internet.  

We were packed up and ready to leave this “dump” right at 11am.  Before we left I went into the town of Livingston and filled up with diesel for $2.49 a gallon, still not bad!  The trip was very uneventful up to Texarkana and the Texarkana RV Park.  The truck was still performing beautifully!

On our way up to Texarkana we heard from other RV friends who were are still in TX but traveling through Oklahoma to get to their home in Colorado.  They were wondering about us as we were going to go to Oklahoma City and they just got hit with tornados last night.  We would just have arrived in Oklahoma City on the south side on the same day the tornados struck if it were not for the truck having the problem it did!  Oh, and the tornado struck on the same side as we were going to stay, the south side! We are not believers, but yet, we are still safe! Seems pretty random to me. That is the end of my stump speech on that!

The Texarkana RV Park is only a couple of years old and is a real bargain at $21/day with Passport America.  The park has 95 sites that are gravel with concrete patios.  All of the sites are pull throughs with 50 amp full hook ups.  They also have a pool but it was not yet open for the season.  This park is very convenient to several highways and is very close to the city.

Cool sign!

That's us in the middle of the picture.

We are not really on a sightseeing mission yet so we are just staying the usual 2 nights and just taking care of normal live stuff while stopped.  This stop was no different; we had a few things we needed to get at Walmart so we made a run there on Saturday.  

I also spent some time with Winegard about how to get the satellite system back to them for service.  As it is not under warranty any longer they sent me via e-mail an RMA number to put on the box when I ship it.  The RMA is good for 30 days.  They were telling me that I need to ship the entire unit back to them.  The system consists of a roof mounted antenna, 2 sets of cables that are fixed to the roof, a controller, and a power supply.  

What I was mostly concerned with was the stuff permanently fixed to the roof like the cables and the base plate for the antenna.  I wasn’t even sure how the antenna was mounted to the roof yet.  Finally Winegard sent me an instruction sheet on how to remove the stuff they needed. They wanted just the roof antenna and I could leave the permanently mounted base plate in place.  That was great except that was still a lot of stuff to remove and ship back.

I set up a ladder onto the large living room slide so I had better access to the roof to remove the satellite dish.  The only tools I needed were a socket wrench and sockets.  The first thing to do was to manually raise the dish so I could get access to the various nuts I would need to take off.

Ladder in place for the surgical removal of the satellite dish from the roof.

The first to come off was the dish reflector.  That just involved removing 4 nuts and off it came.  Next was the feed arm that has the 3 LMBs on the end.  This was done with the removal of 4 bolts that were threaded into the head of the turret.  Now, for the hardest part, removal of the turret from the base plate.  That required me to remove 13 small 3/8” bolts from the base of the turret that held it to the base plate.  

Dish in the stowed position and my tools ready for the operation.
I have a can of root beer ready also.  It was about 90 when I did this!

Reflector (foreground) and the feed arm removed.  The turret is remaining.

Another picture for perspective.  The 2 cables run on the roof from the dish go to our 2 receivers in the rig. The long one goes to the bedroom and also contains the control cable for the dish.  The short cable goes to the receiver in the living room.

I didn’t know how heavy the turret was until I tried to remove it after the bolts were removed.  It is the heaviest part of the roof mounted items which I am guessing to be about 25lbs.  After removal of the turret it exposed the rubber roof that had been covered since the RV was new.  Wow, what a difference the new roof looks compard to the color it is now!  The cover roof looks solid white and soft.  Now the roof has black specks all over it and not as white.  I first thought that the rubber roof now exposed from under the turret was some sort of padding, but not, it was in fact the original roof.

The removal of the satellite system from the roof was all that I wanted to accomplish for this stop.  The next stop I will attempt to box the 3 parts up to ship to Winegard in Iowa.  

After putting away the satellite parts, I needed to patch the roof where the turret sat.  The base plate that is remaining is beveled upward about ¼” above the rubber roof.  It is also sealed around the outside edges so water doesn’t get in and sit on the mounting screws.  Now that the turret is gone the middle of the base place forms a small bowl for water to sit against the screws from the inside.

Everything removed.  Note the different color of the rubber roof inside the ring of the base plate.  That is what the roof looked like when new!

To patch the roof, I used a plastic trash bag and duct tape.  I used the whole bag so it was 2 layers thick.  I folded the bag to fit the hole and then duck taped the edges.  I’m not sure that this will hold traveling down the road so I will check when we stop at our next site.  I will probably check at every stop until I either replace the dish or permanently replace the system.

This is my patch job.  I'm not real happy with it but it's the best I can do without a lot of work.  I cannot seal the inside of the ring with roof sealant as it needs to come off when I replace the dish.  Just need to check on the patch at every stop and before we leave.

On Saturday the 9th we started our trip northeast up to Forrest City Arkansas just west of Memphis TN.  This trip was a little longer at about 241 miles but it was all on interstate 40.  We are keenly aware that we are traveling in and during tornado season so we watch the weather and the radar on our phones.  A new bad weather cell was moving across the plains toward our north and west.  We were just about 50 miles south of the storm by the time we arrived in Forrest City.  Looks like we missed the storm again!

Our site for the next 2 nights is called Delta Ridge RV Park.  This park is owned and was built by a retired RVer.  It currently has 19 sites with full hook-ups.  He is doing very well so he is adding 6 more sites.  He charges $25 a night which we are good with as this park by far has the best WiFi we have had for some time.  The sites are gravel and pull through.  The sites are not very level so it required a little finesse to get the RV level even with our auto system.  We are used to it though so no big deal. 

Thats our site at Delta Ridge RV Park.  We put our flag up in honor of the RVers challenge to show solidarity with protecting the flag.  We usually don't put it up for just a couple of days.

The big job here is going to be getting the satellite system boxed and ready for shipment.  I am not real sure just how I am going to do this yet.

Stay tuned!


IL Camper said...

Mark, sorry to hear you have to send your satellite dish back to Winegard. I think I'm glad I went with the dish that I set up my self. I've gotten pretty good at finding the satellites and locking on. We're heading to Elkhart, IN on Sunday from Bloomington/Normal, IL to visit our grandkids. We'll be at the Elkhart Campground until March 26th then getting some RV work done before we head to the Chicago area. Stay safe and good luck with the satellite return.

Mark and Patty said...


First, I think you may mean May 26 in your comment. We are in Indiana now for my HS reunion on Saturday. Then we head to the RV-Dreams Reunion in NC on Monday. Will be back here in Indiana, Crawfordsville for a month in June to July.

Yea, the antenna! If asked I would not recommend getting the roof mounted system unless you are handicapped or did a lot of boondocking in parking lots. We have just decided today that we are going to cut our losses here and get a really good tripod system. Don't know which one yet though. To us it seems silly to throw more money at a system with limited ability being mounted (fixed) on a roof. The only good things about it is the convenience of just pushing a button and letting the system set itself up. Also, your footprint when parked is smaller. A lot of money for that! Now we have something like 30 - 40 mounting holes on the roof that I need to watch.

Now I need to figure out what to get and just how I'm going to seal off the roof on a more permanent basis.

More to come!