Airstream Central - Info for Airstream Owners -
Radio Antenna install on a vintage Airstream
Residing in Florida,Terry currently packs a 1974 31' Sovereign.
By Terry
Published on 09/3/2007
Mounting a radio antenna on your coach is not difficult, and with a little advance planning, almost anyone can do it.

Antenna install
Okay, so you just installed a new TV antenna on the roof of your vintage Airstream, putting in new 75 ohm (round) coax cable throughout your coach, removing all the old stuff and feeling pretty good about the way it turned out. Then, you reach over, and turn on the radio and all you hear is the hiss of static. Your radio won't pick up any meaningful signal and you start to get the sneaking suspicion that the extra cable you cut off the old antenna might have attached to the radio.

You are not alone. For those of you that have replaced your old Skyliner antenna and found that you need a radio antenna to complete your A/V update, here is what you need to do.

If your radio is mounted in the small cabinet on the street-side of your coach, consider yourself fortunate as your repair will be easier. If your radio is mounted in an overhead cabinet, you will have to fish the antenna lead through the walls and end cap to get it positioned to plug into your radio.

The antenna that I got and can recommend, is called a "center mount type". It has a 90 degree main mount as well as a 90 degree secondary mount about 8 inches above the main mount. These two mounts will keep the antennae from getting bent and twisted in the normal course of towing and operating your trailer. 

The place I have found to mount the antenna is eight inches below the center longitudinal seam near the front of the coach and about three inches from the end of the straight panel, in the curved area of the front of the coach.

Mark this area, verify that no wires are behind this panel and drill a 7/16" hole through the outer skin, and through the inner skin. Feed the antenna lead through the hole and dab a little sealer around the hole. Then after making sure the antenna is mounted straight, drill a 1/16" hole for the mounting screw and install the screw. After doing this, drill the secondary mounting screw hole, also 1/16" about eight inches above the main mount hole. Attach the screw, and slip the chrome cover over the main mount.
Moving to the inside of the trailer, feed the antenna lead through the jungle of wires to the back of the radio and plug it in. Turn on your radio and listen to the gratifying sounds of music wafting through your coach.

If you have a radio mounted overhead inside the end cap, you will have a more difficult time because of the location of your radio. You will need to fish the antenna lead between the inner and outer skin and you will probably have to remove part of the inner skin. After you install the antenna as previously described, you will need to get an antenna extension so it will reach your radio.

After snaking the wire between the skins to get up to the radio, all you need to do is plug the lead into the radio. Reassemble the inner skin using new aluminum rivets. Don't forget to sit back and enjoy the sound of a job well done.