Monday, April 18, 2016

Replacing our AM/FM antenna and some running lights…

We had our tree limb accident in Florida and damaged a few items on our roof along with a little body damage.  We decided to call our insurance company to receive a check for the damage and soon thereafter schedule the repairs. Well, insurance claims are not so simple when you are a nomadic full-timer and actually live in your RV. We notified our insurance company shortly after the accident since we were on our way to Louisiana where we had reserved a month-long stay. After their call back we agreed to have an insurance representative come there to assess our damage.

replace lens cover on running lightlens cover side view

After a bit of miscommunication, it took about two weeks for the guy to arrive for the inspection. He was a nice, efficient fellow but since he was a contractor for the insurance company he could not give me any information about how long it would take to hear back from the company. He explained he would submit his report and then the company should contact us.

A few more weeks passed and by then we were in Texas for our current month-long stay here in College Station. I kept calling the insurance company discovering there were delays in acquiring estimates as RV parts and repairs are a bit more difficult to get bids for. We finally received our settlement which we felt was pretty fair and even after our $1000 deductible we felt we would have enough money to do all of the repairs especially since I planned to do most, if not all of them,thus saving the labor costs.

replace both side light assemblies 1replace both side light assemblies 2

Some relatively easy items to repair and/or replace would be the radio antenna which sheared off the roof and the running lights that were broken by the tree branch. Also I figured I could replace the satellite dish without too much effort. The body damage I would read about later and see if I could repair it as well or at least determine if we needed to have someone else repair it on down the road.

where antenna broke offreplace one radio antenna

I had to order the running lights from the Tiffin store in Red Bay and while I was at it I ordered some side lights (that were disintegrating – see top left photo) as well. The AM/FM radio antenna I ordered from Amazon since it matched the other one I had on the other side of the rig. The only challenge I had installing the items was with the antenna. The antenna on the RV had a unique connector (called a Shakespeare Connector) and since I couldn’t find any adaptors locally to connect the Shakespeare Connector to the radio antenna’s connector I simply cut both ends off, stripped the wires back and soldered the two together. A little black electrical tape and I was almost done.

dome 001

The lights were simple to install as there were only a few screws to remove and then I cut the wires from the old lights. Using wire strippers I cut back the insulation and then used heat shrink wire connectors and electrical tape to replace the old lights with the new ones. I was happy it looked good as new and was done with no labor costs!

The damaged satellite dome was a King Dome Model 9702 stationary roof mounted one. After speaking with King Dome the recommended replacement for me was the King Quest Model VQ4100 which is a  Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna. I ordered that and will install it next.

I will pen a follow-up blog to detail the remaining repair/replacement process and although there were quite a few delays in the beginning, the timing actually was perfect since this spacious site here at Holiday RV park along with its proximity to all the supply stores I might need has made this an easier process.

7 comments:

  1. Nice to get those issues taken care of, while settled in for a while on a large site.

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    1. yes staying at a site for a while and having a place for mail to reach is a must to get any [project done...

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  2. It's amazing how much damage a tree limb can do.

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    1. Yes it is! Hope we never find out again.

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  3. Wow it is amazing how much damage there was. We always try to schedule any work we need done when we are back in Virginia where we know the mechanics and body shops. Really fabulous if you can do it all yourself. David is tiring of doing it himself I think. LOL

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    1. yes it certainly helps than I am very handy and can do most things - YouTube videos assist me greatly...

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  4. Wow, what an awesome repair job, John! How much money do you figure you saved by doing it yourself?

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