TV Antenna & water level indicators

Submitted: Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:40
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Hi fellow Bushtrackers, I will shortly be picking up my caravan and wondered if any of you had suggestions on the best type of TV antenna to use? Also, I was thinking of installing some water level indicators. Paul at Bushtracker is not too keen on them. Has anyone out there had any experience with these on a Bushtracker? What are your thoughts on them? My big day draws ever nearer and the excitement is starting to build. Looking forward to meeting some of you on the road. Sheryl (sassy-sam10)
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:42

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:42
Television Antenna We have a Winegard made in USA antenna that can be wound up and rotated from inside the caravan. It works pretty good in most places where there is reasonable reception, but the booster has to be operating to get a signal. (cost is about $400 plus fitting) If you do go for one of these make sure that use have them fix rubber rest pads on the roof for the fins to lock down onto to prevent virbration damage on rough roads. The only way to get good reception everywhere is with satellite. For the cost of the plugs and wiring. I would also have the van wired so that an external antenna can be plugged in for the caravan parks where the only reception is by satellite and they have it wired to each site and all you then require is a length of cable to join into your van. Peak Hill NSW is one of those places. Water Level Indicators. We have ONE drinking (potable) and FOUR non-potable tanks without any indicators. With the non-potable it is easy to keep track of your water if you use ONE tank at a time, you just don't know how much is in the tank that you are using at the time and it will always run out when you are in the shower. If you carry a 20lt container of drinking water with you in your vehicle then you will have the equivelent of 1/4 tank of drinking water should the main tank run out, and water with you when away from caravan. I was recently given an electronic sensor unit that covers 3 tanks, the same as what Roger & Jackie have in their van. They should be home in about a weeks time so they should be able to give you a report on how it worked. There are no moving parts in this type so it shouldn't breakdown in rough conditions. The other type has a float that moves up and down with the water and it would get a lot of movement as the water sloshed around while travelling. I think these are the type that BT don't like fitting. To fit either type after delivery it appears that the tank has to be dropped down, at least on one end to drill the holes. Brian
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:43

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:43
Hi to anyone who may have answered my initial query on these accessories. This is now a new query. The original query and any answers were apparently deleted by mistake. To those who may have answered my original query please do so again as I would be grateful to read your suggestions on antennas and water level indicators. Looking forward to hearing from you. Sheryl
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:44

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:44
Hi again from Sheryl, I now have a delivery date of 8th December. Am I excited or am I excited???? Still looking for some feedback on a TV Antenna though. All suggestions will be highly appreciated. I am thinking if I put in an antenna on the drawbar I could then use this as a guide when reversing to hitch up the van (considering that I will be doing this manouvre on my ownsome). Any comments on this? I have one weekend left before heading to sunny Qld so am hoping to buy the antenna next weekend. Looking forward to travelling the road and keeping a lookout for other Bushtrackers. I continue to enjoy my visits to this site and reading all your interesting comments. Regards Sheryl
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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:45

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:45
>From: sassy-sam10

>Still looking for some feedback on a TV Antenna though. All suggestions

Everyone has different opinions, we've tried a few, this is a photo of
what we now use.
http://groups.msn.com/Caravanersforum/grahamampannscaravanbits.msnw

AnswerID: 559966

Reply By: Motley - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:46

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:46
On the TV antenna question: Originally had a GME dome type antenna fitted on roof of van. Found it bloody useless! When we had some work done on the van by Bushtracker, asked Sound in Motion to replace the GME antenna (it had been their recommendation). Now carry a DX2000 - supplied by Happy Wanderer in SA. It is a powered antenna and works well in most towns where there is a TV reception. Agree with Brian - have a socket fitted to provide for signal via fly lead in caravan parks. More and more seem to be providing this service. It needs to be a separate socket, unpowered so as not to "blow up" the Caravan Park's transmitter! Having said all that, the BEST experience we have had is with an Abrolga Portable Satellite Dish. The decoder is fitted in a cupboard in the van connected to TV. I can now set up the Abrolga in less time than I can tune an external TV antenna. A Free to Air card provides ABC, SBS, 7 Central and Imparja. And you can receive the signal anywhere! The whole kit packs up very compactly and is dead easy to use On Water Level indicators - next time round, I would have one on the Potable Tank. Not as an accurate gauge but more to allow us to plan ahead and fill up when we can
Motley

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Reply By: Deleted User - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:47

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:47
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Reply By: Noosa Fox - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:48

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:48
Sheryl, We recently had a reversing camera fitted to the Caravan with a screen that folds down in front of where the cars rear vision mirror is. In addition to the camera on the caravan we also had another camera fitted to the rear of the F250. In our case it fits next to the handle in the tail gate, and I can then tilt the tail gate to the correct angle, and this gives me vision of the tow hitch. It is then a simple matter of reversing directly up to the caravan coupling. I am sure that other vehicle without a tail gate could also mount a camera in a movable bracket so that they could get the same affect. Call in a see us when you are up here, We will be leaving on 7th December. Brian
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Reply By: Rockgoc - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:49

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:49
<LABEL id=HbSession SessionId="436841469"></LABEL> Hi Pete. Just a coupla questions re the Abrolga Dish. .... What sort of damage does buying one do to your wallet, and do you have BTi fit the neccessary plugs/points or whatever to the van 1st, or do you get the Abrolga people to do it? And where do you buy a "free to air" card? Price?? At the moment we get away with using the little old "Uncle Martin" aerial with the two little silver wands sticking up, but them our little van is a windup camper with canvas walls, and I believe that the aluminium sides of the full sized vans act as a stop for tv signals.... Thanks for any info you can share with us, Regards, Jan & Ian
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Reply By: Motley - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:50

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:50
Jan & Ian, The Abrolga unit is currently about $1750 (I think). For that you get a decoder box, complete with Free to Air card. All you need to do is call Optus and they "switch on" the card. The rest of the unit is an aluminium case about 90x90cm which opens up to form the satellite reciever. It has a series of adjusters to align to the satellite. You also get a Satellite Finder which is basically a signal strength meter and a very comprehensive manual which includes the setups for several hundred locations around Australia. There is a cable which in our case connects the satellite receiver to a socket on the outside of the van. Inside the van, the cable runs into the decoder box which in turn is connected to the TV (which in turn is connected to the thigh bone etc etc....) I gulped a bit when I bought it, but ease of use, quality of picture no matter where you are, ease of packing, are the things that I think of now, not the price. BTW - I'm not on commission, just a very satisfied customer! Pete
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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:51

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:51
Sheryl, We have ordered a Wingard antenna which winds up from inside the van like Brians. We saw that Sound in Motion are recommending the Dome but prefer the Wingard after receiving other peoples experiential reports. We are also going to purchase an Abrolga like Peter's and have asked BT to make a storage space under the roof of the bed storage. If you want photos of Peters set up go to the pictures albums page 2 to Peters Album. Photo there. Angie
AnswerID: 559972

Reply By: Turist - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:52

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:52
We have also tried the million dollar super stupendous GME dome antenna. (On BT #1)
I am presently contemplating turning it upside down and using it for a hand basin so that the investment will not be totally lost.
It's a lump of crap.
We have struggled to get a signal while parked next to vans using not much more than bent coat hangers.
The bits of wire had perfect signals, the GME was all snow.

According to GME it's all our fault, they have a miriad of reasons to refuse to take it back.

We fitted a Wineguard to the new van and have pulled in very good signals.
If the antenna mounting is supported by hard foam rubber blocks to prevent vibration damage you should have no problems.
We have done a few trips on bad corrugations and all still OK

Save your money and leave the GME Dome alone.
Regards
Turist
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Reply By: Rockgoc - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:53

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:53
<LABEL id=HbSession SessionId="1301695330"></LABEL> Hi Angie. Just a quick question for you...when you asked BTi to build you an Abrolga dish holder under the bed, did they know what to do or did you have to show them designs etc or what? I know it is not one of their add ons, so do you say to them, see it on the BOG website or what? How did you get them to add it to your van? Cheers from Jan & Ian
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Reply By: Bushtracker Buck & Babe - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:54

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:54
Hi rockgoc, Peter Motley was having some work done at BT around the time of Cania Gorge Rally. I asked BT to take the specs and to put them on file to put into our build. They haven't quoted a price as yet (if there is one). I am waiting for Paul to come back off holidays so I can chat to him about a few alterations and I will speak to him about this as well. If they forgot to take the measurements then Pete has said he can always send them through. The main thing is that they saw what I was talking about. Angie
AnswerID: 559975

Reply By: Rockgoc - Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:55

Thursday, Oct 30, 2003 at 10:55
<LABEL id=HbSession SessionId="487238162"></LABEL> Oh COOL! Thanks heaps Angie. I am having SOOO much fun adding all these little extra things before ours is built. Ian keeps getting scared each time he sees me mailing BTi and says "What NOW??!!" Steve has just told me that our van is going to be early... and I can't wait! This site has been such a help to us....when we sat down and designed our palace-de-wheels we were in such a fog and though "have we missed something which we should have added or what?" I am just going to phone the Copeland Lakes park to make our booking for the 2004 rally, but I think I'll just wait until the Financial Controller comes home so I can "run it by him"...he gets a bit thingie if he thinks I am not consulting him about stuff. We will actually be on a station up in the hills behind Kempsey around then, so it will be a short trip up there. Looking forward to it, as we followed all the partying at Cania with envy via all the posts. Cheers,.....the Rockgocs
AnswerID: 559976

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