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On the Roof: coach air-conditioner, vents and fans, skylights, antennas, roof-to-body molding, solar panels.
Click on the Click to Cruiseto go to its Tip:
Click to Cruise Boomerang Antenna (How to fix the factory installation problem)
Click to Cruise "Jack" antenna can replace the Boomerang Antenna  (Off page link)
Click to Cruise Do I need a new TV Antenna to receive a Digital TV Signal?
Click to Cruise Fixing Leaks in your Aero Cruiser
Click to Cruise Roof-to-Body Vinyl Molding Insert
Click to Cruise Replacing the Skylight
Click to Cruise Fixing a Leak by the Skylight
Click to Cruise Replacement Skylight
Click to Cruise Bathroom Fan Replacement with a Fan-Tastic Vent Fan
How to install a Fan-Tastic Vent Fan in an Aero Cruiser
Click to Cruise Fan-Tastic Vent® Fan Not Working or Needs Parts   (Off page link)
Click to Cruise Solar Panels

-- Disclaimer --
Information on this Web Site is provided by members of the "Aero Cruiser Classics" Motor home Club. All information on this site is contributed by the club members or outside sources and is believed to be reliable; however, there is no warranty or guarantee that said information or advice is correct or free of defect. It is offered on a best effort basis and is to be used at your own risk.


Subject:  Boomerang Antenna (How to fix the factory installation problem)
Tip:  The Boomerang antenna installed on the Aero Cruiser is not a bad antenna for what it is designed for; however, I have never seen one properly installed by the factory!  Basically it is an Omni-Directional antenna designed for mobile applications like RV's and Limos.  It has a maximum reach of about 100 miles under optimal conditions which are seldom seen by the Aero Cruiser when parked.

The Boomerang Antenna installed by the factory has an amplifier built in that is powered by that big red switch on the drivers side of the TV.  HOWEVER, the amp and the Antenna are both grounded by the Coaxial cable running from the Antenna to the TV and it depends on being grounded by the TV which never happens!  Therefore the Amplifier never works properly!  The fix is simple!  Skin back a bit of the coaxial insulation exposing the ground shield, wrap and then solder a ground wire to it and attach the other end of the wire to ground.  As an alternative you can install a coaxial coupler and ground it.  I ran the grounding wire the ground side of the 12 volt plug the TV is plugged into.

Now when you turn on the amplifier you will see a difference in the signal displayed on the TV.  Depending on the off-air signal strength you may want the amp on or off. For close signals you will find that the amp will overdrive the signal, for distant signals it will pull it in. If you see no difference then your amplifier may not be grounded!

The Boomerang Antenna's main problem is that it is Omni-Directional which is great if you are moving along an open highway but not so good if camped among trees in a valley. For that you need a directional antenna that you can rotate to find a signal. So many folk have installed a second, folding Antenna like one of the Windgard model. Normally mounted on the roof near the refrigerator vent where it is easier to route the cable.  I hope this helps, 
Keep on Cruising, Tom Heald

Update:  This info is from the installation instructions for the Model 720A amplified model

Wintenna, Inc
911 Amity Road
Anderson,SC 29621
(803) 261-3965

J D, 88'-1989 RB

Update:  Another replace / additional antenna is the "JACK® Digital Over-the-Air HDTV Antenna" described in the tip below.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Do I need a new TV Antenna to receive a Digital TV Signal?
Tip: NO!
Any existing antenna will receive a digital signal just fine!  It only cares about the frequency of the signal not the encoding of the signal (ie.  Amplitude modulation, Frequency modulation or Digital encoding)  I receive 3 digital TV signals at my home on my original boomerang antenna. (  I connect the antenna to a digital TV converter box through a switch -- -- and then on to my old TV.  All new TV's can skip the converter box.  See -- -- for info on a digital antenna one of our members has installed.

Now a sales man will spin all manner of reasons why you should purchase a new antenna, BUT it's not need to receive a digital signal.   However, I am sure that a good sales many can explain why a new antenna is needed and then try to sell you the Brooklyn bridge! 
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Fixing Leaks in your Aero Cruiser
Question:  Last summer I replaced the vinyl insert in the top rub rail because I had water leak into the cab, a few weeks ago we had a melting and once again I had water leaking into the cab.  Any suggestions?  Thanks - Andy
Answer:  The first thing to do is to find the leak! Water will travel a long way once it gets inside. Gravity may carry it far from the source and it will also climb the walls through capillary action. You probably won't be able to see the leak but it should give you a good place to start looking on the outside. 

The most common sources of leaks that I have found are the windows -- I had to seal mine on the road when I ran into rain on my trip around the country -- and the skylight over the shower.  See -- Fixing a Leak by the Skylight -- for a tip on how to Fix the leak. Another spot to look at is any hole through the roof, i.e. vents, fans, antennas and the marker-lights. The screws will loosen and the seal under the fixture will open up.  I have also had to seal the top and sides of all my windows and marker-lights but when (if) you seal the bottom make sure you leave the weep holes open to let any moisture out for both the windows and the marker-lights.   Next is around the screw-covers where the top and side joints are joined. (see several tips starting with, -- Roof-to-Body Vinyl Molding Insert -- Vertical Side Molding -- 
Vinyl Door Molding

The screw-covers are cosmetic and not designed to keep moisture out; however, the vinyl will deteriorate and some times the screws will back out and let water in. When I tighten the screws, I always squirt a generous amount of caulking compound into the hole before replacing the screw. This is as much to help hold the screw in as to keep moisture out. If the hole is worn, I use a larger screw. I also caulk the top of the screw-cover frame or track. On the sides I caulk along both sides of the vinyl screw-cover.

Before you seal anything, clean the old sealant off and use a high quality silicone sealant as explained in the tips above.
Keep on Crusin', Tom Heald

Update:  I currently have my Amera Coach pretty much gutted,  bed, toilet, shower, sink,  all walls in the rear and most of driver side wall up to front of coach.   After removing the paneling and exposing the plywood/fiberboard,  it became quit evident how the water was entering.  All exposed windows showed major water marks  and to further point to the windows as the source of the leaks -- one day it rained while I was inside the coach and I could actually see the rain water coming in.   I had already resealed everything on the roof,  but could not understand why I could not find any water marks anywhere on the ceiling,   Well now I know.  I spent a considerable amount of time working on repairs last summer//fall and have a lot more to do.   

I still may just scrap it for parts.  If anyone is interested please let me know.   Everything works and it can be driven anywhere.  E-mail me for more info,   Engine runs fine,  very new tires and the roof air conditioner is brand new and has not been used on any trips,  frig works well as does furnace,  hot water heater and generator.  All glass ( windows ) are crack free.
Happy motoring, Ed Davis, 612-710-9371
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Roof-to-Body Vinyl Molding Insert
Tip:  Ken Stahl reported in July 2000 that he was able to order a new roof-to-body vinyl insert but that was during the good ol’ days when Camco Mfg. sold directly to the public. Now they are big enough not to bother with that headache and sell through distributors only but are willing to help if you exhausted all possible means first.

If you need a 50’ insert, you can get it just about anywhere, but if you want a 100’ insert, that requires some doing. Learned in Qurtzsite at the Camco booth that if you need a Camco product that you can’t find, call Jenny at 800-334-2004. If you give her your zip code, this fine lady will tell you who their wholesaler is for your area. In my case it is Southern California Distributors in El Cajon, phone No. 619- 588-1269. (I spoke to Rebecca, another fine lady). You call that distributor and they’ll tell which store bought that product. If you’re lucky, the store in your area will have the product or may try to sell you something else that you may not want such as in my case. Camping World parts manager even told me that Camco refuses to sell them the 100’ insert, which of course is not true.

Totally frustrated, I called Jenny back and she was kind enough to find a way to pay off my persistence by selling me a roll of 100’ insert directly. She also suggested calling Camping World mail order sales rather then dealing with local people who are often inapt or misinformed.

The part you want is 3/4 X 100’ Colonial White insert, part No. 25242. This is more than enough for one 29’ Aero Cruiser or for a 23’ Aero Cruisers.  
#212 Petrovich

Note:  Goto -- -- to order online.  They will point you to Amazon.Com where I found "Camco 25242 RV 3/4 x 100' Colonial White Vinyl Insert" for $11.48 + shipping in 2010. 
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update:  You can order the insert by the foot from All Rite. Sungard Flexible Plastic Insert 5/8" wide, color:  Polor white or Colonial etc. for $1.02 per foot in 2010.  Go to --{1}44 -- or -- -- and look it up under "Screw Covers and Trims".   For my 1990, 23 footer I ordered 58 feet and a 29 footer should need around 70 feet, but do your own measurements!
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject: Replacing the Skylight

Tip 1:  Want a simple low cost solution? If height isn't a problem, simply use one or two sheets (for a double pane skylight) of Lexan the same size as the old skylight or a little bigger if needed.  If you are making a double pane skylight you will to cut Laxan or aluminum strips and glued them between the two sheets of Laxan along the sides to give you an air gap.  Before instillation, shim the roof to make it as flat as possible as described below in Fixing a Leak by the Skylight.  You may need to shim other areas also to get a good tight instalation. Then if you want more height use a rubber or aluminum shim on top of the roof to raise it to your specification. (I used wood but I wouldn't use it again.) Place strips of the standard 3/4 inch sealing compound on the bottom (and top if you raise it) Crown it with a 1.5 inch flat aluminum or a 90 degree channel if you shim it up (1.5 inch on each side) then screw it down.  For a double pane installation, make sure you drill small 1/8' holes in the four corners of the inner Lexan sheet to allow any moisture that gets inside to drain out and evaporate.  Looks good and works great as long as you shim the roof first.  (see the tip: "Fixing a Leak by the Skylight" below)  

Tip 2:  In 2000 I replaced my skylight with one I made from scratch. I used a 2x3 frame, 2 Lexan sheets and an aluminum 90 degree channel (1.5 inch on each side) on the top. I cut the 2 by 3's to fit, cut a channel 1/2 inch down from the top and 1/2 inch into the inside so I could insert one of the sheets of Lexan to provide a double wall, insulating airspace in the skylight. I placed the other sheet on top and put the aluminum channel over the edge. I dry assembled everything and trimmed the bottom to fit the contour of the roof.  It lasted for 10 years (the same as the original) however, I had to paint the wood every year to keep it from rotting.  If I was doing it now I would shim it up as described in Tip 1 above. 

Make sure you drill small 1/8' holes in the four corners of the inner Lexan sheet to allow any moisture that gets inside to drain out and evaporate.  If you don't the moisture will eventually rot the wood. 

Before fitting it to the roof it is important to place a shim under the fiberglass roof where it dips forming a gutter on top edge of the roof. (see "Fixing a Leak by the Skylight") Cut the shim about a foot or so long 2 inches wide and taper it from 3/4" to a point at the far end. It won't take all of the dip out but it will take enough out so you will no longer get a puddle there when the coach is leveled. If you don't do this then you will eventually get a leak there.

After fitting it to the roof (with the shim installed) I took it apart, painted it then glued and screwed everything together. I used 2 strips of that 3/4 inch sealing compound used for windows and skylights on top (under the Lexan) and on the bottom where it attached to the roof. Then I screwed it down through the top aluminum channel with 3 inch screws. It looks good and works great.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald

Update:  Well it lasted about the same as the original (10 years) and then the top Lexan sheet started to crack and leak.  
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Fixing a Leak by the Skylight

Tip:  I had a leak by skylight, the water was entering at the low point by the molded gutter in the roof. When I removed the old skylight it was obvious that the water had entered at that point from the dirt that has carried under the seal even though it looked sound from the outside.

It's a tough place to seal because the skylight is flat and the roof dips forming a puddle at the seal. I solved this problem by cutting a shim and putting it under the fiberglass layer of the roof. The shim was about a foot or so long and tapered from 3/4" to a point at the far end by the edge of the roof. It didn't take all of the dip out but it took enough out so that I no longer get a puddle there when the coach is leveled.

The skylight was pretty weathered with some cracks and had a ripple effect along the edge where it had warped between the screws. I got around that problem by using 1.25" fender washers under the screws. It worked well but if I was doing it again I think I would use a strip of aluminum.

That was over two years ago and I haven't had any problem with it. Because of the way the roof and skylight are designed I believe we will all experience this problem sooner or latter.
Keep on Cruisin', Tom Heald
Click to Cruise Return to the Tip List.

Subject:  Replacement Skylight
Tip 1:  If your skylight needs replacement, Thom found a new source for us. It is:
   Specialty Recreation
   1186 Broadway
   El Cajon CA 9202
Thom’s coach needed 18X24 skylight, part No. SL1824w which came ready for installation including instructions. Some trimming was needed. Call Thom for details.
#537 Olson

Tip 2:  All-Right -- -- makes custom parts for Motor Homes.   Got to -- -- for Skylights. 

Tip 3:  All-Right wanted $550 for a double-insulated skylight so I looked at several other alternatives.  I finally settled on: E-Z Tops Worldwide P.O.Box 1400, Calais, Maine, 1-877-433-4568 or to go to the RV Skylight section.

They are manufactured in in Canada and my credit card was charged there also so I received extra charges for a cross border transaction.  They didn't have double- insulated skylights so I ordered two, cut Laxan strips and glued them together.  Then cut aluminum channel caps (1.5 by 0.5) to screw them down and cover the sides.  This made a very rigid package so I shimmed the Fiberglass portion of the roof all around to make it flat and then used silicon calk to seal everything.

Description Qty  Price Total
White Lexan RV Skylights 1/8" x 15" x 22" x 3" high plus 1-1/2" flange  2 $84.40 $168.80
Shipping (see below)      $20.00
Credit Card Foreign Transaction Fee      $5.66
Total on 8/28/2010     $196.46

When I tried to order them online they doubled the shipping to $40, so I called their US Toll Free number 1-877-433-4568 and talked them into a single $20 shipping fee.  They don't make them until you order, so allow a month or so for delivery.
Keep on Crusin', Tom Heald
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Bathroom Fan Replacement with a Fan-Tastic Vent Fan
                How to install a Fan-Tastic Vent Fan in an Aero Cruiser

Question:  Where can I get a replacement for the Bathroom Fan?

Answer:  I considered replacing the standard fan motor and impeller (which was in bad shape in my Cruiser and causing lots of noise) with a muffin fan that would fit into the same enclosure.  I think it would have worked fine but I didn't do it; instead...

What I did do was replace my small, round bathroom fan with a larger Fan-Tastic Vent (14' by 14") fan in my Rear-Bath model.  It pull enough air to cool down the whole coach when we need it.  It also does the other job just fine.  You can use the same wiring as the existing fan as long as you don't cut the wires when you cut the larger hole! :-) I laid out the new location with masking tape, then made the hole larger on the inside as I traced the wires back to the outline of the new hole before I cut it out. It's good I did because the wiring did not take a straight path back.  
If you have a model with an enclosed bathroom, see the update below.

When installing the fan in a different location be careful not to locate your fan where there is a rib in the ceiling.  One way to find the ribs is to look at the due pattern on the roof on a frosty morning.  Another is to look for the seams in the ceiling panels on the inside of the coach.  I believe they are generally over the ribs as can be seen in this picture of a naked Aero Cruiser, but one can never be sure, so play it safe as described below.

The best way to start is inside the rig.  Lay out the area where you want to install the fan with masking tape.  In the center of the area you will remove, use a circular hole-cutting saw like to ones used to install door handles or locks to cut a hole in ceiling panel only, not through the Styrofoam.  Start with a small one inch or so hole, and probe with a coat hanger wire 6 inches or so through the Styrofoam on either side to make sure there are no ribs in the area you will cut. 

When you are sure you have a free area, cut the ceiling panel only without getting into the Styrofoam insulation.  Then carefully remove the foam looking for wires that may run through the area you have selected.  If you find some wires you can easily relocate them to the side.  The last step is to drill holes in each corner up through the roof, then go up on the roof, mask it off and cut the opening.  

I installed mine in the bathroom and used the existing power for the small fan.  If you install it in the front of the rig, you will have to figure out how to get power to it.  When the factory installed a vent fan they put it in front of the fluorescent light in the center of the living area.  As a guess, I would look for an extra hot wire by the light fixture or where the factory installed fan would be located.  Almost all of the Options for the Aero Cruiser were pre-wired using a standard wiring harness run throughout the coach.  So there may be a pair of wires there someplace. Anybody with experience in getting power to the fan, let me know and I will update this tip.

Update:  Do not - REPEAT - do not put it in [an enclosed] bathroom. Even at it's lowest setting, it moves way too much air. When you go to flush the head, your coach will be freshen with lovely black water perfume. I put one in our 5th wheel and now we open it, but never run it when using the head. The stock Aero Cruiser one works just about right for that small space, noisy as it is.

I have not experienced this problem.  My fan has 3 speeds and two settings, to pull air in or push it out. I have never have a problem with air circulation or odor. At night we often set it up to pull air into the rig, and during the day we have it pulling air through the rig and out the vent. I will often crack the windows up in the cab area and get a good flow through the Cruiser. I like to leave it on low to cool the coach down when we are out and about. I have never had any odor migration problems when we use the bathroom when the fan is set up to push the air out of the bathroom.  I suppose one could get order from the holding tank or its vent on the roof, if the fan is set up to pull air in. I have not experienced any problems on my 23 foot Rear-Bath Aero Cruiser.  I highly recommend replacing the bathroom fan in a Rear-Bath model where the toilet is out in the open.  In the Rear-Bed or Twin-Bed models where the bathroom is enclosed, it may be less effective or even a problem.  
Keep on Cruisin' -- Tom Heald
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

Subject:  Solar Panels
Tip 1:  Frank showed a small solar panel that can deliver 0.8 amps in pulses. This can keep your battery charged while in storage without drying it up. He found his at Harbor for $9.99.  Item number 44768.

Tip 2:  I have two 80w panels installed on the roof, but I normally get only 4-9 amps at the best on a sunny day. I just saw the maximum ever last week: surprisingly it was a partly cloudy day. I got 10.2 amps at 13.1 volts, for about 134w. My theory is that the clouds were reflecting sunlight, thus funneling more energy to the panels. Of course, that worked only while I was in direct sun with surrounding clouds.

In short, you may be expecting more amp-hours than you are likely to get.  Remember, the maximum output is only under ideal conditions, with the panels
aimed perfectly at the sun.

My coach had batteries added: two in the front, mounted to the cross member
just behind the grill (thus blocking a little air), and two in the original battery compartment, with an additional compartment added for the engine battery under the table storage cabinet.

Franks 29 footer with two identical Solar Panels.
Frank DeRemer

Update: Support @ RV Solar Electric <>:

I have a motorhome with one of your solar systems on it, installed in 2001:
two panels and regulator charging 4 golf-cart batteries. I get lots of static in my AM radio. Using a portable radio the static is at a max near the regulator. I have tried a 12v line filter to the radio; no reduction. More recently I tried an antenna filter; no reduction.

I am hoping you have had other customers who have had the problem and have found a good solution? Please let me know.
Thanks, --Frank

Address:   RV Solar Electric
                  P.O. Box 25313
                  Scottsdale, AZ 85255
Phone:      (800) 999-8520 (480) 443-8520
Fax:          (480 ) 443 - 0742

Update: Here's what I got back from RV Solar Electric: 

Very rarely we get complaints about AM radio static, unfortunately it is almost impossible to clear up completely, usually a line filter will reduce the static however if the solar lines run near to or intersect the antenna line or power lines for the radio this will cause static that won't reduce with a filter.  You may want to see if the radio power/antenna lines run near the solar lines. 
They do not run near to or intersect the antenna line in my rig says Frank.
Click to CruiseReturn to the Tip List.

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