Winegard RoadTrip MiniMax Satellite Install

Accessories, Headlines — By on May 9, 2011 at 11:21 am


An item on my list to install in my toy hauler has always been a roof mounted automatic positioning satellite dish. For years I’ve been dealing with manually positioning the tripod mounted dish in the sand. More often than not I wouldn’t even set it up because of the hassle. Up until now I had no idea which brand to get so I contacted a friend of mine who is the parts manager at Sierra Rv in Sunset, Utah to get some advice. With his help, I decided on Winegard’s RoadTrip MiniMax RT8000S The RoadTrip has a small footprint, is fully automatic, works with Directv & Dish networks and supports up to two receivers. I chose the stationary model but they have an in-motion model for RV’s as well.  The minimax only supports SD programming with Directv but both SD and HD with Dish Network.

Installation was surprisingly easy.


First, I removed my flatscreen TV from its mount so I can locate and understand the existing cabling. I then got on the roof and found a suitable location for the dish making sure it would not be blocked by the A/C units. Back in the trailer, using a hole saw, I drilled a one inch hole in the ceiling  below and in front of where I planned to install the dish.

I was very careful not to punch through all the way with the blade in case wiring existed in the attic. I used a flat head screwdriver to break through the rest of the way. It turns out this was a good call as I would’ve cut into some romex wire.

Next, using a long 1″ flat wood bit, I drilled up through the hole I just made and out through the roof just barely poking a small hole through the rubber roof membrane. Then, from outside on top of the roof I used my utility knife to cut the rubber membrane in a neat 1″ circle so I could continue to cut through the wood portion of the roof from above.

I then mounted the dish using the hardware provided, throughly covering each screw and each mounting location with an all-weather flexible sealant. After connecting the provided coax and power cables to the dish and routing them through the hole, I thoroughly sealed the entrance hole and screwed down the cover plate.

Inside I routed the power lead to the provided switch which I mounted on the entertainment cabinet below the thermostat. Then ran a hot lead and a ground wire to the 12 volt distribution panel. The coax cable was connected to my Directv box and a short coax run from the box to the TV completed the wiring.

Operation is just a matter of turning on the switch. Once you do, you will hear the positioning motors rotating the dish as it attempts to locate the satellite. This normally takes 2 to 3 minutes the first time. Once it locates the correct satellite, normal Directv operations take over. One last tip, once the dish locates and locks on to a satellite, turn off the switch. This will keep the dish from trying to re-locate in the event dew or excess dirt build up on the dome and send the dish a false signal.

Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the MiniMax. The installation and setup were simple and quality of construction was top notch.

Tags: toy hauler satellite, Voltage, Winegard roadtrip minimax

    4 Comments

  • Harry says:

    Kevin,

    Enjoyed your article on the satellite antenna install, I opted to have the dealer install Road trip mimi max sure beats the old crank and find antennas. I have Voltage 3200 any ideas on how you might get the sat to play on the outside TV?? I was thinking I might have to run audio and video cables from the sat receiver which is inside. Would be nice to watch NASCAR outside. Any suggestions??

    Thanks,

    Harry
    Chagrin Falls, Ohio

  • Kevin McKenzie says:

    Harry,

    I’m not sure where the sat cable from the outside TV runs but its a good bet it probably pops up behind the distribution center. Chasing wire in these things isnt very easy is it?

  • Harry says:

    Yes, It’s not like chasing wires in your house. Do you perhaps know where the off air digital antenna terminates? The amplifier switch is in the master BR in the ceiling above the flat panel. I would think there would be a splitter somewhere where it goes to all four TV’s

    Harry..

    Also on a different subject; A FYI I have notice after two outings that on the sofa extension there are to steel casters under the sofa almost looks like 1″ ball bearings when the slide is in they are making indentations in the vinyl floor I have taken a 20″x 30″ rubber back rug under the extension while on the traveling to prevent a puncture through the flooring. I will post something on RV.Net in the TH section my name is protector Just a FYI..

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