Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jack Got the Better of Jim


While we were at Eagle Nest Lake, NM, we noticed our neighbor had a sleek looking TV antenna on his trailer. Jim talked to him about it, and how difficult it was to install (Wayne did it himself), so he and Debbie decided we needed to get rid of our old rattling batwing antennas and get a Jack.


We ordered a couple from PPL, who had the best price, and they were delivered last week at Herron Lake. Jim does not have a good history with do-it-yourself projects, but he found some You Tube videos and studied the installation instructions carefully. On Monday he and Debbie decided to work on hers first, since her roof had more shade, so up they went. Since I can’t work up the courage to climb the ladder and get on the roof, I was the gofer.


For those of you who are not familiar with Lazy Daze, they have a reputation for building a quality motorhome at a reasonable price. If you ever try to remove or replace anything the factory installed, the most difficult part is getting off all the screws, nails, glue and caulk they use. This turned out to be the hardest part of the job, since the old antenna was not only screwed down to a piece of wood under the aluminum roof, but it was glued and caulked extremely well. It took them much scraping and heating the adhesive with a hair dryer before the old antenna mount would come off. And to make it even more fun, it had the consistency and stickiness of taffy, which got all over their tools, clothes, and hands. At this point Jim told me he was sending the other one back and keeping what we had. Our neighbors with kids probably didn’t appreciate the obscenities bouncing off the roof, either.

Prying up the old mount.


Now all this glue had to be removed.


Luckily, we had some Lift Off adhesive remover, which worked fairly well.


Fast forward a few more hours, after a break for lunch, and the new Jack antenna is nicely installed on Debbie’s roof. If anyone is interested in trying this themselves, just email Jim for more details. I didn’t even have to make a trip to the hardware store, just borrowed some bigger drill bits from the camp host, which they didn’t end up using anyway, so I had the easy job.

The nice thing about the Jack is you don’t have to raise and lower it, so that’s one less thing to think about when getting ready to leave. Also there is a built in signal finder with cute little LED lights so you can easily see which direction the antenna needs to point to get the best signal. And the ceiling mount is nice looking.


I thought a nice dinner out and lots of beer would help Jim’s spirits after this long, trying day, so we went to downtown Durango to the Steamworks Brewing Co. Although we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table and the service wasn’t the best, the beer was excellent, and our Quinoa burgers and garlic-rosemary potato mash was so good we may have to go back again while we’re here.

Our table with a view of the brewery.


After a half pitcher of Backside Stout, Jim was reconsidering sending back the other antenna. I think he will tackle ours after a few days of rest, since Debbie is willing, and now they know exactly what they are getting into.

The finished product on left with it’s sleek profile. They did good!



  1. Congratulations are in order for Jim. Great looking job. He's got the right idea about not wanting to do another, though! That's one thing about Lazy Daze that I really like, when they put stuff on the roof, they really seal it up! Give him time to contemplate, and soon he will be back up there on his own roof, ready to turn the air blue once again!! LOL

  2. What a mess that mount looks like. I notice no gloves on those hands. Hope that goop came off the hands easily.

    CONGRATULATIONS Jim...great job!

  3. So the 64 dollar question is: Does the antenna work better? After all that work, I hope it does.

  4. Paul and Marti, good question. Debbie had the Winegard antenna which did not include the Wingman. We have the wingman on ours and frankly I am not sure how much it improved our reception, if any.

    She is getting reception at our present location as good or better. No more channels but we aren't in a great location for lots of channels.

    The reasons I was drawn to the Jack is that it does not have to be raised and lowered. It should not rattle in winds which we have plenty of out west and finally it has the built in signal meter so you can see as you rotate where the best signal is which eliminates the rotate and scan and repeat cycle.

    Based on everything I have read from actual users the Jack gets as good or better reception than the Winegard with wingman and I will be happy if it is just as good.


  5. I don't think I'd tackle that job myself. :(

  6. I don't get on the Duck, either, so I am the gofer.

    Kudos to Jim for being an instruction-reader. I hear that works.

    And, QUINOA BURGERS?? YUM! I've never heard of such a thing. I want to hear of it with my mouth.

  7. Wow that looks like a big job. Congratulations. I second Roxanne on the Quinoa burger but add the potato mash to mine please. Wonder if they'd part with the recipes since I might have trouble just now getting out there to Durango.

  8. Thanks, Jim. We'll be very interested in seeing your results and opinions.

    We have the bat wing with the wing man and convertor box. Since switching from analog to digital, we are very unimpressed with over the air TV. We can get China and Russia well, but not close by local stations.

    Fortunately, we have satellite TV too, so we seldom need the over the air antenna. But if this is a great improvement, it may be worth it to switch for the times we have too much tree coverage.

    Paul (& Marti)

  9. What a job! I too was interested in the Jack antenna and wondered what you would charge for installation? HA!

  10. Jim, I haven't worked up the energy to install our own yet.