Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum CB radio range

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    • #53968
      Stan
      Participant

      For those of you with hard side truck campers, what distances are you able to transmit and able to receive with a CB radio? Also, what type antennae are you using and where do you mount it.

      A caravan trip I’m interested in requires CBs (not FSRs) due to lack of cell phone service.

      Thanks

      2017 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath, 510 watts Solar, 300 Ah lithium battery, 2000 watt MPPT inverter, A/C, propane genset, various cabinet mods. Previous 2007 Arctic Fox 990 and 5vr.

      2007 Dodge 3500 4x4 5.9 Cummins dually.

    • #54007
      Alex Blasingame
      Moderator

      I was hoping someone would answer your question, I would like to know as well!

      Bunduvry Hardside Camper, onwers Alex and Julie

    • #54019
      Stan
      Participant

      Breaker, breaker TCA. Anybody got your ears on? Come on. Come on.

      2017 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath, 510 watts Solar, 300 Ah lithium battery, 2000 watt MPPT inverter, A/C, propane genset, various cabinet mods. Previous 2007 Arctic Fox 990 and 5vr.

      2007 Dodge 3500 4x4 5.9 Cummins dually.

    • #54020
      ardvark
      Participant

      From the Internet “The average range depends on the type of CB radio that you have and your location. But I have done some research that will give you an idea. A general rule of thumb is that CB radios have a range of around 3 miles to 20 miles depending on the model, antenna, and external factors that may affect the range.”

      Although the one I have in my truck would be at the lower end of that quote. I put on in simply to listen for accidents on the Interstate so we can get off before we hit traffic jams. Very seldom do we hear anything. You can go spendy and get more features, but reportedly no more range than with cheap models. I am only using a short antenna so I expect my range to be quite limited. Plenty of info on the Internet for those interested.

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #54029
      Stan
      Participant

      Thanks, Ardvark!

      My understanding is the radios are all the same wattage. The type antennas and how they are mounted, grounded and tuned make the diff in reception and transmission. It seems antenna length alone is not as important as other antenna attributes.

      It also seems big obstructions, like a TC, greatly reduce signal strength. I’m wondering how much they interfere.

      With a standard install and front mounted antenna should I expect only 3-5 miles reception in front of me and less than a mile to the rear? Would twin antennas mounted front and back provide the same distance front and back of the rig?

      And if say 3-5 miles is the usual distance, will a handheld CB produce the same results? A hadheld would certainly be ore versatile.

      I remember seeing a number of rigs at the previous rallies with antennas and know the FSRs are used by may folks who follow here so thought I’d ask for any first hand info that might be available. If I do get some good info I’ll circle back here to pass it along.

      2017 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath, 510 watts Solar, 300 Ah lithium battery, 2000 watt MPPT inverter, A/C, propane genset, various cabinet mods. Previous 2007 Arctic Fox 990 and 5vr.

      2007 Dodge 3500 4x4 5.9 Cummins dually.

    • #54034
      Joel Gambino
      Participant

      You are correct that CB is limited to 5 watts. But I think even the handhelds are 5 watts these days as well. For a given antenna, I think you would get similar performance from a mobile or handheld radio. I’m not sure you would get much benefit from front and rear antennas. The 108 inch whip antenna might be best, but a mag mount on top would also be a good choice.

      If you want a little more punch, you could get a GMRS radio. It requires a license, but no test and the license is good for the whole family. I think the limit for GMRS is 50 watts.

      Of course amateur radio will give you the most options, but that requires taking a test.

    • #54048
      Stan
      Participant

      Thanks, Joel.

      I Googled GMRS vs CB and came across an interesting link from Jeep Jamboree, Inc addressing why they are moving away from CB to GMRS for comms. Thought I’d share it as so many folks here tow Jeeps, etc.

      CB to be Replaced by FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios in 2021

      2017 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath, 510 watts Solar, 300 Ah lithium battery, 2000 watt MPPT inverter, A/C, propane genset, various cabinet mods. Previous 2007 Arctic Fox 990 and 5vr.

      2007 Dodge 3500 4x4 5.9 Cummins dually.

    • #54049

      Thanks for the article Stan!

    • #54050
      ardvark
      Participant

      I have had handhelds in the past with built-in antenna, basically worthless.

      Steve and Andra
      2012 F350 6.2 gasser SRW LB
      Fab Fours front and rear in case we run into a rhino
      2019 Northstar Laredo SC

    • #54062
      Wheeldog
      Participant

      I drive a gravel truck in the summer here in AK. I use the CB pretty much every day. When I pull into a gravel pit I can communicate with the scale house and loader operators. I can communicate with other trucks and contractors when I deliver a load. It’s an important tool of the trade.

      As with anything else there isn’t any standard for their range. Sometimes they only work for a mile or two. Other times they work for 5 or 6 miles. They are line of sight. So it depends on what obstacles are between you and the person you are talking to. I buy CB’s on line that are supposed to be “tuned” with a little more power and I use a Wilson 5000 antenna. That combination works for me.

      I don’t use a CB in my camper. A lot of truckers down in America have linear transmitters that can boost a CB signal as much as 100 watts. That pretty much drove me nuts. Some antennas need a “ground plane” so if you don’t have a metal roof they may not work well????

      2016 3500 HD Durmax

      1994 S and S 9.5' Camper (SOLD)
      1999 S and S 9.5 Camper

    • #54063
      Stan
      Participant

      Thanks again to all who’ve responded! I have a better understanding of how much I want to invest for some future trips to include AK.

      Wheeldog, in your opinion, when would be the best four week period to drive thru AK and do some fishing?

      2017 Arctic Fox 1150 Dry Bath, 510 watts Solar, 300 Ah lithium battery, 2000 watt MPPT inverter, A/C, propane genset, various cabinet mods. Previous 2007 Arctic Fox 990 and 5vr.

      2007 Dodge 3500 4x4 5.9 Cummins dually.

    • #54083
      Joel Gambino
      Participant

      If you are interested in ham radio, here is a good place to start:

      http://www.arrl.org/what-is-ham-radio

      Ham radio offers CB and GMRS type communication (VHF and UHF) as well as long wave “HF” that allows you to talk around the country and around the world. Power limits for HF go as high as 1500 watts, though I have talked to all 50 states and 71 countries using 100 watts and a wire antenna.

      More info on the setup in my camper:

      Ham Radio for Truck Camper thread

      Joel

    • #54205
      Wheeldog
      Participant

      Thanks again to all who’ve responded! I have a better understanding of how much I want to invest for some future trips to include AK.

      Wheeldog, in your opinion, when would be the best four week period to drive thru AK and do some fishing?

      I don’t do much fishing, so don’t know a whole lot about it.

      One of my customers is a big fisherman. He goes out of Valdez on a charter and his goal is to fill the freezer with fish on that 1 trip. They limited out on Ling Cod, halibut, and Yellow eye. He goes the end of July. He checks the tides as certain tides mean better fishing. The charter he goes with needs close to a year booking in advance. If you are into salmon, different species run at various times of the year.

      Check out the Alaska Outdoor Forum. Lots of local information. https://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/

      2016 3500 HD Durmax

      1994 S and S 9.5' Camper (SOLD)
      1999 S and S 9.5 Camper

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