We did it! Installed both WiFi Ranger and WeBoost in our 2017 Unity MB!!
Getting started was the hardest part… as with ALL our projects. We research and research to be sure we have covered all our options before doing anything… BUT making that first hole is always SCARY! Eventually, we just did it.
After much research and looking at the top of the coach, we decided to mount the antennas on or near the ladder. Mounting on the ladder was perfect as it put them close to the vent pipe which is where we had decided to put a hole for the antenna wires. We had considered several entry points for the antenna wires, but none seemed particularly safe. We had read in several posts that people were going through the vent, but we were unsure if they meant actually through the pipe, or through the cover as we did. (Insert sigh of relief here as we didn’t have to drill a hole in the top of the motorhome!) Using this entry point made a lot of sense as it put the antenna wires directly into an area already dedicated to wire and pipe. From here we had to decide where to install the devices and where to run the wire inside of the coach.
WiFi Ranger could run on either a regular outlet or 12-volt direct wire. Since 120 V outlets in our coach are in high demand, we decided the 12-volt install would better fit our needs. We could have run a new wire, but we preferred to use an existing one that was near a place we could mount the device. The area next to the TV seemed logical, but there were no wires we could use nearby, so we went with what we now consider the best option – beside the safe in the cabinet above the Jensen.
WeBoost was a harder decision! Our options were limited as we needed to have a power outlet and the external antenna wire wasn’t long enough to go much more than half the length of our little motorhome. We considered putting it under the bathroom sink or under the dresser drawers, but we would have had to run power to either place. Plus, it really needed to be close to where we would spend most of our time. We ultimately decided to put it in the entertainment cabinet next to the TV. A power outlet was readily available there.
Before either device could be installed we had to run the antenna wires through the coach and to their designated locations. Oh, the fun we had with these!! Getting the wire into the coach was actually pretty easy once we decided to go in beside the vent, but that was where “easy” ended! We removed the panel covering the vent/wire area (in the high storage above the bathroom sink) and added a notch to the top right to run our new wires through. From there we needed to drill three holes:
- between the high storage and the closet
- between the closet and the pantry
- between the pantry and microwave cabinet. Note: We had to remove the microwave oven to drill this hole.
Since the microwave is plugged in inside an adjacent cabinet, we were able to utilize this hole to continue with the WiFi Ranger wire run. Before continuing, we removed the silver panel (6 screws) with all the controls (above the door), removed the right inside panel of the cabinet to the right of the Jensen and removed the Jensen. Then, using the existing hole, we ran the wire from the microwave cabinet and into the set of 3 cabinets above the TV.
- Between the set of 3 cabinets and into the backside of the control center. Note: We ran the new wire along the bottom of the control panel cabinet.
- Between the control panel cabinet and the tall storage on the other side of the door.
- Into the ceiling! We used a piece of clothes hanger to drill this hole! We were able to reach up through a small space above the ceiling to pull the wire through and into the area above the cab.
- We then went under this cabinet and over to the Jensen.
- We removed the Jenson and drilled yet another hole up into the cabinet with the safe.
Whoa wait a minute! A Wifi Ranger in the safe compartment? Where would we get 12V power for it, you ask? We actually tapped into the Jenson’s power source! After pulling the fuse for safety we wired the WiFi Ranger to the Jensen power supply and checked it – it WORKED! Finished this part up by running the power cord up to the safe area and mounted the WiFi Ranger to the ceiling in the cabinet.
This wire had to run a bit differently. It needed to go DOWN from the microwave rather than across the coach. Luckily, there were also wires running down inside the microwave cabinet, so down we went. We struggled a bit to figure out just where the wires were going inside the wall, but with the help of a little piece of chain taped to the wire and a magnet, we were able to figure out just where the wire was going and “pull” it to the wall inside the entertainment center. We drilled a hole in that spot and used the magnet to try to pull the chain to and through the hole into the cabinet. This where we hit our only major setback… the wire was too short!
We spent a lot of time trying to find connections to either change the wire out or add an extension and failed at everything we tried! We ordered parts from Amazon, went on a shopping trip and even sent a few messages to people asking for help… all to no avail. Eventually, we called WeBoost and they gave us the part number we needed!
Once the extension wire arrived, it was pretty easy to get the wire through the wall and out the hole. We mounted the WeBoost and just had to install the internal antenna which wasn’t hard. Following some existing wires, we ran our wire through the existing hole between the entertainment cabinet and TV cabinet and drilled one final hole below the switches by the door. Velcro’ed the antenna and we were done!
We finished up the install of both devices with some coax cable clips all along the wires path and lots of Dicor at the entry point on top of the coach.
Seems pretty simple, right? Well, it was and wasn’t! Our only real issues were centered around getting started and the WeBoost wire being too short. Most of the wire was pretty easy to run once we gave up on going under the fridge! Overall, it took us nearly two weeks and removing the microwave at least 3 or 4 times to complete the 2-hour project!! Would we do it again? Absolutely. So far, the WiFi Ranger is performing very well and the location is ideal. We aren’t so sure about WeBoost, but with a little time, we will figure it out too.