New Antennas & Tailgate
I love having the ham radio and communications gear, but antennas can look unruly. Especially when you have five really tall ones. I’ve changed the antenna setup several times trying to find the right compromise between range and aesthetics, but ultimately decided to err on the side of aesthetics for daily driving. I can keep the other antennas behind the back seat of the truck for times when I might need the additional range. I opted to replace the CB antenna with a Firestik II, which is 2′ long. On the opposite side of the headache rack, I replaced the scanner antenna with a Browning BR-137, which is 22″ tall, and an adapter that converts the stud to NMO, and adds another inch or so. That antenna is seriously impressive. On the front of the truck, I replaced the factory FM antenna I never use with a stubby 4″ antenna, and the scanner antenna with a Comet SS-450SBNMO, which is 18″ long.
Also dealing with aesthetics, I wasn’t entirely happy with the appearance of the fifth wheel tailgate. I love not having to deal with opening and closing the tailgate when hooking up, but that’s about the extent of my appreciation of it. I’ve been looking for quite a while for a new tailgate, and found one for $425 shipped on Ebay, already painted black, with “a few minor blemishes”. I ordered it and swapped the hardware from my old tailgate over. It does have a couple areas that don’t look perfect, but from a few feet away you would never notice. I also removed all the graphics from the sides and back of the truck.