What Is the best antenna?

December 17, 2021
What is the best antenna for

With hundred of antennas on the market, it can be overwhelming trying to determine which one is best for your vehicle.

But fear not! In the article below, we'll recommend what we consider to be the best CB antennas on the market today as well as explain the fundamental principles you need to understand to pick the right antenna.

Here at Right Channel Radios we specialize in CBs for trucks, 4x4s, Jeeps, off-road vehicles and commercial/construction equipment. So while we'll discuss all types of antennas, we'll be offering advice specifically with truck and 4x4 drivers in mind below.

Own a Pickup or Jeep? You may want to jump directly to our vehicle specific antenna guides here for Jeeps and Pickup Trucks.

The Wilson 1000 - Our Favorite 5' Magnet Antenna

At 62", the Wilson 1000 is a much larger antenna but it performs extremely well. Installed on your rooftop, you'll likely get between 5 to 7 miles on average and - given the right conditions - significantly more. The whip portion also screws-off at the base, so you can remove the whip to improve clearance while still leaving the magnetic base and coax attached.

102" Whip Antennas

Given the title of this article - "Choosing the Best CB Antenna" perhaps we should have put this one at the top. The 102" whip antenna will, without a doubt, provide you with the best performance of ANY of the antennas on this page!

Unlike the other antennas mentioned, there is no coil location for this antenna. It doesn't need one because the 102" represents a perfect 1/4 CB wave length. All of the other antennas we mention take 102" of wire and wrap it up tightly to simulate a 102" whip. This antenna is the real deal.

Range - 10 Miles or More

The title about sums it up! You'll usually get at least 10 miles - often significantly more - with a 102" whip antenna.

Pros - Incredible Performance & Affordable

If you haven't gathered yet, the 102" whip will give you top-notch performance. It's incredible! It's also relatively inexpensive given it's size, and will cost you significantly less than a center load or even many magnet mount antennas.

Cons - It's Enormous!

102" is 8.5 feet. That's enormous. Even when mounted to your bumper, this antenna will stick well above your roofline.

Given it's size and weight, you'll also want to invest in a fairly heavy-duty mount to support it. People will most often use a ball mount or a sturdy 3-way bracket to keep this beast well secured.

From an off-road perspective, it can be a great choice if you'll exclusively be driving in open air, desert like conditions. But if you'll be venturing into wooded areas, it's probably a poor choice due to it's size and clearance issues.

Trucker Antennas (Center-Loaded Antennas)

Dubbed "trucker antennas" because they're most often used by semi-trucks, center-loaded antennas have a thick stainless steel lower shaft that makes up the bottom quarter to third of the antenna.

The coil sits above this shaft, usually in a plastic housing, and the remainder of the antenna consists of a long, thin steel whip similar to the kind of whip used in magnet mount antennas.

Trucker antennas have their coil located in the plastic housing, usually located near the bottom portion of the antenna.

Approximate Range: 7 to 10 Miles

Transmit and receive range will vary dramatically based on conditions and the mounting location of the antenna. While trucker antennas will often range slightly in height between 45" and 60", a rough range of 7 to 10 miles is a good approximation of what you'll see from most models.

Pros - Great Performance

Of all the antennas (excluding a 102" whip), center load trucker antennas offer the best performance when compared to similarly mounted antennas of the same height. For drivers who can mount them high enough on their vehicles and will use them exclusively for on-road use (like semi truck drivers), they can be a good option.

Cons - Expensive & More Damage Prone

Trucker antennas are expensive. Compared to a $25 fiberglass antenna, a good center load antenna will cost you $60+, and this is before you purchase a mount and coax.

They're also much more prone to damage if hit. The elevated plastic coil is more susceptible to damage than a low magnetic base. And the lower metal shift, while solid, is unforgiving and has the potential to bend the mount and your vehicle if impacted strongly enough.

The Wilson 2000 - Our Favorite Trucker Antenna

A perennial performer, the Wilson 2000 offers great performance at a reasonable price for a trucker antenna. Some may tell you to step up to the Wilson 5000, but the only reason to do that would be if you're running a souped up, high wattage radio. If you're not, save your money and stick with the Wilson 2000.

No-Ground Plane (NGP) Antennas

When installing a CB antenna on an RV, boat or any vehicle with no metal chassis, a no-ground plane CB antenna kit is required. A traditional CB antenna uses the metal chassis of a vehicle when transmitting the radio’s signal. Without a good ground plane, the antenna will perform poorly.

Pros - They Work Without Metal

The best part of a no-ground setup? It will actually work! If you try to install a standard CB setup on a vehicle with a lot of fiberglass, or without a sufficient ground, it simply won't function properly. You'll get frustrated and probably do something you'll regret. So if in doubt, stick with no-ground plane equipment.

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Source: www.rightchannelradios.com
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