CB radios offer a remarkable way of communicating with other drivers while you're on the road. They offer get tons of useful information such as weather updates from NOAA weather channels and even let you get traffic updates from your fellow drivers.
Not all CB radios offer the same experience though. To many drivers, nothing is more frustrating than getting distorted messages because of receiving poor signals. Though there are several reasons that can cause poor signals, a poor-quality antenna is by far the most common reason for getting poor signals.
Since we want you to get the best out of your CB radio, we lined up seven of the best CB antennas so that you can buy for your pickup truck today. If you're in a hurry and want an overall good CB antenna, we would suggest you start off with the Tram 3700 since it has plenty of features that make it ideal for a pickup truck.
- 1 Comparison Table of CB Antenna for Pickup Truck
- 2 Reviews of 7 Best CB Antenna for Pickup Truck
- 3 Things to Consider Before Buying a CB Antenna for Pickup Truck
- 4 What is the Best Place to Mount CB Antenna on A Pickup?
- 5 Final Verdict
Comparison Table of CB Antenna for Pickup Truck
Best All-Round Antenna
Most Versatile Antenna
Most Powerful Antenna
Reviews of 7 Best CB Antenna for Pickup Truck
The Tram 3700 is a powerful heavy-duty antenna that can withstand all sorts of conditions. Whether you intend to have it out in the rain or in strong winds, this antenna will definitely exceed your expectations.
The antenna has two sections:
Lower Shaft – It is stronger and sturdier. It is about 6" in length. It is made from stainless steel. This is what makes it able to provide the support that it really needs as you drive.
Upper Shaft – It can extend to over 60 inches in height which goes a long way in ensuring you get to pick clear signals most of the time.
The antenna equally features a quality thermoplastic coil holder which helps in preventing noise. As such, the Tram 3700 would be a great antenna to have especially if you are in a congested highway.
In addition, since the coil is center loaded, you have plenty of options as to where you can place the antenna on your pickup truck.
A center-loaded antenna is always better because it ensures that the coil has little to no obstructions. You also needn't worry about extending its full length. It is flexible enough to withstand breakage unless you damage its base.
There aren't too many differences between the Stryker SR-2K and the Tram 3700 in terms of power. While the Tram 3700 is rated 3700W, the SR-2K is rated 3600W, but this does not make it any less powerful.
For one, the SR-2K works in the 26MHz – 30MHz band. Since this is the same frequency with which CBs operate (27MHz), you will find it rather easy to tune this antenna. You will also get stronger signals depending on where you place the antenna.
Like the Tram 3700, the coil on the antenna is equally center loaded. The antenna has two shafts which are 5" and 10" long. This is like having two different types of antennas. Since you can screw a longer antenna to the Stryker SR-2K, you could always use a longer shaft in case you have one.
The SR-2K is a low loss coil, and this means you will get more power especially if used with an equally powerful CB radio.
In addition, you will also find it easy to make quick adjustments during SWR tuning thanks to the set screws on the assembly.
As it is another Stryker antenna, you would expect the Stryker SRA10 to either have better features than the SR-2K. However, the SRA10 is an entirely different antenna from the SR-2K since it has a high power handling capability of 10,000W.
This high power handling capability means that you can literally use the antenna with any other radio regardless of whether it is a 10-meter radio or an 11-meter radio.
Additionally, the antenna comes with a 10-inch stainless shaft steel that has an efficient high Q coil. As the SRA10 was inspired by the US air force's Thunderbolt II, you can expect top notch performance from this antenna.
The double shell on the coil, for instance, ensures that it is always safe. It is also IPX8 waterproof and this means that you won't have to worry about water reducing its performance.
You can tune the antenna for frequencies of 26-30 MHz and get the most out of it with your CB radio. It has reduced static interference thanks to its 100% silver plate wire and the fact that it can extend into a 49-inch stainless steel whip antenna.
This is yet another center-loaded CB antenna that can sit perfectly above the roof of your pickup truck. Regardless, you really aren’t restricted to keeping the antenna on your roof only.
The Tram 703-HC is a 2-feet tall antenna that comes with a wide magnetic mount that is 3.5" wide. It additionally features a shock spring and ships with a 17-foot long RG58 cable that uses the standard PL-259 connection.
A long cable is far more important than most people realize because it gives you plenty more options than a shorter cable. We were overly pleased that the Tram 703-HC features a long 17-foot cable since many manufacturers hardly include long coax cables nowadays.
Towards the base of the antenna is a shock spring which gives the antenna the overall stability it needs to remain upright whenever your vehicle goes over bumps. It allows the upper part of the antenna to move around without causing strain to the lower part which would otherwise weaken with every sway.
You will also find this antenna particularly easy to tune to an SWR reading of 1 which is a big bonus considering that some antennas cannot achieve this.
Cobra HG A1000
The Cobra HG A1000 may not offer much in terms of power handling especially when compared to an antenna like the Stryker SRA10. It can handle up to 100W which is sufficient for use with CB radios as many hardly ever use all this power.
Despite the 100W rating, the antenna comes with a 4-inch non-abrasive heavy-duty magnet mount which provides the antenna with the support that it needs.
In addition, since it operates in a frequency range of 26-30MHz, it remains perfect for use with CB radios. You will also get a 15-feet matched-braided coaxial cable which you can then use to connect to the CB radio in your pickup truck or even use it with the 10-meter radio you have at home.
The HG A1000 is a base load antenna and this enables it to attain a range of up to 1.5 miles on the open road. However, since you have the extra 15-foot coaxial cable, you will hardly lack an ideal spot to place the antenna to get the maximum range.
The antenna's base pad also has a few advantages that you might find useful. One of them is that its base pad is scratch resistant, and this means that it will not damage your vehicle's paint job. In addition, since it is large, mounting it onto the vehicle is easy.
The TRAM 7743 is different from both the TRAM 703-HC and the TRAM 3700 because you cannot extend it to be longer. People who fancied the HG A1000 are likely to find the TRAM 7743 quite convenient and useful. This is because just like the HG A1000, this antenna comes with a 17-foot heavy-duty RG172 coax cable.
With such a long cable, you can neatly tuck extra cable behind your vehicle's dashboard and place the antenna at a convenient spot like on your vehicle's roof. The antenna also works with Sirius and XM radio receivers that have a standard single SMB antenna port.
The package includes a stainless-steel mirror mount and hardware which means that you have even more spots to place your antenna. In addition, the antenna itself is hermetically sealed. As such, you can comfortably use the antenna even when it is raining outside as the water won't interfere with its internal components.
Unlike many other antennas, the TRAM 7743 offers adjustable elevation. Coupled with the long 17-feet RG174 coax cable, there is little to complain about the antenna when it comes to signal reception. This is because you can place it on a part of your truck that receives better signals. Other antennas that lack a lengthy coax cable would force you to buy a longer coaxial cable.
At 10 inches tall, it is not the longest antennas we've seen, but the fact that you can place it almost anywhere on your pickup truck is neat. This is all thanks to the 17-foot cable which you get for free.
The Browning BR-Trucker resembles the TRAM 7743, but with one main physical difference. The Browning BR-Trucker features a new mushroom-style design which makes it have a unique appearance.
This design is not all about looks alone though since the mushroom-style design makes this antenna suitable for long-range transmission.
The antenna's ground plane plate measures 3". It may seem small, but since the antenna itself towers at 10", a 3" plate is more than enough to help keep the entire unit stable. It also comes with a 3-way stainless steel mirror mount and bolts as well as a 17" thick and premium RG-58/U cable.
It is compatible with Sirius and XM type radios which means you won't have to worry about compatibility.
Things to Consider Before Buying a CB Antenna for Pickup Truck
Before we look at the different features you need to consider when purchasing a CB antenna for your pickup truck, it would be a good idea to understand why you need a CB antenna in the first place. For most people, these are the things that usually top the list:
- To provide steady and consistent transmission
- To enhance range by boosting receive capabilities of the radio
- To avoid signal blocking
Since all these factors will enhance range and enable you to effectively communicate with truckers who are farther away, you can already see why having a good CB antenna for your pickup is important.
Ideally, the main thing you would want to consider whenever buying a CB antenna should be the type of antenna since this will directly dictate its features and which spots on your pickup truck are perfect for placing them.
Below are the most common types of CB antennas.
Magnet Mount Antennas
These antennas let you attach them onto your vehicle thanks to their magnetic base. As you may have guessed, the most logical place to mount such an antenna would be on a high place such as on the roof of your vehicle. One great benefit of magnet mount antennas is that you can always place them on different spots on your vehicle if you have a long coaxial cable.
Center Loaded Antennas
These types of antennas dictate the position of the coil or load on the antenna. Center loaded antennas are ideally for truckers since they are less bulky when compared to the long whip antennas. One place that they really excel is on highways as they can give you a range of up to seven miles.
A fiberglass antenna simply refers to an antenna that has been constructed using a fiberglass rod. These are usually extremely durable, and this thus makes them ideal for off-road settings. You can expect a range of about two to seven miles while using a fiberglass antenna.
If you are looking for a powerful CB antenna, then perhaps a whip antenna should be your pick. As their name suggests, these antennas are super long and some of them may even go up to 102 inches.
However, many people usually find this a little bulky and inconvenient as the antenna may sway wildly from time to time whenever you are driving. On the upside though, whip antennas have an average range of about 10 miles or even more.
While we have broken down CB antennas according to the types, it is possible to find antennas that bundle up two or more of the features discussed. It will thus be up to you to pick one that has features you like.
What is the Best Place to Mount CB Antenna on A Pickup?
The best place to mount a CB antenna on a pickup truck is at the center of the roof since this is where it has the best ground plane coverage. Though you can place it at a different spot, always be sure to keep the coil above any obstructions for best performance.
All in all, finding the best CB antenna for your pickup truck would require you to know where you intend to mount the antenna in the first place. In addition, you need to choose one with features you think will be helpful eventually. As it stands though, we still stand by the TRAM 3700 as our top pick.