I wonder if that black strip under it is actually a piece of aluminum tape.
The "two ends" are one of those adaptors to be able to attach a coaxial cable to your grammama's TV, you know, the kind with VHF and UHF screws for antenna wires, that your dad had to use to plug in his Atari?
It looks like they're using it in reverse to makeshift an antenna in the PH. I'd guess the other connection at the propane might be for "shore cable" if there is such a thing. In theory there should be one or two coax ends inside the van, likely wherever they had the TV.