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A getaway on your recreational vehicle can mean independence from the modern and updated forms of entertainment. This is very enjoyable for some RV enthusiasts as they can fully concentrate and enjoy the splendid sight of beautiful Mother Nature.
However, you cannot always stay outdoors all the time and staying in your RV for a long time can lead to boredom. Fortunately, you can always improve your RV’s primary entertainment by installing the best television and TV antenna.
The best RV TV antennas ensure that you have access to multiple channels. Regardless of your location, you can watch your favorite shows as well as get the latest weather report and the latest news. News and weather updates can help you adjust your travel as needed for a more comfortable journey.
We have listed a few RV TV antennas available in the market that we think will suit your needs as an RV owner. Before we check them out, let us understand what an RV TV Antenna is and what are its features.
Best RV Antennas Quick Picks:
RV TV Antenna: What is it?
An RV TV antenna is simply a television antenna that normally installed on your house, or in this case, a trailer. Travelers and campers often use this during camping. This is because even if they are in the middle of nowhere, they can still get good reception and watch their favorite channels as long as there’s an RV antenna attached to their TV.
RV Antenna Benefits
As we have stated above, your RV antenna gives you good reception and wide coverage so you can access multiple channels to keep you entertained and updated on your trip. Having an RV TV antenna on your recreational vehicle will give you the following benefits:
You can watch shows in HD – You can get great reception with your RV TV antenna. With this reception, you can get the very best signals that would allow you to watch your favorite shows in High Definition.
No subscription needed to view local shows – This great RV antenna benefit will help you save money. You normally have to pay a monthly cable or TV subscription fee to enjoy the local shows. With an RV TV antenna, you will no longer need to pay any fee to watch the local shows. The RV antenna picks up those local channels signals so you can watch those for free.
It gives you internet connection – An RV TV antenna that can detect a signal can most definitely give you internet connection through Wifi properties. If the internet connection at your location is strong enough, you can even stream movies. You can also use the connection to download a program on your laptop. If you worry about leaving some unfinished work, you can still finish those tasks even while camping as you have an internet connection.
You will not miss any episode of your favorite television shows even while traveling – An RV television antenna has a wide range of coverage. This means that regardless of your location, even if you are deep in the woods or on a mountain, you can still get the channels and shows that you normally watch at home. You do not have to worry about missing an episode of your regularly watched show.
Things to consider in buying an RV TV Antenna
If you want to get the best channels, just any RV antenna will not work. You have to find the best antenna that can pull the greatest reception. A great reception can get you the best signal that can give you your favorite channels. So how do you know which one to buy?
There are so many RV TV antenna brands available in the market. To find the RV antenna best suited to your needs, you should know what to look for.
Price – If you are someone who does not look at the price when buying a product, I envy you. Price is always something most buyers consider when making a purchase. Cheaper RV antennas are lighter on the pocket. However, your RV antenna will accompany you on a long journey in unfamiliar terrain and weather. It would be best to shell out a little extra for a good quality RV TV antenna. Cheaper antennas might not give you the performance and the life span you expect.
Weight – If you are going for an outdoor RV antenna, take a close look at its weight. If you are going to or will be passing by a windy or strong weather region, choose a bulkier RV antenna. You can easily handle the lightweight and flimsy antennas, but they are not suitable for areas with many low hanging tree branches or strong winds.
Wifi Capacity – The Internet has become a necessity for most people nowadays. It is not surprising that most RV TV antennas come with Wifi capabilities. If you are someone who cannot live without the internet, find an RV antenna with a strong and stable Wifi capacity so have internet access even in the middle of the woods.
VHF and UHF Signals – Check the antenna description very carefully. Some antennas can only pick up the VHF channels or only the UHF channels, but they cannot pick up both. You would want to go for an RV antenna that can pick up both channels so you can receive all the DTV signals coming from the surrounding areas’ stations. VHF channels are TV channel 2 to channel 13. UF channels are TV channel 14 to channel 51.
Material – You should check the material composition of an RV TV antenna before making a decision. Most RV antennas are made of plastic although there are others that are made of aluminum. Plastic antennas are great indoors but not recommended for outdoors. Aluminum-made antennas are the best choice if you are planning to install it outdoors as they do not rust even they get wet from the rain. They are also durable and sturdier than the plastic ones.
Type – The antenna type is also something you should consider when buying one. Do you want an outdoor antenna or an indoor antenna? Outdoor antennas are bulky but they can give you better coverage. Indoor antennas as the name suggests can fit indoors or inside your RV, as they are more compact. However, they have lower coverage.
Reception Coverage – You should know your antenna’s range (how far it can reach) and the types of satellites it can access. Go for antennas with higher coverage to enjoy your RV antenna’s benefits at its fullest. If you already have one, but it has a low reception distance signal, instead of buying a new one just get an RV antenna booster.
With so many things to consider, we reviewed some of the best RV TV antennas that can help keep you entertained and informed while on a road trip.
The Best RV TV Antennas
- Carryout G2+ provides the same award winning, reliable performance as the G2 but features a power inserter to provide single cable coax entry to the RV making set up and operation easier than ever...
- Satellite Providers (subscription required) DISH (Standard & HD), DIRECTV (Standard), BellTV (Standard & HD)
Dimensions: 19.7 x 16.4 x 16.3 inches
Weight: 10 pounds
- It comes with a 12-month warranty
- It has a sleek and modern design
- It has a sturdy mount
- Its range of channel coverage is wide
- Its reception is omnidirectional
- You can install it easily
- Its power supply is 12 volts
- Its availability of service is dependent on the location
The Winegard GM-6035 Carryout G2+ Portable Satellite Antenna is a great choice for a recreational vehicle TV antenna. It is fully functional so you can enjoy all of its benefits.
Its unique and sleek design makes it very easy to set up and install without the need for professional help or any tools. Unlike a traditional bulky antenna, the Winegard is compact so you can easily lift it for installation. All you need to do is unwrap it from its box, plug it in and start scanning for the channels.
This antenna is round-shaped which gives it omnidirectional properties. You can start receiving a signal from a radius 360 degree once you install the antenna. Because it is omnidirectional, the signal goes to your location, which means you will not need a remote control is looking for a signal.
It receives free HD TV broadcast signals like CBS, ABC, Fox, NBC, and PBS. With this antenna, you have a free TV for life. You do not have to pay for satellite or cable.
One more thing we like about this 1byone is it’s being all weatherproof. It has a snow proof and waterproof design, has a coating that is anti-UV and shielded for minimum interference. It has excellent performance in both HDTV and digital signal reception even in the harsh outdoor conditions.
The only setback we are seeing is the signal is dependent on your location. If you are at an area with a weak signal, you cannot use your antenna.
- Long-range signal acquisition gets more channels
- Simple, five-minute retrofit upgrades batwing antenna to digital HD
Dimensions: 12 x 16 x 2 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
- It has a nice and sleek design
- Its coverage range is wider
- You can do a retrofitted upgrade to its digital HD
- You can install it easily
- It can be unstable
King produces a great RV antenna line up, but when it comes to long-range signals, the KING OA8300 Jack Replacement Head HDTV Directional Over-the-Air Antenna comes highly recommended.
This antenna comes with universal RV mounting brackets and clear instructions for an easy installation. It only takes around 25 minutes to have it fully installed and operational
The King Jack OA8300’s sleek and compact design easily blends well and looks good on your RV. It is smaller (by about 70%) than the other traditional RV TV antenna. It also has five-minute retrofit upgrades so you can upgrade batwing antenna to digital HD.
It uses a UHF improved signal for a maximized reception and better coverage. Its DTV channels have better signals of around 80% than others do. It guarantees a more enjoyable viewing with its VHF channels maintained reception. You would normally get not less than 30 channels with this antenna.
The only downside of this product is its stability. If you have the Winnebago Aspect RV, you may find that installing flat on your roof can be challenging.
- Long-range signal acquisition gets more channels
- Built-in KING SureLock signal finder for simple signal acquisition
Dimensions: 12 x 16 x 8.9 inches
Weight: 2.6 pounds
- It has a better signal so you can have more channels
- It has many high-tech and modern features
- It comes with a clear and precise manual
- It is aerodynamic and compact allowing a stable installation on the top of your RV
- It includes a built-in signal finder for a maximized reception
- It does not include a mounting roof plate
- It has a limited warranty
The King OA8500 Jack HDTV Directional Over the Air Antenna is another King product that comes highly recommended. With this antenna carrying the renowned King quality, you can expect that it used the latest and best technology for a great directional antenna during manufacturing. It simply means that you get better signal and more channels.
It’s sleek, aerodynamic design is around 70% smaller than other traditional antennas but it is better in getting signal from long ranges. You can get many channels because of its long range. The signal is also quite strong even if you lower the antenna to about 12 inches. Its compact design also makes it wind resistant.
This antenna offers ease of installation with its high-tech and modern feature and clear installation manual. You can even use your old power supply with this device. We suggest that you mount this antenna so its coax connection faces your RV’s rear, which is the same direction that your mast takes when retracting.
The King OA8500 also includes a built-in King Sure Lock Signal Finder so you can find local channels easily. You can rotate its interior knob up to 360 degrees so you can locate the strongest signal without any dead spots.
This antenna performs great and is very durable. It can definitely keep up with your RV’s specific demands. Our only complaint is that it does not have a mounting roof plate and it has a limited 4-year warranty for parts.
- Portable satellite TV antenna for DISH service. Sign up for pay-as-you-go or add to your home DISH service
- Use as either portable antenna or roof mounted (mounting feet included)
Dimensions: 22.7 x 20 x 16.2 inches
Weight: 8 pounds
- It automatically gets the signal
- It is portable
- It picks up a lot of your favorite local channels and programs
- You can set it up easily
- You can watch from different TV’s (multiple-viewing feature)
- It can only capture 101 satellite’s local channels
- It does not capture HD programming
The KING VQ4500 Tailgater Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna let you enjoy live, crystal clear DISH HD TV anywhere you go. You can easily use it in your RV, at the parking lot of a stadium and even when camping in the woods.
With this antenna, you get to watch all of your favorite shows as well as the local channels. Enjoy watching movies, TV series, games, the news, the weather and a lot more using this product. You will not be paying for a monthly subscription fee, but rather, you will only be paying for those months that you actually used the service.
The King VQ4500 also has multiple television viewing for a convenient family trip. You would no longer need to set up your tripod dish or put it away when camping.
This antenna is also automatic aiming so you can easily set it up. It is operational out of the box. It only weighs around 8 pounds and highly portable so you can bring it to your camping trips. You can even install it on your RV’s roof without needing an additional bracket. This antenna gets its power from the receiver and does not need a separate power source.
With all its beautiful features though, it still has a couple of setbacks. It cannot capture HD (high definition) programming. In order to watch in HD, you can buy a separately sold receiver for DISH HD.
It also has limited local channels. Like most satellites or antenna, it can pick up only on 101 satellite’s channels. If the other satellite (119 satellite) is the one that picks up on your favorite channel, you can purchase the King UC1000 universal controller.
- Helps find available digital local programming fast and easy
- Compatible with all Winegard Sensar antennas
Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 3 inches
Weight: 4.8 ounces
- It has five modes so you can easily control it
- It is compact and handy
- It is easy to install
- You can connect it to any Winegard models
- It helps you in effectively finding every channel’s best and highest quality reception
- It only functions for signals that are over-the-air
- Limited two-year warranty
The Winegard RFL 342 SensarPro Signal Meter has what it takes to be the perfect accompaniment to your Winegard RV WING Wingman Booster Antenna or to any of the other Winegard Antenna models.
You can use this meter to scan the modes of channels. It would tell you which of the channels has the least or most reception. You can then adjust your RV antenna based on the channel’s reception. Aside from its capability to detect the quality of your signal, it also functions as a booster for your RV TV antenna. With just a press of a button, you can increase or decrease your antenna’s capacity to get a signal.
You can easily operate and control the Winegard RFL 342. You just need to know how to operate its five modes. The available modes are – Volume, Gain, Channel, Seek and Scan. Each of these modes has a specific purpose in helping you get the best reception quality from the antenna. There is a manual included in the package that gives you the full detail and instructions on how to operate each mode.
With the Seek, Channel and Scan Modes, you can peak in the signals before running a TV channel scan. This would give you the best quality signal for your favorite show. It has an amplifier that you can adjust the gain with just one press. It also has volume audio signal feedback that you can adjust for your antenna’s easier aim.
The warranty is a bit of a disappointment as it only covers parts for 2 years and labor for 1 year.
- Omni-Directional RV TV Antenna and Distribution Plates
- TV connection plate included
Dimensions: 4.8 x 2.7 x 15.6 inches
Weight: 2.7 pounds
- It is weatherproof
- You do not need to aim it
- It has a signal reception that is 360-degree
- It has an amplified RV TV antenna
- It gives you free access to digital television programming
- Its range is only up to 25 miles
- You might need professional help to install it
The Magnadyne RVTV-W2 Omni-Directional Amplified TV/AM/FM Antenna is a practical choice. With its strong aerodynamic design, it is UV-protected and weatherproof. It can tolerate even the harshest weather so it is the perfect travel partner for your RV.
It has a signal reception of 360-degrees and receives both the VHF and UHF frequencies. It also does not require aiming or hand-cranking making it very easy to use. You do not even need to lower it before traveling. Aside from the local channels, this antenna also comes with free TV digital programming, letting you watch TV shows, the local news, and live sports.
We do not recommend self-installation for this antenna though. It would be best if you ask a professional to install it for you.
Another disappointing factor for us about this antenna is Winegard states that this model has a long range of 35 miles. However, when tested, the local reception is only available if you are within 25 miles from a tower. Upon scanning, it was able to capture around 40 channels or more. If you want to amplify its range, you can always use an antenna amplifier so you can get more channels.
- Increases UHF Reception Up To 100% - Optimizes your Sensar Batwing RV TV antenna for all digital channels in all markets.
- RV Antenna Leader for 30 Years - The increased range and VHF capabilities of the Sensar allow you to watch your favorite shows in the lowest signal areas.
Dimensions: 18 x 15 x 1.8 inches
Weight: 1.35 pounds
- It can capture 51 UHF channels and 13 VHF channels
- All channels have clear reception
- It comes with a mechanism that you can easily install
- It is compact and easy to handle
- Its design is rather flimsy
- Bad weather has an impact on its reception
The Winegard RV WING Wingman Booster Antenna is a well-known Winegard product. It has a very long range and has VHF capabilities making it the ideal antenna when you are on the road. Its long range and VHF capabilities give even its weakest channel a very good and clear reception. You can even enjoy a variety of channel option because of its OTA programming. You can watch live sports, the local weather and news and a lot of top-rated shows for free and available anytime, and anywhere you are.
This antenna is easy to set up or install due to its compact size. You can do it three easy steps. First, you open up and raise your Sensar antenna. Second, remove the bumpers out from its bottom (you can use your fingers or you can use pliers). The bumpers are made of rubber. Third, align the holes from the bumpers and the Wingman holes and attach them by inserting push rivets into those aligned holes. You can now mount your antenna on your RV or trailer’s roof and then scan for channels.
Even though we love the compact size of this antenna, we wish that Winegard could improve its flimsy design so it can withstand bad weather and last longer.
Dimensions: 47.6 x 15.6 x 2.7 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
- It has good reception
- It has rotational features so you can get the best angle
- It is durable due to the powder coating that protects it
- It has printed instructions
- It is lightweight and easy to handle and carry
- It has a built-in amplifier
- It is flimsy when mounted
- It is almost the same as the previous Winegard model
The Winegard RVW 205 Sensar Wingman Replacement Antenna is simple yet effective. It can pick up long-range signals, as far as more than 55 miles. This means that your channel’s reception is very clear. It is equipped with an amplifier built into the unit so it can pull in the best signal even for those weaker channels. You always get high definition reception.
What most users love about this product is its durability. This antenna has a powder coating that protects it from the damaging external factors. It can tolerate bad weather conditions and will last for a long time. You have one less worry while traveling knowing that your RV TV antenna can withstand heavy rains or snowstorms.
We like that this unit is lightweight, however, its weight seems to work against it. Because it is very light, it is a little flimsy when mounted.
- Enhanced antenna exceeds at receiving digital TV signals
- Receives all VHF and UHF programming available within 55 mile radius
Dimensions: 47.6 x 15.6 x 2.7 inches
Weight: 1.5 pounds
- It is a high range antenna product
- It receives VHF HD and UHF signals
- It is easy and quick to install
- You can easily rotate, lower or raise the antenna even when inside your RV
- It comes with a step by step manual
- It contains plastic parts that are not durable
- It has a short mount
Winegard and King are the top antenna providers in the market. It is no wonder that the Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV White DTV/HD TV Antenna is a very exceptional product.
This antenna has a long range of more than 55 miles so you should expect clear high definition programs regardless of where you are. It receives both the VHF and UHF signals which is a sought after feature for RV TV Antennas. Most antennas can only receive either of the signals but not both so this capability makes the Winegard RVW-395 a cut above the rest.
Winegard combined the UHF enhanced antenna with the Sensar II antenna so it can get a strong signal and the best TV viewing over-the-air. Take note that this did not happen overnight. Winegard spent decades of research and trial and errors so they can continually improve their products.
This product comes with a manual that clearly explains the step-by-step antenna installation. It would only take about 30 minutes to have this installed. It is also fairly easy to adjust as you can rotate, lower or raise the antenna using a hand crank inside your RV.
Winegard also made sure to test this product for its environment and UV impact, which showed that it is safe. What we like the least about this antenna though is its cheap construction. Winegard used plastic in making some of its gears, which makes it less durable as it may strip out in harsh weather. The mast tubes are also short but you can always buy a mount that is longer if you need one.
- Fully automatic DIRECTV satellite antenna
- Supports all new DIRECTV HD receivers
Dimensions: 44 x 34 x 9.8 inches
Weight: 53 pounds
- It is compatible with the programming of DIRECT HD or a Genie receiver
- It has an omnidirectional antenna that is self-auto-tune
- It gives a very strong signal
- You can watch different channels simultaneously
- It requires professional help for installation
- The package does not include the receiver for DIRECT HD and HD viewing programs
The Winegard SK-SWM3 DIRECTV TRAV’LER RV Satellite System is the one and only satellite RV antenna compatible with the programming of DIRECTV HD. This is a very impressive feature as this means that you do not need to test and check signals using a compass and signal strength meter. The antenna even auto-tunes itself so all you have to do is just relax and wait.
This RV TV antenna is omnidirectional so it can view all of the satellites of Directv. It can maximize high definition programming from 99, 101 and 103 satellites. It can provide a very strong signal as approved and certified by reflectors.
The installation process is a little complex and you might need professional assistance if you want it installed quickly. This large dish, which is also auto-aiming, is heavy so installing it on your own is not just difficult but might also be dangerous.
Once it has been set up and installed, all you need to do is to power up the system and you can watch TV in about 5 minutes. You and your family members can even watch different channels simultaneously. It is great for family trips where several members want to watch different shows while on the road.
Just bear in mind though that you have to purchase the receiver for the DIRECT HD and the HD viewing program separately so you will have to spend a little extra money for both.
Other Things to Consider
Types of RV Antennas
RV antennas come in two different types. The most common is the outdoor antenna. It is the most widely used type that you often see on the roofs of houses or recreational vehicles. The indoor antenna is the other antenna type. It is also common although not as widely used. Here is a little more information about them.
Indoor RV TV Antenna – This antenna has a lesser range compared to its outdoor counterpart but it offers more convenience. As implied by its name, you install or just place this antenna indoors. You can usually see this on the top of the television set where you can just turn it one when needed. This type of antenna is ideal if you are not very particular with the variety or quality of the channels you get. A really great indoor RV TV antenna though can give you a very good high definition quality and range.
Outdoor RV TV Antenna – You place this antenna on the roof of your home or your trailer. Since it is outside, it can effectively pick up reception, which makes this the most used antenna when traveling in an RV. As it is outdoor, the tree branches and leaves that fell on it can sometimes block its capabilities. To avoid this, make sure to check and clean your outdoor antenna if needed. You can also fold it if you are not watching TV.
Frequently Asked Questions
RV antennas are of course not perfect and you will most likely experience a few issues from time to time. Here are a few questions asked by RV antenna users.
How do you troubleshoot a King Jack RV TV antenna?
If you are using a King Jack Antenna and you do not have any reception or you are seeing a pixelated screen, troubleshoot your antenna following these steps. Check the rotational knob and look for a switch. Once you find it, switch it on to turn on the King Sure Lock Signal Meter and power injector. When those are on, slowly turn your antenna’s attenuator to your right then press a button that is on the knob. Continue to rotate the attenuator and pressing the knob until you get clear reception of the channel that you want.
When using the RV antenna, do I need additional hardware?
Most RV antennas come as ready to use with no extra device or accessories needed. However, if you want to enhance your RV antenna experience, you can get the signal booster and the signal strength meter. You use the meter to monitor the strength of the signal and you use the booster to enhance or improve the signal.
When using camper antenna, how do I receive better reception?
To make sure that you get good reception with your camper antenna, we suggest that you purchase a good antenna booster. Antenna boosters help pull in signals so you can access more channels with high definition quality. Do not feel discouraged if you experience problems during the first couple of times of using your RV TV antenna booster, you will fully enjoy your booster’s benefits once you know the proper way of using it.
Where should you point the RV TV antenna?
There is no exact direction for pointing your RV antenna. You actually adjust your antenna to look for the best channel reception. You just have to turn your antenna in a direction then scan to check what channels it can capture. If you do not get the right reception, slowly turn your antenna to another direction or a quarter more in the same direction and scan again. Just keep on rotation and adjusting your antenna until you find what you are looking for.
How do you use the RV antenna?
Most of the antennas we have mentioned above are generally just plug & play. You just have to install it and you can now use it. There are no installation fees to pay. Just make sure that you follow the instructions stated on the manual and you can immediately scan for channels after installation. Do not forget to check channel reception after each installation so you will know if you are receiving a good reception.
TV entertainment and watching your favorite shows are a comfort that you should not forego when traveling in your RV. Those are not just a luxury but also a necessity to keep you updated on the news and weather conditions. Being aware of traffic and weather conditions is crucial for a safe and convenient trip.
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Investing in a good RV TV antenna is a good choice but choosing the best one that suits your needs can be challenging. You need to consider many things and you must know what you need including the material, weight, coverage, and reception of the antenna.
Use the guide that we have created above to find what you need. Know which features you need and check user reviews on the best RV antennas. Keep in mind though that there is no perfect RV antenna as it all depends on each individual’s needs. In choosing the best RV antenna for your RV and your family, do not forget to consider your usual travel area and your preferred channels.