Unlock Your TV Woes With The Best RV Antenna

RV antenna on RV in the sunset

Although camping is usually an activity that celebrates outdoor adventures, it is nice to sit inside and enjoy catching up on the news or watching a ball game on television from the living space within your RV every now and then. But to do so, you must have a way to receive TV signals over the airwaves. So let’s look at getting high definition channels from an RV TV antenna.

What Is An RV TV Antenna?

An RV antenna works just like a television antenna at your home. It captures the UHF and VHF channels and HD signals that are sent over the air. If you are camping in a region close to the signal’s originating location, an antenna should be able to pick it up and broadcast it through your television. In most instances, antennas can capture signals up to 200 miles away.

Types of RV TV Antennas

There are a couple of different ways that your RV television can be utilized. They employ different methods of signal reception, but both should be “high definition” antennas. Let’s review the different types of RV antennas.

HD TV Antenna

  • Outdoor RV Antenna: These come in many forms, like a crank antenna that is manually adjusted to pick up signals in a 360-degree arc, or one that is mounted on the roof and automatically searches for the best signals
  • Indoor Antenna: These do not have the range of an outdoor antenna, but can easily be moved around within the RV

Satellite TV Antenna

  • Permanent roof-mounted satellite: These antennas are used with a subscription service through a satellite company like Dish or DirecTV.
  • Movable satellite: Usually mounted on a stand that can be moved around at your campsite, these antennas are also tied to satellite TV service.

For this article, we are concerned with HD television antennas. They offer free capture of high definition signals that TV stations send out across the airwaves. But keep your knowledge of satellite antennas in your quiver. You may find yourself desiring programming that can only come from satellite providers on your future camping excursions!

RV antenna on the roof of an RV with leaves in the background

Considerations

Things to think about when considering purchasing the best RV television antennas:

Signal Reception

RV antennas should have a “range” listed, telling you how far away from broadcast towers they can pick up TV signals. Not to mention, some antennas even have signal amplifiers built into them, increasing the strength of the signal within your RV.

Weight & Size

If you are buying a rooftop antenna, be sure that the size and weight of the unit can be handled. This is especially in regard to clearance on the height of your RV.

Mounting Location and Ease of Installation

Decide where you will need to mount the antenna. Based on its shape, size and schematics, be sure you have room on the roof to attach it.  Will you do it yourself or do you need to hire someone? Make sure to have the correct roof sealant if you DIY.

Material And Durability

Many of the older TV antennas were made out of metal and plastic. Since they are cranked up and down on the roof, it only takes one forgetful moment to break the antenna as you pass under a low-hanging tree branch. The newer versions are lower to the roof and don’t have to be moved up and down, so they may last you a lot longer!

Cost And Warranty

Additionally, remember to compare prices and see what kind of warranties are offered with each model you consider.

RV in a field of dried grass with water in the background and an RV antenna on the roof

Brands

New technology is constantly being updated when it comes to HD and satellite antennas, but here are four brands that are always found on the top of the list when it comes to quality and up-to-date innovations.  Each has several models, so you will need to decide which one has just what you need for your rig.

Bestseller No. 1
KING OA8500 Jack HDTV Directional Over-the-Air Antenna with Mount and Signal Finder - White
  • Long-range signal acquisition gets more channels
  • Built-in KING SureLock signal finder for simple signal acquisition
Bestseller No. 2
Winegard RZ-6000 Rayzar z1 RV TV Antenna (HD, Digital, 4K Ready, ATSC 3.0 Ready) - White
  • Optimal UHF reception with strong High-Band VHF allows you to catch your favorite broadcast channels wherever you go
  • Streamlined design with minimal footprint is not only smaller and shorter (8.4"), but the modern design compliments...
Bestseller No. 3
Winegard RT2000T RoadTrip T4 In-Motion RV Satellite Dish (DISH, DIRECTV, BellTV) - Fully Automatic RV Satellite Antenna
  • In-Motion RV Satellite Antenna - Watch DISH, DIRECTV, and BellTV programming while traveling down the road. Watch live...
  • Sleek and Compact In-Motion Satellite System - Smaller and quieter than previous in-motion satellite antennas. This...
Bestseller No. 4
Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV White DTV/HD TV Antenna
  • Enhanced antenna exceeds at receiving digital TV signals
  • Receives all VHF and UHF programming available within 55 mile radius

RV TV Antenna Signal Booster

If your antenna does not have an amplifier built-in, you may want to consider purchasing a separate signal booster. These may also help strengthen the signal within your RV, but they cannot make an unreliable signal suddenly reliable from the broadcast tower.

Keep in mind when setting up any antenna that they should be located away from other power appliances like your RV refrigerator, etc. You will most likely have to move an indoor antenna around to pick up the strongest signals. 

RV television antennas can be a great addition to your camping gear, if you like a little TV entertainment at the campsite.  Not to mention, they can also provide information from a local newscast or laughter from that favorite sitcom. Additionally, they do it at a rock bottom monthly subscription price of $0!  Why not take advantage of HD programming without paying that pesky satellite bill?

Another option is to just get a great RV internet setup and exclusively stream content.

Last update on 2021-09-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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3 comments
  1. When we camp we use our smart phone with a truly unlimited data plan and then use an Apple lightening to HDMI connection adapter to watch TV. We also use the url: (https://ustvgo.tv) to watch regular tv, plus we use the same media sites you use. Try the url, I think you’ll like it. To get all the channels I recommend you stream through a VPN. Good luck.

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