Luxurious Camping: The Best TV Antenna For RVs
If you are spending the night camping in an RV so that you have some of the comforts of home in the wilderness, then being able to watch a little television before you go to sleep or when you first wake up is one of those luxuries.
Stations are not always the easiest thing to acquire when you are camping, but depending on the location of your campsite, an antenna could be a great addition to your camper.
There are a lot of antennas that you can use, but which is the best TV antenna for RV camping?
In this guide, we will look at five great options, but before we jump into the reviews, let's take a look at some considerations that you should make before deciding which antenna to purchase.
Top 5 Best TV Antenna For RVs Reviews
- Indoor Or Outdoor
- High Definition
- A Weak Signal Strength
- 5 Best TV Antenna For RVs Reviews
- KING OA8200 Jack HDTV Over-the-Air
- Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV White DTV/HD TV
- Winegard RV-3095 Sensar III Amplified Directional RV TV
- KING VQ4100 Quest Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV
- KING OA8000 Jack HDTV Over-the-Air
- Final Thoughts
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Indoor Or Outdoor
When you are looking for an antenna for your RV, the first thing that you will need to consider is whether you want an indoor antenna or an outdoor one.
The outdoor option will be more effective at picking up local stations in the area, but it will also give height to your RV. If you select an outdoor unit, then you should make sure that you are able to lower it before you drive down the road.
The last thing that you need is for your antenna to get caught in a tree on the way to your campsite. Once you arrive, you can raise the antenna back up into a position where it will get reception.
The indoor variation has a bit less range than most outdoor antennas, but the reason to get this type is that it can stay in the same location. You do not need to move it when you travel, and it often does not need to be angled in a specific direction to get reception.
Most of the antennas on the market today are high definition options that allow you to access the versions of the local channels that offer high definition signals.
The traditional analog signals are not broadcasted in the United States anymore; in fact, the transition went into effect in 2009.
If you decide to purchase a second-hand antenna, purchasing an antenna that is not high definition would still leave you without channels to enjoy.
A Weak Signal Strength
Depending on where you travel, the signal may not be as strong as you would like. To help optimize your reception, you can get a booster that connects to the antenna that you purchase that is designed to increase the signal.
You may even be able to get more stations with a booster.
In addition, the direction that you have your antenna facing may help you get more clear stations at your campsite. In fact, there are a few sites available that are designed to help you optimize your viewing options.
If you are a Dish or a DirecTV customer, then there are a few antenna options that you can use on your RV that work with the services that you already pay for.
If you are not already a subscriber, having the extra stations is not required, especially since many campgrounds offer free cable TV options to guests who are staying in the campground.
Having TV is nice, but too many channels could take away from your outdoor experience, which is why you went camping instead of simply staying at home.
If you are in an area where the reception is weak, then you may want to consider an antenna that has Wi-Fi capabilities as well. This makes it so that you can use streaming services like Netflix and Hulu at night instead of subscribing to a cable service for your RV.
When you are considering where to install the antenna on the top of your roof, it is best to actually get up there so that you can look for yourself.
We have found that many manufacturers recommend placing the antenna near the vent in the middle of the camper, which is the one next to the refrigerator in most cases.
Once you find an ideal spot, you will need to drill a hole for the coaxial cable and the antenna itself. Make sure the holes are perfectly straight to get the best reception.
Put the drive shaft of the antenna in place, and then mark where the travel support holes will need to be. This will consist of three to four more holes that you will need to put in the roof of your RV.
Once the travel mount is on the roof, pull the shaft through the ceiling and secure it with the ceiling plate. The last thing that you need to attach is the crank handle, which is the tool that is used to raise and lower the antenna with ease.
Before you decide to go on a camping trip, make sure to inspect everything to make sure it is secure. If it is not secure, caulking can be used to help.
5 Best TV Antenna For RVs Reviews
The first antenna on our list comes with a mount to install the device as well as a signal meter that can help you determine which direction will get you the most channels.
This unit is a fixed antenna, which means that it does not need to be raised to get the signal or lowered when you are on the road. It is a convenient height that is ideal for travel.
The design even offers a good amount of wind resistance to make sure that it is not damaged as you travel down the road.
- It is easy to install on most RVs.
- It offers great reception without looking tacky on the top of your RV.
- The height may be an issue on high profile campers; unless you have a low spot on top to attach the antenna.
We really like the amount of reception that this antenna offers; in fact, during our testing phase, we were able to get at least 25 channels in most situations.
Another feature that makes this antenna a favorite is the fact that you do not need to raise it in the air to get reception. Once it is installed, you can almost forget about it being on the roof of your RV.
The next antenna on the list is a Winegard HD antenna, which is a company that has been manufacturing RV antennas for more than 30 years.
The Winegard RVW-395 is capable of receiving all of the VHF and UHF programming that is available in a 55-mile radius from where your RV is parked.
Since the antenna might be in inclement weather at times, it is coated with a powdered coating to improve the durability and extend the life of the antenna.
- Installing the antenna on the top of your RV is easy to do.
- This antenna is a great value based on the price, the reception, and the ease of use.
- The gears that raise and lower the antenna are made from plastic, which is not saying they are not durable; they are simply not as well made as the rest of the unit.
We really like the durability of this product, even though the gears are plastic, they seem to hold up to regular use pretty well. It works well in rain storms and windy weather; in fact, during our testing stages, we were able to get about 16 channels during a downpour.
The installation process is simple and adjusting the antenna when you move to a new location only takes a little bit of effort.
The next antenna that we feature on this list is another Winegard model, but this time it is the RV-3095. This is actually one of the more popular options because it is built to last for years and it is sold at a reasonable price point.
It features a built-in amplifier that makes it more convenient to get UHF and VHF reception, no matter where you park in the country.
You will be able to install the device with ease, and the antenna is easy to raise, lower, or rotate any time you need to adjust it to get better reception.
- The antenna is very simple to install and use.
- This antenna comes with a full manufacturer's warranty that backs the durability of the product.
- Not all of the parts are coated with the protective powder that is designed to protect it from the elements.
We love the simple installation of this unit, especially if you are replacing an older model antenna. It is also very convenient to adjust the antenna to get reception. In addition, the reception that we got in a small, pop-up camper and a larger RV were very similar, which impressed us greatly.
The next antenna on this list is another option from KING, but this one is a satellite option that is ideal for those who already have a DirecTV service.
It mounts conveniently on the roof of your RV, and since it is round, there is little chance that it will cause an issue in windy weather or while you are traveling to your campsite.
This unit is also available for DISH subscribers if you have that service. The reception that you will get from this unit is great, and if you need better reception, the antenna is fully automated, so it should quickly adjust to give you the best reception possible.
- The setup for this antenna can be completed in as little as 15 minutes.
- The automated antenna is very convenient when you arrive at a new campsite.
- You need to have a satellite service to use this antenna, but if you camp a lot, the few dollars that this costs a month may be worth it.
We really love the aerodynamic design of this unit. Since the antenna is self-adjusting, you can install it, which only takes 15 minutes, and forget about it.
The one major downfall of this antenna is that you need a satellite service to make use of it, but if you already have one of the services, then you can get hundreds of channels while you are camping.
This may be a great option in poor weather conditions, but if you are going for an outdoor experience, we feel that it could be over-luxurious.
The final antenna on our list is a great option for anyone who is looking for a great value antenna to replace an outdated one that you already have installed on your RV.
It features a small, compact design that is almost 70 percent smaller than some of the other antennas on the market, which makes it a better option for travel. Though it is a less directional design than most, it offers great reception for UHF signals.
- This antenna is really convenient to install.
- It can easily pick up reception from 60 miles away from the RV while it is parked on flat terrain.
- In mountainous areas, the reception is not as strong as it could be.
We love the aerodynamic design of this model. It is great for getting to the campsite where you are staying. If you plan to camp for an extended period of time, this is a great option for flat terrain, but our tests revealed that you will lose channels in the mountains.
Having some entertainment during your camping trip will make a world of difference compared to camping without the possibility of watching a bit of television.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the best TV antenna for RV camping, but if you are asking for our opinion, the best option is the KING OA8200 Jack HDTV Over-the-Air Antenna.
It is aerodynamic, it offers a large reception range, and it does not need to be adjusted before you pull out of the campsite.