Do you travel in your RV often and would like to be able to relax and watch some TV when you are parked? Well, the best RV antenna models are fairly inexpensive and get many more channels than you might think. These easy to install products will get many of the same local channels that you pay big bucks for to get with satellite subscriptions so why spend the money? In this article, we will review some of the best TV antennas for RV use in 2018. We will also go over with you what is important to look for when you are buying an RV HD antenna. After extensive review, here is what we feel are some of the best RV TV antenna products you can buy:
- 1 Top-Rated TV RV Antennas
- 2 KING Jack OA8000 HDTV Over-the-Air Antenna for RV
- 3 Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna
- 4 Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV HD TV Antenna: Great for Truckers
- 5 Winegard SK-1000 Satellite System For RV, Motorhome, Camper
- 6 Winegard RV-3095 Batwing Amplified RV TV Antenna
- 7 King VQ4500 Tailgater Portable/Roof Mountable TV Antenna
- 8 Antop Omnidirectional RV TV Antenna: Good for Camping
- 9 Winegard SK-SWM3 Travel Trailer RV Television System
- 10 1byone TV Digital TV Antenna for FM/VHF/UHF
- 11 RV Antenna Buying Guide
- 12 How to Use RV TV Antenna?
- 13 How to Hook UP TV to RV Antenna?
Top-Rated TV RV Antennas
KING Jack OA8000 HDTV Over-the-Air Antenna for RV
Here is a sleek and low-cost digital antenna that will not look out of place on top of any RV. It’s also an under $50 King jack model that mounts very easily and can be retracted down so it stows easily for safe traveling. It will pick up a wide array of TV signals and do it from a fairly good distance too. It does a great job of picking up digital signals that are broadcast in the UHF (80% of digital signals fall in this frequency range) and VHF frequency ranges.
One of the nicer features of this model is that it’s not as directional dependent as some RV TV antennas are. That means you do not constantly have to move it and adjust it to pick up your area TV channels.
It also has a specially designed mounting bracket that will let you turn its base in order to mount the unit easier around rooftop vents and air conditioning units on top of your travel trailer. This antenna is an affordable brand but don’t mistake that for meaning it’s a cheap antenna that is poorly made. This good quality product comes highly recommended by those that have purchased it.
- Easy mounting on RV’s.
- Compact and lightweight design.
- Designed to pick up a wide range of digital and UHF signals.
- Low profile/sleek design.
- HDTV signal capable.
- Not great VHF reception.
- Does not retract easily for travel.
This is a practical unit that makes RV entertainment easier. Firstly it’s easier to mount, it picks up signal easier (requiring less manual tuning from you) than other direction specific units and you can lower it when you’re on the move. The designers really took time to consider campers’ challenges and helped them overcome a few. Good investment at a surprisingly affordable price when compared to other satellite units in these reviews.
- Q: Which end of the DTV/HDTV unit should face forward? (The narrow or the wide end)
- A: Preferably the narrow end should face forward because it’s direction sensitive. However, you need to keep other factors in mind too. If other components on the roof of your RV are in the way, it’s okay if you mount it with the wide end facing forward. Also, try and make it aerodynamic for better fuel consumption.
- Q: Will this also serve well as an antenna for your home?
- A: Yes it has all the components you need, but remember most of your home’s TV signals will come from one source or a broadcast tower. When you install it you must ensure it’s optimized to pick up these signals.
- Q: What is the range?
- A: Remember that range is always determined by the terrain between you and the signal source. Over flat terrain, you may enjoy a range of 90mi, but an average it’s 35mi.
Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna
Winegard came up with an excellent idea for portable digital TV antenna products with this design here. That is because it does not mount on the roof of your RV. Instead, you bring it out of your vehicle when you get to your camping stop and set it up on a ladder stand each time.
Not only does it simply pull out of your car and set up quickly in an advantageous spot when you are camping, but this portable TV antenna for RVs can also supply channel selections to 2 different TV’s at the same time. Once its setup and running you simply have to press a button and this top-rated camper antenna will even find all the available digital channels by itself.
No need to worry about picking up digital TV signals in the area with this model either. That is because it is specially designed to work with the Dish TV satellite subscription service where you will get a virtually endless supply of channels to watch.
- Can hook up to 2 TV’s.
- Dish satellite TV ready.
- Receives standard and high definition signals.
- Automatic channel finding.
- Portable ladder mount for easy setup.
- Slightly heavy 16-pound weight.
- Not easy to store in the RV when driving to the next destination.
It would have been great if a portable antenna was actually more portable. The weight on this unit makes it really cumbersome. So it’s a novel idea but still needs some tweaking to fare better in reviews. Otherwise, we love the great tech used to automate signal searching. And of course, the fact that you can connect two TVs makes this practical for traveling or even at home.
- Q: Will you lose streaming signal when it rains?
- A: These signals aren’t affected by rain so you can continue watching even in storms. Only extremely heavy downpour will obstruct clear signal.
- Q: What mounting options do you have?
- A: You can easily attach this to a ladder, leveling stand or the tripod provided by Winegard. If you opt to make your own mounting device, just ensure that the unit is steady. Leveling it is not as important as making sure it won’t topple over and start to roll because of excessive wind etc.
- Q: Can you record via this antenna?
- A: The device itself doesn’t record, but you can modify it to suit your needs. However, this calls for buying a few components and pay for the $40 recording feature from the service provider. Make sure the service provider turned on the feature and connect a hard disk drive (self-powered with 2TB space or less) to your antenna. Note that if you’re watching TV you can only record the channel you’re watching.
Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV HD TV Antenna: Great for Truckers
There is a reason this antenna design continues to be popular as it has been upgraded over the years. It’s because the design works really well. This nicely made good RV HDTV antenna will last you a very long time too.
This extended range antenna will pull in not only standard definition digital TV signals but it will pull in high definition digital cable signals too. People who have used have reported getting crystal clear TV signals on it no matter where they park their vehicle. The RV antenna booster is already built right into this product too.
This popular product has a proven signal receiving configuration and is built to last too. Its external components are nicely powder coated to resist corrosion. It has a good rating and the manufacturer also backs this model over the air antenna with a 2-year parts warranty.
- Enhanced, amplified antenna design.
- 55-mile range (unobstructed).
- Receives standard and high definition signals.
- Powder coated anti-corrosion finish.
- 2-year warranty.
- Need external 12V power for the booster to work.
- Holes need to be drilled into your RV roof to mount it.
There’s no question that you’re getting high-quality components if you pick this one for truckers. And because you can receive high definition signals too it’s a high-end entertainment option. But truckers may not like damaging their vehicles’ exteriors, which is necessary to install this as you need to make holes to fix it to your roof.
- Q: Can you attach this unit to other Winegard bases?
- A: You’ll need to modify it a bit and use a few pins, but it’s possible. This also means you can opt to only purchase the head unit instead of the entire consul, so you can save some money if you’re simply upgrading from a previous Sensar model.
- Q: On which side should the head be installed?
- A: This positioning is important so your antenna can lay down on the roof properly. Make sure the antennas will face the rear of trailers when they’re lowered. The head should be on the right side of the antenna when the boom is down.
- Q: Can you install this in another area than the roof, such as the side of your camper?
- A: Don’t try this since it’s too heavy for most RVs’ side panels. This unit is designed for roof installation only. If you encounter wind—or purely because of gravity—the antenna can pull away and damage your vehicle.
- Q: Can you pick up FM with this antenna?
- A: FM signals are actually filtered out so your TV signal can be crystal clear. However, if you do want to pick up those signals you can attempt a DIY job where you’ll hook it up to your FM receiver too and install a 2-set coupler & an adaptor.
Winegard SK-1000 Satellite System For RV, Motorhome, Camper
If you think this camper TV antenna looks eerily familiar to all those satellite dishes you see mounted on homes you would be absolutely right. That’s because this model is designed to be used with the satellite TV provider dish network which provides many of those home satellite dishes.
It’s a great way to get many channels when you travel. Dish network has special plans for RV users that will allow you to only pay for the time you are on the road too. Reviews by customers rave about how much money this saves them when they use their RV.
This is a sturdy satellite dish that is built to last too. Everything on it is very solidly made and the surfaces are all covered with a powder coated paint finish. The 30 foot long TV cable and the 24-foot long power cable are both included along with this RV roof-mounted satellite TV dish.
- Works with Dish TV subscriptions.
- Sturdy mounting.
- Retractable for storing while moving.
- Sturdy construction.
- Includes 30’ TV/24’ power cables.
- Need a subscription to get the most out of it.
- Heavy unit (50 pounds) that takes 2 people to mount.
There’s not much wrong with this unit, especially since the service provider caters for campers’ unique watching schedules with customized plans for the niche. I’m willing to pay a subscription for good service and an entertainment upgrade, aren’t you? And yes, it’s very heavy, but because it’s a fixed model you’ll only deal with that problem once, right? Totally worth the buy!
- Q: Can you use this antenna while traveling?
- A: No, please don’t use it while you’re on the move. It has a retractable position so it’s protected from the force of the wind during transit. You’ll also be frustrated if you try watching en route because it may lose signal and need adjustment after each turn. Luckily its setup is quick — only 10 minutes — so even for short stops along the way, this can be activated to catch up on the latest of your shows.
- Q: Can you mount this on a stand?
- A: Yes you can mount it on any surface you deem fit, but just take into account the weight. The foundation must be strong enough to keep it upright even when the wind is rough.
Winegard RV-3095 Batwing Amplified RV TV Antenna
Here is a proven design for RV antennas that the best brands manufacturer Winegard has been using for a very long time. Lately, this budget model has been modified so it does an excellent job of receiving both standard and high definition digital TV signals. It has an extended range estimated at around 55 miles. This must be true because most customer reviews claim they get over 20 channels and not just local ones either. It retracts down nicely for when traveling too.
This well-designed RV antenna is easy to set up and it comes with all the necessary mounting hardware too. Winegard even supplies the hand crank and the power outlet for the wall to plug it into so it will operate. This model also has about the best price you will find on a quality RV antenna.
- Proven batwing shape design.
- Sturdy mounting/Complete installation kit.
- Extended 55-mile reception range.
- Receives both standard and high definition digital TV signals.
- Proven longevity and corrosion resistance.
- Not all parts painted with powder coating.
- Does not include required caulking.
It looks neat, it works well in terms of range and the brand even provides all the components for installation. That’s a winner in our book, especially since it comes at a great price. Winegard is also known in this business so you’re assured of long-term quality. Enjoy watching over 20 channels while touring in your RV!
- Q: Can you install this on your old (existing) Winegard systems?
- A: Most Winegard products are interchangeable. Even with products manufactured as far back as 1994, you’ll be able to use the old base. In these cases, just ensure the base is still in good condition so you don’t trust a rusted or loose unit to support your new antenna. Alternatively, remember these units come with everything for installation so putting on a whole new set may be a good idea.
- Q: How will the TV pick up the correct signal?
- A: You need to tell the TV which source it must draw signal from. Firstly you’ll have to run a channel scan again after you installed and connected the coax cable. You may have to do this each time you switch between different sources such as Air channels vs the cable. On modern TVs, the options to switch will be part of the settings menu.
King VQ4500 Tailgater Portable/Roof Mountable TV Antenna
We love the flexibility you get with this unit and that’s why it’s on this list of reviews. Firstly you get customized viewing pleasure because access to the service is pay-as-you-go. You won’t waste money on a service you only use on occasion. Secondly, you can use this as a portable or a fixed unit. It doesn’t even need brackets so setup is easy so it makes sense for any RV setup.
It also uses the latest in technology to provide multiple devices with TV viewing and satellite acquisition is automatic.
- Can use the same service you use at home.
- Multiple TV viewing.
- Only weighs 8lb.
- Setup and satellite finding happens within 15 minutes.
- Can handle SD and HD viewing.
- No remote controls included in purchases.
- Changing channels often causes the unit to lose signal.
We love this as a practical solution to having TV while out on the road. Because it’s so light you can handle it even if you’re traveling on your own. It’s not the best receiver noted in these reviews, as some users complain about losing signal, but if you stay in areas that receive an optimum signal it should work perfectly. The picture is strikingly clear as if you’re watching at home.
- Q: Can this be used indoors?
- A: Note that this is specifically designed for outdoor use. Placing it inside your home or RV will obstruct the long-range signals coming over the air.
- Q: Will the 15 minute setup time be needed each time you use it?
- A: The receiver needs to re-orientate itself each time after losing power. If you keep it plugged into a power source it should keep its settings and you can simply continue viewing.
Antop Omnidirectional RV TV Antenna: Good for Camping
When it comes to tech this unit has everything you want as the omnidirectional RV TV antenna is VHF/UHF enhanced to work well across a 65mi range. To top it all you get free HD 4K OTA (Over the Air antenna) broadcasts.
The aesthetics you’ll also love. The sleek design is complementary to your motorhome instead of ruining the exterior’s look. And because you can mount it virtually anywhere (roof, wall or even your balcony) you can decide how this changes the exterior of your motorhome or house.
The brand also ensures you can use this long-term since the unit is waterproof and UV resistant to limit wear & tear. The hard ABS plastic will endure most bumps and impacts.
- Sleek design.
- Free viewing options.
- You get HD visuals.
- 30-day money back guarantee.
- Omnidirectional makes it easier to pick up the signal.
- Won’t connect with many channels without the antenna booster.
- Limited channels available in most setups.
This is an excellent, sturdy unit and it even comes at a great price. So is it a good buy? Yes. Just be prepared for the limited viewing options. After all, it is a free service and the terrain & broadcasters in the area also determine how many channels you can access.
- Q: How many TVs can receive a signal from this unit?
- A: By using the splitter box you can attach two TVs. However, note that the connection quality (strength and reception) determines whether you can enjoy quality images on both units.
- Q: Will this work no matter where you are in the US?
- A: Because this unit picks up digital signals, wherever digital signals are broadcast, you’ll be able to enjoy viewing.
Winegard SK-SWM3 Travel Trailer RV Television System
Another excellent model from the Winegard company this RV satellite dish impresses because it can draw signal from multiple satellites. It’s super compatible as it can receive all DIRECTV SD and HD programs. It even works with Genie receivers and has reflectors to improve signal strength.
At 53lb it’s quite heavy, so you’ll need help fixing this to your truck or camper’s roof. Apart from that, it’s quite easy to use, so ideal for novices too.
And here’s the bonus. You can split the signal up to four TVs for HDTV reception to four different viewers. (splitter included in purchase)
- Excellent compatibility.
- 2-year parts warranty.
- Connects with multiple satellites.
- Only appropriate for roof mount.
- Can’t view while on the move.
- Extremely heavy and not a portable unit.
Few units will give you as much viewing pleasure as this Winegard model. But you’re sacrificing some portability and you can’t watch while you’re on the road. Is it an investment? With a warranty attached and the HD viewing, you’ll get, definitely!
- Q: Can you place this on a tripod or other mounting on the ground, instead of using the crank up a system?
- A: You’ll have to build an extremely strong and stable foundation because this motorhome TV antenna weighs so much. You’ll also have trouble relaying the appropriate power (120 VAC 60Hz) to it if it’s not connected to your vehicle’s existing infrastructure. Lastly, putting it near the ground minimizes the chances of it locking onto satellites as signals will be easily obstructed. If you can counter all these challenges with your mounting setup, you can make it work.
- Q: Can you use this on a boat?
- A: No, this won’t work if any movement occurs. The movement will cause it to lose signal and it can’t automatically adjust to compensate for it.
1byone TV Digital TV Antenna for FM/VHF/UHF
If you hate moving the antenna—or your entire motorhome—to get signal, this digital unit may be your answer. It’s omnidirectional, making it a great camper antenna. Park your RV any position you prefer and the roof antenna will still find a signal.
It’s durable thanks to waterproofing and anti-UV coating. You’ll also love the easy installation.
- 360° reception.
- Can work even when there’s wind or rain.
- Receives all important frequencies: FM, VHF, UHF.
- 75mi range.
- Very light for easy installation.
- Won’t work indoors.
- Quite large, taking up a lot of space on your roof.
Omnidirectional is always an excellent option making this ideal for campers. It may be less efficient for trucks, purely because of its mounting position. While it is big we appreciate the aesthetics. The sleek exterior is complementary to most buildings or automotive vehicles.
- Q: Can you turn off the blue light?
- A: This bright blue light can be bothersome to some, especially if installed near a window. Unfortunately, you can’t turn it off.
RV Antenna Buying Guide
You’re making an important commitment and you may have to drill holes in your RV to set this structure up. So let’s help you pick the best option as a long-term solution. Below you’ll find the most important features you should use to vet different RV TV antennas.
Just because your new outdoor RV digital antenna has the ability to receive a variety of TV signals does not guarantee that it will. Some models have a much longer range in which to receive signals than others do. Make sure you know the approximate range of any product you are thinking about buying before you purchase it. If you visit many remote campsites with your vehicle then you will need a longer range motorhome TV antenna.
Ease of Installation/Sturdy mounting
Many times when an RV antenna is purchased to use it just ends up sitting in a box in the garage. That is because the owner had trouble mounting it and decided it just was not worth the hassle putting it up. Make sure you are not the victim of the same thing. Before you purchase any model go to the manufacturer’s website and get an idea of how easy that product is to install and how sturdy that mounting process is once finished.
Type of TV signals that can be received
You want to know exactly what type of signal frequencies an RV antenna is designed to receive before you buy. It has to be especially good at getting UHF digital signals because that is what dominates the airwaves these days and will get you the most channels. A big bonus with any model is to choose one that has the ability to not only to get digital signals but to get high definition digital TV signals as well. There is nothing quite like the picture you see on your television with a good HDTV signal.
Storage for travel
Some models are always in a fixed position while other can be retracted nicely into a lower position for traveling. The latter is the preferred type of antenna to mount on top of an RV. The top of your car is already so high it has little clearance when going under bridges so an antenna that does not retract down may not be on your vehicle anymore after you go under a bridge with a low underhang.
You’re going to expose your quality RV HD antenna to the elements. Wind, water and even a few branches will come by & could damage your unit.
For this reason, it’s important not only to get a quality receiver, but the mounting components must be strong enough to withstand pressure.
There are also many wires connected to travel trailer TV antennas. Have a look and see if these are well insulated and strong enough to withstand some wear & tear. Some of them will endure friction as you change the crank up antenna’s position.
Your best antenna will face harsh conditions. Except for quality parts used, look for items that are corrosion resistant. Any damage will influence the quality of your images.
Weight & Size
Here you have to look for one that’s light enough for you to handle. It doesn’t help you purchase a heavy duty unit offering the best signal but you can’t move or adjust it when you’re traveling alone. When you’re camping in your RV you need easy solutions, right?
On the other side, you need one durable enough, so some components will be heavy. Determine how much weight you and those camping with you can handle & pick accordingly, especially if you want a portable TV antenna for RV. If you opt for a fixed unit you simply need enough help when you install it the first time.
Size also matters since you don’t want the antenna ruining your RV’s aerodynamic features. Your antenna for camping can also be ripped off the roof if it’s too big and you drive into a strong wind. And height matters. How will you drive under trees or low bridges if your antenna needs too much clearance?
You can see this purchase requires a balance between many factors so take your time in picking the right one for your application.
Don’t simply pick the first good TV antenna for RVs you find. Your best-rated RV antennas must also match with the TV service you prefer and some RV television antennas are made for specific services.
Do you already have satellite TV at home? Why not enquire about getting a license for an additional server?
There are free options too, but then you’ll have to settle for lower quality viewing. And remember, if you’re going to rely on local stations your antenna must be strong enough to pick up the signal coming from towers, not satellites.
Remember, here you can’t only consider the cost of the unit. This is your primary expense and you must ensure the price is justified by the quality of:
- The images you’ll see.
- The range of the antenna.
- How durable the unit is.
Secondly, you must budget for getting viewing rights. Compare packages so you get your money’s worth. Some service providers have unique packages for campers to accommodate the unique viewing times and you may only have to pay for the times you use the antenna.
And what about replacement parts you should keep stock of? Can you afford all these expenses? Don’t let the need for TV ruin your holiday budget.
How to Use RV TV Antenna?
Did you know you can do more than simply watch the basic channels via your RV digital antennas? The technology inside can be optimized for these situations:
- Enjoy HD viewing, but make sure your antenna is designed for this before you buy.
- Don’t settle for mediocre signal if you simply need to add a booster or amplifier. This can improve quality and access more channels.
- Some RV antennas are designed to provide or enhance Wi-Fi signal. Invest in this if you want access to the internet rather than TV channels from broadcasters or satellites.
- Perhaps you’re old school and simply want some music? Why not get an RV antenna optimized to receive FM signals? Note: other antennas may not do this because it interferes with TV signals.
Make sure you pick the highest-rated TV antenna for RV that also aligns with your personal interests.
How to Hook UP TV to RV Antenna?
Don’t be daunted. It’s actually easy to get your antenna to work.
- Fix it to your roof or wall. Each brand provides unique methods such as magnets or you have to drill holes in the vehicle. Make sure there’s an opening through which the provided cables can go.
- Seal the holes with caulk.
- Now for connection of the coax and power cables coming from the antenna:
- Connect the unit to a power outlet.
- Connect the unit to the TV or the control box, depending on your setup (if you want to view from multiple screens you’ll need to add a splitter box).
- A booster will be connected to the antenna itself.
- Use the TVs interface to search for channels after picking the antenna as the image source.