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Your RV TV Antenna reception isn’t great? You are not alone! Lot of us face this issue. Thankfully, there are simple fixes that you can try to get better reception on your camper antenna.
Getting away from it all Doesn’t mean you have to get away from it all. Many RVs come with a pre-installed television antenna.
But, there will be those times when you are out in the middle of nowhere and your t.v antenna does not receive any signals.
Here are some of the troubleshooting remedies to improve the reception.
How to improve your RV’s television reception
There are some easy to apply solutions that will help you get better reception and make your RV your castle again. Here are some of those easy solutions that make RV camping more enjoyable by picking up more channels on the RV TV.
RAISE YOUR ANTENNA
Sometimes your antenna is just too low to pick up those television signals correctly. A slight or large adjustment in its height should do the trick.
This is that one trick that solves the problem most of the times unless its a issue with other components. Many a times this can be cumbersome as you’ll need ladder to reach the roof.
DOUBLE CHECK YOUR ANTENNA’S DIRECTION
The common complaint about RV TV antenna not working could actually be because of its direction rather that the antenna in itself.
A poorly aimed antenna will miss out or barely receive television signals. Take a few moments after leveling and setting up your campsite to re-aim your antenna so it gets the full television signal with ease.
CHANGE THE ANTENNA’S LOCATION
It could be that where your antenna currently sits is not the optimum spot for television reception. This may take a few extra moments after a long day’s drive, but find a new spot for the antenna and make sure it is picking up those signals.
One word of warning, some RVs may not allow this to take place so be careful. You do not want to ruin your antenna.
RESET YOUR DIGITAL TUNER
Too much cache may be the problem or you may need to do a channel re-scan because broadcasters were reassigned new broadcast channels. To do a re-scan just disconnect your antenna’s cable and then run the re-scan without hooking up the antenna again.
Next, unplug your t.v. after turning it off. Wait several minutes, then attach the antenna cable again and plug your television set back in. Do another re-scan at this time and you should be set.
This technique should fix the tv reception problem. If it does not then go on to the next below option.
WEATHERPROOF YOUR CABLES & CONNECTIONS
To keep the weather from ruining your reception, make sure your connections and cables are protected against the sun, rain, and even snow.
You are looking to replace any eroded or cracked cables, rusted screws, and faulty connectors. This should be done once a year. Moisture-proof tape is one way to keep the weather away from ruining your relaxation time. Make sure to replace all worn cables.
TURN OFF LED LIGHTS & EXTRA APPLIANCES
This is a simple solution that takes about a second or two to do. You do not need extra lights or hair dryers running while you watch television so cut down the interference by turning them off.
CHANGE YOUR LOCATION
If you can do this, finding a more elevated surface to camp on will help boost your antenna’s receptions powers. Being hidden is great if you want privacy but not good when you want to catch what is on television.
ADD A SIGNAL BOOSTER
These can help your antenna receive a stronger signal and provide a wider reception range. They are not hard to attach and may be inexpensive as well. Such tv signal amplifiers help cut the noise and produce much better signals.
One can also use rv tv signal strength meter to measure the signal. This can be done by measuring the signal strength of the lowest broadcast channel in the region you are currently in.
USE YOUR COMPUTER
Not to watch YouTube or other similar websites but to find a website that has a signal finder app. These signal finders help you find the best signal in your area. Or buy a strength meter to help you locate the strongest signals.
CHANGE TO A SATELLITE DISH
There are a lot of good companies out there that help you bring in those t.v. signals bouncing off satellites. These are great when you are so far out in nature that even television signals get lost.
TURN TO CELLULAR SERVICE
This can be done in a number of ways, for example, fire sticks, Roku or just using Chromecast, etc. There are boosters for these signals as well so you shouldn’t miss out.
SOME THINGS ARE OUT OF YOUR CONTROL
Sometimes you just have to grin and bear watching snowy pictures because you can’t move street lights, stop storms from taking place or you can’t move your RV.
The best thing to do is to plan your trips better and find those locations that are elevated and away from electrical lights. Storms are something you can’t avoid.
CHANGE THE ANTENNA
Your RV TV not picking up channel could actually be a fault with the antenna that has gone bad or has become less efficient.
The stock antenna most RVs are equipped with may not be up to the task. There is nothing wrong with replacing it with a better one.
Your best RV TV Antenna options :
There are a lot of companies that cater to the segment. Since the RV industry is so huge and there have been consistency increase in the number of people taking the full time approach the competition is also pretty stiff.
And therefore, you as a customer benefit from the prices and services. Even then the TV antenna prices aren’t that cheap and you need sufficient investment, so be careful in what you choose.
Here are your options (These are my best favorite TV antenna, you may also find other options).
- Winegard Sensar IV DTV HD TV Antenna
Better receptions and really easy to install. Much better construction quality and therefore best suited for RV and harsh weather. Weighs around 9 lbs.
- Outdoor Amplified HDTV Antenna
Great reception with good quality sound and pictures. Overall an easy to setup antenna. Reception is good but may distort at times. Its waterproof and a great fit for a RV usage.
- KING Jack Replacement Head HDTV Directional Over-the-Air Antenna
Easy to install and light in weight. You don’t have to crank it up or down for reception. Reception isn’t that great as compared to other options and may pick less number of channels.
People also talk a lot about triplevision rv tv antenna, i myself haven’t had the experience though.
CHANGE THE CABLE
From your antenna to the booster to the television connection, change your cables to shielded ones. This helps protect the signal and keeps the reception strong.
There are 3 types of cables that are mainly used:
Coaxial Cables : These are heavily shielded and hexagon type connectors of either ends.
YPbPr Cables : These are thinner as compared to the coaxial type cables.
HDMI Cables : These are latest types that are used to HD and 4K signals.
Upgrading your cable or antenna or any other components should be done only after you are sure whats causing the issue.
In cases where the equipment is old enough you can give a try. Its also worthy to compare the replacement or repair prices as otherwise getting a new setup in itself can be a good idea.
ALUMINUM FOIL AND A FORK
When people get bad reception, they turn to old wives’ tales and other myths to help them receive a better signal. Here are two of them that may or may not work for you
ATTACHING ALUMINUM OR TIN FOIL – some people get great results when they use this cooking aid to help them receive better electronic signals. But this is really hit and miss. This trick works better inside than it does outside as wind and other weather elements can damage the tin foil.
ATTACHING A FORK – again some people say they get great results using this metal-eating utensil but not all antennas are compatible with a fork. Also, when tested, the fork may weaken your reception instead of boosting it.
Why your t.v. reception fails
It doesn’t matter if you spent $150,000 on your Class A RV or $75,000 on your class C RV, there will be those days where you won’t be able to pick up any t.v. reception. There are a lot of reasons why this takes place.
Inside your RV
Lets first check the reasons that could be internal to the RV. The whole TV setup has many components like cable, booster; any of these could be causing the issue. Not only this but it can also be due to other internal appliances. Lets find out.
CABLES ARE NOT SHIELDED – when this is the issue your antenna may be working fine. It is the cables that are picking up interference and ruining your signal.
TOO MANY ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES – if they have electric motors and they are turned on, those devices can interfere with your television reception.
TOO MANY FLUORESCENT OR LED LIGHTS – while they help you see what you are doing, these lights can create interference and block your antenna from transmitting the signal to your t.v. set
YOUR ANTENNA BOOSTER IS FAULTY – it happens. Technology does seem to break down just when you do not want it to
Outside your RV
TV reception can be affected by many outer elements too. Lets check out those you can control as well as those that aren’t in your control.
YOUR LOCATION – you may have parked your RV in a spot that is blocked by trees or mountains. This is great when you want shade but not so good when you want to watch television
BAD WEATHER – its a stormy night and all you want to do is have a cup of hot chocolate and watch your favorite movie. Unfortunately, bad weather or atmospheric pressures can interfere with those plans and ruin the signal
ELECTRICAL INTERFERENCE – not from thunderstorms but from street lamps, campground electrical sources, and similar conveniences.
TOO FAR OUT IN NATURE – that can be a problem as most television towers are pointed toward the city where most viewers are located. That means the signal will be weak or non-existent in your ideal wilderness retreat
Use your RV antenna correctly
To be able to enjoy the reception, you should know how to use the rv antenna properly. There are 3 steps to follow to make sure you use your RV antenna assembly in the right way:
First, depending on your RV, there should be a crank to raise or lower it. To avoid stripping gears do not apply too much pressure to the crank
Second, make sure you have turned the signal booster on. These simple things are often overlooked and people spend hours looking for a non-existent complicated problem.
Third, turn your antenna. There should be a ring by the crank that allows you to move the antenna to a better direction.
Protecting The RV Antenna
This article would not be incomplete if I did not make you aware of simple things you need to do to protect your RV’s antenna.
- When you are packing up and getting to head down the road, make sure to lower your antenna before you move your RV.
- Always return your antenna back to its original or home position before lowering it. There should be two arrows on the mechanism to guide you.
- Only rotate the antenna 180 degrees in one direction. If you need to go further, return to the home position and then move it up to 180 degrees in the opposite direction
- Make sure the antenna is properly mounted. You can use standard roof mount suggested by the RV or you normally get it in the antenna system itself. Make sure the installation is done properly, caulk the areas where screws are used else it can lead to leaking.
Tired of not getting TV reception from the antenna? As we saw already sometime the TV reception may not be in your control. NO mater how hard your try there will be disruption and sometime your area of location can be so remote that it becomes hard to even try.
But, worry not there are are other options that can keep you connected and entertained.
In this age of digitization there are multiple other options you can try for video entertainment.
There are multiple players in the market that cater specially to RV owners. These can be installed at the top of the RV and are multi directional. You can set it up on the roof and a app can help you point to the right directions.
Some of the major providers in this segment include dish network and directTV. This is a great way to your normal cable or RV antenna reception.
The cost is little higher though and also need longer commitment. The dish at the roof can also be an issue as it extends beyond your normal roof height.
Streaming on the Internet
With internet streaming becoming so popular it isn’t an options that can be ignored.
In fact lot of us use netflix, hulu along with ur normal television. Having this addition to your entertainment is very popular.
So, if you find TV reception hard then do go for this alternative. Its less costly and you will hardly have any issues connecting to the network unless you are really remote.
To make sure you have best signals use rv tv antenna signal booster like winegard connecT or weBoost. This can help have better connection even when you are located at a remote place. With wifi and digital TV you can enjoy the streaming much more.
Improving your RV’s television reception does not take big bucks to do. If you are handy and careful, you can solve your reception problems in a matter of minutes. Just use some common sense and make sure your cables are up to date, shielded, and not worn out.
Also, watch where you park your RV. Even a tiny low spot can impact how your antenna receives those signals.