While some people think an RV lifestyle means avoiding the trappings of the outside world entirely, full-time RVers know that a little connection to the outside world is a good thing. If you want a better link to local television channels, satellite antennas can solve your problem and make your life on the road more like life at home.
Our 6 Top Picks for Best Satellite TV Antenna
|Best RV TV Antenna||Best For:|
|King VQ4550 Tailgater||Portable Antenna|
|King OA8500 Jack HDTV||Most Affordable|
|Kind KD5500 Relay||Low Profile|
Reviews of the 6 Best Satellite TV Antennas
Choosing the right satellite TV antennas isn’t easy, so we’ve included a roundup of our top picks with additional information and pros and cons lists.
Best for DISH
This RV antenna works exclusively with DISH programming. If you already have DISH, it is easy to add the outdoor programming option. You can also get DISH programming solely for your antenna if you don’t already have a subscription.
The Winegard PL-8000 is small and lightweight. It does not come with a receiver or a mounting kit if you want to keep your RV antenna off the ground. This portable TV antenna has a super easy set-up and automatically finds dish HD satellites to connect to.
Overall the quality is excellent, but problems can arise if there is too much to interfere with the connection. A predominantly cloudy day or an antenna placed in a heavily wooded area can mean a bad connection.
- Dish Playmaker Dual portable satellite antenna - featuring dual coax outputs, Watch different...
- Easy setup portable antenna - powered by single coax connection through dish receiver
- Easy set-up
- Inexpensive programming
- Automatic connection to satellites
- The receiver must be purchased separately
- The mount must be purchased separately
- Doesn’t work in heavily wooded areas
Best for Inmotion
The Winegard Black is an excellent satellite antenna for anyone who wants easy access to live programming in their RV. Including those times their RV is rolling down the highway.
It costs a pretty penny for such luxury, and it works best on open roads with nothing obstructing the sky, but it’s the best choice if watching live programming is essential to you while in motion.
The Winegard Black is limited to users in the continental US and has two satellite outputs. It uses automatic satellite acquisition, and it automatically reconnects after a signal disruption.
There is a two-year warranty on parts, one year on labor when you purchase the Winegard Black. Even after the warranty is up, the manufacturer gives telephone and email support for free. If you want an expert opinion, there is an extensive dealer support network for this satellite TV antenna.
- Compatible with multiple providers
- Easily switch providers at power inserter
- Warranty and excellent customer service
- Able to use while driving
- Two satellite outputs
- May not work when the sky is obstructed
Best for DIRECTV
The Winegard SK-SWM3 is a folding DIRECTV satellite TV antenna. It is big and bulky, clocking in at fifty-three pounds, but you only have to install it once on your roof and then plug it in once you arrive at your destination. This satellite is can only be used while your RV is stationary.
The Winegard SK-SWM3 has three receivers so that you can watch different channels on multiple TVs simultaneously. It automatically acquires satellites with no necessary adjustments from you.
The warranty for the Winegard SK-SWM3 is two years, and the instructions for installation are clear and concise. If you don’t feel like tackling installation yourself, contact a DirecTV dealer to do it for you. If you choose to purchase the Winegard SK-SWM3, do yourself a favor and also buy the mounting plate.
- Your purchase includes TRAV'LER Satellite Antenna | Power Inserter | 4-Way SWM Splitter | IDU with...
- Antenna dimensions – 44” L x 34” W x 9.75” H | Stowed height – Less than 10” | Weight...
- Easy installation
- Three receivers
- Automatic satellite acquisition
Best Portable Antenna
King VQ4550 Tailgater
If you are looking for effortless portability and easy set-up at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong with the King VQ4550 Tailgater. A favorite of short-term campers and tailgaters, the King VQ4550 Tailgater, also works well for those living in their RVs full-time.
The King VQ4550 Tailgater comes with almost everything you need right in the box. Included are mounting feet, mounting onto the roof of your RV, and a Wally HD receiver with Wi-Fi capability. It’s light – it only weighs eight pounds! This portable television antenna is incredibly easy to set up, and it acquires satellites automatically.
The television provider for the King VQ4550 Tailgater is DISH. If you already have DISH, you can easily add satellite service only for the months you use it. If you don’t have an at-home DISH package, you can use the no contracts DISH Pay As You GO HD programming plan.
- Portable satellite TV antenna for dish service with included Wally HD receiver. Ideal with DISH Pay...
- Use as either portable antenna or roof mounted (mounting feet included)
- Easy to set-up
- Includes many additional pieces for added convenience
- Not the sturdiest TV antenna on the market
- Has two receivers, but picture suffers when trying to watch two at once
King OA8500 Jack HDTV
Getting television broadcast to your RV when you are always on the go can seem like a big challenge and an even more significant investment. If you are interested in picking up local channels wherever you are with minimal hassle and cost, the King OA8500 Jack HDTV satellite TV antenna would be perfect for you.
The King OA8500 Jack HDTV doesn’t look quite like the TV antennas you are familiar with. It’s aerodynamic, and once mounted, doesn’t require any set-up or cranking up or down. It is much smaller than most satellite TV antennas, and it will minimize any wind resistance when you drive.
The King OA8500 Jack HDTV doesn’t require any additional subscriptions to any particular satellite company. This TV antenna is more old school. It has long-range signal acquisition capabilities that will get you more local channels.
This affordable satellite TV antenna comes with a one-year warranty on labor and a four-year warranty on parts.
- Long-range signal acquisition gets more channels
- Built-in KING SureLock signal finder for simple signal acquisition
- No contracts or contact with satellite companies
- Only gets local channels
Best Low Profile Antenna
King DK5500 Relay
Any long time RVer knows how easy it is to damage your TV satellite antenna. You never know where you will need or want to take your RV, so clearance with your antenna can be a problem with some units. However, the King DK5500 Relay is one of the best options for a low-profile RV satellite TV antenna.
The King DK5500 Relay uses DISH satellites to get your picture, so you’ll need to use the DISH Pay as You GO HD programming plan. This plan doesn’t require a contract, and you only have to pay for the months you use.
This low-profile satellite antenna has easy installation and set-up, as well as access to excellent customer service. Unfortunately, there is no warranty, but the instruction manual is easy to understand with a lot of troubleshooting advice. It has a dual output for watching on multiple TVs despite only having one antenna.
- Roof-mounted automatic satellite antenna for use with DISH (HD/SD)
- Built with dual output to watch programming on two TVs (programming must be on the same satellite)
- Dual output
- Good customer support
- Receiver sold separately
- No warranty
Recap: The Best RV TV Antennas
- Winegard PL-8000 – Best for DISH
- Winegard Black – Best for Inmotion
- Winegard SK-SWM3 – Best for DIRECTV
- King VQ4550 Tailgater – Best Portable Antenna
- King OA8500 Jack HDTV – Most Affordable
- King DK5500 Relay – Best Low Profile Antenna
Buying a New RV TV Antenna: What to Look For
Here are a few factors to consider when buying a satellite TV antenna for your RV.
Availability and Cost of Programming
Purchasing a satellite antenna for your RV doesn’t guarantee you instant access to quality high definition programming. Most will be compatible with a satellite TV Company like DISH or DIRECTV. If not, decide if a connection to local programming meets your needs.
DISH offers no-contract monthly programming for portable television antennas, which is a much cheaper option than getting into a long-term contract. If you are used to paying for a cable TV subscription, DIRECTV might be the right choice for you.
You can also opt-out of subscription services entirely and get an antenna that connects you exclusively to local programming.
Number of Satellite Outputs
You may have multiple televisions in your RV, but you don’t need an antenna for each one. Many satellite TV antennas come with multiple outputs. Multiple outputs allow for simultaneous viewing of different channels on multiple TVs.
If you share your RV with people that don’t share your taste in TV shows, you will need more than one output!
Most recent satellite TV antennas come with at least two outputs. Some come with up to four, although that may be far beyond your needs. Verify if there is a loss in picture quality when multiple TVs are running.
Available Customer Support
You just want to be able to watch TV in your RV. Moving around so much doesn’t have to mean skipping out on basic creature comforts! Of course, problems always arise, and all the moving around creates more opportunities for mishaps. Before purchasing a satellite TV antenna, look for a warranty and what kind of customer support will be available to you.
Most satellite TV antennas come with a warranty of some kind. You must read the fine print, since the warranty may be only for parts or merely for labor. Find out in advance where you can go to get help with your satellite TV antenna.
Even once your warranty period has ended, you may be able to contact customer support for your satellite TV antenna. Most companies offer support via email, direct messaging, or on the phone. Keep the numbers and links for all three options close. You never know when you might have limited Internet or phone signal.
Ease of Installation and Set-Up
Once you have selected your satellite TV antenna, getting it out of the box and installed on your RV can be challenging. Some satellite TV antennas are more comfortable to use than others, and some may require more help from a professional. Decide before buying how hands-on you want installation and set-up to be.
Some satellite TV antennas can be mounted onto the roof of your RV. Once you arrive, they can be turned on with the press of a button. Others require tripods and additional set-up when you arrive at your destination.
The best satellite TV antenna for your RV depends on your needs! There is always an option available to suit your goals. As long as you clearly define what your RV requires, you’ll be able to find the right product for on-the-road entertainment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does It Cost To Install An RV Antenna
Along with the cost of an antenna, the cost to install the device on your RV isn’t the cheapest service. Wires have to be run into your RV which means cutting and sealing holes and running wires. This can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on how many TVs you have an how large your RV is.
Can I Use A Regular Satellite As An Antenna?
The short answer is no. You could try to use a regular satellite as an antenna, but you will never be able to get a clear signal the way that the pros can. It is also not as safe to use a regular satellite on your RV because they are not designed to be folded and travelled the way that a dedicated RV antenna is.
What Is The Lifespan Of An RV Antenna?
Longer than 5 years is the general consensus. RV Antennas are specifically designed to be subject to the weather and dirt that your RV is subject to and with occasionally cleaning and maintenance your antenna should last you possibly as long as the life of your RV.