After a hectic day on the road in your RV, what would you want most at night when you are finally settled in the new campsite? Some entertainment, right? But when you turn on the TV, it either shows a ‘no signal’ message or those flickers or ‘snowy’ dots, sometimes accompanied with a screeching sound, which feels like that aliens have landed somewhere nearby.
How are you going to watch the game or keep up with your favorite reality TV shows? It’s time for learning how to get better reception on camper antenna.
No RV-er would like to have a dead TV after finding the perfect campground and are done with the day’s activities. Let’s find out what could be the possible solutions to this problem.
How to Get Better Reception on Camper Antenna
Struggling with TV signal reception on the road is frustrating because we take having clear pictures on the TV in our home for granted. Almost all RVs come with a pre-installed TV antenna. But that does not guarantee a TV time without disruptions.
The good news is technology has been developed so much so that the struggle with getting a good TV signal is rare nowadays because all the channels are digital. Even if you face the problem of receiving bad signals, there are many ways to overcome this issue.
Here’s how to get better reception on camper antenna.
Fix the Antenna Positions
The simplest solution that needs no money is extending the antenna and rotating it until you find a better signal. Parking on the top of a hill will also help to get signals without any natural obstacles. There is a high chance of missing the best signal when you have parked in a valley.
If these things don’t work, check if there are any metal things nearby the RV TV antenna. Metal can weaken and even block signals. If you cannot move that metal object, relocate your motorhome.
Still having problems? You may need to do equipment upgrades.
Upgrade the Equipment
If the existing antenna cannot provide a good signal, you may need to replace or upgrade the current setup. Before going shopping, take notes and pictures of the models and replace them (if required) with the exact model.
Older motorhomes are equipped with analog TV antennas that you may need to replace with a digital antenna. Even if the analog antenna is working fine, you need to change it as broadcast companies and their subsidiaries will change each signal to HD by the middle of 2020, as per the regulations of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Change the old analog antenna for an HD version before June or July this year. There are plenty of models available in the market. Choose a multi-directional model so it receives signals from all directions.
A feature of the antenna to focus on is the mileage range. It indicates the maximum distance of the antenna receiving a signal. For example, 50 means that the unit can receive signals from a station 50 miles away.
When you are in a campground not very far from the city, an antenna with 30 to 40 miles of range is fine. But if you love boondocking at remote places, choose a unit with 60 to 70 miles of range.
Signal Boosters and Amplifiers
If you don’t want to replace your current antenna or the problem persists after the replacement, a signal booster or amplifying device will be useful.
This boosting device strengthens the received signals and widens the range of the transmitting antenna. It means that if there is a signal, no matter how weak, this unit picks it up and multiplies it. As a result, the signals become as strong as you are nearby the transmitting antenna.
A booster or amplifier needs to be attached between the TV and the antenna. Depending on the model, design, and price range, their signal receiving power varies. Buy a powerful one if you go camping in remote places often.
You may also like: The 12 Best WiFi Boosters for RV
Signal Finder Websites
So, there is no more figuring out how to get better reception on camper antenna because these devices are enough to solve the issue.
But there are still a few websites that can help you with enjoying your favorite shows better. Websites like the Winegard Signal Finder App or the FCC Reception Map will give you a better idea of the available stations, in which network they are in, and their signal strength. You will also know which channel is running what shows.
Alternatives to TV Antennas
You have learned how to get better reception on camper antenna. Well, there are some devices that you can use as an alternative to a TV antennas. So, you can upgrade your antenna or bring a booster into the setup to solve the signal receiving issues. But there are a few TV antenna substitutes that provide better signal reception.
A few of these devices are:
A portable satellite dish for RV is an excellent alternative to TV antenna. In fact, two companies namely Dish Network and DirectTV are hugely popular in the RV community for providing such dish products.
Unlike the large satellite dishes used in homes or commercial precincts, these companies design exclusive external or installable units for motorhomes. These devices are multi-directional, enabling them to receive signals from each direction.
The ones that can be installed should be put on the roof so they can work as a better signal receiver. The external ones have to be set on a tripod outside of the motorhome.
Finding the directional coordinates is a breeze as there are plenty of websites and apps. Besides, the network provider also offers assistance in this regard.
Data and Cellular Boosters
There are devices for boosting cellular signals that can be helpful have you decided using cellular services. This service combined with a boosting device is perfect for enjoying your favorite shows in the most remote areas.
These days, there are a handful of streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Disney+ and more that offer loads of quality content. So, it won’t be a bad idea to go cordless and subscribe to one of these services.