Best Satellite TV Antenna Reviews For Your RV [2021 Edition]

  • RV Hub

I don’t know about you, but after ten hours of driving, even if I enjoyed it, I still like having a bit of entertainment to wind down.

Using that 12 volt TV in your RV should be a piece of cake, but if your reception is terrible, it’s going to turn downtime into a big ball of frustration while you try to get it to work.

Your TV antenna is to blame. Getting greater signal strength and a more durable antenna brings in a clearer picture every single time, and if that’s important to you, then we’ve got just the antennas for you.

Conquering the great outdoors doesn’t have to be a tech-free adventure. Having the chance to unwind with your favorite TV show at the end of a long day spent on the road or in the woods is a comfort worth investing in. Aside from a first-rate 12 volt RV TV, you’ll also need a receiver, a satellite service provider, and, of course, a high-quality satellite RV antenna.

With so many options on the market, shopping for a satellite TV antenna can be a daunting task, especially if you’ve never done it before. That’s precisely why we did the legwork for you and selected the top satellite TV antennas of 2021.

Each of our product reviews includes pros and cons lists as well as basic product information. This will help you narrow down your choices and, ultimately, find the most suitable satellite RV antenna for your wants and needs.

We’ve also written a short and straightforward buying guide to help you make a smart shopping decision based on the key factors. You can find it at the end of the article along with an FAQ section.

Here's the Best RV Satellite TV Antenna in a Quick Glance

Winegard GM-6035

Why is it better?

Winegard GM-6035

10 Best Portable Satellite Dishes For Your RV

With that in mind, let’s now take a closer look at our top picks.

Top Pick
Winegard GM-6035 Carryout G2+ Portable Satellite Antenna for DISH, DIRECTV, & BellTV
Best DISH Antenna
KING VQ4500 Tailgater Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna (for use with DISH) , Gray , Western Arc Satellites
Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna
In-Motion Entertainment
Winegard RT2035T RoadTrip T4 In-Motion RV Satellite Dish (DISH, DIRECTV, BellTV) - Fully Automatic RV Satellite Antenna
Best On A Budget
Winegard PA-1000 DISH Playmaker HD Portable Satellite Antenna (RV Portable Satellite Dish, Tailgating Portable Satellite Antenna)
KING VQ4100 Quest Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna (for use with DIRECTV)
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Top Pick
Winegard GM-6035 Carryout G2+ Portable Satellite Antenna for DISH, DIRECTV, & BellTV
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Best DISH Antenna
KING VQ4500 Tailgater Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna (for use with DISH) , Gray , Western Arc Satellites
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More Information
Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna
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In-Motion Entertainment
Winegard RT2035T RoadTrip T4 In-Motion RV Satellite Dish (DISH, DIRECTV, BellTV) - Fully Automatic RV Satellite Antenna
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Best On A Budget
Winegard PA-1000 DISH Playmaker HD Portable Satellite Antenna (RV Portable Satellite Dish, Tailgating Portable Satellite Antenna)
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KING VQ4100 Quest Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna (for use with DIRECTV)
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Let’s dive into the specifics and review each satellite dish individually. You can use the list below to jump and review specific models, or you can read along and go through all the information.

1. Winegard GM-6035: Best Overall

This unit is our number one pick for multiple reasons. In addition to offering flexibility and ease of use. 

It also comes with patented search algorithms combined with a stepper motor that allow for super-quick channel surfing as the antenna rotates between satellites. 

It’s also lightweight and durable (due to its superior construction).

PROS

  • This unit is compatible with 3 major satellite TV providers (DISH, DirecTV, and Bell TV) – this means that you won’t have to purchase another antenna if you decide to change your provider
  • Its simple-to-use power inserter makes setup and operation pretty straightforward
  • This product offers multiple mounting options that allow you to choose your preferred location (permanent roof mount, tripod mount, side or window mount, ladder mount, or rear cab mount)
  • This unit automatically adjusts the antenna angle to the proper satellite when switching channels
  • It can be used with multiple TVs/receivers, which can be quite useful for RV families

CONS

  • One of the most significant disadvantages of this antenna is its inability to work while the RV is in motion – stationary use only
  • This unit is unable to receive DirecTV high-definition channels (standard subscription only), which is why we feel those with one of the other two satellite providers can get the most out of this version

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: GM-6035 Carryout G2+
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19.7 x 16.4 x 16.3 inches
  • Maximum of 2 receivers
  • Automatic satellite acquisition (you won’t have to lift a finger)
  • Receives a signal from 1 satellite at a time
  • Color: Black

2. KING VQ4500: Best for DISH Subscribers

The KING VQ4500 Tailgater is our choice for DISH subscribers who value portability with their antenna. 

It includes 50’ of coax cable for maximum portability when an optimal sky view may be far away from your recreational vehicle. 

In addition to this, it weighs only 13.2 pounds, meaning you can carry the unit wherever it’s needed – from parking lot tailgates and second homes to travel trailers and RVs.

PROS

  • The KING VQ4500 is designed exclusively for use with DISH and is compatible with several different receiver models, including the popular Wally HD receiver
  • The KING VQ4500 satellite RV antenna is fully portable for multiple mobile uses – it can be used as a portable antenna or mounted to the roof with the provided mounting foot hardware
  • Power is provided via a connection with your receiver – no extra power source required

CONS

  • The KING VQ4500 is made for stationary use only
  • The dual output for viewing multiple TVs functions only when both stations are on the same satellite

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: VQ4500 Tailgater
  • Weight: 13.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22.7 x 20 x 16.2 inches
  • Supports multiple TV viewing with the built-in dual coaxial outputs (programming must be on the same satellite)
  • Receives SD and HD programming
  • Fully automatic signal acquisition, receiving a signal from 1 satellite at a time
  • Colors: Clear (smoke), gray, and white

Winegard SK-SWM3: Best for Home Theater-Like Entertainment

This antenna is perfect for DirecTV subscribers who want to fully enjoy their favorite TV programs while RVing

How can this unit make that happen? By offering a strong TV signal and the chance to watch and record programs that are on different satellites. If home theater-quality entertainment is what you’re after, there’s no need to look any further.

The company made sure their top of the line TRAV’LER series was available to more than just DISH customers with this DirecTV specific version.

PROS

  • Simultaneous satellite viewing allows for quicker channel surfing and gives the opportunity to watch and record programs that are on different satellites
  • This antenna provides an extremely strong TV signal, thus turning your RV entertainment experience into an at-home one (rain, snow, and morning condensation rarely affect it)
  • Thanks to its multi-receiver capability, this unit allows you to send programming to numerous TVs throughout your RV – adventure-loving families, this is a great option for you

CONS

  • This product is made for stationary use only
  • Since it must be mounted to the roof, this satellite TV antenna doesn’t allow any portability in the case of a heavy tree cover over your camper (and at 53 pounds we wouldn’t want to move it anyway)

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: SK-SWM3 TRAV’LER Slimline
  • Weight: 53 pounds
  • Dimensions: 44 x 34 x 9.75 inches
  • Very low stow height (less than 10”) – great for travel
  • 4+ receiver capability
  • SD & HD compatible
  • Can receive 3 signals simultaneously
  • Auto toggle between satellites not needed due to simultaneous reception
  • 4-way splitter for routing the coax cord to multiple receivers (included in the purchase)
  • Color: Light gray

4. Winegard RT2035T: Best for In-Motion Entertainment

If you are looking for an antenna that will provide you with the versatility of in-motion entertainment and multi-provider compatibility, then we believe this unit is the right choice for you.

This unit comes with a quiet system with improved tracking and updated design. It’s also the manufacturer’s smallest in-motion antenna and requires minimal roof space and no storage space.

Please keep in mind that if you are already a DirecTV customer, we would probably steer you towards one of the network specific units below.

PROS

  • It allows for in-motion viewing, meaning you can watch and record your favorite shows while driving
  • This item is the smallest in-motion antenna within the company’s lineup; it takes up minimal space and height on the roof of your RV
  • Compatible with each of the 3 major providers

CONS

  • This unit is expensive
  • It can receive a signal from only 1 satellite at a time

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: RT2035T Roadtrip T4 In-Motion
  • Weight: 16 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.6 x 18.75 x 15.63 inches
  • Maximum of 2 receivers
  • Automatic satellite acquisition (you won’t have to lift a finger)
  • Receives a signal from 1 satellite at a time
  • The single button on/off operation increases the ease of use
  • Color: Black

5. Winegard PA-1000 Playmaker: Best on a Budget

This unit packs a serious punch and its attractive price is really hard to ignore.

DISH subscribers who aren’t concerned with in-motion or multi-television viewing should definitely give this antenna a go.

PROS

  • This tailgating satellite RV antenna offers a great deal of value for your money – this is in fact one of the most affordable units we’ve reviewed
  • This product provides maximum portability and is extremely light
  • Simple setup with single coaxial input for both signal relay and power supply – no need for additional power cords
  • Compatible with the network’s pay-as-you-go service, providing better finance options for those who are not DISH subscribers yet as well as for those who only want to pay for months during which they are traveling/using the service
  • Multiple mount options for tripods or permanent roof installation
  • The newly designed aluminum alloy reflector improves the signal and durability

CONS

  • This unit has one receiver capability, which means you won’t be able to view programming on multiple TVs
  • This product is made for stationary use only

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: PA-1000 Playmaker HD
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 18 inches
  • 1 receiver capability
  • Works exclusively with the network’s HD solo satellite receiver technology and programming
  • Receives 1 signal at a time
  • Automatic signal acquisition
  • Color: White

6. Winegard SK-1000: Best for Separate Programming on Multiple TVs

This satellite RV antenna is the clear performance winner in the category.

It’s ideal for those who don’t need the portability of a smaller and lighter unit such as the KING VQ4500 one reviewed above.

Quick research is all it takes to realize that Winegard Company has hit it out of the park with its TRAV’LER series.

PROS

  • This antenna’s multi-satellite viewing allows for separate programming on multiple TVs
  • This product has ultra-low stow height for wind resistance and improved clearance during your road trip (less than 10” above the roof)
  • This satellite RV antenna delivers the most similar at-home entertainment experience while on the road
  • It provides complimentary telephone and email support
  • This automatic satellite antenna works well with the popular Hopper receiver

CONS

  • This product is made for stationary use only
  • It’s specified for use on travel trailers and RVs only

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: SK-1000 TRAV’LER Automatic Multi-Satellite Antenna
  • Weight: 50 pounds
  • Dimensions: 47.25 x 27.75 x 16.25 inches
  • 3 receiver capability (with options to add more)
  • Standard and HDTV compatible
  • Designed specifically for use with DISH or Bell TV
  • Can view 3 satellites simultaneously
  • Auto toggle feature isn’t necessary since it views satellites simultaneously (quicker channel surfing)
  • Color: Gray/black

7. KING VQ4100: Best for DirecTV Subscribers

The KING VQ4100 is a budget-friendly option for DirecTV customers who are looking to extend the service to their RV with an additional receiver. 

With its 8 pounds, the KING VQ4100 satellite TV antenna is one of the lightest satellite RV antennas on our list, which makes it amazing for other mobile uses as well (tailgates, backyards, etc).

Please bear in mind that if you aren’t a current DirecTV subscriber or want an HD programming display, our advice is to opt for some other product.

PROS

  • The KING VQ4100 Quest satellite RV antenna is an affordable option
  • This product is lightweight and can be used as a portable antenna or mounted to the roof with the provided mounting feet
  • The KING VQ4100 supports multiple TV viewing with the built-in dual coaxial outputs (programming must be on the same satellite)

CONS

  • This satellite TV antenna is designed for use with the popular network, but won’t receive HD programming – only SD
  • The KING VQ4100 is not compatible with SWM-only receivers
  • It’s made for stationary use only

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: VQ4100 Quest
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.5 x 18.75 x 13.5 inches
  • Dual signal output (2 receivers)
  • Fully automatic satellite acquisition and switching
  • Powered over coaxial cable with no external power supply needed; includes 50’ coax cable and power injector
  • Color: Gray

8. Winegard Pathway X2: Best Signal Performance

This is yet another amazing choice for DISH subscribers. 

It features two receiver capability and total programming coverage wherever you travel. 

Plus, this portable antenna is relatively lightweight and comes with an easy-to-grip handle, which makes it RV- and user-friendly.

PROS

  • This antenna is 100% automatic
  • Its large reflector provides superior signal performance
  • This unit uses Dual Arc technology which receives both Western and Eastern arcs for maximum SD/HD programming throughout the US in all weather conditions
  • It comes with the Wally HD single-tuner receiver that’s great for mobile use and supports pay-as-you-go programming
  • Powered through the DISH receiver, this unit requires no separate power cord

CONS

  • This satellite TV antenna is made for stationary use only
  • It takes up considerable storage space due to its bulky size
  • Roof mount kit sold separately

PRODUCT INFORMATION

  • Model: Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna and Wally Receiver Bundle
  • Weight: 27.6 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.2 x 22.5 x 20.7 inches
  • Dual signal output (2 receivers)
  • Receives SD & HD programming
  • Automatic satellite acquisition
  • Includes built-in apps (Netflix)
  • Color: Gray

9. KING VQ4900: Best Design

The KING VQ4900 portable satellite dish steals the spotlight with its modern, sleek look.

This unit’s clear cover makes it durable and offers leading signal strength.

Additionally, the KING VQ4900 features automatic satellite acquisition of Western arc satellites.

Meaning you’ll have access to lots of channels regardless of your location.

If you are a DISH customer, this unit should definitely be on your to-consider list.

PROS

  • Simple setup with automatic satellite acquisition of Western arc satellites
  • The KING VQ4900 satellite RV antenna supports two satellite receivers
  • It receives both SD and HD programming
  • The KING VQ4900 is compatible with the network’s simple pay-as-you-go monthly programming plan
  • It can be used as a portable antenna or mounted to the roof (mounting feet included)

CONS

  • The KING VQ4900 is made for stationary use only
  • It can’t be used with other major satellite TV providers

Product Information:

  • Model: VQ4900 Tailgater Pro
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17 x 18.75 x 13.5 inches
  • Dual signal output (2 receivers)
  • Receives SD & HD programming
  • Automatic satellite acquisition
  • Color: Black

10. DISH Network 1000.2: Best Price

This satellite RV antenna costs only around $100.

However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have anything good to offer.

This satellite RV antenna is both portable and roof-mountable, receives signals from three different satellites, and can receive SD and HD channels.

PROS

  • This product has an extremely attractive price
  • It’s really easy to install
  • It’s lightweight and can be used as a portable antenna, mounted to the roof, or used with a tripod
  • It can supply two tuners from one line

CONS

  • It doesn’t come with a receiver
  • Some customers have complained about their product arriving in a less-than-ideal condition
  • Model: 1000.2 110, 119, 129 Satellites High Definition
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Dimensions: 36 x 6 x 24 inches
  • Receives SD & HD programming
  • Color: Black
Table of Contents

What Is the Best Satellite RV Antenna for You?

When it comes to portable satellite TV antennas for RVs, our top pick is the Winegard GM-6035. We love this product because it offers ultimate flexibility by being able to work with 3 of the major satellite TV providers. This can save you money if you decide to change your provider a few years down the road.

However, this doesn’t mean that everyone has to go with the abovementioned unit. If in-motion entertainment is at the top of your list, then we strongly suggest buying the RT2035T antenna from the same manufacturer.

The KING VQ4100 Quest Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna, on the other hand, is the perfect choice for you if you are a DirecTV customer, prioritize portability, and don’t want to break the bank.

To find out more about a certain product on our list, please visit the respective Amazon link.

How To Watch Satellite TV In An RV

Watching TV in the RV can be a fun way to relax at the end of an action-packed day, even for those who enjoy the scenic daytime adventures away from their campsite.

While standard RV antennas can often pick up networks in many areas for free, there is no comparison to the picture quality and premium selections a satellite TV antenna provides.

So, how can you take your RV TV experience to a whole new level? Don’t worry – we conducted the necessary research to help you get straight to the point and discover which satellite antenna type, satellite TV provider, and receiver is best for you.

As with a home satellite TV setup, the main components for adding this coverage to your RV are:

  • A satellite antenna (commonly referred to as a satellite ‘dish’)
  • A receiver (think a DVR box that allows you to change channels and record shows)
  • A satellite service provider

Types Of Satellite TV Antennas

One of the first decisions for anyone looking to add premium satellite TV to their RV should be which satellite TV antenna type to install.

The key determining factors when choosing a satellite TV antenna type are:

  • The number of TVs in the RV
  • Ease of acquiring signals from satellites
  • The selected/preferred satellite TV provider
  • Weather resistance
  • Portability
  • In-motion viewing

PERMANENTLY FIXED

Fixed Antenna on RV

Fixed satellite TV antennas are likened to those seen on residences.

Regardless of whether they are open or dome (see below), they are typically installed on the roof of the RV and their position is fixed throughout their use.

PORTABLE

Portable Antenna RV

Mobile antennas can be a great option for those who camp regularly in heavily forested sites with limited canopy openings. These antennas are also an amazing solution for RV adventurers who wish to extend their satellite TV options beyond their camper to, say, tailgates and backyard barbecues.

These mobile units usually come with their own tripod and can be positioned in the best location for satellite acquisition. This gives you the opportunity to use your antenna several feet away from where your RV is parked.

A connecting cable is then run to your RV (or wherever your receiver and TV are located) for viewing.

PRO TIP: Add on a Wi-Fi extender to your portable antenna to connect to public Wi-Fi.

Please keep in mind that portable units can take up considerable storage space when not in use, require additional setup time upon arrival at each new camping site, and must be properly secured to prevent weather damage.

STANDARD DISH

Standard Dish on a RV

The large, concave, open dishes are what most people associate with satellite antennas.

Their size allows them to receive signals from multiple satellites at once as well as in weaker service areas or bad weather.

Due to their size, dish antennas must be folded down or retracted before hitting the road. This eliminates your option to watch TV while your RV is moving.

DOME ANTENNAS

Dome Antenna on RV

Smaller satellite RV antennas placed within a protective fiberglass case, also known as dome antennas, are a popular option for many RVers.

These units aren’t usually compatible with DirecTV HD satellites. However, they eliminate many of the weather concerns that must be monitored when using such an antenna.

Additionally, dome antennas are the only choice for those wanting in-motion entertainment, which is an awesome feature if RVing with your family or a large group of friends.

Which Satellite Antenna Is Right For You?

As you look for satellite TV antennas, you’ll probably notice that there’s rarely a single, obvious winner for everyone. Hopefully, our reviews can help you narrow down your options, but there will be advantages and disadvantages to every style and model.

To make sure you end up with a satellite TV antenna that meets or even exceeds your expectations, we recommend considering the 80% rule – match your antenna profile to where you camp 80% of the time.

For example, don’t buy a roof-mounted satellite because you like the convenience it offers if only 20% of your camping takes place in open areas without tree blockages.

In this scenario, you may be better off with a portable unit that can be moved around for a better signal.

Dish Vs. DirecTV – What’s The Difference?

Narrowing it down to the United States’ two largest satellite TV providers is an easy task.

However, the decision gets a bit harder from there as the packages offered by both satellite TV providers are comparable in many ways.

Don’t worry, we’ve watched enough TV (tough job, but someone has to do it) and poured through enough user reviews to help you with the key differences.

SATELLITES USED

Narrowing it down to the United States’ two largest satellite TV providers is an easy task.

However, the decision gets a bit harder from there as the packages offered by both satellite TV providers are comparable in many ways.

Don’t worry, we’ve watched enough TV (tough job, but someone has to do it) and poured through enough user reviews to help you with the key differences.

NUMBER OF CHANNELS

Both providers offer a similar range of package options for their customers at fairly comparable monthly rates. Here are some of the key highlights:

DirecTV

  • More options for sports viewers, including the popular NFL Sunday Ticket, an exclusive offering of this satellite TV provider
  • Approximately 40 more channels with the top-of-the-line package as compared to its competitor
  • Over 10,000 on-demand movie titles

DISH

  • Most popular channel packages are more affordable than its competitor’s
  • Voice remote is included with all new installation at no extra cost
  • Over 8,000 on-demand movies and shows

SERVICE SUBSCRIPTIONS

Please note that domes, a necessity for in-motion viewing and popular amongst portable antenna options, are unable to receive DirecTV’s HD programming signals.

If you are looking at a dome as a DirecTV customer, you will only be able to receive SD programming. Although it may be better than nothing, foregoing HD programming is an insult to modern TVs.

WATCHING IN HD

It should be noted that domes, a necessity for in-motion viewing, and popular amongst portable antenna options, are unable to receive DirecTV’s HD programming signals.

If you are looking at a dome as a DirecTV customer, you will only be able to receive SD programming. While better than nothing, foregoing HD programming is an insult to modern tv’s.

WHICH IS BETTER FOR RV USE?

DirecTV vs Dish Comparsion

Overall, we feel like this is a pretty straightforward decision.

DISH Network is more affordable, offers more options with satellite RV antenna choice, and provides the only pay-as-you-go service plan.

DirecTV customers can obtain a high-quality satellite TV experience. However, they will be limited to open antennas for HD viewing.

They will also have to navigate a less-than-ideal service contract whereby you are paying for your package regardless of whether you are using it.

Common Problems With Satellite RV Antennas

WIND RESISTANCE

Waking up at 2 a.m. to the sound of your $1,200+ antenna crashing off of your RV’s roof doesn’t sound like a pleasant experience, does it?

Unfortunately, this can be the reality for RV owners who forget to consider the harsh wind across an exposed rooftop at their campsite.

Traditional, open antennas act just like sails, with large surface areas positioned to capture the wind. That is exactly why these antennas must be stowed, folded, or retracted during travel or high wind events.

Dome antennas, as a result of their shape, offer a significant wind advantage and don’t need to be folded for travel.

MOISTURE

While the wind resistance of a dome antenna allows for use on the road, it does not eliminate all problems associated with Mother Nature. Unlike open antennas, most dome satellites suffer from a problem known by many as ‘rain-fade’.

Wet conditions caused by rain, fog, snow, or morning dew can negatively affect picture quality. Common issues include pixelated screens, slower satellite acquisition, and loss of programming altogether.

PRO TIP: Application of silicone-based water repellents such as the Atsko Silicone Water-Guard is a great way to reduce rain-fade with your dome satellite RV antenna.

HD PROGRAMMING

RV TVHD

What’s the point of having a modern TV with advanced display technology in your RV if you aren’t watching in HD?

This is largely determined by your choice of a satellite TV provider. Smart customers should be aware that HD programming is not available with every antenna. Most notably, dome antennas are unable to receive DirecTV’s HD programming.

TREE COVERAGE

Satellite signals do not bend around physical objects such as buildings, mountains, or trees. Satellite TV antennas used for acquiring those signals rely on a clear, unobstructed view of the southern sky.

Unfortunately, this can be a challenge for many RVs when you consider that many campgrounds are located in heavily forested areas.

When forced to park your RV underneath dense foliage, particularly with immobile roof-mounted antennas, your antenna may struggle to get full strength signals, resulting in lower quality programming.

Tips For Installing Your RV’s Satellite TV Antenna

Thanks to their user-friendly designs, most satellite TV antennas can be installed without the help of a professional.

Obviously, the specific nature of the installation process will vary based on the type and model of antenna you choose.

We always recommend referring to your antenna’s user manual for the best installation method, but here are some basic tips that apply in most cases.

TOOLS REQUIRED

  • Power drill
  • Roof compatible sealant
  • Coaxial cable (often included with antenna purchase)
  • Your preferred fasteners for securing to the roof
  • Pen or pencil for marking a base location

POSITIONING

  • Both King and Wingard recommend the installation of their antennas, either along the centerline of your roof, or parallel to it
  • Try to avoid placing antenna next to large, existing roof obstructions
  • Most base plates have a front/back indicator that needs to be aligned with the front and back of your RV
  • The angle of your roof at the site of installation should be 3°, or less, from level for proper antenna function

ROOF INSTALLATION

  1. Choose a location for the antenna and hold it in place
  2. Mark screw hole locations so they are visible once the antenna is moved away from your work area
  3. Apply a bead of sealant along the circumference between the holes you marked
  4. Place the antenna into position, making sure to align the base mount screw holes
  5. Secure the antenna base to your roof with screws
  6. Be sure to apply sealant on the screw heads and along the edges where the antenna base meets the roof
  7. Then, you’ll need to route your coaxial cable to either a pre-installed port on your RV’s roof or through a 1-inch hole that you have drilled where you desire the cords to enter the interior (many antenna purchases include a cap/plug accessory plate for this hole if needed)

PORTABLE ANTENNA SETUP

  1. Retrieve the tripod and your antenna from the storage
  2. Place the tripod in a position where it will have a view of the southern sky
  3. Secure the antenna to the top of the tripod with screws or specialized clamps (the method of attachment will vary depending on model)
  4. Secure the tripod to the ground via stakes or weights for better stability
  5. Many RVs have a designated port on the exterior for connecting the coaxial cord from a portable antenna

Note: Most Winegard and KING antennas feature automatic satellite acquisition, however, some models may require you to manually aim the satellite

KING Vs. Winegard: The RV Satellite TV Antenna Showdown

Comparison of Satellite Antennas

As these are the two leading manufacturers of mobile satellite TV antennas, rest assured that you’ll be getting a well designed, quality antenna regardless of which company’s product you choose.

KING has been a pioneer in the design and development of both satellite and standard antenna systems for nearly 20 years.

Winegard, on the other hand, has been a family-owned business since it was founded in 1954. While their products and services have followed the evolution of technology, they’ve remained a leader in television antenna technology from the very beginning.

WHICH IS BETTER FOR RV USE?

Despite some obvious similarities between the two, there are some key differences as well.

First and foremost, KING only makes dome antennas. This means none of them receive DirecTV’s HD programming.

If you are a current DirecTV subscriber planning to continue your service with your RV antenna, then you will most likely be happier with the greater selection of options found within Winegard’s lineup.

Overall, we prefer Winegard’s range which includes options for the portable, dome, and open antennas, many of which are suitable for customers of either major satellite TV provider.

Additionally, this manufacturer has produced multiple antennas capable of both simultaneous satellite signal reception and three or more receiver compatibility. KING doesn’t have an antenna in their lineup that does either.

Combining A Satellite Antenna With A Digital Over-The-Air Antenna

RV With Dishes Driving

For serious entertainment lovers or those who want to maximize their programming options, there can be benefits to having both a satellite and a digital antenna.

A common problem with satellite TV services while traveling is that viewers are not able to receive the local networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc) within the area they are visiting.

Some providers will allow you to call and change the home address on your account to a new location (like a campground) so that you can receive local TV stations.

One way to avoid this hassle is with an OTA antenna designed to pick up local HD stations that are broadcast for free over the air.

In fact, if you spend a lot of your time at campsites near big cities where a digital antenna is most likely to pick up channels, you may not even need a satellite TV antenna.

It’s hard to beat free HDTV (check out our guide to digital over-the-air antennas).

Satellite RV Antenna Buyer’s Guide

To pick the perfect satellite RV antenna for your wants and needs, we advise you to consider the following factors.

DO YOU WANT IN-MOTION VIEWING?

Do you want in-motion entertainment? We believe answering this question should be the starting point for any shopper looking to purchase an antenna for their RV.

If this feature is important to you, it will immediately narrow down your options, making a final selection much easier, as the majority of mobile antennas don’t offer this ability.

WHO IS YOUR SERVICE PROVIDER?

In many cases, you will need to know which satellite TV provider you will be using in order to purchase a compatible antenna. Many of you will probably decide to add another receiver and remain with your current residential provider.

Remember, only DISH HD signals are received with both open and dome antennas. Also, DISH is the only major provider that offers payment options suitable to the RV lifestyle (monthly pay-as-you-go).

NUMBER OF TVS

How many TV in RV

Are you looking to add programming to just one central TV in your living area or do you have more TVs in your RV bedrooms or outside?

If you want viewing access on multiple TVs, make sure to purchase an antenna that is at least dual-receiver capable. Remember, just because an antenna can deliver a signal to two receivers doesn’t mean both will receive full programming.

If the antenna can only focus on one satellite at a time, the secondary receiver will have to be on a channel that is on the same satellite as the primary.

WHERE DO YOU CAMP MOST?

Where do you camp the most? This question should help you determine whether you’d be better off with a permanent, roof-mounted antenna or a portable one.

Campers who frequent sites that require their RV to be parked under heavy foliage may benefit from portable antennas, which can be placed in optimal, sky-view positions necessary for receiving signals.

EASE OF INSTALL

This one’s extremely important. Unless you’re someone with great technical skills, you should look for an antenna that’s easy to install. This will save you both time and money as you won’t have to hire someone to do the job for you.

Luckily, most satellite RV antennas have a pretty easy install process. To be 100% sure that you’re not choosing a complex antenna model is to read customer reviews. Thank goodness for the Internet!

PRICE

Just like with any other RV accessory, the cost is going to be a key factor for most of us.

The price range seen among antennas is quite large. Obviously, there are many features specific to each antenna model that help determine its cost. However, an expensive antenna usually involves:

  • Simultaneous satellite acquisition (no need to toggle between satellites with the change of each channel)
  • Multi-TV viewing compatibility
  • In-motion viewing
  • Larger antennas with stronger signals and greater durability

Satellite RV Antenna FAQs

How Do I Get Satellite TV for My RV?

In order to watch satellite TV in your RV, you need to have an RV TV, a receiver, a satellite RV antenna, and a satellite TV package. When it comes to satellite TV providers, US residents can choose between DISH, DirecTV, and Orby TV (Bell TV works in Canada only). The first two are hugely popular because they provide their subscribers with hundreds of TV channels and coverage in most areas, whereas Orby TV is the most affordable option.

Can You Put a Satellite Dish on an RV?

You can’t use your residential satellite plan in your recreational vehicle simply because it uses an antenna that scans the sky for a satellite to connect to. Your RV’s location coordinates are constantly changing, which is why you need a satellite TV antenna mounted to your motorhome. These products are made to scan the sky continually.

What Is the Best RV Satellite Antenna?

Our absolute favorite is the Winegard GM-6035 satellite TV antenna. This unit gives you the freedom to change your satellite TV provider at any time and is really easy to use. We also love the KING VQ satellite RV antenna series. We picked the KING VQ4500 and the KING VQ4100 because they are protected by a rounded cover, which means you can use them while driving. Additionally, these two products are lightweight and portable, have two input terminals, and feature automatic satellite tracking for superb picture quality.

Final Thoughts

We understand that the process of shopping for and adding a satellite TV antenna to your motorhome can be an overwhelming task.

Trust us, we’ve been there too.

But if you’ve made it this far in our helpful guide, we believe you will end up with a setup that adds great enjoyment to your time on the road.

Once you discover the convenience of watching your favorite sports games, movies and shows in the comfort of your RV, you’ll wonder how you’ve managed to travel without it thus far.

We’re always interested in learning what our readers are using with their own setups. Feel free to let us know in the comment section below.

27 thoughts on “Best Satellite TV Antenna Reviews For Your RV [2021 Edition]”

  1. Most informative site I have visited in a long time it’s a lot of information to handle but I think it was pretty spot-on giving you a general idea of what you need I mean 14 things in choosing an antenna I would give it four out of five points

  2. Great article Mike, being somewhat new to the satellite antenna / receiver researching, have you tested the Winegard PA-6002 Pathway X2 RV Satellite Antenna for DISH. If so, what are the pros and cons? Is it new or old technology? I’d appreciate anything you have to help me make a good decision without haveing to look back and say “I should have done xxx”.

    1. Thank you, David.

      We have the PA-6002 on our to-do list for this spring. I’ll definitely update the article as soon as we complete the review.

    2. Just to let you know I have had to many problems with the pathway, it moves on it’s own sometimes. I’m a winegard guy, love there tech support , but the tailgator pro is the way to go these days. Get both east and west arks.

  3. Mike… does Wineguard or King, or anyone else make a Travel Trailer portable dome type satellite dish/antenna that will receive Shaw Direct signal. I presently used a 60E dish on a tripod linked with 600 Shaw Receiver but it is a pain to set up, stablize, and store. These new picnic table/lay on the ground Units for use with Bell look attractive, convenient, and easy to store in your T Trailer. Thanks

  4. With a Playmaker dual unit, I want to have service to two tv’s. The unit came with two receivers. However, we have been told the cable must be hooked directly to the back of the receiver. This means we have to run the cable through the windows. I have outside ports for cable and a tripod. Those run inside to a selector switch so that I can choose the type of antennae needed. But, it won’t work to hook up to those ports. Why not? I don’t want to run the cable through the windows.

    1. Lisa, yes a direct line from both receivers to dome dish. Try the slide trick, If you have a slide in the bedroom close it 6 inches run cable through the bottom left or right corner to receiver then close slide back it will seal ok with the rubber gasket.
      That’s not your problem though. Your problem and everyone’s problem running 2 TVs on a any dome dish with dish network has to many conflicts on second tv. Here’s why. Dish looks at 3 satellites some channels are on 129 some are on 119 and some are on 110. So the dish moves when you change channels. The dish has 2 ports main and secondary. The receiver hooked to the main port controls where the dish points. Let’s say that’s the living room and your on Fox News so the dish moves to 129. Let’s say the bedrm is on HGTV it’s also on 129. Everyone is happy. Now your husband decides to change living room to espn this moves the dish to 119. He then hears you screaming cause you just lost your HGTV. The only way to get it back is to unplug the bedrm receiver wait the 15 min to let it acquire and down load a new guide.Its aggravating. The solution is to buy a second dome dish. I call it a his and hers satellite system.

  5. Mike,

    Great info. Thanks.

    I’d like to operate the following system on my RV using solar power/battery pack /invertor. What is the power draw of a Wingard DirecTV SWM3 RV antenna along with the power draw for a DirecTV HD DVR and typical 43′ to 55″ HDTV. What size solar system do I need to operate this setup? Thanks.
    Richard

  6. Hi Mike,
    Won’t several of these antenna’s (like my Winegard G2) be completely incompatible with DirecTV receivers as they move away from SD and utilize different satellites? If that’s accurate… I think this needs to be stressed and explained to potential buyers. I think there are a lot of tailgaters and campers that will be impacted by DirecTV’s recent change.
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Dennis, you are right. Although it’s been several years of dtv loosing 101 who knows when it will happen. Guess what ATT could care less about RV,er
      That’s why Dish is the better choice for new rv tv customers. I discuss this with all my customers. Luckily your G2 will also do dish when the time comes

  7. I own an RV, #1 reason TAILGATING. Then ALL the various remaining reasons for owning any RV. With the used RV I chose I have an outside kitchen and TV. My living room slide covers the “main” interior TV so I also have a smaller in the area for games/dvds for guests when traveling. and finally one in the master bedroom. ALL four are connected to the one antenna and the external cable connection. I only need ONE channel when we are tailgating “The Game” on all the TV’s (bedroom unimportant) so I only need a single satellite antenna, a receiver and here is the catch, AN OUTPUT TO THE CABLE IN. THE TVS THEN COULD FIND THE SIGNAL ON AN UNUSED CHANNEL NUMBER. Common need, common problem! What is the fix. Dish has RF hand controllers, so placing the receiver in the bin where the cable in is or where it terminates is not a problem, however I don’t see anything but HDMI outputs. Help!

    1. 1st use a Chan 3/4 modulator you can find them on amazon, come out of the receiver with rca phono yellow, red, white into modulator. Then out of modulator with coax to cable input on out side of rv.
      Or if you want to get real tricky, out of modulator with coax into your coax wall plate and back feed it through the whole system.
      I did this today for a customer , if you do back feed you will loose your channel 3 on tv,s when you turn the amp of the local antenna on, it over powers the channel 3 your receivers modulating on.
      Also because this is going out through coax it will not be hd

  8. I use Direct TV in my 5th wheel with a TV and DVR. I like to record one channel and watch another. Unfortunately, the wind blew the satellite on the tripod over and damaged it since it will no longer receive HD channels. I’m looking for a new system and it seems the only one compatible is the Winegard SK-SWM3 traveler. I don’t want it on the roof since we camp in wooded areas often. I have read of travelers attaching it to a board thus becoming portable. Any thoughts on this?

    1. Hey Linda, I install 10-15 of the winegard travelers a year. The hardest part of the job is… getting them on the roof. Like 50 lbs but very bulky and the throat and feed flop all over.. I don,t know where you would even stow it when your ready to take off. But if you are strong enough and agile enough and I guess the front bay of a fifth wheel might be large enough. Then attaching it to a 3×3 board would work.

  9. We’re thinking about buying a new RV and are also considering switching from Directv to Dish for home & RV.

    With Directv I just move the bedroom DVR from our house into the motor home and we can record our favorite shows & speed thru commercials.

    With Dish will we be able to use a DVR as we do with Directv and get HD?

    1. Hey Dave, Dish is the right choice. Dish is way more RV friendly. Hate to say it but Direct will hang up on you if you tell them your in a RV. I tell my customers that have DTV not to tell them there in an RV.
      To your question the, The hopper dvr will only work with the winegard travler. No dome dish will work with a dvr. You can however add a hard drive to a Wally receiver. Only 1 tuner so you can not watch live to and record at the same time.

  10. I just purchased a 4018 Dutchstar with a Winegard HD Traveler. So we can watch TV while traveling, I am considering adding a Winegard RT2035T to the coach. I would like to know what is required to accomplish this?
    Thank you.

    1. Hey Barre, you would need to have it installed on roof of course. Run a rg6 coax and the control cable to where the receiver and switch for the road trip. Remember direct will only get SD Channels. Dish is a nightmare with 2 receivers on any dome dish. I,m a satellite tech for 30 years .

  11. Hey Mike, nice job and that’s coming from a authorized Dish And Directv retailer for 20 years. Last 10 years I have been concentrating on RV Satellite systems. I know them all well. I find that RV dealers don’t know about satellite tv and Dish and directv don’t know about RVs . So when I read a blog like yours it helps me out. Thanks
    Hope you don’t mind me answering some of your readers questions.
    .

  12. Like the vast majority of the other reviews I’m impressed. Your options appear well investigated & thought-out. Definitely appreciate your analysis.

  13. I’ve had directv for 10 years and would move it from house to rv with tripod it would worked fine. This march when we went to Arizona and I could not get it to work. It would give me an error code 705?, it told me I needed to check my swim which it does not have. I have a18″ ovil dish for trailor and standed reciver in the programingit would not let me change to this dish. Directv was no help. what is going on.

  14. Just purchased a used RV and came with a motosat dish roof mounted. Had different stories about this unit being obsolete and wanted to know you feelings? Can I get it to work? Is it worth it?

  15. We upgraded our old one. The KING was an improvement. One of our favorite fishing spots we started having trouble with getting any service with our old one. The new one worked great. No problems what so ever.

  16. I bought a new KING antenna to replaced my old King control flex dish. By comparison, this was much easier to get up and running. I like the new cover. Allows you to check on the dish during setup to make sure it’s working properly. The ease of the setup was surprising and the picture quality is amazing!

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