Calender Icon Last updated: July 11, 2020
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 down time into a big ball of frustration while you try to get it to work. Your TV antenna is to blame. Getting a stronger signal strength and 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.

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

sticker 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9)
Winegard GM-6035
Winegard GM-6035
Why is it better?
  • Compatible with 3 major satellite providers (DISH, DirecTV, and Bell)
  • Simple to use power inserter makes setup straightforward
  • Automatically adjusts antenna angle to proper satellite when changing channels

Best Portable Satellite Dishes For Your RV

Winegard GM-6035

Best Overall

Winegard GM-6035 read review
Editor's Pick 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9)

KING VQ4500 read review
4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7)
Winegard SK-SWM3

Winegard SK-SWM3 read review
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5)

Winegard RT2035T read review
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1)
Winegard PA-1000

Winegard PA-1000 read review
3.9 out of 5 stars (3.9)
In Depth Reviews
  • Winegard GM-6035 Winegard GM-6035
  • KING VQ4500 KING VQ4500
  • Winegard SK-SWM3
  • Winegard RT2035T
  • Winegard PA-1000 Winegard PA-1000
  • Winegard SK-1000 Winegard SK-1000
  • KING VQ4100 KING VQ4100
Table of contents
  • How To Watch Satellite TV In An RV
  • Types Of Satellite TV Antennas
  • Which Satellite Antenna Is Right For You?
  • Dish Vs. DirecTV – What’s The Difference?
  • Common Problems With Satellite RV Antennas
  • Tips For Installing Your RV’s Satellite TV Antenna
  • KING Vs. Winegard: The RV Satellite TV Antenna Showdown
  • Combining A Satellite Antenna With A Digital Over-The-Air Antenna
  • Important Factors To Consider When Buying A Satellite Antenna For Your RV
  • Final Thoughts

Best Overall: Winegard GM-6035

  • Compatible with 3 major satellite providers (DISH, DirecTV, and Bell) – no need to change antenna if you change provider
  • Simple to use power inserter makes setup straightforward
  • Multiple mounting options allow you to choose your preferred location, whether permanent on roof or tripod
  • Automatically adjusts antenna angle to proper satellite when changing channels
  • Will not work while RV is in motion – stationary use only
  • Unable to receive DirecTV high-definition channels

We love this antenna for those that anticipate a provider switch at any point in their future.

While it is functional with all three, we feel those with DISH or Bell will get the most out of this version.

We’re also big fans of the fact that it can be used with multiple tvs/receivers, a common scenario for many RV travelers with a family.


  • Patented search algorithms combined with a stepper motor allow for super quick channel surfing as antenna rotates between satellites
  • Comes in two colors: white or black


  • 13.5” (height) x 14.3” (diameter)
  • 10 lbs.
  • Maximum of 2 receivers
  • Compatible with DirecTV (SD), DISH (SD & HD), Bell (SD & HD)
  • Automatic satellite acquisition
  • Receives signal from 1 satellite at a time


  • Fully portable for multiple mobile uses (alternatively, can be mounted to the roof with provided mounting foot hardware)
  • Designed exclusively for use with DISH network service
  • For stationary use only
  • Dual output for viewing multiple tv’s only functions when both stations are on the same satellite

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

Weighing only 8 lbs. makes it incredibly easy to carry the unit wherever it’s needed, from parking lot tailgates and second homes, to travel trailers and RV’s.


  • Includes 50’ of coax cable for maximum portability when optimal sky view may be far away from truck or camper
  • Power is provided via connection with your receiver – no extra power source required


  • 13.5” H x 18.75” W x 17” L
  • 8 lbs.
  • Supports 2 receivers for multi tv viewing
  • Compatible with 6 different DISH receiver models, including the popular Wally HD
  • Receives SD and HD programming from DISH
  • Fully automatic signal acquisition, receiving signal from one satellite at a time

Winegard SK-SWM3

  • ASimultaneous satellite viewing allows for quicker channel surfing and the ability to watch and record programs that are on different satellites
  • Strongest signal strength, similar to at-home experience – seldom affected by rain, snow or condensation from morning dew
  • With multi-receiver capability, you can send programming to numerous tv’s throughout your RV – a great option for families
  • Stationary use only
  • Required roof installation doesn’t allow any portability in the case of heavy tree cover over your camper (and at 53 lbs. we wouldn’t want to move it anyway)

Winegard made sure their top of the line Trav’ler series was available to more than just DISH customers with this DirecTV specific version.

Once again, the DirecTV Trav’ler provides the maximum entertainment experience possible on the road.

If home theater quality entertainment is what you’re after, there’s no need to look any further.


  • Very low stow height (less than 10”) is great for travel
  • 4-way splitter for routing coax cord to multiple receivers is included with purchase


  • 44”l x 34”w (9.75” travel height)
  • 53 lbs.
  • 4+ receiver capability
  • DirecTV SD & HD compatible
  • Can receive 3 satellite signals simultaneously
  • Auto toggle between satellites not needed due to simultaneous reception

Winegard RT2035T

  • In-motion viewing means you can record/watch your favorite programs while the RV is driving down the road
  • Smallest in-motion satellite antenna within Winegard’s lineup – lightweight, sleek design takes up minimal space and height on the roof of your RV
  • Compatible with each of the 3 major providers – DirecTV (SD), DISH (SD & HD)
  • This unit is expensive ($1,399)
  • Can only receive a signal from one satellite at a time
  • Will not receive a high-definition signal from DirecTV satellite

This is, probably, the unit of choice for anyone who desires the versatility of in-motion entertainment and multi-provider compatibility.

Remember, if you are already a DirecTV customer, then we would probably steer you towards one of the DirecTV specific units below.


  • Newly designed tracking system results in less noise while the antenna is searching for signal
  • A single button on/off operation adds to ease of use


  • 13.5” (height) x 14.3” (diameter)
  • 10 lbs.
  • Maximum of 2 receivers
  • Compatible with DirecTV (SD), DISH (SD & HD), Bell (SD & HD)
  • Automatic satellite acquisition
  • Receives signal from 1 satellite at a time

Winegard PA-1000

  • Value – at $285, this is the most affordable antenna that we have reviewed
  • Maximum portability and the lightest antenna of the bunch
  • Simple setup with single coaxial input for, both, signal relay and power supply – no need for additional power cords
  • One receiver capability means you won’t be able to view programming on multiple tvs
  • Stationary use only

This little guy packs a serious punch and it’s hard to ignore the attractive price.

For DISH subscribers not concerned with in-motion or multi-television viewing, the Playmaker will be hard to beat.


  • Compatible with DISH’s pay-as-you-go service, providing better finance options for those who are not already Dish subscribers, or those who only want to pay for months where during which they are traveling/using the service.
  • Multiple mount options for tripods or permanent roof installation
  • Newly designed aluminum, alloy reflector improves signal strength and durability


  • 16” (diameter) x 13” (height)
  • 7 lbs
  • 1 receiver capability
  • SD & HD compatible
  • For use with DISH network only
  • One satellite signal at a time
  • Automatic signal acquisition

Winegard SK-1000

  • Multi-satellite viewing allows separate programming on multiple tvs
  • Ultra low stow height for wind resistance and improved clearance during travel (less than 10” above the roof)
  • Delivers most similar at-home entertainment experience while on the road
  • Stationary use only
  • Specified for use on travel trailers or RV’s only

This is the clear performance winner in the category if you do not need the portability of a smaller, lighter unit, like the King VQ4500 above.

A quick glance at the positive user reviews provides evidence that Winegard has hit it out of the park with their Trav’ler series.


  • Complimentary telephone and email support
  • Works well with the popular DISH Hopper receiver


  • 10”h x 42”l x 26”w
  • 45 lbs.
  • 3 receiver capability (with options to add more)
  • Standard and high-definition compatible
  • Designed specifically for use with DISH Network or Bell
  • Can view 3 satellites simultaneously
  • Auto toggle feature not necessary since it views satellites simultaneously = quicker channel surfing


  • An affordable option
  • Lightweight
  • Designed for use with DirecTV, yet will not receive HD programming – only SD
  • Stationary use only

The King Quest VQ4100 serves as an affordable option for those who are already DirecTV customers and looking to extend service to their RV with an additional receiver.

It ties for the second lightest antenna in our review, making it great for other mobile uses (tailgates, backyards, etc.).

If you’re not a current DirecTV subscriber, however, or you want HD programming display, we would probably steer you elsewhere.


  • 13.5”h x 18.75”w x 17”l
  • 8 lbs.
  • Dual signal output (2 receivers)
  • DirecTV SD reception only
  • Single satellite reception at a time
  • Fully automatic signal acquisition and switching

How To Watch Satellite TV In An RV

Even for those who savor the scenic, day-time adventures away from their campsite, often an integral part of RV camping, watching TV can be a relaxing way to unwind at the end of the day.

We’ve done the research and, ultimately, put in the time to help you get straight to the point – discovering which satellite antenna, service provider, and receiver is best for your rig.

Tired of searching for limited channels via your over-the-air RV antenna?

While standard antennas can, often, pick up networks in many areas for free (check out our guide on standard RV antennas), there is no comparison to the picture quality and premium selections garnered from having a satellite TV antenna.

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

  • Satellite antenna (commonly referred to as a ‘dish’)
  • Receiver (think DVR box allowing you to change channels and record shows)
  • Satellite service provider

Types Of Satellite TV Antennas

One of the first decisions for anyone looking to add premium satellite tv coverage to their RV will be what style antenna to install.

Key determining factors will include the number of tv’s, ease of acquiring a signal, which service provider you have, weather resistance, portability and the desire to watch or listen while the RV is in motion.


Fixed Antenna on RV

Fixed satellite antennas most resemble those seen on residences.

Regardless of whether they are open-dished or domed (see below), they are installed, typically, on the roof of the camper and their position is fixed throughout its use.


Portable Antenna RV

Mobile satellite antennas can be great options for those who camp frequently in heavily forested sites with limited canopy openings or for those who wish to extend their satellite tv options beyond their camper to, say, tailgates and backyard barbecues.

These mobile units come with their own tripod and can be positioned in the best location for satellite signal acquisition, even if that happens to be several feet away from where the camper is parked.

A connecting cable is then run to your RV, or wherever your receiver and tv are located, for viewing.

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


Standard Dish on a RV

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

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

Due to their increased size, open-style satellite antennas must be folded down or retracted before travel, eliminating the option to watch tv while the camper is moving.


Dome Antenna on RV

Smaller satellite dishes encompassed within a protective fiberglass case, or ‘dome’, are a popular option for many RVers.

They are (mostly) not compatible with DirecTV HD satellites, however, they do eliminate many of the weather concerns that must be monitored with an open dish.

Dome antennas are, also, the only option for those wanting in-motion entertainment, a great feature if traveling with many friends or a large family.

Which Satellite Antenna Is Right For You?

As you browse antennas, you’ll notice that there is, seldom, a single, obvious winner. Hopefully, our reviews help narrow it down, but there will be advantages and disadvantages with every style and model.

To increase the likelihood that you end up with a satellite antenna that meets or 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 if only 20% of your camping takes place in open areas without tree blockage.

In that scenario, you may actually be happier with a portable unit that can be positioned for a better signal.

Dish Vs. DirecTV – What’s The Difference?

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

The decision from there, however, gets a bit tougher as the packages offered by, both, DirecTV and DISH networks 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.


DISH Network and DirecTV utilize entirely different satellite systems for delivering their video programming. As a result, some antennas are designed and built to receive signals from only one provider’s satellites.

That is why choosing a service provider before purchasing a third-party RV satellite antenna is always recommended.

With some antennas, you will need to ensure that you purchase the version that is compatible with your provider.


Both providers offer a similar array of package options for consumers, at fairly comparable monthly rates. Here are some of the key highlights:


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


  • Most popular channel packages are more affordable than DirecTV’s
  • Prices include free DVR and voice remote
  • Over 8,000 on-demand movies


Dish network is the only major provider who has custom-tailored service plans aimed, specifically, at RV and mobile satellite customers.

When you look at the service needs of most RV travelers, with inconsistent & seasonal use, this can make a big difference in your budget.

Dish offers a pay-as-you-go plan that allows you to start/stop service only for the months you plan to use it.

This helps in avoiding the situation, as is common with DirecTV subscribers, where you are paying for an additional receiver and accompanying service for months during which they are not being used. This may be less of a concern if you are traveling full time in your RV or spend more than 7 months each year in it.


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.


DirecTV vs Dish Comparsion

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

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

DirecTV customers can, absolutely, still obtain a high-quality RV satellite tv experiencebut they will be limited to open dish antennas for HD viewing.

They’ll, also, have to navigate a less-than-ideal service contract whereby you are paying for your RV use, regardless of whether you are using it.

Common Problems With Satellite RV Antennas


Waking up at 2:00 am to the sound of your $1,200+ dish 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, dish-style satellite antennas act just like sails, with large surface areas positioned to capture the wind. That is precisely why dish antennas must be stowed, folded, or retracted during travel or high wind events.

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


While the wind resistance of a dome satellite antenna allows for use on the road, it does not eliminate all problems associated with mother nature. Unlike dish 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 or loss of programming altogether.

PRO TIP: Application of silicone based water repellents, or dome antenna specific products like Dome Magic by King, are a great way to reduce rain-fade with your dome satellite RV antenna.



What’s the point of having a modern tv filled with advanced display technology in your RV if you aren’t watching in high definition?

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


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

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

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

Tips For Installing Your RV’s Satellite TV Antenna

Thanks to user-friendly designs, most satellite antennas can be installed without the need for a professional.

Obviously, the specific nature of the install will vary based on the type and model of antenna you select.

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.


  • 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


  • 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


  1. Determine the location for antenna and hold it in place
  2. Mark screw hole locations so that they are visible once the antenna is moved away from your work area
  3. Apply a bead of sealant along the circumference between marked holes
  4. Place satellite antenna into position, being sure to align base mount screw holes
  5. Secure the antenna base to your roof with screws
  6. Be sure to apply sealant on screw heads and along edges where the antenna base meets the roof
  7. You will, then, 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)


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

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 the two leading manufacturers of mobile use, RV, 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 over-the-air antenna systems for nearly 20 years.

Winegard has been a family-owned business since it was founded in 1954. While their product offerings and services have evolved with technology over time, they have remained a leader in television antenna technology from the very beginning.


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

First and foremost, KING only manufacturers dome satellite antennas. Therefore, 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 Winegards expanded lineup which includes options for portable, dome, and dish antennas, many of which are suitable for customers of either major service provider.

Additionally, Winegard 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 over-the-air 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 will, then, receive local 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 major cities, where a digital antenna is most likely to pick up channels, you may not even need a satellite antenna.

It’s hard to beat free HD TV (check out our guide to Digital over-the-air antennas).

Important Factors To Consider When Buying A Satellite Antenna For Your RV


We believe answering the above question should be the starting point for any shopper looking to purchase a satellite 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 do not contain this ability.


In many instances, you will need to know which service provider you will be using in order to purchase a corresponding, compatible antenna. For many, this will just entail adding an additional receiver and remaining with your current residential provider.

Remember, only DISH HD signals are received with, both, open dish and dome antennas, and they are the only major provider that offers payment options suitable to RVer’s (monthly pay-as-you-go).


How many TV in RV

Are you looking to add programming to just one central tv in your living area or do you have additional tv’s in bedrooms or outside?

If you want viewing access on multiple TVs, make sure to purchase an antenna that is dual-receiver (or more) 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.


This will, primarily, help with determining whether you’d be better off with a permanent, roof-mounted antenna or a portable, tripod version.

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


With any RV accessory, the cost is going to be a considering factor for most of us.

The price range seen among antennas is quite large. Obviously, there are a wide array of features, specific to each antenna, that helps determine its cost, however, here are the main contributors to a more expensive antenna:

  • 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 greater signal strength and durability

Final Thoughts

We understand that the process for adding premium TV to your RV can seem like a daunting task at first.

Trust us, we’ve been there too.

If you’ve made it this far in our helpful guide, however, we are confident that 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 from the comfort of your RV, you’ll wonder how you ever traveled without it.

We’re always interested in what our readers are using with their own setups. Let us know, in the comments below, which satellite antenna you chose for your RV.