The Guide To Finding The Best RV TV Antenna

The Guide To Finding The Best RV TV Antenna

Taking your RV on the road is an affordable way to see the country, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up on all of your beloved things from home. The number one favorite pastime of the US is watching TV, and thankfully this is something that you don’t have to give up just because you’re traveling around in your RV.

Finding the best RV antenna is no easy feat though, and this isn’t a purchase that you want to skimp on. The better quality you choose, the better quality your TV picture, so no matter where in the country you are, you’ll have access to the highest definition channels just like you would at home.

Watching TV On RV

Choosing a TV antenna for an RV is much like choosing one for home. You need to make sure it offers you the right range, is easy enough to install, and suits the unique conditions of where you are, even if that’s traveling on the road. Therefore, it makes sense to compare the best on the market to find one that’s going to be the perfect fit.

We’ve searched through countless reviews to find the most recommended RV TV antennas that will make you happy. Whether you’re a weekend vacationer or like to spend months at a time on the road, you’ll be able to take your favorite TV programs with you and enjoy them at the highest quality.

Our Recommendations

We’ve searched far and wide through countless RV TV antenna reviews to find the best of the bunch. These are our recommendations for the top performers on the market that are made for the unique conditions of traveling in an RV, and there are plenty of great choices to pick from.

Winner: King OA8300 Jack Antenna

For people who know a thing or two about antennas, it’s probably no surprise to see that a King branded product made the top of our list.

King is known for its high-quality antennas that are easy to install, and they even have their Jack range which is made specifically for these outdoor situations like traveling in your RV.

The OA8300 Jack is a replacement antenna which means you simply put it over your existing batwing antenna for an instant improvement. 

You don’t need any fancy tools or even have experience installing antennas before this because it can be fitted within just five minutes to deliver instant HDTV channels in your RV.

It has a long range signal which means you’ll be able to pick up plenty of channels no matter your location. However, don’t assume that it comes with a signal booster as some customers made this mistake and were disappointed. You’ll need to purchase this separately in addition to your King if you’re in need of a booster.

Unlike other antennas that require rotation, the Jack does it without. This is due to the built in amplifier that comes with the antenna. This amplifier is easily powered through the coax so there’s no need for additional cables or cords, making it simple to get the best quality possible.

When you’re done with the RV, you can even uninstall the King Jack and use it at home. This will save you money so there’s no need to have separate antennas if you can’t afford to. Because the installation is so fast, you’ll barely have a hassle switching between the two.

The compact size of the King Jack Antenna means it’s around 70 percent smaller than similarly performing devices. This is perfect for RVs especially as we’re always trying to save the amount of luggage we take with us, and you’ll barely notice it taking up any space.

The weather resistant properties also make it an ideal candidate for outdoor use and perfect for everything from wind to snow. You’ll get a one-year parts warranty from King that should cover you in these early months, but if the customers’ reviews are anything to go by then it will serve you well for many years.

OUR RATING


Runner-Up: Winegard RS-3000 RoadStar TV Antenna

Winegard is another trusted name in TV antennas and they’ve designed one specifically for RV owners. 

If you’re lucky enough to take your RV on adventures now and then, this is a custom made antenna that will serve you well and ensure that you get the best picture and huge range of channels that are possible wherever you are.

The Wingard RoadStar is one of the more expensive RV TV antennas that we’ve seen, but it’s also one of the highest rated.

Customers were impressed with the quality of the picture it could achieve, and it’s all thanks to the 35-mile long range and omnidirectional capabilities it has.

You can get both UHF and VHF with this antenna and it even comes with free digital TV programming functions. What makes this a great choice for RV owners is how you can set it up and then forget it about it. 

There’s no need to point it, adjust it, or even move your own location just to get a picture because it’ll do all of this hard work for you. As an omnidirectional antenna, it will know exactly where to focus to pick up the maximum number of channels for you and do so with the best quality.

Everything you need for installation comes with this antenna include a 30’ 75 Ohm coax cable, hardware, mounting bracket, and user manual. You can expect to spend a little longer on the initial installation so you might want to be sure you know what you’re doing before you attempt it.

For people without prior knowledge of antenna installation, you’ll want to call an expert for help. One area where this antenna fell flat was in adverse weather conditions. 

Although people found it picked up the channels in normal circumstances and had no problems with quality when it was raining heavily or windy outside it started to fail. This is a huge downfall for RV owners as you want to be able to rely on your antenna, so it’s better kept for clear conditions only.

As one of the higher priced RV TV antennas, you might be wary about investing in the Winegard RoadStar 3000, but rest assured it’s worth the cost. You’ll get more programming options than others and have access to news, weather, sports, and all of your favorite TV shows no matter where in the country you are, which is certainly money well spent.

OUR RATING


Alternative: Antop UFO 360 TV Antenna

Who said you had to break the bank just to get a portable TV antenna for RV use?

The Antop UFO 360 Degree TV Antenna is a budget-friendly option that will still deliver the goods when it comes to quality picture and a huge range of TV channels, so don’t assume you have to spend a fortune to get one.

You might be fooled upon the first inspection of the Antop UFO Antenna because of its small size, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t powerful.

This is a compact sized device that works well for RVs but can even be set up at home as well, proving that bigger isn’t always better.

The setup of the Antop UFO 360 is a breeze and you won’t need any tools to install it. This is good news for people who are unsure about how to use antennas or even get the best reception, as Antop has included everything you need to do so.

As an omnidirectional antenna, you can quickly set it up and then forget about it. Your antenna will be able to pick up signals from all directions without you having to move it. There’s no need for a manual adjustment at any time and as long as there’s a signal in your area you shouldn’t have any problems.

When it comes to the range, people weren’t as impressed as they could have been. The price for spending less on an RV antenna is that you give up access to some of your favorite channels, so be prepared to sacrifice. This is probably a better choice for people who want the basics like news and weather, but if you’re after an HD experience then keep shopping.

The Antop UFO Antenna comes with a Smartpass Amplifier and you can turn this on or off as needed. It’s designed to lengthen the range of reception but didn’t do the job as well as hoped so probably doesn’t need to be used at all. There’s also a built-in 4G filter that prevents interference from surrounding wireless signals which was a nice added bonus.

As far as a home antenna goes, this wouldn’t be ideal, but for RV travel it’s a simple and compact choice. It has full weather protection, anti UV coating, and is small in size, so if you want the most basic from our RV digital antenna reviews, this is the way to go.

OUR RATING


2nd Alternative: King Jack OA8000 Replacement Antenna

King is a leading brand in the world of antennas, and if you’re after one of their Jack replacement antennas but don’t have a lot of money to spare, you might consider the OA8000.

This is the earlier model of their previously reviewed one and while it’s not as good, it still gets the job done better than most.

The King Jack OA8000 is a replacement antenna which means you can easily retrofit it to your existing one.

If you’ve struggled with antenna installation or are just afraid of not knowing how to install one, this one couldn’t be easier. Most customers had it done in just a few minutes so you could even attach it while you’re out on an adventure.

Designed for outdoor use but specifically good for RVs, the OA8000 gives you a broad reception range. There’s no need to worry about dead spots or not being able to pick up channels because with this addition to your existing antenna it will find them all.

You’ll get super clear high definition TV when you use this antenna so if you’re after quality then this is the way to go. However, because it’s not a directional antenna and is one of the earlier models, you probably won’t be able to get all of the possible channels you hoped for.

King promises that the Jack Replacement Antenna will get both UHF and VHF signals, so you have high definition TV. It does this with a compact size as well, measuring around 70 percent smaller than other RV antennas you might have tried. For people who travel light, this is a huge bonus and something that King has always been great at mastering.

The negative of this antenna, aside from the shorter list of channels it can find, is that it only gave a slight boost to the picture quality. Although it promises high definition for every channel, it doesn’t really deliver on that, so be prepared to put up with your average picture on most of your favorite stations.

As an older model and one that’s a lot cheaper than other inferior brands, this is a good choice for those who don’t want to spend a lot. The King Jack OA8000 will definitely give some improvement and it’s easy to install, but if you want the latest and greatest in picture quality you have to be prepared to spend more.

OUR RATING


3rd Alternative: 1byone Amplified RV Antenna

1byone has developed an RV antenna that is compact and powerful, with your choice of amplification if you need it.

This is a higher power alternative that will improve your picture quality if you use it the right way, but it doesn’t have many of the bells and whistles that you might expect for the price.

You’ll be able to pick up UHF, VHF, and FM signals with this one antenna making it pretty versatile.

Regardless of the direction you’re traveling or where you end up, the antenna will be able to get the signal thanks to its omnidirectional capabilities.

You won’t need to mess around with it or change the direction either, so there’s no need to get out and make adjustments whenever the picture goes bad.

According to the reviews, this was one of the trickier antennas to install, mainly due to design errors that could easily be fixed. Some people found the cables were the incorrect length and there was a lot of adjusting that had to occur to get them right. If you’re prepared to spend some extra time on the installation to save money, this won’t be a problem for you.

1byone has made this antenna to be weather proof which makes it ideal for RV travel. However, while the anti UV coating is great for keeping the sun damage away, it doesn’t necessarily protect it against other elements. The construction is said to be snow proof and windproof so in extreme weather conditions it holds up, according to those who have tested it.

The 1byone RV Antenna uses SMD technology and microelectronics to make the amplifier, giving you a better signal and performance. While it definitely gets the job done and makes the antenna better, the whole setup is basically useless without it. Be sure to keep the amplifier on at all times, especially if you’re having problems already getting a connection.

As with other antennas, 1byone offers a one-year parts warranty on this device. Considering the price, you might hope to see a little more cover though. With the right adjustments and settings, this antenna works quite well, especially for those looking for a long term investment.

OUR RATING


The Basics On RV Antennas

RV Antenna

Not all antennas were created equally, and in this sense, not all of them were made to travel in an RV. Shopping for TV antennas for RVs means looking for a special set of features, but first, you need to know about the different types of antennas and what each of them actually do.

An indoor antenna is used inside of the RV. They are usually more compact but don’t offer as much coverage and the picture quality might not be as good. People prefer these if they want access to their antenna, need to adjust it, or simply want to keep it out of the weather.

Outdoor antennas are the better choice usually for RV owners because they give a better signal which means a clearer picture and more channels to choose from. However, they require some setup and you’ll need to be sure they are out of the weather unless specifically designed for extreme conditions.

Some RV owners might want to use a satellite dish in their travels, which gives them access to satellite channels. These dishes are bulky and are usually expensive when compared to antennas, but might be better suited to those who live permanently on the road.

We’ve compared these with antennas below so you can see how they perform where it matters and why the antenna is usually a better option.

Finally, high definition antennas can be found either indoor or outdoor. They feature a special technology that allows them to pick up the HD signals and broadcast, giving a clear picture and better quality viewing. These days, it’s common for most RV antennas to come with an HD option and for only a smaller extra cost.

The best way to find the antenna that works with your RV is to think about how often you’ll use it, where you’ll be traveling, the channels you want, and how long you’re prepared to spend on installation. With this in mind, you’ll be able to choose an antenna that’s the right fit and not try to work around its capabilites instead.

RV HDTV Antennas Vs RV Satellite Antennas: Which Is Better?

RV Satellite Dish

The most obvious choice for RV owners is to use an HDTV antenna, and there are a few ways that it beats the satellite setup. Consider this if you’re weighing up between the two when choosing the best approach for your RV.

  • Lower cost: HDTV antennas are a lot more affordable than using a satellite dish. The average antenna from a reputable brand costs around $70 compared to the same brand’s satellite dish which is around $400. For that price, the warranty period is the same as well, at 12 months for both
  • Access to local programs: The programs you get on your satellite will depend on what subscription you pay for. Using an HDTV antenna means free access to all local channels with as many options as possible in that range
  • Easy installation: An RV antenna can usually be installed as a snap on or retrofit to your existing antenna. Satellites need to be mounted to your RV professionally or as a larger portable device
  • Less bulky: Antennas are compact in size and can be as small as 70 percent of the size of a regular one. Satellites are large, heavy, and if not already mounted to your RV they will take up a lot of room
  • Booster can be added: If you’re having problems getting a satellite signal the only thing you can do is move the RV. However, with an antenna, you can add a booster to strengthen the signal
  • Versatility: Having an outdoor antenna means more options for how you can use it, and not just for your RV. These antennas can be used at home, in the backyard, attic, or just about anywhere else a signal is required, whereas a satellite dish is limited

Common Questions About RV TV Antennas

Man Installing Antenna On The RV Roof

Most RV TV antennas were designed to be easy, but there are some common questions that come up with RV owners all the time. Here are some things you might be wondering about using an antenna for your RV and how to make them work their best.

Where Do I Point The Antenna?

When you’re traveling, you might find that the reception can vary depending on the area you’re in. There’s no specific direction to point in that will always be right, so refer to the manual of your antenna. Some require you to point away from reception and others towards it, so it depends on the style you have.

Can You Watch TV While Driving?

Some RVs come with a safety feature that prevents the TV from working while driving. If this is the case, you won’t be able to. If your antenna is mounted on the roof, then you will also not be able to drive with it in most cases. Check the wind resistance guidelines of your antenna if you’re questioning whether it’s safe or not.

How Do I Get Good Reception?

The best way to ensure good reception is with a quality antenna. The cheaper one is, the less chance it will get good reception, so aim for something at least mid-range. You can also add a booster to the antenna that will amplify your gain so even in weak signal areas it will work.

How To Find Local TV Stations?

Some newer TVs and antennas allow for automatic programming that picks up the stations. Otherwise, you will need to perform a manual search provided your antenna is in the right direction.

Can I Leave The Antenna Installed?

If you’re someone who only takes their RV out now and then, you should uninstall the antenna whenever you get home. People who travel regularly will want to keep it installed but may need to take it down when they drive to different locations. Proper storage will improve its lifespan and mean less chance of a replacement.

Features To Know About When Choosing an RV TV Antenna

Man Maintaining RV Antenna

Antennas are technical devices and in order to choose the right one, you have to know about their different features. There are many types of antennas so it comes down to finding one that suits your RV, where and how you travel, and any other specifications that you might have.

These are some of the features that should be considered when choosing an RV TV antenna so you get it right the first time.

Range

The range of antenna refers to how far the signal reaches. The towers that broadcast the programming must be within a range to be picked up by your antenna so the farther away from them you plan on being, the longer the distance your antenna will need to reach.

A good range for a TV antenna in your RV is around 50 miles which will give solid reception, but it can vary a little.

Type

There are a few different types of antennas you can choose from for an RV setup. Omnidirectional ones which get signal from all directions, rotating antennas that can be controlled with a remote, HDTV antennas designed to pick up these digital frequencies, or replacement heads that can be fitted over an existing antenna to improve its performance.

Mounting/Installation

The mounting or installation methods will matter for those who are concerned about the setup process. You can choose a very basic antenna that clips or on only has minimal steps for installation, otherwise, there are more detailed antennas that require a working knowledge of cables and other connections.

Some antennas can also be moved around, meaning you can use them both at home and in your RV.

Filters

Before 4G or 3G filters were invented, people camping in their RVs often experienced interference from the wireless signals in the area. Choosing an antenna with a built-in 4G filter means these signals are no longer able to interfere and you’ll get a clearer picture and uninterrupted audio.

Placement Of Antenna

RV TV Antenna

There are options for where your antenna is placed, but the best approach is usually a rooftop. This is because you’ll face less interference and get a better signal. Other options include bumpers or on the side of your RV, but it will depend on your personal setup.

Weather Protection

Due to your RV TV antenna being placed outside, it’s bound to come in contact with bad weather occasionally. To prevent this, many brands put weather resistant features on their antennas. This could include waterproofing, solar protection, and even resistance from snow.

Perfect Picture Quality Wherever You Go

Owning an RV is a great way to have instant access to a vacation home and save yourself some money on expensive traveling costs. With the addition of a quality RV TV antenna, you can make that holiday even better, as you’ll have constant access to your favorite TV shows, news, and weather programs.

Choosing a TV antenna for your RV requires a different approach to the one you’d use at home, but with our tips for how to find the best fit and recommendations on the top performers, you’ll be well on your way.

There’s no need to miss out on your favorite pastime just because you’re traveling on the road, and it’s the one thing that we don’t want to leave home without regardless.

With that in mind, you do need to understand the many features that come with these antennas. There’s no single solution that will fit every traveler or every type of TV viewer, so you need to have an idea in mind of what your needs are before you can begin your search.

With more and more people wanting to cut the cord and get rid of their expensive cable bills, options like these outdoor antennas are becoming more popular. With your own compact outdoor RV antenna and a motor home to call your own, you’ll have everything you need for an affordable adventure.

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