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When you hit the road in your RV, you’re looking forward to spending days and nights outdoors, exploring new areas of the world and diving into activities from campfire cookouts to fishing to hiking to mountain biking — or maybe even just hanging out in a beautiful, natural space. But even though you’re far from home, it’s still totally common to want to bring all of your usual comforts along on your camping trips, including your TV and internet access. And with a good RV antenna in place, you can do exactly that. The best RV antennas allow you to easily catch up on your favorite Netflix shows, catch your team’s biggest games, and stay connected even when you’ve (kind of) gone off the grid. Plus, you can choose from antennas that are as sleek and high-tech, or as large and powerful, as you’d like.
Winegard Sensar IV DTV/HDTV Antenna
- Durable powder-coated steel
- Smooth hand-crank mechanism
- 55-mile range for VHF and UHF signals
- Does feature plastic components
- May interfere with some AC units
Antop UFO Smartpass Amplified HDTV Antenna
- Up to 65 miles of range
- Omni-directional signal pickup
- Plug-and-play setup once antenna is installed
- Plastic mounting bracket
- May weaken in stability over time
KING Jack HDTV Directional Antenna & Signal Meter
- Built-in SureLock signal finder
- Aerodynamic design reduces wind resistance
- Easy antenna pointing
- Upgraded technology for enhanced UHF signal
- Doesn’t include mounting plate
Best Overall: Winegard Sensar IV DTV/HDTV Antenna
Best Value: Antop UFO Smartpass Amplified HDTV Antenna
Honorable Mention: KING Jack HDTV Directional Antenna & Signal Meter
Best for Satellite TV: Dish Tailgater Satellite Antenna
Best for 4K: Winegard RZ-6000 Rayzar z1 RV TV Antenna
Best Easy Installation: KING Jack Replacement Head HDTV Directional Over-the-Air Antenna
To choose the RV antennas listed below, I searched for products that were made by reputable names within the camping space. I sought out antennas that were frequently used by those who camp frequently, looking to key details within user reviews about each antenna’s range, ability to pick up channels, and ease of installation on RVs of all sizes. Those that made my top picks were antennas that offered the best user experience, far-reaching range, and quality of signal (both Wi-Fi and TV, if offered by an antenna) even in remote destinations.
Best RV Antenna Reviews & Recommendations
Best Easy InstallationSEE IT
The Winegard Sensar IV DTV/HDTV Antenna delivers in every way you need it to, from reliable picture to both UHF and VHF signals with a range of up to 55 miles. Plus, it’s easy to install and easy to utilize with a smooth-moving hand crank mechanism that you can pop up wherever you park your camper. However, if the value is your biggest priority, the Antop UFO Smartpass Amplified HDTV Antenna is another great choice. Affordable in price and able to deliver 4K, HD, and 1080p resolution as well as reach a similar signal range, you’ll have all of the channels you need far from home.
Things to Consider Before Buying an RV Antenna
Size and camper fit is just one of the many details you’ve got to think about when you’re choosing an RV antenna. Keep these key factors in mind as you shop and make a decision about which antenna is the best match for your needs.
Types of RV Antennas
An outdoor antenna is installed on the outside of your RV or home. This type picks up reception better than others because it has the most exposure to outside signals. Most RV owners choose outdoor antennas for their TV viewing. One problem is that branches and leaves can interrupt the signal; however, you can simply remove the obstructions to take care of the issue. These antennas tend to be bulky but offer good range.
An indoor antenna tends to be smaller and has less range. However, even though the range is smaller, it's more convenient because you don't have to worry about clearing tree debris from its path. You can keep an indoor antenna on your TV, but it may not provide high-definition programming or as many channels as an outdoor antenna.
Satellite TV Service Antenna
You need to subscribe to a satellite service such as DirecTV or DISH Network to use this type of RV antenna. This is a great option if you already pay for this type of service. Satellite antennas provide excellent reception, allowing you to watch your favorite programs whenever you want. Simply bring a portable receiver with you to access the channels.
UHF/VHF/Digital & HDTV Antenna
Most people use this type of antenna for their RV. The best RV antenna for HDTV reception allows you to receive several UHF and VHF signals. They can pick up HD channels as well as stations such as FOX and ABC. Simply turn on the TV and scan for channels. The best RV digital TV antenna can pick up both UHF (channels 14 to 51) as well as VHF (channels 2 to 13). Some antennas can pick up one or the other but not both.
Key Features of RV Antennas
A portable TV antenna for RV will have various functions, and you’ll need to select one that works for your specific purpose. For example, some work better indoors while others are more suited to the outdoors. Some antennas work best while your RV is parked, while others can work just as well when the RV is moving.
Since the antenna is usually placed on the roof, you have to ensure that it's the right size for the space. A smaller antenna may suit your needs better than a larger one. You may not want a big, glaring antenna protruding from your RV, or you may not mind something larger if it's better quality.
It's important that you select an antenna that isn't too difficult to install and that comes with all the necessary hardware. It can be very frustrating to purchase equipment that is hard to set up, time-consuming, and doesn't include the correct mounting parts.
Travel trailer TV antennas are made of different materials, including plastic and aluminum. One that is intended for the outdoors should be made of more heavy-duty material so that it is durable and can withstand the elements. You’ll also want to ensure that it doesn’t rust if it rains. Plastic ones are more suited for indoors.
Most modern RV antennas have the ability to transmit a Wi-Fi signal. This can be very helpful if you're camping or are in a remote location and you want to connect to the internet. Some antennas have stronger Wi-Fi capacities than others, so make sure you get one that works for you.
Bulkier can be better when it comes to outdoor antennas. If you choose an antenna that is too lightweight, it may blow over or break during windy conditions or if it comes into contact with tree branches or other obstructions. A heavy-duty antenna can better withstand Mother Nature and other issues.
The best RV over the air antenna can be mounted in several locations, such as the roof, bumper, mirror bars, and hood. Once you have decided where you want to place an antenna, then you can choose one that properly fits. It's also important that you place it in a spot where you can easily maneuver it to get the best reception.
RV Antenna Pricing
For around $50 to $75, you’ll find RV antennas that are very capable of receiving clear signals from multiple TV stations. These antennas may be less durable and have fewer options than more expensive models. For $75 to $200, you can shop some of the most popular TV antennas for RVs. Their designs, mounting abilities, and added features may vary, so it's important you choose one that suits your needs. And if you spend $300 or more, you’ll find a selection of satellite-capable antennas, the most expensive option. They require a subscription to a satellite provider to function but give you access to the same channel lineup you enjoy at home.
You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.
Q: How do I install an RV antenna?
A: Follow the manufacturer's recommendations. Most antennas are simple to set up and usually do not require professional installation. After it's installed, the device will start scanning for channels. You can adjust the antenna position to find the best reception.
Q: How do I repair an RV antenna?
A: It can be challenging and may require professional assistance. First, check your owner's manual for some troubleshooting tips and then call customer service.
Q: What other hardware do I need with my RV antenna?
A: To watch HD programs, you will need an HD television. If you use a VHF/UHF antenna, your TV will need a built-in tuner for scanning channels. A satellite antenna will require a receiver. Cables are usually included for one TV, so you may need more if you want to connect the antenna to multiple TVs.
Q: What type of power source do I need for an RV antenna?
A: It depends on what type of antenna you are using. Some require a 12-volt power source and power inserter. Others use a coaxial cable or a power supply interface box.
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