Best RV TV Antenna
Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV HDTV RV Antenna
Winegard is one of the biggest and most well-known brands in the world of recreational vehicle antennas. It has earned its reputation producing great products that flat out perform, and our winner, the Sensar IV HDTV is no different. In our opinion, it’s the brand’s best RV antenna to date.
In addition to being lightweight and easy to install, it offers excellent reception and a clear picture on most channels. It receives both VHF and UHF channels within a range of 55 miles.
It also receives HD local signals to view channels like NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, and several others in full HD, so you can enjoy free programming and check in on the weather, news, sports, and your favorite TV dramas almost anywhere your travels take you.
In addition to the antenna, you get coaxial cables, a power switcher, and everything you need to give your DVD collection a break and watch your favorite shows while at a campsite or out on the road.
Aside from the side antenna, which sticks out a little bit, there’s not much else to complain about with the Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV.
Bottom Line: This model is compact, lightweight, easy to install, easier to use, and allows you to enjoy local HD programming wherever you go, making it our top pick and a favorite for today’s smart campers.
Best RV Antenna for Enjoying TV on the Road
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to give up the comforts of home and completely disconnect from the world when camping in an RV and enjoying the outdoors.
With the right RV antenna, you can watch the news, sports, weather reports, and your favorite programs.
In this guide, you’ll learn all about TV antennas for RV use, some of the best options on the market today, and how to choose the right one for your RV lifestyle and adventures!
Looking for the Best Antenna for RV Travel?
- Why RV owners need an antenna
- How different antennas work
- What features to consider when buying tv antennas
- Reviews of the best RV TV antennas on the market
- Our unbiased recommendation of the best TV antenna for RV travel
How to Choose the Right RV Antenna
Not an RV antenna expert? Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place. We put dozens of different antennas for RVs to the test to find the best of the best.
However, to ensure you pick the right product for you and your camper or rig, it helps to know a little about them first.
Benefits of a Camper Antenna
Watch Your Favorite Shows
Camping in the woods but still want to watch the big football game? Have no fear; the best RV antennas will allow you to catch all of the action and your favorite programs regardless of how off-grid you are.
RV antennas can also allow you to connect to the Internet, so whether you have a project to finish or want to connect with friends and family through social media, the right recreational vehicle antenna can help you do exactly that.
Free Local Channels
A lot of people today pay a cable company to watch local TV stations which antennas can pick up for free. With a recreational vehicle antenna, you can watch NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, PBS, and other TV channels without paying a dime. It’s like rabbit ears for your motorhome!
Watch TV Shows in HD
Scratch that last line, because unlike rabbit ears, the best RV antennas allow you to watch programming in full HD. If you like high-definition, who doesn’t, then you’ll be happy to know many camper antennas include this feature.
Types of RV Antennas
Outdoor antennas are designed to go on the outside of travel trailers. Since they pick up better reception than other types due to their greater exposure to signals, they’re the top option for most recreational vehicle owners.
The only problem with an outdoor camper TV antenna is that trees can interrupt the signal. They also tend to be bulky, but they provide the best reception and range.
Indoor TV antennas are smaller and have a more limited range. This means you need to be closer to civilization in order to pick up a better reception.
The good news is there’s no need to worry about installation or clearing limbs and leaves from its path. You can simply place it next to your TV, however you may not be able to enjoy HD programming or as many channels.
Satellite RV TV antennas provide great reception and allow you to watch all your favorite programs you watch at home whilst camping or out on the road. You can access dozens or even hundreds of channels.
Unfortunately, this convenience comes at a cost. You need to be a DIRECTV or DISH Network subscriber, making it a great option if you already pay for a satellite TV service.
UHF/VHF/Digital and HD Antenna for RV Use
This is the most popular type of outdoor antennas and the best for HDTV reception. With this type you can pick up several VHF and UHF signals, which is a big plus.
Some TV antennas only pick up VHF or UHF, but not both. However, the best digital TV antennas can pick up both UHF and VHF broadcast channels. Of course, they can also pick up HD channels and local tv channels like NBC, ABC, and Fox.
TV Antenna for RVs: Key Features and Considerations
When choosing an antenna, the quality of its reception is critical. If the signal reception is weak, you’ll get static, and the programs will cut in and out. Most antennas have a range of 25 miles. Some, however, have ranges of 55 miles or longer, which is a big plus if you’re camping in an area far away from a transmission broadcasting tower.
Some antennas work better outdoors than indoors. Some can pick up HD or satellite service, and others cannot. Some have shorter ranges, and others have longer ranges. You get the idea. Like anything else, some antennas are more functional than others. You’ll need to determine your needs and marry them with a quality product that can function and do what you need.
Since most antennas are placed on the RV roof, you need to make sure yours is the right size for the space. A larger option may provide better reception, more channels, and a clearer picture, but it might not be ideal if you can’t find the space for it or don’t want a big antenna sticking out from your RV.
Even if you’re super handy, you don’t want an antenna that’s a pain in the you know what to install, or worse yet, one that doesn’t come with all of the necessary hardware. Talk about frustrating! To save yourself some time and get the best possible setup, choose a model that’s easy to install and comes with everything you need.
Motorhome and travel trailer TV antenna are made differently and with different materials, such as aluminum and plastic. If you go with an outdoor option, it should be made with durable, heavy-duty materials able to withstand the elements. It’s also essential to think about rain and rust.
Many modern antennas do more than transmit TV signals. Some can carry Wi-Fi as well, which is hugely helpful if you want to have an internet connection when camping in a remote location. However, some products offer greater Wi-Fi connectivity than others, so do your homework and make sure you get the best one for your lifestyle and needs.
When it comes to antennas, bigger and bulkier is sometimes better. Sure, you want the room to install it and to keep it from getting hit or blocked by trees, but one that’s too lightweight might blow over and/or break in high winds. A heavy-duty option will be better suited to withstand the elements, obstructions, and general wear and tear.
Recreational Vehicle Antenna Tips
Tip #1 – Consider a Signal Booster
To get the most out of your purchase, you might want to equip it with an antenna signal booster. This will provide you with more channels, high-definition programming, and a better overall TV watching experience.
Tip #2 – Use a Quality Coaxial Cable
To minimize signal loss when trying to watch TV or connect to the Internet in your RV, you should use a well-made, high-quality coaxial cable. For the best results, use an RG-6 coaxial. If you don’t have one, make sure the cable you do have isn’t ripped or frayed, as this can result in signal loss.
Tip #3 – Turn and Scan
If you’re getting poor reception, give the antenna a quarter turn and go through the channels. There’s no specific direction you should point it, so keep repeating the process to find the right direction for the best signal reception in your location. Also, for the best signal strength, consider camping on high ground.
Tip #4 – Invest in a Quality Generator or Solar Kit
TVs and antennas use energy, so it might be a wise idea to invest in a quality generator or RV solar kit to ensure you don’t miss out on the big game or your favorite tv shows should your power supply “run dry”.
The Best TV Antennas – RV Antenna Reviews
Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV HDTV
Best RV HDTV Antenna
The Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV is the Tesla of RV antennas – it’s smart, advanced, and able to outperform larger energy-guzzlers and smaller compacts alike. That’s why it’s our favorite model on the market today.
Not only is it lightweight and pretty much a breeze to install, but it provides excellent reception and a surprisingly clear HD picture on nearly every channel. Speaking of channels, with its 55-mile range and ability to pick up VHF/UHF signals, you can watch the news, sports, weather, and all of your favorite shows on NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, and several other free channels.
The only downside to the Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV is the fact that it sticks out a little bit, which means it can be more susceptible to tree limbs and other obstructions. That said, it checks just about every other box, making it one of, if not the best overall product available for today’s camping and RV enthusiasts.
- Lightweight and easy installation
- Good range and great reception
- Receives a variety of free HD channels
- Could be easily damaged
Bottom-Line: The Winegard RVW-395 Sensar IV is easy to install, simple to use, and provides excellent signal strength, clear HD picture, and a variety of free channels, earning it a reputation for being one of the best RV products on the market today.
Best for Long-Range
Let’s face it; if you want to see and experience nature at its finest, you have to get off the beaten path. However, thanks to the 1byone Amplified, you don’t have to give up your morning news or evening TV shows when doing so.
This powerful model is super-amplified, allowing it to pick up signals in all directions up to a whopping 70 miles out. With 360-degree omnidirectional reception, there’s also no need to turn it like you need to do with the Winegard Sensar IV to find the best reception. It’s able to do so all by itself.
The 1byone is also waterproof and has a durable UV coating, making it more than suited for heavy-duty outdoor use. While the setup can be a bit tricky, it comes with everything needed to install it, and there’s always YouTube to turn to for help.
- Extended 70-mile signal range
- Sleek, compact design
- Heavy-duty and weatherproof
- Setup can be a little confusing
Bottom-Line: The 1byone Amplified is well-made and has an impressive signal range, making it an excellent option if you want to enjoy great reception and free TV miles off the beaten path.
Winegard RS-3000 RoadStar Amplified Digital HD
Easiest to Use
Like the 1byone, the Winegard RS-3000 RoadStar is a durable, well-made, and omnidirectional RV TV antenna. However, in this last regard, the RS-3000 takes the cake.
Why? It’s simple, 360-degree signal reception is what this RoadStar is all about. There’s no need to crank or rotate this model to get the best reception. Just turn on the digital RV TV antenna as well as the TV in your vehicle and then run a channel scan to find the best available signal. That’s all there is to it.
Since it’s a Winegard, the RS-3000 is also sturdy, easy to install, and virtually guaranteed to last. Unfortunately, its signal strength leaves a little to be desired. It only has a range of 35 miles, so it’s best for campers who love the outdoors but like being a little closer to civilization.
- No aiming or turning required
- Great omnidirectional design
- Well-made and easy installation
- Signal range could be longer
Bottom-Line: With quality construction, a tremendous omnidirectional design, and the ability to automatically scan 360 degrees for the best possible reception, the Winegard RS-3000 is an excellent product if your primary requirement is ease of use.
KING VQ4500 Tailgater Satellite System
Best Dish Network
If you’re a DISH Network customer and want to take your premium satellite TV channels with you on the road or to the campsite, the KING VQ4500 Tailgater may be for you. This roof-mounted RV satellite can be used anywhere. As long as you have a DISH Network HD receiver and a TV, you’re good to go.
Once it is installed, and the receiver is connected to the TV, this digital RV antenna will automatically locate the best service satellite and begin delivering live HD satellite TV in just a few minutes.
That said, unlike the UHF and VHF models above, the KING VQ4500 Tailgater requires a DISH Network subscription. While you can purchase service and get a receiver just for the antenna and your vehicle, it’s only ideal for current DISH users.
- Provides on-the-go satellite programming
- Automatically finds satellite signals
- Clear HD reception
- Supports multiple TV viewing
- Requires a DISH Network subscription
Bottom-Line: If you’re a DISH customer and want to enjoy endless HD channels anywhere your adventures take you, the KING VQ4500 Tailgater RV Satellite System might be a match made in heaven.
Winegard TRAV’LER RV Satellite
If you love your satellite TV but prefer DIRECTV to DISH, then the Winegard TRAV’LER RV satellite dish is an ideal choice. Not only is it one of the only DIRECTV RV options, but thanks to its strong signal strength and ability to simultaneously link up to several satellites, you can watch endless channels in standard or high definition.
The hits don’t stop there. You can also hook it up to a DVR if you have one and create your own mobile library of your favorite movies, shows, sports, and whatever you want, just like at home. Pretty cool, right?
Being a Winegard, the TRAV’LER is also really well-made and designed to stand up to the elements and years of use. However, it’s heavy and requires professional installation, which may add a little to the bill.
- Grants access to all DIRECTV programming
- DVR capabilities
- Built for the road
- Must be professionally installed
Bottom-Line: The Winegard TRAV’LER RV Satellite is large and in charge, offering DIRECTV subscribers the ability to watch the same TV they enjoy at home while camping lakeside, mountainside, or anywhere their adventurous hearts want to go.
KING Jack HDTV Directional Over-the-Air
Best for Tech Lovers
KING Jack TV antennas are one of the most technologically advanced products being made today. With its SureLock technology, this highly innovative model can quickly find UHF and VHF signals to produce more channels than many other non-satellite versions. More channels are always a good thing.
It also has a broad reception coverage and long-range signal acquisition, which makes it perfect for campers who like getting away from it all. Plus, it’s sleek, compact, and easy to install.
The only drawback of the KING Jack Directional is the fact that it’s, well, directional. However, if you don’t mind giving it a turn or two when setting up camp to enjoy dozens of free channels, then it shouldn’t disappoint.
- Advanced signal-boosting technology
- Picks up dozens of channels
- Compact, lightweight, and easy to setup
- Not omni directional
Bottom-Line: Featuring a sleek design and cutting-edge technology, this KING Jack option is an excellent choice for those wanting to get the most out of their camping experience.
KING Jack Replacement Head HDTV Directional Over-the-Air
Whether you’re strapped for cash, budget-conscious, or just love getting good value, this KING Jack Replacement Head might be right up your alley. It’s not the fanciest model around, but it delivers reliable performance and a decent selection of free UHF and VHF channels.
Despite its budget-friendly nature, it’s able to display channels in digital HD so that you can see the blades of grass on Lambeau Field as clearly as the grass outside your RV door. The signal acquisition is also impressive, so the picture doesn’t cut out or freeze.
On the downside, it doesn’t pick up as many channels as some of the other great products in this guide. However, as far as bang for the buck goes, there’s no denying it’s one of the best.
- Good signal reception and value
- Excellent RV antenna replacement option
- Fewer channels than some other antennas
- Installation process can be a bit tricky
Bottom-Line: This option is good value and dependable for anyone looking to replace or upgrade their current model and enjoy basic TV in the great outdoors.
Winegard RV-WING Wingman Booster
If you have a Winegard Sensar II or Sensar III antenna and want to give its performance a boost, the Winegard RV-WING Wingman Booster is just what you’re after. The sleek, lightweight add-on attaches to your existing batwing antenna head via simple snap-on screws to boost its UHF performance by up to 100 percent.
That’s a pretty impressive figure, and the fact that no tools are required to install it is a big plus too. We also like the fact that, like other Winegard products, it’s powder coated and made to last.
To boost your antenna’s performance with the Wingman, you’ll need over a foot of room, so it’s a good idea to measure in advance and make sure it will fit. At 18 x 15 inches, it takes up some space.
- Boosts UHF signal reception
- Increases range and number of channels
- Easy, tool-free installation
- Not an actual antenna
Bottom-Line: If your vehicle is already equipped with a Sensar II or Sensar III and you want to improve its performance, the Wingman Booster really works.
Winegard 24130 RVW-205 Sensar IV
Best RV Antenna Replacement Head
Not only is the Winegard Sensar IV our top antenna in this list, but it’s also one of the most popular models on the road today. As a replacement head for the Sensar IV, the Winegard 24130 RVW-205 Sensar IV offers several enhancements to provide a more enjoyable TV viewing experience.
Although the Sensar IV already picks up an impressive number of free channels, this replacement head maximizes the number of HF, VF, HD, and digital channels for your TV viewing pleasure. With an extended signal range of 55 miles, you can watch TV for over an hour into the wilderness too.
Unfortunately, it’s only a replacement, so it might not work if you don’t already have a Sensar IV or another antenna you want to replace. However, if you do, it’s worth the upgrade.
- Great reception and channel options
- Good signal range
- Well-made and easy to set up
- Only a replacement
Bottom-Line: Whether you need to replace your damaged Sensar IV or find yourself wanting a performance boost, the Winegard RVW 205 Sensar IV is an ideal solution.
Last update on 2021-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API