An RV antenna is a handy tool that allows you to pick up television stations and signals that are in the range of your location.
These antennas are great if you’re enjoying the great outdoors but don’t want to miss your favorite television program.
Keep reading for our 5 best RV antennas for reliable reception no matter where you go, including a handy guide for finding the correct antenna for your needs.
Our Top Picks
Winegard Sensar IV RVW-395 RV Antenna
PBD WA-2608 Outdoor RV Antenna
Best for Rental RVs:
Winegard Dish Playmaker RV Antenna
The Winegard Sensar RV antenna is designed for all digital channels in all markets. This antenna features an extended range for reliable reception that allows you to watch channels broadcast from up to 55 miles away.
Featuring a built-in amplifier, this antenna boosts weak television signals to give you a clearer picture and can be connected to more than one TV through the wall plate that comes with it. It works with any device that has an ATSC tuner.
This antenna can pick up all digital and HD channels and receives UHF and VHF signals for the most optimized quality picture.
Its low-profile design can be stowed at four inches while you’re traveling to avoid any damage from tree branches or other low-hanging obstacles. When it’s in the fully raised position, it measures 30 inches.
The Sensar antennas can be raised, lowered, and rotated from inside your parked RV to find the most reliable reception. The antenna is powder-coated to extend its lifespan.
- Made using durable powder-coated steel for longevity
- 55-mile range for VHF and UHF signals.
- Easy to install and easy to use, with a smooth hand-crank mechanism.
- Has been reported to interfere with air conditioning units.
- The mount makes it unsuitable for some RV models.
Best Budget Option
The PBD Outdoor RV antenna is a multidirectional HD antenna that is designed to receive UHF and VHF signals. This antenna comes with a built-in signal amplifier to provide a high-quality HDTV picture.
Since this antenna is designed for outdoor use, it’s engineered weatherproof to endure a lot of abuse from the elements, with a lightning-protected, grounded durable design.
Featuring a waterproof design that keeps all the internal components dry, this antenna is made with UV protection that prevents it from becoming brittle from sun exposure and age.
This antenna can support two televisions at one time without the need for a splitter or special adapter and has a built-in 360-degree motor rotor so there is no cranking!
The PBD antenna comes with a simple installation manual and snap-on components to make the installation process a breeze. PBD claims that this RV antenna has a very impressive 150-mile range for signals.
- The declared range is up to 150 miles.
- Very easy and quick to install.
- The 360-degree automatic rotor design rotates on its own.
- Inclement weather can impact the signal strength.
- Nearby obstructions in the landscape may also affect the signal strength.
Best for Rental RVs
The Winegard DISH Playmaker RV antenna features a high-strength military-grade aluminum alloy reflector that improves signal strength by up to 20 percent.
This antenna is perfect for rental RVs because it’s compact, portable, and very easy to set up. It automatically searches for DISH HD satellite orbital locations to quickly locate your favorite television shows in your RV.
Part of what makes this antenna so great is that it’s compatible with DISH pay-as-you-go, so you only have to pay for the months you need service!
A downside to this is that it only works with DISH HD Solo Satellite Receiver technology, which may be inconvenient for some campers. You’ll also need to purchase a receiver separately for this antenna to work.
This antenna comes with multiple mounting options. It’s usually mounted on the roof, but you’ll need to purchase the RK-4000 roof kit separately to do this. It can be mounted on windows or tripods for elevated placement.
You’ll find that this RV antenna offers reliable reception using a single 25-foot cable coaxial connection that runs through your DISH receiver and an HDMI link to your television.
- Offers multiple mounting options.
- The compact design doesn’t require much space.
- Easy to install.
- Requires a DISH service subscription to use.
- Requires additional hardware (a receiver) to work.
- The roof mounting kit isn’t included.
The KING Over-The-Air RV antenna was designed with the rugged RV lifestyle in mind and provides UHF signal reception and reception of VHF channels, for a wide reception range and improved signal strength.
This small, unobtrusive antenna comes with all the gear you will need to mount and connect the antenna to your RV. Once you’ve installed the antenna, you’re ready to watch your programs in minutes!
The amplified, ultra-high gain antenna offers excellent digital TV reception, with a 360-degree rotating design to eliminate dead spots and make it easy to get strong and reliable reception. This antenna can consistently access channels broadcast from up to 70 miles away.
With a built-in power injector that mounts on the wall near your television, this antenna connects to the RG6 cable to boost the signal.
The compact design of this over-the-air antenna is much smaller than typical RV antennas, making it portable and easy to store when it’s not in use.
This antenna also comes with shafts for varying roof thickness, making installation a breeze no matter what kind of RV you have.
- Lightweight, compact design.
- Features a built-in signal meter.
- Easy installation within five minutes.
- The mount makes this antenna unsuitable for some RV models.
- The build could be better quality, according to some reviewers.
The Winegard Rayzar RV antenna is designed especially for RVs and delivers channels in 4K UHD, as well as VHF and UHF signals so you always have access to your favorite shows.
Featuring an effortless design with an interior rotation handle to turn the unit in the direction of broadcast towers, this antenna doesn’t require cranking.
Included with the antenna is everything you need to mount and install it onto your RV and make finding the best channels easy. Simply perform a channel scan at new locations to find available channels and enjoy!
This antenna has an optimal range of 50 miles and consists of weather-resistant and UV-resistant housing for extra durability in the elements. It also blocks out interference from cellular networks using a built-in LTE filter.
- No cranking is required.
- Blocks LTE cellular transmissions to boost television signal.
- Compact design.
- May require regular adjusting.
- Not omnidirectional or multidirectional.
Choosing the Best RV Antenna for Reliable Reception
With so many products readily available on the market today, it can be challenging to choose the best RV antenna for reliable reception. Let’s discuss the types of RV antennas you’ll see and the factors you should consider during your search.
Types of RV Antennas
As the name suggests, an indoor antenna is located somewhere inside your RV, depending on your preferences. These antennas can be hung or placed on a shelf inside your RV.
An indoor RV antenna is convenient and safe from the elements, but this usually comes at the price of functionality. Indoor antennas generally don’t work as well as outdoor antennas.
They have shorter ranges than outdoor antennas and the RV can interfere with your signal with these antennas as well.
An outdoor antenna is located somewhere on the outside of your RV. These antennas can be mounted to many spots on the outside of your RV, but the most popular place for outdoor antennas to be mounted is on the roof.
Outdoor antennas generally pick up reception better than indoor antennas because they have more exposure to outside signals from atop the RV.
The only concern with these antennas is damage from branches or other low-hanging obstacles on your path. These obstacles are usually easy to remedy by removing branches or other debris from the antenna by hand.
While these antennas tend to be on the bulky side, they offer a fantastic reception range.
A satellite antenna requires a television service provider subscription. You’ll need a satellite dish installed onto your RV for a satellite antenna.
If you already pay for television services, this may be a convenient way for you to take your entertainment on the go with you!
Satellite antennas offer long-range signals using the satellite dish, which provides a clearer, crisper picture quality.
These antennas are best for those in rural or mountainous areas since these areas receive the best reception from satellite broadcasts.
Digital antennas are the most commonly used for reliable reception on an RV. This type of RV antenna picks up UHF, VHF, and HDTV signals.
VHF and UHF refer to the radio frequencies over which stations broadcast video and sound signals. For the best reception, you should look for an antenna that can receive both bandwidths. These radio frequencies may broadcast digital or HDTV channels.
What to Consider
An antenna for your RV will have different functions so you’ll need to choose one that works best for the purpose you intend it to be used for.
In general, the best RV antennas have a range of around 50 to 90 miles for rural areas and have equal performance, carrying both UHF and VHF frequencies for the widest range of content from popular networks.
The ideal antenna for your RV will be omnidirectional, so it’s capable of pulling signals from every direction, leading to the clearest picture quality.
The durability of the antenna you choose will depend on whether you’re looking for an indoor or outdoor antenna. Whether you want the antenna to work while the RV is moving is another important consideration.
An outdoor antenna is typically made of more heavy-duty material than an indoor antenna, ensuring that it’s up to the challenge of withstanding the elements without rusting.
Powder-coated military-grade aluminum is another desirable feature for an outdoor antenna since this holds up very well in extreme weather conditions. You should also look for an antenna that has a high wind resistance rating if you plan to use it while the RV moving.
If you decide to get a plastic RV antenna, make sure the plastic housing is UV protected to prolong the life of the antenna.
Since these antennas are most often mounted onto the roof, you’ll want to make sure your antenna is the correct size for the space you intend to mount it to.
The taller the antenna is, the better reception it’ll receive. Typically the antennas with the best coverage areas are bulky and larger in size.
These antennas will also require more empty space on top of your RV than more compact designs and are more likely to receive damage from low-hanging objects and tree limbs.
Compact designs are safe from external damage, but they often offer a more limited coverage area than taller designs. Some of the taller antennas can also be cranked down or stowed away before you drive.
Ease of Installation
Ease of installation is an important consideration because nobody wants to spend all day wrestling to install their RV antenna.
Look for an antenna that is easy to install and comes with all the necessary hardware you’ll need to install it. Some even come with the necessary tools to install the antenna, which is an even bigger plus!
Typically, installing an antenna onto your RV should only take about ten minutes. The best antennas for your RV will have snap-on mechanisms that lock into place.
The best RV antennas for reliable reception can be mounted in several locations, including the roof, bumper, mirror bars, and hood.
Decide where you want to put your antenna before you start shopping so you can choose the best one for your specific needs. Make sure you put it in a spot where it can easily be maneuvered to find the best reception.
If you’re worried about low-hanging obstacles you might want to invest in a side-mounted model. On the other hand, a roof-mounted antenna is better suited to areas where there isn’t a lot of space to maneuver.
Many of the portable antennas on the market can transmit Wi-Fi signals, which is pretty useful if you’re camping remotely and you want to connect to the internet.
The capabilities of each antenna will differ, so make sure to choose one with the capabilities that work best for your needs.
Wrapping up the Best RV Satellite Antennas
Whether you’re trying to keep up with the weather while on your trip, or just want to catch up on the new episodes of your favorite television show, we hope we’ve helped you choose the best RV antenna for your needs.
For more products to enhance your experience camping in your RV, check out our post on RV camping essentials!
- About the Author
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Brittany Tedford is a post-apocalyptic fiction author, an aspiring English teacher, and a writer for Apple Pie Media.
She currently lives in a small town in Northern Mississippi with her two children Anna and Eli, and her two cats Salem and Leo.
With a bachelor’s in Creative Writing and English and a master’s in the same discipline, Brittany is passionate about learning how to live off the land for camping trips, which is why she loves writing for Beyond The Tent. From the best camping gear to camping survival tips and tricks, to finding the perfect campground, there is so much information to share with others!
Brittany can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org