The 10 Best RV Antennas to Buy 2020

The 10 Best RV Antennas to Buy 2020

The best thing about life on the road in an RV is it brings you up close and personal with Mother Nature. National Parks filled with spellbinding beauty fill America from coast to coast, with scores of spectacular and diverse landscapes to explore.

After a long day soaking up all that scenic glory, there’s nothing more relaxing than vegging out in front of the TV. But when you’re tucked away deep in backcountry woodlands, getting a good signal can be testing at the best of times. That’s why you need a top-quality RV antenna: you can still enjoy your favorite shows wherever you may roam.

We’ve put together this in-depth buyer’s guide to educate you on everything there is to know about RV TV antennas. And to help make the purchasing process more accessible, we’ve rounded off a top 10 list of the best products on the market.

Before You Buy an RV Antenna

RV antennas aren’t all one and the same; there’s a fair bit more to the gadget than you may think. Before you start shopping for an antenna to attach to your rig, we recommend you mull over the following eight considerations. Note, this is a list of the top antennas for watching TV while in your RV. If you are looking for an antenna to boost your radio signal, you’ll want this list instead.

Type

RV antennas come in two distinct types—the basic UHF/VHF antenna or a satellite system. If you are looking for free TV over the airwaves, the basic option is your best bet. However, if you can’t imagine living without hundreds of channels and don’t mind a monthly subscription fee, then you’d best opt for satellite.

Dimensions

Roof real estate is essential on an RV as you need plenty of room to squeeze on solar panels, air vents, fans, sports equipment, and A/C units. Look for an RV antenna that will fit within the space you’ve got to spare.

Price

Our recommended RV antennas range from $50 to $1300, so the cost may be the deciding factor when working out what to buy. Forgoing fancy extras like exterior mounting, satellite subscriptions, and in-built boosters will save you significant sums of cash.

In-Built Boosters / Amplifiers (UHF/VHF Only)

Antennas with in-built boosters have an extended range to allow you to obtain a signal where you otherwise wouldn’t. If watching crystal clear TV in far-flung places is a must, it’s worth investing in one of these.

Mounting (UHF/VHF Only)

UHF/VHF RV antennas are either mounted inside or outside the rig, either on the roof or around the windscreen. Exterior antennas are more expensive to purchase and install but boast a superior range.

Multi / Omni-Directional (UHF/VHF Only)

Multi-directional antennas receive a signal from every direction, so you don’t have to move them, but their range isn’t great. Omnidirectional antennas have a long range but must be pointed towards the nearest tower by hand.

Dual Arc Technology (Satellite Only)

High-end RV satellite antennas have a fancy feature called Dual Arc Technology, which tracks signals from both east and west orbiting satellites. As a result, you’ll get a superior signal no matter what area of the country you are driving in, even when the weather’s not being nice. 

Networks (Satellite Only)

If you go for a satellite antenna, you need to think long and hard about which network you want to watch. Some only offer DISH, while others are compatible with DirecTV or BELL TV.

For more in-depth information about RV antennas, skip forward to our buyer’s guide.

Top 10 Best RV Antennas 2020

1. Best Overall Pick: KING OA8500 Directional Over-the-Air Antenna

KING OA8500 Directional Over-the-Air Antenna


Why we like it: This brilliant exterior directional antenna rotates 360 degrees to find the optimal signal.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: UHF/VHF
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • Multi / Omni-Directional: Omni-Directional
  • Dimensions: 12.00 x 16.00 x 8.90 inches
  • In-Built Booster: No

The OA8500 from KING is royalty in the RV antenna world thanks to its powerful omnidirectional antenna that outperforms the competition at this price point. The in-built signal finder uses SureLock technology to hone in on the best available signal, and an easy-to-use internal knob lets you rotate the antenna up to 360 degrees, letting you watch your favorite shows without interference.

Another nifty feature of this antenna is its built-in signal meter that helps you find the nearest TV tower (no more Googling their locations) to find the best possible signal in a flash. Once the meter locks on, simply run a channel scan on your tuner, and you’re ready to roll.

We find it does an outstanding job at enhancing UHF reception, a massive bonus considering the most popular channels are broadcast in this frequency. Nonetheless, for the most part, it also does well at picking up VHF, so there’s usually nothing to worry about if you want to tune into this frequency as well.

If real estate on your roof is in short supply (as it often is when you’ve stacked on several solar panels), you’ll be pleased to know the KING OA8500 is also one of the smallest exterior antennas on the market. At a petite 12 x 16 x 8.9 inches, you’ve still got plenty of room for solar, A/C, and a fan or two.

The only downside to KING is their customer support isn’t the best. If you run into problems or just want help with the install, expect to wait for days for a response (or work it out for yourself).

Pros

  • Powerful directional antenna
  • Compact design saves on roof space
  • SureLock technology finds the closest tower
  • Excels at receiving UHF signals
  • Rotates 360 degrees

Cons

  • Directional antennas require manual configuration
  • Customer support can be lacking at times

2. Best Budget Pick: Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Indoor Antenna

Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Indoor Antenna


Why we like it: This best-selling product from Winegard performs well and is super inexpensive.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: UHF/VHF
  • Mounting: Indoor
  • Multi / Omni-Directional: Multi-directional
  • Dimensions: 12 x 0.6 x 13 inches

Winegard is one of the biggest names in the TV antenna game, and its flagship indoor FlatWave FL5500A model is a testament to their success. Despite being an indoor antenna, the unit boasts an impressive range thanks to its high-tech in-built amplifier. Forget about tracking down a booster separately because Winegard has already got you covered.

A low 1dB of noise ensures the signal is crystal clear, at least compared to many of its low-cost competitors. And the fact it’s an indoor model negates the need for expensive exterior installation. Whether you hang it on a wall or lay it flat on the table or floor, the device does an outstanding job of intercepting a UHF/VHF signal.

This particular model isn’t specifically designed for RVs, but that’s no reason not to purchase one for your rig. The ultra-thin, multi-directional antenna looks sleek and sophisticated as well, perfect for RVers who don’t want to ruin their interior aesthetic with an unsightly design. If you like the look and feel of the FlatWave but don’t want to fork over much cash, it also comes in a cheaper, non-amplified model that has a lower range.

A word of warning, though: Multi-directional antennas work best when the TV towers are located in different directions. If you tend to RV in an area where the towers are all located in the same direction, you’d be better off grabbing an omnidirectional antenna. Nonetheless, for the vast majority of RVers out there, multi-directional antennas get the job done.

Pros

  • In-built booster/amplifier
  • Impressive range
  • Reasonably priced
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform as well as exterior antennas
  • Not ideal when all TV towers are in the same direction

3. Best Premium Pick: Winegard RVW-395 Sensar

Winegard RVW-395 Sensar


Why we like it: Put simply; it’s the best UHF/VHF RV antenna money can buy.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: UHF/VHF
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • In-built Booster: Yes
  • Dimensions: 47.6 x 15.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Omni / Multidirectional: Omnidirectional

If you’re an avid watcher of free-to-air TV and you don’t mind spending extra on a powerful exterior antenna to pick up your favorite UFH/VHF shows, look no further than the Winegard RVW-395 Sensar.

Although it comes in at about double the cost as our top pick, the KING OA8500 Directional Over-the-Air Antenna, it’s well worth it if you’re planning on watching free-to-air TV in remote areas. An effective in-built booster makes the Winegard RVW-395 Sensar the best performing UHF/VHF antenna on the market, boasting a whopping 55-mile range. And with that kind of reach, you’re bound to get a decent signal just about everywhere you go.

We do find the Sensar isn’t quite as good as the KING OA8500 in terms of usability, as there’s no SureLock system to help you pinpoint the nearest tower. Nonetheless, it’s easy to raise and lower with a hand crank inside the RV, and it won’t take you all that long to set it up and start watching some shows.

The big drawback here, however, is the size. The Sensar requires 46.25 inches by 15.25 inches of unobstructed roof space on your rig, a hefty area that inhibits your ability to pack on more solar and other goodies. But if you’re driving around in a big rig or towing an oversized fifth wheeler, then you’ve probably got plenty of roof real estate to squeeze this one in.

Pros

  • Longest ranged UHF/VHS receiver on the market
  • Easy to use hand crank and direction adjuster
  • Perfect for watching UHF/VHS in remote areas
  • In-built booster for optimal performance

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No tower finder functionality
  • Takes up a lot of room

4. Best RV Satellite Antenna: Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna

Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna


Why we like it: The high-performing Winegard Pathway X2 connects seamlessly to the DISH network in even the most challenging weather conditions.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Satellite
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • Dimensions: 24.2 x 22.5 x 20.7 inches
  • Dual Arc Technology: Yes
  • Networks: DISH

RVers in love with satellite TV would be wise to invest in the Pathway X2, a high-powered satellite antenna/receiver designed for the DISH network. The expansive Pay-As-You-Go network features a broad selection of quality movies and shows, enough to keep even the most passionate couch potato enthused for months on end. One thing we love about DISH is there’s no pricey activation fee or annual contract, which usually equates to significant savings for the casual user.

Those of you rolling around in massive mobile homes will be delighted to hear the system works with two TVs simultaneously; there’ll be no more twiddling your thumbs while the kids watch Frozen for the third time that day. Another nifty plus is that the antenna is 100% automated, so all you have to do is tell it what state you’re in and let the micro-processor do the rest—that gives you precious extra time to catch up on your favorite films.

Unlike some of the cheaper RV satellite antennas on the market, the Pathway X2 incorporates dual arc technology to intercept both east and west orbiting satellites. And that high-tech duality lets you enjoy the high definition DISH network regardless of the weather conditions.

It’s easy to clean and set up, too. The system runs off one coax cable (no need for an extra power cord), and you can quickly wipe it clean with a damp cloth should you notice the signal falter.

If you need a roof mount kit, you’ll need to purchase one separately. Otherwise, you can just plop it on the ground (use the stand to keep it safe from dew) outside your rig. Just remember to bring it back inside when you’re done because you wouldn’t want a fellow RVer to wander off with this expensive bit of kit.

Pros

  • Receives east and west orbital arcs for superior signal
  • Works well in adverse weather conditions
  • Compatible with the DISH Pay-As-You-Go network (good for casuals)
  • Automated system tunes TV automatically
  • Easy to set up and clean

Cons

  • Pricier than most satellite antennas
  • Doesn’t include roof mount kit

5. Most Convenient: KING OA1501 OmniGo HDTV Antenna

KING OA1501 OmniGo HDTV Antenna


Why we like it: The KING OA1501 doesn’t require any tuning or pointing; just place it on the ground, and you’re good to go.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: UHF/VHF
  • Mounting: Exterior (portable)
  • Omni / Multidirectional: Omni-directional
  • Dimensions: 10 x 10 x 2 inches
  • In-built Booster: Yes

After a long hard day driving through this gorgeous country of ours, the last thing you want to do is stuff around with a TV antenna to obtain a decent signal. And that’s where the KING OA1501 OmniGo shines—this handy little antenna does all the legwork for you.

The antenna incorporates the best of both worlds: omnidirectional technology gives you an impressive range of up to 50 miles, while multi-directional signal acquisition means you don’t have to point it in the right direction yourself. No installing, no tuning, no rotating—just set it and forget it.

Sure, its range won’t match the dedicated omnidirectional antennas on our list, but avoiding the hassle of manual configuration makes that a worthy sacrifice. Plug it in, turn it on, and let the amplified signal booster work its magic.

Now, there’s one rather big caveat to consider here: the device cannot be mounted onto an RV. Instead, you’ll have to carry it outside and place it on a tripod on the ground (it doesn’t work indoors), which does add a layer of effort.

A magnetic RV mount comes included in the deal, but it’s only intended for temporary use. Should you forget to take it off and drive away, there’s a very good chance it’ll end up on the highway. On the bright side, its durable design is sturdy and weatherproof, so it might still be working when you double back to find it again.

Pros

  • Omni-directional range with multi-directional signal acquisition
  • Doesn’t require installation, tuning, or rotating
  • Compact and lightweight design enhances portability
  • Range of up to 50 miles in favorable conditions
  • Comes with a tripod and magnetic RV mount

Cons

  • Cannot be attached to RV; must be placed outside
  • Magnetic mount isn’t suitable for driving

6. Best Basic Satellite Antenna: Winegard PL-7000R DISH Playmaker

Winegard PL-7000R DISH Playmaker


Why we like it: The PL-7000R Playmaker brings satellite TV to your RV for an affordable price.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Satellite
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 13 inches
  • Dual Arc Technology: No
  • Network: DISH

Satellite TV is an expensive endeavor, especially when you’re living life on the road. Not only do you need to invest in a pricey dish for your rig, but you’ll have to sign up for a paid subscription to access the best movies and shows.

Winegard understands this, and that’s why they bought out the PL-7000R Playmaker, which costs well over a hundred dollars less than their premium model, the Pathway X2 PA6002R. With the money saved, you can watch a plethora of Pay-As-You-Go movies and shows through the DISH network.

Of course, if you’re paying less, you’re not going to get the same quality, and there are a few notable drawbacks to this device. First off, it doesn’t come with dual orbital arc technology, which intercepts signals from satellites traveling both east and west. In short, that means it won’t quite work as well in adverse weather conditions.

Another downside is the PL-7000R Playmaker doesn’t work on two TVs at once, but for RVers with modest-sized rigs, that isn’t going to be an issue. And finally, it doesn’t come with a roof mount, although you can buy one separately for a reasonable sum.

Despite these missing features, the PL-7000R Playmaker offers the high-quality design you’d expect from Winegard. As part of the package, you get a durable dish with an aluminum alloy reflector for an optimal signal interception. A remote control enhances usability, and in-built apps like Netflix are superb for streaming (internet not included, so use your cellphone hot spot).

What’s more, the dish automatically tunes in to the appropriate orbital locations, so you don’t have to stuff around setting it up manually.

Pros

  • Good value for money satellite antenna
  • Works on the DISH network
  • Automatic tuning mechanism
  • User-friendly remote control

Cons

  • Doesn’t work perfectly in adverse weather
  • Can’t watch two TVs at once
  • Roof mount must be bought separately

7. Best Boosted Range: Winegard RZ-6035 Rayzar

Winegard RZ-6035 Rayzar


Why we like it: A non-crank rotation mechanism and an impressive boosted range make the RZ-6035 Rayzar a worthy contender.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: UHF/VHF
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • Max Range: 50 miles
  • Dimensions: 7 x 16.25 x 8.4 inches
  • In-Built Booster: Yes

This high-performance model from Winegard comes with an in-built booster to afford the antenna an impressive 50-mile range, which is only 5 miles less than our top premium pick, the RVW-395 Sensar.

Although it works with omnidirectional technology, as most good exterior-mounted antennas do, the RZ-6035 Rayzar doesn’t require you to crank the antenna because the unit is fixed in place. And anyone who’s had to wind up an antenna every day for months and years on end will understand just how tiresome the chore can become.

The streamlined design of the RZ-6035 Rayzar looks sleek on the latest model RVs, and the fact it comes in both black and white options guarantees it’ll look slick on your rig. We found the UHF reception to be outstanding, although VHF was a little lacking at times. At least all the mounting equipment and cables come included in the package, so there’s no need to purchase anything else.

Another big plus of the RZ-6035 Rayzar is it’s been designed to be easily retrofitted over the top of an existing antenna. So if you’ve already got an exterior antenna in place and you’re not entirely happy with its range, then consider upgrading to this model for an easy fix.

Pros

  • Fixed design doesn’t require cranking
  • Comes with an in-built booster for a 50-mile range
  • Strong UHF signal interception
  • Sleek modern design with two color options
  • Easily replaces an old antenna

Cons

  • VHF signal isn’t always perfect

8. Best for DirecTV: KING VQ4100 Quest Satellite TV Antenna

KING VQ4100 Quest Satellite TV Antenna


Why we like it: This high-quality satellite antenna is a brilliant choice for users with a subscription to DirecTV.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Satellite
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • Dimensions: 17 x 18.75 x 13.5 inches
  • Dual Arc Technology: No
  • Network: DirecTV

While many of the satellite antennas we recommend work exclusively with the DISH network, the KING VQ4100 Quest is a suitable alternative for anyone who’d rather watch DirecTV.

A subsidiary of AT&T, DirecTV is one of the leading satellite broadcasters in America, boasting a whole host of exciting entertainment packages to choose from. In particular, their sports coverage is better than most, so the KING VQ4100 for those who love nothing more than cheering for their team.

If DirecTV isn’t your network of choice, you can easily upgrade to the KING KOP4800 One Pro version, which is compatible with the DISH network as well.

As for the equipment, it’s got all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a premium KINGS product. Its tough weather-resistant design is able to withstand the rigors of Mother Nature, while both portable and roof-mounted options afford ample flexibility. You can even use it to watch two TVs at once, although you’ll need to have two receivers installed. And the fact that it’s powered via the coaxial cable means there’s no need for an external power supply.

On the downside, you’ll only be able to watch Standard Definition programming, which is the primary reason we don’t rate this model as high as others on our list.

Pros

  • Perfect for DirecTV users
  • Sturdy weather and wind-resistant design
  • Roof-mounted and portable options
  • Doesn’t require an external power supply

Cons

  • No HD programming

9. Best In-Motion Satellite Antenna: Winegard RT2035T Roadtrip T4

Winegard RT2035T Roadtrip T4


Why we like it: The Roadtrip T4 lets the kids watch satellite TV while you drive.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Satellite / In-Motion
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • Dimensions: 15.6 x 18.75 x 15.63 inches
  • Dual Arc Technology: Yes
  • Networks: DISH, DirecTV, BELL

Every parent knows how annoying kids can be on a road trip—there’s only so many times you can patiently explain, “No, we’re not there yet.”

But what if there were a way to keep them entertained while you focus on driving? Enter the RT2035T Roadtrip T4, an ‘In-Motion’ satellite antenna that can pick up a crystal clear picture while you’re doing 70mph on the freeway.

While standard satellite antennas don’t have a hope of intercepting signals at such speeds, In-Motion technology overcomes that obstacle—and it’s a godsend for traveling RV families. Of course, it’s highly irresponsible (and illegal) for a driver to watch TV, so you’ll need to position the screen well away from any rearview mirrors.

Aside from the advanced In-Motion feature, the RT2035T Roadtrip T4 makes for a mighty fine satellite antenna. RVers can use it to watch not one but three networks—DISH, DirecTV, and BELL TV—with impressive clarity anywhere in America.

A simple one-push button mechanism sets the machine in action, prompting it to make all the necessary configurations and signal acquisitions on your behalf. It’s super quiet, too, so there’s very little chance you’ll hear the unit over the roar of the engine.

The downside to the design is price: In-Motion antennas don’t come cheap. At well over a thousand bucks a pop, this product is by far the most expensive on our list.

Pros

  • The kids can watch satellite TV while you drive
  • Three different networks to choose from
  • One-push button configuration
  • Quiet operating mechanism

Cons

  • Expensive

10. Best for Bad Weather: KING DTP4950 DISH Tailgater Pro Bundle

KING DTP4950 DISH Tailgater Pro Bundle


Why we like it: This high-tech satellite receiver incorporates dual arc technology to pick up a signal when the weather is playing foul.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts:

  • Type: Satellite
  • Mounting: Exterior
  • Dimensions: 17 x 18.75 x 13.5 inches
  • Dual Arc Technology: Yes
  • Networks: DISH

The DISH Tailgater Pro Bundle is KING’s answer to the Winegard Pathway X2, offering almost identical functionality for a similar price.

Much like the Winegard model, this state-of-the-art antenna features dual arc technology to intercept signals from both east and west orbiting satellites, thus giving the user a superb viewing experience on rainy and cloudy days. You can also connect it to two televisions at once, which is fantastic when you want some alone time. Furthermore, as with the Winegard, you can use it to run apps like Netflix and games, although you’ll need an existing Wi-Fi connection with plenty of spare data.

Coming in at just 8 pounds and measuring a meager 17 x 18.75 x 13.5 inches, it’s smaller and more compact than the Pathway X2, a blessing when you’re running out of room on the roof of your rig.

Although the two products are super similar on paper, we did find the Winegard to have better performance, especially in poor weather conditions. Nonetheless, the Tailgater Pro Bundle from KING is still an excellent RV satellite antenna that’s worthy of consideration.

Pros

  • Dual arc technology performs well in wet weather
  • Can be used on two TVs at once
  • Plays apps like Netflix (Wi-Fi connection required)
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Doesn’t perform as well as the Pathway X2

RV Antennas Buyer’s Guide


Here’s where we dish out the nitty-gritty on everything there is to know about RV antennas. We recommend giving this section a thorough read through before purchasing an antenna to ensure you’re making a well-informed decision.

What Is An RV Antenna?

An RV antenna, also known as an RV TV antenna, works in much the same way as your TV antenna at home. The device intercepts the radio waves broadcast by nearby television stations or satellites and transforms them into something called ‘radio frequency alternating currents.’ Your TV has an in-built tuner, which uses these currents to create a signal.

The big difference between an RV TV antenna and a standard house antenna is that it’s specially designed to fit on a vehicle and features a compact, wind-resistant design to keep it firmly held in place.

RV UHF/VHS Versus RV Satellite Antennas

Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) and Very High Frequency (VHF) antennas are the cheapest and most common method of intercepting television broadcast signals in America. Generally speaking, VHF channels occupy numbers 2 until 13, while UHF takes 14 to 51. All the UHF/VHF RV antennas on our list work with both frequencies, allowing them to pick up a wide range of popular American TV channels, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS, and more. UHF/VHF antennas must be within a certain range of a TV tower to function, which can be challenging when you’re traveling about in remote areas.

RV satellite antennas, on the other hand, are an outdoor parabolic antenna, commonly referred to as a satellite dish, which intercepts a signal from a satellite orbiting the earth. As the signals are broadcast from space, there’s no requirement to be close to a TV tower. Therefore, the RVer can watch their favorite TV shows anywhere on earth (provided there isn’t an obstruction like thick foliage or rain clouds), which is ideal for travelers who love getting well off the beaten track.

Because satellite communication technology is expensive, these services require a paid subscription to watch.

As these two technologies are unique, a satellite dish won’t pick up UHF/VHF signals, and a UHF/VHF antenna won’t intercept satellite signals. Of course, if you want to watch both free-to-air and subscription TV, then you can always install both options in your rig.

Outdoor Antennas Versus Indoor Antennas (UHF/VHF Only)

RV with an antenna attached to the roof

All satellite antennas must be installed on the outside of your RV to receive a signal. Note that you’ll also need to have a relatively clear view of the sky, so satellite antennas don’t always work properly when you’re parked in dense woodlands.

UHF/VHF antennas can both be installed inside your RV or out. The interior models are much cheaper, both in the purchase price and because they don’t require professional installation. All you need to do is plug it in and adjust the antenna rods until you find the optimal signal.

Investing in an exterior RV UHF/VHF antenna will allow you to enjoy a significantly clearer signal as the walls of your RV won’t block the radio waves. Furthermore, exterior antennas tend to be bigger and more sophisticated, which results in a superior range.

The only interior antenna we recommend is the Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Indoor Antenna, which offers a reasonable range at a low-low price. All other antennas on our list must be installed or placed outside your RV.

Satellite antennas must always be installed on the roof or set on a tripod on the ground. As they require a direct line of sight with the sky, they simply won’t work if you try to use them inside.

RV TV Antenna Boosters (UHF/VHF Only)

If you’re always struggling to find a good signal while on the road, an aerial signal booster might cure your TV woes. The high-tech devices work by overcoming signal losses to create a clearer and more consistent picture on your screen.

It’s important to note these machines aren’t magic—they won’t be able to intercept a signal when there isn’t one in the first place. But if you’ve got a weak or inconsistent signal, they may be able to boost it into a more reliable one. And unlike cellphone boosters—which typically cost upwards of a grand—antenna boosters are relatively cheap, so you don’t have much to lose.

Also note, however, that boosters can pick up too much signal or amplify the wrong signals, which may even make the situation worse.

Many of our favorite UHF/VHF RV antennas come with a booster already built into the design. However, you may need to purchase one separately, in which case this model from Channel Master is the best of the bunch.

Multi-Directional Antennas Versus Omni-Directional Antennas (UHF/VHF Only)

There are two main types of UHF/VHF antennas: multi-directional and omnidirectional.

Multi-directional antennas intercept signals coming from any direction, which means you don’t usually have to move them around a lot to find a good signal. However, as they don’t focus in any particular direction, these antennas have a substantially inferior range.

If you tend to stick close to major metropolitan regions, you’ll do okay. But should you venture well off the beaten track, you may find a multi-directional antenna just doesn’t have the range you need.

Omni-directional RV antennas focus their receiver in one specific direction; therefore, you’ll need to manually point the antenna—normally by way of a hand crank—in the appropriate direction. And that means you’ll first have to figure out where the nearest TV tower is (hint: it’s usually in the same direction of the closest city).

The process is a bit more cumbersome, but the benefit is you can pick up a TV signal from much further away than you could with a multi-directional antenna.  If you’re someone who loves getting as far away from civilization as possible, then an omnidirectional antenna is the obvious UHF/VHF choice.

Try the KING OA8500 Directional Over-the-Air Antenna if you want an omnidirectional antenna or the Winegard FL5500A FlatWave Amped Indoor Antenna if multi-directional sounds okay by you.

Dual Arc Technology (Satellite Only)

Satellites orbit the earth in either an easterly or westerly direction, and most antennas on the market will only track those traveling one way or another. Some high-end antennas, however, have a specialized processor called ‘Dual Arc Technology,’ which allows them to track both orbital arcs at once.

As satellites traveling in the same direction are often few and far between, Dual Arc Technology allows an antenna to intercept a far superior signal. The difference is particularly profound during heavy cloud or rain, when the satellites on both orbital arcs work together to enhance the signal substantially.

If you tend to travel in perpetually rainy or overcast regions and can’t stand the thought of going without a signal for an extended period, then it would be well worth investing in an antenna featuring Dual Arc Technology. Our favorite model is the Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna.

How To Improve Your TV Signal in Your RV

Regardless of what kind of RV antenna you’ve installed on your RV, there will still be times when your signal—be it satellite or UHF/VHF—is frustratingly weak. But don’t despair, for there are a few simple things you can do to fix the issue.

Scan Your Channels Again (UHF/VFS Only)

Because you’re always on the move in your RV, your TV could become out of tune as you venture from place to place. To rectify the issue, you can simply re-scan the channels on the tuner that’s built into your TV. Use the remote to open up the settings and look for the option to re-scan your channels, a process that should only take a minute or two.

Research the Broadcast Stations in Your Area (UHF/VFS Only)

Re-scanning your TV tuner doesn’t always automatically find the optimal frequency in your area—sometimes; a little manual tuning can go a long way. Google the correct frequency of the station you want to watch in your area and do a manual scan through the tuner function in your TV settings.
Locate the nearest TV tower

Another nifty trick is to find out where the nearest broadcasting tower is—again, Google is your friend here—and manually adjust the antenna to point in that direction. Pro tip: the closest tower will likely reside in the direction of the nearest metropolitan area.

Adjust Your Antenna (UHF/VHF Only)

RVers traveling in low altitude areas may be able to raise their exterior antenna to obtain a better signal. If the model you’ve got doesn’t allow this, you could look into creating a manually operated rising mechanism or installing an antenna extension.

Should you have an interior antenna, you might get better results by moving it around and pointing it in different directions.

Camp Strategically (UHF/VHF And Satellite)

Mountains, forests, canyons, and ravines all inhibit the ability of your antenna to intercept a reliable signal. Moving your RV into a wide-open field and avoiding rugged terrain will help you achieve a clearer picture on the TV.

Try parking under the open sky, away from tree branches that may block the signal. Rotating the dish or antenna to give it a clear line of sight with the sky often yields positive results as well.

Check Your Coaxial Cables (UHF/VHF And Satellite)

Closely examine your coaxial cable (the one that connects the TV to the antenna) to check for signs of wear and tear. If it appears frayed or kinked, a replacement cable might help you get a better signal.

You should also double-check it’s properly plugged in. The constant bumps and vibrations that occur on the road have a habit of niggling cables out of place over time.

Plug Into The Cable TV Hook-up At Your RV Park (Satellite Only)

Sure, this isn’t the ideal solution to your weak signal woes. But if you’ve wracked your brains and still can’t find an answer, then opting for a cable TV hook up at the nearest RV park is a sure-fire way to get back in front of the TV.

And if you’re favorite football team is due to kick off an incredibly important game, it’s the only way to guarantee you won’t miss a minute of the action.

RV Antenna FAQs

If you’ve got this far and still have more questions, there’s a good chance you’ll find them below.

How Do I Install an RV Antenna?

Exterior UHF/VHF antennas and satellite dishes may require a professional installation, in which a technician will get the unit working on your behalf. All you need to do is scan for channels on your TV tuner, which you’ll find in the settings menu.

If you fancy yourself as a bit of a handyman (or woman), then it’s entirely possible to install these on your own. Pay close attention to the instruction manual to ensure you don’t make any mistakes as you go.

For interior UHF/VHF RV antennas, you’ll only need to plug the device into the TV and move it around until you find the sweet spot.

How Do I Use an RV Antenna?

RV antennas are designed to be easy enough to use for the layman, so you shouldn’t have any issues getting yours to work if it’s in good condition.

  1. Ensure the antenna is installed correctly
  2. Use the hand crank to point the antenna towards the closest TV tower (omnidirectional UHF/VHF only)
  3. Scan for channels using the tuner function in your TV (try the settings menu)
  4. Start watching your favorite shows

Be aware that depending on the type of antenna you’re using, and where you’re located in America, you may or may not be able to obtain an acceptable signal. RV life can be challenging at times, and spotty reception is one of the many hurdles that may come your way. If you can’t fathom the thought of going without TV, then a satellite antenna is worth the extra expense.

How to Point an RV Antenna?

There’s really no right or wrong answer here, and the process often requires a bit of trial and error. Move the antenna around in different directions until the signal improves. If that fails, try re-scanning your channels with the antenna in different positions to see what yields the best results.

Researching where the nearest broadcasting tower is and aligning your antenna accordingly might help expedite the process.

Do RV Antennas Receive Wi-Fi?

The term ‘RV antenna’ refers to TV antennas, none of which are capable of receiving a 3G/4G signal or any other sort of internet connection. Although some poorly researched buyer’s guides out there claim RV antennas are capable of obtaining ‘Wi-Fi,’ that’s simply not the case.

Most RVers use their cellphone as a mobile hotspot, which they can connect to via a Smart TV or normal TV via a streaming dongle like Roku.

If you’re looking for a way to boost your cellphone signal, then you need to invest in a cellphone signal booster.

RV Antennas: Final Thoughts

In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know about RV antennas and compiled a list of the top 10 options on the market. And as avid RVers and shameless tech geeks ourselves, we’ve spared no effort in bringing you the most accurate and up-to-date information on the net.

Now that you’re well versed in the technology and the various different options, we recommend you browse through our recommendations to find the perfect antenna for your needs—there’s bound to be something on there that aligns with your budget and requirements.

And once you’ve got the ideal antenna installed on your rig, you’ll have the freedom to watch crystal clear TV in your RV while relaxing or doing laundry, even when visiting the most remote locales.