Portable satellite dish for RV

Best Portable Satellite Dish for RV: Get TV and Internet

Going on an outdoor trip in an RV camper with the whole family is a great way to bond and relax with the gang. However, this can mean going for days without the modern conveniences of technology.

The television has been a part of every family’s daily lives. Camping means you have to sacrifice TV time when you’re out in the great outdoors. If you’re in a dead spot area, this can also mean no Internet access. This has been a small problem before, but can now be solved with a portable satellite TV dish antenna made for your RV camper.

Want to know the best RV portable satellite dish right now? The Winegard SK-SWM3 DIRECTV Slimline is our top pick for overall features, and ease of use.

Sale
Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna
  • Fully automatic DIRECTV satellite antenna
  • Supports all new DIRECTV HD receivers
  • Provides simultaneous reception from 99...
  • Watch a variety of programs on different TVs...
  • Great to use with DVRs; watch and record from...

Table of Contents

What Is a Portable Satellite Dish for RV?

A portable satellite dish is an antenna used to receive satellite TV and Internet service. A satellite dish is literally useless without a satellite service provider. Most of these service providers have teamed up with companies that sell satellite dish antennas for their subscribers to use.

A portable satellite dish antenna is the perfect choice for those who love to travel far from the city, but would still want some of modern life’s conveniences. You may want to enjoy an afternoon streaming your favorite TV shows, surrounded by nature. Or you may want to catch the NBA Finals, which nobody should miss. With satellite service, you can enjoy what you love to do at home even while you are enjoying the great outdoors.

The Tripod Mounted RV Satellite Dish is an example of a portable satellite dish. This type of RV Satellite Dish is mounted on a movable, three-legged stand. It can be conveniently placed anywhere near your RV, where it can get an obstruction-free view of the southern sky. You can park your RV in a shaded area, and still be able to enjoy a great TV or Internet signal. It may be the perfect choice for those with smaller RV’s or those who use their RV’s roof for solar panels. The downside of a tripod mounted RV satellite dish is you need to set it up and dismantle it, every time you go out. It may also take up some space in your RV while you are still on the road.

Top 5 Best Portable Satellite Dish for RV Reviews

Why do RVers need a satellite antenna while camping?

Many campgrounds and off-grid campsites have no cable access, so if you want the comforts of home while traveling in your RV, a portable satellite dish is the way to go. There’s no need to miss favorite shows, weather updates, or sporting events when you can hook up to a personal satellite antenna.

So how can you choose a portable satellite dish that works best for your RV lifestyle?

Read this informative guide to the top five best portable RV satellite dishes! In this guide, you will find product pros and cons, essential features, feedback from real RVers, and who would benefit most from each RV satellite antenna model so you can confidently purchase the perfect satellite dish to suit your needs.

BEST FOR – RVers who want the flexibility of changing satellite TV carriers, without having the extra expense of switching to another portable satellite dish.

Sale
Winegard GM-6035 Carryout G2+ Portable Satellite Antenna for...
  • Carryout G2+ provides the same award winning,...
  • Satellite Providers (subscription required)...
  • 100% automatic, easy setup in just a few...
  • Optional Mounts (sold separately); roof...
  • Includes Satellite Antenna, Easy-Grip Handle,...

PROS:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy set up
  • Durable construction
  • Works with DISH, DirecTV, BellTV

CONS:

  • Requires separate receiver
  • Connectivity issues
  • No HD on DirecTV

The Winegard GM-6035 Satellite Antenna is a great choice because this RV dish supports three carriers, so you won’t have to switch antennas if you switch your carrier.

This lightweight, portable satellite dish for RVs features a power inserter which allows a single coax cable entry to your camper which reduces the stress of setting up and using the antenna. The antenna automatically adjusts to find the best reception as you change channels.

Customers love the strong reception, even during inclement weather and that this RV satellite supports HD programming for both DISH and BellTV subscriptions. They are also happy with the solid construction that handles RV travel without causing damage to the unit.

On the downside, this antenna is for stationary use only, and will not support HD DirecTV. Also, be careful when mounting the antenna permanently to your RV roof, as trees may cause poor reception. Using a portable antenna stand helps you avoid the trees while camping.

BEST FOR – RVers with DISH TV subscription who like the ability to watch a program on two separate TVs so you can move to another room or view TV outside on the patio.

KING VQ4500 Tailgater Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV...
  • Portable satellite TV antenna for DISH...
  • Use as either portable antenna or roof...
  • Supports multiple TV viewing with the...
  • Fully automatic satellite acquisition of...
  • Powered through receiver with no separate...

PROS:

  • Built-in dual coaxial outputs
  • Very lightweight
  • Automatic signal acquisition
  • Pay-as-you-go option

CONS:

  • DISH Network only
  • Acquiring signal takes some time
  • Some issues with water infiltration

The King VQ4500 Tailgater allows you to enjoy you SD or HD DISH satellite programs anywhere within the Continental US, which makes this portable satellite antenna ideal for RV lifestyles.

This KING antenna has built-in dual coaxial outputs, which means you can watch programming (same channel) on two TVs at once. 

Customers like the automatic-aiming antenna on this model and how quick it is to set up and use. RVers also love the no-contract, pay-as-you-go option DISH offers, so you only have to pay for service when you use it. You can also purchase the Solo HD receiver from DISH to add to your RV if you have their service at home.

Some customers note water getting into the dome after rain, which can affect internal components. This problem may be due to some faulty units without a proper seal, but be aware of this possible issue so you can protect your investment.

BEST FOR – RVers with DIRECTV service who camp with kids or just want the flexibility to watch different programming on different RV TVs simultaneously.

Sale
Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna
  • Fully automatic DIRECTV satellite antenna
  • Supports all new DIRECTV HD receivers
  • Provides simultaneous reception from 99...
  • Watch a variety of programs on different TVs...
  • Great to use with DVRs; watch and record from...

PROS:

  • Supports all new DIRECTV HD receivers
  • DIRECTV Genie campatible
  • Strong signal
  • Fully automatic
  • Simultaneous reception from different satellites

CONS:

  • Heavy
  • DIRECTV only
  • Roof mount only

The Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV’LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna is the answer for RVers who want the most flexibility when watching TV while on camping or full-time RVing.

The SK-SWM3 Slimline is the only automatic mobile antenna that offers the most programming in DIRECTV HD. The reflectors are certified and approved to provide powerful signal strength no matter when you choose to camp. 

Customers love how RVing families can avoid arguments over which show to watch because this RV antenna allows multi-satellite viewing so everyone can watch what they want on separate TVs. 

While this is a “portable” RV satellite dish, the design is a roof mount which makes lifting the heavier weight to your roof a concern if you choose to install this antenna alone. Please note that the manufacturer suggests professional installation for best results.

BEST FOR – RVers who want the flexibility of a no-contract, pay-when-you-use-it portable satellite to take along during camping trips.

Sale
Winegard Company PA-1000 DISH Playmaker Satellite TV Antenna
  • Portable Satellite Antenna - Perfect for the...
  • Easy Setup Portable Antenna - Powered by...
  • Fully-Automatic Dish - Automatically finds...
  • Sleek & Compact Portable Satellite Antenna -...
  • Enjoy DISH TV in HD - Works exclusively with...

PROS:

  • Quick setup
  • Automatic satellite search
  • Compact design
  • Works with DISH pay-as-you-go program

CONS:

  • Only works with DISH TV in HD
  • Single arc antenna

The Winegard Company PA-1000 Playmaker is the antenna you want if you only need to run your HD DISH TV subscription.

The large handle makes this satellite antenna easy and safe to move about your campsite. The handle also doubles as a secure way to attach a locking system if you’re afraid to leave your antenna unattended during your camping trips.

RVing customers like they can use this antenna with DISH Network’s pay-as-you-go program, which makes it a contract-free and affordable way to use during camping season. They also appreciate the strong signal strength that the military-grade aluminum reflector inside this antenna provides.

Customers found this single arc antenna works better the further West they travel. This aspect is due to this antenna only using the West coast satellite arc, but customers note that in any region of the country with a clear line for the signal, the reception was fine.

BEST FOR – RVers who like the option of in-motion viewing, like RVing families with motorhomes who need to entertain the kids during long trips.

Sale
Winegard 18-5138 RT2035T Black T4 in-Motion RV Satellite...
  • Fully automatic roof mounted antenna with one...
  • Watch live programming while traveling down...
  • Quiet system with improved tracking, updated...
  • Winegard's smallest in-motion antenna,...
  • Color: Black. Compatible Satellites - DISH:...

PROS:

  • In-motion reception
  • Compatible with DirecTV (SD), Bell TV (SD & HD), DISH (SD & HD)
  • Can support two receivers

CONS:

  • Expensive
  • Single satellite reception
  • No HD DirecTV signal

The Winegard RT2035T Black T4 RV Satellite Antenna is the only portable satellite dish for RVs in this review that allows viewing while your recreational vehicle is in motion.

This model of portable RV satellite antenna allows for multi-provider compatibility, so you can switch between carriers without having to purchase a new antenna. The lightweight and compact design make it easy to transport or mount to the roof of your recreational vehicle.

Customers appreciate the one button operation to turn the unit on and off and how the design upgrade to this fully-automatic antenna make it quieter as it tracks and quickly locks on a signal.

Customers are not as happy with the price point, considering this model only allows viewing of one channel at a time and that you can only get SD DirecTV programming.

Why Should You Get a Portable Satellite Dish for Your Recreational Vehicle?

Getting a portable satellite dish for your RV camper has many benefits. Here are some of them.

#1 – Enjoy Your Favorite TV Shows, Anywhere.

Unlike other technologies that let you enjoy TV reception while camping, a portable satellite dish is not limited by your current location. You can literally park your RV anywhere, and still get your satellite TV reception. You will get a satellite TV reception as long as your portable satellite dish has a clear view of the southern sky. It may be the perfect solution for those who love to travel far, but still want to enjoy some movie marathon night.

#2 – You Can Set It up in the Best Position Possible.

A portable satellite dish is not permanently mounted, so you can basically set it up anywhere. Unlike with other TV reception technologies, you do not have to park your RV out in the open. Park your RV in a cool, shaded area, and you can set your portable satellite dish in an open area, facing the southern sky. You can still get a clear and strong signal even when staying under the shade of trees, and enjoy watching movies and your favorite TV shows.

#3 – You Can Enjoy Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows in High Definition.

Portable satellite dish for watching movie

Everything is mostly high definition these days. There are HD ready portable satellite dishes available in the market. If your TV is HD-ready, then it is reasonable to get an HD ready portable satellite dish. It may be a bit pricier than non-HD satellite dishes, but the visual experience and enjoyment may be worth it.

#4 – You Can Use the Roof Space of Your Rv for Other Purposes.

If you have a small recreational vehicle, then chances are, you do not have much roof space. A roof-mounted satellite dish is bigger and will take up much of your roof space. You can save on roof space by choosing a portable satellite dish for your TV time in your RV camper. The available roof space can be used for your RV air conditioner, RV exhaust fan, and even solar panel cells to power your electrical devices in your RV camper.

#5 – You Can Save Money on Installation and Setup.

Installation and setup of roof-mounted satellite dish can be costly. A roof-mounted satellite dish needs trained service technicians to install it and set it up. For some, the extra cost is not enough to compensate for the convenience.
One of the benefits of portable satellite dish antennas is that you do not need to spend on its installation and setup. You can do it all by yourself.

#6 – You Can Keep It Safe from the Harsh Elements of the Environment.

A roof-mounted satellite dish, being fixed on the roof, has to withstand all the elements of the environment. It has to withstand thunderstorms, strong winds, and snowstorms. A portable satellite dish is not permanently mounted anywhere. You can keep it safe inside when the weather is not good, or it is too windy. You can easily dismantle it and keep it indoors. This way, you also keep it safe from burglars and thieves.

#7 – Enjoy More Than 150 Channels Even When You Are Outdoors.

You have more than a hundred to almost 300 channels at your fingertips that you and your family can enjoy, even when you are enjoying the great outdoors. Enjoy movie nights while camping with the whole gang. Never miss sports championships even when you are out in the wilderness. A portable satellite TV system could make all the difference in your road trips and camping vacations.

#8 – Stay Updated with Current Events and Important Updates.

Being outdoors does not mean you have to be cut-off from the rest of the world. More than ever, you may need to be aware of the current situation in your location, as well as the weather. If you are in a location with no internet access, then a satellite TV system can keep you updated about important news in your area.

#9 – You Have a Wide Range of Options with Portable Satellite Dishes.

Get TV and internet with best portable satellite dish for RV

Many portable satellite dishes for recreational vehicles are available in the market for you to choose from. It is important that you must buy the portable satellite dish that is compatible with your chosen satellite TV service provider. You can also choose one that has internet capabilities, but you must get a separate service provider for satellite internet.

#10 – Enjoy Your Favorite TV Shows, Anywhere.

Unlike other technologies that let you enjoy TV reception while camping, a portable satellite dish is not limited by your current location. You can literally park your RV anywhere, and still get your satellite TV reception. You will get a satellite TV reception as long as your portable satellite dish has a clear view of the southern sky. It may be the perfect solution for those who love to travel far, but still want to enjoy some movie marathon night.

#11 – You Can Set It up in the Best Position Possible.

A portable satellite dish is not permanently mounted, so you can basically set it up anywhere. Unlike with other TV reception technologies, you do not have to park your RV out in the open. Park your RV in a cool, shaded area, and you can set your portable satellite dish in an open area, facing the southern sky. You can still get a clear and strong signal even when staying under the shade of trees, and enjoy watching movies and your favorite TV shows.

#12 – You Can Enjoy Your Favorite Movies and TV Shows in High Definition.

Everything is mostly high definition these days. There are HD ready portable satellite dishes available in the market. If your TV is HD-ready, then it is reasonable to get an HD ready portable satellite dish. It may be a bit pricier than non-HD satellite dishes, but the visual experience and enjoyment may be worth it.

#13 – You Can Use the Roof Space of Your Rv for Other Purposes.

If you have a small recreational vehicle, then chances are, you do not have much roof space. A roof-mounted satellite dish is bigger and will take up much of your roof space. You can save on roof space by choosing a portable satellite dish for your TV time in your RV camper. The available roof space can be used for your RV air conditioner, RV exhaust fan, and even solar panel cells to power your electrical devices in your RV camper.

#14 – You Can Save Money on Installation and Setup.

Installation and setup of roof-mounted satellite dish can be costly. A roof-mounted satellite dish needs trained service technicians to install it and set it up. For some, the extra cost is not enough to compensate for the convenience.
One of the benefits of portable satellite dish antennas is that you do not need to spend on its installation and setup. You can do it all by yourself.

#15 – You Can Keep It Safe from the Harsh Elements of the Environment.

A roof-mounted satellite dish, being fixed on the roof, has to withstand all the elements of the environment. It has to withstand thunderstorms, strong winds, and snowstorms. A portable satellite dish is not permanently mounted anywhere. You can keep it safe inside when the weather is not good, or it is too windy. You can easily dismantle it and keep it indoors. This way, you also keep it safe from burglars and thieves.

#16 – Enjoy More Than 150 Channels Even When You Are Outdoors.

You have more than a hundred to almost 300 channels at your fingertips that you and your family can enjoy, even when you are enjoying the great outdoors. Enjoy movie nights while camping with the whole gang. Never miss sports championships even when you are out in the wilderness. A portable satellite TV system could make all the difference in your road trips and camping vacations.

#17 – Stay Updated with Current Events and Important Updates.

Being outdoors does not mean you have to be cut-off from the rest of the world. More than ever, you may need to be aware of the current situation in your location, as well as the weather. If you are in a location with no internet access, then a satellite TV system can keep you updated about important news in your area.

#18 – You Have a Wide Range of Options with Portable Satellite Dishes.

Many portable satellite dishes for recreational vehicles are available in the market for you to choose from. It is important that you must buy the portable satellite dish that is compatible with your chosen satellite TV service provider. You can also choose one that has internet capabilities, but you must get a separate service provider for satellite internet.

How to Set up Your Portable Satellite TV System?

When setting up the satellite TV system for your RV, you will need the following:

  • A portable satellite TV dish
  • A power source
  • A satellite TV receiver
  • Your TV

First and foremost, you must have an active account with a satellite TV service provider for you to enjoy your satellite TV system. Choose a portable satellite dish that is compatible with your satellite TV service provider.

Once you get to your camping site, choose a location that has a clear line of sight to the southern skies. The reason for this is that satellites are located above the earth’s equator. Place and attach your portable satellite dish on the tripod. Run the attached coaxial cable to your RV, where your satellite receiver and TV will be.

Connect the satellite dish to your satellite receiver by inserting the coaxial cable into the “satellite in” connection of your receiver.

Start your generator. Plug the receiver into the supply, and connect the receiver to your TV, using RCA connectors. For HDTV, you will need to use an HDMI cable. Plug your TV to your power source.
Once everything is set-up, you can then turn everything on. Make sure that your TV is switched to the correct input so you can see your provider’s start-up screen. It should take you to a series of instructions that you should follow, and the instructions will depend on what satellite TV service provider you have.

What Are the Other Types of Satellite Dish Available for Your RV?

Best portable satellite dish for RV

Roof Mounted Satellite Dish – As its name suggests, a Roof Mounted Satellite Dish is attached to the roof of your RV. It is usually attached to a fixed location of your RV’s roof. What makes it an excellent choice is that it is effortless to operate. You do not need to climb on your RV’s roof to adjust the position of your satellite dish. It usually comes with a remote control where with a simple push of the button, your satellite dish can automatically rotate to look for a signal. The speed at which it can lock on a strong signal will depend on your current location and your service provider.

Roof mounted satellite dishes are known to be reliable and simple to operate. They also do not take up precious space in your RV, since they are mounted on the roof. If you have a small RV, or you are using the roof of your RV for solar panels, it may not be a good choice for you. It is also more costly to install and set-up than its counterparts, but for some users, its ease of use is definitely a significant advantage.

An advantage of a portable satellite dish is that it is cheaper than its roof-mounted counterpart. You do not have to pay for costly installation and setup fees. With a tripod-mounted satellite dish, you are your own installer. This can be a hassle for some RV users. Setting up can take up as long as 60 minutes. And you have to do the process repeatedly, every single time you camp out.

What Are the Additional Hardware Needed with a Portable Satellite Dish?

Your portable satellite dish is merely a part of the whole satellite TV system for your RV camper. It will not work as intended on its own. Here are the additional types of hardware that you will need alongside your portable satellite dish.

#1 – Satellite Receiver

Your portable satellite dish is a special antenna designed to receive a specific signal from a broadcast source. The satellite receiver is the end component of your portable satellite TV system. It performs the following functions:

  • It descrambles the signal received by the satellite dish. The signal that is broadcasted by satellites is encrypted and will need to be decoded with a pre-programmed chip
  • It converts the signal into a format that your TV can display properly. If your TV is not HD ready, the receiver can convert the digital signal into the standard NTSC format used in the United States
  • It extracts the individual channel that you want to watch, and keeps track of pay-per-view TV programs

Some Satellite Receivers come with a DVR so you can record your favorite shows in them for you to watch again later.

#2 – Tripod

The tripod is where you will mount your portable satellite dish when you use it. It comes as part of a kit in some portable satellite dish brands. If you will buy separately, make sure to get a tripod that was built and created to support portable satellite TV dish antennas.

#3 – Power Source

Of course, for your portable satellite TV system to work, it must have a power source. You can use your RV’s battery, or a dedicated gas powered generator. However, you wouldn’t want to risk draining your RV’s car battery. A dedicated generator is advisable if you will be watching TV for more than two hours.

#4 – Choose a Service Provider

There are two satellite TV service providers that you can choose from in the United States: DirecTV and Dish Network System.

If you already have a subscription for your home with DISH, you can simply get a portable satellite dish, receiver, and their pay-as-you-go service. Your subscription will be extended to your portable unit. The best thing about their pay-as-you-go system is that it is pro-rated. This means that you will only be billed on the times that you used your portable satellite TV unit. However, you may need to pay for the full programming package if you do not have an existing home subscription with DISH.

For DirecTV, you have the option to pause your mobile and home satellite service accounts for 6 months of each year. Account suspension can be implemented in one billing cycle.

Both providers provide more than 150, up to 300 channels, depending on the package that you choose. For a comparison of the two service providers, click here.

What Should You Look for in a Portable Satellite Dish for Your RV Camper?

RV camper satellite TV dish

It is easy to get overwhelmed with the many options available in the market. Here are some factors that you should consider when looking for the right portable satellite dish for your RV camper.

#1 – It Must Have Automatic Satellite Tracking.

Automatic Satellite Tracking refers to the ability of a portable satellite dish to locate and point to the satellite with the strongest signal. All of this is done without your manipulation and control. If your portable satellite dish is not equipped with this capability, you have to manually aim your satellite dish to a satellite, which can be very difficult and frustrating.

#2 – It Can Support More Than One TV.

If you have more than one TV in your RV camper, then you must look for a portable satellite dish with this capability. There are satellite dish antennas that can power up to four TV’s

#3 – Domed or Open Antenna?

Domed Satellite TV Antennas have round covers over them. Domed antennas are protected from the wind and other weather elements. An Open Satellite TV Antenna, on the other hand, is your traditional saucer-shaped dish. They are more vulnerable to the elements of the weather, so you have to keep it away during inclement weather.

Some Last Words on Satellite TV Dish Antennas for Your RV Camper

Satellite TV is handy for locations without the convenience of a cable subscription. This is what makes it ideal for RV campers. If you love to go on trips that are far from towns and cities, then a portable satellite TV dish antenna may be perfect for you. Going on camping trips don’t have to be without the modern conveniences of a home. A portable satellite TV system allows you to enjoy hundreds of TV channels, even when you are on the road

Choosing the right portable satellite TV dish antenna and the right satellite TV service provider all depend on your preferences, location, and of course, budget. Each of the satellite TV service providers offers a wide range of packages for you to choose from. For your portable satellite dish antenna, review the specifications, features, pros, and cons, as well as the feedback of other RV owners.

Our recommended portable satellite dish for RV:

Sale
Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna
  • Fully automatic DIRECTV satellite antenna
  • Supports all new DIRECTV HD receivers
  • Provides simultaneous reception from 99...
  • Watch a variety of programs on different TVs...
  • Great to use with DVRs; watch and record from...

You must know what you want, from the channels you want to watch while on the road, to the features that you want to enjoy. This will make the process of choosing easier. A high-quality portable satellite dish for your RV is a good investment. It will definitely make your camping trips feel more like home.

Product data was last updated on 2019-09-20 at 22:37.

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