Tools & Equipment
7 Best RV Antennas of 2020
Camping is fun, no doubt, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy television as well. Installing an RV antenna will enable you to enjoy the best of both worlds: Nature and Television.
An RV antenna allows you to watch different local shows from different television stations along the way, and you can also keep up with the rest of the world and with your favorite shows through satellite if that's what you want.
There are certain issues that you'll need to consider when making your choice and that's what this RV antennas review presents you with, as well as a list of the top offers in the market.
7 Best RV Antennas – Review
1. Winegard RVW-395 Sensar (Powder-coated & Has a Lift)
2. Winegard RV-Wing (Snap-On Antenna Booster for Winegard Sensar)
3. King OA8300 (Upgrade Batwing Antennas to Digital HD Reception)
4. Winegard Pathway PA-6002 (Fully Automatic Satellite Tracking Receiver)
5. Antop AT-414B (Omni-directional Outdoor UFO Antenna)
6. King DT4400 (Compact DISH Tailgater Satellite Antenna)
7. Winegard PL-7000 Playmaker (Affordable Satellite Antenna for DISH)
1. Winegard RVW-395 Sensar
(Powder-coated & Has a Lift)
2. Winegard RV-Wing
(Snap-On Antenna Booster for Winegard Sensar)
3. King OA8300
(Upgrade Batwing Antennas to Digital HD Reception)
4. Winegard Pathway PA-6002
(Fully Automatic Satellite Tracking Receiver)
5. Antop AT-414B
(Omni-directional Outdoor UFO Antenna)
6. King DT4400
(Compact DISH Tailgater Satellite Antenna)
7. Winegard PL-7000 Playmaker
(Affordable Satellite Antenna for DISH)
1. Winegard RVW-395 Sensar – Powder-coated RV Antenna with Lift
- Material: Aluminum
- Size: 47.6 x 15.9 x 8.5 inches
- Weight: 9 pounds
The Winegard RVW-395 is one of the best portable RV antennas that you can get for over-the-air television reception. It's designed for both VHF and UHF reception and does well for both SD and HD channels.
This antenna's reception is also impressive, as it can pick up TV signals from up to 55 miles away. In addition to that, it includes a lift system that lets you raise it from 4 inches up to 30 inches high for better reception.
For its cons, the lift system works by hand cranking, it includes some plastic parts, and you can't receive satellite networks with it.
It, however, comes with a powder-coating that makes it very durable, it includes a 75-Ohm amplifier for crystal clear images, and Winegard backs it with a 2-year warranty.
2. Winegard RV-Wing – Snap-On Antenna Booster for Winegard Sensar
- Material: Aluminum
- Size: 18 x 15.1 x 1.8 inches
- Weight: 1.35 pounds
Winegard antennas are one of the best RV antennas with an impressive range but UHF signals often suffer more distortion than VHF signals because of their shorter wavelength.
So, when you find yourself in a low signal area, you'll probably lose more UHF signals than VHF ones, and the solution is a UHF signal booster, which is what Winegard offers here.
The downsides are that it only works on Winegard antenna and it only boosts UHF signals. It, however, doubles the UHF reception of your previously installed Winegard Sensar antenna and lets you watch a lot more over-the-air stations for free.
3. King OA8300 – Upgrade Batwing Antennas to Digital HD Reception
- Material: Plastic
- Size: 12 x 16 x 2 inches
- Weight: 1.5 pounds
If you already got an RV antenna and are just looking for the best digital RV antenna to upgrade it with, then this King OA8300 offer provides you with the perfect upgrade antenna kit.
It comes with a sleek design and an ultra-high gain amplify to boost your over-the-air television reception while including HD digital channels.
The con here is that there's no mount in the package because it's designed to replace older antennas. King, however, offers an option to get this antenna with a mount.
It includes mounting brackets for RV or home use, comes with power supply, and its sleek and small design also means less wind resistance.
4. Winegard Pathway PA-6002 – Fully Automatic Satellite Tracking Receiver
- Size: 23.3 x 21.8 x 15.4 inches
- Weight: 16 pounds
The Winegard PA-6002 is a satellite tracking and receiver system designed specifically for the DISH satellite network and its aim is to make satellite reception on the go easy and affordable.
All you need to do is to set it up and it does the rest. It's also programmed to hook up to either the satellites in the eastern or western arcs, for when a side gets blocked by trees, for instance.
Although it's a top-rated RV antenna, it doesn't come with a mount, so you'll need to buy it separately. Also, you can only use it when you're stationary and only with the DISH network.
Else, it's an affordable way to receive satellite television wherever you are. All you need to do is to set your state and the Pathway X2 will do the rest.
5. Antop AT-414B – Omni-directional Outdoor UFO RV Antenna
- Material: Plastic
- Size: 3.7 x 15 x 15 inches
- Weight: 3.85 pounds
One major problem with VHF/UHF RV antennas is their size, which creates many problems while the RV is on the road. So, an outdoor RV antenna needs to come as small as possible, while maintaining a high level of signal reception.
This Antop AT-414B omnidirectional antenna is exactly that. It features a compact size and design, which eliminates wind load, does not cause any obstruction, and is additionally very efficient.
It can receive signals from up to 65 miles away without needing you to turn it around for the best reception in any way. This comes from its signal booster switch for its Smartpass amplifier and its 4G filter that blocks all interference from mobile phones and wireless networks.
The downside is that you can get cheaper VHF/UHF digital TV antennas elsewhere, but they're probably not gonna be as cool and efficient.
6. King DT4400 – Compact DISH Tailgater RV Satellite Antenna
- Material: Plastic
- Size: 17 x 18.8 x 13.5 inches
- Weight: 8 pounds
With King's DT4400, you get a compact and easy to use satellite RV antenna that you can take with you anywhere in the continental U.S.
It weighs only eight pounds and all it needs is a clear view of the southern skies to connect automatically to DISH satellites. It doesn't need a remote or any extra controller except your DISH receiver.
Unlike the Winegard Pathway receiver above, this offer works with only one receiver and not two, but it also costs less and so makes up for it. King also designed it strictly for the DISH network, although it receives both SD and HD programming.
King builds it with tough weather-resistant materials for long service life, so you can mount it permanently on your roof and forget about it. The package also includes 35 ft. of coaxial cable.
7. Winegard PL-7000 Playmaker – Affordable Satellite RV Antenna for DISH
- Material: Plastic and Aluminum
- Size: 16 x 16 x 13 inches
- Weight: 7 pounds
This Winegard Playmaker PL-7000 offer is the most affordable satellite RV antenna in this review, but it's also a high-quality product because Winegard makes some of the best RV antennas.
Measuring just 16 inches in diameter, it's a compact antenna that you can either carry around or permanently fix on your roof for a steady and always ready signal reception.
The downside is that you'll need to separately buy Winegard's RK-4000 roof-mount kit. Else, Winegard also offers an optional tripod mount for ordinary use.
If you don't already own a receiver, then you can also choose a second option that comes bundled with a DISH receiver. The package includes a 25-ft. coaxial cable.
How to Buy the Best RV Antenna
You may find it a little difficult understanding the different terms used above, especially if you're new to the subject. There are a few things that you'll need to know first about RV antennas so you can make an informed decision when making your choice.
Following are these important factors to understand and keep in mind when choosing an RV antenna.
1. Indoor vs Outdoor Antennas
There are many differences between the different RV antennas out there and one of the major differences is the antenna's installation site. Some are for indoor use, while others are for outdoor use, with each type having its pros and cons.
Indoor antennas are usually convenient because you can install them on the dash or any other position that you like inside the RV and not worry about it much. Their disadvantage, however, is that they generally have a shorter reception range.
Outdoor antennas, however, are generally bigger and have a wider reception than indoor antennas. Their disadvantage is that they are often too high for certain roads and you may have to reposition or take them down from time to time.
2. HDTV vs VHF/UHF vs Satellite
Another major difference between antennas is the type of broadcast signals they're designed for. There are VHF/UHF antennas for instance, and there are satellite antennas. Also, HDTV is an acronym which stands for High-Definition Television and as the name suggests, it means television transmissions with crystal clear images.
VHF stands for Very High Frequency, while UHF stands for Ultra High Frequency. These two frequency ranges are for local television companies to broadcast their programs, with many of them in HDTV format.
You should note that given the wavelength differences of VHF and UHF signals, some antennas might only work well with UHF or with VHF signals, while some other antennas work well with both signals.
Coming to satellite, you'll need a satellite dish to receive satellite TV signals. The dish concentrates the signals and improves its quality, so a bigger dish will always produce better pictures. As with local TV broadcasts, some satellite channels are also broadcast in crystal clear HDTV.
3. TV Service
This one too is important. Do you want to receive any free television or are you particular about a paid option? If you just want to watch free TV, then a VHF/UHF antenna will do.
If you want to keep up with your favorite TV shows, for instance, then a satellite antenna and decoder will solve the problem. Keep in mind that you'll very likely need to subscribe to the satellite network as well.
4. Size & Weight
RV antennas are best as compact and lightweight as possible, so you need to get the smallest and lightest antenna that you can get without breaking the bank.
Also important is signal reception because an antenna that sacrifices quality signals for a compact design isn't worth very much.
5. Construction Material
Most RV antennas are from plastic but some get made from aluminum. If you're getting an indoor antenna, then a plastic one is okay, but if you're considering an outdoor antenna, then you might want to consider an aluminum antenna or a plastic one that's made from good weather-resistant material.
The reason is that aluminum antennas are sturdier than plastic ones, plus aluminum will neither rust from rains or bend from extreme winds.
6. Installation Ease
Most indoor VHF/UHF antennas are generally easy to install. Outdoor installation, however, can get messy, especially if it's a satellite receiver.
It's left for you here to know what you can and can't handle because you are the one that know your skill level when it comes to the installation. Feel free to either select an automatic antenna that you can install on your own or to have whatever you bought installed by a professional.
7. Extra Features
RV antennas are specially designed for recreational vehicles and so, some offers include one extra or the other that you may find useful on the road. One such feature is WiFi capability. Another is automatic adjustments and so on. It's left for you here to choose what's right for you.
Read More: 6 Best Wifi Booster for RV
We've come to the end of this RV antennas review and you've seen all the interesting offers out there. From height-adjustable batwing antennas to cool UFO-styled ones. You've also seen the best satellite RV antennas, including the large and the small.
It's now left for you to make your choice from this range of top antennas because it's only you that know exactly what's needed in your RV.
- 7 Best RV Antennas – Review
- 1. Winegard RVW-395 Sensar – Powder-coated RV Antenna with Lift
- 2. Winegard RV-Wing – Snap-On Antenna Booster for Winegard Sensar
- 3. King OA8300 – Upgrade Batwing Antennas to Digital HD Reception
- 4. Winegard Pathway PA-6002 – Fully Automatic Satellite Tracking Receiver
- 5. Antop AT-414B – Omni-directional Outdoor UFO RV Antenna
- 6. King DT4400 – Compact DISH Tailgater RV Satellite Antenna
- 7. Winegard PL-7000 Playmaker – Affordable Satellite RV Antenna for DISH
- How to Buy the Best RV Antenna