No cables or clunky infrastructure necessary, a satellite dish is a perfect choice to retain your TV time whenever going on an outdoor trip, especially if you’re camping in a dead zone with no Internet access.
If you want to know the best portable satellite dishes for RV right now, look at this list:
Here are the best portable satellite dish for RV you can buy in 2019:
- Best Overall: Winegard PL7000R
- Budget-Friendly: DIRECTV SWM SL3S
- Nationwide Coverage: Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R
- Best for Different Viewing Needs: Winegard SK-1000
- Multiple TV Viewing: KING VQ4500
- Best for In-Motion Viewing: Winegard 18-5138 RT2035T
- Most Versatile: Winegard GM-6035
Best Overall: Winegard PL7000R
Sleek design & lightweight for easier transport or storage when not in use
Easy to watch your favorite TV shows
Deliver faster and stronger signals even in bad weathers
Make little noise while installing
Winegard PL7000R is a good deal for anyone who prefers an all-in-one set but is in a tight budget.
Priced under $300, it includes a dish Wally HD receiver that works exclusively with Dish HD Solo receiver technology. A single tuner dish receiver that features a remote finder, an RF remote, and especially, built-in apps (Netflix). And finally, an RV roof mount.
Compared to my old G2, this comes in a bit smaller but the military-grade aluminum alloy reflector seems to work as nicely as advertised – very durable.
The most surprising is it gives high signal strength on all the Dish Satellite faster than G2 and I can get full coverage even in rain or snow.
Winegard PL7000R Specifications
Dish SD & HD
RK-4000 roof mount kit (sold separately)
High-strength military-grade aluminum alloy reflector
Winegard PL7000R is ideal for those RV-ers who want stronger and faster signals, delivering quality pictures even in snow or rain.
Budget-Friendly: DIRECTV SWM SL3S
Super affordable while including SWM kit
Easy-to-follow instruction that takes less than 20 minutes to set up
Have a handy satellite oasis to keep everything in place
Heavyweight with many additional tools to install
Require the users to have a basic understanding of elevations and directions to fine-tune the signal
“Can I get a satellite dish under $130?” – somebody might wonder.
Well, why not? The DIRECTV SL3S is a high recommendation for those who are in a really tight budget.
But accept the fact that, you get what you pay for – this satellite dish won’t auto-find the orbital satellite for you but need little labor to level the tripod, set up the dish, and fine-tune the signal.
In turns, at such affordable price, the set does include an SWM kit – something that even Winegard don’t. While working, it also picks up a decent signal within 10-20 minutes and the pictures are quite clear, if not saying so incredible.
DIRECTV SWM SL3S Specifications
Directv HDTV and SDTV
22.5 in. x 32.5 in
Geniune DIRECTV SWiM HD, Complete Portable Kit with Instructions
If you’re going to tailgate, camp or just get a new roof and need a satellite dish for a short time, DIRECTV SWM SL3S can give more than what you bargained for.
Nationwide Coverage: Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R
Allow you to watch any TV programs from the dual Arc technology no matter the weather
Can seamlessly view from 2 TV
Give twice stronger signals than the Tailgator -> no “learning” curve at all
Pretty small internal antennas that sometimes produce a weak signal
Cut out in a thunderstorm
Winegard PA6002R is an available satellite dish that comes with a compact design and offers the best nationwide coverage.
Though it’s claimed to be heavier than the X1, the unit strikes back with Dual Arc technology that can receive both Eastern and Western arcs, hence, you can watch any favorite program throughout the US.
With the automatic satellite acquisition and plus, a larger reflector size, no strange when the X2 gives superior signal performance compared to others.
The best thing is, it’s optimized for 2 TV seamless viewing, which means when you connect the unit to 2 receivers, it will get programming from satellite 72.7, delivering quick and quality signals.
Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Specifications
Dish SD & HD
Roof mount kit sold separately
Dual Arc technology receives both Western and Eastern arcs
With two receivers and Dual Arc technology, Winegard X2 lets you enjoy any programs with worry-free of trees, giving feel-like-home experience while you’re outdoors.
Best for Different Viewing Needs: Winegard SK-1000
Pick up 3 satellites to allow getting most programming
Higher pointing & larger-sized dish that can pull in the weakest signals
Compatible with DISH pay-as-you-go to optimize the cost for this service
The auto-tune function doesn’t work seamlessly all the time, especially during rain or thunderstorm
While the X2 gives maximum of 2 TV seamless viewing, SK-1000 is optimized for more than that, which is a perfect go-to of a camper gang or families with different viewing demands.
Work as advertised! Delivers full reception in almost campgrounds and you’ll be surprised by how infrequently it’s obstructed by trees, I bet. There are some reasons for such decent performance.
First off, the dish in this unit is much larger than any Tailgator type units while pointing much higher in the sky, which means it can pull the weakest signal in.
Another reason lies in its automatic satellite acquisition combining with three-satellite picking capability. This perfect combo allows you to access any program on most of your channels in case one is blocked.
Winegard SK-1000 Specifications
DISH SD and HD, Bell TV SD and HD.
19 ½ inches
Watch separate satellite programming on multiple TVs simultaneously
Thanks to the function of watching separate programs on simultaneously variable TVs, Winegard SK-1000 is great to watch and record while using with DVRs from different satellites.
Multiple TV Viewing: KING VQ4500
Give you choices of either using a roof-mounted or portable antennas to pick the strongest signals
Can support countless TV programming without obstructing by trees or weathers
No need of power source or separate remote, the satellite dish is powered through the receiver
Ultra-lightweight – a mere 6 pounds
Not various in satellite providers
So tired of setting up your tripod dish?
I bet King VQ4500 might be what you’re after. It makes your setups like a breeze – just place the dish outside, turn everything on and ready to enjoy your favorite satellite programming on TV with less than 10 minutes.
Besides, you’ve got two options: Either using a portable antenna or a roof-mounted.
What draws my attention to this unit in the first place is its flexibility to change from DISH Network to DirecTV whenever changing my satellite providers. And, I get mostly HD channels with crystal clear picture without performing a ritual dance to get things lined up.
The signals on the other are picked quickly, generally within 1-3 minutes. The last bonus is its 50-foot coax cable included to allow pulling in the weakest signals. Very a good choice!
KING VQ4500 Specifications
Use as either portable antenna or roof mounted
Highlight the built-in dual coaxial outputs and simplified construction, KING VQ4500 provides multiple TV viewing while you don’t need to sweat too much for setups or tuning the dish.
Best for In-Motion Viewing: Winegard 18-5138 RT2035T
Automatically switch between in-motion tracking and sleep mode during your RV ride.
Easy to install/undone by pressing a button
Quiet operation to avoid bothering you watching TV
Will lose signal in a very bumpy road
Winegard 18-5138 RT2035T is constructed as an in-motion antenna that allows you to watch live programming while traveling (unless it’s a very, very bumpy road).
What will happen if you stop driving?
In such cases, the satellite dish will shut down its in-motion tracking within 6 minutes and then, change into sleep mode, making signal lost within seconds before restarting.
The best thing about this versatile build is 100% automatic. After running at sleep mode, once starting to drive over 10 MPH, the dish will turn back to its in-motion tracking. Everything requires no labor if leaving the switch on.
Another big bonus is its quiet operation that won’t bother you while watching TV programming.
Winegard 18-5138 RT2035T Specifications
DIRECTV SD, DISH SD & HD, Bell SD & HD
Fully automatic roof-mounted antenna with 1 button on/off operation
If you’ve always dreamed about enjoying a favorite TV program while your partner is driving the RV, Winegard 18-5138 RT2035T will make that dream come true.
Most Versatile: Winegard GM-6035
Provide 3 carriers to flexibly switch in without having to switch antennas
Power inserter helps the setup and operation much easier
Can hold up well in a thunderstorm
Lack of ability to accept HD signals from DTV
Coax cable is a bit flimsy for the price
And the last tycoon is Winegard GM-6035 with many worth-considering features.
The biggest selling point is its versatile carriers. G2+ can work with DISH, DIRECTV, and BellTV compared to the X1 which is DISH only. Accordingly, whenever switching to other carriers, you don’t have to switch the antennas anymore.
Another highlight is the power inserter that G2 satellite doesn’t have. This component gives single cable coax entry to the RV and then, through the RG6 cable, it supplies power to the dish.
Generally, the satellite is very easy to set up and once the receiver is activated, the signals come in strongly and picture in my 26” TV is very good.
Work efficiently even in a thunderstorm thanks to the superior construction of aluminum reflector, glass infused base, and other added-value features.
Winegard GM-6035 Specifications
Dish SD & HD; Bell SD & HD; DIRECTV SD
Roof mount kit sold separately
100% automatic, easy setup in just a few minutes
With 3 carriers, Winegard GM-6035 meets all kinds of versatility that RV-ers don’t need to switch antennas when switching your carrier.
How To Choose The Best Portable Satellite Dish for RV?
Determine your budget and needs
The satellite dish is produced mostly for temporary usage, like camping, tailgating or an alternative when you’re getting a new roof. For that reason, you should consider clearly your needs as well as how much you’re willing to pay for one.
The cheapest (but still quality) dish that I’ve known on the market at the current is around $130 – $150 with no automatic satellite acquisition. The DIRECTV SWM SL3S as an example.
That means you have to auto-tune and do the setup with at least 2 people to pick up the signals. Not to say that it requires the users some basic understanding of directions and elevations. Are you okay with that?
The automatic satellite acquisition models, on the other hand, usually costs within $200 – $1200 depending on different added-value features.
It’s annoying if your TV keeps presenting leaning curves frequently when watching a favorite satellite programming. To avoid that, the one you intend to buy should have high signal strength, which depends on some elements:
The height and size of the dish: The bigger and higher, the stronger
Is it equipped with dual Arc technology?
This modern technology lets you connect with both Eastern and Western satellites to pick up signals of all programming throughout the US. When one is obstructed by trees or blocked, the dish can switch to the other and retain the signals.
How many satellite providers do the dish can connect with?
Up to now, the most versatile unit can be compatible with maximum of 3 providers. The more providers the dish can connect to, the stronger the signals and the more programming you can watch.
In-motion tracking or not?
Do you need to watch TV while traveling?
If yes, consider a satellite dish integrated the in-motion tracking that allows watching live programming while riding down the road.
The dish also now comes with two modes – in-motion tracking (to use while riding) & sleep mode (to use in stationery). Don’t fret! The extra cost for this additional function isn’t significant. All you need to keep in mind is how it switches between these modes.
Is it handwork or automatic?
Optional but still necessary to consider. You hardly watch TV while the satellite dish works too loudly, right? Of course, it won’t be silenced entirely but you can consider one with RELATIVELY silent operation.
Which Brands Make The Best Portable Satellite Dish for RV?
From the list above, you can tell it, Winegard is a Mr. Giant in this industry and also a market-leader with diverse product lines to fit deeply different groups of customers.
The prices are also various from affordability to luxury, depending on your demand for additional features. But never can you find a poor-quality product here – something that’s assured by hundreds of customers.
Satellite Oasis is a suzerain in the low-price range of portable satellite dish with incredibly affordable products while still ensuring the most basic functions and quality components.
Though they’re not as convenient as higher-end satellites, their intensive customer researches get paid back with lots of loyal customers.
Last up is KING. As its name defines, KING is…the king in the niche of multiple TV viewing satellite dishes. And with unstoppable improvement in products, they’re also one of the lightest units on the market.
Can you have DirecTV without a dish?
No, you can’t. It’s compulsory to get a satellite dish (and additionally, a receiver) to enjoy every programming that is offered by DirecTV and mount it in those areas that give a clear view of the southern sky.
Does Dish offer Internet for RV?
If you’re an existing residential customer, you can get mobile satellite Internet from DISH to use your RV. In this case, you have to buy it, normally ranging within $300 to $5000.
Does a bigger satellite dish improve the signal?
Literally yes. But for RV use, it should be as small and lightweight as possible. The closer the dish to the equator, the stronger the signals that just a small-sized unit is strong enough to use.
Conversely, if your campsite is usually rainy, snow, thunderstorm, or overcast, a larger-sized is worth considering.
Will trees affect my satellite signal?
Trees do affect your satellite signals, especially in spring/summer when they get full leaf while the weather is usually rainy or windy. Before starting an outdoor trip, it’s essential to know about the campground’s terrain and weather to choose a suitable unit.
Does a TV antenna need to be grounded?
Yes, it must be. Since TV signals are made of electricity, a lightning strike can ruin your RV satellite dish and more seriously, the entire RV appliances and those who are inside it.
How can I get better reception on my RV TV?
4 years of traveling on RV have helped me conclude 4 golden tips to get better reception on my TV:
- Test different antennas positions
- Place it away from any metallic stuff
- The higher the reflector, the stronger the signals (I’ve mentioned this above)
- Point the satellite dish to the directions that give a clear view of the southern sky
It is not necessary to have an avalanche of modern conveniences of a home, getting the best portable satellite dish for RV can let you entertain while on a road trip. Consider carefully four majorities when choosing a dish then, pick the right one. Happy camping!