Looking for a new RV antenna but aren’t sure what to buy?
After a few different antennas, and holes to match, we decided it was time to do a little more research to figure out which were worth it and which were junk.
If you’re in a rush, we found the Winegard Sensar IV Digital and HD Antenna to be the best.
But if you want to learn more, read on to learn about the best RV antennas on the market!
Table of Contents
- Top 3 Best RV Antennas of 2022
- What Is an RV Antenna Used For?
- What Types of RV Antennas Are Out There?
- Best Camper Antenna Brands
- What to Consider When Buying Antennas for RVs
- In-Depth RV Antenna Reviews
- RV House Battery Comparison
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Top 3 Best RV Antennas of 2022
Winegard Sensar IV Digital and HD Antenna
With a range of 55 miles, it doesn’t get any better than the Winegard Sensar IV travel trailer antenna. This powder-coated, retractable model is built to last and weighs only nine pounds.
- Easy installation
- Excellent reception with little to no static
- Well-designed and built
- The base could be more compact
- Cranking it up and down is annoying when on the road
KING Jack Directional OTA Antenna
King boasts that this model catches up to 80% of the new broadcast HD channels. It’s a compact solution that can replace or fit your current batwing model. It zeroes in on the strongest signal within range to provide crystal-clear images.
- Takes five minutes to install
- Gets great reception
- Won’t pick up as many channels as batwing models
- Not suitable for all RV models because of the mount
Outdoor Amplified HDTV Antenna
This multi-directional HD antenna for RV comes with a built-in signal amplifier. It’s built to endure a lot of abuse from the elements. The UV-protection prevents the mast from becoming brittle with age, and the waterproof design keeps all the internal components free of condensation.
- Quick installation
- Outstanding reception
- No need to rotate the RV antenna
- Low-profile design
- Range of up to 30 miles
- Bad weather causes breaks in the signal
What Is an RV Antenna Used For?
An RV antenna makes it possible to locate free-to-air TV channels within range. The latest models pick up a range of VHF, UHF, and HD programs.
My traveling companion and I primarily use our antenna to keep track of news and weather programs. When it’s cold outside, we’ll catch movies and TV shows.
What Types of RV Antennas Are Out There?
There’s no need to worry about tree branches ripping this type off your roof. The trade-off is that it takes up space inside the RV and has a shorter range. If you simply want to watch the local weather station, these will get the job done.
You’ll mount an exterior antenna on the outside of the RV. This type is more powerful and durable than the indoor versions. The downside is that they’re often bulky and may get caught on low-hanging obstacles.
Satellite Television Antennas
You’ll have to sign up for a subscription service with these models. If you’re aiming for the best-quality picture, these are your best option. Satellites broadcast these signals, making them the best choice for rural or mountainous areas.
Digital/VHF/UHF & HDTV Antennas
VHF and UHF refer to the radio frequencies over which stations broadcast video and sound signals. Both types may broadcast digital or HDTV channels. Looking for an aerial that can receive both bandwidths allows for the best reception.
Best Camper Antenna Brands
With over sixty years of experience in the industry, Winegard is one of America’s leading brands. The company provides an antenna for home, business, and leisure use. It currently boasts over 1,000 models that feature an innovative, sturdy design.
King, established in 1985, is the youngest of the top brands. That hasn’t stopped the company from building a sterling reputation in the industry, though. The firm makes satellite, over-the-air, and Wi-Fi antennas.
This Canadian company focuses on high-performance in a neat, modern package. With over forty years of experience in the industry, Antop has built a reputation for high-quality aerials for the residential and leisure sectors.
What to Consider When Buying Antennas for RVs
Is there anything worse than a glitchy signal or static when you’re trying to watch TV?
Reception strength dictates how near to a transmission station you must be to pick up programs clearly. If you like camping in a remote location, look for an aerial like the Winegard Sensor with a range of 55 miles.
How will you use the antenna? Do you need something that works while you’re driving? Do you want something that’ll pick up the maximum number of stations, or will a small indoor model work?
Choose a model that will meet your needs for a few years to come.
Again, consider where you’re most likely to use your RV. The mast of a large aerial makes for a tight squeeze in wooded areas but works well in mountainous regions. Generally speaking, the taller the mast, the longer the range.
Ease of Installation
Will you install the antenna yourself or hire someone to do it for you? If you’re a DIY-enthusiast like my partner, make sure that the aerial includes the mounting equipment. Look for something easy to install, and you’ll save yourself a lot of frustration.
Trailer antennas generally come in aluminum, plastic, or a combination of the two. Choose a model made from high-grade supplies to withstand sunshine and stormy weather better. Thin aluminum may snap off in a strong wind, and plastic should be UV-protected for better durability.
Do you need to hook up to the internet while you’re out and about? Then look for an antenna that can also receive Wi-Fi signals. These are useful when you’re in an underdeveloped area and your mobile phone’s reception is spotty.
Weight is a tricky issue. If the aerial is too heavy, it might unbalance the trailer while you’re driving. If it’s too light, it won’t stand up to heavy winds or storms well. Streamlined designs such as the Antop Outdoor strike a good balance between performance and weight.
You may be able to mount your new aerial on the roof, mirror, hood, or bar. A side-mounted model may be a good option when there are low-hanging obstacles. A roof-mounted option is better suited to areas where there’s not much space to maneuver.
Related Reading:7 Best RV Generators to Keep You Powered Up
In-Depth RV Antenna Reviews
Winegard Sensar IV Digital and HD Antenna
The Winegard Sensar is a powerful model able to receive VHF, UHF, HDTV, and standard signals. You’ll find a wide range of channels like Fox, CBS, ABC, and NBC. The Winegard Sensar takes the pole position in our review. We gave it top marks because it:
- It has a range of 55 miles
- Receives a wide range of signal types
- Has excellent reception
- Weighs less than 10 pounds
- Is powder-coated
- Both installation and operation are easy with this unit. If we were to make one change, it would be to replace the plastic gears with metal ones. Some of the people we spoke to said that you should treat the crank gently so as not to strip the gears.
Also, consider the placement carefully. Even when retracted, this model requires a clearance of four inches.
King Jack HDTV Directional OTA Antenna
This unit is a low-profile over-the-air antenna that may replace or augment your batwing model. It’s easy to mount and folds down completely when not in use. It came in second on our list because it doesn’t have the range of the Winegard Sensar.
- Great reception
- Low profile
- Folds down flush with the RV roof
- Simple installation
- Contemporary look
Is this the perfect RV antenna? Not quite. Some of the people we spoke with mentioned that it doesn’t pick up as many channels as the batwing varieties. If you’d like the maximum amount of programming, use this as an adjunct to your batwing rather than a replacement.
If your RV’s roof is pitched by an angle of more than three degrees, look at one of the other models on our list.
Antop Outdoor Amplified HDTV Antenna
Antop creates high-quality products, and this aerial is a perfect example. The technology includes a filter that blocks mobile phone signals. In good weather, the picture quality is the best on the list. Why then did it only come in third? The reception range is about 30 miles, and the picture clarity often drops in lousy weather. This model rates as the most durable on the list. It has a UV-coating to prevent the plastic from perishing in the sun. This model is also waterproof and features a design that allows snow to slide off of it.
- Great signal strength
- Outstanding sound quality
- Suitable for use in a built-up area where mobile phone towers might interfere with reception
- Simple to install
- Low profile
- The downside is that the reception range could be better. At about 30 miles, it’s 25 miles shorter in range than our top pick. If you’re camping in the middle of nowhere, this could prove problematic.
RV House Battery Comparison
Innoo Tech TV Antenna
When you travel in heavily wooded areas. You may mount it on almost any flat surface in your RV. We dropped it in the rankings because the signal strength varies. It receives signals from up to 130 miles away, as long as you position yourself correctly. Mountains, a collection of buildings, or mobile phone towers may impede the signal.
- Great potential reception range
- Clear picture
- Plug-and-play with no need to drill holes in your RV’s roof
Thin and unobtrusive
- Has an advanced signal booster
- The people we spoke to love this model overall. However, some said it’s difficult to remove the mounting tape when upgrading to a new model.
Antennas Direct Clearstream 4V TV Antenna
The Clearstream 4V picks up signals from up to 70 miles. You’re able to tune into channels like CBS, Fox, NBC, and ABC if they’re available. What sets this model apart is that you may mount it inside or outside your RV. We marked it down primarily because they don’t usually include a coaxial cable in the box. Having to buy the cable separately is an inconvenience and adds to the costs. You may find it worthwhile, however, because all parts carry a full lifetime warranty. None of the other manufacturers on the list do the same.
- list items
- Up to 70 miles reception
Most generous warranty
Wide range of channels available
- Some of the people we spoke to mentioned that you don’t get the same number of channels as you do with a batwing model.
Five Star Indoor/Outdoor TV Antenna
The Five Star aerial provides clear reception for local news broadcasts, the major networks, and 4K HD channels. It has a range of up to 200 miles, making it the best option for maximum reception. We marked it down because you may need to add an amplifier for a broader range of channels.
- 20-inch mast
Clear channels and good reception
Will range up to 200 miles, depending on the surrounding conditions
Works well for weaker signals
Easy to install
- The people we spoke to mentioned that the image quality was excellent. If they could change one thing, it would be for the company to incorporate an additional signal amplifier. Also, the instructions and technical support the manufacturers provide could be better.
Winegard RZ-6000 Rayzar z1 RV TV Antenna
The Rayzar Z1 is a slightly older model but earns a place on our list because it’s so well-designed. It’s a low-profile unit that takes up very little space on your roof.
- Weighs 2.5 pounds
The housing is weather- and UV-resistant
No need to raise or lower it
Plugs into the wiring already installed
- The unit provides excellent picture quality but won’t pick up as many channels as a batwing model. As it’s a directional unit, you’ll have to reset it when you move your RV. On the upside, there’s no need to crank it up or down because it’s so low-profile.
KING VQ4550 Tailgater Bundle
The V4550 Tailgater Bundle is ideal if you wish to view satellite channels. You may install it inside or outside your RV. This model also includes a Wi-Fi receiver, so you may stream movies if you prefer.
- May connect it to two TVs
Setup is simple
You may move as necessary between your home and the RV
Install on a flat surface inside or outside
- If we could change one or two things, we’d put in a generic satellite receiver and add a Wi-Fi adapter. Having to be subscribed to Dish increases the costs. One or two of our experts also said that you often have to reset the device.
How do you use an RV antenna?
It should be straightforward. Mount the antenna, connect the cable and then switch your TV over to antenna mode. Search for channels to watch by following the manufacturer’s instructions.
How do you get better reception on a camper antenna?
Rotating or extending the aerial to its fullest length may do the trick. If not, you may need to consider moving the RV. Metal, rocks, and hilly terrain may all block signals.
The correct RV antenna provides you with a crystal-clear picture and sound. It gives you access to the channels you’d like to watch while being lightweight and compact enough not to overload your RV.
Finding the right model, however, isn’t easy. With so many contenders on the market, it’s easy to find one that doesn’t match your needs. We know—we’ve been there.
With the tips outlined above, you now know what to look for. We’ve also included nine stellar models to help you choose the best unit for your needs.
Get an RV antenna today, and your RV can double as your personal cinema.
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