Most of us usually take our home television for grant. Therefore, it may be frustrating to manage to get clear pictures when you are on the roads – especially when you need to catch up on the weather and news. Thanks to the development of technology, nowadays, all the channels are digital. Caravan television reception is even fuzzier than it used to be with analogue.
However, do not rush out and purchase a new antenna or new television just yet. Here’re some tips to guide you how to get better reception on camper antenna.
Ensure that your Outdoor Television Antenna is HD
For one, a television antenna helps you escape from troublesome service agreements that you must deal with satellite and cable providers as well as enables you to save your money. Indeed, you will not get so many channels.
However, if you combine your TV antenna with a 3rd party streaming service, you will terribly get close to what you want. Moreover, who can argue with a great idea, which can help you save hundreds of dollars every year by cutting the cords and utilizing a TV antenna to get programming for free?
High definition antenna or HD antenna is must-have equipment and the answer to your question of how to get better reception on camper antenna if all you want is to get HD channels.
Nowadays, new TV antennas are all HD; however, if you want to save a few bucks by purchasing a secondhand RV antenna for your television, then, you should ensure that it is an HD model. The stations will put out HD signal, and you will want to ensure that you can receive them.
Just remember that all the antennas now are HDTV antennas, whether it is claimed on the box or not. In case you have already had a big VHF/UHF antenna on RV, then, you’re in good shape. All you need to do is just plug it in, and do a channel scan.
This is a process that can erase and reprogram the channels in digital television’s memory and converter box, also known as double-rescanning. It is designed by the FCC (or the Federal Communications Commission).
To double rescan, first of all, you have to disconnect your antenna from digital TV or converter box. After that, disconnect the power supplies of your digital TV or/and the converter from the wall. Then, wait for one minute before you plug them back in. Besides, your TV antenna should be disconnected as well.
With the disconnected antenna, run the function of channel scan on your digital television or converter box. When the scan completes, all the channel data in the memory of your digital TV and converter box are removed entirely.
Now, it is time for the real rescan. Firstly, reconnect your TV antenna to your digital TV or converter box. Then, rerun the channel scan function. After doing this, the double-scan is born. In case the double-rescan does not work, you can try some of those tricks and tips to help your converter box back to work.
In some areas, where the altitude is low, raising TV antenna higher can improve the signal quality significantly. Some travelers often slot it in a pipe section so that they can elevate it for more distance above the ground. In case you use a satellite dish, then, ensure that it has an unobstructed and clear line of sight to the sky.
Although it is okay to plug in your TV antenna and start to pick up all channels in your area in HD immediately, you will probably need to test some different locations for your TV antenna until you are able to find the suitable position, which provides the best result.
Using useful tips in this article and do not hesitate to try out some spots on your rig. Every time you place the TV antenna in a new location, try to run the channel scan on your television and see what channel is picking up.
In case you use a flat antenna, you should use clear adhesive tape to place your TV antenna temporarily when running the scans.
With some patience and a little research as well as by readjusting its position, you can figure out how to get better reception on camper antenna. Also, you need to avoid parking your RV in the low valleys or the areas, which are screened by many obstructions, such as mountains, hills, tall trees and high buildings. If you want to maximize the strength of your TV signal, the best option is to park the antenna on the ground, which is as high as possible.
Can you not find a single location for your desired channels? Then, installing a TV antenna rotator is an ideal option. It’s a device, which allows you to control the direction of the antenna to make it points towards the transmitter’s location for the channels that you need to watch. It is not as expensive as installing a 2nd antenna.
Moreover, adding a motorized rotator allows you to fine-tune your antenna’s position so that you are able to get the best signal possible from only a single source rather than a wider area. A lot of motorized solutions come with remote controls, which eliminate the requirement to climb the ladders and reconfigure the direction of your antenna manually.
Try to Use Two HD Antennas
This step is a little bit tricky, and you will wonder whether it’s a great answer to your question of how to get better reception on camper antenna. However, I also heard that somebody succeeded in combining two HD TV antennas into a coupler.
In case you have 2 or more antennas laying around, you can experiment.
Try to place an antenna towards a weaker broadcast tower, while the other in the direction of a much more powerful one. By coupling those signals, you are able to focus 2 antennas into only one signal. Ensure that you use a coupler, not a splitter.
Consider a TV Antenna Booster
Another device, which greatly boosts your television signal on RV, is a signal booster. Its location is in the surrounding area of your television. The coax cable, which runs from your television, goes to a signal booster that receives the signal from the TV antenna. Thanks to this, you can hook up TV and receive a better signal.
However, in certain cases, your signal may be too weak, thus, using a signal booster in order to boost this signal to the TV tuner is a great option. If the length of your cable is long enough from your television to the antenna, this can help.
Most of the antennas feature a plug-set in power booster that acts similarly. In case the broadcast tower is located not close to your place, a booster is a good choice.
In my case, it’s really helpful. You should try to experiment with an antenna booster off and on to see if this can improve the reception.
The antenna booster operates on 12V DC and comes with a red indicator light, which signifies that the device is turned on, and a switch. In most of the instances, if the signal booster is not turned on, you will not have usable reception.
Another important thing is that it uses electricity. It is easy to forget that it is left on and in less than no time, it’ll drain the RV’s battery, which is returned to the storage after the outing.
In case you are staying at a RV resort or campground that offers cable TV, you may hook a coax cable from its connector to an outside cable hookup (which is located on your RV’s right side, frequently somewhere near the area of the electrical power cord). You needn’t do anything else, just turn on the television and it’ll be set up completely.
Building a signal homemade TV antenna booster, which is flexible enough to use with the Wi-Fi antenna when your TV antenna is not used, is another great option. A metal bucket, which you can easily buy at a garden supply shop or a hardware store, is all you need. Nothing specialized or unconventional is required. Your antenna booster will ensure that your indoor television antenna receives a stable broadcast signal.
How to Get Better Reception on Camper Antenna?
Answer: Signal Finder and Signal Strength Meter
A signal finder does a good job in telling you the origin of the signal. However, it won’t tell you about the polarity. You can quickly check out the TV antennas on other caravans or on the local houses to identify the polarity of your local transmitter. Besides, using one of those methods above can also help you find out the answer.
The best function of the signal finder is that it can tell you the directions, which work best from your parked location. When a signal finder is plugged into the antenna cable, between the television and the antenna, slowly rotate or get someone to rotate the antenna until you are able to get the best signal, which is shown by the number of the LED’s lighting up.
Purchase a satellite or a digital television signal strength meter. A common problem with RV TV reception is that the antenna or the dish may not be aligned correctly with the television transmitter. In this case, a signal strength meter can help you lock on to the best signal, wherever you park the RV.
Connect the signal strength meter to your RV’s satellite dish or television antenna, then, rotate your antenna as you often do.
Monitor the signal level display of the meter and lock your antenna in place whenever the signal is maximized. Each time you move your RV, don’t forget to repeat this step.
Find TV Stations Near your Location with Online Tools
There’re some wonderful websites, which can tell you how far from the nearest television stations to your position as well as the direction where your RV TV antenna needs to be pointed to pick up a signal. Both DTV Reception Maps from the Federal Communications Commission and antennaweb.org are simple and free to use.
Pre-amplified TV Antenna System
Replace your RV antenna with a pre-amplified TV antenna system is also a good choice. Pre-amplified antennas enhance weak incoming TV signals enough to allow for satisfactory television reception on most of the available channels.
However, they demand a power supply, therefore, pay attention to this before installing any system. On the other hand, you should consider the plug-in indoor TV signal booster as a substitute to replace the whole system.
Buy a High-quality TV Tuner
Not all of the television tuners are similar. I have 2 TVs in my home. Both of them are made from different producers. I also notice that one tuner works more effectively than the other. They’re using the similar antenna along with a splitter. Few televisions are accompanied with higher-quality tuners. So, I would like to stay with high-quality brand TVs.
Moreover, you can utilize a Tablo television or a DVR tuner to supplement the bad tuner. Those devices let you utilize your old television with a better tuner. Besides, you are able to record all of your favorites over air television shows as well.
Reconfigure The Aim of Antenna
TV antennas with sensitive ends pointed forwards the signal’s origin tend to include fewer issues with signal’s strength, and reconfiguring the antenna’s aim manually can make it much easier for receivers and transmitters to work with incoming signals.
In case most signals originate from a single area like a nearby city, then, this may help promote audio and video quality transmitted through your antennas from each station. This also helps your TV and other devices deliver a better result.
Connections on Your Co-axial Cable
Your coaxial cable can be the cause of poor signals coming to your RV. The loss of signal is mentioned as attenuation. Attenuation is a measurement of the loss of signal over a distance.
In some instances, swapping out the coaxial cable with a better and more efficient isolated RG-6 cable will give you better reception and more channels.
Do not forget to check if you use poor quality RG-59 cable by having a look at the cable itself. This information should be written on your cable.
Utilizing better-shielded cable such as RG-6 is a good way to deal with signal noise and electromagnetic interference. In most cases, you can easily see a significant improvement.
That is to say, RG6 is much more digital-friendly as compared to RG59. In other words, RG59 has more signal loss or attenuates more than RG6. Your poor signal can be a result of RG59 cable. On changing the cable to RG6 (highly recommend quad-shielded RG6 with the gold-plated connectors) can fix your problem of reception without having to use the amplifier.
Check your coaxial cable, which links your RV TV set to the satellite dish or the antenna. If you find out any fraying or rips along your cable, then, it’s time to replace it.
Buy a Better Antenna
In case you still question how to get better reception on camper antenna, then, another great option for you is to purchase an antenna with better quality. You can realize that your current TV antenna is not big enough to obtain every channel that you need. Perhaps, your antenna’s quality isn’t up to par. Therefore, ensure that you have the suitable antenna for your areas.
A New Option on the Horizon
There is an option, which is beginning to get some traction: streaming. In other words, streaming is getting a television signal through the Internet. There is a list of many streaming media players competing for the love of their consumers.
Also, there is a lot to debate about the pros and cons of this emerging technology. In the near future, it will be discussed in other articles.
It is always fun to enjoy the nature and spend time with your friends and family while camping outdoors in your RV. Nevertheless, it is also nice to have the modern comforts that we are all accustomed to. In this case, a poor antenna reception may be a real inconvenience. On figuring out what your problem is and find out how to get better reception on camper antenna, you can now enjoy an enjoyable experience with clear viewing.