Anyone who lives for the thrill of the open road and anyone who craves the freedom that comes from traveling the country in an RV likely has complained at one point and time about poor reception when it comes to their satellite. Getting off the beaten path is great for a vacation getaway and helps you unplug from the hustle, bustle, and noise of the world.
However, it is not so good for your TV watching needs as it can be next to impossible to pick up good channel reception in remote locations. Whether you are young or old there will be times you just feel like kicking back and relaxing in your RV to a good movie or your favorite TV show.
Having a good portable satellite on hand while you travel can make all the difference in the world, especially when traveling as a family with little ones who may need a little outside stimulation and entertainment now and then.
Being able to access TV channels and stations can also make a romantic getaway more enjoyable with movie night. So, it is easy to see why many avid RV enthusiasts have a portable satellite of some kind with them while they are traveling.
But how exactly do you know which one is right for you and your unique needs?
That is what we hope to help with here with this buyer’s guide, to help highlight the best features of the hottest RV satellites and antennae that are available today.
So, make sure you read on to see how you can ensure you have a great satellite ready to go for your next great RV adventure!
This page contains some affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
What A Portable Satellite Dish Is Used For
Just like the satellite dishes and antennae that you put up on your roof or out in your yard at home, the portable versions are designed to help you access TV channels that are being streamed from satellites that are orbiting the earth rather than just relying on local wired channel access.
Here are some of the selective benefits you can enjoy:
Better TV Reception and Channels
Rather than being limited to whatever you can access with old fashioned rabbit ears on the TV or being tied down with cable hookups, these satellite dishes and antennae allow you to access potentially hundreds of channels anywhere you may be.
If you have clear views of the sky above, you can tap into the stream of channels and have them delivered right to your TV, even when in the middle of a remote campground.
More Options For the Entire Family
Anyone who has done long-distance traveling in a car or RV with younger children knows the challenges that can come with it.
Having access to some of their favorite channels and movies can help soothe temper tantrums, keep them occupied, and give more opportunities for fun family movie nights.
Just because you are leaving the real world behind for a time doesn’t mean you have to give up all the comforts of home.
Fights the Rainy Day Boredom Bug
As wonderful as it is to walk hiking trails, fish in the lake, explore nature, and enjoy the great outdoors, anyone who has been RVing for a while knows that Mother Nature is not always kind.
When the weather is too hot, it starts to rain, or it’s too dark to explore, boredom can set in, a good portable satellite gives you a way to fight boredom and keep everyone happy and engaged until the regular activities can resume.
Versatile Streaming Use
Most satellite dishes today are designed so that they can split the signal out to more than one TV, which means you can stream the same channel or different channels to one or more devices.
Some can handle two, while others can power as many as four TVs and each new model that comes out seems to be getting better and better in terms of splitting and display quality. If you have more than one TV this feature is a must!
Choosing the Right Portable Satellite Dish
Now that we understand a bit more about why you should be considering one of these dishes or antennae for your RV, we now need to talk about how you go about finding the right one for your unique wants and needs.
Traditional Dish Design
What’s its best feature of all that you should look for when looking for the more traditional style setups? A one-button operation design that is quick, easy, and convenient.
When you want to watch something, just hit a button and the satellite dish will automatically turn on, scan for the strongest signals, and lock onto the satellite signal for the best possible picture.
When it is time to pack up and hit the road again, simply push the button once more and the dish automatically shuts off, lowers, and stows itself in a safe position for driving.
Dishes that lack automatic tracking have to be manually aimed at the satellite, which can be quite annoying as you are basically shooting into the night sky blindly in most cases trying to find the satellite.
When talking about dish style satellites and RVs, it is important to keep in mind that this a big, heavy dish like smaller versions of the ones used at home are not meant to be portable.
They are generally meant to be installed on the roof of an RV and kept there.
It is important to know how big and heavy the dish will be and what it will be like when it is fully stowed so you can be sure you have proper clearance for your RV while driving on narrow roads, through tunnels, over bridges, and under overpasses.
Domed Antenna Satellite Dish
There are two different types of antenna satellites you can choose from- domed and un-domed. Un-domed antennas feature automatic satellite tracking for a crystal-clear picture with many of the newer models.
An older style may still require a degree of tuning and scanning by hand to find the strongest signal and clearest picture. Newer models are also more portable and compact than older un-domed satellites.
You can take them camping or tailgating with no problem as they are designed to fit on the roof or in the back of the truck with relative ease.
The domed design for these portable satellites does come with one major advantage and one major disadvantage compared to the un-domed models.
The biggest advantage is a smaller overall profile and a protected cover that makes it easier and safer to drive with the satellite on the roof.
The biggest disadvantage is they are often not compatible with may dish HD streams and cant access all of the channels that an un-domed model can while you are out camping in remote areas.
What Should I Look For In A Portable Satellite Dish?
It may not be too difficult to get a satellite dish of some kind to use to stream your purchased channels and access your streaming account. You’ll probably get a free satellite dish when you sign up for a plan with a satellite provider.
However, these dishes are generally meant to sit on the roof or side of your house and not be messed with much.
That is why there are entire lines of dishes and antennas designed to work with the mobile and remote lifestyle that comes with RV travel and living. Here are three great antenna choices that are designed for RV life.
It is important to note that these are all domed varieties and that is because in general, the domed antennae are best for regular basic streaming while out and about and are also the safest and easiest to care for while you are out on the road.
Best Portable RV Satellite Antenna Choices
1. KING VQ4500 Tailgater Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna
It is easier than ever to enjoy crystal clear live TV and stream all of your favorite channels and shows wherever your RV life may take you with this antenna option!
Enjoy life DISH TV connections anytime and wherever the open road may take you with the KING Tailgater Portable Satellite TV Antenna. Perfect for sports enthusiasts and avid travelers, it is designed for those who need and understand the value of crisp and clear images.
This portable antenna is an ideal choice for sports, news, weather, or movies in your RV and at remote campgrounds across the country.
The automatic antenna is easy to set up and works right out of the box and allows you to quickly and easily hone in on the channel stream you want. Setting up your DISH account and access is quick and easy too and you can stream all your favorite channels while on the go.
You’ll never have to be without TV again, simply check with DISH to see what channels are available in the area you will be traveling.
2. Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna
Streamlined and easy to use, this antenna is perfect for families and individuals who are always on the go who also want some of the comforts of home as well!
Designed exclusively for DISH Network satellite TV programming, this state of the art Winegard Pathway X2 antenna offers a whole approach to the automatic satellite set up. Powered through the DISH receiver, there is no need for additional cords and hookups.
Just set it up, connect to your DISH account or get a pay as you go data plan and start enjoying your favorite shows within minutes.
Lightweight for easy installation and care yet rugged enough to handle the on the go wear and tear, this domed antenna offers the fastest and easiest set up available.
The low profile makes it great for permanent use on your RV and the powerful receiver helps you pull in more channels with a clear and sharp image. It’s a great option for hobby RVers as well as RV pros alike.
3. Winegard PL-7000R DISH Playmaker White Portable Antenna
Perfect for on the go streaming and built for the wear and tear or outdoor life, this satellite antenna makes it easy to keep everyone in the family entertained!
The Winegard DISH Playmaker portable satellite antenna has been specially designed to feature a larger high-strength military-grade aluminum alloy reflector that what you will find on most satellites of similar style.
This enhancement allows for better signal strength, optional RV roof mounting, and easy auto scanning features. It is easy to use and lightweight and is a perfect portable satellite dish or any RV.
This high-tech satellite dish will automatically find the best DISH HD network satellite orbital locations so you can quickly and easily stream your favorite TV shows.
With the addition of the optional RK-4000 roof kit from DISH, you can easily mount the antenna permanently on your RV’s roof for fast and reliable streaming access. The overall design is sleek and streamlined and perfect for use with all RV types.
Now that we have covered the features to consider when looking for a portable RV satellite dish or antenna, some of the most common styles and designs available, and have seen three popular models up close, it is time for you to make your choice.
Finding the right option for your satellite streaming needs is a big task and there are many great options available for you to choose from.
With so many great benefits to enjoy and with all the great features that are now out there to take advantage of, it should be fairly obvious why you need a portable RV satellite before you head out on your next trip!
If you are still having trouble narrowing down your favorites, need help comparing products, or have other questions you need answers to, feel free to contact us today. We are here to help you make a wise and informed decision that is best for you, your family, and your RV lifestyle.