Filed under: Technology & Camping
RV Satellite Dishes
First, let’s start with the stand-alone portable. These are not really an attached RV option, but more an added accessory. Consisting of a simple tripod, this dish is placed and aimed manually at the desired satellite. The stand-alone is also available in a “Cube” style which features automatic satellite acquisition. These portable units are great for use in heavily treed areas as they can be positioned remotely from the RV in a location that has a clear view of the satellite. From here, a cable connects the dish to the RV receiver.
Next, there are units that remain fixed on the RV roof. They are manual operated antennas that require aiming from inside the cabin. These offer only a single LNB (Low Noise Block) signal feed, meaning only one satellite can be accessed at one time. These units are also offered with fully automatic acquisition, meaning that they self-aim.
The next, and perhaps most popular on motor homes, is the in-motion dome type. These are capable of acquiring and tracking a given satellite signal, even while driving. However, they do have their shortfalls. With bridges, trees, buildings and geographic terrain, uninterrupted reception while driving is not readily available. Additionally, these units are single LNB type antennas capable of only receiving KU band frequency. For multi-satellite programming, the unit must re-acquire the needed satellite when switched from one to another.
Then, there is the stationary multi-LNB (3 to 5) fully automatic RV satellite dish. This type can only be employed when stopped and is capable of both KU and KA band signals. It can acquire up to five satellites at the same time. In my opinion, the Winegard Slimline multi-LNB stationary RV satellite dish is by far the best choice. Happily, these are generally lower priced than the in-motion type, so you can definitely get more for less here. The lack of it being unusable while in motion is greatly overcome by its many other advantages. If the kids want to be entertained by TV while travelling, use a DVD. That will provide the best uninterrupted video stream.
The Winegard Slimline is also a great add-on, even if you already have an in-motion type. A selector can be used to enable the operator to switch from one dish to the other. I personally used this set up for several years and found it wonderful. It gave me the best of both worlds. While it delivered in-motion TV from the dome type, I always preferred using the multi-LNB when stopped.
The next motor home that I buy will be with only the stationary multi-LNB Winegard dish. After all, no one needs two satellite dishes on one RV, do they? Enjoy.