Going camping or RVing used to mean getting completely off-grid for a few days. But with a growing number of us living off-grid for weeks or months on end – or even full-time, like us – that’s fast becoming a thing solely for weekend warriors.
If you enjoy watching TV (and there are some fabulous TVs for campers on the market), adding a satellite dish can help ensure that you never miss a TV show or movie while on the road.
While spending months on the road is exciting, there’s no reason you can’t also keep up with the latest news, sports events, and more.
The best satellite dishes for campers and RVs can give you access to the DISH Network, DIRECTV, and other international channels. As such, you can watch the big game, TV shows, and movies and keep up with the latest breaking news.
You can mount most RV satellites on your RV’s roof or set them up on the ground using a tripod. If you mount the satellite dish on the roof, you can enjoy HD TV programming while on the road. Alternatively, with the flexibility of the tripod, you can enjoy your favorite TV shows while camping, fishing, or roasting s’mores.
Our favorite was the Winegard RT2000T RoadTrip T4 In-Motion, but it’s far from the only choice out there. So, here are our top 6 portable satellite dishes for RVs – there’s sure to be one here up to the job of entertaining you.
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1. Winegard RT2000T RoadTrip T4 In-Motion RV Satellite Dish
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2. DISH Tailgater Pro 2 Satellite Antenna
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3. DISH Playmaker Portable Satellite Antenna
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4. Winegard Pathway X2 Dish Portable Satellite TV Antenna
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5. Dish Network 1000.2 Dish 110, 119, 129 Satellites High Definition Dish
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6. KING DTP4900 DISH Tailgater Pro Premium Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna
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1. Winegard RT2000T RoadTrip T4 In-Motion RV Satellite Dish – Best Portable RV Satellite For Roof Mounting
Fully Automatic RV Satellite Antenna
Are you looking for a sleek and compact satellite antenna? If you are, we recommend the Winegard RT2000T RoadTrip T4 In-Motion RV Satellite Dish. The ultra-lightweight satellite antenna has a diameter of 14.3 inches, a height of 13.5 inches, and weighs 10 pounds. Thanks to its small size, the satellite antenna requires minimal roof space.
We recommend parking your RV on a level surface free of obstructions such as large buildings and trees during installation. This ensures that you have a clear view of the southern sky.
For best performance, select a level spot on the roof of your RV for installation. Remember, if the antenna’s base is not level, it will require more time to locate the correct satellite. Also, make sure no other roof-mounted equipment blocks the satellite’s line of sight.
Besides its tiny footprint, the satellite dish features an easy one-button operation. This makes it easy for you to set up the satellite antenna. Once you set it up, you have the choice of elevation range – 18 to 65 degrees and azimuth range – 0 to 416 degrees.
100% automatic, the roof-mounted antenna can find satellite orbital locations. It can find satellites anywhere in the US and provide reliable signals regardless of your location. It even delivers live programming that includes BellTV, DIRECTV, and DISH programming.
- Sleek and compact design
- Simple to set up
- It has an updated design that reduces tracking
- Fully automatic
- The unit’s motor makes noise
- Drops signal when under trees
2. DISH Tailgater Pro 2 Satellite Antenna – Best Portable RV Satellite For HD TV Programming
Sleek and stylish RV Satellite Antenna
Next is the DISH Tailgater Pro 2 Satellite Antenna. This is another fully automated antenna that brings next-level satellite technology to your RV. The redesigned antenna comes with the first-ever clear cover giving the satellite antenna a sleek and stylish look.
Besides looks, the cover allows the antenna to provide maximum signal strength. As such, you can enjoy HD Dish satellite TV while on the road, and catch the latest sporting events, TV shows, and movies anywhere, anytime.
It has a flexible design allowing for easy setup/roof mounting and portability. Practical and straightforward, the antenna works right out of the box once you connect to a compatible DISH HD receiver. Since the receiver has an interactive on-screen display, setup is hassle-free for DISH programming.
Just turn on the receiver. Then, follow the on-screen instructions, and it will automatically locate the DISH satellites. Before you know it, you’ll be watching TV from your vehicle.
We liked the DISH Tailgater Pro 2 because it supports multiple TV viewing. It also provides 100% nationwide coverage – eastern and western satellites. As such, you can stay current on more than live sporting events, TV shows, or movies.
Lightweight and roof mountable, it’s made of weather-resistant materials so that it can withstand the elements. That includes extreme heat and cold.
- It has a sleek look
- Provides leading signal strength
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to setup
- Works with the Wally or VIP211 receivers only
3. DISH Playmaker Portable Satellite Antenna – Best Portable RV Satellite for Camping
Self-installing RV satellite dish
This is another DISH portable satellite antenna that self installs faster than other models. In fact, all you need to do is choose a location with a clear and unobstructed view of the southern sky. Make sure the surface is stable to prevent moving and wobbling when used, which could cause a signal loss.
The satellite antenna features high strength and military-grade aluminum reflector. Designed to last, the antenna has a two-year warranty on parts and a 1-year labor warranty.
Sleek and compact, this is one of the most portable satellite antennas on the market. As such, you can take it with you wherever you go. So whether you’re RV-ing, fishing, or camping for an extended period, this antenna will keep you entertained with HD programming.
The DISH Playmaker satellite antenna is maintenance-free. However, we recommend cleaning the dome periodically with water, a soft microfiber cloth, and dish soap. By keeping the antenna clean, you’ll reduce the risk of signal loss. Keeping it clean will also help to extend the lifespan of the satellite antenna because sensitive electronics don’t take too kindly to excessive dust and dirt.
- It comes with an easy-grip handle
- Stylish and compact design
- Built to last
- UV protected plastic dome
- Mounting options not included
- One viewing capability at a time
4. Winegard Pathway X2 Dish Portable Satellite TV Antenna – Best Portable RV Satellite For DISH Network
RV satellite that provides a stronger signal strength
Engineered for your convenience, the Winegard Pathway X2 Dish Satellite TV Antenna is 100% automatic. All you need to do is select your state, and the antenna will automatically find the proper DISH satellite location. Once you do so, the antenna automatically points to Western Arc and Eastern Arc satellite orbitals. Then, within minutes, it will deliver your favorite TV shows and movies.
On One-TV mode, channel changes prompt the antenna to point to the required orbital. In Two TV mode, it automatically points to Eastern Arc satellites. Single orbital prevents channel conflicts while viewing on two TVs simultaneously.
The satellite antenna has a large 18-inch reflector. Not only does this ensure nationwide coverage in the continental United States, but it provides a stronger signal strength regardless of your location.
It has a 21-inch diameter, with a 15 inch stowed height and almost 21 inches of height in use. The antenna weighs 16 pounds which ensures portability. It also comes with an integrated security handle for effortless carrying.
The satellite antenna self installs in minutes. Just run the coaxial cable directly from the receiver to the antenna. Since the receiver provides power to the antenna via the main port, you don’t need extra power cords.
Better yet, it’s compatible with Pay As You Go programming or a current DISH subscription. This ensures that you continue receiving DISH programming without extra commitments.
- Allows for multi TV viewing
- 100% automatic
- Self installs fast
- Offers nationwide coverage
- Mounts sold separately
- Stationary tracking type
5. Dish Network 1000.2 Dish 110, 119, 129 Satellites High Definition Dish – Best Portable RV Satellite For High Definition TV
RV satellite is designed as a direct TV satellite dish
Dish Network provides satellite TV to more than 15 million people. As a leader in the Pay-TV industry, the network offers quality TV programming and technology. The company also provides state-of-the-art equipment that offers access to satellite channels.
The Dish Network 1000.2 is a satellite antenna provided by Dish Network. It allows users to connect to high-definition satellite programming in the 110, 119, and 129 Western Arc satellites. When you use satellite 119, you’ve access to the primary DISH satellite. As such, you receive basic programming.
Satellite 110 provides expanded programming while satellite 129 carries HD TV programming. In addition, thanks to the antenna’s large reflector, it provides more coverage of the continental United States.
The Dish Network 1000.2 Dish has a built-in switch. This allows the antenna to accept signals from three LNBFs, and it’s great for hooking up receivers to the LNBFs. However, it can be a problem when aiming the antenna. We recommend using a satellite dish aiming scope to help point the antenna at the correct orbital satellite if you have this issue.
While this is a single dish antenna, it provides access to standard and HD channels. This allows you to watch your favorite TV shows and action movies as if you were in a cinema.
The DISH antenna comes with DISH Pro Plus technology. As such, the antenna can provide two tuners from a single line. Thanks to this feature, you can pick channels from other satellites.
This satellite antenna is typically designed as a direct TV satellite dish. You can attach it to your RV camper with no problems. The package comes as a complete kit, and it’s easy to set up, so all you have to do is follow the clear and concise instruction manual.
- It has a large reflector
- Provides nationwide coverage
- Easy to setup
- Can supply two tuners from a single line
- It does not come in the original box
6. KING DTP4900 DISH Tailgater Pro Premium Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna – Best Auto Locking RV Satellite
RV satellite ideal with DISH Pay As You Go HD programming
Looking for a satellite antenna that auto-locks onto a signal? Then you’re in luck. The KING DTP4900 DISH Tailgater Pro is an intelligent satellite antenna that can auto-lock onto signals.
This makes it easy to set up the antenna on your RV or camper and start watching your favorite programming. In fact, all you’ve to do is simply point the antenna at the sky and follow the on-screen prompts on your receiver.
The satellite antenna weighs 8 pounds, so ultra-lightweight and portable, so you can roof mount it on your RV, camper, or home. It can also remain unattached for greater flexibility. This is ideal when camping, hunting, or for tailgaters.
Since it’s portable, you can take it anywhere in the continental US. As such, you’ll never miss breaking news reports, the big game, or your favorite TV shows while on the road or camping. Like other King’s satellite antennas, this model is ideal for fishing and other outdoor activities.
It comes with a transparent cover. This sleek look is not only stylish but improves signals. If trees or buildings are blocking the satellite’s line of sight, it will let you know. In addition, the clear cover enables you to see where your satellite antenna is pointing. This ensures that you receive the best signal and simplifies troubleshooting.
With the KING DTP4900 DISH Tailgater Pro, you can watch HD TV programming wherever you go because it’s compatible with the Dish Pay-As-You-Go rate plan. As such, you can select the packages you want and even stop the service anytime. All you need to do is call the DISH network.
- Lightweight and portable
- It comes with a built-in handle
- It has a sleek design
- Roof mountable
- The mounting bracket is sold separately
- It comes with no receiver or remote control
Types of RV Satellite Dishes
The following are types of RV satellite dishes.
Portable Satellite Dishes
Portable satellite dishes are small and lightweight. The majority weigh less than 10 pounds and are roof mountable. They are often encased, and most have a clear cover. Not only does this give the satellite antenna a sleek look. But it improves the signal.
Made for the outdoors, they are ideal for hunting, camping, RVing, fishing, and tailgating. They are easy to install and offer nationwide coverage of the continental US. Sadly, most models are not WiFi-compatible. As such, you cannot access high-speed internet. The KING DTP4900 DISH Tailgater Pro Premium Portable Satellite TV Antenna is an excellent example of a portable satellite dish.
Permanent Satellite Dishes
Permanent satellite dishes are fixed in place, so once you’ve fitted them to the roof, it’s staying there.
This type of satellite dish has a parabolic antenna designed to receive signals so it can receive the highest possible signal strength. However, they are expensive and take time to install. A good example of a permanent dish is the Dish Network 1000.2 Dish.
The standard satellite dish also has a parabolic surface and a central feed horn. Since the dish is on the receiving end, it cannot transmit signals. However, when it receives signals, the beam hits the parabolic surface. It reflects the signal inward onto the dish’s feed horn.
This passes the signal to the receiver allowing you to enjoy standard and HD TV programming.
In some cases, the satellite antenna simultaneously picks up signals from two or more satellites, compromising signal quality. To ensure this doesn’t happen, look for a dish that accepts signals from multiple satellites.
Dome satellites have a protective cover protecting the internal components, especially the feed horn. This makes it easy for you to drive with the domed-designed satellite on the roof of your RV or camper.
Thanks to the domed design, you can enjoy your favorite programming even while driving (or at least your passengers can). However, the signal depends on your location. Fortunately, some models have the auto-lock feature. This locks onto a signal automatically in case of interruption. A good example of a domed satellite antenna is the DISH Tailgater Pro 2 Satellite Antenna.
What We Looked for in the Best Satellite Dish for RVs
The following are factors we looked at while researching the best RV satellite dishes.
While driving your RV or camper van, you want to keep your family entertained. What better way than with HD TV programming from your favorite channels? You need a dome or portable satellite antenna for this to be possible.
Lightweight and ultra-modern, they are small and roof mountable. As such, you can install them on a level surface on your camper van or RV roof. In addition, if the satellite has the auto-lock feature, it is better for you as it can lock onto signals automatically.
Ease of Installation
When looking at the best portable RV satellite dish, we researched models that are easy to install. Portable and dome satellite antennas are the easiest.
Mount the satellite on your RV or camper using the available accessories. Alternatively, you can buy a tripod and set up the satellite temporarily. Connect the coax cable from the satellite to the receiver, then plug in your TV.
Once you power on your receiver, follow the on-screen instructions, and you’ll start watching your favorite shows in minutes.
All the models we reviewed are compatible with two satellites – DISH NETWORK or DIRECTV. So whether you own an RV with built-in TV or bought the TV as a separate unit, the models we reviewed here are compatible.
Besides compatibility with your TV, we made sure they are compatible with Wally and other receivers. The Wally receiver and others allow for multi TV viewing. However, we caution you not to watch your favorite TV shows, sports events, movies, and others while driving.
Tips on How to Install A Satellite Dish On Your RV
If setting up a portable satellite antenna on a tripod, follow these steps:
- Secure your tripod to the ground using stakes or weights
- Position your tripod with a clear line of sight of the Southwest sky
- Connect your satellite to your tripod using screws or clamps
- Plugin your coaxial cable into the antenna and your receiver
- Turn the receiver on and follow the on-screen instructions to set up
If mounting your portable satellite antenna on the roof of your RV or camper, follow these steps:
- Choose a level surface on the roof of your RV
- Place your satellite antenna on the RV’s roof
- Mark the screw hole locations, then remove the antenna
- Apply sealant and place the satellite antenna again
- Align the base mount to the screw holes
- Using a power drill, screw the base
- Connect your coaxial cable to the satellite, and your receiver
- Turn the receiver on and follow the on-screen instructions
Always make sure your satellite antenna has a clear and unobstructed view of the sky. This ensures that your antenna receives signals from Eastern and Western Arc orbital locations.
When in doubt, follow the instruction manual accompanying the satellite antenna.
There you have it. The best portable satellite dishes for RVs that money can buy. These satellite antennas offer nationwide coverage. So whether you’re long-distance traveling in your RV or car with your family, you can have access to your favorite TV shows and movies. Looking for ideas on how to stay connected while on the road? Check out these ideas on how to get internet in campers and RVs.
Angela Devaney, a former IT project management professional, embarked on an adventurous journey of full-time travel, which included touring West Africa in a converted overland truck and converting an ex-military 4×4 Sprinter van into a camper for a five-year South American expedition. She now utilizes her hands-on experience to create practical RV living and van life advice as a full-time digital media producer, reaching over a million users annually through her YouTube channel, blog, and newsletter. Angela also lends her expertise as the editor-in-chief of the Campervan Electrics Handbook.