Best RV Antena

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Concrete200

Member
Joined
Jul 15, 2012
Posts
5
Location
Fayetteville, AR
I currently have a 2011 Voltage Toy Hauler and I think it may have the worst TV antena I have ever seen on an RV...This is my 3rd RV and it far worse than my 2 previous.  It is a "no-crank" Jensen with booster.  We are camping in the same spots we have for years and insted of 15-20 cahnnels now I only get 3-4.  Needless to say I am going to replace it.  What do you folks think is the best TV antena available?  I don't care how much - I just want the best.  Thanks in advance for your help.
 
Are you sure it is the antenna??

Most Over the Air TV stations have converted to broadcasting only Digital signals over the last 2 years or so but there may be 3-4 left in your area still operating analog. This means that you may now need a "digital to analog signal converter" between the incoming antenna signal and the TV input, especially if you have an older TV with only an analog turner. Not all flat screen  LCD or similar TV's are equipped with a digital tuner and none of the older tube type are. Check the spec for the TV set in question before jumping on the antenna replacement bandwagon, the antenna itself can handle both.

Also note that the "new" digital signals do not have the range of the older longer range analog ones. There is no weak signal 'snow' effect, the signal is there or it is not... and those horrible 'signal eating trees' can do a number on it.
 
These are newer TV's.  When you search they say how many analog channels and digital channels are being picked up.  Like I said before, I sit in the same camping spot at four different shooting events that we attend and I can't pick up even half of what I got with my previous RV's (2004 Sunnbrook and 2012 Cougar).  I am good friends with my neighbor at the last shoot we went to and he could pick up at least 1 chanel from each of the major networks and I couldn't get any - and that's only 20" apart
 
Is the reception the same with the booster off as it is when the booster is on?  If so, might be a booster problem.  Also have seen posts on other forums about bad connections between the television and the antenna.  Might be worth the time to work your way back from the antenna checking each connection along the way.  Our reception was bad one time when we arrived at a campsite which was close to broadcast towers.  Got up on the roof and found the connector to the antenna was loose.  Not disconnected, just loose.
 
Certainly antennas can make a lot of difference in reception. Although my RV antenna experience is only with the Winegard batwing, I've seen comments on the Jack being better and on it being the same. I've always had good luck with the batwing, though.
 
I have very good results with the Jack antenna, comparable to the Winegard Batwing. Advantage is no need to raise and lower antenna and it has a built in signal strength indicator.
I notice that the Jensen antenna is an omnidirectional antenna. It is not possible for an omnidirectional antenna to be as sensitive as one that can be aimed at the signal source. They are good for areas with many local TV stations at different compass points that provide a strong signal.
Good luck
 
WHOA... Before you toss out the antenna, you might only need new coax cables.

I had similar problem. Neighbors getting more channels than me.

Tossed out my old nickle plated coax cables, replaced them with gold plated (which doesn't corrode like nickel.)

Now I'm getting more channels than the neighbors.  ;D

A circuit is no better than its weakest link, whether that is an inadequate cable or a poor connector.
 
It's true.  Omnidirectional antennas are not as effective as directional ones for weaker than local signals.  It's also true that you might have a bad coax lead.  The coax is easy enough to check with a good quality VOM. 

Since terrestrial TV went digital, and you did mention that you now have newer TV's, could it be that your newer TV's just need to be reprogrammed in the spot you are camping in?  If not, this needs to be done. The  instructions to do so should be in the owners manuals. 

The new digital terrestrial TV signal is very geographically affected.  Obstructions such as hills, trees, buildings, etc, all will affect your incoming signals from each individual transmission tower.  Maybe some stations you were able to receive before are too weak now with the newer system.  As stated before, there really is no more weak, snowy, but watchable TV stations.  If the incoming signal is too weak, you see nothing.  This is where directional antennas excel with incoming weaker signals over Omnidirectionals.  But the transmission tower of that particular station is still the the goal to point the antenna toward.  If that tower is within range of an omnidirectional antenna, no problem.  If not, black screen.  Is the whole thing a bit more cumbersome, yes.  You can thank the FCC for that.  They say they needed the bandwidth for other things.

Regardless, I hope this helps a little.  With terrestrial digital TV, you will need to reprogram your TV/digital converter when parked at locations you don't frequent with your current antenna.  Even with an upgrade, depending on where you go with your toy hauler, you may need/want to reprogram your TV's at each location.  I would try with your current antennae first and see what the outcome is before investing. 
 
I have the same problem with our Winegard Roadstar RS-2000 Omni antenna.  If I decide I can't live with it, I will go for the Jack antenna.  Look it up and download the install manual, looks like it would be easy to install.  Amazon sells it for about $118 with free normal shipping.  Regards Dick
 
For thru-the-air TV we have had this antenna on four MHs and it has performed very well.  Also, we added the newer RV Wing Man and that improved the signal a bit more.

http://www.winegard.com/sensar/index.php

JerryF
 
Regarding the price of the Jack.  The $118 price from CW would be for the whole antenna with mast, I assume.  The head only is about $50 for people who are replacing their Winegard head.  That's what we did and continue to use the old mast to raise and lower.

 
$118. from Amazon is the entire Jack antenna set up, suggested retail is about $170.  CW has it on a internet only sale for $109.55
I quoted the entire Jack antenna since he does not have a crank up antenna now.
Regards, Dick
 
You're right about his need to have the whole assembly and those are good prices.  I mentioned the head only option as some people reading the topic might want to switch to the Jack and already have an assembly.  They could switch for about $50.  That's what we did.  I had the batwing and then added the wingman.  It was a little big and bumped into the fridge vent cover when down.  So, I replaced with the Jack which is much smaller and eliminated the problem with where it hit the cover.  I picked up much better reception in addition.
 

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