RV satellite dish

6 Best Portable Satellite Dishes for an RV

Going camping doesn’t mean you need to miss your favorite television programs. With a portable satellite dish for RVs, you can enjoy TV service just about wherever you roam. From local weather to national headlines, being able to watch TV while camping is not only a form of entertainment but can also help keep your family safe during severe weather events.

Having TV access is also crucial for full-time RVers who camp remotely and for those unavoidable rainy days that keep everyone inside the camper.

If you have or use a micro camper, then getting a satellite dish is almost a necessity. It’s just as important as having the right tires for your RV or camper.

To help you snag the best portable satellite dish for RV use, check out our list of the top six models below!

Best RV Portable Satellite Dish – How It Works

When you purchase any of the best portable satellite dish models for RV use, you’ll also need to subscribe to a satellite TV service provider compatible with that model.

The provider will charge a monthly fee, just like paying for cable TV at home.

Satellites circle the globe around the earth’s equator. This fact means that you’ll need to aim your satellite dish at the southern skies without interference from tree limbs or other objects for the best reception.

You will run a coaxial cable from the dish to the cable connection on the outside of your camper. You will power on the dish using shore power, a generator, or your RV’s 12-volt battery system through the inverter.

On the inside of the RV, the cable continues to bring the signal to the satellite receiver box and your television. If you want HDTV, you’ll need to connect with an HDMI cable.

Once all is connected and on, you need to set the TV input to access the satellite provider’s startup screen. Follow the prompts, and you’ll be up and running in no time.

As quick as it is, you can do the same for a truck camper. It sounds bizarre but true.

Best RV Satellite Benefits

Here are many benefits to buying the best satellite TV for RV camping that is portable as opposed to a model you permanently affix to your camper’s roof:

  • You can easily move the unit for optimal signal strength
  • You can store it safely out of the elements when not in use
  • You keep the RV roof free of unnecessary objects
  • Allows connection to favorite programming, even off-grid
  • Avoids paying for costly permanent installation
  • Enjoy hundreds of channels
  • Gain fast weather alerts and updates

Many RVers regret installing a permanent satellite dish to their camper roof, as often you must park under trees or in a direction that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to gain a clear shot of the satellites in the southern skies.

Many RVers still utilize a stationary roof mounting bracket to attach their portable dish if it’s the best location for satellite signal reception. Still, it’s only a temporary connection that you remove before leaving the campsite.

6 Best Portable Satellite Dishes for RVs

1. Winegard PL-8000R Dish Playmaker Dual with Wally HD Receiver

Winegard is well-known for quality in the RVing world, and the PL-8000R Dish Playmaker Dual gets high marks from camping families who want an affordable, easy-to-use system to stay connected while on the road.

We tried it with an extra receiver and two cable lines to the dual-output dish plug-ins and had to agree that it quickly stops family squabbles over which TV show you’re going to watch. Your kids can watch what they want in the bunkhouse while you enjoy adult programming on another RV television.

Winegard PL8000R Dish Playmaker Dual Portable Automatic Satellite Antenna with Dish Wally HD Receiver and Roof Mount Kit
  • 100% automatic and self-installs quickly
  • Perfect for the RV, camper, motorhome, cabin, fishing, hunting, or tailgating
  • Works exclusively with DISH HD Solo receiver (included) technology, bringing you crystal-clear HD programming
  • Receiver is compatible with Winegard over-the-air antennas
  • RK-4000 Roof Mount Kit
  • Compatible with Carryout G3, DISH Playmaker (PL-7000), and DISH Playmaker Dual (PL-8000)
  • Converts a portable satellite antenna into a permanent roof mount antenna
  • Includes four mounting feet, a cable entry plate, hardware packages for installation, and printed instructions

PROS:

  • Military-grade aluminum alloy reflector for 20% better signal strength
  • Convenient 100% automatic DISH satellite locator
  • Durable and reliable for years of use
  • Self-installs quickly
  • Use with DISH Pay As You Go to save even more
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Instructions are lacking/you may need to call support during the initial setup

We think this model is best for RVers who want a no-fuss satellite TV system that connects fast in any camping location.

2. Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna

The Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna is another of the 6 high-quality portable satellite dishes for an RV that includes access to all DISH satellites. It’s in both the eastern and western hemispheres for uninterrupted television viewing.

After taking this model for a spin, we agree it’s the best portable satellite dish for DISH networks, as it provides the most coverage yet is super straightforward to set up. We like the option of having the dual-output for separate TVs so you can access a single satellite yet watch different shows.

Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna and DISH Wally Receiver Bundle (Dual Arc, 2 TV Viewing)
881 Reviews
Winegard Pathway X2 PA6002R Satellite TV Antenna and DISH Wally Receiver Bundle (Dual Arc, 2 TV Viewing)
  • Designed To Work Exclusively With Dish Programming
  • Equipped With A Large, 18In Reflector
  • X2 Has The Unique Ability To Access Both Western Or Eastern Arcs For Maximum Sd/Hd Dish Programming Throughout The Us In...
  • Receives Programming From Satellite 72.7 When Connected To 2 Receivers

PROS:

  • Covers both Eastern and Western Arc satellites
  • Dish is powered through the coaxial to eliminate extra cords
  • Works with regular or Pay-As-You-Go DISH subscriptions
  • Automatic acquisition of satellites
  • SD and HD options
  • Compatible with several receiver models

CONS:

  • Initial setup and downloads take several hours
  • Works better with even a little elevation so get the tripod

We think this portable satellite dish is best for RVers who love to travel across the US, so they can have clear television viewing no matter their camping destination.

3. KING VQ4800 Quest Pro Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna

The KING VQ4800 Quest Pro Satellite TV Antenna gives you the option to use a tripod or mount the unit to your RV roof. The Quest gets the best RV satellite system reviews for DirectTV subscriptions.

KING VQ4800 Quest Pro Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna (for use with DIRECTV)
781 Reviews
KING VQ4800 Quest Pro Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna (for use with DIRECTV)
  • Industrial redesign and ultramodern, clear cover offer sleek look and leading signal strength
  • Portable or roof-mountable - mounting feet included
  • Simple set-up with automatic satellite acquisition
  • Dual Output supports two satellite receivers
  • Exclusive for DIRECTV service - SD programming

PROS:

  • Superior weather resistance for hot/cold temperatures
  • Can support multiple TVs with an additional receiver
  • No external power supply is necessary (coaxial fed)
  • Fully automatic setup and satellite acquisition
  • Can use with DISH with King UC1000 universal controller

CONS:

  • Only compatible with DirectTV SD
  • Does not provide service while driving
  • Not compatible with SWM-only receivers

We think this model is best for RVers who want the option for a permanent mount and aren’t concerned with having high-def picture quality.

4. Winegard Carryout G3 Satellite TV Antenna

The Carryout G3 Satellite TV Antenna is another of the 6 portable satellite dishes for an RV. It provides the most flexible compatibility for subscription services as it works with DISH SD/HD, DirectTV SD, BellTV HD/SD, and DISH Wally receivers. The unit is also compact, making it easy to store between camping trips.

The satellite TV for RV reviews made us check out this model, and we weren’t disappointed. The chance to use the DISH Pay-As-You-Go programming makes it ideal for RV life and adds to its overall affordability.

Winegard GM 9000 Carryout G3 Portable Automatic Satellite Antenna
334 Reviews
Winegard GM 9000 Carryout G3 Portable Automatic Satellite Antenna
  • Compatible with multiple providers
  • Easily switch providers at power inserter
  • Permanent and temporary mount options.Elevation Range: 18-65°
  • Fully automatic satellite acquisition.Azimuth: 0 – 416°
  • Ultra-small and compact (16" diameter x 13" height)
  • Fit Type: Universal Fit

PROS:

  • Portable or Roof Mount Options
  • Larger reflector for more signal strength
  • Supports extra receiver for dual TVs
  • Lightweight yet durable dome
  • Speedier channel checks and fast satellite acquisition
  • Comes with all the accessories for setup

CONS:

  • Requires following set-up directions exactly to work
  • Compatibility with some subscription services/devices is tricky

We think this model is best for RVers who want a dish that can operate on any satellite TV service so they can swap providers without purchasing a new unit.

5. Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV’LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna

The Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV’LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna is made to be a roof-mount dish, but as it’s on your moving RV, that makes it portable, right?

We find this model to be pricey, but it’s a beast when it comes to providing the best RV satellite dish reception and channel selection – we had three RV televisions running programs off three different satellites! The big downfall is the size, as it folds down to around 10-inches tall for travel but is just under four feet tall and three feet wide when open.

Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna
265 Reviews
Winegard SK-SWM3 TRAV'LER DIRECTV Slimline Antenna
  • Your purchase includes TRAV'LER Satellite Antenna | Power Inserter | 4-Way SWM Splitter | IDU with Power Supply |...
  • Antenna dimensions – 44” L x 34” W x 9.75” H | Stowed height – Less than 10” | Weight – 53 lbs.
  • Features: Acquisition type – Automatic (no aim required when changing location) | Tracking type: Stationary (For use...
  • Provides simultaneous reception from 99 degrees, 101 degrees and 103 degrees for complete SD and HD programming
  • Supports all new DIRECTV (Only) HD receivers. Great to use with DVRs, watch and record from different satellites...

PROS:

  • Compatible with up to four receivers
  • Brings in HD DirectTV satellites
  • Fast and automatic satellite acquisition
  • Reflectors provide superior signal strength and less rain fade
  • Easy one-button setup and operation

CONS:

  • Professional installation recommended
  • High cost and large size
  • Not truly portable – remains outside

We think this model is best for RVers who want the broadest options for satellite reception and channel viewing no matter where they park the camper.

6. KING Dish Tailgater Pro Premium DTP4950

The KING Dish Tailgater Pro DTP4950 includes all the bells and whistles, so your RVing adventures keep you totally connected.

We found the setup was quick, the coverage was excellent, and the price very reasonable for such a well-built portable satellite dish for an RV. The ability to update software while on the road or the option to roof mount is a huge bonus.

Sale
KING DTP4950 DISH Tailgater Pro Bundle - Premium Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna and DISH Wally HD Receiver
1,639 Reviews
KING DTP4950 DISH Tailgater Pro Bundle - Premium Portable/Roof Mountable Satellite TV Antenna and DISH Wally HD Receiver
  • NO CONTRACT; Ideal with DISH Pay As You Go HD programming
  • PORTABLE; The DISH Tailgater Pro from KING is a premium satellite TV antenna for people on the go; Lightweight and...
  • TV ANYWHERE; This DISH Wally receiver allows you to access your DISH subscription anywhere in the contiguous US; Simply...
  • AUTO LOCKING; This intelligent satellite antenna automatically locks onto the signal, taking the guesswork out of...

PROS:

  • Uses Western and Eastern arc satellites for 100% coverage
  • Upgraded automatic setup and connection speeds
  • USB software updates
  • Provides crisp HD reception
  • Includes Wally receiver
  • Affordable

CONS:

  • Defaults to SD channels on occasion

We think this model is best for RVers who want a sleek modern look and the latest and most updated satellite TV dish to ensure you receive more HD channels and faster connection speeds.

Best Portable Satellite Dish – What Features Are Important

These are the important features to watch out for before purchasing a portable satellite dish for RVs:

Construction

Don’t allow a bad seal or poor cable connections to ruin your satellite dish functions.

For domes units, ensure a waterproof seal between the base and top to keep out moisture that will interfere with proper reception. Make sure plastic or metal components are weather-resistant and durable enough to withstand an accidental tip-over.

Are the connections for the coaxial cable lines secure? The components shouldn’t wiggle around.

Also, ensure any tripod or bracket, cabling, or other accessories you purchase are high-quality.

Style

A sealed domed unit has a rounded cover that protects the antenna from rain, wind, dust, and other contaminants. Domed units are more compact than open satellite dishes and look more modern when sitting out on your campsite.

Open satellite RV antennas have a rounded, concave dish with a separate antenna, all sitting on a pole or legs. This style looks like a slightly smaller version of standard residential satellite dishes.

The whole unit is open to weather exposure. The broad dish can move when it catches the wind or rain, leading to frustrating resets of direction.

Tracking Capability

Manual units require you to point the antenna in the right direction. The best RV satellite will have automatic tracking of satellites and locks into one with the strongest signal.

This ability to move as needed to retain a solid signal reduces user stress and makes you a much happier camper.

Can It Support More Than One TV?

Most recreational vehicles come with more than one TV. If you want to watch separate programming, you’ll need to have an RV satellite dish that has dual outputs so you can add another receiver and watch different shows.

Some RV satellite dishes can handle up to four TVs, so if this sounds important to you, look at each model to see what it can support.

Satellite Subscription Service Compatibility

The satellite subscription service you choose must work with the software programming in the dish.

Some models have the ability to work with two or three carriers, while others can only support one satellite service.

If you don’t already have a residential satellite TV service, research which company offers the best connections and speed in your area. If you plan to RV cross country, find a service and portable satellite dish that picks up Eastern and Western arc satellites.

DISH Network is a leader in satellite technology, but the main draw for RVers is their Pay-As-You-Go program which allows you to start and stop service at a low cost with no fees.

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Best Satellite for RV Wrap Up

Hitting the road with one of the 6 portable satellite dishes for your RV is always an adventure. Kicking back to watch your favorite shows at the end of a long day of hiking or sightseeing is part of camping fun and relaxation.

With any of the best RV satellite dish models above, you’re able to catch your favorite sports team’s big game, stay on top of local weather, or keep the kids occupied during bad weather on your next RV trip.

We hope you use the helpful information in this guide to the best portable satellite dish for RV to find the perfect match that fits your camping needs!

QUOTE:
"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
-- John Muir
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