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 > Alternative satellite option?

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obiwancanoli

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Posted: 05/20/19 07:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m curious if, in addition to a mounted satellite on top of your rig, you also have a portable unit for use when your mounted antenna can’t get a signal when obstructed by trees, etc. ? As somewhat of a newbie, not sure going to the expense is a common solution, and wanted to inquire...

way2roll

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Posted: 05/20/19 07:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had in motion sat on our first MH. Never again. It was spotty at best and as you figured out, requires line of sight. Friends of ours have a portable one that seems to work ok. My issue is that it's cumbersome. We cut the cord a while ago and find that with a firestick and mobile hotspot we get what we want and have less issues than we ever did with the Sat. Nothing to set up, drag around, position, no wires and cheaper than DTV or dish. The only caveat is that you will probably want an unlimited data plan. Something that a few carriers are finally coming around to offer with reasonable prices. That said, if you really like and want DTV or Dish then carryout portable units seem to work pretty good from the experience of our friends - better than the fixed units anyway.

rk911

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Posted: 05/20/19 08:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

we have an automatic rooftop dish (Winegard Trav’ler) which is very convenient as long as there is a clear shot of the southern sky. we selected DISH network primarily for their pay-as-you-go pricing and their ViP722k dual TV receiver/DVR. we’re very happy with our choices. i had always planned to purchase a portable automatic dish for use when we were parked with no clear view of the sky. my research turned out to be incomplete as i discovered that not all receivers are compatible with all antennas. the ViP722k is a residential model and incompatible with all portable automatic antennas. it will work with a manual antenna but i’m not interested in those...too much hassle. if/when our receiver gives up the ghost i’ll be smarter choosing a new one.


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DFord

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Posted: 05/20/19 08:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I bought a used Winegard Carryout and few years ago and couldn't get it to work. I'd been troubleshooting it with Winegard at an RV park and had just about come to the conclusion it needed repair before it would be able to receive a signal. My neighbor came over and mentioned he had one just like it and never could get it to work either and said he'd just about give it away. I jumped at the offer and paid him what he wanted for it. As soon as I flipped the switches setting it to find the Dish satellites, it worked great! I sent the other one back to Winegard and they replaced a couple of chips on the board to fix it. The cost was reasonable as I was expecting to pay for a whole new board. After I got it I figured on selling one of them but decided two would come in handy. I mounted one on the roof and kept the other one portable to use when trees blocked the permanently mounted one on the roof. I'm happy I did. Most of the time the rooftop dish works great but if I can't get a signal, I pull the other one out and using an app on my phone, locate an opening in the trees where it will work. I wouldn't have been able to do that if I hadn't bought them used. I still don't have as much in the two used ones I'd have had in one new one.


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Bill.Satellite

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Posted: 05/20/19 08:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have used a roof mounted satellite TV antenna for 19 years. I don't carry a portable as I have only been blocked by trees a hand full of times during that time span. I live in my RV full time and travel A LOT! You simply need to make a choice about what's important, TV or shade. Just tell the campground operator you want a site with a clear view of the Southern Sky. They have been asked this so many times they know which site will work and which will not. On those few days without satellite there is almost always something available with a Batwing antenna used for OTA TV. Some of the smaller or omni-directional OTA TV antennas will not perform nearly as well. Luckily, I also have a DTV DVR receiver so I can always watch some of the dozens and dozens of programs and movies I have previously recorded.


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CA Traveler

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Posted: 05/20/19 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a RF Mogul RV roof top dish and the DTV HR44 DVR receiver which stores recorded shows that are always available. We also watch minimum live shows instead watch recorded shows skipping the ads. This also means we can watch 2x 1 hr shows is 1 hr.

But we're considering purchasing a portable dish and tripod. If so, it will be the heavy-duty tripod and dish that folds up which helps with storage. The TV4RV is the best equipment I've found which included suggestions from this board and the most expensive. The heavy-duty combo tripod is $170. The dish and LNB is $195. Plus, S&H. Yes, you can buy other equipment and spend less.

I tested how long the coax could be using my home setup and coax from my 18" round dish days. DTV says 150' limit for SWM. With 300' I had 2 signal dropouts in a month. The 300' was made up of 7 sections of coax without the high frequency connectors and barrel connectors needed for the much higher frequency bandwidth required by SWM. Also, this test was in the Phoenix area which has higher satellite signal strength than say Seattle. But I'm confident that 200' if not more would work at my daughters in Seattle.

Also add the cost of coax to the above, say $30 for 100’ of 3 GHz coax which would be adequate length for most CG sites. I’d probably want 2x 100’ plus 50’.


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Posted: 05/20/19 08:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I originally had the KingDome in motion. Several years ago I got rid of that and had the Winegard Traveler installed. Yes, sometimes trees get in the way and all campground frown on you cutting down their trees so I carry a DirecTV separate dish. I take it apart and it sits in one of the bays with the tripod. I installed an A-B switch in the upper compartment in order to switch from the roof mounted one to the exterior mounted one for convenience. Wingard has an app for aiming the dish and it takes less than 5 mins to set up the exterior dish. I use the outside one maybe 3 times a year so it's no big hassle. A happy wife is a happy life. [emoticon]....Dennis


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rgatijnet1

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Posted: 05/20/19 08:47am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have the Winegard Traveler and also carry a portable dish. Whenever we check in to an RV park, we tell them we would like a site with satellite access. 90% of the time, they are more than happy to accommodate us since a lot of people want sites with a lot of trees/shade. We very seldom can't get the dish to lock on. For those few instances our Winegard will not work we use the portable dish but we have also found that in a very few RV parks, the trees are too dense for even a portable dish to lock on to a satellite. In those rare cases, we crank up our TV antenna and can usually find some local stations to watch for the news/weather. We used DirecTV because we could take our receiver from the house and use it in the RV when we travel.

Big Katuna

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Posted: 05/20/19 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a dome on my RV I don’t even bother to connect anymore.

We camp Fl state parks often and they are mostly heavily treed.

I use a Winegard Pathway X2. It lets you select eastern or western arc which gives you options when here are trees. DISH is more RV friendly than Dtv IMHO.


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obiwancanoli

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Posted: 05/20/19 09:02am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks everyone, great info.... it also occurred to me that most parks have free cable, too, so that's another option... I mean, really... it's not about watching TV ALL the time (if at all)... it was just a question I didn't have an answer to before, that I have now... thank you again!

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