As much as you’re going to want to spend a lot of your time out hiking, fishing, and exploring, you’ll get tired at some point. If your trip is long enough, you’ll need time to unwind and relax.
I know I’m guilty of planning a few too many things to do without giving myself time to rest, and when that happens, I don’t enjoy any of the things I’m doing.
Fortunately, I’ve found that one of the best ways to relax is to kick back with a nice cup of coffee and watch some TV.
Most RVs come with an antenna installed, allowing you to watch TV at any time, but some people prefer to install an external antenna to get a better reception.
Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about learning anything overly complicated.
Installing it isn’t overly difficult, and I’ll take you through the steps of how to hook up an external TV antenna to an RV below!
6 steps to get your external RV antenna installed
Before you start the installation process, you’re going to need to pick one to purchase.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose, but it does matter that the one you select is durable. You should also look for one that can be folded down while you are driving.
And you’ll likely also need an electrical outlet for your TV to work. Here’s how to install an electrical outlet in an RV.
1. Construct your antenna
The first thing you’re going to need to do is unbox your antenna. You should then follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
However, you could skip this step if you purchased a pre-built model. Either way, it’s a good idea to read the user manual before you start the installation process.
2. Install your antenna
This step can be skipped if you are planning on using a portable antenna.
Next, you should try to find a secure and unobstructed position on the roof of your RV to attach the antenna. You can contact your RV dealer or manufacturer to see if there is a pre-wired or reinforced area that is best for antenna installation.
At this point, you should consult your user manual for step by step instructions. Every antenna is different, and as a result, we can’t give detailed instructions here.
Don’t hesitate to consult a professional if you’re not feeling confident. If you install the antenna incorrectly it could result in damage that could cost you money in the long run.
3. Run the cables
You should look around for holes or hook ups in your RV that you can feed your cables through. Then, you can run the power and interface cables inside the RV so that you can connect them to the TV.
4. Connect the cables
Over the air antennas and HD antennas will usually connect to your TV via a coaxial cable. All you need to do is screw the coaxial cable from your recently installed antenna into the coaxial port on the back of your TV.
Some of you might be reading this confused because your TV does not have a coaxial port. If that’s the case, you’re going to need an ASTC Tuner. Plug the coaxial cable into the tuner, then run the AV cables or HDMI cable from the tuner back into the TV.
5. Mount your TV
In some scenarios, you’re going to need to take your TV off the wall mount to access the ports. If you needed to do this, you’re going to need to re-mount your TV before you can proceed.
6. Run a channel scan
The final thing you need to do once your TV is hooked up to your newly installed RV antenna is ensure the antenna is on. To do this, you should run a channels scan.
You can do this directly from your TV.
However, like with other steps in this process, how you do it will vary based on the manufacturer of your RV. So, you should consult your TV’s manual for instructions on how to do this.
If you find channels, you’re good to go. However, if you do not find any channels, you will need to adjust your antenna until you find channels during a scan.
Purchase a TV antenna rotator
As you drive around the country, you’re going to need to adjust your antenna to get a better signal. After a few times of doing this, you’ll probably get sick of manually adjusting the antenna. As a result, you should consider purchasing a remote operated antenna rotator to make your life easier.
Some antenna rotator models even come with channel saving features. What this means is that when you are watching a certain channel, the antenna will adjust automatically to get the best signal possible.
While many external antennas come with this feature installed, you can purchase separate antenna rotators as well.
Get a TV antenna booster
The quality of your TV watching experience in an RV largely depends on the quality of your antenna reception.
Reception quality depends on the distance between local signal towers, and a variety of other factors including weather, terrain, and surroundings.
However, you can purchase a TV antenna booster to improve the signal quality your antenna receives.
When you first purchase your RV, you might not put any thought into your TV situation.
After all, many of you probably bought an RV to get away from technology and to escape the daily news cycle. However, if you go on a longer trip, you probably will not want to put on your boots to go hiking every day.
You’ll have days where you just want to shut yourself inside and relax. Even if that’s not the case, you might want to relax and watch a movie at night.
Unfortunately, you’ll not be able to do that without a TV antenna installed.
With that in mind, you can follow my instructions above to get your external TV antenna installed without much difficulty.
You can then choose when to go exploring, and when to take a relaxing day off!