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Old 12-12-2014, 12:19 PM   #1
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Satellite System

Hello Forum! We have a 2013 extended Airstream Interstate and we want to add a satellite system. Can anyone help us in deciding the best system and the best location to add the equipment? We already have the DISH system in our home.


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Old 12-12-2014, 03:38 PM   #2
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With an existing dish subscription, you just need to add the new receiver to your account. It's approximately $7 per month.

We went with a portable dish because we prefer to park under trees. Winegard makes several small dishes, and there's also the Tailgater made by King Controls. You need to set the dish in a spot where it is approximately level, and it will automatically find the satellites after you specify the state where you are located. Most get power through the coax, so you won't need additional AC cords. Some have optional mounts if you prefer to mount them on the roof.

You can also get an in-motion dish, but these are considerably more expensive. I don't believe Dish supports in-motion video.
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:45 PM   #3
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We had the in motion dish installed with DirecTV. Be sure your dealer knows what they are doing, it is expensive and we had to wait quite a while for them to figure out how to install it. After this rainy period we just noticed there is a leak so I am still dealing with it.

We are on the fence whether or not it was a good upgrade. I see you are in Sacramento. If you travel the 5 a lot, because it is so open and straight is pretty much the only place we have gotten it to work while driving. Even in our own driveway, the slightest obstruction seems to limit it. Also know it is loud when trying to find a satellite. We tend to not use it during camp quiet hours. Sorry to be so negative, but it is expensive and after a year we still wonder if it was worth it.
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Old 12-12-2014, 04:52 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lamato View Post
Hello Forum! We have a 2013 extended Airstream Interstate and we want to add a satellite system. Can anyone help us in deciding the best system and the best location to add the equipment? We already have the DISH system in our home.
If you mount a system on the roof of your van, put it in place of the existing Winegard disk-shaped television antenna at the rear (if you still need both the dish and the antenna, relocate the antenna to the top of the air conditioner shroud where it's still not quite as tall as the dish). Use the same roof penetration that the antenna used for routing the cable from the dish to your television system.

One caveat; measure the total height of the van after you do the install, and find out your new required vertical clearance. An acquaintance in Shreveport who has a Sprinter van (not an Interstate, a custom conversion intended for tailgating at football games) forgot to do that, and somewhere in the Northeast he ended up doing a dish-ectomy by passing under a low overpass!
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:15 PM   #5
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I agree with Lineolated! We use the Winegard Carryout portable dish so we have a much better chance of satellite reception when parking in/near trees. With a fixed dish on the roof of your RV you are MUCH more limited in terms of having a clear view of the satellite(s). Since we bought our Carryout Winegard has come out with an improved version that is much smaller (Carryout G2), which is a great improvement. I highly recommend that setup.
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Old 12-13-2014, 07:24 AM   #6
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Installed the Winguard Roadtrip in motion on our new 2015 interstate coach works great. Dealer install $1700 and $6 month receiver with Direct tv. Goes down the road like ur in ur living room watching ur full package of channels. We did loose signal under large canopy of trees once but the coach antenna with amplifier bailed us out for the Dolphin game recently.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:11 AM   #7
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I first tried a standard dish. Never did get the hang of tuning it in. Got a TAILGATER designed for use with DISH $350. You need a specific receiver, but the receiver can be used with a standard dish also. You hook up the Tailgater and program it for location and it will find the satellite signal on it's own. Anyone want to buy a slightly used regular dish? There is also a similar unit on the marker that can also be used with DIRECT TV for about $450. If you go with a roof mounted system you have to be parked in a spot so the dish has a clear shot at the southern sky.
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Old 12-13-2014, 09:36 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by OhThePlaces View Post
...

We are on the fence whether or not it was a good upgrade. ... Also know it is loud when trying to find a satellite. We tend to not use it during camp quiet hours. Sorry to be so negative, but it is expensive and after a year we still wonder if it was worth it.
We are in the process of evaluating our various options on this issue. We upgraded our vehicle's old analog TV (which had a converter box patched into the system) to a digital RV TV model, but we don't have a decision yet on how we are going to use it.

There's another recent thread somewhere (sigh... if only I could keep track of threads...), perhaps on a generic RV forum, where multiple people claimed that you still have to make a telephone call to the provider to get signal access permission as you travel around to new areas. That sounds absolutely bonkers to me - has this been fixed?

Other posters noted that, even when you have signal permission, it can take 30 minutes for some of these system to actually acquire signal. Also bonkers, because at most I might want to devote 30 minutes per day to the TV just to watch the news. I don't know in what instances this type of signal acquisition futzing-around must occur.

I might be happy with a better local access antenna, but the one that our 2007 was born with doesn't seem to be very effective (appears to be a standard small Winegard-type thing that you crank up and down and rotate from inside the vehicle). Sometimes we can get two channels while in the sticks. Sometimes we are in an urbanized area and can't get anything at all. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. Are there better antennae on the market?

Thanks!
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Old 12-13-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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I have the installed Wineguard and automatic satellite finder. Love it. I have Direct TV since I am a NFL fan and must watch the NFL Ticket which is only found with Direct TV. I had Dish a while back but I personally like the Direct TV much better.
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Old 12-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
There's another recent thread somewhere (sigh... if only I could keep track of threads...), perhaps on a generic RV forum, where multiple people claimed that you still have to make a telephone call to the provider to get signal access permission as you travel around to new areas. That sounds absolutely bonkers to me - has this been fixed?

Other posters noted that, even when you have signal permission, it can take 30 minutes for some of these system to actually acquire signal. Also bonkers, because at most I might want to devote 30 minutes per day to the TV just to watch the news. I don't know in what instances this type of signal acquisition futzing-around must occur.
Just some clarifications. I use a Dish Tailgater system. I have a small HD receiver (211Z) and a separate satellite dish in a sealed box. They system aims itself so that is a big timesaver in setup. The key is having a view of the satellite. I use an iPhone/iPad app which me allows to look at the sky to determine where the satellites are, and if there are any obstructions to the view for the dish. For me this is extremely economical since I have a Dish network system at home. My only cost other than the purchase of the hardware is the activation of my receiver. Dish charges $7.00 monthly for use of the receiver. You can activate and deactivate the receiver at will. Dish will prorate that cost if you activate for less than a month. I typically activate my receiver before I leave home. This allows me to test just prior to departure. Activation takes a call to Dish and can take up to 20 minutes for your receiver to activate.

My programming is the same as home. If I leave my home area my local network stations may not be available, if they are out of range of the spot beam delivering local service. No need to make a call if local stations are not wanted. If you do, then you call Dish Network and inform them that you would like to have your spot beam changed to the locals in the area you are staying. I only do this if I'm at a destination campground. If I'm moving daily, I would not make this call. Keep in mind that your national service is available without calling. If you don't mind paying the $7 monthly and you don't want local stations, no calls need to be made.

Here is the link to a thread with more information.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...ml#post1543938

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Old 12-13-2014, 11:52 AM   #11
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Interblog - When using the off-air antenna, are you scanning for channels each time you move? I get off-air TV most anywhere, but I do have the preamplified version of the Winegard Sensar antenna and I added the "Wingman" UHF elements which my antenna didn't have. Newer version have that standard.
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Old 12-13-2014, 12:01 PM   #12
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Interblog, In our 2007 Interstate, we found that the coax likes to unscrew itself on a regular basis. It is not evident when it is in position against the wall. You have to open it up and check to make sure that it is tightened as well as rescan when we move as Al and Missy stated above.

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Old 12-18-2014, 08:17 AM   #13
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Interblog - When using the off-air antenna, are you scanning for channels each time you move? I get off-air TV most anywhere, but I do have the preamplified version of the Winegard Sensar antenna and I added the "Wingman" UHF elements which my antenna didn't have. Newer version have that standard.
As a general follow-up to this discussion, embedded in the bowels of the massive "What did you get for your trailer today?" thread (over 2,000 replies), there is a discussion about retrofitting a digital antenna. Ours is the OEM analog unit that our Interstate was born with in 2007. According to this member from Biloxi, he gets 16 - 18 channels with the King Controls Sensar Antenna Replacement Head. In freakin' Biloxi?! I can barely get 2 channels and I'm in the fourth largest city in America!!

Realizing that the original antenna might be our issue, we resolved to first purchase a digital unit and see how it works. They are only 40 or 50 bucks. If we try one of those and don't get better reception here in Houston, then we'll simply continue the troubleshooting.

Referenced thread section:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f48/...01729-150.html
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:27 AM   #14
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Ours is the OEM analog unit that our Interstate was born with in 2007. According to this member from Biloxi, he gets 16 - 18 channels with the King Controls Sensar Antenna Replacement Head. In freakin' Biloxi?! I can barely get 2 channels and I'm in the fourth largest city in America!!
Strictly speaking, a digital antenna is exactly the same as an analog antenna. Radio waves are radio waves, regardless of the type of signal carried by those waves. The only difference comes in how the signal is processed after it's received by the antenna. The main things to look for are if the antenna is directional (you have to aim it) or omnidirectional (you don't) and whether it picks up both VHF and UHF signals (and maybe FM signals as well so you can also get better reception on your radio).

For my home television, as a backup to cable TV— which can go out if the cable provider experiences a power outage in a storm and my apartment doesn't— I bought an ordinary analog "rabbit ears" indoor antenna with a UHF loop on it. I receive 18 digital broadcast channels over the "analog" rabit ears. By comparison, my Winegard omnidirectional antenna on my Airstream, parked right outside, picks up 22 channels. The difference is the "omnidirectional" part of the Airstream's antenna, since rabbit ears are very directional. The fact that one antenna is digital and the other analog mades no differrence.
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