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Kathleenh 12-31-2010 12:44 PM

Need Help - Satellite?
Our New Year's resolution is to get out more in the Airstream. We have everything we need in our 19' Bambi but miss watching plain, old tv in the evenings as well as news in the morning. So we are considering getting a satellite. The question is, WHICH satellite... We know nothing of how to go about this.
Camping World has the Winegard Portable Satellite on sale for $699: Winegard Co - Winegard Carryout Automatic Portable Satellite TV Antenna - Satellite Antennas - Camping World

Is this a good system? Is it hard to use? Does the trailer have to be pre-wired for this to work? :bb:
Any and all advice is most appreciated! :flowers:

p.s. I don't want anyone to think I'm advertising for this particular item but thought it would be more helpful if people could look at what we are considering in order to give better advice. Sorry if this was a violation.

Mexray 12-31-2010 12:55 PM

We've used the older Qube portable sat system that you had to aim yourself - the new ones, and the one you linked will find the sat's automatically, and are easier to use...

I think they are good choice as you can move them around in camp to get a clear shot at the sat's...

We have a 28ft AS, and so had room to mount a sat on the roof, which works great - unless there are trees in the way...:mad:

We use Dish Net, at home and went with a Dish Ant on the AS, the HD version, are quite happy with the service, etc...

Happy New Year


noreen&sal 12-31-2010 01:13 PM

We have direct TV at home. Found an old dish, and made a base for it. Get a compass and aim it according to the menu on the TV. iF i CAN DO IT, ANYBODY can. I am techno.. challenged. Sal.:cool:

tkasten 12-31-2010 01:16 PM

We use Directv and took the extra receiver & antenna from our house when we upgraded to HD. I bought a Wineguard tripod ($60.00) and put the antenna on it. When we pull into camp it takes about 10 minutes to set up the Sat. I have 100' of cable zip tied behind the propane tanks. Set the dish out where we have a clear shot at the SW sky (most of the time) and then listen to the signal strength meter on the TV. It only costs $5.00 per month extra on our home Sat. Hard to beat that deal.

cliffcharb 03-11-2011 12:58 PM

All we do is take the bedroom Directv reciever out of the house and put it in the trailer when we go out with it. We have a Winegard RM-DM61 on the roof. I also have an extra dish and tripod we use, just in case trees are blocking the view from the trailer.

Kathleenh 03-12-2011 11:13 AM

Thanks, Cliff.
We have been going to campgrounds which have cable tv which has solved our tv-jones. :)

I'm hoping we will be spending more time on the road in future which will then make setting up a satellite more cost-effective. At present it seems a bit daunting for us non-techie types. Heck, I'm still trying to figure out which awning hooks work best on the Airstream awning. :bb:

Gene 03-12-2011 11:34 AM

If I understand what I've read, you can take a satellite receiver used at home, disconnect it and use it on the road.

We have Dish Network at home and everything costs another $5 (plus the rates go up $5 or more a year). They are as bad as any cable company. Can they tell you are moving the receiver around? If they can, they will surely want more money.

Do you connect the dish to the cable connection on outside of the trailer? I think I read the trailer is prewired for satellite, but never tried to find out about that.

Can you get the US Dish network in Canada?


Denis4x4 03-13-2011 03:10 PM

Gene, I have a DishNetork receiver in my shop and put it in the trailer when we take off. No extra charges, however, getting the networks can be a problem. BTW, I pay on an annual basis and the discounts are worth it. There is a special RV programing package that allows you to get networks on the road. We use a King Dome mounted on the roof.

Gene 03-13-2011 04:48 PM


Dish told me a couple of years ago when I was exploring HD programming that RV things were handled differently. Generally the guy didn't know what he was talking about and I was about to call Direct TV (their prices seem worse though), but I managed to get a supervisor and get the HD thing straightened out.

So it looks like I could take my home receiver on the road. Maybe I would continue to get Denver stations? Did you try to use the cable connector on the side of the trailer? Did you connect the dome to the cable for the OEM roof antenna, or use a splitter there?

I'm sure the dome is a lot easier, but I am attracted to the cheap tripod on the ground.


Denis4x4 03-14-2011 09:53 AM

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The spot beam technology was incorporated several years ago after a law suit and it's impossible to get your local programing beyond a 50 mile or so radius. Dish does have a package that is a premium that allows you to get the networks anywhere. When we ordered the Audio/visual AS package, I had custom wiring installed in the cabinet above the dinette to house the XM radio, Dish controller box and a distribution switch for sound and TV. I only use the outside TV jack for cable TV.

Gene 03-14-2011 10:59 AM

Dennis, thanks for the information. I thought I read somewhere that satellite wiring was preinstalled. That may have come after 2006. I'll have to look it up someday.


SilverRanger 03-14-2011 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by CrawfordGene (Post 963692)

I'm sure the dome is a lot easier, but I am attracted to the cheap tripod on the ground.


I also use the 'tripod on the ground' method with my DirecTV dish. Takes about 5 minutes to set up (after considerable experience). I hook the dish to the cable connector outside, then hook up the sat. receiver to the TV using the receiver's A/V (RCA type) cables, and just switch back and forth, using the TV input button, from the OTA (batwing) to the A/V input. I pack a 15' and a 75' cable, but rarely have to use the long one. Most of the time I can set up the dish, just outside the rear window, by swiveling the monitor towards the window, and watching the signal strength meter during set up.
Works great.

I pay the extra $5 per month for the extra receiver (provided by DirecTV). If I recall, they don't know the location of the receiver unless it's hooked up to a phone line, which isn't necessary unless you order movies via phone.

T Reno 10-17-2011 10:53 PM

OK I have a DIRECT TV satelite question - I am the second owner of a 1991 Excella and its pretty original. I made a tripod for my direct tv dish and then take an extra receiver out of the basement to install into the airstream.....heres the rub. I can make it all work when using a direct wire from the receiver to the dish, but when I try to use the internal existing wiring of the airstream I get no signal....whats wrong? My buddy tells me there must be some spiltters in the internal wiring making the signal too weak to operate...please advise.....

Aage 10-17-2011 11:32 PM

Your buddy is probably right. I ignored the existing antenna wiring in my '74 for the simple reason that it would have to be replace: it's 300 ohm twinlead, no good at all with satellite signals.

I brought the satellite feed in through the hole in the floor behind the refer and managed to run it from there to the sleeping area (which is where we prefer to watch TV). Had to go through a couple of bulkheads to get there, but it was no big thang.

The refer is fairly central in a lot of AS TTs, so if you are using the TV in the lounge area, it should be a very simple task to pull the wire from the hole in the floor under the refer to where your TV is.

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