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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #11  
Old 09-19-2010
White Hat Guy's Avatar
White Hat Guy White Hat Guy is offline
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Default Satellite or over the air antenna

Since I will be retired in January and Martha, J.B. Dogg and I are considering semi-full timing, we are thinking about satellite TV. I'm not interested in the "dome-type" and more and it seems more RVers are using roof-top, automatic multi-satellite antennas. I'm not sure the tote around
tripod types interest me (but cost could be a factor).


Any recommendations/suggestions?
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  #12  
Old 09-19-2010
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Tommy,
From what I have seen and heard, the tripod tote-around will allow you to place the dish to get a signal when there are trees or other obstructions around the coach, unless you want to watch TV while driving (not you of course, but your Martha). Then again, it becoms something else to unpack and re-pack when camping, particularly at the Wal Mart.
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  #13  
Old 09-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by White Hat Guy View Post
Since I will be retired in January and Martha, J.B. Dogg and I are considering semi-full timing, we are thinking about satellite TV. I'm not interested in the "dome-type" and more and it seems more RVers are using roof-top, automatic multi-satellite antennas. I'm not sure the tote around
tripod types interest me (but cost could be a factor).


Any recommendations/suggestions?
I recommend an in-motion satellite dish (I use KVH). Although many will say that they have no need for in-motion, it has a great advantage when parking. When you arrive at a campground, turn the unit on and as you are pulling or backing into a site you can monitor it for reception. Many many times I have done this and found that moving our bird a few feet one way or another meant the difference in having TV or not. That can"t be so easily done with a stationary dish. We're spoiled to having our Direct TV in our bird and I'm partial to KVH dishes.

Hope this helps.....
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2010
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Default Satellite or over the air antenna

Guess my ignorance shows again John.

We're Direct TV fans (at home) but do very little TV watching on the road, but considering we will be all but homeless in a few months and extended stays in one location we will want our Direct TV back.

Looking of course for the "best bang for the buck".
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  #15  
Old 09-19-2010
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I am in a similar situation, but instead of suffering from DirectTV withdrawal I am suffering from DVR (Tivo) withdrawal. I'm not always in my coach (or awake) when my favorite shows come on, and being able to record them for later viewing and commercial-skipping has become a "necesssity" for me.

Another factor is that some of my favorite shows are on HBO and Showtime, and campground cable does not usually include the premium channels

With so many things on my coach's wish list, I am delaying the purchase of a roof-mounted dish and just setting up my dish and tripod when I relocate for more than a couple of days. Winegard makes a handy and collapsible tripod for around $80:



Setup/aiming and teardown only take 10 minutes or so--especially with a signal strength meter (made by Winegard and others--approx. $30). The elevation doesn't really change if you stay in the same general part of the country, and all I have to do is swivel the dish back and forth until the needle pegs on the meter and then lock it down.

Even when I can afford a roof-mounted dish I will probably still take this one along, as I have already been in campsites where having the ability to place the dish 100' or more from the coach would make the difference between changing campsites or giving up my satellite reception.

For now, I am getting 90% of the benefit for 10-20% of the cost of a roof-mounted antenna.
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  #16  
Old 09-19-2010
trendycat trendycat is offline
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I would strongly recommend the Winegard Trav'ler automated roof top dish for DirecTV. This is the only option I know of for DirecTV that allows HD signal reception. My is wired with 4 leads to 2 DirecTV HDDVR receivers (one in the salon and one in the bedroom) so I can record up to 4 shows at once.

While it can't be used in-motion, it works great when you arrive at your destination. Press a button and the dish aligns itself in a matter of minutes. I've watched others struggle for significant lengths of time to align their tripod dishes to HDTV DirecTV signals (as opposed to SD dishes which are less tricky to align) - plus it's one more item to carry in the bays.

Having had ours in use for almost 2 years I would say:

Pros: Simple to use and reliable

Cons: Initial expense is higher than tripod dish (although worth it, in my opinion), might have signal blocked by trees (although we've only had that problem once in 2 years)

We have the fulltimers RV account from DirecTV that allows us distant newtork reception - so we get the national network feeds as well as all of the channels in the DirecTV package. We haven't hooked up to any campground cable since we got the dish.

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Bruce
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  #17  
Old 09-19-2010
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In addition to a scan, make sure tv is set to air and not cable before scanning for channels. Some tv's do this automatically and some do not.

The cheapest dish set up is a multi-sat dish on a tripod. The most convenient with multiple receivers is a non-domed stationary dish with multiple lnb's. John is correct about the in motion sat, because I have done the same thing. However, you need to carry a remote dish even if you have a roof top.
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  #18  
Old 09-19-2010
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I've had HD (home and coach) since 2005, and am way-spoiled - really don't watch anything SD anymore. That rules out anything in-motion or for that matter any dome current or likely in the future.

There are two competing roof-top units that will give you full HD, whether it is Dish or DirecTV. Those are the Winegard Trav'ler and the Motosat HD series. For the most part in the past Winegard has made (censored) for automatic dishes, but the Trav'ler has proved to be the exception - I know many who have them, and deal with satellite forums constantly (both my own and others) and you just never see any negative comments from Trav'ler owners.

That does not mean there is anything wrong with the Motosat product, which is what I have, just that there aren't differentiating points that make it better, and the Trav'ler is usually cheaper and is definitely more widely distributed.

Yes, I have to jockey the coach around in sites occasionally, and ask for ones that have satellite views, but in roughly 900 days of travel over the past 5 years (including 3 coast-to-coast trips) I've been without HD TV less than 2 weeks total.
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  #19  
Old 09-19-2010
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There is one suggestion I would make to people upgrading their coaches' tv to a newer flat panel HDTV. Make sure you get a 1080P model. At the closer distances you sit to it in a coach it is easily noticible to me which is which. Stay away from cheaper 720p models.

And has been covered before but bears mentioning again, ANY old tv antenna is capable of receiving new HD signals, there is nothing new or fancy about the "HD Ready" antennas other than marketing. Just make sure you perform a scan through the TV's menu when you change geographic areas. All the new channels for over the air are found with a ATSC digital station scan. Some tv's may allow you to pick a digital or analog scan separately.

Also with Cable and Satellite the picture quality is never going to be as good as from a over the air (OTA) signal. They have to compress the signal (and thus the picture quality) to cram all their stations into their bandwidth. OTA terrestrial stations doesn't have a narrow pipe constraint so it'll almost always show a better picture.
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  #20  
Old 09-19-2010
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Quality has so many variables, including the variations in human eye acuity, that I don't think all generalizations are applicable from one user to another. My eye is probably on the poor side, because I've done back-and-forth comparison between OTA Fox HD baseball broadcasts and the same broadcast coming to me by satellite from the Fox Los Angeles affiliate. I can't see the difference.

I *CAN* see the difference between HD quality of different broadcasts. As I type this I'm watching a Giants/Brewers game in HD via satellite on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area. It is good, but it is not as good as a game watched on the aforementioned FOX channels, or one on ESPN.

The big deal, though, is switching from the HD broadcast to the SD broadcast. Night and day difference, and that's the part that I care about and the reason I will not live with SD satellite anymore.

Not sure how much HD I would pick up OTA here in Salina, Utah, but I'm not going to bother to find out.
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