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Old 01-26-2006, 02:39 PM   #1
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Ron N's Avatar
Name: Ron
Trailer: 2007 Bigfoot 25' Rear Queen
Posts: 239
I tried not to add another "antenna" post to this website but I still can't find the information I'm looking for. I just bought a 9" Toshiba TV/DVD 110 VAC/12V DC for the Bigfoot. Even though I don't go camping to watch TV or movies, it might be nice for some evenings when it gets too cool to sit outside.

I do not want to pay for satelite service. But, I am willing to pay for an effective UHF/VHF antenna that may or may not require amplification. The guy at the local Camping World told me to save my money rather than buy the Wingard omnidirectional antennas such as those sold with Casitas and other trailers.

If I'm camping in the mountains, 50 miles from a TV station tower, what antenna does the best job of pulling in a signal, even if I have to go outside and rotate it? Does something like that even exist?
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:15 PM   #2
Trailer: 1982 13 ft Burro
Posts: 38 has a lot of good info on this kind of stuff. Their DB4 is highly rated and small enough to be trailerable (it's also supposed to make a pretty good VHF antenna if you wire the two halves together). The DB2 is definitely small enough to be portable, but likely wouldn't have good VHF performance.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:23 PM   #3
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Posts: 5,002
I would consider which channels I plan to receive. At my home, there are several VHF channels available, but only one UHF, so if I were selecting an antenna to take camping around here (Alberta) only VHF would be important. The site which Andy pointed to does mention that VHF and UHF are different frequency bands and thus use different antennas, and that a UHF antenna might be okay for the upper channels of VHF (7 through 13), but that would be easy to miss. That site is oriented to people trying to receive HDTV signals, most of which are UHF, so the UHF antennas get the most attention.

Before we put in a satellite receiver we just had an antenna for those local channels, and we use a VHF/UHF yagi designed like the big dual-band yagi (from The Source), but more like the size of the same store's smaller outdoor antenna. I can't imagine carrying anything this big on a trailer, so I would look for a smaller folding unit and settle for less performance. Mine at home is fixed in one direction which is a compromise between the local stations; at a previous home we had a powered rotater system to point the antenna at the desired station. On a trailer I would certainly use an omidirectional antenna (works equally poorly in all directions) or place a directional antenna where I could reach it to turn it by hand.

I see a lot less selection of antennas now than just a few years ago, as almost everyone has cable or satellite service - even in their RVs! It might be hard to find just the right unit, if looking for something other than RV models. 50 miles is a long stretch for a small antenna, and trying to pick up those weak signals with an omnidirectional unit with lots of amplification seems like a recipe for interference and noise. The greater radio experts can correct me if I am mistaken here.

One small antenna which seems to be widely sold is Winegard's Sensar III, which can be had with a manual folding and rotating system which apparently works from inside the trailer, from RV places like Camping World. It doesn't look like it would be very sensitive, which is probably why it comes with an amplifier, but at least it would be directional to pick out medium-range signals. I haven't tried this type of unit.

Or just carry more DVDs...
1979 Boler B1700RGH, pulled by 2004 Toyota Sienna LE 2WD
Information is good. Lack of information is not so good, but misinformation is much worse. Check facts, and apply common sense liberally.
STATUS: No longer active in forum.
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Old 01-26-2006, 07:36 PM   #4
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Name: Gina D.
Trailer: '77 Leocraft 17 & Former Burro owner and fan!
West Coast USA
Posts: 9,015
I haev both a dish and a regular old boring, plain, simple, old fashioned set of Rabbit ears.

My last trip, I used the rabbit ears at every stop, as it just was not worth the bother when short hopping to set up the dish every nite.

I got mine at Frys electronics, but they have similar ones at Radio Shack or just about anywhere that sells TVs. 10 whole bucks. woo hoo!

If you are not a video freak, and it is only for entertainment.. not the "Video Experience", you should do just fine with one, in most areas. The big 3 and UPN come in just fine almost anywhere.

Nope, mountains and stuff are not the best reception areas. I am not sure ANY OTA antennea will help you there.

Who knows what will happen when HDTV is the norm tho.
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Old 01-26-2006, 08:29 PM   #5
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Name: Ron
Trailer: 2007 Bigfoot 25' Rear Queen
Posts: 239
Thanks Andy for the website. The V-4 looks interesting. If it can be transported in the back of my Tundra, then set into a bracket on the trailer or trailer tongue, it may be exactly what I'm looking for. However, regarding what Gina said, that's exactly what the guy at Camping World said. "A plain, ol' set of rabbit ears is just as effective as those fancy Winegard units".
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