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What Dish Are You Using For DirecTV

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We already have a DirecTV account and will be using a Standard Def receiver. Being new to the RV world, we're wondering what others are using for a dish. We need to make a decision as to whether to use a portable dish sitting on the ground or install a dish of some sort on the roof. So what is everyone using and why? What are the advantages of a portable over a mounted roof dish or vice versa? Chuck

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We've had both and when we purchased our new Toy Hauler last year decided to go completely with a portable. If as you stated HD is not required and SD is fine which is what we also use. We purchased one of the then new Winegard G2 portable automatic satellites. It has worked we and we like it. We went portable because at times we like to take advantage of the shade like now when we are in a hot area like Florida. It's easy to setup find a clearcand level spt connect the cable and 12 volt and by the time I go back into the 5er its up and running.


"Happy Trails"


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A simple 18" dish with single LNB is all you need. Often you can find them in garage sales or flea markets for practically nothing. Put together your own mounting system using something like a C clamp to attach it to a table. Aiming a round dish is very simple and takes only seconds. If you want to go whole hog you can buy a complete kit for under $100 on Amazon.



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Thanks. Just for the record, we have had satellite tv on our boat for 15 years. But the tracking system won't work on the RV. Chuck


You CAN get an in-motion dome, but it will have to be installed on the roof of your RV, it can't be portable.


If you don't care about HD programming, then any of the portable, automatic domes will work (except, of course, those that work only with Dish).

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I use the Trav'ler SWM roof mounted dish. If you plan on keeping your RV for a long time yet, that may be the best to get.

Doesn't take up any valuable storage space.


All new DTV receivers now require a SWM dish. When the older SD receivers quit working.

The replacements from DTV will probable require a SWM dish to work.


Even now watching only SD and not HD. Is like back in the 50's watching Black/White programs and not color.

After watching HD programs for a while it gets hard to watch those only in SD very long.


The advantage of the roof mounted over the portable is.

Roof just push button and it finds and locks on to satellite. Before you can drag the portable out of storage bin and set up.

Doesn't take up storage space.

For overnight stops no dragging dish out of storage and setting up and needing to tear down and put away the next morning.

Roof dish to store it. Push button

Someday when you do want HD the Roof dish is ready. Portable you will need to buy a all new dish and heaver mounting set up.

Roof mounted you can use a Genie and record 5 programs at the same time. And then watch them skipping all those commercials.

If hot, cold, rain, dark outside. Just push button.


Advantage of portable over Roof mounted.

Roof dish may not be able to find satellite when parked under trees. Last time that happen to me was several years ago.

As I don't like to park under trees with dead limbs, sap, and bird droppings falling on the roof and awnings. My 2 AC's can keep the MH cool sitting out in the sun.

Portable cheaper to buy.

It gives you more exercise getting it in/out, running cables, aiming to find satellite. Maybe someone to yell at you from the RV to let you know signal is good/bad.

Or hooking up a signal finder, then unhooking it after finding the satellite.

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Biker56. Thanks but SD is alive and well with DirecTV. Our SD receiver and our LED flat screen offer a pretty good picture and without them being side by side, we can hardly tell the difference between HD. We've had this set up on our boat for about 4 years and had HD prior. It came down to the type of dish we have as to why we went to SD. So that isn't an issue for us. I do like the ease of set up on the roof mount and have considered the issue with trees, etc. On our boat, we always have an open sky. But since our use will be limited for a while, I wonder if the expnse is worth it. Decisions, decisions. Chuck

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For clarification, we know what the pros and cons of what each set up will be. What we would like to know is, who is using a roof mount and who is using a portable and what issues you have with either. Plus what models are being used. Some have offered that info and we thank you for that. As a marine service tech for 40 years I have installed hundreds of these systems on boats. But the RV experience is new to me. Chuck

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OK. In addition to using a simple portable dish as I described above, I have also had the crankup type. Both work fine. I had the digital meter system on the crankup that made it very easy to set the elevation and finding the satellite was a simple mater of rotating the dish after the elevation was set. It eliminates the need to store the dish and tripod, and is quicker to setup. It is so easy that I often used it during a lunch stop.


While the crankup type is certainly quicker and easier to use, it does cost a little more than a tripod setup. However, neither is very expensive. I wouldn't hesitate to have both if I had space. That way you would be able to use the tripod system if trees prevented seeing the satellite from the crankup dish.


Here is a sample of the crankup dish I had.



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We use a roof-mounted Trav'er (in our case for Dish). I'd still use the DirecTV version if I was their customer because I don't want to fool with a portable dish, even an automatic dome (and I like HD) since it would take up precious storage space we could use for something else. I'd probably have to rethink this if we spent a lot of time under trees, but we don't, so a roof-mounted dish works perfectly for us.

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