Many RV owners choose to install their own DIRECTV systems themselves. There’s nothing wrong with this; if you know what you’re doing, a do-it-yourself installation can be a great way to save time and money. The downside is that it’s very easy for DIYers to make a mistake or forget an important part of the process. That said, Solid Signal isn’t here to discourage you from installing DIRECTV in your RV. We’d rather share these tips to help you avoid the three most common causes of DIRECTV connection issues in an RV. Whether you’re installing DIRECTV or already using it, this advice will help you continue to enjoy DIRECTV in your RV.
Fixing DIRECTV Connection Issues
Signal Connect, a division of Solid Signal, helps RV owners get DIRECTV for your recreational vehicles. This includes helping you with any DIRECTV connection issues and error codes you encounter. There are many things that can cause you experience a DIRECTV error code, and we want to focus on the three most common problems. To do this, we touched base with Jason Vanover and Ryan McDonnell from the Signal Connect tech department.
At any hour of the work day, Jason and Ryan can be found on the phone with DIRECTV customers. Usually, they’re walking these clients through a variety of DIRECTV fixes, both simple and complicated. They were kind enough to describe the three most common causes of lost DIRECTV signal in RVs and how to fix them. As it turns out, these common problems are easy to fix, even if you’re not an avid DIYer.
1. Don’t Connect to the Satellite Input!
Some RV owners connect the satellite dish cable to the SAT input on the vehicle when doing their own installations. This is the satellite input, and it would make sense that this is where the coax cable coming off your dish would go. It’s not. “That satellite input has only one function,” Jason Vanover. “It’s used to connect the satellite TV services provided by the RV park to your vehicle.” (Note: In rare cases, the port can work if you connect your antenna to it, but most of the time it doesn’t.)
Jason knowns exactly what happens when RV owners connect their satellite dish cable to the SAT input on their vehicle. “When this happens, the RV owner won’t get any signal on their TV,” he explained. “The signal from the dish comes in through that input just fine but it comes to a dead stop once it hits a splitter or other component in the installation.”
Do you plan to install DIRECTV in your RV? If you do, Jason says to connect the coax coming off your satellite dish directly into your DIRECTV receiver. Just avoid that SAT input altogether. He takes plenty of calls from RV owners who are upset because their DIRECTV has no signal because of this.
“We get a lot of calls from RV owners who’ve ended up with no signal after connecting their dish cable to the satellite input,” Jason said. “We’re happy to talk them through the fix because we get it; it’s an honest mistake.”
2. DIRECTV Remote Control Problem
Have you ever gotten a new DIRECTV RF remote control only to find out it doesn’t work with your receiver? This is another common problem that RV owners encounter and our Signal Connect team knows how to fix. Jason explained, “Many RV owners program their remote and receiver in radio frequency (RF) mode, which lets them control their DIRECTV through cabinets. This is common way receivers are installed in RVs.”
So, what’s the problem? It happens when the RV owner loses or accidentally breaks their DIRECTV remote control and gets a new one. They’ll get the remote out of the box, put batteries in it, and discover that it doesn’t do anything. Some DIRECTV customers get frustrated because they think their new remote control is broken. “It’s not,” Jason said. “It’s just in IR mode, which means it’s not communicating with their receiver that’s still in RF mode.”
Jason and the rest of the Signal Connect team get calls on this all the time. First, they reassure the customer by telling them that their DIRECTV remote control isn’t broken. The next thing they do is walk them through these steps to fix the situation:
- Turning the receiver from RF to IR
- Syncing the remote to your DIRECTV receiver
- Switching the receiver back to RF
- Changing the remote from IR to RF
Granted, this is a quick overview of what needs to be done. For a more in-depth information, check out this tutorial we’ve created for setting up DIRECTV receivers to work in RF mode.
3. Your Self-Aiming Dish Can’t Find the Signal
Are you an RV owner with a self-aiming DIRECTV dish? If so, you probably enjoy not having to aim it manually every time you want to watch TV. While a self-aiming dish makes watching DIRECTV easy, there are times when it won’t locate the signal. “This doesn’t mean your dish’s auto-aiming feature is broken,” said Ryan McDonnell. “It just means that you need to reset the dish so it can realign itself with the satellite.”
Once your dish locks on to the satellite signal, it stays locked in that position. This only becomes a problem when you drive your RV somewhere else. When you arrive at your second location, your dish is still aimed in the direction it connected with the signal at your previous location. “That’s just the way some of these self-aiming dishes work,” Ryan explained. “It’s nothing to worry about.”
Ryan says the way to fix this situation is as simple as turning on a light switch. He said, “When you get to your new destination, turn the power to your dish off, waiting about 15 seconds, then turn it on again. This is enough to reset the satellite dome’s self-aiming mechanism.” This reactivates the dish and it searches the sky until it finds the DIRECTV signal or signals, then locks in on them. “Once they do it the first couple of times, it becomes a habit,” Ryan said.
Get DIRECTV for Your RV
Each day, Ryan and Jason answer calls from DIRECTV customers with various connection issues. Some of these callers are RV owners who can’t get reception far from home. Jason and Ryan shared the fixes to the three most common DIRECTV connection problems to help RV owners reestablish connection. If you don’t remember these tips (or forget to bookmark this page), you can always call Signal Connect.
When you need help, you can expect a Signal Connect rep to follow these steps:
- Ask you questions about what’s going on
- Diagnose the problem
- Talk you through the fix
- Stay on the phone until your reception comes back
The best part is that Signal Connect offers these services for free. If you have DIRECTV and need their help, they’ll be happy to give it to you. If you’re an RV owner who’s thinking about adding DIRECTV, our Signal Connect reps are the best people to talk to. If you have questions, give them a call at 866-726-4182. You can also fill out the form below and send it to us. One of our reps will contact you in one business day or less.