Can I get local channels in my RV?

After a long day of driving, it’s nice to settle in for some satellite TV. You probably know that there are systems for every price range, depending on how much work you want to do to get that satellite signal into the RV, and you probably know that Solid Signal is the leading dealer of DIRECTV and DISH satellite systems.

But you may be frustrated to find out that most satellite systems won’t give you local channels once you leave your local area. This is due to complex government rules that say that if you’re in one area you can’t get local channels from another without a special waiver. The goal there is to make sure local broadcasters in little markets like Palm Springs, California, aren’t trampled by big-budget competitors in big markets like Los Angeles, California.

It’s a good idea, but it’s not so great for people who want satellite TV. Because of these rules, both DIRECTV and DISH actually limit local signals to the areas where they can be received. If you drive too far away from Cleveland, you literally can’t get WKYC. There just isn’t any signal to get. The exceptions, due to an old exception to the rule, are Los Angeles, New York and some Seattle stations which can be received locally.

So as you trek across the country, unless you’re from LA, NYC, or Sea-Tac, your local channels won’t be accessible to you. Unless you change your service address (which you can only do once a month) the local channels for the area you’re in won’t show up either.

What can you do?

Pretty simple– get an antenna. There are ones that are designed to mount on your RV, and others that can go up with a tripod. With an antenna, you’ll easily get local channels no matter where you go, and every TV has a built-in tuner so once you buy the antenna there’s nothing more to pay!

If you want a recommendation for the best system for your RV that includes both satellite and antenna systems, there’s no better place to turn than Solid Signal. We have the best staff, trained to handle every RV situation and we can recommend a system for any budget. It all starts with a call to us at 888-233-7563!

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.