IS IT TRUE: You can’t get HD satellite in an RV?

It’s easy to understand the confusion, but it’s not true. The truth is you can get HD service in your RV, if you know what you’re doing. There are some limits and if you know them ahead of time, you’ll be all set.

If you’re standing still
If you’re only planning on watching TV when you’re parked, there are nothing but options. You can put a dish on a tripod or mount it on the RV. Almost all of the options we have available will do HD, and you can even choose a regular HD dish like the sort you’d put on your home and it will work great.

You should be aware that the self-aiming satellite dishes, the ones like the King Tailgater, will do DISH HD but not DIRECTV HD.

If you’re moving
If you want to TV while you’re in motion, you really only have one option: DISH. A setup like the Winegard Roadtrip T4 is going to give you satellite TV while you’re moving, but it’s not going to pick up DIRECTV HD signals, even while it’s moving.

There is a simple reason behind this: DIRECTV’s HD channels use a different broadcast frequency than their SD ones, and DISH’s don’t. DIRECTV uses what’s called the “Ka band” for HD broadcasting so they can have a virtually unlimited number of 4k channels, but it requires a different dish technology. Right now, the only in-motion dishes for DIRECTV HD are really too big to put on an RV.

It’s possible that sometime in the future, a new dish will be engineered that will allow DIRECTV HD to be used while the RV is moving, but at the moment there have been no announcements from any of the major manufacturers so that is likely to be at least a year away.

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.