How to Install an RV Satellite Dish

How to Install an RV Satellite Dish
Traveling in a recreational vehicle can offer all the luxuries of home, including satellite television. In order to receive satellite signals in your RV, you need to mount an RV satellite dish. Homeowners already know that their satellite dishes are permanently attached to a chimney or roof, but RVers need to get a bit more creative and take their changing locations into account. Even so, learning how to install an RV satellite dish is actually not that difficult.

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Satellite dish RV dish mount Ladder Pencil Drill Caulking RG-6 coax cable Screwdriver RG-6 flat cable Satellite receiver Optional: Tripod
  • Satellite dish
  • RV dish mount
  • Ladder
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Caulking
  • RG-6 coax cable
  • Screwdriver
  • RG-6 flat cable
  • Satellite receiver
  • Optional: Tripod
Step 1
Pick a satellite dish install spot on your RV's roof. Remember that you need to be able to fold the dish down when not in use and also rotate it as needed to catch the satellite signal. The typical rotation area is about 34 inches in diameter, so do not get too close to a roof vent. Keep the installation site as close to the satellite receiver as possible while at the same time staying close to the center of the roof for stability. This also minimizes the length of cable that you run across your RV roof.
Step 2
Attach the dish to the RV roof. Climb up the ladder to reach the RV roof and pencil mark the spots where the screws will hold the dish's mounting plate in place. Drill into the roof where you placed the marks. Secure the mounting plate to the RV roof with the hardware that accompanied it. Caulk around the holes you made after inserting the screws. This prevents roof leakage. Use your screwdriver to mount the dish to its mounting plate.
Step 3
Connect RG-6 coax cable to the mounted dish. Route the cable to the edge of the RV roof and then alongside it, until you reach a window. Secure the cable to the roof with cable clamps to prevent movement.
Step 4
Attach the flat portion of RG-6 cable. A short section of flat cable makes it possible to route your coax cable through an open window, and still be able to close it. Reconnect standard RG-6 cable on the inside of the RV to the flat cable. Route the interior cable to the satellite receiver. Screw in the coax cable to the satellite receiver's "SAT IN" port to finish the RV satellite dish install.
Step 5
Optional: Attach your RV satellite dish to a tripod. If drilling holes into your RV's roof is not an option you are comfortable with, attach the dish to a tripod instead. You find specialty dish mount tripods at RV supply stores. A basic clamp holds the dish in place. Screw in the coax cable to the tripod mounted dish, attach the cable to a flat cable portion to lead it through the window, and complete the interior install as previously mentioned.

Tips & Warnings

 
Trees with low branches may keep you from receiving a satellite signal with a roof mounted dish. Ask the RV park manager ahead of time to reserve you a spot devoid of such trees.
 
An RV pulling in next to you may obstruct your satellite signal if you use a tripod mount. Do not route your satellite dish through your built-in CATV system. This wiring usually is only RG-59, which is not optimal for satellite television components.
 
An RV pulling in next to you may obstruct your satellite signal if you use a tripod mount.
 
Do not route your satellite dish through your built-in CATV system. This wiring usually is only RG-59, which is not optimal for satellite television components.

Article Written By Sylvia Cochran

Based in the Los Angeles area, Sylvia Cochran is a seasoned freelance writer focusing on home and garden, travel and parenting articles. Her work has appeared in "Families Online Magazine" and assorted print and Internet publications.

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