Caravan & Motorhome TV Aerial Options – how to get a good tv signal in a caravan

It’s great to be able to watch TV in your caravan or motorhome. It’s the perfect way to pass the time when the weather is poor or dreary and you don’t fancy going out and getting wet or cold.

Plus having a TV in your caravan means you can keep up to date on all your favorite soaps.

But to be able to enjoy your TV from the comfort of your caravan or motorhome, you need (1) a good TV aerial, and (2) to be able to set it up to achieve the best possible signal reception. 

Coming up, very shortly, we’ve got an in-depth guide to caravan TV aerials. And in it, we’re going to cover the different types of TV aerial, the factors that will affect your TV signal, how to get the best possible TV signal in your caravan, and tuning your TV signal.

Then we’re going to show you some of the TV aerials which we think would make great choices for your caravan or motorhome.

And, we’ll then finish off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions on the subject.

And without further ado…

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Our Shortlist of Top TV Aerials for a Caravan or Motorhome

Vision Plus Status 570 Directional TV and Radio Antenna

Vision Plus Status 570 Directional TV and Radio Antenna - White, 330 mm

Now, this aerial has seen some terrific customer feedback, earning a full 5 stars out of 5 on Amazon alone, even after well over 100 individual customer ratings.

The manufacturer, Vision Plus really has been leading the way with their TV aerials, But their latest model, the Status 570 is a significant upgrade on their previous models.

It’s a directional aerial rather than an omnidirectional one, and as such, as we discussed earlier, it has a number of advantages over omnidirectional ones.

This aerial will not only provide you with a wide range of digital TV channels, but you can also receive DAB and FM radio through it too.

It has a compact and slimline design, all white, in keeping with your caravan’s aesthetic. You can take advantage of the low profile roof assembly, but should you need a longer mast, such a version is also readily available.

The height, direction, and orientation of the aerial is fully adjustable from the inside – you won’t have to get up on the roof.

And it can move up to 90 degrees to catch both vertical and horizontal signals. And there’s a polarisation gauge, to help you to work out which angle might be best.

One of the things we love about it is the integrated TV signal finder. This we discussed earlier. It displays a color-coded light to let you know how good the signal is. Red for bad, amber for intermediate, and green for good.

All you have to do is simply keep moving and adjusting the aerial until you get the green light. It works perfectly with its dedicated TV transmitter locator.

It also features a signal amplifier, which can come in very handy. And better yet, there’s also variable gain control for strong and weak signal areas.

All it requires on installation is a 12 to 24 volt DC power supply, the correct positioning, and connection to your TV via the included connectors.

It’s corrosion-resistant and comes complete with a 3-year guarantee.

You can also buy a number of handy accessories from the same manufacturer, such as a mains adapter, should you need one, an angle-adjustable mounting foot, or as is more popular, a blanking plate which serves to cover any holes left by previously fitted aerials.

Pros:

  • Upgrade on previous model
  • Fully adjustable from the inside
  • Directional for a better signal
  • Integrated TV signal finder
  • Variable gain control

Cons:

  • Installation requires drilling
  • Some customers have reported getting a better signal with cheaper aerials, which, to be honest, struck us as odd

Vision Plus Status 570 Directional TV and Radio Antenna - White, 330 mm
  • Unique integrated TV Signal Finder - Dedicated TV Transmitter locator
  • Horizontal & Vertical Polarisation Indicator
  • Slim-line compact design with Low Profile Roof Assembly - 330mm Mast
  • Digital TV, DAB and FM Radio reception with Variable Gain Control for strong and weak signal areas
  • LED light power indicator with red, yellow and green colours to indicate signal strength

SAC Digital TV Caravan & Truck Aerial

SAC Digital TV Caravan & Truck Aerial

This is a noticeably more affordable option than the Vision Plus Status 570 we showed earlier, plus it has a slightly nicer aesthetic to it too, more rounded.

It’s an omnidirectional aerial, which in case you missed it earlier, means that it can pick up TV signals from a full 360 degrees around. This means that you shouldn’t even need to know the whereabouts of the nearest reception tower to get your signal through. 

That said however, it won’t get as strong a signal as you would with a directional one, if you found yourself in direct line of sight with a nearby reception tower.

It’s a high gain aerial, however, and this means it has a narrow radio beam that is used to increase the signal strength. High-gain TV aerials provide a more precise way of targeting the transmitted TV signals and are therefore better equipped to dealing with path loss, as we mentioned earlier.

The obvious drawback is that it will require some drilling to install. And that’s always something you should be wary of doing in a caravan.

Or in a motorhome for that matter. In order to avoid causing any leaks when you install the aerial, we strongly recommend that you invest in some sealant.

Pros:

  • Fair and reasonable price
  • Omnidirectional 
  • High gain aerial

Cons:

  • Installation requires drilling

SAC Digital TV Caravan & Truck Aerial
  • Frequency:470-862MHz/VHF 47-230MHz
  • Receiving Range: FM/VHF/UHF
  • Gain:30dB
  • Impedance: 75O
  • Connectors: 'F'

KUMA Cosmos TV Aerial Kit for Caravan or Motorhome

KUMA Cosmos TV Aerial Kit for Caravan Motorhome Campervan Car Boat Camper Vans - Portable Digital HD Television Antenna Amplifier - Outdoor Screw Base Mast Booster for HDTV Freeview - 12v 24v Loft

This is another great option – and it comes highly recommended too.

It’s an omnidirectional aerial, meaning it can pick up TV signals from a full 360 degrees around.

Super convenient when you don’t know where the nearest reception tower is. And it means you haven’t got to do any of that pesky lining up. There’s no signal blind zone whatsoever.

And it has a built-in amplifier to really boost the signal when necessary. It requires either a 12 volt or 24 volt power supply source. And the good news is that there’s a power adapter included in the kit.

It’s easy to install, but unfortunately, you will need to drill, so please be careful. Then you simply screw the aerial in.

And it’s very easy to use too, with all the instructions laid out for you in the quick start guide manual.

You don’t have to worry about it getting damaged in the weather – it’s 100 % waterproof, and is also protected against UV damage too.

We were also quite impressed with the unconditional warranty, which is not for just one year, like you usually get, but lasts an entire 2 years. And their customer service team is both friendly and available round the clock.

Pros:

  • Omnidirectional 
  • Easy to install and use
  • Comes with a power adapter
  • Waterproof and UV resistant
  • Excellent 2-year warranty & after-sales service

Cons:

  • Requires drilling to install

KUMA Cosmos TV Aerial Kit for Caravan Motorhome Campervan Car Boat Camper Vans - Portable Digital HD Television Antenna Amplifier - Outdoor Screw Base Mast Booster for HDTV Freeview - 12v 24v Loft
  • ✅ 360⁰ Omni-Directional Reception Digital TV Antenna – Enhance UHF signal reception. Our caravan aerial picks up more signals from all directions, no rotating or pointing needed. No signal blind zone. Perfect for Caravan Truck Canal Boat or Motorhome. Enjoy your favourite channels without a monthly bill!
  • ✅ Built-in Amplifier – Our digital tv aerial allows you to boost signal right at the antenna. According to the signal range, the amplifier enlarges suitable multiples to ensure the coverage extension. The caravan ariel kit is completely supplied with a 12/24v power adapter.
  • ✅ Easy Installation with Minimum Effort – Use for 12 and 24-volt televisions. Permanently sealed roof mounting and no need to worry about local weather because our caravan tv aerials are made of weatherproof and anti-UV.
  • ✅ Warranty – We are so confident with our KUMA Cosmos car antenna that we provide unconditional 2 Year Warranty. Ensures the long-time enjoyment of your purchase.
  • ✅ 24-Hour Friendly Customer Service – Any problems with the setup or installation? KUMA is here to help – with a UK based customer service centre you can be sure this device will work perfectly for you – Guaranteed! 100% satisfied worry-free service. Just contact us if you have any questions or concerns. Our reliable Customer Service will be sure to reply within 24 hours and offer proper solutions for you.

Avtex STH3000 20 dB DVB-T antenna including mounting accessories

Avtex STH3000 20 dB DVB-T antenna incl. Car power cable, wall bracket, suction base and mounting accessories.

This is a great option for the more budget-conscious customers amongst us, available at a very affordable price.

What we love about the STH3000 Antenna is its unique flexible mounting system. With this system at hand, there’s no need to drill a single hole into your caravan or motorhome. In fact, you won’t need any tools at all.

To stay in place, all it relies on a very powerful suction cup that can be mounted on any exterior surface of a motorhome or caravan. So there’s absolutely no danger of causing any leaks in your caravan roof.

It’s an omnidirectional aerial rather than a directional one. And, as we discussed earlier, the advantage of an omnidirectional one over a directional one is that it can pick signals from a full 360 degrees around it. 

But the downside to this is that if you do find yourself with an unobstructed line of sight to a nearby reception tower, you won’t be able to take advantage of the stronger signal that you might have picked up had you gone for a directional aerial instead.

It’s a high gain aerial, however, and this means it has a narrow radio beam that is used to increase the signal strength. High-gain TV aerials provide a more precise way of targeting the transmitted TV signals and are therefore better equipped to dealing with path loss, as we mentioned earlier.

It also has a built-in amplifier if you should ever need it. AND you can choose between 3 different power supplies, 12 volts, 24 volts, or a regular TV antenna.

Pros:

  • No drilling required!
  • Omnidirectional 
  • High gain aerial

Cons:

  • You have to remove the aerial anytime you go on the move, and put it back up again when you’re ready to watch TV

Avtex STH3000 20 dB DVB-T antenna incl. Car power cable, wall bracket, suction base and mounting accessories.
  • Strong 20 dB TV antenna, particularly high reception strength, versatile
  • Built-in volume amplifier, choice between three power supplies (12 V, 24 V & TV antenna), can be used indoors and outdoors.
  • Attaches to almost any flat surface such as front windscreen, window, roof, UV-resistant housing, waterproof.
  • Box contents: Avtex STH 3000; car power cable

Buyer’s Guide

Types of TV Aerial

Omnidirectional vs Directional

There is a significant distinction to be made between the two types of caravan and motorhome TV aerials.

You can get ones that are directional, and these are ones that will only pick up a TV signal when it is being directly aimed in the proper direction.

An omnidirectional TV aerial, on the other hand, can receive a TV signal from a full 360 degrees around the aerial. So, on the face of it, this would be a great option for touring caravans and motorhomes. Whereas a directional TV aerial might suffice for a static caravan.

However, it’s important to note at this point that while omnidirectional TV aerials can pick up a signal from all around, they are, unfortunately, also prone to more interference. This can mean that you may not be able to pick up certain channels, or that you get poor signal quality on the channels you do get.

So in instances where you can get a clear line of sight between your TV aerial and a TV reception tower, a directional TV aerial would be the better option. And you could, in fact, get a clearer signal.

So, both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it’s about choosing which option would best suit your needs. We’ll show you some great TV aerials later on, and we’ll be sure to include some of each type.

Factors That Affect Your TV Signal

Getting a Good Line of Sight

In order to pick up a good clear signal, your TV aerial needs to have so good line of sight to the reception tower.

Any obstacles that can obstruct this line of sight will do so.  This could include the likes of walls, buildings, hills, other caravans, and trees.

Weather and Reception Issues

All sorts of bad weather can also obstruct the signal. This may include heavy rain, dense fog, sleet, hail, and snow. This is because these elements absorb the TV signal before it reaches your TV aerial.

The result is usually a grainy or pixelated screen, but other times you may not receive certain channels at all.

Distance From the Reception Tower

The further away your caravan or motorhome is from the nearest reception tower, the more the signal strength is reduced.

Each time you double the distance from the reception power to the aerial, the signal strength is dropped by a whopping 75%. This phenomenon is known as Path Loss.

Thus, if you are using a directional TV aerial for your caravan or motorhome, you should aim the aerial toward the nearest reception tower. If, however, the line of sight to this reception tower is obstructed, as we discussed earlier, then you should direct the aerial to the next nearest reception tower, and so on.

How to Find the perfect signal?

Use an aerial Alignment App on your smart phone to find the nearest available reception towers. Then you simply choose which one is best for you to direct to.

Earlier on we discussed all the different factors that can affect your TV signal, including a good line of sight, lack of obstruction and interference, bad or adverse weather conditions, and distance to the nearest reception tower. 

But there is a little more to it than just those factors alone. You also need to consider getting the perfect aerial direction, and the tunning.  So, let’s look at each of these in turn.

Aerial Direction

There are a number of different ways you can use to optimize your aerial positioning and direction.

Sometimes, your TV aerial will feature a signal detector and will present a color-coded light to tell you how good the signal is. Red for bad, amber for intermediate, and green for good. In this instance, you simply keep moving and adjusting the aerial until you get the green light.

But if your TV aerial doesn’t have this function, it’s not the end of the world. An alternative method is to use an app. You can get them on both Apple devices and on Google Android. 

We quite like the UK Aerial Alignment app. All you have to do is tap in the postcode of your location and the app will pull up a map of the nearest available reception towers.

Then you simply choose which one is best for you to direct to, taking into account not just path loss, as we discussed earlier, but also getting a clear line of sight. 

Manual Tuning vs Autotuning

Autotuning might sound like a good idea in the first instance since it means not having to do anything manually.

However, when you press the autotune button on your TV you don’t automatically get BBC One on channel one, and BBC Two on channel two, etc. 

The TV will display all the available channels, but because different reception towers transmit on different signal bands (so as to avoid any unwanted interference) the first channel that gets picked up, regardless of the signal strength, will be the one displayed on channel one.

This is why we recommend avoiding the use of autotune wherever possible and instead, we recommend manual tuning for the signal bands from your chosen reception tower.

How to Manually Tune a Caravan or Motorhome TV

In order to manually tune your TV, we recommend using the https://ukfree.tv/prediction website. This is because it can be used to bring up tables showing the various TV channels that are available in the set area.

All you need to do is enter the postcode of the caravan site, and the software brings you all the info you need.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use my Sky box in my caravan?

If you’re lucky enough to own a Sky Q box, then it is only designated to be used at the property at which it is registered.

However, it is possible to download content from your main SKY Q box to a device such as a laptop or a tablet, using the SKY Go App, and then you can watch your favourite programs from wherever you happen to be.

And there’s nothing to stop you from hooking your laptop up to your TV via an HDMI cable once you’re settled in your caravan for the day. Great for binge-watching.

Can I use an indoor antenna in a caravan?

If you like to frequent caravan sites that have a strong Freeview signal area, then an indoor aerial should work well for you.

And the good news is that there’s no drilling required at all, so you don’t need to worry about inadvertently causing leaks.

If you don’t know what the Freeview signal is going to be like at a particular caravan site, you can always ring ahead.

Do I need a TV licence to watch TV in my caravan?

Touring caravans and motorhomes are covered by the TV Licence at the holder’s home address and so do not require an additional licence.

So, so long as you have a TV licence at your home address, you will not be needing a separate one when you go away on holiday in your caravan. Or in your motorhome for that matter.