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Old 03-25-2011, 05:45 PM   #1
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Poor TV reception

I have a Forest River 16UL toy hauler. When parked under my storage area with a metal roof, I get good reception on the TV (no freezing of picture). When I pull it out to the driveway, the signal bars show good on the TV but the picture is constantly freezing up. I am close to multiple local stations and feel I should be getting better reception from the roof mounted antenna.

Is it just a cheap antenna provided with these units? Is there something I am missing here?

Any ideas are appreciated. Thanks. Jerry
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:04 PM   #2
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First question is, do you have the power switch turned on the antenna amplifier? It is usually a small black button, beside where the cable connection is on the trailer wall. A small L.E.D. will come on when it is activated. Don't leave it on when not watching television as it runs off 12 volts and will run your battery down if not plugged in to shore power.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:17 PM   #3
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Yes the black button is on and has always been on. I did not know I was supposed to turn it off .... and my battery has run down several times. I have not had good reception since I bought the trailer. I guess it good be a bad connection in the box inside the trailer. I will check that next.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:14 PM   #4
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It could just be the TV also. I used a digital converter on my last camper, and always picked up more channels than those I was camping with. We will be trying to just use the TV this time on the new camper since it's already digital.
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Old 03-26-2011, 07:28 AM   #5
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There are several excellent threads here on the forum about the change to "digital" broadcasting. One of the biggest issues, and hardest to understand by long time camper antenna users, is that while the old UHF frequencies were short range and it did not matter how you turned the antenna, the vewer digital signals are VERY directional. The VHF 3-13 channels were and still are directional and the bat wings must be 90 degrees to the station.

Since the change to digital (like 3.1 instead of 3) you must point the white plastic amp housing AT the broacast tower of the station you want to watch.

I use www.antenna web.org to find the heading to point the white plastic head at.

If you want more RANGE from UHF and have a SENSAR Bat Wing Wineguard antenna on the roof, you can add their Wingman UHF booster to the existing antenna amp and it will increase your UHF range from 10-12 miles to 40-50 miles. Believe me when I say, the difference is incredible.

With the wingman installed you point the ELEMENTS of the Wingman at the tower (the plastic head is also pointed that way, but it is easier to visualize.
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Old 03-26-2011, 08:48 AM   #6
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The OPer did not say how old the camper is. On my 2008, I found both input and output wires that go through the connector on the roof had corroded down to nothing. I cut the coaxial back to good wires, and I now get great reception.....as good or better than my home antennae.

I would suggest to run a jumper coaxial cable between the antennae and the booster plate, and see if that improves the reception.....that would indicate a problem in that area. If that doesn't show anything, turn off the booster, see what you can get on the TV, and then run the jumper from the antennae straight to the TV and compare that to the unboosted signal....indicating a problem from the booster to the TV. If your camper has connections for 2 TVs, then compare the reception at each connector to try to isolate the problem.

The Wingman is good but if you have nearby stations, I think you have other problems. The Wingman helped some of my distant stations from "freezing", plus it brought in a couple of extra stations.

With the camper sitting in the driveway, I am picking up stations from 75 miles away, and I have a small mountain in the way.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:02 AM   #7
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Chap, you are right. It is hard to fathom why he would get a better signal under metal than outside.

Maybe there is an signal eating obstruction between his antenna and the tower when he moves the camper.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:15 AM   #8
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When I 1st tried to isolate my problem, I noticed that if I stood in the camper near the antennae, I got some reception, but if I moved away from that area, I didn't get anything........I had a "hmmm" moment. But I refused to have to stand in that area and become a human antennae just so I could watch a little TV.
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