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Old 08-18-2018, 09:18 AM   #1
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Camping during football season

Calling on football lovers to send advice! Camping in CG soon with no cable connections. What is the recommendation for getting best tv reception while camping. Currently have the built in antennae on the Roo, but nothing else! Need to get gear before our Labor Day trip! (Moving to different CG not an option). TIA
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Old 08-18-2018, 10:58 AM   #2
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I will admit once football starts we are pretty done camping. Which may sound bad to many but I love to watch. Usually we can pick up radio of the game. Which is also fine because our commentators are great to listen.
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Old 08-18-2018, 12:12 PM   #3
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First, use an online antenna locator map program like this:

https://www.antennasdirect.com/transmitter-locator.html

It will show the location of the nearest transmitter antenna's and distance. Some sites will also show relative signal strength for various stations at a specific location if you have an address. These are "calculated" values so a hill or a few large trees can throw them off in some locations. Closer the better though.

Next, if you are in a fringe area, buy a "Long Range" or "Deep Fringe" antenna from your local Big Box store. Get a couple of 10' mast sections and enough coax to reach your outside "satellite" connector. Assemble the antenna to the mast sections and secure the 20' mast to your ladder or tongue jack. With hose clamps (large), bailing wire, duct tape, bungee cords, or combinations of all. Then it's just a matter of rotating the large antenna until you get your station. If using the satellite connector make sure to move the TV coax to that connector inside as well.

If your TV station tower locator app/link shows the station you are trying to watch is over 30 miles away it's pretty much a crap shoot as to whether or not you'll be able to get reception. That will depend a lot on the terrain. While on a long trip this last may through Colorado and New Mexico I found numerous stations with pretty much every network represented. Of course I was traveling on the east side of the Rockies and you could see for 100 miles across the flat plains. Here where I live I can't get the large stations that are only 35 miles away due to the hills.

A hint at how successful a larger antenna will be is to look at houses near the campground. If they have antennas and how high they are will be an indicator.

Last resort would be to buy a satellite "Tailgate Setup" and get your signal from above. Just make sure your company carries the NFL games live.
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:05 AM   #4
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In addition to over the air through your antenna on the camper, most TV networks stream broadcasts as well.. .

If you're in an area where you can't get over the air reception, you don't want to invest in satellite but you can get wifi either from the campground or through your cell phone using it as a hot spot, you could:

- Use a laptop or tablet connect through wifi and stream the broadcast... Just get an HDMI cable and run it from your computer or tablet to the TV.

- Get a wifi streaming device like an Amazon Fire Stick ($49) which is what I use.. It plugs into the HDMI port on your TV so you don't need a laptop or a tablet. There is some set up you'll want to do ahead of time since many broadcast networks have their own apps you'll need to set up. In some cases they are free and in other cases they are paid apps but if your already subscribe to cable or satellite at home, in most cases you'll just need your user name and password for the cable or satellite network and it's free.. Same thing for HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon and others.

What I might do if in your shoes is to call the campground, see if they have wifi and ask how the cell service is in the area for your particular carrier and go from there.

Campground wifi is often very slow depending on the newtork they have and how many people are on it. I've found using my cell phone as a hot spot works better if you're in an area with decent reception. Just make sure you have a good data plan since it will eat into that.

Hope this helps an go Denver!!
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by njfishing View Post
In addition to over the air through your antenna on the camper, most TV networks stream broadcasts as well.. .

If you're in an area where you can't get over the air reception, you don't want to invest in satellite but you can get wifi either from the campground or through your cell phone using it as a hot spot, you could:

- Use a laptop or tablet connect through wifi and stream the broadcast... Just get an HDMI cable and run it from your computer or tablet to the TV.

- Get a wifi streaming device like an Amazon Fire Stick ($49) which is what I use.. It plugs into the HDMI port on your TV so you don't need a laptop or a tablet. There is some set up you'll want to do ahead of time since many broadcast networks have their own apps you'll need to set up. In some cases they are free and in other cases they are paid apps but if your already subscribe to cable or satellite at home, in most cases you'll just need your user name and password for the cable or satellite network and it's free.. Same thing for HBO, Showtime, Netflix, Amazon and others.

What I might do if in your shoes is to call the campground, see if they have wifi and ask how the cell service is in the area for your particular carrier and go from there.

Campground wifi is often very slow depending on the newtork they have and how many people are on it. I've found using my cell phone as a hot spot works better if you're in an area with decent reception. Just make sure you have a good data plan since it will eat into that.

Hope this helps an go Denver!!


We purchased a Chromecast usb today and tried it in the Roo! Verizon hotspot, xfinity via laptop, then cast to tv! Works for almost all channels! This should get us by until we decide to invest in satellite! Thanks!
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Old 08-19-2018, 07:51 PM   #6
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I like to find a local bar that will show my teams and get into "lively discussions" with some locals, esp. if I see someone wearing the blue and orange of "Da Bears." Then I can usually have a lot of fun. There also usually are Packer Bars almost everywhere if you're a Packer Backer. It also hasn't been too hard finding U of Wis games lately either. Or see if they'll switch one TV to your game if you buy a few drinks and some food.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:27 PM   #7
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I like to find a local bar that will show my teams and get into "lively discussions" with some locals, esp. if I see someone wearing the blue and orange of "Da Bears." Then I can usually have a lot of fun. There also usually are Packer Bars almost everywhere if you're a Packer Backer. It also hasn't been too hard finding U of Wis games lately either. Or see if they'll switch one TV to your game if you buy a few drinks and some food.
Just make sure you dont enjoy the cheer and fellowship so much you forget where the campground is.
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Old 08-19-2018, 08:31 PM   #8
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We just use a Dish receiver and a portable Tailgater automatic sat dish. We don't take any chances of missing NASCAR or football.

Our house is Dallas, Raiders, and Giants. Always interesting on game days.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:59 AM   #9
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A lot of people cutting the chord at home these days and getting rid of cable and satellite TV and streaming over the internet.

Lots of good live TV streaming services available now with most channels and even a channel guide. YouTube TV and Directvnow a few examples @ $40 a month but you'll still have to pay for a good fast Internet connection.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by njfishing View Post
A lot of people cutting the chord at home these days and getting rid of cable and satellite TV and streaming over the internet.

Lots of good live TV streaming services available now with most channels and even a channel guide. YouTube TV and Directvnow a few examples @ $40 a month but you'll still have to pay for a good fast Internet connection.
That last part, the good, fast, internet connection can be the issue when truly camping. Get far enough away from civilization and deep into a forest where you cant see the sky, even satellite service isn't there.
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