Forest River RV TV Antenna: Why Is My Antenna Not Working?

It seems that the TV antennas that RV makers place on the roofs of their models are not the best of the lot. These TV antennas while advertised as the next best thing, often break down with little notice or indication of where the problem lies.

There are a variety of reasons why your TV antenna is not picking up or sending signals to your television set. One reason could be that you have to re-scan for channels every time you camp in a new place. That is just an inconvenience and not a real problem.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you have all the information you need to troubleshoot your TV antenna when it is not working correctly. When all else fails, call a technician for help.

What Kind Of Antenna Is On an RV?


Technology has been able to create a variety of TV antennas that will work with your RV or trailer. Exactly which brand and model your RV, etc., has will depend on the company that made the RV.

The two types of antennas that you will see most often will be either the directional or omnidirectional types. For directional, it needs to be pointed in the right direction before it can receive and transmit any Television signals.

The omnidirectional models do not have that restriction. They pick up any and all TV signals no matter which direction they are coming from. But this television signal capture is not always going to be perfect.

The two TV antenna making brands that seem to be the most popular are King and Winegard and they seem to produce a variety of models to meet your location and television-watching needs.

The only drawback to buying an antenna from those two companies is that they are often the most expensive option around. There are less expensive models from lesser-known brands that may do the same job as the antennas from those two companies.

To find those, it just may take some trial and error

Forest River RV TV Antenna


If the sub-heading makes you think that Forest River builds its own TV antennas and then installs them, that would not be a correct assumption. This company uses different brands of TV antennas to create this camping feature.

Forest River will install the cheapest models they can buy depending on the model series those antennas are for. Some owners have received a unit with a Wineguard fixed antenna while others have received a Sensar or a Jensen model.

Regardless of the brand name, all of these owners seem to have problems with reception at one time or another. Even the technicians at Forest River dealers know the antennas are not the best quality.

Of course, if you buy a top model RV or trailer, then chances are you are getting a top-quality television antenna included in your purchase. Needless to say, one owner traded his 2017 RV in for another 2017 RV just because the TV antenna was not that good.

Other owners simply upgraded to a better class of TV antennas so that they can have the signal they want all the time. It is said that the directional antennas are the best of the two types and are more powerful.

Omnidirectional types are just cheaper and easier to install.

How Do I Use a Forest River TV Antenna?


While you may think these antennas are a plug-and-play technological wonder, they are not. There are steps to follow to ensure that you get the best reception all the time.

The first step is to make sure the cables are connected properly to the antenna, the plate, and the TV. The second step is to turn the antenna power supply on. You do this by pushing the button on the plate

When it is on, you should see a little LED green light illuminate. Once those two steps are completed, you now have to do a channel scan. This is done by following these instructions:

- Using the television remote, select “Menu” and then “Settings.”

- Select “Channel Setup.”

- Select “Antenna” or “Air,” depending on your TV. Make sure you are not on “Cable.”

- Select “Channel Search” or “Channel Scan.” Keep in mind that the steps to perform a channel scan may vary. If the wording in your TV differs from the options shown, refer to your TV user manual for help (source)

Keep in mind that pushing the channel up or down buttons is not performing a channel scan setup. For the best reception, you should run a channel scan monthly, when you lose a channel and any time you change locations.

Why Is My RV TV Antenna Not Working?


There are numerous reasons why your antenna is not working. These are not foolproof devices and just about anything can stop them from working. Here are many reasons why your TV antenna does not work:

1. Wall plate- there could be no power to the wall plate, a short in the system, or the button fails to make a connection. If you are not familiar with TV antenna electronics, this is a problem for a technician to handle.

2. The coaxial cable is bad or not connected- these cables have to be connected correctly or your antenna will not work. They can be corroded, have poor-quality cables, or they are plugged into the wrong terminal.

On top of that, they can be damaged or loose, To determine the problem you will need a voltmeter.

3. The cable voltage is wrong- either high or low voltage will cause problems for your TV antenna. It will also cause damage to your cable and antenna system if you are not careful.

4. Antenna amplifier failed- also called a signal booster, these little devices can fail at any time. There are a variety of sources that causes this problem including bad or damaged cables

5. Antenna direction- if you have a directional antenna, then it could be pointed in the wrong direction. You will have to adjust it to find the TV signal. Omnidirectional antennas have a limited range so you may be out of range as well.

6. TV setup- some people think this is a one-and-done task when it is not. As you read the instructions given above for TV scanning, you need to do this every time you change locations.

If all of these sources are not the problem, it would be a good idea to call a technician to help. Just make sure everything is plugged in and turned on before you do that.

Also, check for obstructions that may be in the way. While parking under a tree is good to cut the heat inside, that tree can also block TV signals.

How To Fix an RV TV Antenna


The fix will depend on what is wrong with the antenna or connections. Some people have decided to replace and upgrade rather than repair their current TV antenna.

That is a very good option if you can fit it into your budget and you get a better TV antenna. But if your budget does not allow it or there is not a better option available, the following repairs options should help you:

1. Check all wires and power supplies. If the wires are not connected properly, then you will not get a signal as the antenna won’t work. If the power supply is cut off, you won’t be able to watch TV.

Make sure none of the wires are loose or damaged. If so, tighten them up or replace them. Also, make sure your batteries are charged.

2. Wall plate- make sure you use a voltmeter to determine if you are getting enough volts to the wall plate. A lack of volts may be a wiring problem or a bad battery.

You also do not want too many volts reaching the wall plate. This is a task best left to a technician.

3. Failed Antenna booster- this is a repair that is also best left to a technician to do.

4. The wrong direction- if you have a directional antenna, then it would be best for you to climb on the roof and change the positioning of the antenna. Make sure you have someone inside telling you if you are finding the right direction or not.

Some Additional Words

The types of TV antennas that RV makers install are not the best in the world. They will and do fail quite frequently. These failures can cause you a lot of inconveniences when they take place.

If you can afford it, the best repair work you can do is to upgrade to a better model that does not fail as often. There are a lot of good brands you can choose from to ensure your TV-watching time goes off without a hitch.

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