Utility of TV Antenna for Normal Camping -21' Unit - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-01-2015, 10:05 AM   #1
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Utility of TV Antenna for Normal Camping -21' Unit

Escape Community

We are finalizing our order with ETI on a 21' to be picked up the in February 2016.
Our plan is to have ETI install the wall mount TV bracket to be able to view DVD's while on the road.

Our question deals with the TV antenna & plug mount option $300 cost versus the utility during normal camping split between boondocking and standard RV parks.

1. What is the experience of the Escape Community with the utility of the TV antenna?

2. Is it worth the additional expense?

Sidebar- our 21' will have the AM/FM stereo option and the cable ready option.

Thanks in advance for your comments. We can hardly wait for February 2016 to arrive.

Jim & Judy Tischer
Woodland, California
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:32 AM   #2
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If you don't want to view TV broadcasts, don't get the antenna! On the other hand, I find the Jack antenna to work so well I have installed one in my attic at home and quit satellite TV.

I think (best check) the cable ready option should provide a place to attach your wire from the television cable input to somewhere; in my 21 the cable connection outside feeds through the same connection (I had the antenna outlet moved to under the overhead cabinet.)
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:39 PM   #3
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TV Antenna

Of all the options we chose, the TV antenna is the only one we wish we had not. When the weather is bad and we want to watch movies, we use our laptop. If we want the news, we are on the Internet.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by ddevin View Post
Of all the options we chose, the TV antenna is the only one we wish we had not. When the weather is bad and we want to watch movies, we use our laptop. If we want the news, we are on the Internet.
Rural US areas have better TV reception in general than Internet coverage, so TV antenna is useful in my opinion.
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:53 AM   #5
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I'm more likely to find cell coverage than OTA TV reception where I camp. I can use my iPhone as a hot spot and stream video, if I really, really need to see something. Otherwise, I have a portable 7" DVD player that I can hook up to my 13" TV to watch movies ( which hasn't actually happened ).
I did watch streaming news on my laptop, using Shaw WiFi ( 65,000 hot spots ), but I get their free WiFi with my home package.
Must drive my cell phone provider ( Telus ) nuts that their competitor ( Shaw ) makes free WiFi available to me, so I use little Telus data.
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:38 AM   #6
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Haven't used it yet just watch movies on the tv
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddevin View Post
Of all the options we chose, the TV antenna is the only one we wish we had not. When the weather is bad and we want to watch movies, we use our laptop. If we want the news, we are on the Internet.
+1

I did try it once last year to see if it worked while out in WY, it does. I used the laptop with a TV tuner, don't have a TV. Do radios work where OTA TV does not? don't have that either but probably should.
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Old 09-02-2015, 02:36 AM   #8
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A couple of my favorite camps have no OTA TV and no AM or FM radio. One has limited cell coverage. I listen to Sirius satellite radio when camped.
But, can't, for the life of me, understand why I pay $17 a month for Sirius and listen to it for maybe two months out of the year ( at best ).
I can, and should download podcasts to my iPod and Mac. There are thousands of choices in free programming available on iTunes. And, I have thousands of songs on my iPod.
I am incredibly lazy.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:13 AM   #9
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On my 19, Reace had accidentally put the TV antenna on, but it wasn't on my build sheet. He phoned and asked if I wanted it, it would be free of charge, or he would pull it off and patch the shell. I opted for the latter, and am glad I did. In 25 years of owning an RV, we have only used my laptop as a TV once, and have watched about a half dozen movies tops.

However, once I retire, and we travel on extended trips, we may find we would like to watch stuff more.

I almost always get my news from the internet, or in the car when driving, never on a TV. I actually wonder into the future how much TV service will be used. I know lots of younger folks these days only use a TV as a large monitor for streamed video, and don't even have cable TV.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:20 AM   #10
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We are currently working on the build sheet for our upcoming 17B. Our initial thought was that we wanted both an antenna and cable ready. And then we decided cable ready, but no antenna. And now our thinking is that we want neither.

As we are still about 10 years from retirement, any trips for the next 10 years will be of short duration, and we know we will not want to spend that precious time watching TV.

And we are thinking with the way technology is so rapidly evolving, in 10 years when we do retire and start taking long trips and "maybe" want to watch TV, cable TV and OTA's are probably going to be obsolete. So why put that obsolete technology on our camper. Just our 2 cents.
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:30 AM   #11
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I don't camp in places where over the air reception is possible, so it was an easy decision for me.

We watch a dvd some evenings when cold or rain make outdoor evening activities miserable. Satellite seemed a bit over the top (for now).
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:49 AM   #12
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We have occasionally used the TV antenna. Most notably in the Pacific North Wet when we had several evenings of cold rain, but were near enough to civilization to get a tv signal.

But we find that we don't watch broadcast TV all that much. If we are in a camp ground that has cable, Lindy likes to plug into the cable and watch HGTV. If cable isn't available and it isn't a good night for a camp fire or books we would be more likely to watch a DVD than broadcast.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:54 AM   #13
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We ultimately ordered the Jack Antenna mainly because we are buying our house. Even though we won't be retiring and going on the road for 5 years yet, this is going to be our home for a good part of the year when that day comes. It made us approach the build sheet a little differently when we thought of it that way. I don't think we would have gotten the antenna if we were ordering the trailer as a weekender.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:37 PM   #14
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We ordered cable ready and I bought a small flat TV antenna about 8 inches square that I can use inside the trailer or mount on a PVC mast that I hook up outside if needed. We use TV only when we are somewhere for a while and want to see the news and maybe one program before bedtime.

It sounds like the choice for most of us is based on our TV watching habits and not on the good or bad of the technology.
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Old 09-02-2015, 05:43 PM   #15
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I found I rarely watched TV, so I replaced the Escape supplied TV antenna with a marine XM Radio antenna. It has a bit more gain than the standard puck antenna which lets me still listen when parked under trees.
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Old 09-02-2015, 11:06 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GregandTeresa View Post
And we are thinking with the way technology is so rapidly evolving, in 10 years when we do retire and start taking long trips and "maybe" want to watch TV, cable TV and OTA's are probably going to be obsolete.
Traditional cable TV is already almost gone - my guess is that in 10 years the cables will be used for internet service, over which video is streamed, as many people already do.

I think over-the-air transmissions have lots of life left in them, because they provide a service for which there is no easy replacement. All broadcasters recently invested in their new digital transmission facilities.
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