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Old 03-30-2021, 12:21 PM   #1
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Jack TV Antenna Or Additional Solar Panel

I had been thinking of opting for the Jack TV Antenna. To date we haven't done much boondocking, but that hopefully will change when my wife finally retires.
Is the antenna able to actually pickup local channels. Though I may not be interested my wife would in enjoy being able to. I realize distance is a factor but if the antenna is capable within a 20-30 mile range I might be obliged, if you get my drift.
Instead of the additional Solar panel I could just get a portable.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:44 PM   #2
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I'd go for the solar extra. Most tv stations are only available within metro areas, thus over the air antenna is worthless most of the time and if hookups you will have cable....solar allows for more freedom.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:56 PM   #3
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I'd go for the solar extra.

I would too, even if you have two panels already. We have a TV, never took it out of the closet yet. It's a really nice one.

Someday we're gonna use it. I got two panels and I love them.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:03 PM   #4
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I have the Jack Antenna. Two solar panels were not an option when we had our trailer built. Now that we've had the trailer for over 6 years, and knowing how little broadcast TV we've watched in the trailer, I can tell you that I would much prefer a second solar panel.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:41 PM   #5
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I'd go with the solar even if you do want to watch TV a lot ... it strikes me that there are more than a few aftermarket TV antennas that can be relatively easily accommodated; adding rooftop solar can certainly be done, but that's likely going to be much more of an undertaking.

Methinks you can have both good TV reception and lots of solar capacity, just not with ETI's standard solutions, I'd take the more 'difficult' of the two from them.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:55 PM   #6
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Same as Robert, have the Jack antennae and not used it much. If a do-over I would not get the Jack Antennae, since we stream of download movies we want to watch.
Solar is an awesome upgrade.
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Old 03-30-2021, 01:58 PM   #7
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I have no problem with reception with the Jack antenna although it is not as good as a large Winegard you might install on a house, but I somewhat disagree with what others have said. There are times when the trailer has to be in the shade and a portable panel provides greater placement flexibility. In either case, one or the other is going to have to be set up. But if I were to have two solar panels, I do not think I would want all of my “solar eggs” in one basket. Keeping the battery charged, IMO, is more important than watching TV.
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Old 03-30-2021, 02:10 PM   #8
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Get More Solar

Seconding both Greg and Robert on the notion of more solar over the antenna. Got our 2015 21' used so it came with the antenna; thought it might be fun to have occasionally for news or football games. Hauled the TV around for a couple of years and never used it, so now it stays at home. Antenna also makes the roof harder to clean/wash. The more we travel the more we boondock -- extra solar would be great.

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Old 03-30-2021, 02:33 PM   #9
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Well, we've done fine with a 160W roof mounted panel since 2014, and actually DO use our Jack. I liked it so much I bought another head unit and put it in our house attic (all our local stations have towers on the same hillside) and decided to drop Direct TV.
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Old 03-30-2021, 03:16 PM   #10
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You are going to have to make a decision - which would be more convenient for you? In both cases, a portable antenna or portable solar panel will work. If you spend most of your time dry camping out of TV range, the rooftop panel probably makes more sense. If TV at most stops is important, a roof top antenna and an added portable solar panel when needed is the best solution.

In my case, I went with the additional solar panel since I don't even carry a TV. (I still have a portable panel used when parked in the shade or when additional capacity is necessary.
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Old 03-30-2021, 04:25 PM   #11
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I think the second solar panel is the way to go. Just my 2 cents
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Old 03-30-2021, 04:38 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone
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Old 03-30-2021, 04:47 PM   #13
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Watching TV consumes power. Solar provides power.
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Old 03-30-2021, 05:16 PM   #14
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You can always get the tv antenna after you get your escape and have it mounted telescoping pole. That’s what we did. You can use a clamp on holder on the back bumper or have a holder welded to the bumper. If you have the holder welded to the bumper an it can double as a bbq grill holder too.

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Old 03-30-2021, 06:28 PM   #15
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You can always get the tv antenna after you get your escape and have it mounted telescoping pole. Thatís what we did. You can use a clamp on holder on the back bumper or have a holder welded to the bumper. If you have the holder welded to the bumper an it can double as a bbq grill holder too.

David

Yes. Get the second panel. You can have a welding shop make you a bumper mount for an antenna mast to put your TV antenna on. Then you can get another mast. And another..
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:48 PM   #16
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I have a King omnidirectional TV antenna on a 20-foot retractable mast. It will receive TV signals from at least 50 miles depending upon conditions, and I have received signals from 80 miles away, if I remember right.


Also, with my limited experience with a portable solar panel, a portable panel seems to be worth two panels flat on the roof since you can aim it. I suggest getting two roof panels and have Escape wire your trailer for a portable panel as well (or do it yourself), then mount a TV antenna on a mast. Make sure it is secure.
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:03 AM   #17
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I have a King omnidirectional TV antenna on a 20-foot retractable mast. It will receive TV signals from at least 50 miles depending upon conditions, and I have received signals from 80 miles away, if I remember right.
Mike, did you have to get permission from the FAA to fly that antenna.
Thanks I've been searching for other options for the antenna. On my Casita I was able to clamp a 4' pvc pipe to the bumper and spare tire mount. Unfortunately I had a worthless antenna on a pole that I inherited.
I know ETI has an option " TV cable ready" for $100. Not having seen one I'm guessing it is nothing more than a coaxial cable jack mounted on the outside of the trailer with a cable inside you can screw on to the tv. Is that how you hook up your antenna?
Mike also have been searching and searching for "pole mount RV tv antenna" and have found plenty of poles but no antennas mountable on poles. Also some antennas seen to require power, do you have to run power 25' up the pole. I know that's a lot of questions. Would you have a link to your antenna? Thank you, Jim
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:10 PM   #18
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Mike, did you have to get permission from the FAA to fly that antenna.
Thanks I've been searching for other options for the antenna. On my Casita I was able to clamp a 4' pvc pipe to the bumper and spare tire mount. Unfortunately I had a worthless antenna on a pole that I inherited.
I know ETI has an option " TV cable ready" for $100. Not having seen one I'm guessing it is nothing more than a coaxial cable jack mounted on the outside of the trailer with a cable inside you can screw on to the tv. Is that how you hook up your antenna?
Mike also have been searching and searching for "pole mount RV tv antenna" and have found plenty of poles but no antennas mountable on poles. Also some antennas seen to require power, do you have to run power 25' up the pole. I know that's a lot of questions. Would you have a link to your antenna? Thank you, Jim

The cable ready is coaxial cable jack mounted on the outside of the trailer fith flip up cover a cable inside you can screw on to the tv. also they include a 120 Volt outlet to plug the tv into.
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:36 PM   #19
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The cable ready is coaxial cable jack mounted on the outside of the trailer fith flip up cover a cable inside you can screw on to the tv. also they include a 120 Volt outlet to plug the tv into.
or 12v which is what I always specify....
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Old 03-31-2021, 01:43 PM   #20
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The cable ready is coaxial cable jack mounted on the outside of the trailer fith flip up cover a cable inside you can screw on to the tv. also they include a 120 Volt outlet to plug the tv into.
or 12v which is what I always specify....



That's a good point . even if one has a converter a 12 volt tv would be a better choice. It used to be you could find some with power supplys that run on 12 volt ayt walmart or target . I been looking around and have be unable to find on. There is some 12 volt tv available online. Most don't have very good reviews.
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