Question: We’re planning a trip in our 5th wheel for 6 – 7 months next year and will be buying a satellite antenna. Our questions before we do this, are several:
We plan on installing it permanently on the roof of our 36′ Cougar. What happens when your camp site blocks the satellite signal because of tree? Do we need to purchase a portable unit in addition, or should we go with a portable unit as opposed to a permanent one?
We will be spending about 2 months in Canada within 50 miles of the U.S. border, do we have to contract with a Canadian TV provider? Do we need to buy an antenna that provides U.S. as well as Canadian TV?
Which of the providers, Dish or Direct has the best reputation with RVers?
We have a roof-mounted dish and we just avoid parking in campsites under trees whenever we have a choice. We also happen to have a portable dish – just because we got the extra dish for free as part of the original package we bought. So if needed, we could bring it out to capture a clear view of the southern sky. By the way, we haven’t used the portable dish in 7 years. If you expect to be parked in a lot of wooded areas, that might make a difference.
Regarding Canada coverage, you should check with DirecTV and DISH when you contact them about service options. Let them know that you will be establishing service with a US address, but want to know about coverage within the 50 mile radius of the area in Canada where you will be located. If others have personal experience with getting a signal over the border in Canada, please chime in.
Regarding the best provider, it is a matter of personal choice. When we talk to fellow RVers, most seem happy with whoever they have been using.
Check out the respective progamming lineups and prices for DirecTV and DISH. We have been happy with DirecTV, but we have not yet changed to an HDTV. When we do so, one thing we will research is if we can keep our existing rooftop dish, or if we will have to incur the expense to install a new one for one or both of the providers. That cost considerations will make a difference on which company we select going forward.