Television aerial advice
Whether it’s to kill time whilst waiting for the weather to clear, or kicking back and enjoying a well-earned break, being able to watch TV in your motorhome can add the cherry on top of a perfect holiday. But between finding a satellite signal and getting the right insurance however, the whole process can seem a bit of a hassle. Once broken down into steps however, you’ll find it’s quite straightforward.
Here’s our guide to everything you need to know about setting up a television and aerial in your motorhome.
Setting up TV in your motorhome
You’ll need a digital signal in order to watch TV in your motorhome. To get one, you’ll need to choose a provider such as Sky, Freesat or Freeview: each with different requirements, channel options and payment plans. For instance, you can watch TV as normal when travelling in Europe if you have a Sky or Freesat receiver. Freeview boxes may pick up local channels in the country you are in, but won’t pick up UK channels.
You’ll also need to set up your satellite, by aiming it at approximately 145 degrees (you can use your compass to measure this exactly), with the dish facing up about 25 degrees. Once it’s set up, you can connect it to your receiver box, i.e. from Sky or Freesat, and then connect the box to your television.
To actually watch TV however, you’ll first need to find the signal itself. You can do this by using a satellite finder compass, which will help you find the signal for all main European satellites. When you find it, you’ll hear a high-pitched sound.
Do I need a separate TV license for my motorhome?
If you have a TV licence for your main home, it will also cover you when travelling in your motorhome. You’ll need to make sure that nobody is watching TV at your home at the same time as you however, otherwise your licence will become invalid.
Insuring your TV and equipment
If you are installing expensive TV equipment into your motorhome, for example, a satellite dish, this is considered by some insurers to be a modification to the motorhome. This means they will need to know about any equipment you’ve installed, so that they can help you get the right cover. Once you have chosen your TV and the equipment you need, it’s a good idea to add up the value of it all, and make sure that you have sufficient personal belongings cover to match their collective value, along with all the other belongings you have.
Advice on aerial mounting
Each transmitter is set up to transmit its signal with either horizontally or vertically polarisation, it is normal for a main transmitter to have horizontal orientation and a relay transmitter to be vertically aligned to prevent interference.
Therefore for a horizontal polarised signal the aerial mounting needs to have the arms or elements in that orientation, in a modern touring unit aerial the flat part of the aerial body needs to be horizontal, there is an example to the above . For vertical orientation the aerial needs to be rotated 90 degrees so the elements are in a vertical plane, again an example on the right.
Smart phone and tablet users
There are applications that can be downloaded for these devices that provide location based directional information for TV transmitters. Search for TV aerial on your device - A couple of examples of free apps are Freepoint UK and UK Aerial Alignment.
The list at the bottom of this page provides an easy reference guide to digital television aerial directions at all UK Club and Camping in the Forest campsites. It can be downloaded or printed.
The list is broken down into Camping in the Forest, and then regions for club campsites, such as Scotland and East Anglia. Each row has the site name, digital television aerial direction, the aerial mounting position and any specific comments for that site including satellite elevation information.