How to Hook Up a TV in an RV

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Recreation vehicles (RVs) are homes-on-wheels for travelers who are trekking long-distances and don't want to rough it or pay high prices for hotels. As with homes, RVs can have televisions, although the process of installation is a bit more complicated than in a regular home because the television can't simply be hooked up to cable. However, with a portable dish or crank-up antenna, you can be well on your way toward enjoying television entertainment in your own RV.

Items you will need

  • Portable satellite dish

  • Crank-up antenna

  • Television

  • Brackets and mounts

  • Caulk

  • Power-drill

  • Screws

Existing Satellite Dish/Antenna

Plug existing cables leading from your satellite dish or crank-up antenna into the control box or directly into the back of your television. If the dish or antenna supports high-definition (HD), these cables will be high-definition multimedia interface (HDMI) cables and will plug in like normal audio-visual cables. If either the dish or antenna does not support HD, then the cables will be normal coaxial cables and should be screwed into the back of the television. If you plug the cables into a control-box, more cables run from the box into the TV.

Screw the mount into the overhead space or on inside wall of the RV, wherever you would like to hang the TV.

Attach the brackets to the TV first, then attach the brackets to the mounts.

New Satellite Dish/Antenna

Take the satellite dish or crank-up antenna out of the box. Follow the directions and construct the dish/antenna.

Place caulk around the base of the dish/antenna. Position the dish/antenna on the roof of the RV and attach. Allow for the caulk to dry. If desired for additional support, screw the dish/antenna into the roof of the RV.

Run both the interface and power cables from the dish/antenna inside the RV. On the roof of the RV, there should be hook-ups or holes to feed the cables through in order to plug them into the back of the TV inside the RV.

Connect the interface cable from the dish/antenna to the control box in the interior of the RV. Connect the power cable from the control box to the dish/antenna, as well.

Screw the TV mount wherever you would like the TV to be. Many RVs have overhead TVs above the driver and passenger seats facing backward. If not, you can attach a mount to whichever of the walls you want.

Attach the bracket to the TV and then attach the bracket to the mount. Screw the bracket onto the mount in order to strengthen the attachment.

Hook up the interface and power cables from the control-box to the TV. Power the TV on and enjoy.


  • There are expensive satellite dishes that automatically search for signals using GPS technology rather than manually positioning the dish to catch the best reception. These dishes take time to locate the best signals, so be prepared to wait for the dish to complete its search.
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