View Full Version : Dish location

02-17-2007, 11:42 AM
I have been mulling over the installation of one of those auto satellite dishes. I know there is an extra cable across from the TV antenna in the bedroom. But, I was thinking (yes again) if the entertainment center is in the living room, 25 feet away, why not locate it on that end of the roof? You could run the cable a couple of feet over to the top of the cabinet, drill a hole and run the cable straight down to the Sat receiver. Plenty of available 12v power is there also.
The factory installed cables weren't much good and new ones were run on my first warranty trip. Not sure I trust the one in the roof.

02-17-2007, 11:53 AM
The only problem with that idea is the entertainment center is in the pop-out on the 3055. I put a bole up thru the roof in the area between the toilet area and the power switches, real easy to do. The coax cable that runs from the stowed roof position runs right down thru that area along with a bunch of 12 volt power. I'm picking up the trailer from storage tomorrow and I'll post some pictures of the install.

02-17-2007, 12:08 PM
Guess I wasn't thinking enough! :o Forgot about the EC being in a slide out! Would like to so those picture when you get to it.

Forrest Fetherolf
02-17-2007, 09:46 PM
This is my earlier post. Maybe will help.
I have a 3600RL purchased in Aug 06. When I bought the unit, Clovis RV was to install the tracvision 4. After drilling two holes in the roof in the wrong location, I told them to stop. I installed the unit myself and didn't attempt to locate the coax in the roof. When the units are assembled at the factory the coax is coiled up in the roof (somewhere). Good luck drilling a 3/4" hole that is required to feed the wiring to the satellite dish and retrieve the cable at the same time. I drilled a 3/4" hole over the master bedroom cabinets and pulled the wiring. I was able to pull 12 volts and coax through the cabinets from the 12 volt outlet in the tv cabinet. I mounted the satellite control in the blank space between the upper cabinet doors. I used the existing antenna coax to feed the living room tv. All wiring is concealed inside the upper cabinets. With the use of 3 AB switches, I now have the option of park cable, roof satellite, antenna, and/or remote satillite to both tv's at the same time.

02-18-2007, 05:52 PM
Here are the pictures of my install. The wire harness and coax will fit thru a 3/4" hole, but it is tight, the power cable has to go in first! The pictures show the control panel location and the wires coming thru the ceiling behind the cabinet in the toilet room. I still need to seal down the wires a little more, but that's a job for later today.:)

02-18-2007, 06:55 PM
Great Pics! Thanks!

02-18-2007, 07:05 PM
Like Bill, I too am contemplating a auto-aligning dish. I have the portable and a roof mounted crank-up model. If I move up to an '08 Heartland, I'll need to add a dish to the roof so timing may be right to do the auto-aligning unit.

I'd like to know what brands/models people are using? What about HD programming, does that impact brand/model selection?

I read/saw in Dennis' post/pics (nice job Denny - thanks for sharing) that a single coax and a 12 V feed is required. I am wondering if other feeds are ever required (data/telemetry, coaxes etc).

Also, placement. I have my crank-up model on the door-side of the roof, across from the batwing TV antenna as that's where the factory prewire was. Looking at the size of Denny's Tracvision, rear of the AC unit seems to make sense. Wondering what horizontal distance must be maintained from the edge of the dome to an obstruction like the AC unit in order to see the satellite with no occlusion. Tiny dishes collect tiny amounts of signal and small obstructions/occlusions can probably make a difference.

Thanks for any input.


02-18-2007, 07:36 PM
I guess at this time I am going to ask. "Why doesn't Heartland offer a roof mount dish?"

02-18-2007, 07:41 PM

Fair question Bill. Consider posting it in the ATF forum. My guess is that the response will be that there are many roof-mounted dish brands/models and for them offer the option, they'd offer only one and is that the one most people wanted or would settle for.

That said, I guess it's not much different than the generator option. There are a few brands/models/sizes to choose from but the factory has chosen 1 to offer.


02-18-2007, 07:55 PM
I know when I want an option and the unit is a good quality I would pay what they are asking becuase it is something I will be using for several years. I think also that it could also be a good option when you go to sell the unit or trade in.

02-18-2007, 08:07 PM

the power and data connections are in the single cable. Most of the new dishs (i.e. Trackvision 4, Wingard newer models) all have the "smarts" built into the dish, so all they really need is the 12 volt source and cable. Also most of the newer models have 2 coax outputs in case hou want to run 2 receivers and have 2 different programs playing. The dish needs to be about 2 feet from a unit like the A/C unit, the further up north you are, the more critical the distance (lower look angle), but there is a chart in the instructions that give the minimums.
So far, I'm real happy with the setup, and it was easy to install.

Forrest Fetherolf
02-18-2007, 10:06 PM
The tracvision 4 requires 15 deg angle from horizontal to clear roof objects.

02-18-2007, 11:02 PM
Thanks Forrest.

For you and Dennis, which service (DISH/DIRECT) do you use?

Did you get your receiver from KVH or from the satellite service provider?

Did you get the HD decoder and service?

I'd like to get the HD service but that decoder looks like $1000 from KVH or a 2 year commitment to DIRECT TV for their HD receiver. Not sure I want to make that long a commitment.

Still researching. Thanks for the input.


02-18-2007, 11:54 PM
Hi all,

Did a bit of searching and found 3 brands of stationary use, domed satellite dishes.

Below is an image of my research thus far. Attached is an Excel worksheet with the same information and hyperlinks to the manufacturers' web sites.

If there are more manufacturers of these in addition to King Controls (King-Dome), KVH (TracVision) and Winegard (MovinView and RoadTrip) that are viable for stationary, roof-mounted RV application, please let me know and I will add it to my research.



On Edit: Found dish blockage chart - inserted image below


Dish Blockage Chart for KVH TracVision R4 Dome

02-19-2007, 12:08 AM
I got my dish from E-Bay for around $700... I didn't want to spend the really big $$$, thought I would just wait for the right time. I'm using Direct TV for my service and just have the regular receiver, I think it was about $40 at Best Buy.

The King Dome are not all really automatic, you have to dial in the lat/long and serch for the signals, at least on the ones priced in the $700 range.

From the research I've done, either the KVH or Wingards are the best bet. A friend of mine just had CW install a Wingard Movin in Motion model on his MH, We'll be trying them out this weekend, and will let you know how they work out.

Forrest Fetherolf
02-19-2007, 03:55 PM
Jim B.
I have a tracvision 4 with direct tv. I ran the two coax cables from the dish, routing one to each tv. With 2 cable boxes, both tvs receive direct tv separately. So far the tracvision has not failed to receive the signal except through trees and in heavy rain storms. I have logged about 14K miles xing the US.
If you or anyone else would like a cable routing diagram, let me know.

Forrest Fetherolf
02-19-2007, 04:06 PM
Jim B.
In answer to your other questions, I use the basic direct tv boxes, no hd. I ordered my tracvision 4 on line and paid just under $1100, no tax/shipping.

02-19-2007, 07:16 PM
I have Direct HD at home and it uses a 5 LNB antenna array, seems I remember Dish uses fewer satellites. I would think Direct would be difficult at best since their satellites are all over the sky and as you travelled N/S/E/W it would be extremely difficult to pick up all their HD channels. I believe that they are only using 2 or 3 satellites now, but have a big expansion of HD in 2007 pulling programming off some satellites and putting it all on 1 or 2. I know that 1 sat is way east of the others and is not in use at this time, and the tech told me that the apple tree near it would need some serious trimming. It is like 40 degrees or so east of most of the others. Since I can use the Direct HD receiver I own in the RV I'm waiting until they sort it all out. We're using just a regular Direct receiver until then. I don't want to shell out a lot of $ only to have it not pick up what I want where I want, so a few more months it will be for me.

02-19-2007, 07:30 PM
Clark, Forrest, Dennis and others,

Thanks for all the input on this. I am favoring the KVH Tracvision R4 and to start out, I think I will go standard definition. I can upgrade later if I want. I also want to put a dish on a 4x4 post at my home CG as my current rooftop crank-up dish is looking at trees and cannot acquire the satellites. So my hope is to get the R4, get service through one of the providers, have the free install done but on the free dish onto the 4x4 only. I'll have RS install the dish on the RV or I'll do it myself.


Uncle Rog
02-25-2007, 01:54 PM
Howdy, I still use the manual crank up, azmuth / degree , Winegard model. I like the sport of aquiring a good signal.....

Phil Smith
02-25-2007, 09:03 PM
What have you found for prices on the R4. This is the best I have found.
http://boating-electronics.stores.yahoo.net/newkvhtrr4.html It is selling for $1075


Forrest Fetherolf
02-25-2007, 09:13 PM
Purchased TracVision from PPL RV Parts Superstore online or phone 1 800 775-4775. Part #22 6452 $1049. Comes with all goodies to connect except for the 2nd tv coax.

02-25-2007, 09:19 PM
Hi Phil,

Other than my initial research on OEM sites, I have not looked for any retail pricing yet. Thanks for sharing what you have found.


02-26-2007, 12:27 AM
I just ordered a 2008 3055RL and I'm trying to get info on an Internet Satellite system for the Roof. Probably a DataStorm. Does anyone have an internet dish on their roof? Any info would be most helpful. Roy :)

02-26-2007, 09:23 AM
Here are a couple of websites to look at: http://www.motosat.com/ http://www.dustyfoot.com/index.html This is one that I am dealing with but I'm doing a tripod system. http://www.globalsatsolutions.com/ I chose to go to the tripod system due to so many campsites in the trees and not being able to get a clear shot of the sky. Be sure that you tell whomever you talk to that you want to be able to get a satellite while in AK. Some don't connect that far north. I will be connecting to SatMex 5 and it just covers the contenental US. SatMex 6 doesn't even go to the Canadian border. Lots of different options.


02-26-2007, 11:40 AM
Thanks John,

I should have known you would have a link stashed away.

I thought of another question about roof mounts. How level does the trailer have to be in order for an automatic dish system to work? Can the trailer be off by several degrees, or will that throw off the skew on the system?

I like the price of the tripod system better, but I am thinking about how often I will be moving on the Alaska trip. Plus the fact that it rains a good bit in the summer time and those pesky mosquitoes. Could spend a good bit of time setting up and storing the equipment.

Forrest Fetherolf
02-26-2007, 12:25 PM
Automatic roof mounts does not require the rv to be level, they will adjust for out of level rv conditions. The mechanical dishes readings might be off because they cannot compensate for out of level. The important requirement for automatic dish roof mounts is to ensure the the mounting surface is flat to avoid warping the dish platform.

02-26-2007, 01:40 PM
Joseph and Gene (//heartlandowners.org/member.php?u=566) have a Datastorm setup on their Bighorn. PM or email Joseph for more info.