I don’t want to admit it but sometimes I want TV while camping.
By Mark Chekel
Let’s face it; everybody’s wants and needs are different for watching TV while out camping in my toy hauler. Mine fall on the lower end of the spectrum. I’ll watch a little news or catch a program during bad weather. I felt there was room for improvement using the factory installed unit.
A little searching on Winegards website showed that the Sensar IV replacement head might be just what I was looking for. My 06 rig came with a Sensar 2 antenna which is rated a 12db gain antenna. The Sensar IV is a 19db gain antenna with added UHF antenna and circuitry to better pick up UHF signals that most stations switched to when the digital conversion took place. The way to tell if you have the older style unit is to look at the plastic center housing. If it is the same on both sides where the bat wings come out it’s the older style(12db) If the center housing is teardrop shaped you have the newer style (19db) and could get away with the add on antenna that mounts below the unit.
Installation is about as easy as changing a light bulb. Unscrew coax cable, pull two C-clips off two sliding pins and reverse order to install. Make sure to check your roof for the extra antenna clearance while in the stowed position.
I first checked operation of the unit in my driveway. I found that it picked up a few more channels and seemed to be able to fine tune the antenna (directional change) a little better than the stock unit. I did not notice a huge difference in a channel rich environment.
Then came the camping tests. I’ve used the new antenna several places and am pleased to report that it does exactly what I was hoping it would do. Weather out in the desert or buried under trees, I’ve been able to pull channels where I couldn’t previously. Parked right next to a buddy with the older antenna, He could get no channels and I had 6 to choose from.
The Sensar IV replacement head did what I wanted it to do. Give me the best chance of picking up a signal while out camping.
Also worthy of noting, I have several friends using the Winegard Carry-out satellite antenna and they all love them! Check out all the different antenna options at Winegard