Something that so many of us enjoy is being able to catch up on our favourite prgramming no matter where we are, even in our cost caravans. One thing I noticed is that a tv aeriel not working as it should is more of a problem that you might think.
The main fixes for a caravan tv aeriel include proper connection between the tv and aeriel cable and the cable and aeriel itself outside. Other fixes may be as simple as upgrading your aeriel or outside interference such as weather or animals.
In this article we will break down the diffferent reasons why your caravan tv aeriel might not be working and ways to help you fix it.
Why Your Caravan TV Aerial Is Not Working
If you are trying to watch TV in your caravan and get a no signal message from your favourite channel or distorted images on the screen, it means something is wrong with the aerial. This is a common issue, and, in some cases, it can be fixed without calling in an expert, but before making adjustments, one has to know the exact problem with the antenna. There are many reasons why this can happen, and a couple of them would be discussed here.
Most gadgets nowadays – TV sets included – are digital, and digital television sets tend to act the same way for a wide range of problems. When analog TVs were still mainstream, you could have static on-screen, and you would immediately know you have to adjust your antenna for better reception. When you get a rolling bar, you would know the fault is from a faulty power supply or TV antenna amplifier.
Now, digital TVs can say “no signal,” but that does not necessarily mean the problem is a lack of signal from the antenna. That prompt might have been because the HDMI cord was disconnected or something else. Digital TV sets – even those used in caravans – are programmed to put out that message for a wide range of reasons.
Common Factors That Can Affect Your Caravan TV Aerial
There of course are common causes which can be resolved and some that unfortunately you have no control over.
Here are the most common causes of a caravan tv aeriel not working.
Heavy rain on your caravan or RV will actually impact TV reception. The reason is that the TV signal will potentially be absorbed by heavy rain before it hits your antenna. The rain does not stop pictures from appearing on your caravan TV entirely, but digital TV sets suffer from pixelation from time to time. Pixelation is when the on-screen image becomes very blocky and stops moving at times. The caravan TV signal is sometimes more affected by heavy fog than by heavy rain.
TV Signal Path Loss
The signal intensity is decreased by around 75% every time the gap is doubled. If you choose a directional TV antenna for your caravan or RV and want to reduce Path Loss, you want to aim the aerial at the closest tower to you if it is a clear line of sight. If trees, buildings, or other caravans block the line of sight, you might try to aim the TV aerial at the next closest tower or move your caravan so that you get a clear view of the transmitter near you.
If your caravan TV aerial is pointing away from the transmitter or communication tower, there is a tendency that the signal you get would be poor. However, this might not happen if your caravan is parked really close to the communication tower as the signal would be strong there.
13 Easy Fixes for A Caravan TV Aerial
After working out what may be causing your aeriel not to work you will need to work out how to fix it.
We listed 13 different ways in which you can fix your aeriel and finally get your TV working. There are a number of ways you can look at fixing your TV aeriel, you may find your TV aeriel requires more than one of these fixes depending on the state.
1. Check If The Caravan TV Antenna Is Still In Good Condition.
Taking time to glance at your TV aerial to see if anything is physically wrong with if it suddenly stops working should seem like the obvious place to start. If you see the aerial bent out of shape, broken, or lying on your caravan roof, you should immediately know that that is the problem. However, some faulty aerials are not as easy to detect because a heavy storm might have left the antenna soaking wet or strong wind could have blown against it and ruined a fragile connection.
Other times, the caravan TV aerial might be old and not strong enough to receive signals from a transmitter and send them to your TV anymore. If you are using an old antenna, the chances are that it cannot keep up with the change in broadcasting technology because TV signals are now more digital than analog, and some broadcasters have changed their frequency bands. Also, modern caravan TV aerials are better at ignoring interference and delivering quality signals to the TV.
In any of these cases mentioned, you need to replace it with a new one to watch your favorite stations again. During installation, make sure you securely mount it such that the wind would not have an easy time ripping it out of position. The new aerial position has to correspond with the polarization of the transmitter it is receiving its signal from, and if possible, when putting in this new aerial, change the coaxial cable as well. If you are not confident of setting all these up yourself, get an expert to help you with it.
2. Examine The Aerial Cable Connection.
While this might seem obvious, people can forget to do that because they are in a frustrated state of mind. It is not uncommon to assist someone with TV problems, only to find out that their antenna cable is not plugged into the TV correctly. The cable can be mistakenly detached when there is an attempt to yank off another cord plugged into the TV. If you bring a pet into our RV, they can run to the back of the TV when playing and mistakenly tug on the aerial cable, effectively disconnecting it.
So, looking at the aerial cable connection should be the first course of action when you feel your caravan TV aerial has stopped working. If the cable is not correctly connected, you simply plug it in as intended, and the feed to the TV should be perfect again.
3. Check The Selected Feed Source On The Caravan TV.
It is easy for anyone to change the caravan TV input, and this can give you a little headache, especially if you were not aware that it was changed when you want to watch TV directly from the antenna. Another occupant of the caravan may have connected a PC or gaming console to the TV with an HDMI cord and switched the feed to that particular HDMI port when you were not around.
So, when you return and want to watch TV straight from the antenna and get “No Signal” feedback on the TV screen, you might assume the aerial is faulty. Before jumping to conclusions, take the remote and check the port the TV has been instructed to take its feed from and change it to the port the aerial cable is connected to.
There are different models of caravan TVs made by different manufacturers, so there is no general way to change the TV input, but it is easy to do in almost all cases. On your remote control, you should look for a button that is labelled either input, source, AV, or something along those lines and click o it. There should be a list of TV input displayed on the screen.
The one for the feed coming from the aerial cable should be labelled DTV or TV. Click on whichever applies to your TV to make sure you get access to the required feed.
4. Switch On The TV Aerial Amplifier Or Power Supply Unit.
This step might not apply to all caravan TVs, but it is something worth exploring. If your television set has the items mentioned above, you have to check if they are turned on if you do not get feedback on your screen. At times, the aerial amplifier would be connected some distance away from the TV, and someone else might have turned off the socket it is connected to in an effort to conserve energy.
Check this connection to see if all is well, and make sure the aerial input and output are connected the right way. If this works and you had previously tried to retune your TV, you might need to tune it again since you may have accidentally removed the stations that were saved on the TV.
5. Retune The TV.
If you had just moved to a new place in your caravan and your TV seems to have stopped working even after trying the various methods above, then you would have to retune the TV. Your caravan TV has to be tuned to a transmitter that your aerial is aligned to, and since transmitters use different frequencies in different places, you need to retune so your Tv would know the frequencies to use.
Even if you do not change location, you would need to retune your caravan TV from time to time to keep getting access to all the channels that your antenna can receive. New programs might be added from time to time, existing ones might be removed, and some others might have their frequencies changed, so doing this regularly can avoid situations where it might seem like your caravan TV antenna is faulty.
To retune your TV, you have to look for the tuning menu on the TV settings and click on auto-tune. This would scan through all the available stations in range and save them for you. If you have trouble scanning and saving the channels from a particular transmitter, do not think your aerial is faulty. You can always conduct a manual scan and save the channels you want from the transmitter your antenna is connected to.
6. Fix Faulty Aerial Cables.
If your caravan TV has an aerial wall-plate, it should have a lead connecting the antenna socket to the TV. This lead can get damaged and cause there to be either poor images on the TV screen or no signal at all. There are some poor-quality leads that, even when undamaged, can sometimes lose so much signal that the TV cannot deliver quality images.
The solution to this is to purchase a high-quality coaxial cable to replace the one already in use. The lead you buy does not have to be the gold or platinum ones that cost around $100; the ones with sufficient thickness will suffice. Avoid the skinny ones at all costs.
7. Check If Your TV Is Faulty And Repair It.
This applies when the problem lies with the caravan TV itself and not the antenna or its cable. The port where the aerial cable is to be plugged into might be bad, and since it gets no input, you would see the “no signal’ feedback on the screen. To combat this, you should test the aerial separately to know if it is what is causing the problem, but it is expected that the average person would not have the required tools for this diagnosis.
However, an easy way to do it is to swap TVs and see if the aerial would deliver a signal to the other TV. If it does, it means the caravan TV in question is faulty and needs repair. These days, people who specialize in TV repair are harder to find because it does not cost much to get a new one. Buying a new caravan TV is the best solution because it eliminates the risk of the problem reoccurring.
8. Replace Faulty TV Aerial Socket Or Wall-Plate.
Another common reason for a bad caravan TV signal is having a faulty aerial wall-plate. It is unlikely for the wall-plate to break on its own, but it can get damaged when exposed to external force, water, or high current passes through it (which can happen during thunderstorms). When you suspect your wall-plate is damaged and is the reason why caravan TV aerial seems not to work, you have to replace it.
To do so, there are DIY videos on YouTube you can watch to guide you through the process. After the replacement, give the wall-plate a little shake to make sure it was placed tightly and does not wobble in the slightest.
9. Check If You Have A Damaged Aerial Amplifier.
You will likely need an aerial amplifier if your caravan is in a place where there is limited signal. This is because using your aerial without one would result in bad reception or “no signal” feedback from time to time, making you feel your caravan TV aerial is faulty. However, when using an amplifier, it might develop a fault and not serve its intended purpose. When this happens, do not panic and spend big on replacing and reinstalling a new TV antenna, instead focus your attention on replacing the faulty aerial amplifier first.
Suppose you do not have time or funds to replace the aerial amplifier just yet. In that case, you could bypass it and connect the caravan TV directly to the antenna but be ready to deal with either choppy reception or a limited number of stations.
10. Attend To Poor Coaxial Cable Termination.
It is possible that when your caravan TV aerial was initially connected to the TV set, everything seemed to be working correctly, but over time it can be discovered that there is poor cable termination, and this can lead to terrible reception. Wrong cable termination could ruin TV signals in a couple of places, such as the antenna itself, the distribution equipment (for instance, amplifier), the fly-lead, the coaxial wall-plate, or the plug going into the TV receiver.
Additionally, a short on the cable can result in the caravan TV aerial to seem like it has stopped working. The solution to this could either be easy or tricky, but the first step to take would be to get a multimeter and use it to check the resistance on your coaxial cable or test whether there is a short on that cable. If there is no problem there, then you might have to check every cable termination, starting from simple to more tricky ones. Start from the coaxial plug – or the wall plate – then move onto others.
11. Deal With Outside Interference.
External interference is something beyond your direct control because the disturbance usually comes from communication towers, TV transmitters close by, or electromagnetic sources. Any of these can reduce the quality of the signal your caravan TV aerial receives, making it appear faulty. To resolve this issue, you have to know the kind of interference you are dealing with to understand how exactly you would deal with it.
To start, make sure you have a caravan TV aerial with an integrated balun and install it as high above your caravan as possible. Placing it high up would not only give the antenna more signal, but it would eliminate electromagnetic interference or any impulse noise which could feed back into the signal. Also, double-check all the wiring concerned with your caravan TV set and the wall-plates, amplifiers, and the antenna itself to verify that all connections are appropriate. If not, there could be unnoticed RF leakage, which causes signals to get lost.
If you experience interference from 4G or 5G towers, it might be time for aerial upgrade because modern antennas are built to reject such towers’ frequencies. Alternatively, you can install a 4G or 5G filter to avoid undesirable interference if you do not fancy an aerial change. However, when installing filters, be sure to place them in before adding any type of amplifier because if you install the amplifier first, you will end up amplifying the interference.
12. Reposition Your Aerial If It Is Close To An External Structure.
If you have structures like nearby buildings, trees, etc., standing in between your caravan TV aerial and your transmitter, then your aerial would not receive signals as intended. That being said, your transmitter does not necessarily need to be in the direct line of sight of your antenna because the signal coming from the transmitter has movement similar to ripples in a pond.
However, if there are structures close to your caravan TV aerial, it would interfere with your reception. You would notice this interference every time you park your caravan close to a building and want to watch TV.
Apart from buildings, trees are structures to avoid. Even though they have many spaces between branches, they are useful in disrupting signals coming from a transmitter to a caravan TV aerial, thus making it not function properly. The annoying thing about trees – as far as this subject is concerned – is that you can be used to parking your caravan in one spot and getting good reception, but as the tree grows, the signal getting to your aerial starts getting progressively worse.
The solution to this problem is simple; do not park your caravan near structures that obstruct signals from your transmitter. Raise your antenna high and let it have at least 6ft free space in all directions so it can easily capture the signals in the air. If you want to move your caravan away from a tree that has grown to the point where it breaks your signal because you have become accustomed to parking at that spot, you might want to consider cutting down the tree if you have the permission to do so.
Distancing your caravan TV aerial from these structures would result in clear reception once again.
13. Tone Down The Signal Your Caravan TV Signal Is Receiving.
While it might be hard to believe, too much signal actually makes caravan TV aerials not work correctly. Antennas usually have a maximum signal level, so when there is a strong signal in the area but an amplifier or a similar device is used alongside, the aerial might malfunction.
Outside interference like signals from 4G and 5G usually cause problems in situations like this. 4G or 5G signals might be strong but not necessarily cause problems in their default state, but when the signal is amplified, it could severely disrupt the regular operation of your caravan TV aerial.
If the problem with your caravan TV aerial is that it is receiving too much signal, then you should not worry too much because it is easy to solve. If strong 4G or 5G signals are the problems, you should install filters specifically for that purpose. Also, suppose unnecessary amplification is the reason why your caravan TV antenna is not serving its intended purpose.
In that case, you should take it down and put something like a splitter in its place. Suppose you park a caravan in a place close to a transmitter. In that case, you can buy and install an attenuator with an attenuation of about 6dB or one where the attenuation is adjustable to the level favourable to your signal.