We Want To Install DIRECTV in Our RV, But We Have Wiring Problems
We recently purchased a pre-owned Windsport motorhome 2000. We also have new Directv receivers. Previously we had older receivers which had a manual tuning and set up for the dish. The new receivers do not show the signal strength. Also, the previous owners had re-done the antenna/cable system, so we have no idea if the connector box on the side of the motorhome is good for Directv reception.
Are there any manuals one can get to show the original wiring and how to set up for the new Directv receivers? We will be full timers after the first of June 2009, so would like this problem solved before then.
Thank you for any help you can give us on this wiring issue!
ANSWER Greetings Gail thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.
First let me congratulate you on the recent purchase of your motorhome and your decision to become FT RVers. Now let's see what help I can provide. As far as finding out how your motorhome was originally wired for TV. You may want to contact Four Winds International and see if they still have copies of the wiring diagrams for your RV.
Four Winds Intl. is a division of Thor Industries Inc. which is one of the few RV manufacturers that have not gone out of business or filed for bankruptcy. So that means you might be able to get some information from them. When you contact them you want to specifically ask them for the wiring diagrams that show how the cable for the TVs was originally wired. You do not just want to order the Owner's Manual for your RV, as the Owner's Manual in all likely hood will not contain the wiring information.
You can e-mail Four Winds International at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call them directly at 574-266-1111. Be specific in what you are looking for. Don't be surprised if they do not have that information for your specific year and model motorhome. But it is still worth a shot.
I am unclear as to whether you also got a new satellite dish. You have also confused me when you say "we have no idea if the connector box on the side of the motorhome is good for DIRECTV reception". If you are talking about an outside cable connection on your RV, that connection is normally for hooking up to the cable TV that some RV parks provide and is not normally used for Satellite connections.
Most RVs have a video switch box with buttons and/or knobs which allows you to choose different video sources for each of
the TVs in your RV. These boxes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. But usually you have choices such as Antenna, Cable, VCR, DVD, Satellite, etc.
The Video Switch Box is normally located on the inside of the RV close to the TV in the front of the RV.
Depending on how the Video Switch Box is installed on your RV, you may have to start moving things around to get to the back of the box where all of those cables are located. Due to different configurations in each RV, I can't tell you how hard or how easy it will be to get to these cables on the back of the Video Switch Box.
The back of video switch box will have labels on each of connectors for the cables that are either going in or coming out. One of those connectors should be marked as Satellite In. This is normally where you hook up the cable from your satellite system. If your satellite system is already connected to this box then you are OK.
I am assuming that when you say "Previously we had older receivers which had a manual tuning" that you are talking about DIRECTV receivers. If those old receivers worked in your RV, then your new ones should as well, depending on how the old receiver was connected to the TV. The new DIRECTV receivers have several different options on how they can be connected you your TV.
HDMI (standard) For High Definition TVs
Component (YPbPr) For High Definition TVs
RF (Coaxial) Standard TV Cable
Modulator switch (Channel 3/4)
Not all the DIRECTV receivers have all these connections, the connections vary by model of receiver. If your new receiver has the same type TV connection as your old one, you should try to hook up the new receivers to your TVs the same way as you had the old receivers hooked up and see if they work. If they do then your problem is solved.
You are also saying that your new receivers do not have signal strength indicators on them. Again depending on the model of new receivers you have, you may find a menu option on the receiver itself that will show the signal strength on your TV screen, look at your receiver’s Owner's Manual to confirm if your receivers have this option.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If any of our visitors would like to add their comments about this topic they can do so by clicking on the click here to post comments link near the bottom of this page.