When you go camping in an RV, you expect to be able to enjoy the comforts of home while enjoying the best that nature has to offer. One of the luxuries that RV campers have grown fond of is the ability to watch television without leaving the campground! That being said, how do you know which campgrounds have cable equipment? Do many of them have it on hand or are these places few and far between?
So, do all campgrounds have cable?
Not all campgrounds have cable T.V. but there are some campgrounds, like KOA, that have locations in the U.S. that have campsites that offer cable T.V. You can, however, set-up your RV to have cable or satellite at any campground.
Today, we are going to talk about the frequency of cable hookups at campgrounds and how you can get mobile cable. When you are done, you’ll be watching the latest game or sitcom from the comfort of your mobile home in no time!
How to Find a Campground with Cable Equipment
The first question you may be asking is, “How do I even know where to take my RV if I want cable?” Every campground/RV park varies in what they offer when it comes to hookups of any kind. The magic phrase when searching for the right place is “full hookups.” What do they mean by hookups?
Usually, the basic hookups that a campground or RV park provides are:
These will cover all of your basic needs when it comes to living like you are at home while you’re actually far away. If you want more, you should look for deluxe RV parks instead. These are usually the places with full hookups including cable and telephone. More remote campgrounds and parks or smaller places likely won’t have what you need. Much of the time, the more remote places don’t even offer the three basic hookup services.
Some Campgrounds That Have Cable Hook-ups
Lake George RV Park
74 State Route 149
Lake George, NY 12845-3501
Sun Rv Resorts
Locations in Florida, Utah, Virginia, Oregon, Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado Tennessee and more.
Locations all over the U.S.
Click here to search for KOA campgrounds with cable in your destination city.
Do Most Campgrounds Offer Cable Equipment?
Because only deluxe RV parks and campgrounds are the most likely to have cable hookups at all, you can bet that most places you go to will not have the cable equipment that you are looking for. That being said, you are more limited as to where you can park if you don’t want to miss the next big game. It’s all about prioritizing what you want more – a nature getaway or a luxury experience.
Do You Have to Pay for Cable Equipment at Campgrounds?
If you want the luxury experience, you are almost surely going to pay a price for it. Cable is a commodity like any other hookup. Some campgrounds include it in their nightly rate, and some will make you pay extra for the privilege. Very few parks and campsites offer free cable equipment; it all varies from place to place.
What is Needed for Mobile Cable?
There are different ways to get cable television in your RV when traveling at a campground or RV park. Some of the equipment that should either be provided or that you should have on hand are:
- A satellite. This is the most important piece of equipment because, without it, you won’t be able to pick up any signal at all. There are two mobile satellite options to choose from. We’ll discuss that more in-depth later.
- Actual cables. In order to hook up your RV with cable television, you first have to have the cable needed to provide the power. Your RV may have an outlet that you can plug this cable into and hook it to the designated port. This is usually the way that you get campground-provided cable television services.
- Cable converter box. If your TV is a little dated, you may need a cable converter box in order to get all the channels you want. Newer TV models usually have these converters built-in.
How Do You Get Mobile Cable in an RV?
Maybe you are interested in getting cable television for your RV, but you don’t know how to get it. The logistics of it may have seemed complicated in the past; however, it’s much easier to get cable TV capability than you would think! With all of the technology we have been blessed with in the past decade, you have plenty of options when it comes to how you can get all of those shows you crave.
As was mentioned earlier on, there are two options for satellite cable that you can equip to your RV: DIRECTV and DISH. These are two incredibly popular cable television companies, and they expanded past in-home cable so that you can take thousands of shows and movies with you on the road.
There are some things to note when it comes to getting cable through satellite, though. It could even make or break your decision to buy one of your own!
- DIRECTV satellite packages start at around $19.99 per month and then steadily climb by a year or two in, and DISH packages start at $34.99. This is a pretty steep price to pay for those who only want to go RV camping for short stretches of time like a weekend. You may be better off using another method if you won’t be using the services often or if your budget is tight.
- The satellites themselves don’t come cheap. The subscription prices you pay do not include this very important item when it comes to watching TV in your mobile home. The mobile satellites can cost anywhere from $300 to upwards of $2000. If you aren’t a regular RV traveler or if you don’t stay for extended periods of time, your money is basically going down the drain with a satellite dish.
The most basic way to get mobile cable in your RV is by hooking up the campground or park’s cable to your vehicle. You get the service that they are paying for. With this option, you can watch shows for less money, but you lose the option of choosing which system you like best. If the camp chose DISH as their provider, you don’t get some of the perks that DIRECTV provides.
You also do not get to choose the package they have. If you can’t get all of the channels and the one thing you wanted to see is inaccessible, that’s too bad. You take what you get with this option or you get no TV at all. If you feel like chancing it or you aren’t too picky, hooking your RV up to the campground’s cable is a pretty good option. Those on a tight budget can save a lot of money in the meantime.
Cable Television Apps
If you have a smartphone or tablet, you know all about apps. There is a different app for everything – games, social media, and now even TV services! Cable providers have gotten in on the newest thing, and you can easily access it if you are already subscribed to a particular package.
For instance, if you have a subscription with HBO or ESPN, you can use their apps to catch up on whatever you missed. This can be done on your tablets and phones, but if you have a Smart TV installed, you can get these apps there, too! This comes as a relief for those who hate watching their favorite shows and movies on small screens.
While streaming services aren’t exactly new and they don’t have everything that cable provides, they make up for a lot of what you would miss otherwise. The most popular streaming companies are Netflix and Hulu currently. When you subscribe to these services, you get access to hundreds of TV shows and movies that you would see on your regular cable programming and some that are exclusive to these sites!
Hulu allows you to add extra packages for additional costs, including HBO and live television. You will be paying just about as much as you would for regular cable service at that point, but you get access to things that only Hulu puts out and you can pause or rewind at any time!
Back in the old days before technology really started evolving, RV travelers used an antenna to pick up television channels. While it is a tried and true method of picking up shows and movies you might want to watch, it comes with a lot of drawbacks compared to your other options today.
For example, parking your RV near a city grants you access to several channels, but in rural areas, you are lucky to get more than five. You do not get the variety that you may be used to, and there may be nothing you want to watch available. Antennas will do in a pinch, but they may not be the most ideal situation.
Plus, if you forget that your antenna is up there on the roof and you drive away, you will need to buy another one for your next trip; the one you forgot will surely either fall off or get damaged another way.
To sum it all up, you have several options for getting cable television in your RV. Some parks and campgrounds provide the equipment that you need. Others don’t, and you will have to find a way without it. As long as you have electricity, a Smart TV, and plenty of data or WiFi to use, you can watch everything you want.