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Old 06-03-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
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Dish Tailgater vs rooftop mounted antenna

I am deliberating on buying the Dish Tailgater as a very cheap alternative to replacing the satellite dish on my motorhome roof.

My prior experience trying to get Dish and DTV to install in my motorhome were ludicrous on my part, they don't do RV's, I finally got through my head.

So not wanting to spend 600-700 dollars, I was thinking of buying the Dish Tailgater since I already have the vp211k receiver I bought.

I don't like the idea of hauling around yet another thing in the basement that needs to be set up every time I stop. I like the idea of being able to stop, turn on the receiver/dish and have it auto-tune to the satellite.

However; I'm not loaded with money, either. So I believe this Tailgater is the cheapest automatic satellite dish way to go.

I am not a full timer, just 3-4 weeks a year with weekends, so the Dish pay for a month at a time would be great too.

Current or Past Owners of the Dish Tailgater or Winegard Roadtrip series roof mounted dish please respond or any thoughts opinions you have:

If you had to do it again, would you buy the Tailgater? Or would you wait till you can afford to put a Winegard Road Trip roof antenna on?

Thanks for your kind assistance fellow IRV2rs!
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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I'm in the same position
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Old 06-03-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnboy2 View Post
I am deliberating on buying the Dish Tailgater as a very cheap alternative to replacing the satellite dish on my motorhome roof.

My prior experience trying to get Dish and DTV to install in my motorhome were ludicrous on my part, they don't do RV's, I finally got through my head.

So not wanting to spend 600-700 dollars, I was thinking of buying the Dish Tailgater since I already have the vp211k receiver I bought.

I don't like the idea of hauling around yet another thing in the basement that needs to be set up every time I stop. I like the idea of being able to stop, turn on the receiver/dish and have it auto-tune to the satellite.

However; I'm not loaded with money, either. So I believe this Tailgater is the cheapest automatic satellite dish way to go.

I am not a full timer, just 3-4 weeks a year with weekends, so the Dish pay for a month at a time would be great too.

Current or Past Owners of the Dish Tailgater or Winegard Roadtrip series roof mounted dish please respond or any thoughts opinions you have:

If you had to do it again, would you buy the Tailgater? Or would you wait till you can afford to put a Winegard Road Trip roof antenna on?

Thanks for your kind assistance fellow IRV2rs!
I have a tailgater and have had very good luck with it. I set it up and it takes about 5 min to zero in. I have a 50' cable and have been able to avoid trees where a mounted dish could not have done so. I have used it across the country and even on the banks of the Rio Grande, a stones throw from Mexico. At this point, I like it well enough that I don't foresee spending the money to upgrade it.
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #4
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One more question: does it have to have its own tripod or can you sit it on the ground? How does the wind or elements affect it?

Could you just plug it in to the Park Cable outlet in the utility bay?
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:23 PM   #5
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We have a Tailgator. Roof mount system was obsolete on our older coach. We did need a little more than 50' of cable over the last weekend - trees v site. (100' very inexpensive at Lowe's and probably others - not Radio Shack) It sits on the ground, a picnic table, on the roof. It is not all that large and is lightweight. (Whichever is your concern) Weather will affect it, the same as weather affects your home satellite. Dense rain, snow etc. Not typically a problem in the summer. I would do it again.

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Old 06-03-2013, 03:43 PM   #6
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We purchased a tail gator 2 yrs ago. Yes, you can plug it into the electrical cable port. 1st do not mount it on your MH Ladder. We did and unit failed, it isn't meant to be mounted that way. They sell brackets for that mount but they claim it is ONLY for viewing while stationary. We had the same choice and opted for the Tail Gator because of price. It is easy to set up. point the handle towards due NORTH (in the south anyways). I have 3 different places to plug it into. the cable port in elect bay. a cable connection off the old roof mounted dish and another one direct into cable box out the front door. I carry a 25, 50 ft cable. I do use a bike cable to lock it so it won't disappear front sticky fingers. when traveling it is kind of a pain in the butt calling Dish to resend signal to your new address. Be sure to tell them you are in a RV. if you have problems call Dish, get tech support and ask specifically for a RV tech support. (usually means you'll get some one from India instead of So America.)
Signal is usually pretty good. Understand you are seeking a signal with an 10 inch dish. so nothing can interfere with line of sight. I've bbe told the best system is the one that mounts on your roof with a 12-14 inch dish that is automatic (without a dome) but cost waS JUST TO HIGH. $1298 FOR UNIT AND ANOTHER COUPLE UNDRED TO MOUNT. Dish tail gator was a bargain..... safe Travels..ed
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Old 06-03-2013, 04:01 PM   #7
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We found a good alternative for the higher cost of Satellite was to add a ROKU box to our Audio Visual system. This way we can select NetFix, Amazon , or any mumber of movie channels and TV shows. I don't believe we've ever been lost for entertainment. And you can always being a good selection of DVD's along.. We have found a number of good movies in the Walmart $5.00 box.

That said... Try looking on Craigslist for a satellite antenna for your RV you never know....
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnboy2 View Post
One more question: does it have to have its own tripod or can you sit it on the ground? How does the wind or elements affect it?

Could you just plug it in to the Park Cable outlet in the utility bay?
It is very light weight and subject to get blown over in high wind. I only had this happen once, but the wind was 30 - 40. I weighted it down using a cargo strap and it continued working.

You can plug it in to your cable outlet as long as it goes to one TV. My rig has a dedicated satelite connection in the UDC. Otherwise you will have to run it direct to the receiver. Satelite signals can not be split, so I was told by the dish installer.
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:38 PM   #9
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It is very light weight and subject to get blown over in high wind. I only had this happen once, but the wind was 30 - 40. I weighted it down using a cargo strap and it continued working.

You can plug it in to your cable outlet as long as it goes to one TV. My rig has a dedicated satelite connection in the UDC. Otherwise you will have to run it direct to the receiver. Satelite signals can not be split, so I was told by the dish installer.
Scotty where do you set it, on the ground, out on a table? It doesn't look like there is a tripod for it.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:47 PM   #10
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Scotty where do you set it, on the ground, out on a table? It doesn't look like there is a tripod for it.
Finally after many hours with pointing and calls to over seas and being mad,I bought one and have used on two trips and love it set it down open view south and 15 min watch what you want,best thing i have bought for RVing.
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:04 PM   #11
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Kent,

No tripod needed...the Tailgater is happy on the ground, but it can sit on whatever you want. I put it on the roof of my toad at our last stop because of sprinklers running at the RV park.

The Tailgater is very lightweight, so a bungee is a good idea if you have it sitting on something high off the ground. I am considering making a "base plate" out of plywood to protect from errant winds when I put it on the RV's roof.

Don't mount it...you will want to put it where there are no "evil signal sucking shade trees", which is exactly where I usually like to park the RV. Instead, I stow it on the bed when driving. When I want to sleep, the Tailgater is outside connected to the world. When I drive, the tailgater is very happy with the smooth ride on the bed.

I have used a Coax up to 100' in clear weather for getting clear of obstructions. In bad weather, the 100' Coax was too much to keep locked on the HD birds, so I moved the Tailgater and went down to my 50' Coax...oh well that's the nature of these things.

The cable input can be the same wire as your RV Park cable hook-up...just swap the inside end of the wire from your video input selector - to the rear of the ViP-211k - or buy 2 diplexers (1 for each end) to use the coax for both connections:
Satellite Diplexer: Signal Combiner and Splitter
Or, just make a new dedicated coax line run...or keep it REAL simple and just go thru the window nearest to the receiver.

Finally, get the external hard-drive (not to exceed 1 TB) and turn the ViP-211k into a DVR (1 time fee to Dish of $40 to activate)...records your show while you are away.

There is just no way to compare the Tailgater to rooftop automatics - cheaper and portable!

Best of luck
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Old 06-10-2013, 06:24 PM   #12
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I can see two from here..

From where I'm sitting I can see two of the Tailgater boxes. The RV behind me has it on a picnic table and the RV next to me has it on the ground in front of his rig.
Someone mentioned a ROKU box, that takes internet and my internet is limited.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:03 PM   #13
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Scotty where do you set it, on the ground, out on a table? It doesn't look like there is a tripod for it.
Sorry, I just got home from a 1600 mi trip. Yes, as mentioned, set it on the ground and weight it down. I have a small table for it but never use it.

I discovered some useful information about it on this trip. I coudn't figure out why some times my access works immediately and sometimes I have to call Dish to authorize my access. It makes sense now. They ping each receiver randomly each month and if it is turned off and they do not get a response, the authorization is terminated until you call them. Therefore, if you turn it on at home before you leave, you will not have an issue of having access denied on your trip.

Also, I was able to have them adjust the local channels to the location I was in. You need the address of where you are staying and they will set it up. It takes about 10 min for them to be activated. This can also be done in advance, before leaving home.
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Old 06-12-2013, 02:31 PM   #14
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I'm getting so frustrated again. Gotta chill my jets. I want this satellite tv issue behind me!

I am not sure I am getting a good signal from the dish to the receiver, there are two possibilities: 1) Bad cable/cabling 1a) Bad LNB/Antenna 2) Trees are in the road of receiving the signal. 3) the vip211K Dish receiver isn't picking up any satellite signals. And before you say anything, I can't get up on the roof, which compounds things for me too.

So I am going to install the satellite meter I ordered and see if I get a signal, any signal from the coax coming in. This will eliminate my question as to whether the cable/antenna/lnb is bad and/or if there are issues with the trees. If I can get a signal, any signal, to come in on the satellite meter, then I think the vip211K box is bad. I know when the tech came out a month ago when I first started this fiasco, he hooked up the 500.00 dumafitchy thing and immediately we found the satellite we were looking for. SO I thought there was nothing wrong with the satellite antenna/lnb/cable. Now, when I finally figured out what to do with the vip211K to get it running, I can't get a signal, any signal, to come across on the 'point satellite dish' screen, from any satellite.

ARGH!!!!

I have to wait till the signal meter gets in. Then I thought of another idea, I have an old DirectTV receiver (no dvr) in the house from years ago that I should be able to hook up and do a 'check signal strength' diagnostic from the DTV receiver, if the DTV 'point dish' screen worked, then I would know it was the vip211K, which gets extremely hot if left on for any length of time. A friend didn't think it was that warm, but it gets (to me) very warm, if not hot, when shut off and plugged in, which could be a symptom that the vip211K is defective.

Anyway, sorry, I had to vent. I'm getting so frustrated!

Oh, I talked to Blue Moon (a local RV Repair (great folks, they fixed my rear A/C unit last year) and Authorized Winegard Techs) as well as Camping World and they both want boo coo bucks for diagnostics, so I'm darn sure not going to pay 3-5 hours at 125 an hour to get this existing manual crank up single lnb 10 year old winegard dish to work (if its bad) when I can get a new auto tracking roof mount for 650.00 (plus install) or the Tailgater for 350.

Rant over.....If I ever get satellite tv running, It will be a miracle it seems!

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