Mod #13: Satellite Receiver Cable Rewiring

Mod #13: Satellite Receiver Cable Rewiring

Submitted on: 06/17/08

     Category: electrical
Mod Rating: 12345

(49 ratings)

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Mod Description:

So some family members are coming in for the weekend and you want them to stay in the RV. And like most of us, we need our TV but the RV has a batwing antenna that can only receive a few channels. Meanwhile, the in-laws aren’t happy that you are getting 500 channels in the house over satellite. How can you wire the RV so you can hook up a satellite receiver and keep the family peace all in one fell swoop? This mod will help you get connected and stay in the will.

Mod Difficulty:

Most RVs have a cable connector somewhere on the side of the RV. This connector receptacle is generally used for connecting to cable service provided at an RV park for example. So why can’t you just connect the satellite cable to the RV’s cable connector? Well, you could but chances are that it won’t work. Here is why.

Although the typical cable wiring type in your RV is RG59, which is fine for satellite signals over short distances, the problem lies in the RV antenna signal booster. The signal booster, located in the antenna, helps amplify the signals received by the rooftop antenna. The boosted signal terminates at the wall plate where the TV cable connection and 12-volt receptacle are located. There is a little button you push to turn on or off the booster. Even if the booster is off, the wall plate cable configuration will not let the satellite signal pass through.

You have a couple of choices here. You can install another cable connector through the wall of the RV next to the standard one, and run new RG6 satellite cable to where the satellite receiver or TV is located. You will have to install another wall plate with a cable connector receptacle and connect the new cable to it. This will provide a permanent solution and you won’t have to jockey with switching cables around. This is the preferred method.

The other choice is to modify the wall plate to bypass the amplified signal by adding 2 additional cable connections to the wall plate for amplified and non-amplified signals. This will allow use of the standard cabling installed in the RV. There are 3 cable connections to the wall plate. The center connection is from the RV outside cable connection. This is disconnected from its receptacle on the wall plate and connected to one of the new receptacles, providing a non-amplified signal and allowing the satellite signal to pass through. There are a few other changes to be made as well. See the links below for a nice online article with pretty pictures on the wall plate mod.

There is even another choice. You can just run the cable through an open window. A special flat cable section is available that you splice in to the cable where it runs through the window opening. This allows you to close the window completely with the cable in place. Not so pretty but it is the easiest and fastest way to get connected.

TipIf you choose to run new cable a distance longer than 25 feet, use RG6 type cable rather than RG59. RG6 has a thicker center conductor and different shielding, providing less signal loss over longer distances. It’s available at any home improvement center.

ModMyRV recommends these parts for this mod:
Audioplex Wallplate DSS-2CAT-5DW DSS/Satellite White
25 ft RG-6 Black Coaxial Cable, copper clad/dual shielded
Audiovox Accessories VH5910NV Coaxial F Connector

General Reference
Satellite Cable Wall Plate Modification

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14 Comments For This Mod

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  1. jmt

    I recently purchased a indoor digital antenna and get excellent coverage in most areas and it’s free. Don’t pay a single dollar to get digital TV in most places. I’m thinking about ditching my cable at home especially if we ever do have the all digital switch.

  2. Bob Vaughn

    I put an external satellite plug on the outside of my TT and ran the cable into the cabinet where my tv sits…..Then I just set my dish up and plug it in….

  3. Bob Vaughn

    To the right of the water heater cover you can see an external connection for a Sat. dish to connect to the inside plug inside the TV compartment…..
    http://community.webshots.com/album/570450694BgImcO

  4. ccokla

    SUBERB MOD!! Bought a newer travel trailer a couple of months ago and was really disappointed the Dish satellite would not come in when I hooked it up (due to the power antenna outlet). Found this mod on the web and printed it out. When we went back to the lake, first thing I did was get the instructions out & went to work. Only took maybe 1/2 hour, if that, and bingo! I was back in business. Very easy to do, no running new wires in the camper or having to have a spare wire running across the floor. I was extremely pleased with how this worked out! Recommend it for everyone and thanks for providing this mod!!

  5. Lightkeeper

    I found the easiest way to get satellite reception on my hybrid was to also add a separate input. The TV is almost above one of the dinette seats so I drilled one hole and added the weatherproof coax connection outside. I ran the cable up under the cushion and to the TV. The wire now shows but only a short distance and later on I may conceal it with a snap-on plastic track.

  6. Skip

    There is even another way in which this can be done with No External Mods. Go to Radio Shack and get what the call Diplexers (2) of them. Also pick up a good rf splitter (1) of them. Diplexers allow you to send a analog frequency and a digital signal along the same piece of coax. You hook up the parks cable to one side of the diplexer and the Sat to the other input mark “sat”. Then inside the trailer behind the wall plate you put the other diplexer using the analog side, with a piece of short coax, to the tv signal booster. Then from the signal booster to the splitter. The “sat” output on the diplexer will go to the Sat Receiver, then from the receiver output to the splitter. Then hook up your tv to the splitter. This allows for a very clean and professional look.
    If anyone needs/want more information on this way of doing job, let me know and I’ll supply a schematic drawing.

  7. imacrichie

    my easy solution is to ditch the amplifier as i dont have digital converter anyway if im somewhere i cant recieve sat ill do something else watch dvd or vcr works for me

  8. ststg1

    This was my solution> Added cable inlet to outsice of TTwall by drilling from inside of TV cabinet. Rand RG6 from inside of inlet to dipoll switch. Also ran rg59 from cable inlet to dipoll switch. ran RG6 from switch to TV. I now can select from Cable/batwing antenna and Sat. Works great for me.

  9. GrandFunkRR

    I just did this Mod with adding the two additional cable connections. It literally took me 15 minutes to make the changes to the faceplate and rewire. Another 15 minutes to get the wires back into the wall cavity. I set up my sat dish, pointed to where I thought it should be and “Viola” I had immediate sat connection and signal strength. Very easy mod to do and great results.

  10. sharon

    thanks. it worked.

  11. 10-36

    @SKIP

    I know this mod is a few years old, but I need to rewire my 5′er for satellite reception. I’m really not wanting to drill holes in my side wall or deal with jumpers and such.

    So I’m very interested in how to wire with your idea of diplexers. Do you still have the schematics for this mod? Does it still allow use of all the bedroom outlets? If I wanted to watch DSS in the living room, but in the bedroom someone else wanted to watch park cable service they could?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  12. 10-36

    BTW . . . . if it helps:

    2004 Wildcat 29BHBPS
    Exterior sidewall park cable inlet
    12V amplified bedroom outlet
    Living room outlet
    & a bunkhouse outlet

    So . . . a total of 3 outlets I’m sure split/spliced somewhere behind the walls in the 5′er, with 1 being the 12V amplified outlet.

  13. Lencactustwo

    great mods, on my old 5th wheel I had 1 cable port outside which went to the amped antenna plate so I removed the cover and disconnected the cable line from the back of the plate. I drilled a hole on the plate and fed the wire to an inline connector and mounted it onto the plate. Now they sell a plate with a sat connector built in. Now the cable feed goes to the satellite box and the roof antenna goes to the TV direct. If there was an antenna input on the back of the sat box you could hook it up there and get local stations but otherwise there would be 2 inputs to the TV. Only one connector on the TV, must be an old one, you could hook it up to the bunny ears screws with a cable adapter. Most new TV’s have extra inputs

  14. janstuff

    Ok= looking for some help. I have a 2006 wildwood le 30bhss. I have had this for a few years and finally think I’d like to use the cable in the camper. There are three interior jacks, master bdroom, livingroom, bunk room. My dilemma is no where on the outside can I find the exterior feed. Any suggestions on where to look? I looked everywhere for an feature such as 3rd picture to no avail. Suggestions? thanks

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. 10 Low Cost Mods You Can Make to Your RV

    [...] 4. Satellite Receiver Cable Rewiring - Many RVs do not have the proper coaxial cabling configuration necessary for a satellite receiver connection. The reason (in most cases) is that the TV wall plate signal booster does not allow the satellite signal to pass through correctly. Making a simple bypass behind the wall plate solves this problem. And chances are you have whats needed to do this mod sitting in a box in your garage. If not, $10-15 should cover it for connectors and cabling. Here is an example of this mod: http://www.modmyrv.com/2008/06/17/rv-satellite-receiver-cable-rewiring [...]

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