Cable companies typically do a pretty good job of making sure their services are working. Sometimes cable doesn’t work due to an unplanned outage or an issue within your modem, router, or electronics.
Having your cable not work can be lame in your RV, especially if you had planned to watch a movie or show. You might be able to do something about it though! After all, cable doesn’t tend to be cheap and should be available when wanted.
Cable TV not working in an RV can be a little trickier than a house. Check your antenna, cable box, TV, and other accessories. You can also try to contact your cable company if all else fails, or you want additional help.
First steps in RV cable TV not working
One common, unique problem to RVs and cable TV is the cable booster. These are designed to boost the signal received from your satellite. Thankfully, these tend to be much easier to access than your satellite too!
The cable booster should be located somewhere near your living room or bedroom and usually has the appearance of an outlet in the wall, with different plug ins. In some ways, the cable booster can be in a compartment on the outside of your RV, which should still be easy to find.
While cable boosters can work differently, ensure it’s on and sending the right signal. The switch should be on satellite. There might also be a green light that indicates it’s working.
You should also read the RV manual to get better knowledge about how your specific booster works.
TV settings in your RV
This might sound obvious but check your TV settings. It’s actually pretty easy to accidentally adjust your TV settings to do something besides cable.
Ensure your input is on cable or satellite. You might also need to rescan within your TV for cable channels. While every TV is different, you’ll most likely go under settings and cable, then scan. Scanning can take a little while but is an easier step to take to fix it yourself.
You can also check to see if other inputs and sources work to ensure it’s not just your TV having an issue. Try to plug a video game system or laptop in with HDMI.
Checking wiring when RV cable TV not working
In most cases, it’s possible to check the wiring on your RV cable outlet. Note that if you just had cable installed, this is more likely a problem. Otherwise, you might also be looking for cords that got damaged somehow.
The cable wiring is very simple and should be located in the cable booster box. Simply ensure that the wires are in good physical shape. By good physical shape, we mean not cracked or clearly broken.
Having the wiring open is also a good time to check to ensure connections are tight. This could also be a problem if your cable somehow got disconnected!
You could also try to switch the wires in this box. They should say antenna and cable. It’s possible they were accidentally wired backwards. Note that there isn’t any danger in touching these wires or switching them.
If you have a physical cable line, try connecting it to directly to your TV in the back where it says “Antenna” or “Cable.” The issue might be in your dish or cable box instead if this works. Note that if you pay for high definition cable, this is a different connection than the HDMI cable likely in your cable box. It might not look as good.
Call the company
There are also ways to test whether or not specific lines are working in your RV using an ohmmeter. At this point, you might be better off calling the cable company.
In many cases, you might learn that an unplanned outage is taking place. The most you can ask for here is an estimated time when it might be done. At least you are not alone and it’s not you, right?
Otherwise, cable companies usually test their equipment by sending a signal. They can see on their end if the signal was received or not. Knowing that the dish or lines themselves are working or not is a good first step to exploring where else to look for the issue.
If you rent your cable box or dish from the cable company, they will also often help troubleshoot issues. In many cases, if you purchase your own box, the cable company may ask you to call the manufacturer or other tech support for help.
Weather and RV cable not working
While it’s less common, a satellite dish might not perform well under weather conditions like heavy rain or snow. Check with your cable company and the manufacturer of the dish, but it’s possible you might have to wait until the weather clears before watching TV.
Part of the issue here isn’t with the satellite itself, but potentially its location and position. If this happens frequently, consult with the maker on how to move it.
Fixing the cable in your RV can be as simple as checking for loose wires. Thankfully checking for loose wires in a cable outlet isn’t at all dangerous. Your problem could be somewhere else though, including with an unplanned outage in the area.
When your cable is setup, consider asking your installer how to check for issues specific to your RV or setup. They can show you how to look at your equipment to make the search process more efficient.
Finally, you can call the company and likely quickly learn the current status of your cable box – and your neighbood. Sometimes cable does not stop working – though not often at all.