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King Tailgater or Winegard Carryout G3

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I searched high and low looking for comparisons between the 2 brands of portable dishes and couldn't find much in the way of actual performance evaluations.

It goes without saying that the best antenna available is the Winegard Trav'ler but in my case I didn't have the required unrestricted free space on the roof so I was forced to choose a potable type antenna.

My first choice was Tailgater because of the very functionally designed roof mount that made relocating the antenna easy. After installation the unit performed as expected for 3 months with the only exception being when parked under a tree. A quick trip to the roof and releasing the antenna from the mount and everything was good. When we got to the Laughlin NV, Bullhead City AZ area it performed fine for 4 days. This was an area that had caused problems with the 129 satelite for 3 previous winters. After day 4 no sat 129. After multiple calls to Dish and King it was determined the antenna was malfunctioning. King wanted me to send it in for evaluation to determine if a replacement was warranted and I would be without tv for 3-4 weeks. They only way to get an immediate replacement was to buy another one, send the bad one in and get a credit once they "verified" it was defective. This was 3 months into the one year warranty.

 Recieved the replacement and still had issues locking on to 129. I would have to frequently and sometimes repeatedly retune the antenna and go 1-2 days without locking on to 129 with a decent signal. Mind you this is the middle of the desert with no obstructions and very far south so I should have had no issues. The Dish Satelite coverage map does show a weaker single in this area but nothing to indicate the level of reception I was getting.

After 3-4 weeks, and 2 separate King antennas I went to Plan B and purchased Winegard Carryout G3. After initial self tuning the antenna locked on to 129 with a signal strength of 30. The best I every saw with the Tailgater was 16. Have had no problems on any of the Satelites and haven't lost the signal even during light to moderate rain. Obviously it's an early eval on a small sample size since it's only been a week but doubling the signal strength while testing in the exact same location and atmospheric conditions speaks volumes.

The Carryout comes with a signal booster and I'm sure it made a difference but one should wonder why King has not done something like this as well. The Carryout also has the advantage of working with other service providers by flipping some dip switches.

From my real life experiences I would highly recommend the Carryout over the Tailgater. This recommendation is based solely on performance and not on cost, appearance or longevity since I've only had the Carryout for a week.

The Tailgater is going in the under bay storage for days parked under trees and the Carryout is staying on the roof. I guess the positive is no more trips up to the roof for a antenna relocation.

Hope this helps with anyone trying to decide which potable antenna to purchase.

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My "portable" antenna is a residential roof antenna mounted on a 4 legged homemade PVC stand.  The joints stay unglued so I can fold it flat for traveling.  The dish support arm for the LNBs is fastened with wingnuts, as well as the rotating mount for skew adjustments.  The arm is removed for traveling so the dish is relatively flat.  The coax is wound on a reel and plugged into the CATV connector in the left rear power bay (SAT connector cable seems to be unconnected inside the coach).  There's another CATV connector mid-ship on the right side but I like my stuff on the left, out of the way.  Aiming is done with a $15 locator then fine tuned with a small portable tv connected to the remote tv outputs on the ViP 211z receiver.  I use several video/audio RCA cables - long cables - to get the dish where I want it, sometimes looking through a hole in the trees, with the small portable tv by my side for aiming. 

There's several outlets for purchasing dishes.  Most important is spec'ing the right dish (1000.2 for Western 101, 119, 129 ~or~ 1000.4 for Eastern 61.5, 72 satellites) or their comparable DirecTV systems. 

My current problem is what to watch.  It seems what's being offered are budget 'B' movies with an occasional good movie thrown in to keep the subscriber on the hook (HDNET, TCM, EPIX).  I'll also record a program while doing something else, just so I can speed past the commercials. 

It seems Dish and DirecTV are being squeezed out by streaming while simultaneously being squeezed by their program providers for more revenue.  They really are caught in the middle . . . . but yet I digress (again).

Building my own dish vs Tailgator or Carrout saved me hundreds at the expense of manually aligning the dish at each location.  You get pretty good at it with time!

- bob 


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