IMPORTANT: RV DIRECTV users, read this before you upgrade!

There’s nothing like the open road. And having an RV is the best of both worlds when you’re traveling. You can enjoy all the comforts of home and also get to see the sights. When you’re in an RV, you have control of where you stay, when you eat, and you can relax and stretch out (as long as you’re not driving, of course.)

Satellite television systems have been a popular addition to RVs for over 15 years, and there’s a good reason. Satellite TV works all over the country, provided you have a good view of the southern sky. There are systems to fit every budget, and it’s a really economical form of entertainment as long as you have satellite TV at home. In fact, once you get past buying the equipment for the RV, there’s barely any monthly cost.

Ready to upgrade? Read this first!

If you’ve had your equipment for more than two years, chances are you’ve gotten a cold call. AT&T or its dealers tend to reach out to long-term customers and offer upgrades. Most folks find that they’re more satisfied having the latest and greatest equipment. I know I am. Often times these upgrades come heavily discounted, too. Everyone likes that.

But, there’s something you should know. For most home users, AT&T offers the Genie 2 system. It’s a great whole-home system that combines small, quiet wireless client boxes, minimal wiring, and a super-powerful DVR. It’s everything a home user wants.

However, there’s just one thing RV users need to know. If you do upgrade to the Genie 2, you’ll lose your RV satellite receiver if it’s on the same account. Undoing this once it’s done is really tough, so it’s best to know what you’re getting into.

Say what now?

That’s right. If you go to the Genie 2 system, all your old DIRECTV hardware stops working. All your old receivers, all your old DVRs. They all come off your account and you can’t use them at all. It’s what some call a “forklift upgrade.” When it’s done, the only thing that’s left is the Genie 2 and the hardware that connects to it. Taking a Genie 2 system on the road isn’t easy, and you can’t have a second one on your account.

AT&T did it this way to create the most benefit to the largest number of people. Well over 95% of their customer base is well served by this, but of course RV users need something a little extra. And the Genie 2 system, plain and simple, doesn’t provide it.

What’s the alternative?

There is a better choice for RV users. You can upgrade to the HR54 Genie DVR instead of the Genie 2. This still lets you use the little client boxes. You can even use the wireless ones if you add a video bridge. Everything works the same, except for one thing. You still get to keep the DIRECTV box in your RV. With an HR54 Genie you can still keep all your old DIRECTV boxes and just add this new system. It’s that simple.

Yes it’s true that the HR54 Genie has about half the recording space and can only support about half the number of client boxes. But you still get about 200 hours of HD recordings, 4K capability, and you can support 4 rooms of DIRECTV with just one Genie DVR. You’re not missing out on much. If you need more capacity than that, you can keep your older receivers and DVRs. And did I mention that you can keep your RV satellite system?

Don’t get tricked – trust Solid Signal

Honestly, I have a lot of respect for AT&T’s call center folks. I have even more respect for the hard-working DIRECTV dealers all over the country. But, facts are facts. None of those folks do the number of RV activations that Solid Signal does. In fact no one in the country handles more RV activations than Solid Signal. We’re the experts. We can help you choose an upgrade that works for you in your home and your RV. We do this all day, every day.

If you’re ready to upgrade, don’t wait for a call from a call center! Call the experts at Solid Signal! Our activations arm, Signal Connect, is ready to help. Call us during East Coast business hours at 888-233-5834. If it’s after hours, just fill out the form below! We’ll get back to you, usually within 24 hours.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.