Moving? Can you take your antenna with you?

I’ve read that the average American homeowner only stays in a home 5-8 years. Renters move even more frequently. If you are someone who picks up and moves a lot, you’re probably used to the idea of looking at everything you buy with an eye on one day packing it up. What about TV antennas?

Can you move this antenna?

Recently I had someone ask me if the HD8200XL can be packed up and moved. It got me thinking that this was a good topic for an article.

Antennas come in more shapes and sizes than ever before. If you’re close to a major city, you may need an antenna not much larger than a small laptop. If you’re further away, the need for a bigger antenna increases. But yes, every antenna can be taken with you if you move. You just have to think about whether or not it’s worth it.

The two types of antennas

There are plenty of different kinds of antennas, but for the moment let’s take a look at two really broad categories.

Antennas without a lot of exposed metal

If you’re thinking about eventually packing up and going, you might want to choose an antenna like the Dinova Boss Mix above. You can usually get an antenna like this to cover about a 55 mile distance from the towers.

These antennas will be the most durable when you try to move them. The rigid plastic shell they’re encased in is mostly for show, but it protects the delicate antenna elements within. While they are often a little more expensive, they might be a good choice for you if you plan on moving around.

Antennas with a lot of exposed metal

An antenna like our HDB4X is a great value. You get about the same performance as a more expensive antenna in areas up to about 45 miles from the towers. The downside is that this antenna is fairly delicate when it comes to routine handling. You don’t handle an antenna much when it’s up on the roof and so it doesn’t really matter if it bends when you touch it. But, if you’re planning on taking it down from the roof, there might be problems.

The really traditional-looking antennas like this Winegard HD7694 are the ones that don’t travel well. While most of them can be folded up into the same configuration in which you bought them. My advice there is to save the instruction manual and follow it in reverse. Once the antenna is disassembled you can wrap it in a sheet for easy transport. But, then of course you have to put it back together when you get to your final destination.

With an antenna like this, you’ll have to be careful not to bend anything as you swing all the elements back into place. Most of these antennas are made of aluminum so they weigh less. Aluminum works really well for antennas but it does bend easily.

The choice is yours

Personally I think the best choice for frequent movers is that plastic-clad antenna. But if you need something different, you may find that it makes more sense to just leave the antenna with the old house and get a new one once you get to the new place. Of course that means another opportunity for you to shop at Solid Signal for the antenna you need for your new home!

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.