Best radio for boondocking?

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by popup 61, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. popup 61

    popup 61 Member

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    Hello all. Ive been looking for awhile at upgrading our camping radio. Currently we have a portable radio shack analog am/fm/wx band radio. It does well, but im always looking to improve. What I'm looking for is a portable radio with am/fm/wx with long range reception. We generally camp in hilly/mountainous areas far from large cities. Anybody have a radio they recommend or any suggestions?
     
  2. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    All radio waves are line of sight travel. Reception depends on distance from a transmitter and its elevation. The best radio reception is a satellite radio subscription and that won't work in a narrow canyon.

    We have transmitters on a 10,678 foot peak and reception is still spotty at best.
     
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  3. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    add a long wire antenna. I hope that you like country music.
     
  4. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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  5. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I have a Tivoli radio. Got mine for dirt cheap at Barnes & Noble from their clearance table. It has an amazing radio section - I have never found its equal on the ability to pull in a radio station. Mine is the Model One, so no BT or anything like that. I got it because it was neat looking at the time, had excellent reception, and would also run on 12V. I can plug it into a 12V socket and I am good to go. However, it does not have WX capability.
     
  6. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I have a nice one in my TT but I very seldom turn it , or the TV on. Pebbles and I go for peace, quiet and solitude. I will admit that should bad weather pop up I turn to the weather radio. With all the animals on the farm it pretty well stays noisy (and busy) so an occasional break is much needed.
     
  7. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    I aways seem to install an auto radio. This last time it was a JVC, with bluetooth to lisen to my music, also it has the national weather band and emergency weather alert channel.

    But we almost never listen to to the radio. I would say it gets turned on maybe once in 14 nights out.
     
  8. tarawes8182

    tarawes8182 New Member

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    We use a JBL Boombox (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0759GC766/ref=cm_sw_r_other_apa_i_XSdOEb5KN0H91) and it's amazing in terms of sound quality and battery. It's also fully waterproof so I never have to worry about leaving it out in the weather. We paired that with a rechargable Bluetooth receiver and a portable satellite radio (SXDV3).

    For the few times when we don't get any satellite reception, we have Amazon and use Amazon Music to download playlists for offline listening to our phones. Between SiriusXM and my Amazon playlists we have hours of music. Plus the JBL Boombox lasts days without recharging. We can make it through a 3 day boondocking trip without issue.

    Originally I had gone the route of installing a 2nd battery and was prepared to install a 12v receiver and speakers. After testing the setup on a trip, I ran my batteries down in the PUP and had to bust out the Genny. After that I decided to keep my entertainment separate from my PUP and this was the next best option.

    Hopefully my mistakes help you out!
     
  9. joelmyer

    joelmyer Member

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  10. TheBirdMan

    TheBirdMan New Member

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    I have used many radios over the years. For weeks at a time I am in the back country and the current and best radio I have found is the Sangean PR-D9W. I can use Rechargeable or standard batteries by flipping a switch in the battery compartment. Tabletop Sangean radios come with 1yr warranty. For a portable radio the sound quality is very good & it picks up signal better than all others I have tried. As mentioned already, radio signals are line of sight so if you are down in a canyon you wont pick up much. I almost always camp off grid and can always pick up one of the 7 NOAA Weather Channels, which is the only thing I really care about.

    I have used several c.crane radios and they don't hold up. Lots of features, but they only carry a 60 day warranty. I have also owned radios from Midland, Kaito, and several crank radios and they are not made as well as the higher end Sangean's. As with most electronics you get what you pay for.

    Good luck!
     
  11. CO Hiker

    CO Hiker Active Member

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    Are you looking for weather or general broadcasting or both? I replaced the camper JVC with a $48 Pioneer car radio (open box at Best Buy) and added a 12v receptacle (spliced from the exterior light feed) for the Sirius Onyx to plug in. The satellite radio is a subscription base but I used it in my Wrangler mostly and put it in the camper when we went camping. The DW listens to Big Band and R&B at night sometimes. I have a Baofeng UV-5R+ (compact portable) for weather (NOAA) broadcast and to contact Search and Rescue if needed. The Baofeng is a programmable HAM radio but you do not need a license to listen. I am studying for my HAM license but in CO mountains cell phones do not always have reception and if needed in an emergency I have a better chance of getting somebody, ranger/police/fire/enthusiast/S&R on radio - that is allowable. The mountains block a lot of signals no matter the source so satellite has been available about 99% of the time and will blast NOAA warnings. The Baofeng paid for itself the first trip out when NOAA shotgunned a high wind warning for mountain storms in our camping area. Camper packed, folded, and out of there before the storm torn in to the area.
    As an after thought, you could pull a radio from any late model car/SUV at the local yard and make it an all in one unit since most new car radios have satellite. Just don't forget the antenna
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  12. Kyle R Thorson

    Kyle R Thorson Member

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    Hopefully, this won't upset any ham radio operators out there. We use a BoaFeng handheld short wave radio that can, of course, receive weather info (important) but also has an FM receiver built-in. You are supposed to be licensed to transmit however listening is ok. The problem comes in when unlicensed operators use the transmit feature. The radio feature works great especially with an upgraded antenna and the added ability for two way comms in an emergency situation is a plus. I will also be applying for my license, just because I have always wanted to, but do not currently hold one so I do not transmit. The cost of these units has come way down making them an affordable option. This is the model I currently have https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-Dual-Radio-Black/dp/B007H4VT7A
     
  13. poppy65

    poppy65 New Member

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    I have a NOAA radio for weather and use mylaptoo with a bluetooth speaker.
     
  14. JamesJM

    JamesJM New Member

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    I picked up a Dual marine radio (WCP165GH) on sale at Walmart. Love it. Small in size to install pretty much anywhere. Bluetooth, am/fm, USB, MP3, weather band, etc. With it I got 4 6" round marine speakers. 2 inside, 2 for outside. I used the hookups for front speakers to the outside so I can keep them off unless we're out by ourselves and actually use them.
     

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  15. Kyle R Thorson

    Kyle R Thorson Member

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    This is nice! If I decide to go the permanent mount route this would be it!
     
  16. inthedirt

    inthedirt Active Member

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    I also went with an auto-type radio. I specifically chose a 4ch radio (front & rear outputs) that also had bluetooth and a separate sub controller. The stock radio in my Pup, while works perfectly as the factory intended, is garbage. My family is full of musicians, so our tastes in sound quality may differ from anyone else. The factory radio didn't have the F/R capability, but it did have A/B, where A was for inside speakers and B could be wired up for outdoor speakers. On the replacement radio, the inside speakers are wired to Front and my outdoor speakers are wired to Rear. That way, I can use the fader controls to manipulate where I want the sound. My sub box is not bolted down, so when listening to music or watching movies inside, it sits under the dinette (almost always kept in the bed position). When we watch movies outside on the projector, then the sub gets moved just outside the door and underneath the Pup. The outside speakers are sealed box units from JVC, are weather-proof, and mounted on the door side of the trailer frame.
     
  17. ve3tiz

    ve3tiz Member

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    Of all my many portable radios my favourite to take camping is my Grundig Satellit 750. It's loud and receives everything from longwave thru shortwave (including SSB mode transmissions) and also FM broadcast and VHF air. It uses D cell batteries which last a long time, but I do always keep a spare set for backup. I also bring along a couple VHF/UHF portables. Good for ham radio use as well as scanning public safety frequencies (and the park yogis!).
     
  18. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member

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    AM radio skips off the ionosphere at night (or something like that) so you can amuse yourself by pulling in stations from far away, maybe even Slim Whitman's "Indian Love Call" (think - Mars Attacks - exploding alien heads) .
     

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