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King Tailgater or Winegard Playmaker?

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Has anyone had positive experience with the King Tailgater portable antenna for Dish satellite TV?  Mine has been negative.  A Camping World salesman persuaded me less than a year ago to buy a Tailgater, which I found attractive because of its easy portability; ability to be placed so as to avoid any obstacles, such as trees, interfering with satellite reception; and automatic operation.  He said that I should try it to see if it would work with my existing Dish receiver, which was a mistake, as the Tailgater manual clearly stated that I needed a different antenna.  So, back to CW to buy a 211z receiver, which, when I opened the box, proved not to be usable with the TVs in my motorhome, because it does not have a coax cable output.  So, back to CW to exchange the 211z for a 211k, which does have a coax output.  Although the 211k was in an opened box, I was assured that it was new, having been returned by its previous purchaser.  But I could not get TV and a distinctly unhelpful Dish Technical Service representative, who merely seemed to be following a written script, finally told me that I would have to have a Dish technician look at my installation.  I had to pay $100 for a service call for a technician to tell me, first, that software had to be downloaded into the 211k in order for it to work, and second, that the Tailgater was not working.  By that time I was in a different area, but I was able to exchange the Tailgater for another one at a different CW.  But still no TV.  To avoid the charge for another service call, I took the Tailgater and 211k to the technician, 30 miles away, where it was determined that the Tailgater was working but the 211k was not.  Neither the technician nor CW had or could get another 211k, since Dish has discontinued it for the Wally receiver, which also lacks a coax output.  But I found a Dish retailer in a different city, 30 miles away, who got one for me, and I finally had TV!  But not for long, as intermittent loss of reception and "crazy" error messages on the TV forced me to repeatedly unplug and replug the 211k to reset it, sometimes all day long, which was the only advice that Dish Technical Service could offer me.  Because the intermittent failures and "crazy" error messages indicated to me that the 211k was not working properly, I bought a new one on amazon.com and paid a technician to download the required software into it.  When reception failed again, I replaced the old 211k with the new one, only to find, alas, that while reception might be OK for several days, it would sooner or later fail again, which clearly indicates that it's the Tailgater that's not working properly.  As the King rep with whom I spoke insisted that the problem must be with my motorhome's cable installation, I bypassed it by plugging the cable provided with the Tailgater directly into the 211k--with exactly the same result: "crazy" error messages and no reception followed, eventually, after repeatedly unplugging and replugging the 211k, by reception.  As the King rep seemed unwilling to admit that there could be any problem with the Tailgater, I anticipate that he will next tell me to buy a new cable to connect the Tailgater directly to the 211k.
 
I am wondering if a Winegard Playmaker portable antenna for Dish is more reliable than the Tailgater and if I will just have to "eat" the $400 I paid for the Tailgater and buy a Winegard.  Any advice based on experience with the Tailgater or Playmaker will be much appreciated.

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I have a Winegard Carryout portable antenna that I've owned for the last six years that work's very well with Direct TV.  I purchased the Winegard Carryout for my pre-travel trailer / pre-motorhome tailgating days for LSU home football games and typically only use the Winegard for LSU weekends (I'm succumb to the simplicity of using cable hook-up at RV resorts and haven't wanted to spend the money for a permanent satellite antenna on top of my motorhome).

I purchased the Winegard Carryout because I have Direct TV service at my home.  My only complaint about the Carryout is it does not handle HD signals so the television images are standard definition.   The next generation Winegard portable may now handle HD  (??).

 

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The Winegard is a much better product but you would have to eat the cost of the Tailgater.  If you can get any help from King Dome on your Tailgater this might be your best (least expensive) option.

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The folks at Winegard are great. Give them a call and tell them your problem. They might offer you a discount on one of their units. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

Herman

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I have been using the Winegard Carryout antenna since 2008 when I purchased a MH without a satellite antenna. I use it with DISH network and I use the VIP-722 Satellite receiver.  It has worked flawlessly since purchase. It receives all three DISH satellites, 110, 119, and 129 but only one at a time. Switching channels between satellites does not produce any delay in signal.  It sends both SD and HD transmissions to the satellite receiver. 

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I will say that I have the EXACT same problems with my King Connect. I have a Tailgater 2 portable for portable areas with trees and such. But I have a KD 5500 mounted on the roof. Makes no difference! 1 year ago I purchased a refurbished KD 5500 about 1 when the one that was on the roof failed. 1 year ago we purchased our used 2011 Winnebago Journey with a tracking King receiver that no longer worked with Dish. So, for the last year has been a continuous struggle to keep them connected. Just like you said, unplugging, rebooting, etc. only to have to do the same thing over and over again. Calll Dish Network and they give you King's 800 number. King blames it on Dish, the HD satellite being to low in the sky, etc, etc, etc. Oh by the way, King, and Dish representatives were at the Rally in the Valley in Chandler, hooked everything up, direct wired it, no problem (for 1 hour)! I have sent the KD 5500 back to King to be upgraded; same thing! The whole system just seems to be poorly designed. At some point I will toss the system and put in a real system. I can tell you that it will not be a King!

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When choosing Winegard, King or RF Mogle inform yourself about the warranty and availability for customer service (if needed) after the sale.
What is the published "failure" rate of each model?
How well does the company actually stand behind their product, do they accept responsibility and take action or change focus to "We didn't make that part" or the "Installer"?
Be an informed consumer.

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