The 5 Best CB Radios For RVs
Communication is vital in most aspects of our lives. The need to connect with our families and friends had been a part of our day to day activities. Technology also paved the way for more convenient means of communication. In RVing, communication is not only about talking to someone over a medium, but it can also be a lifesaver. In emergency cases, having the right tool to send a distress signal is crucial. Most people prefer to use smartphones while traveling. However, certain conditions might hinder the communication process. That is why having CB radios are a must for all travelers. As tedious as it may seem, finding the right CB for you isn't tricky. We’ve come up with a list of the top 5 best CB radio for RV, which are available in the market today.
A CB, or Citizen Band radio, had been used since the 1950s by truck drivers and those living in the rural areas. It had been a way to communicate since they are low-powered and short-ranged. However, since smartphones took over, its popularity slowly declined. Nevertheless, they are still used as a reliable and effective way of communication until this day.
Types of CB Radios
- Handhelds - compact, light-weight, and easy to use. They have built-in antennas and are often used during emergencies.
- All-in-one Units - a complete case with radio, antenna, microphone, and 12-volt power plug.
- Mobile Radios - small radios designed for different types of vehicles. They require external antennas and need to be plugged in your RV’s electricity or 12V accessory plug.
- Base Stations - bulky and heavy-duty. These radios require external antennas and are intended to sit on a tabletop. They can be plugged in a wall outlet or to your RV’s 12V system.
Detailed Reviews on the Top 5 Best CB Radio for RV
Uniden CMX760 Bearcat Off-Road Series Compact Mobile CB Radio
Uniden is a famous brand among CB users. With that said, the CMX760 Bearcat Off-Road Series Compact Mobile CB Radio is expected to set the bar high. It's a favorite option among truckers and RVers. It includes CB and NOAA channels. It’s a reliable source of weather information that is updated and timely. The CMX760 sports a 7-color backlit display and memory channel scanning. It is the all-in-one handset perfect for your long hauls.
What I love about the CMX760, aside from the ones mentioned above, is its compact design. It's ideal for smaller trucks or RVs with limited space. It can also be easily mounted using a single cord. So you won't have any hassles with installation. If you're looking for a CB you can depend on, give this one a try. It tops the list for the best CB radio for RV.
The only drawback for the Uniden CMX760 is its low-performing speaker. It’s recommended to use an external one, especially if background noise can be too overwhelming.
Midland Radio 75-822 Portable Mobile CB Radio
The Midland Radio 75-822 Portable Mobile CB Radio has the capacity of both a handheld and a mobile CB. It comes with a full car kit and battery pack. If you’re looking for value, then this might be of interest since this CB can be used in multiple vehicles. Among the many features are weather channels, backlit display, and channel scanning.
The Midland Radio 75-822 is the best tool for you to prefer versatility and convenience. You have the option to mount it up on your RV or use it as a mobile. Many RVers always seek products that are portable and easy to up. And this product did just that.
The Midland Radio 75-822 received a fairly high rating from users. However, it was noted that this model needs to improve the quality of its microphone. But over-all, this model delivers excellent performance.
Cobra 29LTD Professional CB Radio
The Cobra 29LTD Professional CB Radio is one of the flagship products of Cobra. It’s famous for its durability and full features. It had been in the market for over 30 years, yet, it still does not fail in terms of performance. It’s also very cost-efficient, so if you want plain, uncoated, and fully operational CB, then this might just be what you’re looking for.
What I love about the Cobra 29LTD is its simplicity but efficiency. It shows users that at the end of the day, what matters most is the kind of service that’s delivered. Many RVers applaud the longevity of this CB radio.
The Cobra 29LTD is a standard CB model. Thus, it’s bulkier compared to the new releases in the market. It’s only compatible with vehicles with ample space for mounting. So if you have a compact RV, you may opt for smaller CB models.
Cobra 29Lx Professional CB Radio
The Cobra 29LX Professional is one of the new models from the Cobra brand. It’s modern, with complete multi-color digital display and full CB operations. It has all you need from weather channels, public address, delta tune, High SWR Indicator, and Instant Channels 9/19.
The Cobra 29Lx is a total CB boss. Its advanced functions include a digital 4-color display that you can change, depending on your preference. It provides channel display information, reception strength, and SWR levels. The latest weather alerts are also given thanks to the available NOAA channels. It’s a solid radio made for easy use. All these features put the Cobra 29LX on the list of the best CB radio for RV. A well-deserved spot indeed!
The Cobra 29Lx also has a bulky exterior, as patterned to its predecessors. So this CB is recommended for RVs with enough space for mounting.
Uniden PRO510XL Pro Series 40-Channel CB Radio 29Lx Professional CB Radio
One of Uniden’s bestselling CB, the PRO510XL Pro Series, is known for its durability, affordability, and compact design. This CB is mostly used in commercial and industrial off-road vehicles. This heavy-duty CB is equipped with essential CB functions and a noise filter for the engine and electrical clatter.
This CB is one of the most popular CBs in the market today. Its compact design makes it compatible with any vehicle capacity. RVers and truckers love how this CB is built to withstand extreme conditions and bumpy roads. So you can maximize your use of this CB. It offers excellent reception even with its 2-inch antenna.
The only noticeable downside of the Uniden PRO510XL is its microphone quality. It needs improvement, but it’s not as bad at all. So if you’re not bothered by a few static sounds, then this is an excellent CB to invest to.
Advantages of CB Radios for RV
You may think that CB’s are out-of-style, given that smartphones are now very convenient to carry and have all the apps you’ll ever need for your trip. However, various advantages come with taking a CB with you.
Safety and security
CB radios are cheap, reliable, and don’t require a monthly subscription. But on top of that, CB radios can be helpful during emergencies. Smartphones work through network signals. Depending on the location and weather conditions, smartphones may fail you.
On the other hand, CB radios work using very low frequencies. There is also a dedicated channel- channel 9, for emergency services. The REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams) monitor this channel for quick response during emergencies. In case of disasters, you can listen to your CB for updates and to get vital information without the need for a working satellite nor electricity.
Being in a dedicated channel for CB users to help you with traffic information and the best routes to take. Using traffic apps may cause delays and inconvenience, especially when driving. If you scan through the different channels, you’ll be connected to different people near you. Also, CBs are a great way to organize groups of people who are traveling together.
How to achieve good CB
Generally, CBs transmit using the same power range. However, a better CB range can be achieved using an external antenna. Here are some considerations to remember:
- Antenna Length - longer antennas generate longer and better range compared to the shorter ones.
- Antenna Type - generally, center load antennas produce a better range than the fiberglass ones.
- Mount - mounts are becoming convenient for RVers nowadays. Drilling won’t be necessary since we already have magnetic mounts, trunk lip mounts, and mirror mounts. For mounts, the same rule follows. The higher the mount, the better quality it can get.
When using a CB, always make sure to remember essential channels because they will come in handy during emergencies.
- Channel 9 - this is the emergency channel. Dedicated response teams monitor this channel to aid drivers during emergencies. They can also help in case you stumble upon road hazards due to disasters and adverse weather conditions.
- Channel 19 - this is a particular channel used by truck drivers to connect. If you need traffic information or any on-the-road updates, tuning in will be of much use.
- Channel 13 - this channel is the unofficial channel made for RVers. So if you’re traveling with other RV drivers, you can communicate effectively with them through this channel. However, RVers nowadays don’t often use this anymore. They just rely on 9/19 for updates.
CBs may be outdated in many ways. But their function, reliability, and convenience are still what makes them a staple tool in every RV. Preparedness is the key to a secure and safe travel. CBs are equipped to assist you in times when your smartphone might falter. They are designed to withstand different challenges in terms of signal and location. They are not limited by batteries or subscription rates. So, many RVers still turn to their good old CB’s for weather information and emergency calls.
So go ahead and find the right CB for you. We hope that our top 5 best CB radio for RV list had been helpful. Enjoy your next trip and safe travels!