This past friday evening I operated from my Moms, portable, in Melborne, Fl. A good friend W8MRL took a end fed wire, and hf rig to work with him.
He set up the antenna in a very much less than ideal location. Using 5 watts, we were able to have an enjoyable qso on 20 meters.
My antenna (also an end fed) was up 15' on the high end and about 2' at the feed point. We covered +1000 miles using QRP with relative ease.
In my 3 years experience with QRP operating, Ive learned a great deal about correct choice of band to use, listening skills, and band conditions. I generally promote the use of the best antenna possible but have to admit that the compromise antennas work - certainly better than I expected.
Try different antennas, also operate from portable locations. Now that "spring has sprung" its certainly easier to get outdoors and enjoy ham radio.