Full-time vanlifers know that you can’t always be outside hanging around in nature, which is why I’ve made this list to help find the best 12V TV for RV or travelling tiny homeowners.
I know, I know; why would you want to be watching TV when you’re living a lifestyle that promotes getting out into the wilderness and seeing nature People say this to me all the time, and the truth is that you don’t always have to be doing something adventurous every single day!
Even though you live in a tiny house, it doesn’t mean that you can’t kick back and relax with your favourite film or throw down some killer moves on Super Smash Bros. Sickness and bad weather can’t be avoided, and sometimes you just need to have a good old fashioned chill day.
Sure, you can use a laptop to watch films on. But what if you don’t want to bring along your work computer, or maybe you want to do some off-grid gaming? If so, then we’re here to help!
Picking The Best 12V TV For RV Adventurers
Why Choose A 12V TV For RV Viewing?
If you’ve checked out our e-book on how to build a camper, then you’ll know all about how to set up your van electrical system. Plugging in a normal household TV will require you to install an inverter, giving you 120/240V power depending on your region.
Having an inverter powered-on drains more precious power from your batteries. The same thing goes for if you try to install a normal household tabletop fridge in your camper. It’ll eat through your available amps like Pac-Man at an all-you-can-eat cherry buffet.
12V TVs hook up straight to your battery supply via a fuse box, and the power supply can be channelled through a switch to ensure that the unit is only ever turned on when you want to use it.
Are There Any Other Advantages?
Lots, though they are subtle that might not jump out at first glance.
Let’s take the TV framework itself. Normal televisions do not usually come into contact with pothole-riddled terrain. They sit on a static surface until the end of their lives.
12V TVs that have been purpose-made for campers are reinforced and extra secure. They are put through rigorous tests in a vibration chamber to make sure that they can cope with all of the bumpy, uneven roads that you might end up trundling along.
House television sets are used to sipping on electricity while relaxing under cool air conditioning. Choosing the Best 12V TV for RV models is a little trickier as they will need to be able to cope with sharp temperature drops and humid environments. No one wants a short-circuit accident due to condensation halfway through their favourite film.
It would be a catastrophe!
Ways To Watch On The Go
Smart TV Upgrade
If you’ve got a smart TV in your house already, then you’ll know all of the benefits that come with them. Having Netflix, Now TV, Amazon Prime, and other subscription channels all on one easy-to-use-screen is so simple, reducing the number of devices you need to bring on the road.
Of course, if you’re planning on streaming your favourite shows from something like a Firestick or streaming box, then you’ll need an internet connection. There are plenty of portable hubs that you can purchase, or you can opt to use your phone internet and hotspot to your TV if you have a good data plan.
One of the best parts about having a 12V TV onboard is that many of them come with DVD player built-in.
Having a stack of films on hand is great if you fancy watching a movie but aren’t in an area with a good internet signal. It’s a perfect back up for a rainy day!
While the HDMI hook up can be used for DVD and Blu-ray players, it’s useful for so much more. For starters, you can plug a games console in, hook it up to a power pack, and kick back with your favourite titles.
Having an HDMI port means that you can also hook up your laptop and play DVDs or downloaded movies on your desktop. If you have an internet connection, then you can access sites like Netflix and Sky Go straight from your computer.
Some TVs also have a USB and SD card ports for accessing films, songs, and pictures that you might have stored on a memory stick or other external memory device.
If you have the space on the top of your RV, then you might want to consider installing a satellite receiver to boost the number of channels that you can get to your tv. There are three different types of satellite antennas that you can choose from:
Manual Crank/Automatic Crank
These two systems require you to move a satellite dish into position either via a moving mechanism or using an automatic setting on your RV. They’re tall, they can get caught in trees and powerlines, and they’re a bit of an eyesore.
Dome antennas are smaller, low profile, and don’t need to be raised to find a signal. Think of them as the stealth camper van option. Just install it and forget about it. Simple!
If your camper has the right cable inputs, then you can hook up to cable TV for the duration of your stay and watch everything from the News to new movies before drifting off to sleep.
Of all the brands out there, Jenson are the best 12V TV for RV makers out there. These television sets have been designed with off-grid adventures in mind, with a robust chassis that is reinforced for every type of terrain.
This Jensen JTV19DC TV comes with front-facing speakers and controls that are easy to access. The industrial-grade metal cabinet will last the test of time, and you can enjoy any number of games consoles and external DVD players via the included HDMI port.
If you’re after an HD ready unit with a HDTV tuner, then look no further!
This next SuperSonic SC-2212 TV comes with a built-in DVD player that can also play your favourite CDs too. It’s HDMI/USB compatible and has tonnes of amazing features to keep you and the family happy on your next trip away.
Plug in a firestick or games console, and create a smart TV in minutes. You can even use your TV as an extra monitor if you’re a digital nomad that likes to work on the go!
This next entry in our list of the Best TV for RV enthusiasts could be great if you’re short on space. It’s a Pyle PLRV1725 Overhead TV that can also play music and supports HDMI connectivity.
This 1080p HD TV is perfect for smaller vehicles or under kitchen worktops, giving you space to watch your favourite shows as you cook up some vanlife recipes.
With 17.3″ of screen, this TV won’t feel as though it’s the largest thing in your tiny home and is still big enough to capture all of the action. It supports USB and SD cards, as well as Mac and PC connectivity.
Last, but by no means least, we have this Pyle Premium 15.6″ television with a built-in DVD player. This Full HD 1080p widescreen TV has a wide spectrum of colours that compliment all of your favourite shows and games.
The TV can be wall-mounted in many locations. It comes with an easy-to-use remote. Users can take advantage of the HDMI ports for plugging in external hardware, and the sound quality is great for such a small TV.