What Are Good TV’s for the RV or Camper Trailer?
Your RV is meant to be a place for vacationing and relaxation. While you’re not driving, you should be able to hang out comfortably in this space, making it your home away from home.
And what’s home without a good TV set?
Depending on the size of your RV, it might be a little difficult to find the best TV for your purposes. Granted, you’re on vacation, so the majority of your trip will most likely be spent outside of your RV doing things with your family or friends.
However, at the end of the day when you just want to take a load off, put up your feet, and watch your favorite show or movie, you should have a decent, reliable television. On top of that, it’s important to remember that the TV you use has to be sturdy and durable enough to survive a potentially bumpy ride.
I’m here to help. Keep reading to see what I feel are some of the best kinds of TVs you can put in your RV.
Best Flat Screen? Best Smart TV? LED TV?
TV tech has grown rapidly. If you’re not majorly tech-savvy, the differences between these TV types might get slightly confusing.
One of my favorite flat screen TVs for an RV is the SuperSonic 1080p LED Widescreen HDTV. This TV has all the basics you could need with additional features that you want for your RV vacation. While it has an affordable price, it offers a great picture.
This flat screen is small and lightweight enough to easily carry and install into an RV without taking up much space, but it’s large enough that everyone can clearly see it from both ends of your vehicle.
The reception is excellent; in fact, I sometimes got more channels from my RV antenna than I had originally expected to get. With a USB port, a card reader, and a built-in DVD player, you get all the inputs and accessories you could need.
You can connect this TV to power with either an AC or a DC plug, and it doesn’t use much power at all, making it super energy efficient and awesome for RV travels.
Smart TVs have become all the rage as of late. My favorite smart TV is the TCL 28-inch 720p Roku Smart LED TV. This television is highly functional and has crisp sound and picture. It’s also a good choice for anyone who has internet, but no cable connection.
Smart TVs let you stream shows and movies from literally thousands of channels. As long as you have internet, you can stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and a realm of other services and networks. With three HDMI ports, a USB, and a headphone jack, you have everything you need for DVD access, gaming devices, and silent listening.
As for LED TVs, I really like the 24-inch 1080p LED TC from AXESS. This television is lightweight and thin, making it easy to transport and setup. You can connect this TV for power into either an AC or a DC outlet, which helps you place it wherever you need it without having to worry about plugs.
With a good signal, this TV can access local channels wherever you are. This feature is great if you don’t have a satellite for your RV. With several input sources, you’ll be able to hook up the computer, DVD players, speakers, and other accessories.
It does come with a built-in DVD player and its own speakers, but I like to amp things up a bit by adding my own external devices through the inputs.
Best 12 Volt? RV HD TV?
12-volt’s and RV HD TV’s are also considerations.
One of the best 12-volt TVs for RVs is the AXESS TVD1805-24 24-inch LED HDTV. This TV requires minimal power, making it great for travel because it won’t suck up your RV’s battery power. Not only does it have a very clear picture, but it has adjustable sound settings so you can get the most out of its speakers.
I have to praise this television for its excellent reception, too. Using an auto channel scan feature, I was able to find as many as 33 free channels from a variety of locations. Additionally, the DVD slot on this TV gives you the option of watching movies instead.
Speaking of media, I should also note that this TV features both a USB and an SD slot. This is great for connecting other devices as well as viewing photos or videos that you may have captured during your vacation. After a long day on the trail, your family can sit inside and watch a slideshow of the day’s adventure.
RV HD TV
Anyone looking for an HDTV knows that the picture quality has to be up to par. This can be difficult to find in TVs that are small enough to use in an RV, but I’ve found that the Sceptre 14-inch 1080p LED HDTV fits the standards.
Though it is small and lightweight—features that make it great for RV use and installation—the picture quality is very impressive to me. Considering its size, you get an excellent level of picture and color quality. The sound settings are adjustable, so if you find they’re not up to par, you can easily fix it.
Like many of the other TVs I’ve mentioned, this one comes with a built-in DVD player with disc memory so you can pick up where you left off in a movie. With easy setup, you can’t go wrong with this TV for your RV.
While projectors may make some of you think about the slides your teachers used to project on the chalkboard in middle school, we modern explorers think of them as a mini, portable home theater.
Projectors have evolved into a piece of technology that allows you to watch movies and shows on the big screen without actually having a screen. To make things better, developers have created very small projectors that are completely portable, allowing you to take them anywhere and project onto anything—like the broad side of your RV.
One of my favorite portable projectors is the Rif6 Cube Mobile Projector. This little guy is just 2 x 2 inches, taking up very minimal space but giving you a big, high-quality picture. It comes with a large variety of cords you can use to hook up your laptop, tablet, smartphone, and speakers.
The bulb lasts over 7,000 hours, and with its small size, you can hook it up anywhere.
Another projector I’ve used and come to love is the ViewSonic M1 Portable Projector. Though not as small as the previous projector (this one is 5.8 x 5 inches), it holds a much longer battery life at six hours.
It projects quality pictures up to 100 inches and has great built-in speakers. It’s super easy to pack, use, and setup, and it supports most media devices like computers and smartphones using HDMI, USB, and other connections.
Regardless of the type of projector you use, I definitely recommend purchasing one before your next RV trip—especially if you have kids. They’ll love the idea of having their very own movie theater, and you can sit outside under the stars while you watch.
Additionally, you can continue to use this device during everyday life once you’re home from your trips. My family has hosted several backyard movie nights and watched TV in rooms where we don’t have a TV, like the kitchen.
Best RV Satellite Antenna
Of course, it doesn’t mean very much to have a great TV in your RV if you don’t have an equally great satellite antenna.
I’m a huge fan of the Winegard GM-6035. This antenna is compatible with three major satellite providers: DISH, DirecTV, and Bell. It’s extremely easy to use with straightforward setup and is convenient in case you plan on switching providers. It’s also compatible with multiple TVs and receivers.
The antenna of this satellite will automatically adjust its angle to get the best reception when you change channels. This ensures you have the best picture at all times.
With several mounting options, it’s easy to determine where you want to put your satellite and if you’d like to do a permanent installment or a temporary tripod.
TV Internet Services Options
As technology advances, it’s more and more likely that you’re going to want internet and TV services on your vacation—even in your RV. Many companies offer their TV and internet services in a bundled package, so it’s important to find the one that works best for your needs and budget.
There are a few different options you can consider. One of the most basic approaches to RV internet access has been dial-up modems. A lot of campgrounds have at least one connection in their park, however using this almost guarantees you get slow speeds.
More and more parks are starting to offer WIFI services, which can be helpful to those who don’t want to pay for extra service, but again—you risk slower speeds and poor connectivity.
Since we’ve already talked about satellite antennas, you probably recognize that you’re going to need to get one. This is what will allow you to capture internet and TV. After that, you can choose your provider and select your service package.
The major providers for on-the-go service are DISH, DirecTV, HughesNet, RVDataSat, and Bell. Each of these companies will have different needs. For example, some companies will require you to have a proprietary dish to include mobile internet. And some antennas will work while you’re in motion while others will require you to be in one place.
In any case, you will need to have a dedicated receiver box, too.
If you use your RV very frequently, it may be worth it to get a long-term contract. However, some companies like DISH offer a pay-as-you-go service to existing customers. Other companies, like DirecTV, allow you to pause or suspend your services, i.e., during the offseason.
If you’re only interested in satellite internet, I recommend going with HughesNet or Viasat. If you’re looking for both TV and internet, you can use RVDataSat’s antenna with an optional second LNB for DirecTV Choice programming, or you can try the Winegard Carryout G2 with both DirecTV and DISH.