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Can You Put a Regular TV in an RV?

can you put a regular tv in an rv

The whole point of an RV is to be able to bring all the comforts of home with you wherever you want to go. To that end, many people choose to install TVs in their RVs.

It’s incredibly convenient to have a TV in your RV for many reasons; it’s great to have a TV on hand if you need something to keep you occupied during a rainy day, and a TV can give you access to a news source, which you may need if you’re trying to keep on top of any weather reports or breaking news.

While you may be inclined to grab any old TV you have and install it somewhere in your RV, this may not be such a good idea. You can put a regular TV in an RV, but regular TVs aren’t usually built to handle the trials of being in an RV, and you should try and look for an RV-specific TV instead if you plan to use one.

Are There Special TVs for RVs?

Yes indeed, there are TVs available that are designed specifically for use in RVs and trailers. How exactly, you may be asking, are these TVs different from the TV I have in my living room?

The difference comes down to durability. When your RV is moving and bumping around, all of the objects within your RV are vibrating and jostling around within it, and that includes any TVs you happen to have installed. Most TVs aren’t really built to take that kind of punishment, so there’s a good chance that a regular TV will quickly break if you install one in an RV.

In addition, RV TVs are built to withstand changes in humidity and temperature, which is helpful as you may be taking your RV to a variety of different locales and climates.

We recommend this RV tv by Free Signal TV. It’s specifically made for mobile use in a camper or RV. It’s lightweight, durable, and has many different ways to be mounted.

Is It Necessary to Buy a Special TV for an RV?

While it’s never a bad idea to buy a special TV for your RV, it’s also not something that’s strictly essential. In many cases, you can get away with using a regular TV in your RV (as long as it’s the right kind).

If you plan on installing a non-RV-specific TV in your vehicle, you’re going to want to go with an LCD TV. While your average LCD TV might not be as durable as a purpose-built RV TV, it should still last in your RV for a while, as long as the build quality is good enough and you don’t drive your RV too hard.

Plasma TVs, on the other hand, are a poor fit for an RV. This is because plasma TVs function best when they’re at normal atmospheric pressure, and if you plan on taking your RV across the country at any point, there’s a good chance you’ll end up in some high-altitude, mountainous areas.

Plasma TVs work by sending electrical signals through tiny chambers of compressed gas, and when operating a plasma TV at a high altitude, the electrical system in the TV has to work harder to produce a picture, thanks to the decreased atmospheric pressure. This will cause your TV to wear out more quickly.

Both plasma TVs and CRT TVs are somewhat more fragile than LCD TVs as well, and won’t last as long when subjected to the rigours of RV use.

Of course, you don’t even necessarily have to install any kind of TV in your RV at all. If it works for you, you can just as easily bring along a laptop or a tablet to use if you need some kind of screen to be handy. Plus, laptops and tablets have the bonus of being far more portable than a TV.

RV TV Buyer’s Guide

If you are looking for a TV for your RV but you aren’t quite sure what kind of TV will suit your needs, then look no further. In our buyer’s guide, we’ll give you the rundown of what you need to know before choosing a TV for your RV.

Consider Your Available Volts

Most TVs you can buy are designed to work off of either a 12V or 120V current. The type of TV you get for your RV should be suitable for the electrical output you’ll normally have access to.

For example, if you’re planning to run your TV off of your RV’s batteries and maybe a solar panel, you should go with a 12V TV. However, if you’re planning on hooking your RV up to an external power source such as a campsite outlet or a generator, you can get away with using a 120V TV.

Consider how often you plan on hooking your RV up to an external power source before deciding what equipment you want to buy for it.

Consider What You’ll Use Your TV For

Think about the type of stuff you plan to watch on your journeys. Do you just plan on taking some movies along to keep you occupied, or are you actually planning to watch TV while you’re out and about in your RV?

If you’re just planning on using your TV for movies, you might want to invest in a TV/DVD player combo. This device comes with a DVD player integrated into the case of the TV, so you don’t have to worry about setting up a whole bunch of different equipment.

If you’re planning on using your TV for actual TV watching, you’ll need to acquire a TV antenna for your RV at the very least. You may also want to consider subscribing to a satellite TV service and installing a satellite dish on your RV if you want a more comprehensive TV watching experience.

Obviously, using a satellite TV service is more expensive than using direct broadcast TV with an antenna, but satellite TV typically offers more channels and better signal coverage than direct broadcast TV.

Consider Where Your TV Will Go

When installing a TV in your RV, you’ll have to decide where you want it to go. For the purposes of an RV, it’s usually best to install your TV on a wall-mounted bracket, since this will keep your TV secured and prevent it from moving around too much when the RV is in motion.

Bear in mind, however, that most TVs don’t come with their own mounting hardware, so in all likelihood, you’ll need to buy your own mounting bracket that can accommodate the size and weight of your TV.

Final Thoughts

If you plan on buying a TV for your RV, it’s important that you get the right equipment for the job. Having a TV wherever you go is a modern convenience that most of us would prefer to have, so it’s essential to have a TV that can continue to last after being bumped around inside an RV.

Being in an RV is much more taxing for a piece of hardware like a TV than it is being inside in a living room; an RV TV has to last through numerous impacts and vibrations, and it must be durable enough to deal with a variety of conditions from being in an environment that has less protection from the outside world.

We hope that with our buyer’s guide and the other information we’ve shared with you today that you now have a better understanding of why it’s worth it to invest in an RV TV! 

Outdoor Barren

All of us at Outdoor Barren love the outdoors. We all specialize in different areas to give you the best possible information on each topic. Land, sea, or air, we've got it handled.

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