The Complete Guide to Choosing a Campervan TV

May 24, 2022 in Tips for Owners and Maintenance & appliances

Choosing a campervan TV can be a confusing business. There are a lot of choices out there and you want to be sure your purchase will last you long into the future. 

With this in mind, we’ve hand-picked some of the top portable TVs for camping in 2022 so you can decide on the right one for you and have more time to plan the rest of your holiday. 

We’ll talk you through the different factors to consider before choosing a campervan TV and the pros and cons of satellite, 12V and digital TVs. We’ll also include a few recommendations for campervan TVs, satellite dishes and aerials to help you on your journey to choosing the best product for you and your passengers.  

Goboony Campervan TV Motorhome Aerial H2 Satellite Dish Camping

Things to consider when choosing a TV for your campervan

Before you get on to the fun part of buying your portable TV for camping, it’s a good idea to consider the following. 

  1. How much power you’ll be able to comfortably spare for the TV.  Find out more about setting up motorhome electrics.
  2. How much space you have available.
  3. How you will make sure the TV and aerial are secure. Even smooth roads can cause the TV to shake or wobble. 
  4. The amount of weight you are happy to add to your payload (making sure you take the screen, motorhome TV aerial and any other accessories into account). 
  5. Which additional features and tech would you benefit from? Options include a side-loading CD/DVD player, program recording, red button info (great for weather forecasts!) and USB port. Remember that slimmer campervan TVs might need additional speakers to get a good volume level. 
  6. How much you want to spend. 
  7. Would fitting solar panels be worthwhile to keep your batteries charged? 

12V TV for campervans

Most campervan TVs are 12V as they bypass the need to run off the main electricity supply and are powered instead by the leisure battery. They are energy-efficient, withstand far more movement and vibrations than standard TVs and work well in both cold and humid environments. 

If you are considering a 12V for your campervan be aware that some that are available on the market are adapted 240V TVs and are not designed for the voltage of a leisure battery. This puts your appliance at risk of short-circuiting or even catching fire so it's a good idea to opt for a version that is specifically for 12V. 

Recommendations for 12V campervan TVs

High-end treat

Retailing at £419.99, this is a feature-rich campervan TV that offers built-in wifi, Freeview play, HD and a 24-inch screen that is perfect for curling up with your favourite film, match or travel documentary. It’s super-compact, can be table or wall-mounted and handles both satellite and terrestrial.

Find out more about the Avtex 249DSFVP 24" 12V/240V

Great budget option

The Unispectra is a terrific choice for travellers who want to catch up on their favourite shows but don’t want to spend too much money. This TV currently retails at £188 for a 24" screen and £64 for a space-saving 7" version though the lower price tag doesn’t mean you don’t get bang for your buck. The Unispectra is a great product and runs on both 12V and 240V, has an integrated battery with three hours of life and an HDMI port and earphone socket. 

Find out more about the Unispectra 24" Digital TV 12V 240V for Motorhome

For those on a budget with limited space

With a compact 10" screen and selling at a very reasonable £135 the August DA100D portable TV is a great option for people who want a truly portable TV but don’t want to sacrifice picture quality. It’s also highly versatile with the option of mains power, 12V or rechargeable battery with four hours of playback. Users can record programs, search for information using the red button, pause and rewind live TV and much more. 

Find out more about the August DA100D portable TV

Goboony Campervan TV Motorhome Aerial H2 Satellite Dish Camping

Satellite digital television (DVB-S)

Satellite digital TVs are another popular choice among campervanners. They usually have a wider range of coverage than terrestrial TVs so are great for people who journey a little more off the beaten track. They are also the only option for travellers bound for the continent as terrestrial will not work outside the UK. 

When it comes to a choice of channels, satellite is a better option than terrestrial. You’ll have access to the various BBC TV and radio channels as well as ITV, Film 4, CNN and many more. All this is baked into the TV so you won’t need to find room for a separate box but you will have to accommodate a satellite dish. There are two main choices available for motorhome satellite dishes. These are: 

Portable, manual dishes. These are usually the cheapest option for motorhome satellite dishes and are easy to set up on a tripod or placed on a shelf, table or the ground. They measure 20-100cm in diameter and can be easily stowed away during transit or between viewings. If you are travelling in the UK or Ireland you should only need a 50cm diameter model. For holidays further afield, opt for a larger model. Check out the Maxview Precision ID portable satellite TV system

Fully automatic self-seeking satellite dishes. As the name suggests, this model does all the hard work for you though they cost a fair bit more money. Once secured in place, you can relax and get on with your evening’s entertainment. The Quicksat fully automatic satellite dome is a good option. 

Terrestrial digital television (DVB-T)

Chances are you already have a terrestrial digital TV in your home. Terrestrial digital TVs are another good option for campervan holidaymakers, although as we have mentioned above, they offer a limited coverage compared to satellite digital TVs. 

As with your home TV, you’ll need to install a directional aerial to watch. To get the best reception, mount the motorhome TV aerial in a secure position as high up as possible. The reception will vary from site to site so be prepared to move it as you travel around. As the TV is digital you’ll also need a DVB-T aerial which will require adjustment as you move locations. The terrestrial digital TV you choose may already have DVB-T baked in but you will still need an aerial. 

If you’re leaning towards choosing a terrestrial digital TV for your campervan but don’t want to drill holes in your vehicle, it’s worth taking a look at the Avtex STH3000 suction mounted 12v / 24v boosted TV Aerial. Retailing at only £36 this aerial offers great reception in even remoter areas and can be mounted inside or outside your vehicle using a robust suction mount. 

Goboony Campervan TV Motorhome Aerial H2 Satellite Dish Camping

We hope this guide to choosing a campervan TV has helped you in your quest for finding the right choice for your party and your vehicle. Alongside choosing the best type of TV for the locations you will be travelling to, it’s also important to consider how much you want to spend. We hope we’ve given you some affordable options for both the TVs and accessories and naturally there are more available online. Campervans and their various add-ons do need a bit of investment. You want them to be comfortable after all! If you would like to offset some of your expenses, why not hire your campervan to members of Goboony’s trusted customer base? You can find out more on our list your vehicle page