Going on an RV adventure is not all about the great outdoors. There will always be instances when the family feels the pinch of boredom as they travel from one destination to the next, or the weather is not cooperative to allow outdoor fun.
The best 12 volt TV for RV can provide RVers with entertainment on the road, realizing the idea of recreational vehicles as the modern home on wheels.
Unfortunately, 12-volt TVs are unlike standard residential ones. Besides the power requirement, prospective buyers must also consider other things. In our search for the top-tier television set, we found three crucial factors RVers should consider.
- Screen Size: An RV TV’s diagonal screen measurement is one of the most vital considerations any prospective buyer must answer. The right size depends on the motorhome cabin’s available space.
For example, a 24-inch TV should be perfect in a 20-foot caravan, while a 40-inch LCD TV may be too big for this vehicle.
- Power Consumption: Although the TVs on this list all run on 12-volt DC electricity, they can still differ in wattage and amperage ratings.
For example, some TVs have 30 watts and 2.5 amps, while others require 50 watts and 4.0 watts. RV families who want to save as much energy as possible should consider a product with lower power requirements.
- Input and Output Options: Some 12-volt RV TVs only have the standard input and output interfaces, such as coax, USB, and speaker IN/OUT.
Other products offer more advanced options, including HDMI, Bluetooth, DVD players, Blu-Ray players, and more. Most RVers prefer TVs with multiple interfaces to enjoy modern technological advances.
We also found other factors, which we will discuss in this article’s buying guide section and highlight in the following product reviews.
Table of Contents
- 6 Best 12-Volt RV TV Reviews
- What to Look for When Buying a 12 Volt TV for RV?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
6 Best 12-Volt RV TV Reviews
1. SuperSonic SC-1912 LED Widescreen HDTV
The SuperSonic SC-1912 is a decent 12 volt TV DVD combo for RV, with enough features to make adventures less dreary and more worthwhile. This 19-inch television entertains the whole family and gives digital nomads a trustworthy platform to finish their remote work responsibilities.
Some people might dislike this 19-incher, but it is perfect for small campers and caravans. Its color fidelity is spot-on, allowing my family to enjoy their favorite shows and films while I drive to our next destination. Its digital noise reduction technology guarantees flicker-less viewing as we travel beneath towering transmission lines.
I love this TV’s multiple inputs and outputs, including a built-in DVD player, USB, VGA, RF, SD, CVBS, audio, and PC. My favorite is its HDMI port, allowing me to plug in my Firestick and turn this appliance into a reliable 12 volt smart TV for RV. Watching our favorite streaming shows is a cinch.
Powering this 19-inch TV is also convenient because it has a wall and cigarette lighter adaptor. Although plasticky, the TV frame looks and feels impressive. This product should stand up to the rigors of RV travel.
Although its color rendition is impeccable when used as a TV, this option loses its high-definition qualities when plugged as a PC monitor. The colors appear washed out.
2. Jensen JTV19DC HD Ready RV LED TV
For those who worry about durability, the Jensen JTV19DC 12 volt flat screen TV is an excellent choice with an impressive iron-clad construction.
A closer examination of this 19-inch TV’s casing reveals a reinforced metal structure, giving it security against vibrations, moderate slamming against the wall, and other vehicle movement-related incidents. It is like having a TV with armored components.
It would be nonsense to guarantee a rock-solid cabinet if the TV cannot deliver impressive images. More than 16 million colors dance on the screen to produce vivid pictures. It is ready for HDTV service, and people can transform this model into an intelligent appliance through its HDMI port.
For consumers who are using RV TVs for the first time, the product comes with a wireless remote and a manual, ensuring users can operate the device quickly and easily.
Another notable feature is its 1.96-ampere rating, making its wattage rating about 23 to 24 watts. This power requirement is welcome news for RVers who want energy efficiency in all motorhome devices.
In addition, the construction can handle extreme temperatures well (down to -22 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit), ensuring easy storage no matter the weather.
Unfortunately, some similarly-priced 19-inch RV TVs already feature WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, features this item does not have.
3. Supersonic SC-2211 22-Inch LED HDTV
The SuperSonic SC-2211 is a 12-volt television similar to the SC-1912, with a few differences. Unsurprisingly, this TV enjoys the appreciation of thousands in the same way as its smaller cousin. It is a decent RV TV with enough features to wow the average motorhome owner.
The principal difference between the SC-1912 and this product is size, with this RV TV offering a wider screen for better viewing. It is ideal for small to medium-sized motorhomes, allowing RV families to kill boredom while on the road.
Size is not the only thing that differentiates this TV from the SC-1912. Its picture quality is better, too. With a 1080p resolution compared to the SC-1912’s 720p format, this TV delivers more engaging movies.
Like the smaller SC-1912, this model has multiple interfaces. My favorite is the HDMI, enabling me to convert this appliance into a 12 volt smart TV for motorhome units. I can also plug in my desktop computer and turn this into a monitor. Flicker and other digital signal interferences are never a problem because of the noise-reduction technology.
One reason made me detract a star from my review of this TV for motorhomes. Specifically, the sound is not as loud as I want it to be. For owners of small RVs, this is likely not a problem, but for those who travel in big vehicles, it’s wise to prepare some external speakers.
4. Tyler 14-inch Portable TV LCD Monitor
Some RV owners seldom watch TV shows because they find their smartphones and tablets more engaging. Others might feel no need for a mammoth TV for campervan because space is a luxury in their RVs. This Tyler compact model is perfect with better portability and space-saving attributes than other 12V motorhome televisions.
This TV’s screen size reminds me of the legacy 14-inchers of the 1960s to 1970s. The only difference is the picture quality and frame technology. It is sleeker today than grandma’s time. Its diminutive size makes the device effortlessly transportable and mountable on almost any surface.
My favorite is its multiple power options. There is a wall adaptor for plugging the TV into an electrical outlet and a cigarette lighter adaptor for vehicle operation.
People can also bring this TV to picnics and other outdoor activities and rely on its lithium battery to deliver viewing entertainment for four hours. Other 12V televisions do not have this feature.
I am glad this model has everything I need for its installation and operation. The different power adapters, cables, and base stand should make setup hassle-free. It has USB and HDMI ports and an integrated TV tuner.
Sadly, the infrared sensor for remote control operation is narrow in range. People must stand up and point the controller directly at the sensor for it to work.
5. Free Signal 32-Inch DC Powered HDTV for RV
In an industry dominated by Samsung, LG, and TCL, Free Signal’s entry into the modern television market is as welcome as a breath of fresh air. The brand’s DC-powered television combines the lightweight attributes of modern TVs with the features of entertainment systems.
This motorhome TV has industry-level image quality processing and color rendition to give viewers a more engaging experience. Its dynamic response is impressive, and its noise reduction technology is spot-in, ensuring flicker-less viewing.
Adding to these technical attributes is the TV’s triple HDMI ports, so it is easy to understand why many RVers like this LED TV.
Perfect for medium-sized RVs, this model should sit nicely on my motorhome countertop with plenty of room to spare. The integrated HDTV tuner is also a welcome addition.
I am surprised at how lightweight this design is. For example, the 19-inch SuperSonic SC-1912 weighs 6.3 pounds, while the 19-inch Jensen JTV19DC tips the scale at 7.08 pounds. I find this impressive because this TV has a 32-inch screen (the largest 12V TV on this list), yet it only weighs 6.4 pounds.
However, initial setups can also be problematic for RVs with insufficient amperage supplies. Customer service reports say this TV requires a steady six amps to work optimally, which is higher than the average 1.5 to 2.5 amps of a motorhome television.
6. SYLVOX 24 Inch Full HD RV TV
The SYLVOX is a 24-inch television with DVD player. It has many advanced features, giving confidence and fun to off-roading RVers when they take their motorhomes virtually anywhere.
From my experience, playing DVD titles should be more effortless because of its integrated digital player.
A built-in DVD player is not the only thing exciting about this 12V TV. It has other ports for connecting various peripherals and makes mobile home entertainment more fun. An ASTC tuner gives access to our favorite channels, while the HDMI port is perfect for turning this option into a smart TV.
However, its principal advantage over competitors is robust cabinet construction, making it on par with the Jensen JTV19DC. This 12V TV has an advanced anti-seismic and anti-drop design, complementing its 4G vibration resilience. It is a sturdy product meant for the adventurous RVer.
I love the 178-degree viewing angle, reminding me of the LG 12V TV my friend has in his motorhome. Surprisingly, the picture and sound quality is better than my old television.
I do not have any misgivings about this product, except for inconsistently-performing remote controller. Still, I would give this TV four out of five stars and recommend it to others, considering its benefits easily outweigh the negatives.
What to Look for When Buying a 12 Volt TV for RV?
The 12V TVs for RVs we reviewed might not appeal to everyone. Hence, we prepared this guide to help prospective buyers make an intelligent decision by considering the following 12-volt TV attributes.
- Screen Size
Twelve-volt televisions have similar sizing to conventional 120-volt residential units. However, buying a 40-inch 12V LCD TV might not be a good idea if one’s motorhome is a tiny van converted into a living space. Buyers must consider where they intend to place the TV before choosing the correct size.
For example, a ten-inch 12V TV is perfect on the dashboard, but might prove useless in the cabin. On the other hand, a 24-inch television is perfect for most campers, caravans, and small RVs. However, everything still depends on the available space. Thirty-foot RVs or longer can accommodate a 40-inch TV.
- Power Consumption
Although the TVs we reviewed require DC electricity, they vary in power requirements. For example, the Free Signal FSTV-3219 draws about 4.08 amps and has a maximum wattage rating of 49 watts. On the other hand, the SuperSonic SC-1912 needs 30 watts to operate optimally, putting its amperage rating at 2.5 amps.
The 12V TV’s power requirement is crucial because it determines how fast the motorhome battery bank’s charge will last. Higher amperage and wattage requirements can drain the battery sooner than a TV with low amperes and watts.
- Power Supply
Buyers might also want to consider the power source for the 12V TV for boat and RV applications.
Most products have a wall outlet adapter for plugging into the motorhome’s 12V electrical system. Others have cigarette lighter adapters for powering the TV on the dashboard.
Some brands offer a built-in rechargeable battery to give the 12V TV portability. These products are perfect for picnics and other outdoor activities. However, RVers must learn that these battery-operated TVs have a short runtime.
- Input and Output Options
Most RVers require HDMI ports in their TVs, enabling them to convert the appliance into a smart device. Buyers can enjoy Roku, Amazon Firestick, or Chromecast content through these ports.
Other input options camper owners might want to look for include USB, PC Audio, VGA, CVBS, and RF. Some products have built-in DVD and Blu-Ray players, including SD card readers and other multimedia storage device controllers.
On the other hand, a 12V TV with Bluetooth functionality will come in handy when using wireless speakers, keyboards, headsets, and other TV peripherals.
- Mounting Options
RVers must know the direct relationship between size and weight. Although some 32-inch units are lighter than some 22-inch TVs, the general rule is the larger the TV, the heavier it is.
Mounting a heavy TV on the RV wall can be risky, especially if the person does not know where to secure the hardware. In general, full-time RVers must install their 12V TVs with a wall mount.
Some products have stands and suction cup mounts. Although these mechanisms are convenient, they might not prevent the TV from falling when the vehicle is in motion. Regardless, these mounting options are suitable for seasonal RVers.
RV-specific 12V TVs are more expensive than ordinary 120-volt TVs with 12-volt power adapters. Many of these products feature heavy-duty materials with robust reinforcements to minimize damaging the TV’s sensitive electronics. Other TVs might have proprietary technologies that push their prices higher than the competition.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many amps does a 12V RV TV use?
An average 12v TV for RV draws about 2.5 to 3.5 amperes. However, the actual power draw varies across manufacturers.
For example, the SuperSonic SC-1912 has a wattage rating of 30.0, putting its amperage at 2.5 amps (30 watts divided by 12 volts = 2.5 amps). On the other hand, the Free Signal FSTV-3219 requires 48 watts for an amperage rating of 4 amps.
You can check the 12-volt television’s technical specifications before buying. If none is available, but you know the TV’s wattage rating, you can estimate the amperage by dividing the wattage by 12 volts.
Can you put a normal TV in a motorhome?
Yes, you can turn a normal television into a TV for caravan units, campers, motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, or any other RV you might have. However, there are a few factors you might want to consider before doing so.
For starters, conventional home TVs run on 120 volts, requiring you to use an inverter to convert your motorhome’s DC power to AC electricity.
Such a requirement is not an issue at an RV park because you can always plug your RV to shore power and enjoy watching TV. Alternatively, you can hook the TV to a generator or other power source.
Secondly, home TVs are generally bigger than a standard 12 volt RV TV. Not only is space a concern, but also safety.
Bulky TV sets tend to be heftier than smaller options, potentially undermining the motorhome wall’s structural integrity when mounted. Either the TV rips the RV walls apart, or it smashes to the floor into a thousand different bits.
Lastly, some experts also raise issues about an ordinary TV’s ability to withstand vibrations, temperature and humidity variations, and other factors impacting RV appliances while the motorhome is in motion.
Is a 32 inch TV too big for a caravan?
No, a 32-inch 12V DC TV is not too big for a caravan. However, seasoned RVers recommend limiting the TV to 32 inches because space is a principal concern among caravan owners.
The average caravan measures ten to twenty-six feet long, eight feet wide, and eight-and-a-half feet high. Hence, putting a TV bigger than 32 inches would be impractical.
How do I choose the right size of TV for my RV?
The right size of 12 volt TV for motorhome units depends on your RV’s available space.
For example, a 40-foot fifth wheel has plenty of room for a 50-inch TV, while putting the same television in a 20-foot caravan would cramp your living quarters.
Besides, most 12-volt television sets for recreational vehicles have 14 to 24-inch screens. Although some offer 32 inches, it would be pushing the limit on tiny caravans.
Measure the installation area to know the size of TV appropriate for your RV. For instance, if the available space on the wall measures 20 inches high and 30 inches wide, a 32-inch TV should be perfect.
How do I connect my 12 volt TV to my caravan?
There are at least three ways to hook up 12-volt TV for camper units to a caravan.
First, you can plug it into a wall outlet like an ordinary TV. Most RV televisions have adaptors that plug one end into the TV and the other into an electrical outlet.
Second, some 12-volt TVs have a cigarette lighter adapter for plugging into a port. These televisions are usually small enough to stand on the dashboard or stabilized on a suction mount.
There is no single best 12 volt TV for RV because everything is relative. Small RVs require 14-inch to 32-inch TVs, while larger motorhomes can mount a 40-inch or a 50-inch TV in their living space.
Energy consumption can also be a principal determinant, especially for cost-conscious RV families. Ideally, the 12-volt RV TV must strike a balance between size and power requirements.
Although we presented six of the market’s top-rated 12-volt televisions for recreational vehicles, prospective buyers can consider our tips in the buying guide to look for their “ideal” RV TV. Our FAQs can offer inspiration, too.
I am Stephen Ryan, content director for RV Web. After seven years of working as an interior decorator, I am confident in turning my clients’ dream houses into reality. I find it rewarding to help others make the best of their space and resources.