RV TV Guide – Best RV TV, RV TV Repair & Other Questions

RV TVs vs Home TVs

Question: Are the TVs used in motor homes different from home TVs, or are they just hooked up differently. Any other information you want to share would be appreciated.

Answer: The simple answer is yes and no. Yes because most home TVs will work in an RV and no, because some are not as well suited for the job as others. There is also the question as to what type of power is available to run the TV: 120 Volt or 12 Volt.

Most modern motorhomes will have 120 Volt outlets that use the power available when plugged into shore power or when using your generator or inverter. If your RV does not have 120 Volt outlets then you will need a 12-Volt TV that will run off your batteries or your converter when plugged into shore power . Both types of TV (12-Volt or 120Volt) must also connected to an antenna of some type (regular antenna, satellite, cable, etc) .

Among the 120 Volt TVs, my preference is as follows: LED TVs, LCD TVs, old-fashioned CRT TVs, and lastly Plasma TVs. When used in an RV, the 120 Volt TV is plugged into a 120Volt outlet and connected to an antenna just as you would do in your house.

My preference is for an LED TV because I do some boondocking and like the idea of a very energy efficient TV with a great picture. My second preference is the LCD TV since it is also energy efficient compared to a CRT TV, just not as efficient as an LED TV. My third choice is the old-fashioned CRT TV, I have had one in operation in my RV for over 9 years and it is still going strong. The last choice would be a Plasma TV.

Unless something has changed recently they are not energy efficient and do not like to be jostled. However, Plasma TVs are generally more cost effective, have great picture quality and fantastic refresh rates when compared to LED or LCD TVs.

Note: Jensen, a manufacturer of TV has, a specially reinforced TV “built strong for RV use.” I have no experience with Jensen products but I like the fact that they reinforce the TV chassis and have done something to help prevent condensation damage. However, when I looked at the specs I am not impressed.

My feeling is that you should pick a TV that offers all the features you want/need. By the way, Jensen also manufactures an LCD 12Volt/120 Volt TV that works with either voltage. There are other TV manufacturers like QuantumFX, Supersonic, Nexa, and iSymphony that manufacture dual voltage LED or LCD TVs.

Happy viewing. Other comments and opinions welcome.

RV TV Signal

Reader 1: I have a 1996 pace arrow. I replaced the heavy TV with a flat screen. Now the shelf won’t go up or down. In the up stage now. Help what to do. Deanna at dealy50@gmail.com

Response: Regarding your question we can only surmise that either you have not found or you do not have a video switching unit. The problem that you describe is that your bedroom TV does not receive a video signal from the DVD in the living room nor any signal at all.

If the outlet is for cable TV, then that outlet is only available for a video signal while connected to the cable TV provider from the campground or campsite. There should be a corresponding cable connection on the outside of the RV. If you can get a cable signal on the front TV but not the bedroom, then it could be that there is no cable connection in the bedroom or something is faulty in the cable wiring going to the bedroom TV.

The DVD in the living room may be connected directly to the living room TV and would not be connected to the bedroom TV. The only way that the DVD video signal would be available to the bedroom TV would be through a video switching unit and a corresponding video connection.

Hope that helps and welcome to the world of RVing.

RV TV Only in Black and White

Question: Why do the rear and outdoor TVs come in only in black and white when using satellite and DVD?

Answer: We suggest you check the video connections for those two TVs – it sounds like something is not wired correctly. Check the connections between the satellite receiver and TV itself. Do the same for the connections between the DVD player and TV. Also, be careful not to confuse the audio and video connections.

Generally the colors of the cables should match up with the input receptacles. However the colors vary depending on the type of cable/wiring being used.

RCA AVI cables use yellow for video; red and white for audio. These are the lowest grade connectors.

Component video is a high-grade video signal that searates the 3 basic components of a video signal (luminance, hue, saturation). The typical connectors are three jacks with green, blue and red markings. All three must be connected properly for a correct video display.

It would be unusual to have a problem with color display on your TV if you are using coax or HDMI cable connections. If you are using coax to connect your TV to the satellite receiver, make sure that you are using RG6 cable (not RG59).

RV TV Repair: RV TV Loses Signal When RV Heater Comes On

Question: Every time my heater comes on while watching TV, the TV gets snowy and sometimes loses the signal. As soon as the heat turns off, the TV returns to normal.

Answer: We can’t really diagnose this remotely but here are some things that come to mind:

Make sure your antenna (over the air/cable/satellite) connections are good and solid. Inspect them for breaks in the wire or corrosion in the connections.

Next make sure that the furnace is still properly grounded. Loose grounds can cause static or interference in a TV. Another likely suspect is a motor that that runs while the furnace is on (forced air heating). After years of service, components (such as brushes in a motor) wear down and cause interference in electronics.

We’ve done some internet searches and the best sources found were these two from the UK. Here is a source of help if you want to take the time and effort to read the following link: http://vwlowen.co.uk/radio/radtech.htm#Qrn. It has a good explanation of the different types or interference and some possible problem sources and how to fix them. Although, some of the fixes are way above my head, you may find it helpful.

Here is another link that might also prove useful: http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/ra/publication/ra_info/ra415/ra415.htm. Go to sections 6, 7 and 8 that deals with interference. Again, some of this is way over my head.

The final suggestion is that you take the RV to a repair facility that you trust. They may be able to isolate the problem. Good luck and please let us know the outcome.