TVs for motor homes

TVs for motor homes

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.

Comments for TVs for motor homes

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May 16, 2016

replacing a tv .

by: Anonymous

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

Sep 25, 2014

Re Bedroom TV problems

by: Jose

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.

Sep 24, 2014

New to RVing

by: loosethahounds2

I am new to the RV world and just purchased a Jayco Jay Feather 28U. When attempting to hook up a TV to the cable outlet in the bedroom, I cannot get it to work. The camper has a DVD player that works on the TV in the main living space, but it does not come through to the TV in the bedroom. Am I doing something wrong? Is there something special I need to do? Does the input on the TV need to be on something specific? Please help. Thanks.

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