8 top Motorhome TV reviews (pick the best one for you!)

Sharing is caring!

Looking for the best 12v motorhome TV? Wondering how a motorhome or caravan TV differs from a ‘normal' TV and how to use it in your van? Here's everything you need to know, plus motorhome TV reviews.


Sometimes, you just want to curl up with a good film. Or watch the news. Or (in my case) want to catch up with ALL the sport, like F1 and bike racing and rugby and football and… (seriously, it drives my husband crazy!)

There are several ways to get TV in your motorhome, campervan or caravan. The three main ways that we're going to discuss here are:

  • Digitial TV
  • Satellite TV
  • Online/ catchup

The best Motorhome TV recommendations

Below, we talk about the pros and cons of each method, as well as various motorhome TVs and what you need to consider when you buy one.

However, it's a long, in-depth post on all aspects of watching television on the go so, if you already know you want a 12v motorhome TV and don't want to read the entire article, here are the top models we recommend

*There may be affiliate links in this post, meaning if you click and make a purchase, we earn a small commission (from the seller- no cost to you) We are very selective about our partners and who we recommend- if we wouldn't recommend it to our family, we won't recommend it to you.


Ok, let's walk through the process of choosing the right TV for your motorhome or caravan more thoroughly.

Should you fit a TV in your motorhome, camper or caravan?

Installing a motorhome TV can be a controversial topic. Some people are vehemently against the idea, whilst others don't see the harm.

Personally, I'm of the opinion that your motorhome or camper is your domain, so do with it whatever you like. Just be aware of the power drain and finding somewhere safe to store it, as well as the added weight of a TV but most importantly the aerial/ dish (more on that shortly.)

Also, if there's a programme you just HAVE to watch, you might need to plan your motorhome trip accordingly to ensure you have a signal and are packed up/ set up in time!


Can you use a normal TV in a motorhome?

Wondering how a motorhome or caravan TV differs from a ‘normal' TV? Well, there are a few key difference between the two.

  • voltage
  • efficiency
  • robustness
  • able to withstand vibrations
  • weight

Most motorhome/ caravan TVs are 12v and they are infinately better at power management than home TVs- making them much more efficient.

Also, a motorhome TV is designed to be moved around, so it's much more robust than a home TV, which is designed to stay in one place for most of it's life. Lastly, a motorhome TV is designed to withstand the vibrations which come from being driven all over the place, not to mention the jolts and bumps from even the most careful driver.

Lastly, most home TVs weigh more than a motorhome TV. Sure, some of that is down to size, but it's also down to how they're designed, which helps keep you within your motorhome payload limits.

motorhome wild camping checklist

Want to stay off-grid with your motorhome?

Grab our FREE wild camping checklist and make it easy for yourself. Everything you need to do, bring or remember when you stay off-grid.


Do you need a 12v TV in a motorhome?

Unless you plan to ONLY ever watch a TV when you are plugged into mains in a campsite, you'll need a 12v TV, which will run off your motorhome leisure battery. Without the 12v capability, you can only use a 240v plug (like the one in your house), which of course only works when you are plugged into the mains system.

I guess you could run it off a generator too, but you'd need a big generator and it would be pretty noisy!


What is the Best TV for a motorhome?

Aside from looking for a 12v motorhome tv, there are 2 main things to consider.


Terrestrial digital television (DVB-T)

DVB-T is the TV nearly everyone has in their home, at least in the UK. This is the method people get digital television, Freeview and most ‘normal' television channels.

People get these channels at home by using an aerial- and it's the same in a motorhome or caravan- you need an aerial (usually called a directional aerial.) This should be mounted as high up as possible, so is usually found on the roof, rear ladder or even an extendable pole.

A digital receiver has to be re-tuned in every new location- so, whenever you stop and want to watch TV. This is done almost exactly the same as at home- once the aerial is set up (if not permanent), then you start the tuning process and it takes a few minutes to complete. If there is a signal in the area, you'll get it!

In order to use this system, you will need:

  • A DVB-T receiver or set-top box (capable of getting digital TV from an aerial – ie, NOT a satellite receiver box)
  • Television coaxial cable (25m seems to be the average length)
  • DVB-T Aerial, either permanently fixed or magnetic, such as this one:

NOTE: Many modern TVs now have DVB-T capability built-in, so you do NOT need a separate set-top box with these, but you will still need an aerial. If you want to install a permanent aerial, this one is omni-directional and helps boost the signal.

You can also buy some set-top boxes and even a couple of 12v motorhome TVs with have a built in hard drive. This allows you to record one channel and watch another. They are often called PVRs (Personal Video Recorders) or DVRs (Digital Video Recorders).


Satellite digital television (DVB-S)

The second main way to get TV in a motorhome or caravan is by satellite.

The biggest advantage of this method over terrestrial TV is that it works in more areas, including those that may not have a digital signal. If you like to do a lot of wild camping in your motorhome, satellite is possible a better choice.

Also, if you plan to tour Europe by motorhome, yet want to watch UK TV, you NEED satellite- digital will not work overseas.

You can get many more channels on satellite- hundreds of television and radio stations which include BBC, ITV stations, SKY News (depending on package), CNN, Film 4 and many others. These are often called “Freesat” channels.

You can buy televisions with Freesat already built in, so you do not need to buy a separate box with these TVs but you will still need a satellite aerial.


best motorhome tv and campervan tvs and caravan television satellite and digital TV
Motorhome TV- make sure you pick the right type for your requirements

Best Motorhome TV satellite aerial

Ok, so you've decided on satellite. Now, you need an aerial.

NOTE: An aerial is most likely to be some sort of ‘satellite dish', either permanently fixed to the roof or manual.

Fixed motorhome satellite dishes

There are 2 types of fixed dish for satellite TV in a motorhome or caravan

  • Fixed but manual tuning
  • Fixed and self-seeking

These are pretty self-explanatory, but here are some pros and cons of each.

Fixed, manually operated dishes

This system means that the dish is permanently fixed to the roof of the motorhome and you manually control the dish from inside to set it all up after each journey. It's easy enough, especially if you have a satellite finder, but you do need to be precise when aligning with the satellite.

Automatic, self-seeking satellite TV dishes

This system is also fixed to the roof but is fully-automatic, meaning that everything sets itself up with just the press of a couple of buttons. Now, this option is NOT cheap, but it's much more convenient!

(and if you think THAT'S expensive, you should see this one!)

Portable dishes, manual set up

Portable satellite systems are the cheapest. You manually get them out of storage each time, position them in the right place and then have to sync with the correct satellite.

It can mean setting up in the rain/ wind/ snow/ cold/ dark and you are then reliant on a tripod/ pole outside the van, which could be blown over/ knocked down or even stolen.

Here's a version on a tripod:

Another disadvantage is having to store the dish in the van when not in use. Even though they are smaller and more portable than household satellite dishes, they are still not easy to find a home for. Many people store them on the bed, which is fine until the time when you don't want to set it up- and then you have to keep moving it around the van.

But they are a great way of being more versatile. This one allows you to use a pole, that you remove before you drive.


Which receiver do I need for my motorhome tv?

You need a receiver to watch satellite tv. The most well-known one in the UK is Sky ‘Digibox' but others are available. Usually, along with purchasing the receiver, if you want to watch premium channels, you need to buy a monthly/ annual subscription (such as to Sky). If you only want to watch free-to-air channels, a Freesat box will be fine.

NOTE: Sky viewing cards cannot be moved from one digibox to another. You either need to take your digibox from the house with you in the motorhome/ caravan OR get two boxes and viewing cards. Also, Sky's Ts & Cs state that the box cannot be taken abroad.

They also have another subscription option (or they did last time I checked!) called Sky Go. We used to use this around Europe fine to watch essential programmes (Like Game of Thrones) and to do this we needed to use a VPN to say that we were in the UK. We no longer use Sky Go, but we do still use a VPN- we'll get to that shortly.


What size satellite dish do I need for my camper?

The size of dish you need will depend on where you're travelling. In the UK or Ireland a 50cm dish should be enough to receive all channels. However, if you want to watch UK channels in Europe, you'll need a larger model- the larger the better (but bear in mind storage and weight.)

How do I find the satellites?

If you don't have a fully automated system, all you need to do is Google the satellite you need, then use a compass and stop when the picture on the TV is good. However, a much easier option is to use a ‘satfinder' which connects between the dish and the receiver to find the satellite.


Best type of motorhome and caravan television

LCD

For most motorhomes and caravans, a modern-type 12v LCD TV is probably best, unless you have LOTS of power available. However, the screens are a little more fragile than older versions, and can be easily damaged if not stored properly. Also, they can be sensitive to voltage fluctuations, so you might find a voltage regulator is worth the money.

Modern 12v LCD TVs often have either a built-in digital satellite and/ or Freeview options and sometimes even include built-in DVD players or card readers so that photos can be viewed on a big screen. You'll need some sort of USB stick to put the photos on first, unless there's wifi streaming.


Best 12v Motorhome TV to buy in the UK

Ok, so after all those explanations, what are the best motorhome TVs to buy? Well, obviously that depends on what type you decided on above, but here are a few of the best on the market in the UK and worldwide.

Avtex 12v motorhome TVs

Avtex have quickly become an industry leader in motorhome and caravan 12v televisions. They currently have a few models on the market, ranging from 24″ down to 16″. Most of them have very similar features, although some models are supplied with a USB record stick, which might be very useful if you want to record something whilst you're away from the van.

Avtex 199DSFVP 19.5″ 12V/240V Wi-Fi Connected HD TV with Freeview Play

This is one of the latest models (2020) from Avtex and they've made a good product even better! The TV is now wifi-connected and also has the following features:

  • Built-in HD satellite decoder producing brilliant clarity and a sharp picture.
  • Compact design with edge to edge frameless screen with crystal clear sound.
  • Wi-Fi built-in for connected services and extra channels, but even if you haven’t got an internet connection you can still enjoy HD TV through your regular aerial or satellite dish without the need for extra equipment.
  • Freeview Play and HD – Enjoy the biggest shows live and on-demand in one place. Includes BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All4, My5 and UKTV Play.
  • DVBT & DVBT2 Digital Terrestrial Tuner = for use with aerials. DVB-S & DVB-S2 Digital Satellite Tuner = for use with Dishes. Powered by 12v / 24v DC or 240 volts AC for ultra-low power consumption.
  • Dimensions: 51 x 35.2 x 15.4 cm; 3.86 Kilograms
BrandAvtex
Resolution1080p
ConnectionsWi-Fi
Display technologyLED
Supported Internet ServicesBBC iPlayer, My5, ITV Hub, UKTV Play, All4
DisplayLED
Display Size19.5 Inches
Tuner TechnologyDVB-S, DVB-T, Freeview, DVB-T2
Wireless Communication TechnologyWi-Fi

Avtex L219DRS-PRO 21.5″ Inch 12v/240 Volt TV with built-in HD Freeview/Satellite Tuner DVD/PVR Record

This is one of the leading motorhome TV models on the market.

Special features include: DVD player; USB Record; HD Satellite Tuner; HD Freeview Tuner; 7 Day EPG; 3 year warranty

BrandAvtex
Resolution1080p
Connections2xHDMI/2xUSB/phono/headphone/audio in/co-axial audio-out
Display technologyLED
Supported Internet ServicesFreeview
Dimensions49.00 x 4.60 x 29.00 cm
ColourBlack
Item Weight3.1 Kilograms
Model Year2018
Tuner TechnologyFreeview

As you can see above, this 21.5″ TV has both satellite and Freeview technology already built in. It has a frameless edge-to-edge LED screen, with full HD Ultra-wide viewing angle. The built-in twin DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S/S2 tuners allow you to watch TV, DVD or listen to the radio and simultaneously record terrestrial or satellite TV.

Ultra slim, light and compact, this Avtex L219DRS-PRO model boasts AQT one button tuning, an on-screen leisure battery meter and many other features you would expect from the leading mobile leisure specific TV. Requires 2 x AAA batteries and comes with a cigarette lighter adaptor.


Avtex L249DRS-PRO 24″ 12V LED Full HD TV for Caravan Motorhome Truck & Boat

A 24″ version, with many similar features to the model above, including HD Satellite; HD Freeview; DVD player; USB Record and playback

BrandAvtex
Resolution1080p
Connections2xHDMI/2xUSB/phono/headphone/audio in/co-axial audio-out
Display technologyLED
Supported Internet ServicesFreeview
Model Year2018
ColourBlack
Display Size24 Inches
Item Weight5.15 Kilograms
Dimensions53.40 x 4.60 x 33.00 cm

This Avtex L249DRS-PRO 24″ model also has edge-to-edge design for the LED screen. It allows you to watch a DVD and record a TV programme at the same time, plus pause/playback live TV/Instant record to USB on both Satellite and TV.


Avtex L199DRS-PRO 19.5-Inch Full HD LED TV

This is the 19″ version of Avtex motorhome tv‘s, which also has a CD player, as well as Full HD widescreen LED edge-to-edge frameless design. You can still watch one programme and record another at the same time, as well as watch a DVD and record TV at the same time or watch terrestrial TV and record satellite TV at the same time. You can also timer record from programme guide and pause/playback live TV. Can be used on 240v or 12v

BrandAvtex
Resolution1080p
ConnectionsYes
Display technologyLCD
Item Dimensions4.60 x 44.91 x 25.91 cm
ColourBlack
Display Size19.5 Inches
Item Weight5.95 Pounds
Refresh Rate50 Hz
Tuner TechnologyMpeg4

Avtex L168DRS 16-Inch Widescreen Super Slim LED TV with Freeview HD

Last in the current range of Avtex motorhome and caravan TVs is the smallest- the 16″ model. The features are similar to other models in the range and include:

  • 16″ Widescreen LED HD screen
  • 12/240 Volt TV – Both Leads Supplied
  • DVBT & DVBT2 digital tuner & DVB-S & DVB-S2 digital satellite tuner
  • Ability to pause/playback live TV/Instant record to USB plus Timer record from programme guide (EPG)
  • Built-In DVD/CD Player/ USB / HDMI / PVR Record

Energy consumption

Energy consumption is 26 Kilowatt Hours per year, based on the power consumption of the television operating 4 hours per day for 365 days. (The actual energy consumption will depend on how the television is used.)

Mounting TypeWall Mount
BrandAvtex
Resolution1080p
ConnectionsUSB
Display technologyLED
Weight2.84 Kilograms
ColourBlack
Display Size16 Inches
Dimensions23.5 x 4.4 x 37.6 cm

Ok, that covers Avtex motorhome TVs, but there are other brands available too- and often for a better price.

One of these is Cello, a UK-built brand.

Cello 12 volt 32″ inch C32F Traveller LED TV with DVD and Satellite

One of the largest 12v TVs on the market, the Cello 32″ runs on either 12v or 240v and can be wall mounted or free-standing. Some features of the TV include:

  • 32″ Full HD LED TV screen
  • DVD player
  • Built in Freeview HD
  • Built-in satellite tuner for all free to air channels (DVB-S2)
  • USB 2.0 input so you can record digital TV or play media files.
  • Two HDMI inputs for your external devices
  • 12-volt AND 240v power adapters included
  • PAUSE, REWIND, RECORD live TV (USB storage device required)
BrandCello
Resolution720p
ConnectionsVGA, USB, HDMI
Display technologyLED
Item Dimensions73.10 x 19.60 x 47.50 cm
ColourBlack
Display Size32 Inches
Item Weight5.5 Kilograms
Refresh Rate60 Hz
Tuner TechnologyDigital

Cello C22227T2S1 22″ inch Battery Operated & Solar LED TV with Freeview T2 HD & Satellite Tuner

This motorhome TV is fascinating- it can be battery or solar powered. Other features include:

  • 22” Full HD LED TV widescreen
  • BATTERY OPERATED: 240v & solar Rechargeable LiFe PO4 Battery operation
  • CHARGING TIME: Charge in 2 hours / Watch for 8-10 hours
  • Built-in satellite tuner
  • Smart Aerial
  • Freeview T2 HD channels
  • Record digital TV and play media files from other devices using USB
  • HDMI input for your external devices and consoles
  • Can be wall mounted ( bracket not included)
  • 2019 model
  • Dimensions: 50.9 x 16.5 x 34.1 cm
BrandCello
Resolution720p
ConnectionsVGA, USB, HDMI
Display technologyLED
DisplayLED
ColourBlack
Display Size22 Inches
Item Weight4 Kilograms
Refresh Rate60 Hz

Sniper 22″ HD LED Travel TV with built in DVD, Satellite and Freeview, 12V, 24V & Mains. DVB-T2 & DVB-S2

Last on our list of recommendations is the Sniper motorhome TV. Sniper are well known for other electronics, and their TV's are well worth a look. This is the 22″ version but there are several other sizes available, all with similar features, which include:

  • 12/24 volt power lead for use in motorhome, caravan or boat, plus mains adapter
  • Freeview HD and HD satellite receivers built-in
  • DVD/CD player
  • Built-in Bluetooth audio for soundbar or headphones
  • USB PVR function for pausing live TV and recording
  • Grade A LED Screen, very low power consumption 22 watts
BrandSniper
Resolution1080p
ConnectionsVGA, Bluetooth, USB, HDMI
Display technologyLED
DisplayLED
Display Size22 Inches
Tuner TechnologyFreeview and Freesat
Wireless Communication TechnologyBluetooth

Catch up online

I'll be honest, since our first motorhome, we don't have a dedicated motorhome TV. We realised we rarely watched TV ‘live' and tended to watch catch up channels instead. Also, we realised that to get UK TV in Europe, we either needed an expensive and heavy satellite system, or find a way to watch on the internet.

So now, we only ever watch TV on our laptops or iPads and access UK catch up apps such as BBC iPlayer from all over the world, using a VPN. We have used Express VPN without problem for years. We also watch Amazon Prime and Netflix using this, and it's worked well for us.

NOTE: We continue to pay for a UK TV licence. We still have one registered on the same address where our mail goes, which covers us for use when we are back in the UK and also when abroad.

Obviously, in order to watch TV online, you will need to have internet. You can either use the 3G/4G which is on your phone/ iPad (you can use it as a hotspot for a laptop) OR you can connect it to a wifi dongle. Read more about how we get internet in our motorhome.

Another option is to use a ‘stick' which plugs into a laptop or even a TV, and gives you TV that way. Two of the most popular are the Amazon Firestick, and the Roku stick. Again, you will need a wifi/ internet connection for either of these to work.

Be aware, many campsites have wifi, but they restrict it, so you will be unable to download movies or stream TV (stream means watch it in real-time). This can be frustrating (especially when there's a sporting match on) so if you have your own internet you'll be much happier!


I hope that helps you choose the right type of caravan or motorhome TV for you. Let me know which one you get!

Want more tips for motorhome life?

Here are some more ideas you might find useful:

Want FREE checklists, eBooks and additional tips to help? Visit our resource page

MOTORHOME TV REVIEWS! Want a TV for your motorhome, campervan or caravan? Unsure what you need for 12v, satellite or Europe travel? Find out...

Sharing is caring!

1 thought on “8 top Motorhome TV reviews (pick the best one for you!)”

  1. hi kat
    for years we carried a large sat dish around with us for europe, however last year we just used sky go in line with our uk subscription. they allow a month or two of european travel and then ask you to download something at home. we got my son to download a movie on his xbox at his home to get round this as he’s registered on our sky. we have now put the satellite and all cables and receivers in the attic. also never liked taking the sky card on my travels. all i use now is a phone and ipad.

    Reply

Leave a comment

shares