4 Best Ways to Watch TV in an RV

Do you love watching your favorite TV shows while camping but find that portable TVs just don’t cut it? Well, you can enjoy full-screen TVs in your rig. No need to miss another game or the latest episode of the show that you have been following religiously. With our easy tutorial on how to watch TV in an RV, you can enjoy everything while on the road.

Nowadays, streaming on your tab or mobile phone is a popular option. But you may not always have access to a good Internet connection. Also, watching something on a smaller device does not give the same feeling as watching it on a bigger display.

Living in an RV comes with many compromises, but we’re here to give you the best solution.

How to Choose the Right TV

How to watch TV when camping? Well, choosing the best options depends on a couple of factors. Watching TV in RV requires a proper setup, a reliable service, and high-end television.

The first step of watching TV in an RV is selecting the TV suitable for your RV lifestyle and trailer’s power capacity.

While living in a trailer, you must be mindful of the devices needed to be hooked into the power outlet. The best RV TV must not consume too much power. Otherwise, it will be a struggle for you to keep all necessary appliances up and running.

If you need something that operates on low voltage, a 12V television will be the most suitable option. You don’t need an additional electrical supply to run the device because the house battery can support it comfortably.

The power consumption rate of a 12V television is lower than a regular TV. It’s durable and can run even while you are driving. There’s also an option to use a converter, which will drop the voltage and lower the battery usage further.

Most 12V TV models these days are well versed with RV electrical systems. They are pretty efficient and can hold up in extreme temperatures and humidity.

how to watch tv in an rv
Choose a TV that consumes less power.

However, these TVs come with extremely limited features. If your trailer is hooked into shore power, a regular 110V TV will be the better option regarding new features and functionalities.

Then again, choosing the suitable TV for your RV life depends on your preferences, budget, and several other factors.

The Best Ways to Watch TV in RV: Four Options

If you’re wondering how to watch TV in an RV, you’d be happy to know about the four available options. Let’s find out what features and convenience they offer:

1. Streaming TV

With access to high-speed internet, you can stream TV from any online platform in your trailer. Streaming allows you to access a wide selection of movies, documentaries, and TV shows. It allows you to subscribe to a package that suits your taste and budget. Don’t like the plan? Just unsubscribe and choose another package or move on to another platform.

Streaming can be fun if you mostly camp around parks that offer Wi-Fi or unlimited mobile hotspot. If you plan to boondock or stay at state parks, continuous streaming might not be the best option. Even if individual services are affordable, the monthly bill can add up if you subscribe to multiple services.

2. Antenna TV

The latest RV models have built-in HDTV antennas. Even if your rig does not have it, you can buy an RV TV antenna and set it up yourself.

All you need to do with pre-built antennas is turn on the TV and scan for channels. Scanning may take some time, and then all channels will be available on the main menu.

A rotating handle is built into your RV’s ceiling to lift the antenna. Lift the antenna or reposition it to get a better picture quality or a strong signal. Before moving your rig or driving from one location to another, remember to put down the antenna.

It’s a budget-friendly option for how to watch TV in RV without cable. However, antenna TV offers limited channels, mainly those available in your area. The quality of the channel can vary depending on the location and weather.

3. Satellite TV

One of the most expensive RV TV options is satellite dishes for RV. It works just like the ones from home.

Despite being costly, it’s a reliable service that suits campers who frequently move from one place to another.

For the satellite to work correctly, you must select an open parking spot. It will work better if your rig is on a higher ground than the surrounding. The satellite won’t get a signal if the weather is terrible or the surrounding area is obstructed by trees.

rv satellite tv
Satellite TV is the best option if you can bear the cost

4. Cable TV

It’s one of the most popular and budget-friendly options for watching TV on an RV. However, it’s suitable for people who live in a campground or a trailer park.

If your rig does not have a pre-installed cable input, purchase an aftermarket device and install it. It will give you access to all free or paid channels that some RV parks offer. You can watch live cable channels and access local news without extra cost.

You can also go for paid cable connection for a better service and more channels. Free ones have around 10 to 30 channels.


Watching TV in your trailer can be a lot of fun, as long as you follow our guide to how to watch TV in an RV. This blog takes you through all the steps necessary to get started, from choosing the best TV for your needs to selecting the most suitable service.

Following these simple tips, you can enjoy your favorite shows while camping or traveling in your RV. So, don’t wait any longerโ€”pick up the best option for digital entertainment and start watching TV the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson
Scott Wilson is a seasoned RV traveler and professional mountain biker with a great sense of humor. After earning a Master's degree in Automotive Engineering from Columbia University, Scott spent years working as an RV technician at Camping World and Outdoorsy. Today, he enjoys exploring the US in his fifth wheel and truck with his wife. With over 15 years of RV living and road tripping experience, Scott now shares his knowledge and expertise as a travel blogger, helping others make the most of their RV adventures.

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