The Ultimate RV Home Theater Set Up
You don't have to give up the comforts of home to travel the world
Jared Norman | Jul 26, 2013
Have you ever thought about leaving everything and seeing the world full time? Or maybe you just want to travel on the weekends or for the winter without leaving behind all the conveniences of home. If you have, you can join the millions of Americans who live and travel using RVs. While RVs can’t give you nearly the same amount of space you enjoy at home, with a little ingenuity, you don’t have to sacrifice you’re entertainment system to gain the freedom of travel. With high quality home theater products becoming smaller and more affordable, you can easily set up a home theater (or RV theater?) system in the front of your RV, in the bedroom, and even be able to set up your own outdoor theater.
New LCD TVs are light enough to hang in all sorts of places. Avoid purchasing a plasma TV, as they are heavier, consume more power, and aren’t as durable. Most weekender RVs, like truck campers and travel trailers will fit TVs that range from 15” to 19”. Since class A, class C, or 5th wheel trailers have more room to work with, you can usually fit up to a 32” TV.
The best and easiest way to install an HDTV into your RV is to use an articulating wall mount. These types of mounts allow you get the perfect viewing position for your TV when you need it, while still keeping it out of the way when not in use.
If you want to install two TVs in the same RV, a good way to save money is by using an HDMI splitter. An HDMI splitter duplicates the HDMI signal from one source to send to multiple displays. That way you can take the signal from one Blu-Ray, satellite receiver, or any other source and it will show up on two different TVs.
If you get an IR extender, like the InjectIR, you can also use your same remote to control your HDMI source from the other room. The InjectIR is nice because it uses your existing HDMI cable, so there are no extra wires to run.
Many HDTVs come with reasonable speakers, but for those who want to take things up a notch, there are a wide variety of high quality speakers available that can be installed throughout your RV. Some have even installed full 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound systems.
For a less expensive option that will fit in even the smallest of RVs, you may want to consider sound bars. Sound bars simulate surround sound using sophisticated algorithms. While not as good as true surround sound, it offers an easy, relatively inexpensive way to get better sound for your RV. For an easy way to mount your sound bar, you may want to consider a sound bar bracket.
So maybe at this point you are thinking, “wait…a 32” TV does not a home theater make.” Well, if you are thinking that, you’re in luck. You can still RV and get your massive screen. The answer: HD Projector. Projectors are great for RVers because they are small, yet can project onto a screen that’s 100”!
Setup is simple. All you need are speakers that can be stored in your outdoor storage compartments, a projector, and a projector screen. Then you can set it up on the side of your RV to have your very own outdoor theater.
Other Stuff to Think About
Going out traveling in an RV will often take you to places that are off the beaten path, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have live TV. There are companies out there that can fit your RV with your own satellite dish, however these can be expensive and often come with a pricy monthly fee. For a less expensive solution that offers HD channels with no subscription, try a long range HD antenna.
Internet can be found pretty much everywhere. Many RV campsites offer Wi-Fi, and with 4G networks you can stream videos from anywhere you get cell reception. There are even satellite internet options. For those that are connected to the internet, you have a wide variety of different streaming services for movies and TV shows. To watch these on your TV or projector there are inexpensive PC to TV adapters, such as the Hammerhead or the Manta.