RV Entertainment Systems (Audio, Video, and Stereos)
An RV entertainment system is an important part of any RV setup. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in an RV, then you’ll want to have some things to keep you fresh and entertained!
A fully equipped RV entertainment system contains:
- A radio/satellite radio in the front for the driving side
- Speakers and an amplifier connected to the radio, situated throughout the RV
- An optional backup camera while you’re at it
- A TV for the living area and/or bedroom area
- A portable satellite dish and receiver for television
Most RVs don’t come with very robust entertainment systems in place, so you’re looking at an upgrade most likely.
How much you wish to upgrade is entirely up to you. In this post, we’re going to talk about the works – a complete overhaul.
However, you can pick and choose whatever components that you need. The beauty of this system is that it’s entirely modular and you don’t have to do it one way or another.
Let’s start from the front and work our way towards the back.
Best All-In-One RV Entertainment System: Jensen JRV9000R
The Jensen JRV9000R is a truly all-in-one entertainment system/navigation system/camera system for your RV.
It’s ready to hook up to SIRIUS XM satellite radio – though you need to purchase the tuner and subscription separately.
It also has a disk drive to play DVDs and music CDs, accepting a wide variety of formats: DVD/VCD/CD/WMV/MP3.
You can hook up up to three external cameras. On most RVs, you’ll have three backup cameras – one on the back, and one on either side. You can choose which camera to receive a feed from on the screen, and you can also set a priority order for which cameras should trigger first.
The Navigation system is RV-optimized and it factors in the size of your RV before setting a route for you. You’ll get US and Canadian maps, a welcome bonus if you live near the northern border and frequently drive up into Canada.
You can also hook up your iPhone through the USB interface to access your music and playlists. It’s really simple – just plug and play!
To turn this into a fully functional system for home entertainment, there is an RCA output to hook up to front/back speakers and subwoofers.
If you have movies or music on a hard drive or USB drive, there is a USB input you can use.
There is one composite video output to hook up to external screens, like the main TV in your RV.
This is actually one thing I am not too crazy about – in this day and age, you really MUST have HDMI out! The manufacturer specs do say this unit is HDMI capable but it’s still unclear as to how it would work.
That being said, none of the units we reviewed particularly had HDMI outs. One guess as to why that is: DVDs don’t require HDMI! Since the manufacturers probably never factored in a Blu Ray player, they saw no need to set up HDMI.
If you want HD video, you can use a satellite system connected directly to your TV, or you can use an Apple TV or Amazon Fire stick.
Earlier versions of this unit seemed to have a problem with having a dim screen, but newer models have fixed this issue.
The installation process is nice and easy and it should not take more than 1 or 2 hours to get it up and running.
Satellite radio for the front
Since a lot of your time is going to be spent driving a giant house on wheels all over the country, you’ll want to have a nice radio system for having content to listen to on those long drives.
There are some really good satellite radio models that have a good sized screen built in so you can hook up a backup camera if you want. The radio system can connect to speakers you position anywhere in the RV.
You can have speakers up front for private listening while the folks in the back do what they want, or you can have speakers throughout the RV for everyone to listen and sing along.
Satellite radio receivers
Since the main dashboard you’ll pick up already has Sirius XM capability built in, the only extra part you require is a tuner and a subscription.
- Pauses, rewinds and replays up to 60 minutes of live satellite radio, Car radio tuner automatically starts songs from the beginning on favorite channels with TuneStart, Keep Moving with the most current updates using Traffic & Weather Now
- SiriusXM Connect Satellite Radio Vehicle Tuner
- Vehicle Tuner, pigtail audio cable, antenna cable( does not include antenna)
- Owner's manual
- Compact size of this SiriusXM vehicle tuner hides discreetly behind the dash for a fully integrated look, Single interface cable connection to SiriusXM-ready car stereo simplifies installation
LCD TVs for RVs
Since RVs have 110V out, you can use a normal LCD HDTV as long as it’s small enough to fit comfortably wherever you want to mount it. If you don’t want to keep using your generator, then there are DC12V ready TVs, too.
Most RV owners will wish to have one TV in the living area, since that’s where you’ll be spending most of your time throughout the day.
If you’ve got a large Class A RV, you can have one TV in the living area and another one in the bedroom area for private viewing, too.
- Mobile High Performance 28 inch LED TV - Get HD picture quality from this superb DC-powered 12 volt television with 1366 x 768 resolution. Groundbreaking engineering results in a lightweight TV with dynamic audio response and advanced noise reduction circuitry.
- The Easy-to-Set-Up and Versatile RV Flat Screen TV - Simple 12V connection. 3 HDMI Inputs. Can also be used at home by converting to AC with the optional CHD 1260 Power Brick Adapter.
- Perfect Television for Campers, Trailers, RVs, and More - The Transit 28 inch 12 volt powered flat screen TV is also ideal for cars and trucks. With high-resolution picture from a mobile TV line, it goes where other mobile TVs dare not go!
- Flat Screen TV Mounting Options - Can be wall mounted or placed on a tabletop with included stand, making it well suited for both travel and home use.
- Product Peace of Mind with Free Signal TV Support - Not only are you covered by a 1-Year full replacement warranty, Free Signal TV’s Tech Support experts are also available to help with questions or set up advice.
- Max resolution: 1366×768 , Contrast Ratio is 800:1
- Wall mountable (wall-mount not included)
- TV Features: AC/DC Operation: Watch Your Favorite Shows at Home or On the Go, Built-In DVD Player, Built-In Speakers, Built-in USB Input Slot, Full Function Remote Control, Noise Reduction, OSD Language English, French, Spanish, Program Control (Lock), TTS and Audio Description
- Terminal: 3-IN 1-Card (DVD), Audio/Video, Coaxial Output Jack, CVBS Input, Earphone Audio Jack, HDMI Input, PC Audio Jack, USB Input, VGA (Computer Monitor), Y (CVBS)/Pb/Pr
- Dimensions with stand: 16 x 13. 5 x 5 || Dimensions without stand: 16 x 11x 2
- 12V DC Power, High performance wide 16:9 LCD panel
- 1366 x 768 resolution, 16.7 million colors, Integrated HDTV (ASTC) tuner, HD ready (1080p, 720p, 480p)
- VESA 75mm x 75mm mounting pattern
- Full function wireless remote control included, Table top stand included
- 110VAC AC/DC power adapter included
Setting up a home theatre system
Whether you wish to have satellite TV or not, you can still use your RV’s television for watching DVDs, Blu-Rays, and hooking up a video game console.
To set up a home theatre system in your RV, you need a multi-zone receiver.
This is a little unit that becomes the brains of your entire RV’s theatre system. It has a DVD player, card reader, and audio outputs you can connect to subwoofers and speakers.
You’re only limited by your imagination and space as to how many speakers and subwoofers you wish to use.
Unfortunately, since DVDs are not that common anymore, most multi-zone receivers don’t have DVD drives anymore.
Instead, you can just use a normal multi-zone receiver that doesn’t have a disk drive – but does have video input – and hook that up to an Apple TV, ChromeCast, or Amazon Fire stick – you’ll need a working internet connection, though.
- Our best-selling Fire TV Stick, with the 1st Gen Alexa Voice Remote.
- Enjoy tens of thousands of channels, apps, and Alexa skills with access to over 500,000 movies and TV episodes. Enjoy favorites from Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, HBO, SHOWTIME, NBC, and more.
- Access millions of websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Reddit with browsers like Silk and Firefox.
- Launch and control content with the included 1st Gen Alexa Voice Remote. Simply say, “Play Game of Thrones” or “Launch Netflix” and Alexa will respond instantly. Plus, play music, find movie show times, order a pizza, and more—just ask
- No cable or satellite? No problem. Watch the best of live TV and sports from AMC, HGTV, ESPN, FOX, and others with a subscription to DIRECTV NOW, PlayStation Vue, or top-rated primetime shows with CBS All Access.
Portable satellite dish and receiver
Portable Satellite Dish: Winegard PA2035 Pathway XI
The Wingard Pathway X1 is a portable satellite receiver and dish system that is ideal for RVs.
Small and compact, you can either mount this receiver on your RVs roof using the optional roof mount, or stow it in storage and place it outside using the tripod mount whenever you camp somewhere.
It should be noted that these receivers will not work when the RV is in motion – you must be stationary for the satellite to be able to acquire a signal.
Fortunately, you don’t have to do much to acquire the signal – the dish is motorized and will automatically set itself in the correct direction to DISH network’s satellites.
This antenna is compatible with DISH network only. You can use their pay as you go service, or add it to your existing plan at home.
You’ll require a receiver such as this to process the signals and provide an output to your television:
This satellite dish can receive HD video – so you can enjoy really high quality TV.
If you’re serious about spending lots of time in your RV(perhaps even living full time) and wish to keep up with sports, or watch your favorite TV series, then a satellite dish is an absolute must.
While you can indeed use Netflix or something similar for streaming movies and TV, internet connection on the road will be spotty at best and you’ll be limited to finding campgrounds that have wifi.
With a satellite dish, you can have access to HD TV pretty much anywhere in the continental United States.
The unit is fairly compact. It has a diameter of just 14.3″ and a height of 13.5″, and weighs about 10 lbs. The picture makes it look a lot bigger than it actually is.
A 25 foot coax cable is included which you connect to the receiver. The receiver then connects to a TV using an HDMI cable. You don’t need to power the antenna externally – it receives the power it needs for finding the signal through the coax itself.
Please note that satellite receivers will get spotty reception if the weather is very bad. This is to be expected of any receiver and dish.