Touring Caravanning

Can you use a normal TV in a caravan?

Can you use a normal TV in a caravan? We have all the answers.

For the inexperienced touring caravanner, it can be confusing whether you can just take a spare TV from home when you go away, or not. Here we explain what will work for you and how to ensure you don’t miss your favourite programmes while on holiday.

Do you need a special TV for your caravan?

Our televisions at home run off 240V, the standard electricity supply. If you are holidaying on a site and will be using electricity hook up, you could theoretically, use a TV from home. However, electric hook ups prefer low wattage appliances and overloading can lead to a shortage on the campsite. Our comprehensive guide to electricity hook ups has lots of helpful tips.

12V televisions for touring caravans

Where you will not be using EHU or for those planning an off-grid holiday, specialist 12V television sets are available. At BEC Ingoldmells, we stock the Falcon Traveller televisions, specifically designed for the touring market, with a consumption of 11 watts of electricity, compared to between 50 and 200 for your home TV. The Falcon Traveller televisions feature an integral DVD and CD player and will support Freeview and Freesat channels. PLEASE NOTE that these are not currently available to purchase online but for anyone visiting the area, they are available in our east Lincolnshire caravan supplies shops.

Once you have your television, it’s important that you get a good signal and know how to watch a DVD or stream your favourite shows.

Getting a good signal for your TV

New caravan models will have a built-in television aerial, normally on the roof. Some systems will feature a signal finder so you can find the strongest signal before positioning the aerial but for those without, we stock a range of devices to help, including the Maxview Digital TV Signal Finder. We also stock indoor and outdoor mobile TV aerials that can be used with touring caravans, motorhomes and even boats. To ensure the best strength and quality of signal for the TV, a variable signal booster will maximise signal strength from any digital TV aerial.

How to access TV content in your touring caravan

Viewing satellite channels – you will need a television, a Sky box or Freesat box (the receiver) and a satellite dish. Satellite dishes can be tripod mounted, manually fixed via suction cups, or roof-mounted. To point the dish in the correct direction, a satellite compass will locate the signal.

Streaming television – if you want to stream content on holiday, you will need internet connection. The majority of campsites offer Wi-Fi, but you could also use a dongle or a mobile phone. Dongles and phones with unlimited data deals may work out cheaper than campsite Wi-Fi so always check first. 

Watching DVDs in a caravan – this is easy enough with 12V televisions that have built-in DVD players. TVs that don’t can be easily connected to a separate DVD player.

TV licences for touring caravans

In the UK, televisions in touring caravans are covered by the owner’s home television licence. The rules are different for static caravans and advice can be found on the TV licencing website.

Once your touring season comes to an end, all you need to do is store the TV correctly ahead of the next season.

Storing a TV in a caravan

When moving between sites, laying your television down surrounded by support, for example from cushions and pillows, will minimise damage that can be caused by the jolting of the caravan while moving. During periods of non-use, we recommend your TV be removed from the van. This makes sense from a security perspective and it will also safeguard against damage from damp.