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TV in your motorhome: Your questions answered

Tuesday, 12th December 2023


After a busy day of exploration and adventure, evenings in your motorhome can be as comfortable and familiar and as relaxing as evenings in your bricks and mortar home. Whether it’s a movie or a show, sometimes there’s nothing quite as satisfying as settling in for some comfort TV. Maybe you’re on holiday and you now have time to catch up on Barbenheimer or that new Tom Cruise film, or maybe you’ve saved up a few episodes of your favourite drama. Whichever it is, the evening TV is a moment that can bring everyone together on a motorhome break.

What equipment do I need to watch TV in my motorhome?

There are several steps required to make sure you can watch TV in your motorhome. Chief amongst these is to make sure you have the right equipment! This usually means a domestic TV - the motorhome may have come fitted with this, dependent on the model, package and dealership, or it may have a TV bracket or aerial connection in place, ready and waiting for you to provide the set yourself. Selecting the right TV for your motorhome is crucial, especially if relying on a leisure battery. Opt for a 12V television set that can run off both mains and battery power for versatility.

These days a traditional TV set is not absolutely essential, of course, as digital devices are very powerful and can stream content (ie. shows) direct from the internet, or if you have pre-loaded them.

Can I receive TV through a motorhome aerial?

It's possible and straightforward to set up a standard TV aerial - but potentially it is not the most reliable option. Having an aerial and utilising standard Freeview (ie. the UK's digital terrestrial service for television) you should have access to around 70 TV channels including the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, plus various radio stations (all for free, as the name suggests).

Satellite TV is often considered the most dependable method for a reliable quality television signal in your motorhome. Installing a satellite dish may seem complex, but it becomes manageable with practice (dish size shouldn’t be an issue as there are portable tripod-mounted, suction cap and permanent roof-mounted options). Aligning the dish to get the right signal requires some precision, with more expensive models able to do this automatically, whereas others need manual adjustment.

Is using the internet for TV a viable alternative?

Smart TVs, laptops, tablets or mobile phones with internet connectivity all offer a good degree of flexibility when it comes to TV access, streaming TV shows through apps such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub or Sky Go (etc) using the motorhome’s Wi-Fi. Connecting to the internet via Wi-Fi at campsites is another possibility, but the signal strength can vary. Wi-Fi facilities on campsites may also require payment, and could be subject to data usage charges so bear this in mind.

Consider 5G (or 4G) as a potentially more reliable internet connection than using standard Wi-Fi, especially when tethering devices to your mobile phone or using a dongle. Using some of your mobile phone data allowance is a convenient way to watch, but please do be mindful of the cost if unlimited data is not built in to your mobile phone contract. You could find that you end up with quite a nasty surprise in store just because you wanted to catch up on Coronation Street!

Downloading your favourite shows or films onto a device for offline viewing is also a convenient option, if they are available to use in this way.

Do I need at TV licence to watch in my motorhome?

  • The Straight Story: Weird and wonderful director David Lynch’s heart-warming 1999 film based on a true story. An elderly man travels 250 miles on a lawnmower to reconcile with his estranged and ailing brother. This is a slow and atmospheric film, completely spellbinding.
  • Into The Wild: After his University graduation, a young man abandons his possessions, gives away his entire savings to charity and hitchhikes to Alaska to live in the wilderness, encountering characters along the way who shape his life.
  • The Darjeeling Limited: Three brothers travel across India by train, in an attempt to create new bonds between them following their father’s death.
  • First Man: The distances travelled in this film are vast – and understandably so, as it is a compelling biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. Ryan Gosling excels in this understated mood piece, which features a stunning recreation of the moon landing itself.
  • Titanic: Any list of films involving travel simply has to include this 1998 epic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. The Titanic was, of course, the “unsinkable” ship which sank in April 1912, costing the lives of hundreds of people travelling across the Atlantic to America. James Cameron’s film won a shipload of Oscars and deservedly so. A modern classic made in true old-fashioned epic style. One for all the family to gather together and enjoy.

Although time travelling in your motorhome is going to be more about the places you visit and the things you do when you’re there, it’s certain that some of your evenings will require onboard entertainment. You may find yourself burning through the board games in a couple of nights, and looking for things to do as a couple, family unit or group of friends. Popping out the popcorn and getting together for a movie is a great way to go – and we hope that this edition of our blog has helped you work out what you need. At Leisure World Direct we stock plenty of motorhome accessories and caravan gadgets and have all of the products you could possibly need to get your TV set up and ready. Happy travelling – and happy viewing!