How to watch TV in an RV

People RV for many different reasons; full timers, snow birds, weekend warriors and family vacationers. Unless you are trying to be “off the grid” with no technology, you may want to watch TV in the RV while relaxing in the evening.

DSC_0029Some RV Parks have Cable TV hookups and most RVs are wired for cable. If there isn’t cable at your RV Park or you are Boondocking you are going to run into a few challenges. When we have FREE WIFI  we are set because we can watch all our favorite shows on our Roku which has Netflix, Hulu and Youtube.

We quickly realized when we didn’t have FREE WIFI the usage would eat up our 20 gigs of data with our Verizon Jetpack. The Verizon Coverage Area has been exceptional as we’ve been able to stay connected in around 95% of places we’ve stayed. We use AT&T for our phones and can set up our phones as a WIFI Hot Spot in the rare case we don’t have sufficient Verizon Signal. Additionally we have a Wilson Signal Booster for our Jetpack or Cell Phones which works great. In fact we’ve been in places with zero reception and had 3 bars with the Wilson.

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So how do we watch our shows we love at any time on the road? We got an iPhone TV Converter so we can watch Netflix, Hulu or Youtube on our phone apps and then plug it into the TV. It projects whatever is on your phone screen onto the TV. The quality and streaming has been impressive and has give us the conveniences of home on the open road. Do you have any tips on staying connected while traveling? Please share in the comments section. Thanks and keep on camping!

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8 Comments on “How to watch TV in an RV

  1. Pingback: RV Park Review: Bauers Canyon Ranch RV Park | Shore Looks Nice

  2. While I understand in concept what you do at RV parks with their WiFi, I don’t think we have stayed at but a tiny few places with a wifi sufficient to allow streaming: their pipe is just too small for the number of users in the park. It is usually so bad that even getting email is impossible during the peak hours. Case in point: even when we physically moved ourselves and the iPad next to the antenna repeater, it still took about two hours to watch one Boardwalk Empire episode via HBO Now, and this was late at night during non-peak park hours. How are you getting around this?

    • Great point Jack! It’s been rare to find campgrounds with great Wifi. We just came from one in Northern Minnesota that had the best Wifi we’ve had in the past year, it was awesome! I strongly think that with digital technology on the rise the need for good Wifi at campgrounds is going to rapidly grow. Campgrounds that jump on board with this will have a big advantage in attracting customers. Many are purchasing boosters which helps. Our saving grace to watch TV on Hulu, Netflix and Youtube is with our iPhone converter that we plug into our TV. We are grandfathered into unlimited data with our Cell Phone plans and we use our phones to watch TV (on our big screen) pretty much every time.

      • Ah ok so the big advantage you have is A) unlimited cell phone data plan combined with tech to send it to the TV, and B) you have found a few RV campgrounds with outstanding wifi. I agree with your point about RV parks needing to get onboard with good wifi and a big pipe, and I think it is incumbent on those of staying in parks to honestly review their supposed “free wifi” and call them out when it is merely “RV Park Typical,” i.e., slow at best, unusable during peak hours.

  3. Late reply to post but Dish has a pretty good setup for RV’rs. You have to invest some money up front in equipment infrastructure with motorized sat dish and receiver DVR, but they have packages that are NO contract, and are tailored for the RV crowd.

    We plan on using that when on the road to take the load off our data plan because streaming video just eats too much. I just dont think the RV parks are moving fast enough in the wifi area and out boondocking there is no wifi so you have to resort to your cellular data plan

    When your little one is born and gets a bit older you will want to entertain your child and friends with Disney channel and the educational programs are actually pretty good!

    If sticking strictly streaming another alternative is Playon with their Playlater addon. You can record online content for the channels they offer at 2 am when bandwidth is more available in the canmpground and then watch later. Not all channels are available if you have no cable or satellite provider but you can “borrow” a relative’s or friends login to get access to the content

      • Oh a clarification…. newest version of Playon incorporated Playlater so its all one integrated product.

        When the wifi is good and free record multiple shows (using .mp4 format)and then when boondocking later playback

        Its in the works for future release to have scheduled recording times so if in RV park with sketchy wifi you will be able to schedule recording times at 3 am when wifi is more clear, or if you have satellite internet with free zone in wee hours. Now you have to do workaround of using Autohotkey scripting or similar

  4. Just an addendum to my PlayOn post above….

    They now have the schedule later feature/enhancement incorporated so so you can schedule and record shows to pc (sorry Mac users) at a later time like at 2 am when that wifi channel is clearer in the park or if your are a satellite internet customer with free bandwidth after midnight. You just schedule the download for like 1 am and go to bed and next night the file is available to watch (.mp4 format)

    But whats even more intriguing is T-Mobile’s offering with BingeOn, even though its DVD 480p quality you can watch netflix, amazon prime, hulu, slingtv, etc with no data restrictions. Connect that hdmi output to a tv from tge decvvice and it may upconvert the picture (depending on the tv) . Their coverage has doubled in the past 3 months and so areas where you could not get coverage before now gets coverage. So t-mobile is getting a lot of looks. Add Slingtv for $20@month and you get a lot of live streams of some good cable channels and its part of BingeOn package

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