Television / Inverter

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

midnightscape

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
12
I want to put a TV (or 2) in my TT and notice there is a outlet for the typical cigarette lighter plug in the living room but none in the bedroom. Do they make TVs with this plug or do people normally just use an inverter. There is also a normal outlet at the point where the cable/cig lighter is but why then the cig lighter plug?

Thanks,
J
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,628
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
Yes, there are 12V Tvs available but they are  pricey. It is usually less expensive to buy a 120 VAC tv and an inverter of appropriate size if you do not expect to have AC power available. Of course, you also need batteries to power the ithe whole set-up either way. That can be a sizable investment and weight if you get a larger screen tv.

Here are some modern 12VDC TVs

You can usually find 12VDC tube type tvs on ebay too.
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
11,167
If you buy a tube type 120 volt color TV, you may run into difficulties powering it from a small inverter.  Tube-type color TVs have a degaussing coil around the picture tube that turns on for a second or so when you first turn on the TV to remove residual magnetism from the tube.  If you are powering this from an inverter that plugs into the cigarette outlet the voltage loss along the 12 volt wiring will cause the inverter to shut down from low voltage when you turn on the TV.

Flat panel LCD TVs do not have this problem.  There are some models that can run directly from 12 volts as Gary pointed out.  Or you could get a 120 volt model and plug that into a small inverter.  LCD TVs draw very little power so almost any pocket sized inverter should work.  Just be careful the one you select does not have a cooling fan as these can be somewhat noisy.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
midnightscape said:
I want to put a TV (or 2) in my TT and notice there is a outlet for the typical cigarette lighter plug in the living room but none in the bedroom. Do they make TVs with this plug or do people normally just use an inverter. There is also a normal outlet at the point where the cable/cig lighter is but why then the cig lighter plug?

Thanks,
J

The DC plug is there for use while boondocking away from campground power posts.  It allows use of 12VDC appliances.  The normal outlets are for 120VAC use only which, if you do not have a generator, is usable only with campground power.  By the way TVs use a lot of power -- you had better have a big battery setup to watch TV while not hooked up to AC power.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
We used to power a 120vac TV using a small 700 watt inverter. It takes a bit of power and opted to go with B & W if boondocking. You can buy a cheap small 12vdc TV at K-Mart or Wal-Mart that will have the 12V plug for it. Also check the truck stops. Most of the cheap 12vdc TV's are under 30 and some under 20 dollars.........
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,246
Location
Davison Michigan
I have used 12vdc Portable televisions for a long time (over 10 years)  They come in two types.

One fairly large (Say 15 inch or larger) which have both 12vcd and 120vac "inlets" on the back, you hook up whichever cord you need

Two: Smaller ones with only a 12vdc jack,,, And a power brick or wall wart supply.  I have used both.

There is one precaution I have with these.

Plug it in but do not hook up the antenna, Hook a test light or voltmeter (this is one time the test light may well be better) to the OUTSIDE connector on your coax (The threaded part),  Touch the other lead/point to the threaded part of the coax connector on the TV.  Is there light?  YES, don't use it, (I can make an adapter to allow it's use but it is not something I care to do)

No light, hook up and enjoy

(If using a voltmeter light = voltage over 1)
 

midnightscape

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
12
Thanks for all the info guys!

I was planning to go the LCD route so I think I'll be going with the inverter and normal 120 v TV, especially with the prices of the sizes of the TVs on that link from Gary:eek:

I just realized when reading your responses, the electrical outlets won't work when "boondocking" or not hooked up to power? Only the 12 volt lights and outlets will work? What is the power converter that is located below the closet with fuses for? Just to convert the battery power to be used by all the lights and such? This also brings up another question, if we are boondocking we then can't use the fridge (unless run it on gas) the furnace fan (ducted) or AC because the battery won't power it?

This may sound like silly questions, I apologize, I'm just barely getting my feet wet with this.

Thanks,
Jason
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
Only the 12 volt lights and outlets will work? What is the power converter that is located below the closet with fuses for? Just to convert the battery power to be used by all the lights and such? This also brings up another question, if we are boondocking we then can't use the fridge (unless run it on gas) the furnace fan (ducted) or AC because the battery won't power it?

Depends a bit on your rig and the battery set up you have.  Motorhomes with huge housebattery arrays and on-board gensets are one thing;  trailers with one or two 12V batteries are quite another.

Speaking for the latter, while off shore power and generator, the trailer lighting and 12VDC plugs will work.  The fridge on gas, the furnace blower, and the water pump will work, they are wired to the DC circuitry and thence to the batteries.  A/C will not work.  Microwaves will not work.  Both require either shore power or a good sized generator.  Are there any pure 120VAC fridges in RVs?  I have not heard of such, but there may be --- in park models for instance.




 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,246
Location
Davison Michigan
One consideration with LCD tv's is many of them are 12vdc devices and will just love your batteries instead of line power.

However you do have to shop a bit, the one I choose needs line power
 

midnightscape

Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
12
John In Detroit said:
One consideration with LCD tv's is many of them are 12vdc devices and will just love your batteries instead of line power.

However you do have to shop a bit, the one I choose needs line power

John,

Is there an easy way of telling which are 12vdc LCD's? Do I need to look at the specs for power?

Jason
 

John From Detroit

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,246
Location
Davison Michigan
If you are visiting a brick and mortar store as opposed to an online store yes.... Look at the power cord.

120vac units have a straight cord that runs from the power strip to the back of the set.  12vdc will usually have a "BricK" and on that brick will be a label saying it's output is 12vdc.  (Some may have a wall wort type of supply but only the smaller ones)

Of course those bricks and wall worts can be multiple voltage devices as well so you do have to read the label
 

King

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 30, 2006
Posts
354
Location
MA
I have a 98 class B, came with a Audiovox 12V CRT TV...  Draws 4 A...  looked into LCD TV (Magnavox 15" Stereo, 12V 4.2A, $248 at Wal Mart)..  tried a 120V CRT w/ 300W inverter.  It took 12V at 5A...  Then I found the Coaxial in line amp was not getting power.  Fixed it and stayed with the original unit.  It seems that for small TVs you can go either way and have about the same load on the house batteries.
Art
 

Forum statistics

Threads
120,624
Posts
1,212,054
Members
125,720
Latest member
Jatozano
Top Bottom