Don’t Spend More Than $200 on a Van TV
If you’re looking for a small 12 volt campervan tv…
don’t spend more than $200…
In this 2023 review and buying guide, we discuss why the best TV’s for vans now cost under $200.
Each small 12v television included in this article features excellent image quality and runs directly off 12v power making them perfect for van travel.
Let’s jump in.
Best TVs for Vans
VIZIO Full HD Smart TV
SuperSonic 12V LED TV
Feihe 12V LED TV
Why it Made the List
This 24″ HD smart tv from VIZIO comes in as our number one choice because of it’s ultra low price, smart tv features, and superb image quality.
Why it Made the List
We chose this 24″ LED widescreen TV from Supersonic for one simple reason: it’s impressive image quality and affordable price.
Why it Made the List
This small but capable 22″ inch full LED camper 12-volt TV from Feihe makes our 3rd and final choice because of it’s great sound quality and low price point.
Why You Should Not Spend Over $200 on a Campervan Television
If it’s been more than a couple years since you’ve lasted updated your home television, you may be surprised to learn that not only have large 4k televisions (that would’ve cost thousands of dollars just a handful of years ago) come down in price (many now cost less than $500), but that high quality small flat screen TVs (19-32″) suitable for campervans are readily available for less than $200. For this reason, it no longer makes sense to fork out hundreds and hundreds of dollars for a small HD TV in pursuit of great image quality when all TV’s have great image quality.
Regardless of what manufactures say, TV’s subjected to road travel are much more likely than home televisions to experience issues. If you invest two or three times as much on a high-end television from brands like Samsung, LG, Sony, or Vizio, your tv will be just as likely to break as a tv from a less experience brand and you’ll be out the extra money. Why not save, enjoy the same quality viewing experience, and buy the latest high definition TV for cheap in a few years when yours breaks?
5 Things to Avoid When Shopping for a 12v Van TV
1. This Type of TV
Any television can be adapted to run off Sprinter or cargo van house batteries but AC power televisions require the use of an AC inverter which will consume an additional 10-20% of battery power over a 12 volt dc powered television that does not require power to be converted from DC (battery power) to AC. Because of this inefficiency, it makes little sense to purchase an AC powered television for use in a campervan which will eat your rechargeable batteries or require the use of a power inverter or shore power when numerous high quality 12 volt televisions are available that will draw power directly from your battery bank without needing the AC power conversion.
*Each television included in this review are 12 volt DC powered meaning you won’t need an AC inverter to run them.
2. This Screen Resolution
The majority of modern televisions are 4k resolution and 16:9 aspect ratio. Screen resolution is simply a measurement of screen size in pixels. Higher resolution screens (4k, 8k) feature more individual pixels which results in better image quality. High dynamic range (HDR), contrast, and color all also factors that might give one equal resolution TV a superior image over another. Small televisions (19-32″), by the nature of their size, don’t typical come in 4k resolution, but because of their compact size, they may have equal pixel density. In general, although you do want to prioritize higher resolutions screens, for 19-32″ TV’s suitable for campervans, 1080 resolution is more than enough to provide superb quality image. 720p should be avoided.
3. This Price
As stated several times, its unnecessary to spend more than a couple hundred dollars on a television that’s less than 32″ in size. Numerous high quality 12v smart tvs from brands like Sylvox, SuperSonic, and Feihe perform as well as high end brands for nearly half the price. Spending more than $200 is not necessary.
4. This Mounting Style
Almost all modern televisions use VESA (Video Electronics Standards Association) standard rectangular hole patterns ranging in size from 75 mm x 75 mm to 800 mm x 400 mm. 19-32″ TVs most commonly use the 100 mm x 100 mm. When selecting a television, make sure the tv seller states what VESA pattern it uses, and look for a mount that is not fixed or tilting but full motion (articulates in every direction) so you can adjust the viewing angle regardless of where you are in your vehicle. Additionally, search for a full motion VESA mount that locks in back so your tv does not swing when driving.
*It’s also important to consider how you will route your power cord and what flat surface you can mount on.
5. This Smart TV Interface
Since the majority of TV viewers no longer use cable, broadcast, or satellite dishes (with services like Dish Network), and instead prefer to use streaming subscription services like Netflix, Disney+, HBO, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, choosing a van television (streaming device) with a good smart tv interface that allows you to access popular streaming services and apps is more important than. There are several universal tv operating systems that come preinstalled on the cheaper televisions we recommend on our list. The most popular is Amazon Fire TV, Android, and Roku. More expensive televisions like LG, Samsung, and Vizio have their own interfaces. In our experience, Roku and Android are great and Google TV is terrible.
LCD, LED LCD, or OLED?
There are only two types of non projector flat screen televisions sold today: LEDs and OLED. All “LED” screens are actually LED’s and use a combination of an LCD panel (Liquid Crystal Display) which is backlit by LEDs. OLED screen on the other hand, use a layer of organic LED’s with no LCD panel that are controllable all the way down to the individual pixel.
When comparing LED LCD’s and OLED televisions, the main advantages of the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) is the individual pixel control which allows for stunning contrast and color. LCD LED displays are not as sharp as OLED displays but still perform very well and cost significantly less.
(Liquid Crystal Display / Light Emitting Diode)
(Organic Light Emitting Diode)
Best Small Campervan TV's
#1 - VIZIO 24-inch Full HD 1080p Smart TV
Why is it Best Overall?
This 24″ LED smart tv from VIZIO strikes the best balance of cost, quality, and features of any small camper tv we considered. The tv is 12 volt dc powered so it will work in any campervan or overland rig, and it’s built in smart tv features make watching digital streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, Prime etc. simple. At under $150, it’s a feature packed modern digital TV with excellent picture quality, a range of input options, and is affordable for many vanlife & overlanders.
#2 - SuperSonic LED Camper 12-Volt TV
Why is it Runner Up?
This 24″ 12 volt DC powered LED television from SuperSonic comes in as our number two recommendation because of it’s much lower price point yet equally as impressive picture quality. Where this tv differs from the Sylvox (#1 choice) is that it lacks the native smart TV features which means you’ll need to the HDMI port to connect an Amazon Firestick or other smart tv device to access digital streaming services.
#3 - Feihe 12V LED Digital TV
Why is it Best Budget?
This 22″ inch 12 volt DC LED campervan tv from Feihe comes in as our number three recommendation and best overall budget option because of it’s ultra low cost and great sound quality. The tv features a thin wall mountable frame, audio inputs, and an HDMI port for adapting a Firestick or other device for streaming. The one major downside to the Feihe is it’s slightly smaller 22″ screen size (which may be a plus for some vanlife & overlanders).
To find the best available products for vanlife and overlanding we follow a three part review process. Stage one of our review process is called an Open Review, during this phase we provide basic information on the products, such as descriptions, price, and potential alternatives. The second stage is the Editorial Review, which is a more in-depth review that takes at least three hours to research and write. We rate the product based on numerous factors. For the third and final stage, called User Reviewed we collect and utilize feedback from readers to update our recommendations.
How We Picked
For this review we followed our Open Review process. During an Open Review we conduct research (via Google search, independent sources, YouTube) to build a database of the best available products. With our database complete, we then compare each product across different variables. For this small camper van tv review, we compared the power source, the power consumption, the product prices, the picture quality, user reviews, design, and a host of other variables to find what we think are the best overall products available.
How We Tested
This review is still in our Open Review stage we means the information gathered to decide which products are tested was gathered based on research and product specifications. During our upcoming Editorial Review of the best small camper van and overland tv’s we will conduct hands on research to further improve our recommendations.
What Matters Most When Choosing a Small Camper TV?
Besides price and 12 volt DC compatibility, image quality, design, and features are the most important consideration when it comes to choosing a great small camper tv. Nowadays, most digital tv’s have great image quality, but there are a lot of outdated models available online that have 720p resolution and no streaming device features. When it comes to selecting a tv for vanlife, as long as the tv runs off a dc power source and has at least 1 HDMI port (so you can use an Amazon Firestick or other smart tv adapter) it should work.