Many people wonder how to power a TV with a car battery. It's actually easier than you may think. Powering your home TV from the 12-volt lighter socket in your car, truck or RV is possible. Since the home TV uses AC (alternating current) power and the vehicle produces DC (direct current) power which is stored in the battery, a power inverter is required to produce the type of power used by your television.
Don't worry, we're about to eliminate all of the guess-work of deciding which is the best power inverter for your car.
You'll need to look at the label on the back of your television to see how many watts it uses. Most home flat screen TV's around 40 – 60 inches use around 150 – 200 watts of 110v AC power. Smaller home TV's around 20 – 30 inches will use far less power.
There are small power inverters which plug into the lighter socket and produce enough power to safely run the TV using power from your car, truck or RV.
200 Watt Cup-Holder Style Power Inverter
400 Watt / 800 Watt Cobra Power Inverter
If you would like to power a TV directly from a car battery, you can use one of the above mentioned power inverters and the RoadPro RPPSAPS adapter. This adapter will clamp onto the battery terminals and provide an outlet which the power inverter can plug into. Alternatively, if you're going to connect the power inverter directly to the car battery it may be beneficial to purchase a slightly larger power inverter with hardware that attaches directly to the car battery.
Which of these power inverters you choose is entirely up to you. Just make sure that the watts of the power inverter is greater than the watts of your TV. Once you have your new power inverter plugged into the lighter socket and powered on you can plug in your home TV's power cord.
Now it's just a matter of what to watch.
If your TV doesn't have a built-in DVD player you may be interested in portable satellite TV. Using a portable satellite dish is how many motorhomes and semi-trucks get satellite TV. Along with the portable satellite dish you will also need a compatible satellite receiver. The best portable satellite dish is the Tailgater by DishNetwork.
Also, if you would rather have a TV that doesn't require a power inverter and plugs directly into the 12-volt outlet, you may consider one of these 12-volt televisions. These special TV's use power from the car battery. Again, the 12-volt TV plugs directly into the vehicle's lighter socket or accessory outlet.