If you’re looking to add some entertainment to your campervan setup, a projector is a great option. With a projector, you can watch movies, TV shows, and even play video games on a large screen, turning your van into a cosy home theatre. But what do you need to have a projector in your campervan? Here’s everything you need to know.
- Considerations for a projector
- What set-up do you need?
Considerations for a Projector
There’s so much information out there on projectors and people will talk about all kinds of confusing stats like lumens, throw ratios, resolutions and contrast ratios. These are all important however what we’re looking for for a campervan projector differs from people looking for a projectors for their homes, we don’t want the best projector on the market, we want the best van projector. With that being said here’s the things which you really need to consider.
When it comes to choosing a projector for your campervan, one important consideration is whether it can be battery powered. Most campervans are not connected to a power source, so having a projector that runs on battery power is crucial.
Battery-powered projectors are designed to be portable and can run on rechargeable batteries, which means you can use them without draining your campervan’s battery. They are also lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry and set up.
However, it’s important to note that battery-powered projectors may not have the same level of brightness or image quality as their AC-powered counterparts. This is because the battery may not be able to provide enough power to produce a bright and clear image.
Therefore, it’s important to choose a projector that strikes a balance between portability and performance. Look for projectors with long battery life, ideally four hours or more, and a decent lumen count, which measures the brightness of the image. A projector with at least 200 lumens should be bright enough for most campervan setups.
In addition, you can extend the battery life of your projector by using it in eco mode, reducing the brightness of the image when it’s not needed. You can also turn off any unnecessary features such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to conserve battery power.
Overall, a battery-powered projector is a great option for campervan living. It allows you to enjoy movies and TV shows without draining your campervan’s battery, and it’s portable and easy to set up. Just be sure to choose a projector with a long battery life and a decent lumen count to ensure the best viewing experience.
Keystone correction is another important consideration when choosing a projector for your campervan. Keystone correction is a feature that allows you to adjust the image to correct for distortion caused by projecting at an angle.
In a campervan, you may not always have the luxury of setting up your projector on a perfectly level surface, so keystone correction can be crucial to achieving a clear and distortion-free image.
Most projectors offer some level of keystone correction, either through manual adjustment or automatic correction. Manual keystone correction involves adjusting the projector’s lens to correct for distortion, while automatic correction uses software to adjust the image in real-time.
Automatic keystone correction is generally easier to use, as it automatically adjusts the image as needed, but it may not always be available on battery-powered projectors. Manual keystone correction can be more precise, but it requires more effort to adjust and may be less convenient in a campervan setting.
It’s important to note that keystone correction can reduce the image quality of a projector slightly, as it involves adjusting the image digitally. However, the reduction in image quality is usually minimal and worth the trade-off for a clear and distortion-free image.
In summary, when choosing a projector for your campervan, it’s important to consider the keystone correction feature. Look for projectors that offer automatic keystone correction, as it’s more convenient in a campervan setting. If you opt for a manual keystone correction projector, be prepared to adjust the image manually to ensure the best possible viewing experience.
Short throw projectors are another option to consider when looking for a projector for your campervan. Short throw projectors are designed to be placed close to the screen, which means you can get a large image without needing a lot of space. This can be ideal for a campervan, where space is often limited.
A short throw projector can typically create an image that is several times larger than the size of the projector itself. For example, a short throw projector can project a 100-inch image from just a few feet away. This makes it ideal for smaller spaces like a campervan, where you don’t have a lot of room to place the projector far from the screen.
Another advantage of short throw projectors is that they tend to produce less shadows and glare than traditional projectors. This is because they are designed to be placed closer to the screen, which reduces the amount of light that reflects off objects in the room and onto the screen.
It’s important to note that short throw projectors may not be as bright as traditional projectors. However, this may not be as much of an issue in a campervan setting, as it’s often dark inside and the projector doesn’t need to project over long distances.
In summary, short throw projectors are a great option for campervan living. They are designed to be placed close to the screen, which means you can get a large image without needing a lot of space. They also produce less shadows and glare than traditional projectors, which can be beneficial in a smaller space like a campervan. Just be sure to choose a short throw projector with a decent lumen count to ensure a bright and clear image.
When it comes to choosing a projector for your campervan, lumens can be an important factor to consider. Lumens are a measure of the brightness of the projector’s image, and it’s important to choose a projector with a lumen count that’s appropriate for your needs.
In general, projectors with higher lumen counts produce brighter images that are easier to see in well-lit environments. However, when it comes to campervan living, you may not need as high of a lumen count as you would in a more traditional setting. This is because campervans are often darker inside, and you’re unlikely to be projecting over long distances.
In fact, a lower lumen count can sometimes be beneficial in a campervan setting. This is because lower lumen projectors tend to be more energy-efficient, which can be important if you’re using a battery-powered projector. Additionally, a lower lumen projector can help to reduce the amount of heat generated by the projector, which can be helpful in a smaller space like a campervan.
It’s worth noting that while a lower lumen count can be sufficient for a campervan, you still want to choose a projector with a decent lumen count to ensure a clear and bright image. Look for projectors with a lumen count of at least 500-1000 lumens, which should be sufficient for most campervan settings.
In summary, lumens are an important consideration when choosing a projector for your campervan. While you may not need as high of a lumen count as you would in a more traditional setting, it’s still important to choose a projector with a decent lumen count to ensure a clear and bright image. A lower lumen count can sometimes be beneficial in a campervan setting, as it can help to reduce energy consumption and heat generation.
Our Projector recommendation
What set-up do you need?
ELEPHAS 5G WiFi DLP Portable Projector
- Internal Battery
- Netflix/YouTube directly from the projector
- Control via an app
The ELEPHAS 5G WiFi DLP Portable Projector wasn’t actually the first projector we used, we actually had the Riff 6 Cube projector which initially we thought would be great but we found actually lacked the vital features we discovered were needed for a vanlife projector.
The ELEPHAS 5G WiFi DLP Portable Projector is a great option for vanlife for several reasons. Here are some of the key features that make it ideal for a campervan setting:
- Portable Design: The ELEPHAS projector is compact and lightweight, which makes it easy to take with you on the go. This is essential for vanlife, as space is often limited and you want to be able to easily pack up your projector when you’re on the move.
- Wireless Connectivity: The ELEPHAS projector features 5G WiFi connectivity, which means you can easily stream content from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop without needing to plug in any cables. This is great for vanlife, as it allows you to easily connect your devices to the projector without needing to worry about cords and cables.
- Battery-Powered: The ELEPHAS projector is powered by a rechargeable battery, which means you can use it even when you don’t have access to a power source. This is great for vanlife, as it allows you to use the projector even when you’re camping off-grid.
- Keystone Correction: The ELEPHAS projector features keystone correction, which allows you to adjust the image to be more square and less distorted. This is essential for vanlife, as you may not always have a perfectly flat surface to project onto.
- Short Throw: The ELEPHAS projector has a short throw distance, which means you can get a large image even when you’re projecting from a short distance. This is great for vanlife, as it allows you to use the projector even in smaller spaces.
- Low Lumens: The ELEPHAS projector has a lumen count of 400-600, which is lower than some other projectors on the market. However, as we mentioned earlier, this can actually be beneficial in a vanlife setting, as it can help to conserve battery life and reduce heat output.
In summary, the ELEPHAS 5G WiFi DLP Portable Projector is a great option for vanlife. Its compact and portable design, wireless connectivity, battery-powered operation, keystone correction, short throw distance, and low lumen count make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to add a projector to their campervan setup.
When you’re saving so much on a projector by choosing a lower lumen option it’s all the more important what you are projecting on. The flatter and more reflectively white the surface is the brighter and better quality the picture will be. Yes you can 100% project onto a white bed sheet and you will get a picture however by adding a very affordable projection screen you will be using your projector to it’s fullest. The screens are made from a highly reflective and most importantly completely opaque which means you don’t lose any light passing through the surface and it is all reflected back to you. Thankfully they make projection screens in all shapes and sizes which means that you can get one which is perfectly van sized. For us that meant getting a 40 inch projection screen which is enough to have a huge screen in the van but not so large that we couldn’t ever set it up inside.
Our Projection Screen recommendation
GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen
- 40 inches
- Fold away
- Highly reflective
Our projection screen is the size of a 40 inch TV however folds away into its hard case and is about the size of a poster tube and is protected enough for us to throw it under our bed without fear of it damaging. It has mounting points so we can leave permanent fixings in the van and simply hang the screen from the roof or attach it in the sliding door when we want to have a cinema experience outside.
The GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is an excellent option for vanlife for several reasons. Here are some of the key features that make it ideal for a campervan setting:
- Compact and Lightweight: The GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is designed to be compact and lightweight, making it easy to store and transport. This is essential for vanlife, as space is often limited and you want to be able to easily pack up your projector screen when you’re on the move.
- Easy Setup: The GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is simple to set up, with no need for additional hardware or tools. This is great for vanlife, as it allows you to quickly set up your projection screen without having to fiddle around with complicated installation processes.
- Desktop Design: The GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is designed to be placed on a desk or other flat surface, which makes it easy to use in a van. This is great for vanlife, as it allows you to use the projection screen in small spaces, without needing to mount it on a wall or ceiling.
- 40″ Screen Size: The GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is designed to provide a 40″ diagonal screen size, which is ideal for use in a van. This size is large enough to provide an immersive viewing experience, while still being compact enough to fit in a small space.
- Adjustable Viewing Angle: The GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is designed to allow for an adjustable viewing angle, which means you can position the screen to provide the best viewing experience. This is essential for vanlife, as you may need to adjust the angle of the screen to account for different seating positions.
- Durability: The GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is made from high-quality materials that are designed to be durable and long-lasting. This is important for vanlife, as you want to be able to rely on your projection screen to withstand the rigors of life on the road.
In summary, the GHKJOK Portable Desktop 40″ Projection Screen is an excellent option for vanlife. Its compact and lightweight design, easy setup, desktop design, 40″ screen size, adjustable viewing angle, and durability make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to add a projection screen to their campervan setup.
Unfortunately in order to keep the projector we have recommended at such a low price a compromise has been made in the quality of the speakers; they are small, quiet and very tinny. Fortunately the campervan projector we have recommended has the ability to connect speakers to it via AUX cable but also via Bluetooth which means we can easily turn our quiet films into true movie sound really easily.
Everyone has their own go to Bluetooth speakers these days and so for us we needed one that was rugged enough to handle not just our campervan movie nights but all the others that van life has to throw at it especially in the UK elements. Waterproofing, huge bass and high volumes is what we are after and so the options for you are endless but here’s what we recommend.
Our Bluetooth Speaker recommendation
- 100ft range
- 15 hour battery life
The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is a fantastic choice for a vanlife projector set up for several reasons. Here are some of the key features that make it an ideal option:
- Wireless Connectivity: The MEGABOOM 3 is designed to connect to your projector wirelessly via Bluetooth, which means you don’t have to worry about dealing with messy cords or cables. This is especially useful in a vanlife setting where space can be limited.
- Portable: The MEGABOOM 3 is designed to be portable, making it easy to take with you on the go. This is perfect for vanlife, as you can easily bring the speaker with you on camping trips, hikes, or other outdoor adventures.
- Long Battery Life: The MEGABOOM 3 has a battery life of up to 20 hours, which means you can enjoy your projector set up for an extended period of time without worrying about the speaker running out of juice. This is especially important in a vanlife setting where you may not have access to electricity for extended periods of time.
- High-Quality Sound: The MEGABOOM 3 is designed to provide high-quality sound, with powerful bass and clear, crisp audio. This is essential for a projector set up, as you want to be able to fully immerse yourself in the audio-visual experience.
- Durable: The MEGABOOM 3 is designed to be durable and long-lasting, with an IP67 rating that makes it waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. This is important for vanlife, as you want to be able to rely on your equipment to withstand the rigors of life on the road.
In summary, the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker is an excellent option for a vanlife projector set up. Its wireless connectivity, portability, long battery life, high-quality sound, and durability make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to enhance their projector set up in a vanlife setting.
With the above 3 items you can have a fully immersive cinema experience in your campervan. But the fun doesn’t end there, connect your phone to the device to see your pictures on the big screen, play your computer games console on the side of your van, watch YouTube van tours while inside your van. You should now be set for the ultimate home entertainment system all from the comfort of the back of your campervan.