Our most second most read article on our site is “How to have a projector in a camper van” and each month we see how many people go out and buy the projector, screen and speaker we recommend for your van cinema. We recommend them because they are:
- Specifically chosen to match van lifestyles; they have internal batteries that can be charged from 12v or be run off a 12v system, they produce the best quality in a small space due to a good throw ratio as well as keystoning, they are good bang for your buck.
- We own and use all of the items we recommend and so we know that they work well and know that they perfectly fit the needs for a cinema set up in a camper van.
However we also see the number of people who, after reading our article, opt for a budget option when it comes to a projector in a camper van, in fact 25% of the people who buy a projector after reading our article buy this cheaper version and so in order to cater to those of you who want a cinema in your van conversion we thought we’d give you some information on the most popular camper van projector for under £100 and everything you need to get this set up in your van.
In our first camper van projector article we recommended the Yaufey Mini Projector because we think it’s the best small projector for your van. When we’re looking at projectors for a van the specifications that are important differ from what you need to look for in your house. Traditionally buyers would concentrate on the number of lumens a projector has, the higher the lumens the brighter the projector and the better quality the image. However this is only really important if you are projecting long distances, say the length of a room in a house or across a garden. Because we are only projecting very small distances in our vans we can afford to opt for lower lumen projectors and instead concentrate on the important aspects for a projector in a camper van, namely keystoning and power consumption.
Keystoning means that your projector can correct the image when the projector isn’t mounted flat, ensuring that people’s heads don’t look stretched and making sure your screen keeps it’s perfect aspect ratio. The Yaufey Mini Projector that we recommend has automatic keystoning which is important because in your van you are unlikely to be able to mount your projector perfectly straight and often you will have to mount it in a particular way in order to fit it in without the image being blocked by you sitting and watching.
Secondly power consumption as well as how you intend to power your projector are vitally important in you camper van. Projectors can be very power hungry beasts, especially when they need to be run off 240v mains electric via your inverter. One of the reasons we chose and recommend the Yaufey Mini Projector is due to it’s internal battery as well as it’s ability to be charged by a USB and gain additional power from a USB power bank. Being able to keep the projector running through a marathon Netflix binge using both it’s internal battery as well as a power bank is not only a convenience, it also saves our leisure batteries from taking a beating.
Best camper van projector for under £100
If you’re looking for a van projector for under £100 then the one I would go for is the QKK A-81 Projector.
When opting for a projector for under £100 then you are going to be making some compromises compared to our previously recommended projector, however the QKK A-81 Projector comes at a price tag of under half that of the Yaufey Mini Projector, currently being listed at £79.99.
The one element we considered to important to compromise on is the keystoning, which without, makes a projector nearly impossible to set up satisfactorily. While the QKK A-81 Projector doesn’t have automatic keystoning it does have a manual dial you can use to correct the image which works perfectly well to solve the misshapen image. The QKK A-81 Projector is more than bright enough to cope with use as a camper van cinema and has the connectivity required to be able to connect your devices to the projector. It also comes with a projection screen which, although not as robust and solid as the one we recommend, is more than suitable for this budget projector set up.
Where the QKK A-81 Projector compromises however, is on functionality, power consumption and size. While it has the ability to connect devices to the projector this must be done via cables, specifically a HDMI cable; this means that you need to have a specific cable for your device should you want to connect it to the projector, however it still works perfectly with the likes of the Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire Stick. Secondly, the QKK A-81 Projector is powered by a standard mains cable and doesn’t have an internal battery, this means that it must be plugged into your inverter or your 240v sockets at all times in order to be working. This can lead to quite a heavy drain on your leisure battery if using for an extended period of time, it also limits the potential for outdoor viewing should you not carry an extension cable with you in your van. Finally, the QKK A-81 Projector is simply much larger than the Yaufey Mini Projector, it’s over twice as thick and much heavier, it’s by no means a huge projector, however it’s worth noting that it isn’t the smallest either, it’s more a case of putting it in a bag to take it with you rather than just popping it in your pocket.
With all that being said, the QKK A-81 Projector is a great projector for the price, the picture quality is clear and it does exactly as you’d expect from a projector. It’s no surprise that it is the second most bought projector by the readers of our article, plus the inclusion of a screen saves you the money having to buy one which is another plus.
While the QKK A-81 Projector does actually come with built in speakers, even on our budget option for a camper van cinema, we couldn’t recommend just used those. Not only are they quiet and tinny, they are also located on the projector itself which means they can be drowned out pretty easily by the cooling fan in the projector. Therefore, if you’re looking for a camper van projector for under £100, you should include a speaker in that price. At only £12.99, and therefore still under our budget of £100 is the Betron KBS08 which is a bluetooth speaker that packs a good punch for the price.
It has a 5 hour battery life and boasts an impressive volume for such a small speaker. It is able to connect to your devices via bluetooth and also comes with a built in radio should you want. Most importantly for use with the QKK A-81 Projector, the Betron KBS08 is also able to connect via a 3.5mm jack which is vital, because the QKK A-81 Projector doesn’t have bluetooth connectivity.
Your camper van cinema set up
So there you have our recommendations for you if you want a camper van projector for under £100; in fact, this entire set up comes with a projector, a screen and a speaker and comes in at only £92.98, saving you £7.02 to put towards any cables you might need to connect you specific phone/device or even to rent your first movie for movie night.
While this set up is significantly more affordable I would very much recommend looking at our full recommendation in our article “How to have a projector in a camper van” as this is the set up we have finally settled on after testing a whole bunch of options. It provides a superior picture quality, added functionality such as Netflix and YouTube streaming directly from the projector without having to connect a device as well as better power options, and that’s just the projector itself. The speaker and the screen also boast impressive features that make it our recommended set up and while it is more expensive, it still comes in at under £300 for the lot, which we think is great value.