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Old 05-10-2011, 09:23 AM   #1
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Movies in the van

Ok. I have one week to get the van (2008 GMC - RB50) setup with a screen to watch movies.
I have an iPhone and iPad to run movies from but I want to have a screen in the van to watch the movies.
I met with a car audio guy this morning. I will probably go with the standard, in dash, GPS/XM/pandora/movie screen that is compatible with IPhones.
The audio guy said the new GMCs have a complicated electronic system that is more difficult to wire custom systems to.

My question is this: Should this setup be wired to my 4d house battery (Tripp inverter and two solar panels) so that it doesn't drain my starter battery?

Thanks in advance for the input.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:45 AM   #2
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Re: Movies in the van

YES! Personally, I wouldn't run anything off my starter batteries that I don't need to. Why take the chance of a dead battery.
Also, maybe I don't understand what you're trying to do, but isn't the iPad screen bigger then the one you'll put in the dash? Why not just watch a movie on the iPad?
Course, I don't have an iPad so so much for my input....
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:14 AM   #3
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Re: Movies in the van

While movies, TV, and media of all types is what I bought my van to get away from, I never understood why people would watch anything of the nav screen or install an expensive A/V system when you can do it on a laptop.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:21 AM   #4
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Re: Movies in the van

yes, for sure, the 4D House battery.


Reminds me the first day/night I picked up my Sportsmobile and camped in the boonies. Left the radio on and drained my starter battery.. Priceless. lol
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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Re: Movies in the van

Here's a . At Amazon you can get a portable DVD player for $149 and a portable Bluray player for $239. They come with their own rechargable batteries, so you could get a couple of extra of those batteries and charge them during the day from alternator, generator, or solar and have them for night time. You can also move the player to any location inside or outside the van. No rewiring, portability, affordability, compactness, simplicity, convenience, and.....won't drain any vehicle batteries.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:11 PM   #6
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Re: Movies in the van

Yes, use the house battery!!!

Any electrical source (ie: drain) that we use while camping comes off of the house battery. We reserve the starting battery for STARTING the van. I rewired the van radio so that it also runs off of the house battery. Well....the dome light still runs off of the starting battery...someday I will see about switching it also.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:59 PM   #7
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Re: Movies in the van

I agree.. use the house batteries.

I too would either use a Laptop or I would get a small flat screen monitor/TV and have it mounted in a good spot. We have a flat screen with a built in DVD player mounted above the end of the gaucho. It is easy for a crowd of 3 or 4 to watch a movie.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:56 PM   #8
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Re: Movies in the van

Yes house battery.... We have a 20" flip down screen and DVD player. The DVD player, amp, and radio are powered by my house battery. When they installed the DVD screen they used the power for the dome light so that is hooked to starter battery and worse yet to the light knob for driving lights. The flip down screen only gets power when you turn the headlight switch to on for dome lighting. I have been meaning to have this part of my system rewired to the house battery because it is a big pain and drains starter battery.

I just haven't thrown money at it yet.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:07 PM   #9
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Re: Movies in the van

I NEVER thought I would watch movies while camping. How dumb is that? I always thought it was weird that a person would go out into the woods and then sit in their RV watching a movie at night. But when I bought my SMB it had a 17" flat screen TV/DVD mounted in it. Then one night I was tired from hiking and too tired to read, so I put in a video to veg-out. It was wonderfully relaxing.

Interestingly my wife and I just spent six nights at the California beach in our SMB. On three of those nights we watched chick flicks. My wife, who I thought would never watch a movie in the SMB, was in heaven. I got a whole bunch of brownie points for watching chick flicks with her while camping. Since all three movies were comedies, we found watching a movie to be a great end to our day at the beach.

And in answer to the question about the battery, either use your computer or DVD Player battery or use the auxiliary battery on your SMB. Since I have solar power, I have watched two movies and worked for several hours on my computer at the same time without draining my battery by much. Plus, as soon as the sun comes up my battery is back to full load.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
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Re: Movies in the van

One answer for those who ask why you'd install a TV when the idea of camping is to get away from it all.
Did you ever get stuck camping in the rain for a couple days? A TV helps pass the time while you wait for better weather.
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