When people see photos of us watching films inside our van projected on a big screen rather than on a small laptop screen, and even more when they see us in real life enjoying our own personal outdoor cinema they ask us how it is we can have a projector in a campervan.
When we are on the road we don’t watch a lot of TV or films so when we do we wanted to make sure we were having the best experience and so we got our home cinema set up below. We’ll discuss what considerations we had and why we made the decisions we did when putting together this system.
We knew that we wanted the following things from our system:
- packs away small
- low power consumption
- portable for inside and outside use
- under £300
What’s in our set up
- Yuancin 32GB android pocket projector (now a newer model)
- Sony SRS-X11 speaker
- 40 inch projector screen
We chose the Yuancin pocket projector because it is able to connect to media via USB, SD card, Miracast and Airplay as well as being able to stream from your phone or laptop wireless. It can even stream Netflix right from the projector if you have a WiFi connection.
It is only 50 lumens which may seem low however this is plenty bright enough for a dark van or night time viewing and has the benefit of meaning that it is a low power consumer which is perfect for running and recharging with our solar set up.
The Sony SRS-X11 speaker is a small but powerful enough bluetooth speaker. It can connect via bluetooth directly to the projector and is a massive upgrade on the projectors in built speaker. We like the Sony SRS-X11 because we like that you are able to connect multiple speakers together, we have 2 and it means we can have even more sound. They are wonderfully portable and pack plenty of punch for the inside of our small van
We considered a number of screen options, some as cheap as simply a white sheet or a big piece of paper but we settled on 40 inch desktop projector screen. With it being a proper screen the brightness of the reflection off it is much higher than we would get off a white bed sheet or piece of paper.
The other major advantage is that it is always a perfect projection surface. We don’t have the means to iron or flatten out a bed sheet and as soon as you store one it gets creased. Our screen folds down into a thin tube which we can easily stow away and when we get it out the surface is perfect again for the movie.
Things to consider
This projector isn’t actually the first we have had in our van, previously we had the RIF6 Cube however after using this for a few months we realised it didn’t have some of the things we now know are essential for our projector in a campervan set up. These are the following things you should consider when you’re putting together your own van cinema
Audio Out – Not all projectors have an audio out which means you are limited to using the in built speakers on the projector. These speakers are usually small and very tinny sounding and really aren’t good for watching films. So it’s essential you have a way of adding your own speakers to the projector, ours has an audio out port as well as the ability to connect with bluetooth saving us trailing wires everywhere.
Throw Ratio – Simply put the throw ratio is how far away your projector needs to be away from your screen. With a projector in a campervan this is especially important as you will probably be limited in how far back you are able to place your projector so you will want one with a short throw so that you can get the biggest picture without having to put your projector out the back doors of your van
Wattage – This goes for everything in the van but its important to make sure your power supply can handle the projector you have chosen. Brighter projectors look great and all those extra lumens seem like a good idea until you realise watching one film will deplete your battery bank. When it’s dark in the van you won’t notice those extra lumens trust me
These are the considerations we made when we decided to have a projector in our campervan, this advice is just a guide for you, we know everyone’s vans are different so if you have any more specific questions please get in touch we’d love to help!