On perfect days, there is no finer sight and sound than can be seen and heard in the bush. So why ruin this utopia with music or video? We hear some people say “leave it all at home!” or "who wants to watch TV while camping?"
That is certainly the songbook Kimberley Group owner Bruce Loxton used for many years. Here is his story:
"I had a 10 day trip on the coast in Queensland with the middle 4 days of the trip dull with bad weather, average fishing and barely enough solar to charge the camper trailer. The rest of the trip was great but it changed my view of having entertainment for the 6 of us inside the camper trailer awning. Not all of our family enjoys playing card games for hours!
If we have Multi-media, it would have to be good and cover a wide spectrum. Even having a VHF channel to pick up on can be handy. Imagine watching an MCG Test in the quietness of an overcast and damp day on the coast. Much better than at home!"
With this story for our inspiration we have developed our multimedia solutions for off-road camping. This article features an overview of our solutions for multimedia in off-road caravans.
Watch TV and movies while camping
Watching TV and movies when you are camping is probably not the first thing you think about when planning your next camping trip. But we all know how unpleasant it can be when the weather turns sour and you have to huddle inside to stay dry. It doesn't have to be this way - with the right multimedia system you could all sit around together watching TV or your favourite movie.
Look for a system where you can enjoy watching TV or movies on a common, large screen. Make sure these screens are quick to set up and don't require lots of cables to be connected - flip-down screens are great. Being able to view these screens from a comfortable reclined seat or even lying on bed is a good idea. Systems with integrated sound give much better 'surround sound' style audio experience. Some systems will even allow you to control the movies using an iPhone App as a remote control!
Music for camping
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music." - Aldous Huxley
Even if you love the sounds of the bush there are different times when a nice bit of music wouldn't go astray. For me, I love some music when I am setting/packing up, washing up and especially around happy hour! I am certainly not a fan of broadcasting my music throughout the land for all to hear but I do like to be able to hear it at least around the campfire distance.
Music comes in many different formats nowadays so it is important to find a music system that caters for your personal music choice. Portable MP3 players and smartphones/tablets are a great way to store/play music while you are travelling and camping. No need to carry 100 CDs when you can fit more than that on one small MP3 player! Multimedia and music systems should be optimised for this format for camping because it saves you precious storage space and with WiFi your smartphone/tablet can even be used as a remote control!
So, how do I play music in an off-road caravan?
The best options for playing music involve a good quality head unit that is located inside but with a remote control. You don't want to be going inside/outside/inside/outside to change the volume or skip songs when you are enjoying some time outside. A good unit will be dust and moisture proof.
If you have a smartphone or MP3 player it is best to have a system that includes a suitable dock. This can charge the device and allows you to control it from the audio system controls to change tracks/folders etc.
What about listening to the cricket on the radio?
Most multimedia systems will include an AM/FM radio tuner but the biggest issue in the bush is reception. This can be improved greatly by adding an external antennae but may still be limited by location.
Ofcourse, there are many more Multimedia options to keep you entertained and connected when you are in the bush. To learn more about Satellite TV and powerful wireless internet when you are camping offroad you can download our free eBook below.
Cameron Johnston | Kimberley Group