Love TV? Who doesn’t? Do you need to learn how to install a flat screen TV in an RV? Here’s how to turn your RV into your own home theater away from home.
Let’s face it. When out on an RV trip, sometimes we need a break from all that nature. In these cases, it helps to have a television handy to relax and binge-watch a great show or movie.
Yes, there are TVs specifically built with vibration-resistant technology for RV use that protect it from vibration and extreme temperatures. Not just any high definition flat screen television can endure all those bumpy roads along your journey.
However, mounting your flat screen will greatly extend the life of your electronics while also opening up that precious counter space. So, I say out with the old tv and in with the new tv that saves storage space!
Here’s a guide on the different kinds of mounts and how to install a flat-screen TV in an RV.
Before You Buy Anything
The type of TV RV owners mount depends on where in the RV they place it.
So first choose a spot on the RV wall and make sure it has a power source to plug in.
Next, you’ll need to measure that space. Keep in mind the typical size of an RV TV ranges 19 to 40 inches, and that size is measured across the screen diagonally, not across.
4 Types of TV Mounts
There are a few types of TV wall mounts, but they're not your only option. There are also mounts you can utilize your cabinet space.
1. Under the Cabinet Mount
If you simply don’t have the wall space, which can be common in an RV, don’t worry! You may still be able to mount a flat-screen TV under the cabinet or on the sides of the cabinet.
Of course, this will mean buying a small tv that’s 10 to 24 inches.
Fortunately, this RV TV mount is also the easiest kind to install. Simply follow the instructions to attach the TV mounting bracket with screws into the bottom of the cabinet or shelf.
And if the TV is taking up counter space, there are even under the cabinet mounts that fold up. Choosing this mount means you can get that space back.
If you do measure enough space on your wall to mount a larger TV, then you have a number of options.
2. Tilt Mounts
Before you choose a kind of mount, it helps to sit at the place you plan to watch the TV. Next, have a friend hold up the TV to the wall space you chose.
If that place is higher than your eye level, you may need to choose a tilt mount.
A tilt mount allows you to vertically adjust the viewing angle of the TV so you can watch without experiencing glare on the screen.
Then when you’re done watching, you can tilt it back up to the upright position. This way the TV gets out of your way while you’re not watching it.
3. Articulating Mounts
An articulating mount, sometimes known as an adjustable mount or swivel mount, can just about do it all. It's a full motion TV mount.
From the wall, the TV can extend to just about any angle, tilt up and down, left and right. Then when you’re done watching, it fits flatly against the wall.
For this kind of flexibility, these mounts cost a little more.
And you can’t just buy the same type of mount you would use at home.
There are RV-specific articulating mounts that lock the arm when not extending. This way if your RV takes a sharp turn the swivel arm won’t fly out and damage the TV or an unsuspecting passenger.
4. Flat Wall Mounts
If you would watch your TV at eye level and you don’t like the angled TV off-the-wall look, then flat wall mounts are for you.
Flat wall mounts, sometimes called fixed mounts, give the TV a clean, built-in look like a picture frame.
The disadvantage is that once the TV is installed, it becomes difficult to access the wiring to change anything afterward.
Plus, you can’t change your mind about the angle. The position is fixed.
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How to Install a Flat Screen TV in an RV
Now that you know where to hang it and how you're going to hang it, it's time to actually hang it!
1. To Install, First Position the TV
For the first step in how to install a flat screen TV in an RV, it helps to have a friend help you.
By holding the TV against the wall, determine exactly where on the wall you will mount the TV. Use painter’s tape or a pencil to mark the spot the TV will go.
2. Then Find the Studs…. wait, studs?
There won't be typical “studs” in most RV walls. Instead, there will be pre-installed aluminum strapping built in for things like mounting cabinetry etc. I'm not sure how well a standard stud finder would pick this up. I would suggest contacting the manufacturer to see about getting a detailed wall print with the locations of the strapping/backing.
Once you find it, mark that spot too.
3. Start Drilling
This is where it helps to have a second person helping you.
While they hold up the mounting bracket to the marked-off spots, use a level to confirm the placement and mark the pilot holes.
Remove the mount from the wall and drill those pilot holes.
4. Time to Connect the Mount to the Wall
Use the included hardware to secure the mount to the wall.
With your friend holding the wall bracket into position, or if you can handle it yourself, secure the tv bracket with mounting screws in the drilled pilot holes.
5. Connect the Mounting Plate
If the bracket comes with a mounting plate to attach to your TV, it is used to connect the TV to the bracket. Use the holes in the back of the TV to connect these.
6. Hang your TV on the Bracket
Line the mounting plate attached to the back of your TV to the bracket. This will secure your TV to the wall.
7. Connect the TV to Electrical
Connect the power cord and all of the other connections your TV needs.
This includes if you have a DVD player or satellite TV. Read more about adding satellite TV here if that interests you.
And if you prefer to stream content with a smart TV, it helps to prepare how much data you need. Check out how to determine the right internet speed for you here.
Did you Figure Out How to Install a Flat Screen TV in an RV? Good Luck & Happy Watching!
I have one last tip for you! If you realize after the TV is connected that there’s still a glare, you can always hang blackout curtains.
Do you have any other tips on how to install a flat screen TV in an RV? If you had success with a different kind, please let us know in the comments!
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