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How to Install a Flat Screen TV in an RV? – A Complete Guide

how to install a flat screen tv in an rv

Are your kids feeling bored every time you go on an RVing adventure? Maybe your old TV is not producing the high-definition images your family wants? You might want a larger TV, a new TV, or a Smart TV? Did you know you can learn how to install a flat screen TV in an RV?

Installing flat screen TV in RV makes an RV a mobile home. Your family gets to enjoy their favorite movies and TV shows while you stay focused on driving them to the next destination.

Installing a brand new flat screen TV is a straightforward process. I will show you how to add this modern amenity to your motorhome in three ways. Let us start.

Things You Need for This Guide

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Installing a TV in your motorhome is a cinch if you prepare the following materials beforehand.

Television Mount

TV mounts come in different types. However, I recommend getting a system designed specifically for RV use. It should be lockable to secure the TV when driving. The mount should also minimize vibrations due to uneven terrain and protect the TV.

A fixed wall mount is affordable and simple to install. Unfortunately, flat wall mounts like this are not adjustable once installed.

On the other hand, a tilt wall mount allows you to change the TV’s angle within 8 to 20 degrees. Tilt mounts ensure the best viewing position, minimizing glare.

An adjustable mount, articulating mount, swivel mount, or motion TV mount is several steps above tilt mounts. This accessory can extend or retract, tilt at a preferred viewing angle, and move right or left. Some models also allow for a 360-degree rotation.

An under-cabinet mount is almost similar to fixed mounts, but built especially for mounting under the cabinet. Many models allow users to fold and tuck their TVs for extra counter space. This device is perfect for small RVs and vehicles with a small RV interior requiring a small TV.

I recommend getting products with mounting brackets and included hardware.

Hand Tools

The hand tools you must prepare depend on the mount design and type of mounting. For example, if you decide to use an existing TV box to install your TV, you might need a saw for cutting the wood supports. If you’re installing your TV on a wall, a level and a stud finder will be needed.

For all methods, you will need a drill and the correct bits for pre-drilling the wood or cabinet structure. A screwdriver is a must for securing the fasteners. If the mount has bolts, an adjustable wrench will help. I recommend preparing a pencil for marking drill locations.

Other Materials

If you decide to install the television in your motorhome’s built-in TV box, you will need 2×4-inch pieces of wood to support the mount. You will also need mounting screws, wall mount bolts, and L-brackets for strengthening the horizontal and vertical supports. Have a tape measure on hand as well.

Steps for Setting Up RV TVs and Flat Screens on a Motorhome Wall

installing-flat-screen-tv-in-rv

Step 1. Picture where you want to place your TV.

Many TVs today have an ultra-slim design, allowing you to install them on the wall without obstructing traffic and improve RV life.

I recommend placing the television in front of your RV couch or any spot where you spend most of the time relaxing.

This ideal location allows you to binge watch TV shows. It would also be best to protect it against extreme temperatures.

Step 2. Determine the location of the motorhome wall studs.

Use a digital stud finder to determine the location for mounting TVs. An infrared thermometer will also work. Alternatively, you can knock along the panel to check for a dull or flat sound.

It would be wise to understand that RV TV installation requires a solid structure for the fasteners to hold onto, lest you risk breaking your brand new television.

Mark the location of the motorhome panel studs with a pencil to help guide you in the next step.

Pro Tip: You can check wall stickers placed by the RV manufacturer to identify stud wall locations. Unfortunately, they could be unhelpful if the stickers are not where you want to install your television.

Step 3. Create pilot holes for mounting the wall bracket.

Ask an assistant to hold the television mounting bracket on the RV wall, using a carpenter’s level to keep it parallel to the floor.

Locate the mounting holes for the RV TV mount bracket and mark these with a pencil. Remove the bracket and drill holes through the marks.

Step 4. Secure the TV mounting bracket.

Place the RV TV bracket on the wall, positioning it over the holes you drilled. Have your assistant hold the structure while you insert and fasten the screws one at a time. Ensure the correct tightening of the fasteners to secure the television once it’s mounted.

Step 5. Secure the mounting plate to the TV’s back.

Look at the TV’s back and check for mounting holes. If the appliance has a stand attached to the back, you might want to remove it first to gain full access to the mounting holes.

Get the RV flat screen TV mount plate and position it on the TV’s back, aligning the holes to the ones on the appliance. Secure the plate using the accompanying hardware, ensuring proper tightening.

Step 6. Secure the television on the wall mount.

Ask your assistant to help you connect the television mounting plate to the bracket mount on the wall. I recommend learning how to secure the two components beforehand. Alternatively, you can check the manual for instructions.

Most TV wall mounts for RV have a knob-type screw for securing the mount to the plate on the TV’s back. Other products might have a different mechanism, such as an RV TV mount locking system.

Step 7. Complete the installation.

Connect the required cables to the appliance, plug the power cord, and turn it on. You can now enjoy more relaxing times on the road.

Steps on How to Install a Flat Screen Television in an Existing Motorhome Television Box

Step 1. Remove the old television set from the box.

Old motorhome models typically have a built-in television box accommodating a cathode ray tube (CRT) television. These appliances are bulky, and often wide and deep.

Ask someone to assist you in sliding the old television from the box. These appliances are a bit heavy.

Step 2. Measure the TV box’s dimensions.

Get a tape measure and assess the TV box’s height, depth, and width.

Pay attention to the television box’s depth because a flat screen television is thinner than an old tube TV. You will want the flat screen television’s front section flush to the TV box. Hence, it would be best to measure the TV’s thickness, too.

Add to this measurement the wall mount’s thickness to determine where to position the horizontal supports in the television box.

Step 3. Prepare television box horizontal and vertical supports.

Get several pieces of 2×4 wood and cut them according to the measurements, serving as vertical and horizontal support structures for the mount.

Pro Tip: Pre-drill holes into the wood supports to facilitate easier mount installation and fastening.

Step 4. Secure the TV box supports.

Position the vertical supports in the television box’s opposing sides and secure them with wood screws. I recommend fastening each support with at least four 3-inch screws.

Place the horizontal supports between the vertical wood beams and secure them with screws. I suggest using an L-bracket to link the horizontal structure to the vertical post, ensuring a perfect right angle. Doing so also strengthens the wood supports.

Pro Tip: Position the horizontal beams relative to where you want to secure the television mount.

Step 5. Install the television mount.

Measure the TV box’s width again and divide it in two to determine the center. Mark the spot on the horizontal supports with a pencil.

If the television mount only has three holes, it would be best to position it such that two bolts support the mount on the upper horizontal structure.

Secure the mount to the wooden horizontal supports.

Step 6. Attach the flat screen TV to the mount.

Secure the flat screen TV to the mount using the accompanying hardware. If you have a TV larger than the TV box, you can improvise with wooden brackets secured to the TV’s opposite ends.

Complete the installation by connecting your TV to the satellite dish or TV antenna.

Here is an excellent video from Remodel Calculator describing the whole process.

Installing a Flat Screen Television Under the Cabinet

The steps here are almost similar to wall installations, except you do not have to bother yourself with determining the location of the studs.

All you need is to position the mounting bracket under the cabinet and mark the holes for the screws. Secure the mount in place and follow Steps 5 to 7 in installing a TV on a motorhome wall.

Conclusion

The three ways of how to install a flat screen TV in an RV are straightforward processes, requiring only a few hand tools and a good-quality television mount. You can finish this project in less than an hour, and head straight to your next adventure.

Send me a thumbs up if you love this tutorial. You might also want to share this guide with other people you know. Moreover, hearing about your comments and feedback will complete my day. Good luck with your project.

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