Last week, we covered some of the choices available for televisions in new or existing RV’s. (Link Here) This week, we will look at upgrading the equipment in your existing rig.  Recently this has been a popular project for many, so let’s try to understand why.

What are some of the advantages of replacing that 27″ CRT set with a new LCD flat panel?  

  • Well, first, you may be able to increase the viewing size, possibly quite substantially.  This is due to their shallow depth which can allow you to extend the size and area of original location in many cases.  To calculate how large a screen you may be able to install, simply measure the maximum width that you can spare without interfering with cupboards or other items.  This will determine approximate screen size you can go with.  This is because most TV’s are the same maximum housing width as the distance diagonally on the screen.
  • The second thing you will notice is a tremendous weight difference.  The CRT type TV’s are extremely heavy compared to the new flat panel units. This will stop those squeaks that you may hear in the TV area while driving on a rough road, particularly if it is an over-the-dash set.
  • Additionally, all new televisions are off-air digital, enabled and require no separate converter box.  This means you can enjoy high definition pictures when operating through your “batwing” type, off-air antenna.
  • There are also audio advancements in some of the newer sets sold that may increase your listening enjoyment.
  • Most of the TV’s sold today are HD (High Definition).  This, when an HD signal is available, delivers an awesome picture far exceeding the resolution of your old set.  It’s one of those things that you don’t think you need, but once you’ve had it, you probably won’t want to go back.  This is certainly something you should make sure you get.  As long as you are replacing the set, why not make sure it is HD capable.  There will be more and more of the high definition broadcasts available in the future, including free off-air.
  • This change also can give that updated look to the interior of your RV.  This can add both future owner enjoyment and better resale value.
  • Lastly, and just as important, it makes your RV seem new to you and you can fall in love with it all over again. This is certainly cheaper than buying a new rig. 

back-tvout1Now, this will probably require some minor cabinet changes.  If you or a friend are somewhat skilled in this type of finish work, it can be a great do-it-yourself project.  If you are not so handy, I would recommend that you find a suitable person or company that are equipped to do such modifications.   After all, the panel type TV will undoubtedly look great, so the surrounding area must look as good.

back-tvin1These photos are of a friends ’04 Holiday Rambler.  Don and Judy, the owners, replaced both the bedroom and the salon televisions.  They up-sized them substantially with a whopping 40″ in front and a 29″ in the bedroom.  They did the cabinet work themselves, and, it looks factory installed. 

The cost of doing this is probably less than you think.  Large, highly feature rich, sets are priced far lower than previous year’s.  Depending on the size you need, flat panels start as low as $500 and generally don’t exceed $1200/$1500.  The cabinet modifications may take very little work, again dependant on the existing unit installation and the new unit replacement size.

Alternatively, you might wish to add an additional unit to your rig, like an outside basement mounted set.  Stores such as Best Buy carry a variety of mounting brackets and hardware.  So, for a few hundred dollars and a little work, you can enjoy watching the game in the fresh outdoors. 


With The No-Boob tube Approach   –    Lug_Nut   –    Peter Mercer

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  22. Well, this Thursday I read through a couple of your posts.
    I must say this is one of your better ones. .

  23. Diane knote, Both LCD and LED panel sets are the best for you. Plasma TV’s have issues with changing air pressures when subjected to various altitudes. The LED is particularly good if there is a lot of light in the viewing area. Thamks for youe post.

  24. Diane knote

    We are replacing TV in 2001 Motor Coach Class C we want to put in all HD TVs. Is there any certain TVs that work better in a Coach then others, due to the bouncing you will get while driving down the road?
    Thanks for your help

  25. I am just now removing tlhe old 19″ analog tv and replacing w/32″ LCD in the front of a 2000 Dutch Star Deisel Pusher. I am leaving all cabinetry in place and just moving the rt and lft access doors over. The tv fits flat on cabinet, attached to 2/4’s to back of tv and then screwed in from the sides to hold TV tight. Has anyone used this technique? You will still be able to see the electric water levels and the panels, VCR and tv contols. I am using a TV that has speakers in front lower side and controls exterior of TV. The doors will be infront of original speakers partialy, should not interfere. I will then have to make a wooden insert to close the space on the rt side.

    If anyone has made this instalation and has any changes or suggestions, Please help.

  26. first timer, what are some good brands of rv tvs to put in a class a, that will last a while, thank you, a tv brand name pyle is it a good brand, thank you

  27. Rob K, Great project and so popular right now. Going from a 26″ to a 40″ is also a big change. Thanks for sharing your install with us and for your great input.

  28. Rob K

    Just replaced the 26″ tube with a 40″ LCD over the dash. Used the extra space at the back for the powered sub-woofer. I have 7.1 sounds with an HD picture plus DVD&BluRay and the PS3 all hooked up for an awesome audio/video experience. Send me an email ([email protected]) for pictures and installed equipment. Southwind 32.

  29. I put a new 15.6 incher in my teardrop just two months ago. Was a bit of work getting it in there but it is nice. I haven’t had any problems with it and it sure does get a bit of bouncing around in there going down the road. It is a 12 volt tv and it has the dvd combo. I found a great deal on mine here:

    Just visiting now I noticed that they have free shipping for november. hmmmm

    Good luck with your installs and happy trails everybody.

  30. Debbie, No problem. The TV’s you would buy for your home will work well in your RV. The information you were told was not correct, there is no difference in the units. A flat panel LCD, for example, is a great choice. Thanks for your paticipation and input on this topic.

  31. Debbie

    I just found your column as I was trying to get another opinion on something a fellow-RV’er said: when buying a replacement TV, we were told to purchase a model made for a motorhome that will withstand the bouncing. I’m not finding anything to back this up; in fact, I’m finding that any flat-panel would probably be recommended. Your ideas? Thanks!

  32. What luck to find this blog. We have an old 20 in. RCA in the cabinet above the dash in our ’01 Diplomat.. Always has been a great headbanger. Many bumps to prove it. Anyway we were wondering how we could get a newer bigger tv in there. I think after reading all these posts we can do it. At least with a new larger screen installed we may not mind the headbangs so much. Thanks so much for all the info Joyce

  33. Mike, Great. The built in DVD player is certainly a bonus. Thank you for your input on this topic.

  34. Gail Clark, Generally you should be able to find a mounting bracket that is made for this application, at least that is how most are installed. I would think you are talking about a panel type TV. There are four mounting holes in the back, all are threaded. This is where the bracket is fastened. Thanks for sharing your project with us and for your valued input.

  35. FYI i just purchased one of these for $229 free shipping. AC/DC 19″ (larger and smaller available) with DVD player and mounted it in my Class C. Works great… I also added a set of wireless headphones for the kids!

  36. Gail Clark

    Lug nut, I bought a new TV for my bedroom. It fit well but how do I anchor it. It has a plastic base and I can’t find anything to keep it steady. I an only think of liquid nails. I’m not that handy. Also the TV is plugged in and we hooked up the only cord in back but the TV wants to find a cable and I’m trying to get it towork on the anntenae. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks in advance!

  37. greenthumbjen, Check to be sure the cable he is hooking to at the back of the camper is an RG-6 type and has no slitters within the line. RG-59, regular coax, that will work fine from the receiver to the TV sets, is not capable of handling the 2 Gig Hrz or so frquency from the dish to the receiver. Additionally, that high a frequency will not pass a standard coax splitter. So you want to have an uninterupted RG-6 coax cable from the dish to your receiver. Your receiver RF output is then connected to your TV’s and can be split using a standard RF splitter. Hopefully this helps. Thanks for your participation on this topic.

  38. greenthumbjen

    My husband is having a hard time with our sattelite dish hook up. 2008 Laredo that has an amplifier system in the bedroom. In the living area if he hooks up to the back of the camper he cant get a signal but if hooks up direct to the reciever box he has no problem Who wants a cord through the door!!! He then took the two black coax cables in the bed room and connected them. Now when we hook up to the back of the camper we get a signal.. No tv in the bedroom though. Can anyone please advise!!! Thanks

  39. Bob Rowan, Great use of the space gained after going to an LCD TV. Yes, the proper wiring for installing a converter is definately needed. Thank you for your input on this topic.

  40. Bob Rowan

    I used the extra space from converting old TV to LCD by installing a small safe in the leftover space. In my coach, I made an access hole (5″x7″) on the side inside my clothes closet. To me, RVs should have a secure area to store your valuables.

    Also all need to be aware that when adding a converter it MUST be placed between the output of your switch box and the input to your TV. If you hook it up between the Wineguard antenna cable and the input to the box, you will blow the box. I learned the hard way.

  41. jorn, Sounds like a very sucessful project, and at a great price. Thanks for sharing your installation results with us and for your input.

  42. jorn

    I just replaced the 19″CRT in my Class C with a 19″LCD. I mounted a 2×12 board in the hole and hung the VESA mount on that. The DVD player looks nice underneath. Everything looks and works wonderfully and I spent $200 on the job.

  43. JOHN AMEND, That is a cheap upgrade, but well worth it. I’m amazed at the quality of the off-air signal pictures now. If anyone has a pre-2006 TV that is not DTV ready, do as John did, you will love it. Thanks for your input on this topic.


  45. Francis Schilling, LCD’s, particularly smaller models, are very durable and survive just fine in a motor home enviroment. I hate to recommend one over the other, as there are many good makes available, but in the smaller sets, Sharp is hard to beat. Standard house type mounting brackets work fine inside. For swing out bay type installations, you would need to find a supplier of such hardware, and there are quite a few. Good luck on your future project and thank you for sharing that with us and your input.

  46. Francis Schilling

    I’d love to put a small LCD in my Class C. Are there recommendations for brands that handle the pounding and vibration well or are the current generation displays pretty tolerant of life on the road? Are there RV mounting kits or do most just use a standard fixed or tilt mounts? (I’m a noob in case that wasn’t obvious). Any experiences/suggestions would be more than welcome!


  47. Tom C, Probably the best mount would be to use two 2″ X 4″‘s secured horizonally at the desired depth to flush the TV face with the cabinet. Access to the rear of the cabinet should be there by removing any forward cap The brackets are available at Best Buy or like store. They are just a 2″ or so thick mount which works well for reducing the change for any movement. You will have quite a bit of empty space behind the new LCD. You might want to look and see if there is any way you can use it for something else. Thank you for your input on this topic.

  48. Tom C

    I have a 23″ that I want replace with a 26″ LCD in the compartment above the dashboard in the cockpit. Any suggestions for a particular type of mounting hardware. My main concern would be that it stays in place securely while driving.

  49. Art, Great point, thanks for throwing that in. Yes Don’s job came out great. Thanks for your timely input.

  50. Art

    One other advantage of an LCD flat panel TV is that you can use it as a monitor for your computer.

    P.S. Nice job Don!

  51. judy

    Well guys I have an unrelated issue my 2008 32w Bounder sways. Do I have to live with it or is there a solution
    thanks Ms Judy

  52. Char, You could buy a low cost in-line inverter. You would want one big enough to handle your converter and TV, probably 200/300 watts or so. This will convert your existing 12 VDC to the needed 120 VAC. Thanks for your input.

  53. Rich D., Great point! Providing you can some how access the space behind where the old CRT set was as you did. This is probably worth trying to plan this prior to installation. Thanks Rich for the great tip and for your valued input.

  54. char

    When I removed my old TV from the cabinet I discovered the was no electric outlet available to connect a converter box. I’ve been shopping for a replacement 12 volt TV, but the only place I can find one is on the internet. Anyone know of a retailer so I can see what I’m ordering?

  55. Rich D.

    Another great article Lug; in addition to all the benefits you mentioned, an increase in storage space can be added to the list. On our rear TV for example, the protrusion into a closet was eliminated and a storage area that extends into the area occupied by the old TV is now accessed through the closet.

  56. Drew


    I may be able to help, but I need some clarification. (If you are already a sat. customer with a working reciever- you don’t need converters. If the issue is that you have an older style reciever that only controls one set, then it would be tough to add another without the cable from it being home run to the point where your dish out line comes into the rig.)


  57. Catchesthewind

    If any one has some pointers in how to ADD a second converter box for satellite tv I would be interested in hearing from you. Thanks