img_08192Rv’s have to hold the record for the most television sets per square foot for any type of dwelling. There are many class A’s that have four, class C’s with three and even class B’s with two and possibly more.

So where are all these sets in such a limited area? Generally there are up to two in the living room and kitchen area, one in the bedroom and one in an outside bay for patio viewing.  The CRT type has been replaced by lighter more compact LCD or plasma panel types.  The LCD has become the popular choice as it is available in so many sizes, is cost efficient, and seems somewhat more resilient in the mobile application.

Now all of these are starting to come equipped for high definition broadcasts, requiring more sophisticated receivers, antennas and wiring. Is this new high definition a “must have” in an RV?  Perhaps not, in my opinion, though many may disagree.  Don’t get me wrong, HD (High Definition) produces a remarkable, photo like, picture.  While this is a stark difference from SD (Standard Definition), I don’t believe it adds that much to watching a movie on TV.  Viewing sports, for example, may be a little different, as the far sharper images can, in fact, make a vast improvement.


So how many are too much? Most RV’s today come standard with one or two TV sets.  Generally each comes with a set in the living area with perhaps an additional one in the bedroom area.   An optional set is often available in the living area, especially if the unit is equipped with a mid-ship mounted TV.  Additionally, an outside patio unit is also offered on many.

So are these extra TV’s worth ordering in a new RV? Well, that much depends on the buyer’s live style.  If you are used to watching a little television in bed at night, the bedroom located unit would certainly be worth considering.  An additional unit in the living area probably is not worth the money, and may not be worth the space it takes up.  The only exception I can think of, is perhaps a motorized RV fitted with a mid-ship set.  These mid-ship units usually are covered when the slide is retracted.  The extra, over the windshield located units, serve as the main TV when boon docking in an area that does not permit or accommodate room for the slides to be extended.

img_08212So, what about the outside patio set? These normally are combined with a stereo, and are often termed “entertaining centers”.  While these are fairly popular options, they are also pretty pricey.   Are they worth the extra bucks?  That depends on whether you actually use it.  Many buyers opt to purchase the option, but rarely use it after the novelty wears off.  So, let’s look at what it can be used for.  Of course, the obvious: watching TV while lounging under the awning on the patio.  It also is a great place to plug in and use your Wii. With some of the more active games now sold, the patio can provide a far larger area to enjoy these.  Additionally, the outside TV’s are a super spot for children to enjoy, whether they are watching their favorite show or engaged in their latest video game.   Adding to the adult uses is the satellite radio found on the satellite TV program networks, to play uninterrupted audio for outside enjoyment.

One tip for buyers or purchasers of the outside TV is to place a cover on the face of the set when not in use and driving.  The set is held in and away from the inside of the door with a snap-like holder.  These retainers may not always keep the unit from moving forward and contacting the door.  Such contact may easily scratch the face of the TV case.  A towel, or like cloth, can protect the case if it does come disconnected from the holder.  Additionally, the small clear rubber dimples can also be used as stand-offs to protect the case face.

When planning your uses to justify the additional cost of an outside set, keep in mind the bright sunshine.  This can make it very difficult or impossible to watch depending on the suns direction, the set’s location, available shade and viewing position.  The evening usually is the ideal time for good viewing.  There are RV’s sold that have located the unit higher than the traditional basement level mounts.  These sets, being higher and closer to the awning shade, may work better in some light conditions.

Hopefully, if you are planning an RV purchase in the future, some of this information may help you in determining how many and where you should have TV viewing.  Next week, we will look at replacing or adding new television sets in existing rigs.

TV or Not TV      –     Lug_Nut     –      Peter Mercer

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  38. An LCD is most certainly the type you want, they are now as cheap as the old CRT TVs, their lighter and have much better picture quality. They also use less power which is good because your RV has a limited battery.

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  40. Hi John, There does not seem to be any issues reported regarding humidity affecting the outside TV’s. Physical damage is move common a problem if it is not properly secured while travelling. As far as the power-down TV’s, I’ve not heard of any issues either. To my knowledge they ride well and work well. I’m not crazy about the look of the ceiling when they are down. It looks rather rough in my opinion.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. I alway enjoy your well thoughtout input.

  41. John

    Hi Lug_Nut,
    Now you talking my language. I think 2-3 tv sets inside a coach are very convenient. We watch the tonight show at bedtime to end the day with a good laugh. I too noticed some floor plans cover the midship tv when slides are in. We would like a midship tv on the new coach but probably wouldn’t miss one in front overhead. But then again, a front tv could be useful when travelling near severe weather conditions by checking up to the minute weather systems on the weather station.
    An outside tv sounds cool, but as you say, the novelty wears off after a while. The other side of the coin is that it can be disturbing to neighbours in certain parks. If your out in the middle of nowhere, not a problem. You can watch that hockey or football game and not be concerned about the volume.
    Personally, I don’t think I would want to spend the extra $ on an outdoor system.
    I would also wonder how the outdoor environment would affect electronics, especially in humid or wet weather.
    Have your heard any feedback from coach owners that have drop down TV’s over the driver/passenger seat? Do the drive mechanisms last and are they trouble free?


  42. Art, Great idea to move the TV where you want it. Your modifications would fit well with next week’s toipic, adding a TV to your existing rig. It sounds like you not only moved a set but also made a great upgrade too. Thanks for sharing your experience and modifications with us and for your valued input.
    P.S. To score, just go to the 5 stars “Your Score”, mouse point to 1 to 5 and click.

  43. Art

    Lug nut, good subject!

    When we bought our new 2004 class A we didn’t really have, or should I say, we didn’t know we had an option of adding/deleting items. So we took it “as is” and it came with a TV in the BR. It also didn’t come with an entertainment outside center .
    We are not night time BR TV watchers so it was a waste of valuable space in the BR. I solved two problems with a simple switch-a-rue. I took the TV out of it’s corner BR cabinet and relocated (screwed it to the slide out so it won’t hit the door) it to the slide out in the first bay. The electrical was already there.
    I called Monaco and ordered a custom maple door matching the rest of the decor for the exorbitant 🙂 sum of $35…………..I couldn’t have bought the wood for $35. I constructed a shelf in the “cabinet” and vol’a it’s a pantry. My wife loves it and we now have the use of an extra 110 outlet that we previously couldn’t get too.

    I also removed the SD TV (standard ceiling, over the dash version) from the overhead cabinet (could never get it to stop squeaking) in the front of the coach and replaced it with an LCD. I rebuilt the cabinet by removing it and cutting about a foot from the side structures and re-attached the old bottom to the new designed (higher) location. This “new” cabinet now houses all of the electronics that were previously in the side cabinets where they were not very user friendly.
    I attached some brackets to the back of the new LCD TV cabinet which protrude higher that the TV. These brackets have key hole type slots in them which get hung over some bolts that protrude from the rear of the “old” cabinet. Yes, I have to unplug and relocate the LCD to it’s traveling position on hooks that I put on a wall in the BR, but I eliminated the squeaking TV, got a much better picture that is HD compatible, can now read my electronics, have a less obstructed view out the front window, and no longer hit my head on the lower TV cabinet.


    BTW I wanted to rate your article, but couldn’t find a button to push???????