Disconnecting the TV Safety Feature

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Shadowman

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Riverton (SLC) Ut
Last year we switched from a 5th wheel to a class A MH due to the fact that we have young children.  My thought was they could watch a movie or play while we're going down the road and not get the road burnout that they did in the back seat of the truck.

Needless to say, the first time we took the MH out, I went to turn the TV on for them and it wouldn't work.  After a little deductive reasoning I realized that when the ignition was on, the TV was off.  There has to be some sort of relay, that causes this to happen.  My problem is, I don't have a wiring diagram for the MH  and don't know where the relay would be found and how to bypass it. I understand this is a safety feature, but I don't think I'd be that distracted by Barney.

If anyone can offer any assistance or suggestions, it would be greatly appreciated.  Just in case, the MH is a 95 Coacheman Catalina Class A. The TV is overhead between the Driver and Passenger seats.  Again, thanks in advance for your assistance.
 

Ned

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You will probably have to remove the TV to get at the interlock.  The TV plugs into the interlock and it plugs into the outlet.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Please, Please do NOT disconnect that interlock.  Rather install a 2nd Television where the driver CAN NOT see it.  Those interlocks are not just safety issues, they are required by law,  Depending on where you happen to be driving if a police officer should notice the tv on while you are on the road you can be arrested and/or the vehicle impounded... Where I work impounds on motor homes start at 300 dollars plus storage of 32 dollars per day
 

PancakeBill

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Benson - Tucson, AZ. West Yellowstone,MT
You can get the twin screen, DVD player and each screen can be used for video games and or movie.  I bought a set-up for my daughter and g-kids last Christmas for under $300.  It is a nice device and works great on the road for them in a van.  Much better than taking chances on the main TV. 

 

Alaskansnowbirds

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Camp Verde, AZ
John In Detroit said:
Please, Please do NOT disconnect that interlock.? Rather install a 2nd Television where the driver CAN NOT see it.? Those interlocks are not just safety issues, they are required by law,? Depending on where you happen to be driving if a police officer should notice the tv on while you are on the road you can be arrested and/or the vehicle impounded... Where I work impounds on motor homes start at 300 dollars plus storage of 32 dollars per day

"Required by law",  maybe in Mich.

Our Safari doesn't have an interlock. I use ours as a backup camera monitor.

I don't think Newmar uses interlocks on their coaches.

 

Karl

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Shadowman,

I have to agree with John; don't do it - it's not worth the bother (those cut-off's are pretty well hidden) or the risks. I would suggest you buy a DVD player and a separate tv; not a combo unit. That way you can use the DVD player on your big screen while parked and the kids can use it when in motion, and the second tv can be brought outside for those Sunday afternoon football games when it's too nice to sit inside and watch.

Barney? What's a Barney??? ?;D
 

Karl

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Wisconsin has a law which prohibits operation of tv's which can be seen by the driver. But I did a little checking and came up with something interesting: Maine has enacted a similar law but words it this way: (quoted in part) "A person may not operate a motor vehicle equipped with a television viewer, screen or other means of visually receiving a television broadcast that is visible to the operator. This section does not apply to a law enforcement officer using a video camera or other video equipment for law enforcement purposes."

There are a couple of ways to interpret that. It could mean that Alaskansnowbirds (and many others too) can't even drive their rig in Maine, or it could mean that you could watch dvd's on a computer screen as long as you don't have a tv card built in. Strange. Wonder if that law's been tested in the courts yet?
 

John From Detroit

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Alaskansnowbirds said:
"Required by law",  maybe in Mich.

Our Safari doesn't have an interlock. I use ours as a backup camera monitor.

I don't think Newmar uses interlocks on their coaches.

The law does not specifically require an interlock... Just that the television be OFF at all times when driving (the interlock is the easiest way to insure this) and it's not, as others have pointed out, just in Michigan.

The problem is, sure as I'm typing this, you get used to letting the kids watch the overhead TV when you are driving and sooner or later you are going to cross the wrong state line... Also, as television/video equiped cars become more and more popular, these laws, which many see as a way to penalize the rich without taxing the poor, will be come more and more popular (If you rich enough to afford video gear in your car than a big fine won't bite you too much) this ignores, of course, that Motor Homes are, long term, rather inexpensive ways to live and will likely be less expensive to maintain than "this old house" i'm living in now.

So, leave the interlock in place, put in a 2nd (or 3rd) TV where the driver can not see it and let the kids enjoy free from LEO interferencre
 

Tom

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Another alternative to the other suggestions of a DVD player and second TV is to buy a portable DVD player with its own screen for the kids to watch. Assuming the main TV has video/audio input jacks, the portable DVD can be plugged into the main TV when you're parked. It can also be used by the kids in the back seat of the car.
 

Shadowman

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Riverton (SLC) Ut
Thanks everyone for all the replys. Your input has changed my mind. I actually went to the dealer yesterday to get wiring diagrams. When I told him what I was doing, he refused to help me any further as there were liability issues for the dealership. At that point I realized I might just let the idea die.  We do have a portable TV and Portable DVD's we can use, which is probably the option we will follow. I was just trying to minimize the amount of stuff we have to take with us.  However, as many of you have stated, it's probably better to take another small TV than to pay a couple hundred in fines.  Thanks again for all your input and the legalities. It made my decision, much easier.
 

Ron

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Home is where we park it
Glad the suggestions helped in your decision.  I know some folks have bypassed the interlock but it is better to be safe and avoid any possiblity of problems.
 

John From Detroit

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Shadowman said:
Thanks everyone for all the replys. Your input has changed my mind. I actually went to the dealer yesterday to get wiring diagrams. When I told him what I was doing, he refused to help me any further as there were liability issues for the dealership. At that point I realized I might just let the idea die.  We do have a portable TV and Portable DVD's we can use, which is probably the option we will follow. I was just trying to minimize the amount of stuff we have to take with us.  However, as many of you have stated, it's probably better to take another small TV than to pay a couple hundred in fines.  Thanks again for all your input and the legalities. It made my decision, much easier.

I know about clutter and how it accumulates (i'm cleaning out my old 13' Scamp trailer,,, It is amazing how much stuff fit in that little bubble)  If money is not too big an object consider one of the new LCD TV/Monitors, these double as a PC mointor and Television (usually limited resoultion options... Example the LCD on this ocmputer likes the resolution it's at now, lower res screens look like ... Well what's in black water. (the polietest way to say it I have yet to find)

But as televisions they do a fairly good job and they are SMALL for the screen size you get... I'm looking at about 20" (18 to 25) for two locations in my MH when I get it,,, one is replacing one of the CRT units (Thus giveing me much in storage space) and the other at a computer workstation I hope to install so I can keep up chatting with you fine folks when on the road.
 
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