Lets Talk TV

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Tiercel

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I can live without TV except I really can't or I would have to live without my dear wife. I'm new to RVs and kind of inherited an old Motorhome needing a lot of work. All the work may never be finished but I think it is now serviceable.
I pulled out the useless old picture tube TVs and plan on a 36''-40" flatscreen smart-tv. I might just use the one in our guestroom. I am not sure how best to mount it so it is sturdy.

I guess the easiest entry-level concept is to take my DVR from the house and watch recorded programming. I think the TV and DISH DVR can both run off of a low amp inverter even when driving (if my wife wanted to sit back in the coach section and watch it). I also assume we could stream some programming on our phone and hook the phone to the TV with an HDMI adapter cable (which I happen to have).

We are not into this enough to get a dish that can work while driving. I am also not sure if any parks provide TV hookups or WiFi capable of streaming to a smart TV.

I know nothing about setting up a stationary DISH when we are in an RV park.

Any thoughts or insight?
 
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Mark_K5LXP

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Kinda depends on where you tend to hang out. I'm like you, I can safely go without television indefinitely but DW seems to require the "noise". We've stayed at a few RV parks that offered "cable" but it wasn't like home cable, more like a "sampler" of some local and a few major channels, my guess is a limited serving of whatever the park wants to pay for and still call "cable". Satellite of course gives you whatever you can afford but per above, depends on where you hang out as you need visibility to whatever satellites you need. Where I hang out, in the mountains among tall trees, I would say our visibility to satellites is somewhere around 25% of the time. Over the air (OTA) TV again depends on where you hang out, in a metro area you can get the major networks and a bunch of specialty channels off the roof antenna. Out in the hinterlands you may get a few, where I hang out it's typically none. This goes for cellular as well, so the idea of just streaming something from your phone as a hotspot is a non starter unless you have a suitable data plan and there's cell coverage where you are.

So my solution for media since we're usually in RF-free zones is to load content on a samsung tablet that's dedicated to the RV. When I'm home or someplace with wifi I can download a bunch of you tube videos from channels or whatever that we have a habit of watching, plus our collection of music saved as MP3 files. The TV in the RV has a Fire Stick which allows streaming of this content directly from the tablet (newer TV's can do this without the stick), or from our phones if we want. For music I can play through the TV or connect to bluetooth and play via the RV stereo and not need the TV turned on, saving power a bit. With the Fire Stick is a DVD player I bought at a yard sale for $10, along with a small collection of movies we keep in there and rotate through from time to time (the RV Movie stays in there...). Between what's on our phones, the tablet, and the DVD's there's more there than we can watch in a camping season. We're not there to sit on our arses and watch TV all day, just a half hour or hour before turning in to see photos from the day or watch an episode of whatever. After the first few trips you'll figure out what the best setup for you will be, which will be largely driven by your access to networks or visibility to the sky.

Edit: On the topic of park wifi I have yet to encounter any that's worth a flip, either in terms of bandwidth (possibly on purpose) or coverage. From an RF perspective it seems everyone in the park has some kind of hotspot or router operating on 2.4GHz and even if the park wifi was any good, you get wiped out by your neighbor. So my take on that is if the park wifi works then great, but don't count on it.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
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SpencerPJ

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Many of the local state parks we visit, I can scan and with my basic rv antenna I get plenty of basic tv stations. I like my morning news. We have a dvd player with an assortment of movies for the rainy days. I also can download anything from my Comcast account onto my iPad.
 

Tiercel

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Pennsylvania
Thanks, it's time to play around a little bit and maybe round up a DVD player as well. It might be unnecessary to take the DISH DVR, although we have a TON of stuff saved on it, so I'll see.

On the subject of mounting the TV, there are things I am unsure about.
1. No studs and thin wall panel does not give much support considering a bouncing RV
2. A mount that included an arm seems out because the TV could swing if the RV swerved. (Maybe just a flat tilt mount)
3. There are NOT a lot of areas free of cabinet doors, appliances, or doorways
4. I would think ceiling mount is definitely out.

Since it is a class C, we have the cab overhang with lots of room if there is some way to set/mount there facing out to the coach (semi-permanent or movable) even if we set it up only when stopped.
Facing the overhang would work mounted on the end of the cabinet but it would require the DW to climb in the overhang. :)

Maybe I could remove the one small cushion on the overhang and find a way to set/mount it securely on the plywood facing the coach.


Maybe I need to go with a smaller TV to solve some of this.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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You see a lot of trailers and motorhomes with swivel mounts, ones that angle in different directions depending on where you're sitting. The only downside I see to them is they're often in the way when deployed, sticking out into living space or blocking a door, window or cabinetry. Lots of ways to skin the cat. I've considered a flip-up mount for my class A, letting the TV stow horizontally under cabinets then tilting down to watch. Another option is to mount the TV to cabinet doors (or framework of the cabinet opening) and the TV becomes the door to access the space.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Tiercel

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Pennsylvania
Ahh, I was just typing that I do see they do make lockable TV mounts for RVs so they don't swing during RV movement. That opens up more options. I have not seen a mount that stores the TV in a horizontal position.
 
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TheBar

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Jun 25, 2018
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MS
Many TVs have USB flash drive players built in. If your TV doesn't have one devices like the Micca Speck plug in like a DVD player. A DVD only holds 1 movie per disk but if you record your own a single flash drive can hold 10 or more. Way more compact and less prone to damage.
 

JudyJB

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Jul 6, 2010
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My 30" front TV is on a powered swing arm. When I travel, I have to remember to put it back in its stowed place. It does not exactly lock, but when it is stowed, parts of the arm fit into the part attached to the wall, so it is pretty secure.

I have a TV in a bedroom cabinet that pulls out and then swivels so it faces the bed. When it is stowed, it also is pretty secure.

Anyway, never had damage to a TV when driving, even on bumpy roads and hitting chuckholes.
 

Ex-Calif

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May 15, 2020
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I used an articulating wall mount where the tv bracket and the arm have a "slip fit" so the tv is easily dismountable. I used the area where the rocker chair was to build a work station. I needed to work from home in my last 6 months while living in the RV. It's not the prettiest install but it works great. The best thing is I can reposition it for using it as a second screen for the PC, aim it at the couch or aim it at the dinette.

I helped my brother install something similar in his trailer.

For watching TV there are ways to go. I have a TCL/Roku TV. It streams some over air content via internet. I have Netflix, Hulu and Prime. The biggest drawback is most parks I have been to have weak WiFi especially at rush hour when everyone else is streaming. I use both a Verizon unlimited plan using my phone as a hotspot and an ATT hotspot device with a 50gb plan as a backup in case Verizon is not getting a good signal.

2020-07-14 19.08.32.jpg2020-07-14 19.09.33.jpg
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Tiercel

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Pennsylvania
I went totally low-tech.
I used an articulating wall mount where the tv bracket and the arm have a "slip fit" so the tv is easily dismountable.
I went totally low-tech. I have a 32” TV. A 27” would probably be more versatile. Since I have no clue how, when, Where, or If we will watch it, I did not want to commit to mounting my TV to an arm on the wall. If I could find a slip mount to quickly detach it, I would reconsider. Once is see where we use it most, I will reconsider.

So, I simply attached it to a board I can set in the overhang, on the dining table, on the stove/kitchen counter, on top of a linen cart, and set it in our bedroom. I used a Dremel to set the feet into the board the put screws in the feet. Then, I clamp the board with a small quick clamp.

I, too, have Amazon Prime, Apple TV, and Hulu. I also have Verizon unlimited, but they told me there are limits on data when using your phone as a hotspot, even with complete data. It is also more taxing on the battery, so I got an adapter. It allows me to run an HDMI from my phone to the TV. Whatever I stream to the phone shows full screen on the TV. LINK--> Amazon.com: Apple Lightning to Digital AV Adapter : Electronics

Here is my rigged solution for now. You can see the clamp on your right, clamping the board to the table.
 

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Tiercel

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Pennsylvania
I suspect you are likely correct, especially on anything other than interstate highways without hard breaking or swerving.

I will lay it flat in the over hang area while driving. It just gives me a lot of flexibility when parked, especially until we figure out where we want to permanently mount it.
 

Ex-Calif

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May 15, 2020
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I suspect you are likely correct, especially on anything other than interstate highways without hard breaking or swerving.

I will lay it flat in the over hang area while driving. It just gives me a lot of flexibility when parked, especially until we figure out where we want to permanently mount it.
I slide mine off the mount and stick it in the jacknife sofa. 10,000 miles scratch free so far.
 

Tiercel

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Jul 20, 2021
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222
Location
Pennsylvania
I have never owned a wall mount for a TV in my life. I did hang one for a family member but I'm just not familiar with them. You mentioned a "slip fit" that is easy to detach the TV. Is that fairly common with wall mounts or do you have to do a lot of searching to find one?

Also, if I could mount one on the end of my cabinet wall that faces the overhang window on the front of the MH would it likely be able to swing/piviot and face 180 degrees - facing the DR/LR/Kit area? If I knew it could and it was easy to detach I would buy one tomorrow.

I feel like everything I look at is not going to be a slip disconnect, or the arm will not pivot enough, or the wall plate will be bigger than the end of my wall cabinet
 
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