Upgrading an LCD TV in an RV Bedroom

Installing a 19″ LCD TV in RV Bedroom using the Bell’O 8165 TV Mount:

This is a picture of the old 13″ TV  in the bedroom of our motorhome.

I removed the wood trim which acted as the “retainer” for the old TV holding it in place in the TV cabinet.  Ater disconnecting the coax and power cord, I removed the old TV and set it out of the way.

The inside of the TV cabinet was neat and tidy but the wood was unfinished as I expected. The side and back walls are constructed of 5/16″ finish plywood and by themselves would not be sturdy enough to support the new TV on the Bello 7465 articulated mounting arm.  

(Please note that these Bello TV mounts have been discontinued and are no longer available.)

I cut two new pieces of 5/8″ oak finish plywood which would fit snugly between the bottom and the top of the TV cabinet and are approximately 7″ wide. The plan was to “sandwich” the thinner box wall with a piece of the heavy plywood on both the inside and outside of the cabinet wall. The outside of the TV cabinet is accessible from a cabinet door in the bathroom. 

I used Elmers wood glue on all the mating surfaces and selected wood screws which when inserted from the inside of the TV cabinet would lock the two heavy plywood pieces securely in place to provide a good sturdy wall to attach the Bello articulating bracket to.

This picture shows the finished plywood “sandwich”  from the upper cabinet  in the bathroom. The new stain is close in color but in this picture, the new support looks a little darker than the factory finish. I decided to stain the inside of the TV cabinet just to make it a look a little better.

The lag screws that came with the mount were too long for this installation, so I cut them off to prevent them from protruding into the bathroom cabinet when the bracket was installed.

This picture shows the bracket attached to the plywood sandwich. From the inside of the TV cabinet you can see the two articulating arms which allow the TV to be moved around into many convenient positions and makes for very easy access to all of the connections on the back of the TV itself. You can also see the “access hole” that was cut through the back wall of the TV cabinet by a previous owner to install a power strip in the bathroom cabinet. I don’t know why, but it is there…

Most of the name brand LCD TVs on the market are going to have lots of connection options on the back including the coax antenna input, HDMI (Audio/Video combined), Component Video, S-Video, Composite Video and L/R audio inputs along with VGA input allowing for connection as a PC monitor.

Here is a picture of the new TV installed and connected to the Winegard crank-up antenna on the roof. As you can see Digital/HiDef works fine coming through the standard rooftop antenna. We are in a valley approximately 30 miles from the nearest TV transmitter and this was the only digital signal recognized by the channel setup procedure, but certainly the picure is clear as a bell. Actually, this digital subchannel is not in Hi-Def, but being digital it is clearly superior to “normal old TV.” This picture shows the “gap” above the TV is not yet filled in.

The finished look: The new LCD TV in it’s viewing position in the bedroom of the motorhome. I attached a piece of “oak filler” at the top of the TV opening to give it a more finished look.

Since the bottom of the TV is flush with the bottom of the cabinet, the TV can be rotated and actually pushed back into the cabinet for travel. This will take all of the vertical load off of the TV mounting arm and the cabinet wall it is attached to when bouncing down the road. I was going to install a padded block behind the left side of the TV and a rotating block on the upper right corner which will keep the TV “inside” the TV cabinet for road travel.  But I have found that during travel, the TV works it’s way into the cabinet and not out, so in this situation, the blocks are not needed.