RV Mod: External TV Soundbar and Tilt Mount

RV Mod: External TV Soundbar and Tilt Mount


OVERVIEW:

There’s nothing like sitting outside your coach, warmed by a fire, while you watch your favorite show on TV. Now that’s camping!  But two issues have come up with our external/patio TV:

  • The glare during the day is bad due to the fixed nature of the TV mount
  • The sound is weak against the open air with just the TV speakers

Now some of the higher class coaches have articulating mounts and soundbars on their external TVs, but I’ve never let that stop me from modding our coach to get the same feature :)

In our Tiffin 31SA, there is just not much room in the TV cabinet so it took a bit of research to find the right mount and soundbar combination but we are really pleased with the end result as seen below


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. Crimson AV AU65 Articulating Mount – $139 (Only thin mount that allows you to close the cabinet)
  2. Bose Solo 5 Soundbar with mount kit – $275
  3. Upwade Portable Outlet with USB – $15 (to plug in the soundbar
  4. Black Foam Board or Vinyl Board (from any craftshop)

 

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Utility Knife
  • Double-side Tape (Gorrilla Tape works well)

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • The TV is held to a singular metal mount fastened by screws on all sides
  • Remove the screws and disconnect all cables
  • Remove the TV from the metal mount
  • Measure carefully and fasten the mount (per directions) to the left bracing frame (the TV is offset to the right of the mount screw points)
  • Center from left to right, but ensure the mount will leave 6 inches of room at the top of the cabinet once the TV is mounted
  • Route your cables via the cable channels
  • Test fit your TV movement and cabinet closure. It will be millimeters close, but the cabinet should close snug against the TV.
  • Use the power extension on one of the outlets that resides behind the mount hole, underneath your oven (if you have one) or kitchen drawers.
  • Once the TV is mounted, measure for two pieces of backerboard to fit on each side of the new mount. This will help close the open hole left from the factory mount plate.
  • Measure for center, directly underneath your newly mounted TV for the soundbar mount
  • Be sure to leave enough room for the soundbar to be lifted and “dropped” onto the mounting plate
  • Lastly, use the felt tape (came with soundbar) and cut a piece to stick to the backside of the cabinet latch (see picture)
  • Test the cabinet closure again. If you measured right, the cabinet latch should close just under the lowest point of the soundbar.
  • Program your remote per the Bose instructions for your TV and Cable Box
  • Program the Bose soundbar for “Auto-Wake” per the instructions. This allows the soundbar to power on automatically when you turn the TV on.
  • In your LG TV settings, set the audio output to External/Optical
  • If you’re a DirecTV customer, you can program your remote to control the soundbar volume

THE LOW DOWN:

While not a cheap mod, it is easy to do. The installation look looks “factory” (hint hint TIFFIN). The soundbar helps greatly with the ability to hear the TV clearly during the day and tilting or articulating the screen cuts down the glare significantly. The fit is tight, so you have to be careful closing the cabinet but overall, it definitely improves the TV viewing experience out on your patio.

 


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DISCLAIMER: WARNING The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. Rogerover.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site.  Always follow proper safety precautions and procedures and seek professional assistance as necessary before attempting any DIY project!


 

RV Mod: Remote Temp/Weather Monitor

RV Mod: Remote Temp/Weather Monitor


OVERVIEW:

Making it easier to see what the weather/temperature was in and outside the RV proved a bit tricky, so we aimed to solve it by installing a 4 sensor Weather/Temp monitor to make it easier.  Surprisingly to some, the temps between the front of a coach (with lots of windows) and the back of the coach can vary greatly. Plus, having the weather report easily available for us to see made it super convenient vs looking up the laptop or phone every other time.

Now, there a lot, I mean a lot, of temp sensors, monitors and weather displays available on the internet but a few reasons led us to the Acurite:

  • Multiple sensor support with good battery life
  • Color display with Weather/Humidity (acts as a nigh-light as well for the kids)
  • Remote monitoring (ability to check temp of coach over the internet)
  • Ability to see temps all at once versus cycling thru display pages

One – caveat is that in order for the remote temp monitoring, you need to have a active internet connection in your coach all the time. This may not be possible if your connection to the internet is your phone or mobile hotspot that isn’t permanently installed.


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. Acurite 01039M 3-Sensor Temp Monitor – $140

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Screwdriver (for the base station). Gorilla tape works just as well.
  • Locations I used to the 3 additional sensors:
    • The open basement bay where the propane tank is for outside reading.
    • The utility bay near the door (for future battery compartment when I do Solar)
    • Underneath the countertop (directly below the TV cabinet)  in the bedroom for the rear of the coach.

THE DOWN LOW:

The trend continues with easy and functional DIY modifications. Instead of having to guess what the weather is like outside or inside for that matter – this makes it so much easier.

Only caveat is that the “Indoor” location temperature measurement is done from the base station and one of the coach’s AC vent is above it and can throw the temp reading off if it is point in that direction.

Otherwise, rock solid and wife-factor level 8 on this one.

 


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DISCLAIMER: WARNING The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. Rogerover.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site.  Always follow proper safety precautions and procedures and seek professional assistance as necessary before attempting any DIY project!


 

RV: Changing the Generator Oil

RV: Changing the Generator Oil

After several long distance drives back from Texas to New Jersey and up to Maine, it was time to change the oil in our Onan 7000 Generator. During the hot summer trip season, cooling off the rear of the coach pretty much requires running the genny for the house AC pretty much all the time while on the road.

Since the process is relatively easy, I decided to tackle it myself. With lots of help from various Youtube how-to videos (here, here, & here), the job took about 30-35 minutes. The first time may be a bit messy but it is a turn key affair draining the oil, replacing filters and then replacing the oil.

The next maintenance set of items is replacing the fuel filter and spark plugs, which I’ll likely do myself, when the time is ready according to the Onan schedule.

RV Mod: Adding Soundbar to Bedroom TV

RV Mod: Adding Soundbar to Bedroom TV


OVERVIEW:

While most of the upscale Tiffin diesels rigs already come with a soundbar for the indoor and outdoor TVs,some of the Allegro models forego this option as with our 31SA. Watching TV, particularly in the bedroom and more acutely when the AC is running, tends to drown out the small speakers embedded in the television.  Thus was our reason to upgrade to an external soundbar.

Like everything else in an RV, space is always at a premium, so finding a quality soundbar that fit in the form factor above the TV mount was a little challenging but the Bose Solo 5 fit the bill to a tee. The reasons were simple:

  • Dimensions are 2.6H x 21.6W x 3.4D, which is about as perfect a fit for above the TV mount
  • It has optical in (the only exterior sound option on the LG TVs is optical-out)
  • It comes with a universal remote that consolidates TV + Cable in addition to controlling the Bose speaker
  • The sound more than easily fills the room
  • The optional wall mount makes it trivial to install

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. Bose Solo 5 w/ Wall Mount – $275
  2. Amazon 6ft Toslink Cable – $9

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • (Optional) Cable Tie Straps

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • Mark the location for the wall plate and drill two pilot holes (be cautious of the air vents in the wood)
  • Mount the wall plate ensuring you leave enough room to “drop” the speaker onto the mount from the top and to also not interfere with raising TV cabinet
  • Plug the TosLink/Optical cable into the slot under the TV (your’s may differ if you have a different LG model)
  • Route the cable towards the left and up to the soundbar
  • Run the power cable down through the same left-side pathways and follow the rest of the TV cables towards the inside of the cabinet
  • Make sure that the cabinet opens freely (it may tilt the soundbar upwards slightly but doesn’t obstruct)
  • Route your power cable to an extra power outlet inside your TV cabinet
  • Program your remote with the codes from the instructions for your TV and Cable box
  • (Optional) – link your smartphone via bluetooth to the soundbar
  • Admire your work :)

THE DOWN LOW:

  • Easy mod. Takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. 20 if your being careful.
  • Sound is great with good bass.
  • Looks like a factory install

 


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DISCLAIMER: WARNING The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. Rogerover.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site.  Always follow proper safety precautions and procedures and seek professional assistance as necessary before attempting any DIY project!


 

RV Mod: Holding Tank Vent Upgrade

RV Mod: Holding Tank Vent Upgrade


OVERVIEW:

During our maiden drive, there were a few scenarios where we got a strong wiff of the bathroom after someone used it.  It was more acute when the driver-side window was opened (while driving) for some wacky reason. So I started to look for options since it felt the bathroom odor wasn’t exhausting efficiently out the roof vents.

The reviews for the Lippert 360 Siphon were pretty high and looked like a somewhat easy mod to do (almost plug-n-play). The theory being that the venturi effect would be more pronounced either stationary (with a slight breeze) or during movement to exhaust air up and out the RV.


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. Lippert Components 360 Siphon – $25 (ea) x2

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Screwdriver
  • Oscillating multi-tool or coping saw
  • Dicor Sealant (be sure to use the right type for your roof)
  • Locate the two existing vents (rearward near AC)
  • Begin by using the putty knife to remove the existing sealant.
  • Be sure to cleanly expose and remove all the fasteners/screws
  • There will be more goops of sealant inside the vent hole that will need to be cleaned up
  • Using an oscilating multi-tool or coping saw, cut down the vent hole to ensure proper fit for the 360 vent.
  • Fasten the 360 vent, ensuring its flat, and then liberally apply Dicor sealant
  • Let dry

THE DOWN LOW:

It’s a likely 50/50 proposition if this improved the exhausting of bathroom odor over the factory vents. They are smaller and more stylish – that’s about the positive.

In our case – this mod does not eliminate the need to use odor-fighting chemicals for your holding tanks. YMMV.

 


Image result for electricity warning

DISCLAIMER: WARNING The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. Rogerover.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site.  Always follow proper safety precautions and procedures and seek professional assistance as necessary before attempting any DIY project!