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 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.

 


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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: Swivel Mount for Indoor TV

RV Mod: Swivel Mount for Indoor TV


OVERVIEW:

Another “should’ve come from the factory” mod. This one fixes the issue of not having very good viewing sight lines for the TV in the living room. Sitting at the dinette or captains chairs to watch the main living room tv is difficult since, from the factory, Tiffin puts the TV on a fixed mount vs an articulating mount so you can adjust it to your liking.

The dilema is in finding a mount shallow enough and with a locking mechanism that support RV’rs unique needs. Once we found a TV mount we thought met those needs – the install was relatively simple but it is a two-person job due to the size of the TV.

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. MorRyde Exteding Swivel Mount  (rated for 50lbs)- $89

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Drill
  • Screwdriver / Impact Screwdriver
  • Level (one comes with TV mount)

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • Remove the TV from wall by unscrewing the fix mount from behind the top and bottom of the TV
  • Measure the distance to the horizontal and vertical center of the wall where you want to mount the TV
  • Take careful notice that the TV mount is offset from its base a few inches to the left. Compensate for this difference when screwing the mount to the wall for that same distance off-center.
  • Double-triple check your level and centering prior to drilling holes for your TV mount.
  • The mount can be installed inverted if you prefer the locking mechanism on top vs towards the bottom as you see here.
  • Next, using a helper, mount the TV to the bracket using the provided mounting screws that came with the kit (do not reuse the previous mount screws)
  • Finally, sit back and admire your work while watch TV at any angle in the RV

THE DOWN LOW:

While this mod is not complicated to do, it requires two people and you should take your time to make sure you measure and then measure again so that your TV is level and centered. You only really get one try once you start drilling.

Two small issues you should know – the refrigerator bump stop below the left side of the TV ( near fireplace) needs to be accounted for when centering your TV to ensure it doesn’t interfere.  Secondly, when you swivel the TV towards the main cabin the bathroom door can not open as wide as previously before.  We swivel the TV enough for a better viewing angle, but no so much you cant walk by and get to the bathroom.

If you have a checklist for breaking camp – you have to add one more item now (lock TV swivel), as you don’t want to drive with the TV out of it’s fixed position. Otherwise – another simple and functional mod.

 


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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: Captain’s Chair Table

RV Mod: Captain’s Chair Table


OVERVIEW:

Something we noticed the Tiffin was short of when we looked at other coaches was the lack of a table in between the two captain chairs up front.  We found these to be really functional and allows for additional seating for eating and guests to ultilize for placing drinks/snacks at. We chose ours to add an additional workspace as well for a laptop when stationary.

Since we love simple and quick RV mods – we thought we’d tackle this ourselves. From start to finish, this may have taken 15 minutes max (assuming you have the right tools).

 

 


 

PARTS LIST:

  1. Table Base Protuding Mount – $7 (You can order two of these vs the flush mount if desired)
  2. Table Base Flush Mount – $9
  3. Table Leg 25.5″ – $25
  4. Table Top – $50
  5. #6 Self-Tapping Screws x 6
  6. #12 Self-Tapping Screws x 6

TOOLS REQUIRED:

  • Drill / Impact Screwdriver
  • Dremel or Rotary Tool (optional for flush mount)
  • Metal & Plastic cutting attachments for Dremel
  • Safety Glasses and Mask

STEPS INVOLVED:

  • PUT ON SAFETY EQUIPMENT
  • Measure the hole needed to cut by marking out the flush mount against the bottom of the table
  • Using a router attachment, route out a hole against the plastic (the plastic will produce a lot of small shavings you don’t want in your eye or to accidently breathe in)
  • Test fit the flush mount (the hole will be shallow) and mark out the about needed to trim from the mount
  • Using a metal cutting attachment, trim the flush mount to the required height
  • Test fit
  • Mount the flush mount onto the bottom of the tabletop with #6 self-tapping screws
  • Drilling through the carpet – Mount the Protruding Table Base in between the captain chairs using #12 self-tapping screws
  • Be mindful to mount it centered in between the two chairs and not centered against the center console of the dash. The center console is actually right-of-center to accommodate the driver foot well.

THE DOWN LOW:

You can choose a different style table top, so your mileage may vary on the installation but we like the oval nature of ours (utilized mostly for boating). It provides enough room to put two plates for eating or a laptop and mouse for work. The setup stows away under the master bed when not in use which another plus.

I’d prefer for the color to match the dinette table top but for how easy this mod is – we’re fine with the white color. Easy and functional – so this get’s a 10/10 on the DIY scale.

 


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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!