Welcome to the first entry in June’s Medium Mod Contest. One Medium Mod will be published in every Email Alert in June. At the end of the month we’ll hold a reader vote to determine June’s winner. Click here for information about the 2020 Mod Contest, including how to enter.
Van Wood, Radford, Virginia
12-Volt Flush Mount TV Installation
2003 Ford F-350
2018 Adventurer 86FB
Above: Kitchen wall before TV modification
When my wife and I researched various campers prior to purchasing our current 2018 Adventurer 86FB, the majority featured the television in the cabover area. We didn’t like this arrangement for the following reasons:
1. We don’t like watching TV from bed.
2. The speakers and entertainment center are often located in the main living area. We were not sure if the remote would even control the entertainment center from the cabover area. Plus, you would have to get up and crawl out of bed to switch out the DVD if you wanted to change movies.
3. In order to watch television in living/dinette area, the cabover located television would have to be swung out on an articulating arm. Even then the television is viewed down the hallway and cannot be seen by the person seated in the front dinette seat. The television being swung out in this position would also restrict access to the cabover area.
4. Most of the televisions located in the cabover areas are approximately 14-inches.
The Solution: 12-Volt Flush Mount TV Installation
There is an access plate underneath the shower drain pan located directly in front of the wall. I was able to use my borescope to view the void space in between the kitchen wall and the shower stall wall prior to cutting the hole in the wall.
Then I used a utility knife to cut the hole in the wall board. The cut hole has to be precise as the removed wall board is to be reinstalled in the newly cut opening.
I replaced the existing under cabinet light with a flush mount light to allow the television to swing out. I also had to shorten the kitchen faucet’s gooseneck. I relocated the removed under cabinet light to the closet in the cabover area to provide light in the closet.
There was enough slack in the wiring to shift it to the left of the newly created opening. I then cut the vertical support and framed out the opening with 1x stock. I used 3M double stick tape to reinstall the removed wall board section, and then chalked the perimeter of the wall board to the opening.
Next, I fabricated my own swing-out TV mount as most of the commercially available swing out mounts stand out from the wall 2.5 to-3 inches. The backing plate was fabricated from 18GA steel plate in which I welded a 1-inch by 1/8-inch flat bar to mount the continuous hinge to.
I re-routed the component video cable, sound cables and antenna’s wiring to the new TV area. I had one available 12-volt fuse slot in my distribution panel, so I routed the 12-volt power supply to the television from there.
I installed a sliding latch to the left of the opening to secure the TV while traveling. I also installed a nylon guide and a bumper to correctly position the TV when engaging the latch.
Finally, I framed out the TV installation with trim to match existing cabinetry. It took some experimenting with mixing Minwax stains to match the maple finish that is in our camper. I followed the staining with two coats on Satin Poly.
This mod has worked out great! With this installation, my wife and I can comfortably watch our TV from the dinette.
It took me 16-hours to complete this modification and cost me $253, including the TV. In my opinion, the skill level of this modification is medium.
Disclaimer: The modifications above are submitted by Truck Camper Magazine readers. It is your responsibility to make sure that any do-it-yourself modification project you undertake is safe, effective, and legal for your situation.
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