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How to Install a Flat Screen TV in an RV: 2 Easy Ways

how to install a flat screen tv in an rv

The RV becomes even better to live in when it comes with a TV for entertainment. You can have a nice movie night or marathon your favorite TV show anytime, anywhere. When you have a TV and mounting hardware, the only missing part is learning how to install a flat screen TV in an RV.

It’s fairly easy when you have the right tools and materials. The critical part is to create a strong foundation for the bracket arm to bolt. You can install some cross beams or any piece of wood to hold the bracket more firmly.

Let’s learn how to do an easy RV TV installation.

What You’ll Need

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1. TV Wall Mount

For this job, you’ll need an RV flat screen TV mount to hold the TV in place. TV wall mounts for RV may come in different types – fixed, tilt, and full motion.

Fixed brackets are strong, but they lack screen movement. On the other hand, tilt models offer more adjustability, but only vertically.

We recommend a full motion wall bracket as you can move the TV in different positions – horizontal and vertical. Even when you’re far away from the TV, you can still get a better viewing angle.

Look for a secure RV TV mount locking mechanism to hold the TV in place.

2. Wood

For Method 1, we need four pieces of 2 x 4 scrap wood to be the mounting surface for your flat screen TV. Two wood pieces will be used for the side rails and another two for the cross beams. Together, they will make the mounting surface very sturdy.

Measure to ensure that the vertical pieces fit on the TV box, leaving some clearance at the bottom. Likewise, make sure that cross beams won’t stick out from the sides of the TV box.

For Method 2, you have the option to use a piece of wood to get more points of contact into the metal backing plate. Use wood with ½-inch thickness to get a stronger mount of the TV. The size should be the same as your metal backing plate.

3. Drill And Driver

For Method 1, a drill comes in handy to pre-drill the holes. Pre-drilling helps prevent splitting the cross beams when you attach them to the vertical pieces. The best size for the bit is about 1/8 inch.

For Method 2, you also need to drive the screws for the attachment of your wood and TV arm bracket. It might also be more convenient to pre-drill the holes before mounting the TV arm bracket because it’s slightly difficult to drill right behind the TV.

4. Screws

For Method 1, you’ll need plenty of screws to attach the 2 x 4 wood on the sides and center. We recommend getting 3-inch screws as they’re bigger than the width of the 2 x 4 wood pieces.

For Method 2, use screws that aren’t longer than your RV wall’s thickness, or else they’re going to pop through the outside of your RV. To go through the metal backing plate, use self-tapping screws. Tapered thicker screws are ideal for going through the wood piece.

5. Tape Measure

For Method 1, the tape measure comes in handy in finding a dead center when attaching the mount onto the cross beams. You also need to measure the clearance for your whole TV set to be moved easily.

For Method 2, a tape measure is very important to measure the thickness of your RV wall. You want the screws not to be longer than your wall, so they don’t pop through the outside of your camper horribly.

6. Pencil

For Method 1, you’ll need a pencil to mark the dead center for your mount. For Method 2, the pencil comes in handy in marking off where the metal backing plate is located on your RV wall.

A soft pencil that writes legibly is fine for both methods. If you can’t find a pencil around, improvise and use anything that can mark the spot that you need for mounting. A good alternative is colored tapes to mark the dead center and metal backing plate.

7. Additional Materials

For Method 1, you’ll need two L-brackets because you don’t want the setup to be flimsy. What you’ll be doing with the brackets is place them behind the cross breams just to make everything feel more secure. They help prevent the TV mount from falling apart whenever you move it in any direction.

For Method 2, you’ll need some magnets to help find the studs behind the TV backer sticker.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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After gathering all the essentials, follow the steps for each method below.

Method 1: Mounting In A TV Box

In this particular method, we’ll be installing your flat screen TV in your designated TV box. We’ll be making the side rails and cross beams to make a stable mounting surface. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Screw The Side Rails

Put the first piece of 2 x 4 wood on one side. Using your ⅛-inch bit, pre-drill the holes on the 2 x 4 wood for the screws.

Drive the screws from the inside, two pieces each at the top and middle. For the bottom part, drive the screws from the outside to give the vertical pieces more strength.

Next, position the second 2 x 4 wood on the other side. Do the same process – pre-drill and drive the screws in the same locations, from top to bottom. Make sure that you provide a clearance of 1-½ inches from the bottom so you can move the entire TV in whatever position.

Step 2: Do The Cross Beam Pieces

First, mount one L-bracket to one side and another L-bracket to the other side. Place the L-brackets at the mid part of the vertical pieces, then drive four screws at each L-bracket.

Now, lay one cross bream on the L-brackets horizontally, putting it in the middle where the RV TV bracket will be installed. Pre-drill four holes, then drive the screws in place. Next, place the second beam right below the first beam and do the same thing – pre-drill the holes, then drive the screws.

Step 3: Attach The Mount

Use a tape measure to find the dead center on the cross beams, then mark with a pencil for guidance. Next, pre-drill a hole for the bolts – two at the top and one at the bottom. Finally, tighten the bolts securely.

If there’s a wood frame, attach it properly. Once done, you can put the TV on it and start watching your favorite show or movie.

Watch the steps to install a flat screen TV in an RV here.

Method 2: Mounting On A TV Backer Sticker

If you have an RV that comes with a TV backer sticker, this is where you can install your TV. What this TV backer sticker means is that the manufacturer indicates the location of the studs for screwing in your TV mount.

Step 1: Find The Studs

The first thing you need to do is to locate the studs behind the TV backer sticker. Move those magnets around until you feel them sticking on the wall. At this point, you can kind of create a square box, and that’s where your holes should be drilled.

Mark that area with a pencil for guidance.

Step 2: Fix The RV TV Mount Bracket

You have two options here – attach the TV arm brackets directly or use a piece of wood. I like to use the latter as it offers a stronger mount.

To do the second option, screw the wood into the wall. Make sure that the self-tapping screws go through the wood evenly and securely. Once you’re done screwing the wood, mount the TV arm bracket onto it using tapered thicker screws.

Then, attach the TV to the mounting bracket.

Step 3: Enjoy Watching

After setting up the TV onto the arm bracket, you can now start watching your TV. You can also set up your DVD player behind the TV.

At this point, you might see some ugly wires hanging behind the TV. The best way to keep things tidy is to get some zip ties and hold the wires.

Conclusion

Instead of paying thousands of bucks to get someone to do it for you, you can follow the steps on how to install a flat screen TV in an RV above. Installing flat screen TV in RV is quite easy with the right foundation. You can create cross beams for an existing TV box or secure the TV mount on the wall.

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