How to replace an RV TV

How to replace an RV TV

gary-736Dear Gary,
My husband and I are RV “newbies” and my question will probably sound stupid to veteran RVers. The two TVs in our fifth wheel (probably original equipment) are dual voltage (12/120). I know that means they can work when hooked up at a campground or on battery power from the “house” batteries if not connected to “shore” power. We’d like to replace them. Can we just use an ordinary TV or is there something different about the electric outlets/wiring/breakers in the RV that could ruin a new TV? Or does it just mean that the new TVs won’t work unless we’re connected to a campground power source?  —Sue L.

Dear Sue,
There’s no such thing as a stupid question, Sue. But you nailed it: A 120-volt AC (only) television will only operate whenever the shore cord is plugged in. Unless, of course, you have a generator or an inverter on your 5th wheel – both of which can be installed at any reputable RV service facility, by the way. All the receptacles and circuit breakers in the coach are 120-volt AC, similar to what you are accustomed to in a residential home. By swapping out the TVs, you lose the ability to watch while dry camping without hookups. But you can always add an inverter if that’s too much of a burden.

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.

##RVT813

 

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8 thoughts on “How to replace an RV TV

  1. JKING

    I’m a newbie to owning an RV and I have a couple of questions to ask.
    Winterizing the RV in the Midwest,can I perform this task if so what step do I need to take. What will be my priorities; lines,tanks, fuels and etc.
    Or should I have a professional perform the job?
    Next question, where do you suggest I purchase a TV made for a RV?

  2. bjensen6

    I replaced my Jensen 19″ 12 volt tv with an LG 32″ 110 volt tv. The tv actually works on 18 volts and has a transformer to get it from 110 to 18 volts. I have considered trying to find a 12 volt to 18 volt converter so that I can use the 12 volt tv socket. I do have a portable inverter that can handle 40 watts that I can use when I don’t want to use the generator.

  3. Tommy Molnar

    Interesting stuff about ‘regular’ TV’s having external 12 volt power supplies. Never heard of that. I’ve been pondering swapping out my 120 volt ac LCD TV for an LED TV (in the hopes of using less power when boondocking). The cost of 12 volt TV’s is pretty spendy – spendier than I really want to pay. Now I’m wondering if just replacing my current LCD TV with a new LED TV (another ac unit) would be better when running off my inverter and save me some bucks (and my batteries).

  4. Ron Schmitz

    I had to replace a Kwikee entry step motor on my 1 1/2 yr old motor home. It was never abused nor did it ever hit anything. Just goes in/out real hard, hitting the step stops both ways. It was easy 15 min fix, good U Tube on replacement, & Amazon has kwikee motor 379147 for under $80. My question is, the only thing wrong with motor was a stripped plastic gear. Its an AM Equipment motor, & I e-mailed them to see if they had replacement parts, no answer after 2 wks. Do you know if some company is selling this gear?

    1. Kenny Nugent

      Ron, I had that same problem on my 1989 Winnie Chieftain and found that the gear is actually the same as the one for a 1986 Ford Taurus electric window regulator motor . I bought it at Autozone for like $17. Take your old one with you.

  5. Wolfe

    My trailer came wired with 5.1 surround sound but no TV at all… I plopped a 32″ standard LED TV on the counter, chained down diagonally cantilevered, and its worked fine for 10,000 miles or so.

    The only caveat is the power drain… A rainy day boondocking with kids can cream the batteries since I require an inverter for it. Many normal TVs have external switching DC power supplies, so if you plan to run from batteries at all, try to get a TV that is actually running on a 12V adapter… Many “home” TVs are ready to go in the RV by just plugging into 12V instead of their adapter.

  6. John Connaughton

    We replaced our original CRT Style with a larger LED Panel. This TV works on 12vdc and I happened to have a connector in the TV Space with the correct size pin head on it. So when I first mounted the TV I connected this and it worked on the house batteries. But … over time I noticed that we’d get noise and the picture would get bad. Finally I took the original cord that came with this TV, regular 120vac plug, with an inline transformer and coming out of that 12vdc to plug into the TV. After switching to this setup and of course, on inverter when not plugged into shore power or on the generator, my noise/distortion issue went away. So I gather when on the straight 12vdc from the coach, the TV was susceptible to variations in voltage causing the noise/distortion. So I just thought I’d pass this info along.

    1. RV Staff

      Thank you for the info, John! First-hand tips from our readers are (usually) helpful, and we appreciate the input. Have a good evening. 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

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