Hate to pee on your parade but I just don't see how that large of a TV is really necessary, it also blocks the cabinets which kind of makes it look dumb. Power too ya but at some point you have to say "this is just too large" and use a smaller TV. I have a 39" in mine and I think it is too big. You only really sit 10' away. It's your money. I give it two thumbs down.
Now you tell me. I could have saved hundreds if I knew 39" was closer to optimal size. I'll have to try covering my screen duct tape to bring it down to proper dimensions.
Now you have me rethinking my gigabit Cat 5e network switch, LTE base station, THX 7.1 sound system, IR signal repeaters, 4x4 HDMI switches and 3 TB media distribution system too.
But I must agree: sitting 10' away from 50" TV is a bit ridiculous. That's how far we sit from our 12' screen at home. I going to have to find a way to sit a lot closer.
awesome conversion, now I am going to hijack your thread since I can't seem find (did a search already) how to change out our in dash tv to a flat screen, where to put it, if moved what to do with the hole it came out of etc. You did such a great job thought some of you might have a few suggestions or know where to find the info. Thanks all
Getting the old CRT TV out is generally the hardest part. These behemoths were heavy, so they are hard to lift, and especially well attached by the OEM.
I pulled the original CRT out 4 years ago, so I can't remember all of the details. There were 3 steps with my MH:
1. Remove the wooden frame around the front of the TV.
2. Remove the metal brackets top and bottom that prevented the CRT from moving forward and back.
3. (the hard part). Our CRT had a nylon strap that wrapped from bottom-front over the top-back of the CRT to prevent it from tipping forward. The trick was to pull the TV forward from the front-bottom to edge it out from under the strap. Hard pulling is needed, but eventually, out it came.
I strongly recommend the method I am now using with a plywood box flush with the front of the old cabinet. The TV sticks out a bit more. But as you can see, it is possible to fit almost any size TV. If you want a flush mount, you can get a 1" thick TV without much difficulty these days.
Also pay attention to the power, HDMI and other connections. With the 32" and 40" LCD's I used previously, all connections were inside the original cabinet. With the 50" TV, only the power connection is in the box. All other come emerge from the adjoining cabinet but are hidden by the TV itself.
Just wondering about head space as you enter ClassAGeek.
That's a good question. In our front engine MH, the doghouse is right below the TV. It is pretty hard to get anywhere near it while standing or sitting. The windshield is large enough that the view is generally unobstructed too.
If your entry door is at the front, you might have more concerns about clearance. But you are also climbing up a few stairs so you will likely need to measure more carefully than I did. As I mentioned before, 16:9 flats screens don't gain much vertical height as they get larger.
I think many MH's could install bigger TV's. I suspect the manufacturers don't want to cough up the extra $500 or so. Too bad. I find this setup beats squinting like I used to do with a 32" LCD.
Yes. A thinner frame surrounding the display means a larger TV can fit in the same space. That was the motivation for trying a 50" TV. I originally thought that I would be limited to a much smaller unit. Of course the width of the frame is not included in the size specification of a North American TV. In fact, many LCDs and Plasmas actually measure 0.5" less owing to the old standard that compensated for CRT glass curvature and still allows manufacturers to slightly inflate their specifications.
The wide aspect ratio is interesting too. Increasing a 16:9 LCD by 10" raises the external height by less than 4" and sometimes more when a manufacturer uses a thinner 'chin' than before..
I must admit: The area behind the screen would be nice to use. I am not sure I can find hinge that could support 40 lbs, be completely silent while travelling and allow minimum clearance between the top of the display and the ceiling. I will keep looking.
As it is, I still have some road tests to complete to make sure this new TV doesn't move. Gassers are loud enough without a TV adding to the chorus.
Like many MH owners I am happy with my recent LCD TV upgrade. But unlike most, it took me 3 upgrades to be completely satisfied. Here are some of my experiences.
Upgrade #1 in 2009
Let's start with the hole left by original 23" CRT:
The box that framed the original TV is 6 gauge steel. It will hold just about anything. With that in mind, I built a mounting frame out of mainly 2x4 pine to secure the new LCD TV:
I thought getting a new TV the same width as the original made sense. As such, I settled on a 32" LCD :
There were two problems with this upgrade:
1. The new LCD TV had the same width as the original but a wider aspect ratio meaning I had to add wood trim, top and bottom.
2. The 2x4 frame looks solid but it would actually flex when driving, causing the TV to rattle.
In 2011, I tried Upgrade #2 and installed a 40" LCD TV. It looked much better but small pieces of wood trim were still needed top and bottom.
Upgrade #3 in 2013
I always thought a 50" TV would work in the front of a MH. This year I decided to find out.
To address the flexing issue, I built a new box frame out of 3/4" laminated plywood. I used it successfully in Upgrade #2 with the 40" TV. Here it is, with new holes drilled for the 50" TV:
You can see how some of the cutouts from the 40" TV no longer work. This frame is so rigid and strong, I didn't see any need to worry.
The new box frame is mounted flush with the original TV frame with four stainless steel screws holding it in place:
The new TV is a 50" LED LCD. It fits surprisingly well, extending only 3" below the original frame. Two of the cupboard doors are partially blocked, but frankly, they are rarely used. Most important: None of the viewing angles of the driver or co-pilot are obscured:
So there it is. A 50" TV works very nicely.
There are a couple of advantages with this setup:
1. The LED backlighting is brighter than the previous TVs. This means significantly better daytime performance.
2. This display has better 'off axis viewing' than before. It means you can sit at extreme off-center angles and still see a good image.
3. This is not the thinnest TV I could find. Rather than pick some of the 1" thick alternatives that I have used successfully at home, I chose a TV that would give me room behind for access to the HDMI and composite connectors
Anyways, I hope these pictures help anyone considering a big TV upgrade.
Now I just have to stop thinking how to get a 60" TV to fit.
Any LP gas company can fill your tank
I can show you at least two around here that can't!
Their hoses are to short because they do the portable tank filling inside the propane shed.
There is no such LP facility between my home and areas where we normally camp. To find such a place, I must drive our MH out of our way @ $1 per every 2 miles. Not something I like to do.
It's not lack of planning or not knowing that I will need to refill in June. It's driving the MH to places I would not usually go just to refill its permanent tank. That costs money and time. Refilling portable tanks truly costs less in term of both, given our situation. I appreciate and envy the other places in the US where filling permanent tanks is not a big deal.
Classageek....most don't know that you can fill your mounted mh tank fron the 20 or 30lb cyl. I do this all the time just hookup the extend a stay and turn the 30lb cyl up side down the liquid lp will flow into the main tank as long as the small tank is warmer. It takes about 30 min. to transfer 30lb. I have kept my main tank full this way for 20 yrs. Hope this helps.
Now that sounds interesting.
Frankly, that's how I thought the Extend-a-Stay T valve worked before I bought one. When I discovered it only sent gas through the existing regulator to my coach and not into my permanent tank, I was disappointed.
So yes, further details would be appreciated.
Hi Class A geek,
I have the same problem in Saskatchewan. Small towns can not accommodate filling the main tank.
It would be possible to have extend-a-stay tank installed in a (vented) storage compartment. Just run off it all the time.
I will be part timing after May 1 and will be using lots more propane--so I'll be giving up some storage for the tank. As a side benefit the compartment will have some heat coming to it--which should take care of the problem of -40 weather and propane.
Thanks for the note. As you describe, finding ways to fill a permanent tank varies depending on where you live and where you camp.
I personally find the Extend-a-Stay solution to be the "worst of both worlds" (no offence to anyone!). If I have a 60 gal tank that is empty, hauling around a extra portable tank seems to make the problem worse.
We are weekend campers who move around all the time. We aren't trying to extend-our-stay as much as we need to fill our tank when moving from place-to-place. It is not uncommon to be 100 miles from a suitable facility. Given that it costs $1 to drive 2 miles in an MH, driving out of our way for LP is just too expensive in terms of money and time. I prefer to take the toad when I need to drive that far. But that's not even relevant since portable tanks can be refilled by driving just a few miles, exchanging them at a CG or taking them to Costco during the week when we are not camping.
Rather that use an Extend-a-Stay, I would like to have the normal two tank TT arrangement where any one tank can be removed while is being refilled, leaving the other connected and fully functional. Sure this is not optimal for people who stay in one place for long periods but it is useful for those of us who can't fill our tanks easily over the course of several weeks of weekend travel.
Thanks for the comments.
In Northern NY and Southern Ontario, auto propane stations capable of refilling permanent tanks are rare. I don't like having to search them out. Propane refilling of portable tanks or even tank exchange facilities are ubiquitous and never an issue. I have an Extend-a-Stay but never use it. I don't want to carry extra portable tanks in addition to permanent tanks. I really prefer the TT arrangement where I can refill at my convenience.
I will continue looking for conversion information. Thanks!
I miss precious few things since trading our TT for a MH years ago. But I sure miss the convenience of portable, serviceable, replaceable, Costco refillable LP tanks. Has anyone ever done a conversion?
Where we travel, we simply don't have ready access to stations that can fill a MH tank.
It doesn't look like a complicated conversion so long as the portable tanks can be secured in an upright position. We have room in our existing bay.
Can it be done? Is it legal?
Nice rig :)
I would fasten one of your old tires as a spare in the area behind the rear axle. I wish front engine MH's did this by default. There's plenty of room. If you drive long enough, you will use it.
I am not challenging your expertise. I am curious. If a dealer makes a certain amount of “extra” money by providing his financing, wouldn’t that make him want to “make up” that lost revenue in the sales price on a cash deal?
In other words, would he not try for a higher selling price on a cash deal rather than less?
I do not claim to be an expert, others that have posted I am sure know more than me. But they call it the four square deal ( you can google it) The four squares being 1 new price 2 trade in 3 add ons and warrenty 4 financing.
The dealer combines all of these together, to make his money and feed his family. The buyer often just looks at one part, say the trade in value, and thinks wow the sure gave me a lot for the trade in. What he does not realize is he got beat up on the other 3. Or at least paid more than he could have, becuase all parts can be negiotaed. So the buyer thinks he got the deal of the century, when in fact not so much.
So yes I believe the cash price can be higher. But in reality it is lower, Becuase dealer financing is usually higher than say a credit union, so with the extra interest it ends up being more. Folks don't realize the dealer sells the higher interest loan and recieves a piece of that loan as commision, thus adding to the actual sales price
The above maybe incorrect, but that at least is how I see it
The articles you are reading are written by people on the sales side of the business.
When the risk is high, a dealer will have to pay a finance company to help ignite sales with more favorable terms. Sketchy used car lots can pay up to 20% to induce lenders to take on less than perfect loans.
RV sales involve risk because the decline in wholesale value of an RV often outpaces the finance payments, putting the loan under water. RVs are also hard to sell in many geographies for up to nine months a year, adding to potential finance costs. Pay cash and you always get a good price. Financing an RV rarely helps. The sales people will tell you otherwise (naturally).
I worked in a car dealership 30 years ago. The selling agenda is still the same: The lowest price is based on the price paid by the dealer. The profit and commission is driven by selling for more than that number. What the product is 'worth' is very subjective and not really that important. Get each buyer to 'pay as much as you can' is more the rule than exception, no matter who you are dealing with.
I am sorry to say: if the price drops after you make an offer, it is more a reflection of your negotiating skills than an unscrupulous dealer. Please don't take offence! Salespeople make a living at selling for maximum profit. As an amateur buyer, you are at a great disadvantage.
Here are some tips I can share:
1. NEVER pay a deposit (refundable or not) before agreeing to a final price. Some dealers insist. I refuse. It gives the dealer an unnecessary advantage.
2. WALK AWAY for a little while. Every major purchase I have made is over the course of several days. The salesperson, no matter how nice, needs to sweat over their commission for a few days. Trust me on this one.
3. NO EMOTION. I don't love or even like what I am buying. This is a business transaction. Be business like. That applies especially to the salesperson. If your partner can't do this, then have them avoid the negotiation phase. FWIW: My wife NEVER comes to the closing discussions. She just signs the papers at a later time.
4. Finance elsewhere AND/OR PAY CASH. The salesperson has no business knowing your finances other than the simple statement that you have limited funds to allocate to this transaction. Never forget to make that your opening position - and don't waiver. If the price gets too high, walk away. If the price is fair, negotiations can always restart - even with another salesperson if necessary. Some of my best negotiations have come by simply getting a new, more motivated salesperson at the same dealer.
Note: When you finance elsewhere, the dealer gets cash on settlement day. As such, you are paying cash as far as the dealer is concerned. Cash is THE best negotiation tool. Period.
The bathroom sink in our model is most certainly connected to the black water tank. It was clearly a conscious decision by Gulf Stream since the shower, which is closer to the black water tank, drains into the grey tank by passing over the black tank.
I actually like this configuration. It speeds winterizing since I don't have to prop the toilet open to flush continuously.
It doesn't matter for us anyways: I installed a extra ABS knife valve on the common down pipe between the two tanks. Total cost: $8 and 30 minutes to install. When I want to balance the tanks, I just close the new valve, and open both of the original grey and black valves. Liquid in both tanks equalizes, and problem is solved,
It amazes me that all coaches don't have this extra valve. Go figure.
I have a feeling that a great portion of the attitudes regarding definite replacement at 5 - 7 yrs is not based on anything very scientific or studied.Jamie
I don't think 5 years has ever been seriously mentioned. Time for an opinion on the other side.
I will continue examining my tires every year. More closely at 7 years. More closely still at 10 years. If I see no defects I will not replace a tire regardless of age.
I will a) keep my speed below 60 mph, b) maintain precise PSI with a TPMS and c) adjust for changes in ambient temperature and load.
I believe the last 3 items have more to do with tire failure than anything else. Tire age simply amplifies any related errors.
The above procedure has worked for 15 year with previous RV's. And yes, a normal distribution is relevant, so chances are good l will get 20 years if I keep my current MH that long.
>>The consensus of a large number of MH owners agree that 7 years from date code...
It is the consensus of several people on this forum. Let's be fair: few actual statistics have been offered one way or the other. I have read stories on this forum that people receive upwards of $100 per tire as 'trade-in bounty'. Apparently transport drivers are happy to buy these discarded RV tires with at least 100K miles left on them.
I put as much faith in this story as the FUD suggesting a 7 year old tire is suddenly a hazard. Here's why: I can't imagine a statistical model that says a 6 year old tire is fine and a 7 year old tire is an instant hazard. That's a pretty steep change in probability. Moving from good to bad that quickly doesn't follow an expected normal distribution. Excluding some kind of 'manufacturer induced magic time bomb', there is little chance that year seven is the first time instance when a large number of tires fail if the number of failures in prior years has not started ramping up (again following a normal distribution).
I suspect year seven is the time period when age related failure starts in something like the 0.175% probability range. With 6 tires per average RV, that's one bad tire on every 100 MHs. You could then expect 25% failure in year 14 and something like 50% failure is likely in year 21. But I don't know the distribution curve for tire failure. You could get to 25% failure in 10 years or 30 years. The "seven year cliff" described here just sounds to be the least unlikely.
Many of you have a math or engineering background. You know I am right about distribution models. Maybe it is time to speak up?
Actual testing on my modifications shows them "safe" for the waste tanks to -27.7 C (-18 F). That test was performed with NO heat in the RV other than a 200 watt fan based heater controlled by a mechanical thermostat. It would be easy to add some more wattage in the form of a light bulb, or I could use a 500 watt heater instead.
That's good to hear.
It wouldn't work in my coach where the hot and cold pipes for the bathroom follow the driveshaft for about 15' and are not near any compartments. Same goes for the hot water tank fill pipe. The kitchen drain also traverses several compartments. All these pipes are embedded in about 1/2" of foam under the floor and can't be wrapped with warming filaments. There is about 6 inches between compartment walls and the drain and water pipes. Heating that space would require a heating source between the storage compartments and floor.
I can see a coach with AquaHot flooring working if ALL water pipes are between the floor and with some serious insulation. Pipes in the wall would be bad.
The continuous water flow idea mentioned earlier is very innovative. But if it fails, then getting the frozen water out will be a pain.
Heated compartments and light bulbs won't work in Northern NY today. Our overnight temperature will be -5°F. If you want a winter-ready RV, I would say handling temperatures down to -20°F is a necessity.
Here's what happened when my old tank got clogged with calcium and didn't drain properly in the fall:
Needless to say: I am now very careful to ensure all pipes and tanks are properly winterized.