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Replacing the TV's in our 2001 Winnebago. Save money and do it yourself.

Updated on December 25, 2017
Don Bobbitt profile image

Don has been an avid traveler and motorhome owner for most of his life and shares his experiences with valuable tips.

Campers and RV Upgrades

OK, I admit, we Campers are a strange lot, in many ways.

We see things differently than most other people. For instance, if you show me a beautiful picture of a scene in the woods or the desert, or in the mountains, I automatically wonder if I could get my RV near that site and camp there.

If you tell me about a new appliance for RV's I automatically think about the cost of upgrading to this new appliance in my RV.

Its just the way we campers happen to be. Camping is always there, affecting how we think and see things.

To that end, my wife and I have just purchased ourselves a couple of Christmas presents.

Digital TV

Modern Digital TV's are lightweight and easy to install in an RV with the proper mounting system.
Modern Digital TV's are lightweight and easy to install in an RV with the proper mounting system. | Source

A new TV Purchase for an Old Winnie

We bought ourselves a pair of new TV's for our RV.

You see, we now have our RETRO-WINNIE, a 2001 Winnebago Adventurer, and the TV's are way out of date. The one in the bedroom is so small that our old eyes can't even read the text when a news station scrolls information across the bottom of the screen, and it no longer works wit a remote.

We even purchased a new universal remote, that admittedly cost more than the darn TV was worth, and the TV did not respond to the remote.

And, the TV in the Living area is an old Analog one that requires that we use one of those digital converter boxes that so many of us purchased when all of the stations started generating only digital TV signals.

So, as the Holiday approached , I saw amazingly low prices on new TV's and we started talking. Finally, yesterday, I jumped off of the fence and we went to one of the big retailers, Best Buy, and loaded up two new TV;s for our old WINNIE.

I ended up purchasing a 32-inch for our bedroom and a 40-inch for our Living Area.

Video Selector Control Center

Quest QS53D Video Control Center
Quest QS53D Video Control Center

I had to purchase one of these that had the latest technology to receive and amplify digital Tv signals as well as the old Analog signls

 

New TV Selection Criteria

Now, of course, we could have purchased the latest and greatest technology on the TV's we would install, but we did take the time to sit down and do a reality check on our actual needs.

First of all, we love our RETRO-WINNIE and plan to keep it for a while. But, at the same time, we didn't want to go crazy and have an exotic (and expensive) Audio-Video system that was worth more than our RV (well maybe not more, but you can spend a lot of money in this world of technology).

Secondly, even though we once traveled a lot of the year in our RV's when we were younger, we now travel a lot less and for shorter periods of time.

This drove us to control our enthusiasm and make some logical (and less costly) decisions on just what we really needed in our RV.

Here is the selection criteria I used and you might consider if you are looking to upgrade your RV TV's.

RESOLUTION:

My RV is old and its wired for coaxial connections between the antenna, the TV's and the other devices such as DVD players, etc. So, considering this, I felt that we only needed a resolution of 720. Why not 1080? well, there are several reasons.

My whole video system, is old but functional, but the reality is that we invariably are watching TV over our antenna or via the campgrounds Cable system. And, we do watch the occasional DVD if the weather outside is bad.

Even though many of the stations we would receive over the antenna are higher resolution many are still showing older movies and even much of their newer stuff is being broadcast at 720 and at times only 480 resolution. So, to us, 1080 just doesn't look $200 to $400 per TV better for us than the ones that are 720 resolution, and right now that's what the price differential happens to be.

And campground cable? Usually it is a joke. Most campgrounds are still providing the older analog cable signal and usually the signal you do receive at your camper is poor at best.

And the ones that have changed over to digital cable, are a little better, but no greatly so.

So, for us, we figured that 720 resolution is a great leap forward in technology, so we settled.

Connections on the TV

Even though we would be using the coaxial connections on our new TV;s we wanted certain other connections on the TV also.

We wanted;

HDMI

For the future, I wanted at least 2 HDMI inputs so that we could connect DVD players or other video devices to the TV's if we wanted to in the future.

And, the fact that most video accessories such as DVD players only provide an HDMI output these days makes having at least one HDMI connection on your TV a must.

Plus, even though my older WINNIE is hard-wired for coaxial connections to everything, it is possible to add HDMI wiring if I want to upgrade again in a few years.

USB

I wanted at least 1 USB connector. This was important to me because with a USB connector I have the option of connecting one of the new Google or Amazon or other WIFI interfaces for receiving and streaming such movie sources as; Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Redbox and others.

These WIFI adapters are cheap and can be replaced as the world of WIFI movie suppliers changes and you are not stuck with an OLD "Smart TV".

Also, I can connect my PC to the USB connector and play movies and videos that I have recorded myself, and even my PC screen data, and not even need WIFI access.

Audio/Video Output

And, ideally, I wanted one Audio Video Output so I could record movies and TV shows from my TV to my PC so I can watch them at my convenience in the future.

With these connections, I have the best chance to upgrade my Audio and Video systems in my Rv in the future as the technology used evolves.

Removing the Old TV's and installing the new.

Of course, now that I have purchased these new TV's, I have to tell you that they are a lot bigger than the old ones that were mounted inside the RV cabinetry.

This is always the big problem for campers who want to upgrade their TV's in an RV. The simple fact is that the older your RV, the smaller the size of the TV's mounted in them.

And, the cabinetry, although beautiful, is a major problem for the novice, when you start looking at how to mount that newer and larger TV.

So, a certain level of creativity is required to get that nice new, widescreen, High Definition TV mounted properly and still look good in your RV.

Being an RVer for so long, and a jackleg at just about everything, I have ideas on what I have to do to get my new TV's mounted.

My next Hub will detail the process I am going through and that probably all of you will need to go through if you upgrade your own Tv's.

How to install a TV antenna Booster

© 2014 Don Bobbitt

Comments

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    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      tirelesstraveler- Cold weather camping is for the more staunch campers and as I see that you are one, I am impressed. At the same time, the conditions you are talking about makes the home fires a much more intelligent choice. Better luck with the weather soon. LOL!

      DON

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      3 years ago from California

      So glad we didn't go camping yesterday. 29 degrees with winds up to 50 mi/hour. Pop-ups don't fare well in that kind of wind.

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      3 years ago from California

      So glad we didn't go camping yesterday. 29 degrees with winds up to 50 mi/hour. Pop-ups don't fare well in that kind of wind.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      craftdrawer- Fantastic. I hope my analysis of our needs versus our desires has been of some help in your selection decision.

      Good Luck,

      DON

    • craftdrawer profile image

      craftdrawer 

      3 years ago

      We were just looking at purchasing a new television and this was very helpful and informative.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Genna East- What you say is true, the changing technology is always a challenge when making a personal choice.

      The biggest hurdle when upgrading your TV in an RV is size. The TVs in RVs are inherently smaller than what we are used to in our homes today.

      So, although I have purchased the TVs, I am busy figuring the best way to mount my significantly large ones and make the installation look good.

      Ans, as you can guess, there is another article coming on "How to mont a new larger TV in your RV" .

      Thanks for the read,

      DON

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      You certainly had many things to consider before making this purchase...and this rapidly changing world of technology doesn’t make it any easier – for any of us, really. You reviewed your options thoughtfully, and expertly. Interesting article. Happy New Year!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      tirelesstraveler- Good points about books, and we do read a lot ourselves. But having the local channels with the news and weather is always good to have.

      Thanks for the read and Comment,

      DON

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      3 years ago from California

      I think we should go camping next week. Nothing cozier than a snug camp trailer or RV. We are in the 60's during the day and 30's at night. We don't have a TV, but books work nicely too. I must say the flat screen TV was the best thing to come down the pike in a long time.

      Happy New Year!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      Iris Draak- You make me blush! As you know, we writers love compliments even as we accept them begrudgingly. Hopefully, my description was written well enough to be entertaining.

      Have a great day? BTW, Snow? Brrrrrr! 70's outside here. LOL!

      DON

    • Iris Draak profile image

      Cristen Iris 

      3 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Don, every time I read your RV posts I want to go camping even though it's snowy outside!

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      BlossumSB- Thanks for the holiday comment.

      If you have been Caravaning" for a while then you know that things like electronics will eventually go obsolete and need to be updated.

      We have been married for 46 years so a couple of new TV's for our RV made a lot of sense to us.

      Have a great day,

      DON

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 

      3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      What a great idea - and RVs, or motorised caravans as we usually called ours, are such a source of enjoyment.

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      And Happy holiday wishes to you, Billybuc. May your Christmas be wonderful, and being in Washington, DRY! LOL!

      DON

    • Don Bobbitt profile imageAUTHOR

      Don Bobbitt 

      3 years ago from Ruskin Florida

      WillStarr- You are so right. Here I am buying 32-inch LED TV's for $150 and just three years ago they were several times that cost.

      In fact one of the things my wife and I considered was the fact that at this price, we could upgrade and still no have hurt ourselves when the "next generation" hits the markets.

      So, we bought these new ones and we will enjoy them at this price.

      Have a Happy Holiday, from Helen and I,

      DON

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Just stopping by to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 

      3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Nothing gets outdated faster than electronics, and unlike everything else, electronics just keeps getting cheaper and far, far better.

      Excellent Hub, Don!

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