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Thursday, October 20, 2016

How to Mount a TV on a Camper Wall DIY - with Invisible Reinforcement

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

I added a washing machine to my camper! Although it was a big improvement, it did require me to move the tv.  Here is the BEST way to mount it!
 Losing the tv isn't as big an issue as you might think, since I don't think we've watched our tv 3 times in all the months we've been camping. However, we like the 'possibility' of watching tv. We wouldn't want to be forced to not watch it . . . . even though we never do.

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

Anyway, the best place I could find to put the tv was over the foot of the bed. Because our camper is tiny, this meant it would be handy for watching in bed, but still swivel out to be seen in the 'dining room' (Our camper is only 18' long - there is only one room LOL)

While I was looking online for information about how to hang a tv on a thin, weak, camper wall I saw many posts about sticking a big hunk of plywood over the wall to reinforce it. So, that's what I started to do - I cut and sanded it, I even painted it! But the more I looked at it, the uglier it seemed. I really didn't want that thing on the wall!

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

So I thought a little harder, and when I took out the wall by the washer I had an epiphany - the walls in your normal camper are hollow, made with 1"x1" 'studs' and thin plywood paneling.  What if I put the reinforcement INSIDE the wall?

This has a number of advantages beyond just the aesthetic of not seeing a big hunk of wood screwed to the wall. First, since the 'studs' are such tiny pieces of wood, screwing a lot of screws (to hold the hunk of wood) weakens them. Then you have the fact that the wall is hollow behind it so that if you were using bolts, they would possibly pull through the hollow wall if any pressure is applied (like from a tv in a trailer bouncing down the road).

So, here is how I mounted my 24" tv/monitor (which is about 2x as large as the tv I removed) - 

First - carefully remove the thin plywood in the area you want to mount the tv/monitor. This can be done with a razor knife. The wall I was working with was 2' wide. I cut out a section about 2' high. 

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

I had the advantage of it being a wall with counters and cabinets on the other side. This meant that there was structural support within the wall at those points.  You can see the wood at the top and bottom of the hole I cut.

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

Next I cut a piece of 3/4" plywood to fit inside the hole. I drilled pocket holes on the sides that abut the supports.  If I didn't have supporting wood on the top and bottom, I would have gone side-to-side and fit it between the studs.  Then the pocket holes would be on the sides, going into the studs, instead of top and bottom. I put a good layer of wood glue on the back of the plywood before I inserted it into the hole and used appropriate length screws to attach it to the studs/supports.

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

Next, I replaced the panel I cut out, nailing it down on all four sides. I could have put wood glue on the front as well as the back for extra strength.

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

I marked where the holes for the mounting bracket needed to be, and drilled them straight through the wall.  Make sure you test to see if the tv swings out to where you want it. Our tv was large enough that I had to choose between having it 'hide' behind the wall or swinging completely into the 'great room' haha - we chose hiding, so it doesn't actually swing completely past the wall. To swing more fully, I would have to move the mount closer to the forward edge of the wall. 

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper - genius! Step-by-step instructions!
This is the bracket I bought - it was $12 and is very well made and looks to be very secure. If not, I can easily replace it. (affiliate link for your convenience). It was kind of stiff when it arrived, so I put a little vaseline on the hinges, and now it might be too easy to move ... oops. It does stay in position and I did make a restraining bungee for it. (I will post directions later)

I then bolted the bracket to the wall, and put molding over the raw edges of the cuts.

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper or rv - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper or rv - genius! Step-by-step instructions!You can see the bolts on the other side of the wall, above and below the knife rack. I could have used shorter bolts, but I wanted a lot of room for vibration loosening before the bolt actually fell out, in case we didn't notice it getting loose. (Also, they're the ones I had in my stash, LOL ) I have since put plastic caps on them so you don't scrape your fingers on them while reaching for  a knife. 


Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper or rv - genius! Step-by-step instructions!



Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper or rv - genius! Step-by-step instructions!Here is the finished installation - looks great!
Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper or rv - genius! Step-by-step instructions!And doesn't it look so much better than a big hunk of wood screwed to the wall?


It folds flat to the wall out of the way.

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper or rv - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

Here is how it swings out into the 'living area' or 'great room' as we call it - haha

Fantastic way to mount a tv in a camper or rv - genius! Step-by-step instructions!

Movie anyone?
Now, go outside and play! No TV until bedtime!!

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