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Old 07-17-2011, 12:07 PM   #1
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Front LCD TV install in 2005 Vectra (Long)

I just finished replacing the original Sony Tube TV up front in my 2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD with a new VIZIO M320VT LED LCD HDTV and I'm pretty happy with the results.

Here's the original TV:

Here's the box for the new one--it's only 1.62" thick which is really nice:

This is the Winnebago 'wart' that was soldered to the speakers in the Sony to feed into the coach sound system. I just unsoldered it from the Sony speakers:

This is the new LCD TV with the back panel removed so that I can attach the 'wart':

The black/white wire pair are soldered to the LEFT speaker:

The black/red wire pair are soldered to the right speaker:

I drilled a hole through the back of the new TV and inserted a rubber gromet to protect the exitting speaker wires:

Fortunately, the side panels are only attached to the faceframe with screws--no glue, so I could remove them easily. I needed to route out the maple faceframe on each side to allow room for the wider LCD panel. This shows the area on the back of the right side of the faceframe that needs to be routed out:

Here's what needs to be routed out on the other side:

This picture shows the new TV in place on the faceframe (before routing) to check the fit:

This is the fit check on the other side:

I needed to cut back the steel framework on both sides to make room for the new TV. I used a hand held jigsaw to cut the steel--due to the clearances involved I needed to cut off the end of the sawblade (using my Dremel cutoff wheel) so that I wouldn't hit the cabinets on either side while sawing. Here's the area on the right side that needed to be cut:

Here's the area on the left side:

This shows the area I routed out on the right side panel of the faceframe to allow room for the new TV:

After I screwed the side panel back on I needed to grind off a bit of the screw heads for the middle screws so that they wouldn't stick out into the routed out area--there was just enough room to do this! This shows the other side panel of the faceframe, similarly routed out:

Here's the mounting bracket for the new TV. The silver metal is actually an adjustable length computer rack support rail that I had in my scrap pile. The black metal is part of the "VideoSecu Low Profile Ultra Slim TV Wall Mount for 26-46" LCD LED Plasma Flat Panel Screen Display MP145B A11" that I used:

Here's the new TV in place without the maple faceframe:

I lined the inside of the routed out area in the faceframe with stick on green felt to cushion the TV and help to eliminate any squeaks. I needed to widen the opening in the front of the faceframe by about 1/4" on each side--I did that very carefully with the router, lightly sanded and rounded over the cut edge, and applied a coat of satin polyurethane varnish to the unfinished edge to blend in with the existing finish. I decided to leave out the five screws that formerly attached the plastic surround to the faceframe, allowing me to remove just the plastic shroud for access later without removing the maple faceframe. Here's everything back in place.

Another view of the finished product:

To fill up the roughly 1 1/4" gap at the bottom I used a piece of clear plexiglass, spray painted black on the back side and attached with some silicone sealant to the faceframe below the TV. I also routed out a small lip along the bottom to support that. Here's a final view of the result:

Chris Beierl

2005 Winnebago Vectra 36RD
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:19 PM   #2
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What an outstanding job! Your interior looks to be an exact copy of ours. We have the '04 Itasca Horizon, 36GD and yours is the RD , what ever all the letters mean. Anyway, your wood, surround sound speakers etc look all the exact same. I'm really impressed with the quality of work. I'm certainly going to keep this around for when I opt to do ours.

By the way, I see you picked an LED instead an LCD. As I stated in the other thread, we just picked ours up from Costco a few days ago to replace the one in the garage. Now, while in the store, we went back and forth viewing LCD screens vs LED screens. And, we did it, size for size so we were comparing apples to apples. I/we opted for the LCD because in the store, the picture "appeared" to be a bit clearer and more vivid.

I know the LEDs are the "up and coming" new or re-emerging technology but, we simply were not that impressed. One more thing, I also know that the store, like all other stores that sell TVs, has an in-house system for application on the screens to make them seem even more real and vivid than true life. But, when we got that LCD home, out of the box, and plugged in and working, it was not that vivid and bright.

We had to make some off camber adjustments to make it bright enough to watch in the garage. Your thoughts please on why you chose the LED version, if you may.

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Old 07-17-2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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I went with the LED LCD because I wanted the thinness (1.62" in this case). The thicker the TV the more of the steel framework I would have to cut out to make room for it.

On Edit: The TVs also have different "Picture Modes", including a 'retail' setting for store display. I found that the 'movie' setting seems to work pretty well in the RV. You can also tweak the settings yourself if you don't like one of the canned ones.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:39 PM   #4
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Btw, the difference between an 'LCD' and an 'LED LCD' is that the former uses a fluorescent bulb(s) to illuminate the LCD and the latter uses LEDs to illuminate it. The LEDs are smaller and allow for a much thinner TV.
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Old 07-17-2011, 03:54 PM   #5
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Very nice job. We have a 2007 Meridian and I installed the Vizio led(we do alot of dry camping)The only thing we did different was we added a blue-ray DVD player, from there we ran the HDMI cables so its component to component thus getting rid of the "bullet".We left the old dvd/surround sound combo in and still use it as the surround sound(you can buy the blue-ray/surround combo for $350)We use a A/B switch for the TV and blue-ray operation
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cbeierl View Post
I went with the LED LCD because I wanted the thinness (1.62" in this case). The thicker the TV the more of the steel framework I would have to cut out to make room for it.

On Edit: The TVs also have different "Picture Modes", including a 'retail' setting for store display. I found that the 'movie' setting seems to work pretty well in the RV. You can also tweak the settings yourself if you don't like one of the canned ones.
Both TV's are LCD TV's. The LED LCD TV's use LED back lights which is claimed to be a better white light than the previous LCD TV's that use florescent light source. The LED LCD TV's are also lighter and substantially thinner.
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Old 07-17-2011, 08:24 PM   #7
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Nice install.!!!!!!! We put a Vizio 26" LED in our bedroom and am just waiting for the right price on the 32s. LED's are definately thinner and lighter and I do believe that they also use less power which would be good for boondocking. We also got such a deal on the 26r in Walmart in Myrtle Beach last year that we couldn't pass it up. At 189 it was cheaper than the LCD's!!!
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Old 07-18-2011, 06:07 PM   #8
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cberiel, very impressive! Very clean install!

I also just finished swapping out the old Sony for a Vizio. I ended-up doing a 'floating' install as you can see from my pic.

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One thing worth mentioning is about the in-line filter for the speakers (I think you referred to it as the 'wart'? ). Instead of soldering the in-line-filter to the new LCD's speakers, I found it easier to reconnect the in-line-filter directly to the surround sound amp. I just replaced the 'cut wire' ends with RCA female plugs. Then at the surround sound amp I disconnected the TV audio input line. I then plugged the TV audio jacks into the in-line-filter's female plugs. Last, plugged the in-line-filter male jacks into the surround system amp. It works like a champ!
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:55 PM   #9
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Great install job! Coincidently I just got back from Sam's Club where I was measuring TV's for potential use to replace my mid mounted Sony. I was thinking I might try cheap and use it for the guest room when not on the road. Hear are the dementions I snapped. $398 and it is 20.8 by 30.4 inches. It's actually only 19+ inches high without the stand.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:23 PM   #10
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We just came from The Rally at Redmond OR. Our TV's have been working just fine, except when we got there the front TV only had static for sound and no picture. After I tried "bouncing" it the picture would come on. Had to do that several times over the 5 days we were there. It's nine years old so I guess it's lived a good life. We have four Samsung TV's in the stick house and was considering replacing the ones in the MH with them, but now I see that Jensen is making "ruggedized" ones for RV's. Seems like a good idea but I see regular Samsung's and Sony's and what ever else in MH's too.
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Old 07-19-2011, 03:55 PM   #11
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Chris i would like to say that turned out AWESOME !!!!!!!! Great job
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Old 08-07-2011, 06:47 PM   #12
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This is for information Only.. We have a VIZIO Junker TV, I say that because Of what I'm posting. I took the Front TV out of out Ultimate advantage; It had the old tube, we wanted to up date. Well the 26" Vizio fit in nicely with a bit of adjusting. That STUPID sales person said just plug the speakers in In the plug in the back of the set.. Well Hello; It does not have a powered out put.. SO my next stupid mistake was to make up the Prior posted Resistor Bridge andExpect the coach speakers to work. After 3 times IN and out with the TV> I pulled that Wireing garbege Off and put it it the garbage, When I had Installed the Set The First time I thought Well a wire got shorted, #2 check shorted wire #3 check shorted wire;; Still no sound.. Then I found a shamatic Viola. Top speaker out put, Is 3 to 5 watts. And sound MUST be amplafied so I syill have my TV set with the Grilla speakers that Measure less then 1" by 2" To put that small of a speaker in a TV is the Height Of stupidty;; I thing we should find all thoes ENgineers, and like someone once Said;; WHO said that.. (get a rope) Life is good
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:29 AM   #13
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Chris nice job.how much time and money was put into it.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:43 AM   #14
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Looks like a great job to me.

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