About a month ago my son and I traveled to Greenville, SC to a car show. A local Airstream dealer had a new Interstate on display. The first thing I noticed was the larger front TV. My wife and I occasionally watch movies and the standard 18" is pretty small to view from the rear seat. So I decided to upgrade to the new 28" Samsung TV. I found the same model that Airstream is using on eBay. Below you can see the difference in size.
Not wanting to reinvent the wheel, I decided to purchase the mounting kit from Airstream. We were planning on traveling to northern Indiana from our NC home for Thanksgiving so I called them to order the kit and pick it up at the factory on our way to Indiana. I pre-paid for the kit and expected to be there no longer than 10 minutes to pick it up. We ended up being there an hour because they had the wrong part number in their system for the plate that mounts to the TV. They were very nice about it but it was disappointing to have to waste that much time.
The kit consists of the wood part with hinges and catches that attaches to the front storage area, the steel plate that attaches to the TV and the studs and wing nuts for attaching the plate to the TV.
I removed the original TV and cleaned up the wiring in anticipation of installing the new TV. Since this TV does not have a built-in DVD player, I bought a Blue Ray player at Wal-Mart and, using Velcro, I installed it on top of my Dish receiver.
Airstream's TV vendor modifies the TV's to allow the use of headphones by adding some additional wiring. You can see that wiring below on the old TV. Since we are using Bluetooth headphones and never use the standard headphone jacks, I discarded this wiring.
I laid everything out on my bed to mount the plate to the TV. Once it was mounted I mounted the catches to the plate. Initially I mounted them both in the same direction but soon discovered that they were mounted in opposite directions to allow the TV to latch to the base mount.
The hinges have slots in them. After starting the nut on each of the studs, I placed the hinges on the plate and tightened the nuts just enough so I could slide the TV out of the slots.
In making this upgrade, I had decided to remove the sliding plastic doors on the front storage area. With the new TV being larger, little of that area in seen and this allowed me to run the cables to the through the back of the mount. To make that work I had to drill a 1" hole in the center of the mount. Since I wanted both of us to be able to see the entire screen from the rear sofa, I offset the TV towards the left side and mounted the base,
The four screw holes from the original mount were visible. To make them less visible, I simply inserted the original screws.
Now I was ready to mount the TV to the base mount. The nice thing about the new mount is that you can tip the TV out at the bottom for access to the rear.
With the TV mounted, I was ready to wire it up. Through the 1" hole I ran the TV power cord, the HDMI cables from the Dish receiver and the DVD player, and the headphone jack that is connected to the radio to hear the TV over the radio speakers. There are two studs on the mounting plate to use as places to secure the wiring. I had to extend the RG6 antenna cable to make it work. The wires have to be run to the top stud and then down to the bottom stud so the wiring runs along the bottom of the TV. This keeps them out of the way when you latch the TV to the base mount.
With the wires run, it was time to make sure everything worked. It did and and I am sure we will be very happy when we use this TV on our planned trip to Florida in January.