One of the things I wanted to do from the start after getting the 396 XL earlier this year was to upgrade the TV. The front mounting space was really not large enough to install anything larger than a 32" TV. I really did not like sitting on the couch and having to turn my head sideways and looking up to watch TV, not to mention banging my head on that thing from time to time. I had seen on another Motor Home forum where people were removing the front TV and using a TV lift along the side. In looking at my layout I decided that I could install it on the wall where the small desk is across from the couch with slide on the other side of the coach. I could rework the cabinet and build an extension cabinet to hide the lift. The TV would raise up in front of the window area.
I took out the old cabinet built the extension going down the wall under the window and I was able to reuse some trim and molding that was already on the wall under the window so the front of the extension where the TV will be be would match. I found some Hickory boards here locally and built the top and the door that will open when the TV lift raises. Hickory is a hard wood and not that easy to work with but I was able to edge bond 3 pieces with glue and clamps together to make a wide enough top. I am sanded everything and used a light natural stain and finish the top with a brush on lacquer finish to match my existing wood in the coach.
The next step was routing the coax cable from the compartment above the drivers seat across the front concealed behind the overhead and cabinet areas. Then down the side over the door behind the curtain valance and down to the new cabinet. That was a job, but the cables are all concealed and everything above put back in place. I will be moving the Dish receiver and the the Coach switching box to the new cabinet and I ran 4 separate cables which should give me a spare or two.
I then connected in the receiver and switch box to the new TV stand and finished securing the stand and lift to the inside wall and floor. I also cut out the old head banger. Since it was designed for a flat screen TV there is really no cabinet space to speak of so I will probably just refinish the spot with holes in Hickory wood and put some trim at the bottom. What a difference in the view from the front window. I am trying to decide if I want to keep the fans or not.
The moment of truth came when I was ready to mount the 42" TV to the lift and see if all of my measurements and clearances were correct. Pushed the up button and the door opened and the TV came up and looks perfect. Push the down button and the TV goes down and the door closes.
I am almost finished with the TV lift project. A few little finishing touches to complete like the trim at the floor around the cabinet and install an infrared compatible door on the small cabinet where the Dish receiver and other equipment is located.
I am also going to work on the drawer that was in the top of the cabinet and cut it down to store the remotes. Its a tight squeeze in that little cabinet since the TV when lowered extends across the back. The original cabinet had a Corian top that matched the Corian kitchen counters so I cut it down and used it on the small front section of the cabinet
When I started working on this project I removed a 12" high section of trim that covered up the heater duct that runs along the bottom of the wall for the vent there in the bottom of the small cabinet. It was made from Hickory and had a fabric insert and the same theme was on the walls above and off to the right hand side along the wall where the table is. So I removed the fabric on the wall above the duct that would be covered up by the new TV stand. I then cut hickory strips and small trim pieces to make the front cover to the TV stand match the trim and that continues along the wall.
The lift works great and its neat to watch the door open as it lifts and silently closes as it lowers. This has been a long project to complete and I am glad it is almost finished. I have attached a pdf file with pictures from the beginning to where I am now.
TV Lift Project.pdf