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Old 03-07-2021, 08:25 PM   #1
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Removing rear TV

I'm sure this topic has been addressed before amongst Airstream Interstate owners, but at the moment my topic searching skills aren't doing the job.

So, here goes: I've banged my shoulder on the TV in the rear of our AI for the very last time. We never watch that TV and never likely will, but it's taking up incredibly valuable real estate and causing bruises to my shoulder. With that in mind, I'd like to gently and safely remove the TV so it's out of our way, and so it can also be easily re-installed at some point in the future if we change our minds or decide to resell the van.

With that in mind, I'd like to remove the cords from the swing arm, zip tie them into a neat loop to put them out of the way, and then remove the swing arm and TV from the wall. The job looks relatively simple, but I'm struggling a bit with how to extricate the power and signal cables from the swing arm without cutting any cords. Failing this, I imagine we could just remove the TV from the swing arm and store it away, leaving the mount and cable on the wall - not quite as attractive, but at least the mostly useless and space-consuming TV would be out of our way.

Tips, hints, and links to Airstream Interstate threads where this has already been discussed ad-infinitum and solved, especially with respect to any potential unintended consequences, would be most welcome. Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2021, 09:16 PM   #2
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The wire management is a split chase. You have to pry open where the wire go in to the chase. It is a very tight fit. I pried mine open with a screw driver inserted in the opening being careful not to pinch the wires
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Old 03-08-2021, 06:41 AM   #3
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I removed the TV and left the wires and bracket in place. Agree it is not as attractive, but it served the purpose of getting the TV out of the way. I did it two years ago before a long trip to AK, thinking I would re-install it after that trip. Never did.
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Old 03-08-2021, 08:21 AM   #4
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I looked for a rotating mount to no avail. Would be great to be able to rotate the TV to have it out of the way until you want to watch it. Not super easy to make a bracket that wonít vibrate itself loose while traveling though.

I think there were some posts about it when we bought ours. Would be about a year and a half ago. Good luck taking it off.
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Old 03-08-2021, 08:25 AM   #5
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I've been thinking about simply replacing it with a much smaller TV. Like this one. (No endorsement of this particular TV. There are others that small, too.)

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07C2JMZ...v_ov_lig_dp_it


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Old 03-08-2021, 10:28 AM   #6
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Thanks for the ideas, folks, much appreciated! I think we'll start by removing the TV from the arm, which is the most easily reversible thing we could do. Besides, one never knows when they might need an extensible, moveable coat hook on which to dry things.

I love the idea of a rotating mount, which would be a wonderful improvement so I could easily get the TV out of the way when it's not needed (which would be close to 100% of the time for us.)

If I were pry open the split chase in the TV arm to get the cable out, would I be able to put it back together again if I re-mounted the TV later? I imagine that, worst case, I could just zip-tie the cables back into the opened-up chase, but it would be good to know this before I take a screwdriver to it.

One thing I seriously wonder about when considering removal of the entire rack mount for the TV: I don't know what the bolts that hold that mount on the wall are screwed into. Is it a metal plate, which I think it should be so I can easily re-mount the arm later, or is each bolt just screwed into a nut that would fall down into the wall once I successfully removed the bolt? I have no idea, and given Airstream's predilection for cheap stuff behind the scenes where we can't readily see it, I worry it might be the latter, which would generate significant unintended consequences.

Thanks, keep those great ideas coming.
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:37 AM   #7
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FWIW, I found several articulating monitor mounts that include a rotating swivel at the TV end of the arm. Have yet to find one that locks in place like the existing one, but this got me thinking - I wonder whether it might be possible to replace the TV mount on the end of the existing arm with a rotating version of the same mounting bracket. Hmm...I will have to look again at how that end of the existing arm in the van goes together and whether this might be possible.

(edit)
Here's an example of a rotating wall mount. The arms don't lock, and thus I'm not sure this example would be good for use in an RV, but what if I were able to pull the rotating mounting head off an arm like this and slap it onto the existing locking arm?
https://www.amazon.com/Articulating-...dp/B07SHFPD8S/
(/edit)
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Old 03-08-2021, 10:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eubank View Post
I've been thinking about simply replacing it with a much smaller TV. Like this one. (No endorsement of this particular TV. There are others that small, too.)

https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07C2JMZ...v_ov_lig_dp_it


Lynn
BTW, a smaller screen that doesn't stick out beyond the wall and hit my shoulder is a legitimately good idea. I mean, how far would we be from that TV screen, anyway, while sitting or lying on the lounge? Thanks.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:33 PM   #9
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I removed the rear tv on our 30 Serenity queen.

The wires can mostly go with the tv. I recall the only one that stayed with the trailer was the coax, which I removed the face plate and rolled it up behind that plate.

Making the whole thing reversible.

The only thing that really shows are the 4 rivnuts left in the wall after the mount is taken off. A framed print on the wall hides those.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
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Old 03-08-2021, 05:56 PM   #10
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I removed the tv and mount from our 2013. I just pulled the wires up into the area behind the panel where the generator controls etc are located. The mount simply screws into nuts embedded in the cabinet wall. I put the bolts back in just for looks.

Will be easy to remount.
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Old 03-08-2021, 07:49 PM   #11
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Thanks, folks! Couple of things: (1) this is an Airstream Interstate, so things might be different than in trailers. I appreciate the trailer input, but I'm definitely hoping to hear from AI owners who have done this. (2) this is for the rear TV, not the forward TV. Our rear TV is mounted to the exterior of the bathroom wall with the shower behind that wall. Generator controls are up front, in the first "cabinet" behind the driver's seat, so that's not relevant to this use case.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:16 PM   #12
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I did the same as Passin Thru. Now looking for a creative use of the new free space.
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Old 03-09-2021, 02:23 PM   #13
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When I get back to the van, I'll look this over, despite the rear TV being in the rear of the van on the wall behind the wet bath. Maybe I can find a way to slide the excess HDMI cable down inside the wall such that just the business end is sticking out with something to prevent it falling completely inside the wall. We shall see. Putting the bolts back into the nuts after removing the swing arm from the wall mount is a good idea. That way I can't lose the bolts, and the nuts won't fall back down inside after driving down a bumpy road.
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Old 03-09-2021, 05:10 PM   #14
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Think differently. Keep the mount and attach something to it you could use like, shelves, buckets, key storage, hangers for limited clothes, magazine rack, book holder, cell phone holder while charging.
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Old 03-09-2021, 05:10 PM   #15
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Rocinante, I donít want to come in and hijack your post unless you do figure something out that works with the rotating part. Our mount didnít seem to lock from the start, and the former owner used some of those long twisty ties to secure the arms together. One thing that happened was that it got a little loose and rubbed against the mouse fur, so I put a rubber gasket on the side to make sure that doesnít happen again. It would be nice to have it lock though. Iíd bet thereís a way to make some sort of way to make it lock. Even one of those slide locks that might look cheesy but might work. I donít know what they are called, Iíd have to look.

Iíd looked for mounts like that but guess I didnít use the right sequence of words. Funny how that happens sometimes. That mount might work. Might have to look at how to adapt it too. Would be bad if it spun while driving though and wouldnít lock that way too. Might take a little engineering to make it work or lock. Maybe some of our fellow members might have some good ideas! Hope so, itíd be nice to get that TV out of the way when not in use.
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Old 03-13-2021, 01:31 PM   #16
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Thanks everybody. Just a quick note, after having successfully removed the rear TV from our Airstream Interstate van. It was, in fact, ridiculously easy. The end result looks fantastic and neat. I left the four bolts in the wall so I won't lose them or the nuts behind them, and neatly put the wire down where it won't look bad or be in the way. We're already speculating about putting some kind of non-fragile artwork on the newly barren section of wall.

I am delighted with how much room we recovered in the process. I no longer bang my shoulder; the person who sits on the passenger-side jump seat doesn't have a doggone TV hanging over them; and the benefits just don't stop. We also successfully saved the TV and the arm, which can be easily remounted if we ever want to do that. We put the TV assembly in a safe place, with padding over the screen, inside a plastic trash bag to reduce the buildup of dust while it's in storage. Fantastic!

For reference, please note our unit is a 2016 Airstream Interstate 3500 EXT Lounge.

Steps in the "How I did it" (No warranties express or implied, try this at your own risk.)
  1. Extend swing arm all the way. Examine how the cables come out of the chase in the arm and how they are zip tied in three places to the back of the frame to which the TV is mounted.
  2. Disconnect each cable from the back of the TV (there should be 3). They serve the power input, the HDMI input, and the antenna coax input.
  3. Carefully cut the zip ties that hold the cables to the back of the frame to which the TV is mounted.
  4. Carefully pop open the cable chase, ease the wrapped cable out of that chase, and then snap the chase closed again. (The chase is plastic, and once you get a close look at how it works, you'll realize it's ridiculously easy to pop that chase open and closed in a reversible, non-damaging way).
  5. Note that the portion of the swing arm closest to the wall may have a zip tie around it that restricts that portion of the arm from pulling away from the wall. Slide that zip tie down a bit so you can extend that last part of the arm away from the wall. This gives you better access to the four bolts you will be removing.
  6. While supporting the TV and swing arm, carefully remove the bolts holding the swing arm from the wall, one at a time. Start with the bottom bolts to help avoid any possibility of having the TV sag away from the wall. I was particularly gentle about this process because I was concerned that if I was too quick or rough, the nuts in the wall might somehow become dislodged and fall down inside the wall where I'd never see them again. I had no problems here, don't honestly know whether this "lost nut" scenario could occur, but wanted very much to avoid it. Once the TV has been removed, put the TV assembly safely aside, and replace all four bolts finger tight.
  7. Unplug the TV power cord from the wall and gently push that cord plug back into the hole in the wall until just the plug is out so it can be retrieved and put to use again if the TV is ever re-mounted. As for the wrapped set of cables, it seemed like they didn't want to go back into the wall. So, instead run that wrapped cable neatly down the wall next to the mouse-furred window molding, gently pushing it into place so it's a friction fit and shouldn't move about in an annoying fashion. Then zip-tie the remaining cable into a neat loop and put it down beside the jump seat where it will not impede the operation of that seat when the seat is extended and pushed upright again.
  8. Done. Step back, survey the result, and put on a big smile.
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