**Before your lost in my ramblings, what would be helpful is if you have a 390BH with the exterior entertainment center in the front of the pax slide, could you please post the dimensions from the slide outs lower and right side trim edging to the lower right corner of your EC trim.
The one option that is really missing on my 390BH is the exterior entertainment center (EC). Several months ago I spoke with FR about retrofitting one in, as could be expected they were reluctant to discuss a retrofit as it involves someone other than the factory cutting a sizeable hole into the side of the coach.
Iím not intimidated by projects like this and believe from experience that no matter how nice or lux the RV or boat is- there is nothing sexy or magical about how they are built regardless of initial price. Pieces come out of the factory one way only for production sake and then somebody cuts holes in them for the options or accessories. Despite their lack of enthusiasm to the idea, FR was still more than happy to sell me the Ďoemí EC, which is about an $800 box drop shipped from the mfg. MORryde. Its all nicely pre assembled though its worth noting that mine did not include the pieces to box out speakers and a head unit even though they are shown in the tech. drawings.
I now have the time for this project and Iíll be tackling it soon, so I spent a planning hour poking around the RV looking at where this hole in my awesome coach would be eventually be. Backing up a few months, during that phone call with FR- I pushed a little further and questioned the factory placement of the ent. center, which is very forward on the front passenger slide. I think its location sucks, positioning tailgaters by the fwd edge of the awning, not to mention tall people having to duck to avoid banging their heads on the door while in the up position. By comparison to a 400BH, itís transposed on the same slider, positioning the TV in a better tailgating area more in the middle of the coach rather than the front. I was told this was the only place they install them from the factory. They would not give me a real reason why however at my suggestive question of ď is it fitment issues involving the loveseat and or kitchen cabinets?Ē I got a dull 'yeah' as a reply- I wasnt talking to the guy who builds these after all. I was not convinced then and after today Iím less convinced thats the only location.
The slider side wall of my coach is about 2.5Ē thick, the EC box is between 6.5Ē at is max depth. I did not remove the loveseat today to measure but my estimation is that the factory installed EC is a remarkably close fit just under the finished top edge of the sofas backside. You can easily stick your hands back there, at the base of the armrest, only about an inch of the seat backrest touches the wall at its highest point only, it falls away at a good angle headed towards its base, but its not visible as such even though things could be dropped in this gap.
So -still unhappy with the oem placement I noticed another reason mounting the EC in the suggested location would suck is it bisects the script Berkshire logo, part would be on the side wall, the other part would be on the trim edge and the EC door. Painting this part to match the coach is childsplay to a pro, but matching the letterings top half only would be expensive and may be the one clue to this being an afterthought . I began looking closely at shifting it to behind the kitchens lower cabinets. Well, if youíve ever removed your drawers youíd see that the slides are mounted nearly 4.5Ē off from the finished slider wall, which leaves just enough clearance for the EC depth. See pic #2.
Height clearance is not a problem as upper rear frame for the cabinets is well above the loveseat. Width however is a little more tricky. Itís a tight fit to keep the EC box stuffed behind the casework without interfering with the existing water heater under the cabinets and the boxout/trim on the exterior. It will probably fit like a glove but I think absolute worst case- Fitting it in this location would require me notching the sides of the cabinet, which is actually very thin, and possibly, and this one upsets me more- ones side of the loveseat armrest up against the wall.
Production furniture framework seldom closely resembles the finished piece, so I think an incision could be made to the covering material and the arm reworked or recut, and then the Ďleatherí stretched and reclosed before its back in position. My guess is that a small area of the EC upper corner would be visible between the sofa and the base cabinets side wall. To me itís still an overlooked area that never gets touched really, so it should be unobtrusive to the eye and not affect anyone seated there.
Soooo, this is the start of a blog about this project and Iím reaching out for knowledgeable advise.Though I'm leaning towards the non oem (yellow) placement in the picture, the final placement of the EC is subject to change but shortly I will post a picture of my 390BH with a gaping hole in the pax side.---------- If youíve never done this mod yourself and are cringing poised to offer advice of Ďdonít do ití- Iíll tell you itís going to happen anyhow
. If by some miracle youíve done this, or maybe have seen a cross section of the sidewalls, or better yet have seen a sidewall in production- could you please share with me what to expect inside of this?? I can faintly see a vertical line in one area of the wall, is this a piece of framing inbetween the layers? Or is this filled with foam only, etc??
A concern I have is how I will anchor the EC into the sidewall. Itís almost a safe bet that the factory uses an adhesive sealer on the backside of the trim, which is about an inch wide all around. That would be more than enough as good as the adhesives are, especially if the hole is precisely cut and then backfilled with the EC to a good fit. One thought I had was to secure lumber sandwiched in-between the wall and affix it with screws from the backside (coach interior) and from the side( inside of the EX) for additional support, and also to keep it in place during the adhesives cure time. From here its another matter of running power and A/V, then installing the sound system to boost the wimpy TV speakers and external HDMI input for the dish STB to hookup to Öand then paint by a pro.
Constructive advice is appreciated here