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Old 04-04-2016, 01:42 AM   #1
'11 390BH
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: WPB, Florida
Posts: 96
I'm retrofitting an ext. entertainment center in my 390BH

**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.
See pic#1
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.
see pic#3

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

Best,
Hans
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:44 AM   #2
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Just a couple comments. I to asked Forest River some time back if they would retrofit my 2008 with the outside entertainment center. They said no. since I have been looking at the coach and wondering. If you look at the coach in the early morning when there is a heavy dew you can see all the stud locations in the wall. On my coach tie area under the window behind the couch has no obstructing studs. The studs cone down each side of the window and horizontal below the window but that is it. So from a structure that would be a good spot regardless of location under awning. It would not weaken wall slide. On coaches with the entertainment system the couch is mounted six inches further into the isle so while the back of the couch is open Forest River was unable to use this space.

Question for you. Did the MORryde box come complete with the door? How about a photo of what they sent.
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:06 AM   #3
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As an alternative location (and a lot less work involved), there have been posts where the cabinet just behind the front passenger tire has been used as an outside entertainment cabinet. The cabinet had been modified so that a tv and other equipment could be mounted in it. There is an electric outlet as well as a cable hookup already wired into the cabinet. Just an idea.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:21 AM   #4
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The factory install has the love seat away from the wall with a counter behind it. I think you can do this. When you cut the hole and there is no support between inner and outer walls, I think they use two inch alum square tubing. Might be able to use a two by two. 3m 5200 adhesive caulk is a permanent adhesive used in the marine industry which is what I would probably use to seal and glue it together. That will give a strong frame to bolt to.

I saw a Newmar I think that had a tv on a lift, but instead of it coming up from a cabinet, it came down from the floor when the slide was out, I want to say it was a 42, pretty cool.


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Old 04-04-2016, 10:37 AM   #5
'11 390BH
 
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Silver- thanks, I'll have a close look to confirm the stud locations on my 2011.
Mounting it in the factory location might be the best choice, cutting into studs and reinforcing the wall by tying it back in with new studs would be a lot of extra work.
Dow we know whats in side of the core of the walls between these studs? is it foam? Are the studs light gauge or wood or fiberglass ??

I did not take a picture of the MORryde EC. It comes complete as a unit that would be inserted into the cutout and ready for paint, door on, lock, latch, keys, gas struts, weather stripping, and even a vesa adapter plate for mounting the TV, it looks exactly as it does in their spec PDF here

Tom, this was an early consideration but I've never enjoyed seeing a TV that low before, the door has to be open which blocks the view from the left, and its tucked deepunder the slider, and I've noticed after driving that the compartment is easily infiltrated by water on heavy rains, thats an issue i need to inspect more closely. Also I happen to like that cabinet for storing specific things, never enough storage
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:40 AM   #6
'11 390BH
 
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Thanks Mike,
I looked at a 12 @ Lazydays before buying this one, it had the factory EC. I didn't notice that the loveseat was not against the back wall, funny that both of you confirmed it. Is it the same cough and they just give up the inches?

TV that drops out of the slide...that is really cool, I bet its complicated
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Old 04-04-2016, 01:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kohersh View Post
Silver- thanks, I'll have a close look to confirm the stud locations on my 2011.
Mounting it in the factory location might be the best choice, cutting into studs and reinforcing the wall by tying it back in with new studs would be a lot of extra work.
Dow we know whats in side of the core of the walls between these studs? is it foam? Are the studs light gauge or wood or fiberglass ??

I did not take a picture of the MORryde EC. It comes complete as a unit that would be inserted into the cutout and ready for paint, door on, lock, latch, keys, gas struts, weather stripping, and even a vesa adapter plate for mounting the TV, it looks exactly as it does in their spec PDF here

Tom, this was an early consideration but I've never enjoyed seeing a TV that low before, the door has to be open which blocks the view from the left, and its tucked deepunder the slider, and I've noticed after driving that the compartment is easily infiltrated by water on heavy rains, thats an issue i need to inspect more closely. Also I happen to like that cabinet for storing specific things, never enough storage
The walls are a laminate of multi layers of material glued together. The studs are aluminum. I am including a blow up of the picture of the hole I made when I installed my microwave outside vent. It may give you an idea of the construction. Be aware that on the outside the bottom lip extends below the wall by many inches so do not make the hole to low. Bottom of hot water heater is about as low as you can go. I know this from when I added an outside electrical plug in the slide. I cut the microwave hole from the inside using a multi tool. I went one layer at a time as I did not know what I would hit and figures I would expose each layer and deal with it as I encountered it. After the initial layer Forest River laminate thin sheet metal to provide something to screw the cupboards to. This may or may not be under the sofa. The MORryde box looks easy to install once the hole is made. Pull the electric and antenna connections from the basement cupboard. When you repaint might just loose the Berkshire name on that side and copy graphics only. I would love to see pictures as you go. Take the chunk you cut out to a good paint shop and they can match color and put in aerosol can for you. I know that the silver is the base coat on my coach. Was a BIT** to peal the layers. I used 3/4 inch BUYAL Tape to seal the vent. Comes in 25 foot roles on Amazon or RV store.

I bet you can mount the same couch just forward 6 inches. I think it would actually be easier on my 39QS as without the bunks I think my window is the width of the EC. You may have vertical studs on each side of the window to move. Just build a header like in a house and hollow out the side ane reinstall the studs you cut out. secure with angle brackets. You may only have to cut one stud on left as looking from outside. This is where working one layer at a time from the inside will pay off. Just add trim inside is a little large. plus couch will hide.

I think all wall 12VDC comes down from top so no problems with that.
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:38 PM   #8
'11 390BH
 
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That is a very helpful picture.
So its multiple layers with foam sheeting sandwiched in between, and Al studs. I need to locate the studs tonight, that will pretty much dictate where it goes now that I have a better idea. I think the multitool is the ticket also.

What I could really use as a point of reference on a factory install, is the dimensions measured out where the corner of the EC is. If anyone has it please share
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Old 04-04-2016, 02:57 PM   #9
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I'm retrofitting an ext. entertainment center in my 390BH

I used the lower cabinet. I took out the shelves and put it on a tv mount. Then ran a HDMI cable down under the entertainment center Thru the floor over to the tv. But I have to use the satellite in the house. It works satellite and antenna. Kind of late but that's what I did. I have a 2010 39-9 BH.


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Old 04-04-2016, 03:11 PM   #10
'11 390BH
 
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not late at all. the previous owner of my coach was a major electrical contractor in New Jersey, he also had an A/V side business, he set this thing up right with HDMI and coax run all over the place, plus extra 110V/USB charge plugs in good spots throughout, and a surge guard (that has already saved me from craptastic low voltage) there is power and cable waiting behind the sofa in case he ever decided to install the TV in the lower compartment.
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