Lowered TV on 21 FBRS
Recently, I had to change out the Genesis cd/dvd player on my 21FBRS. While I was at it, I switched the TV and the CD/DVD positions. It’s a lot easier on the neck in the lower position.
I wouldn’t recommend doing this unless you are reasonably handy with home repairs and have the requisite tools – saws (circular, jig and hole), drills, clamps, screw drivers, torpedo level, etc.
Here’s a rough guide to what I did. It’s not every step, but I think it’s enough for the reasonably handy person:
1. Remove CD/DVD player. There’s a cover on the left and right of the player that will pop off with a screw driver. My player was attached with 3 screws.
2. Remove the TV and its mount.
3. Carefully knock out each of the panels. They are stapled so they will come out ugly on the edges. Later you’ll need to trim the edges before reusing the panels. You’ll also have to remove the staples from the inside framing – a real PITA.
4. Remove the screws on the 1X4’s and other framing pieces above the CD/DVD player. There are two recessed screws on each side of each piece.
5. Use the framing pieces to make a new frame for the CD/DVD player.
6. Glue a piece of ¾ furniture grade plywood in the section previously occupied by the CD/DVD player. I reinforced it with 4 #10 screws. For now, the screws are covered with screw caps that I painted black – and yes I should have done a better job matching the top and bottom screw spacing. The plywood should be sized to allow a space large enough for your hand to reach the plugs on the CD/DVD player.
7. Cover the plywood with contact paper. It doesn’t quite match but works well enough since it’s behind the TV. The flash of the camera presents a starker contrast in the pictures below than the actual lighting of the travel trailer. If you’re ambitious you could stain and finish it, or add a veneer.
8. Cut a hole through the plywood for the cables that connect to the TV. I went to Radio Shack and bought a “bushing” used to route cables through a computer desk.
9. Replace the TV mount. Be careful to leave enough space for your fingers between the TV and the kitchen cabinet. You’ll need room to pull out the TV.
10. Cover the access hole. Cut a piece of paneling (previously removed) to cover the open space you left to reach the DC/DVD player plugs. Make it big enough to butt against the edge of the TV mount. Take another piece and glue it on the inside of the top frame. After everything dries, put some contact paper on the cover and use Velcro to attach it. Velcro doesn’t work particularly well on the paneling. I found that it helps to make one side about half the size of the other.
11. Replace the CD/DVD player & the TV.
The lower TV might make it a little tight for access to the bed for some people. I’m 6”1” and 235 lbs. I found that it makes no difference to me. Although the TV is lower, it’s also recessed about ¾” compared to its previous mount. The recess helps a little with access to the bed.
The TV is still not at the right height for viewing from the couch, but it’s a lot more comfortable than watching TV “on the ceiling.” It’s also much better viewed from the bed. If you like to take the TV outside, you’ll be happy to have the access panel. Removing the plug will be much easier.
Finally, I also discovered that there is lots of wasted space behind the fake cabinet door. Next step is to bundle the wires and add a couple mini-shelves behind that door.
PS: the chord is hanging from the TV in the picture below because I'm working on my next project - finding a convenient permanent spot for the sat. receiver. The first picture is from the dealer's website, the others are obviously mine.