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How To Mount a TV in an RV

If your RV didn’t come with a TV installed by the manufacturer, it likely has a TV backer that allows you to safely install one yourself. In this guide, we teach you how to mount a TV in an RV that is prepped for a DIY installation. But before we get into the installation steps, let’s explain TV backers in more detail.

What is a TV Backer?

Example of TV backer location for mounting a TV in an RV
Photo by Prime Time RV

A TV backer is a wall section with additional framing, plywood, and a metal plate—or a wall bracket—designed to safely secure and support the weight of a TV installation. The manufacturer will often provide a specification on the maximum TV size this backer is designed for (e.g., up to 32” LED TV). You can find this information in your RV’s owner’s manual or by contacting the manufacturer directly.

When looking at digital RV floorplans, you’ll often see this feature labeled as ‘TV Prep’. Many manufacturers include a sticker on the wall to tell you where the backer is located, too. If your trailer doesn’t have a sticker, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer to verify the backer’s location before installing a TV.

How To Mount a TV in an RV

If your RV has a TV backer, use these five steps to secure a compatible mount and TV: 

1. Acquire a Compatible TV and TV Mount

The television you choose should match the maximum dimensions and/or weight your backer is rated for, as specified by the manufacturer. The TV mount must be rated for the TV’s weight and should have mounting holes that match the location of the framing, plate, or bracket used for the TV backer. 

With the proper weight rating and mounting hole locations, you’ll have many TV mount options, including: 

  • Fixed mounts (no movement once installed)
  • Tilting mounts (tilts up and down)
  • Articulating or full-motion mounts (options to tilt, pan, swivel, and extend/articulate)

With articulating or full-motion TV mounts, ensure you find one with a locking option to prevent them from moving while traveling. Otherwise, use a strap or bungee cord to hold them in place in transit. If allowed to swivel while you’re driving, it can result in severe damage to your RV, the mount, or your RV’s wall. 

The right mount option for your RV depends on how many viewing angles you need and what’s required from your mount to provide those angles. For example, my small travel trailer has a single TV mounted to the camp side wall just behind the cabinets over the dinette. It’s secured using an articulating mount so I can swivel to view it while cooking or eating dinner and then swivel it in the opposite direction to finish a show once I crawl into bed.

Most mounts come with everything you need to complete the installation, such as: 

  • A wall bracket
  • The mounting plate
  • Screws
  • Wall anchors

Check the availability of all these components before settling on a specific TV wall mount.

2. Mark Mount Locations in the Backer

The backer should have an AC outlet nearby, but check that you’ll have a power source for your RV before deciding on a mounting location. Also, check that you’ll have enough coaxial cable to connect your TV to your RV’s cable and antenna ports.

You may need a stud finder to pinpoint where you’ll drill into the RV wall to secure the mount. Some RVers are comfortable using the “tap method” to locate the framing, plate, or bracket behind the wall. You may also reach out to the manufacturer directly to confirm the TV backer design behind the interior wall panel. 

Whichever method you choose, mark the locations with a pencil before drilling. You can use the TV mount’s wall bracket as a template for your drill hole locations to ensure a level installation without unnecessary drilling.

3. Secure the Mount to the Backer

For a successful installation, follow the instructions provided by the TV mount manufacturer. Many mounts come with the required hardware to install the wall bracket and the mounting plate, but some do not. 

If yours doesn’t, we recommend choosing the ideal screw length based on your RV’s wall thickness. Measure the wall thickness at a door opening and use the longest fastener possible without going all the way through.

With your hardware ready and drilling locations marked, drill the number of holes recommended by the mount manufacturer. Typically, this will be 2-8 holes, depending on the backer and TV mount designs. Then, set the wall bracket in place and secure it with screws.

Technician Tip: When installing a tilting, swiveling, or articulating TV mount, test that it operates as expected BEFORE installing the TV.

4. Secure the TV to the Mount

 Some designs require installing the mounting plate on the TV first. Again, it’s important to follow the recommendations from the TV mount manufacturer. Others may require installing half of the components on the TV and the other half on the wall before attaching them together.

Use the included hardware from the TV or TV mount manufacturer to secure the TV to the mount. Recruit a partner to hold the weight of the TV while you secure the hardware. With tilting, swiveling, or articulating models, re-test to ensure you can position the TV as desired.

5. Connect the TV to Power, Cable, and Satellite

Run the appropriate wiring to connect your TV to AC power, cable, and satellite. Now, you’re ready to turn your TV on (when connected to shore power), scan for channels, set up streaming accounts, pour your favorite beverage, and enjoy your new list of nearly endless entertainment options in your RV. 

Can You Install a TV in an RV That Isn’t Prepped?

Couple speaking with Camping World Service advisor about installing a TV in their RV
Photo by Camping World

It’s possible to install a TV in any RV, regardless of whether the manufacturer has prepped a specific area for one or not. However, you must take additional precautions when installing a TV in an unprepared unit. The risks include damaging the RV’s sidewall and/or framing, not to mention the potential for the TV and mount to suffer damage if your installation fails while driving. 

For these reasons, we highly recommend entrusting a TV installation in a non-prepped unit to trained RV technicians. Use the link below to find a service center near you and schedule an appointment.

Are you interested in other DIY installations, renovations, or modifications you can make to your RV? 

Do you have any questions about mounting a TV in a prepped RV? Let us know in the comments below. 

The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only and not intended to take the place of professional service providers. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability, or availability with respect to the information, products, services, or advice contained on the blog for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this blog.

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