First Time Replacing our TV

One of our favorite features of our RV is the front living room window, and the television which is in front of the window when we’re watching TV, but slides down behind our fireplace when we’re not.   Lee knew that if the TV ever went out it would be a major pain to replace, but we liked the feature so much we accepted the risk.  The last couple of years we have even talked about proactively changing out the TV for a smart television, because this would cost us less power when we are boondocking by allowing us to connect a hard drive directly to the TV to play movies and TV shows without also running our PC, but it’s hard to throw away a perfectly good TV.

Those conversations aside, we were both pretty surprised when one day we saw a bunch of bright lights in rows and partial rows in the picture of the TV.  This is a representative shot of what it looked like, taken from a YouTube tutorial on how to fix it:


Inside the TV are multiple layers of materials, and at the rear, are strips of LED lights, and those are diffused by plastic lenses and reflectors, which are often glued on with a single dot of glue which can eventually fail and the lens falls off and now you’re just looking at a bright white dot of light.



Here’s what they look like before they fall off…


Since TV and movies are still a pretty big part of our lives this wouldn’t fly for long, so we started talking about how to replace it.  In my mind this was the perfect warranty item, and we should try and find a place to get it done at a shop.  For Lee the warranty has been more trouble than it has been worth and he didn’t want to mess with it.  So when I was searching for a campground and stumbled across one that had a service center attached to it, that seemed like the perfect compromise.

We checked into the campground the day after we arrived, and I immediately started talking to the owner about getting some service work scheduled.  Unfortunately  as soon as I mentioned warranty she was resistant and said they hated fighting with warranty companies and most people paid them cash and got reimbursed later.  Since the whole reason I wanted them to do the work was because I didn’t want to fuss with the warranty company either I was really disappointed and Lee of course just gave me that look because once again he was right. (I wasn’t right, I just get tired of fighting with people who’s entire business model is based on not providing a service you’ve already paid for. – Lee) 

The good news was after looking at the TV and the mount, Lee thought he could replace it.  The big problem was we currently had a 48″ monitor and they no longer make those.  We either had to go with a much smaller screen or find a way to make a 49″ fit.  Smaller screen was not happening so Lee bought the 49″ and proceeded to work on fitting it in. (Never go down in screen size. Always go up. What are we, animals?- Lee)

Lee removed the old TV and was checking the hole measurement


Really nice new Sony smart TV for only $400


He had to put the mount from the old TV onto the new TV because the mount is a custom design for our rig.


Super carefully because once we started, we owned it.

Initially when we tried to slide the TV in, we realized the hole was not wide enough, so Lee took a hand saw and made the hole just a little bigger.

Not super pretty but got the job done. Lee said that later we would clean it up.

After he expanded the hole we tried again to put it on the frame.  This time it fit, but we realized we couldn’t lower it all the way because the mounting holes were just a little different. The metal frame has screws that you have to slip the back over and because it was different, Lee needed to move the screws.  This meant he had to go buy new screws and use a drill to put holes in the metal. (I couldn’t just take out the old screws, I had to drill them out, because the heads were completely stripped out by the guy who installed the TV at the factory. – Lee) Eventually after a couple of tries he got it right and the TV could be lifted and put down completely.  Whew…nothing is easy, and every time I helped lift the TV I was super nervous about something going wrong.

These were the screws that needed moved.


The TV stuck up this far initially until he moved the screws.



Finally it was done and despite the unexpected cost I am glad we did it.  We got a high quality television and we know the job was done correctly.  We both were a little nervous the first time we moved, but the TV is doing great, and we are having no issues at all.  Once again I am super grateful that I have a husband who is so handy, because if I had to rely solely on repair techs I think I would probably spend most of my time going from shop to shop.

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