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Rockin' RV audio/video installation

We install a home theater, TVs, and camera system in a customer's RV

I've been with Crutchfield since 1999, where I began as one our advisors, helping our customers choose new gear. After a couple of years, I moved to the writing team where I spent a decade researching new products and getting hands on with car stereos, amplifiers, speakers, and subs. Yeah, I've been doing this for a while.

For the past few years, I've been the managing editor of Crutchfield's Car A/V web article content. I couldn't ask for a better job — we get to play with car audio gear every day! I'm a Virginia native from the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outside of work, I love listening to music, playing board games, and installing new audio systems for my friends.

More from Robert Ferency-Viars

A customer came to us with a problem: he wasn't happy with the lack of sound and the old TVs in his RV. Our installation crew came to the rescue, designing a new system to turn his hum-drum highway time into a rockin' roll down the open road. They loaded his RV with all new gear, including a Concertone home theater system, two Toshiba LCD TVs, and new external rear- and side-view camera system from Accele.

Installing a home theater system, TVs, and camera system in an RV| Video Transcript

I'm at one of the Crutchfield retail stores today where our installers are doing something they don't normally get to do. And that's an installation on an RV. What they're doing is replacing all the old AV gear. We're putting in a brand new 5.2 home theater system — that two means two subwoofers — and just better audio distribution hardware throughout the truck.

Home theater and speaker setup
We installed new Concertone C5 surround sound speakers and two Concertone subwoofers in the main living area to create a system that will fill the cabin with sound. The RV already has good speakers in the bedroom but we added a pair of new Sound Ordnance 6x9 speakers in boxes for the patio area outside. And we gave them lots of extra cable so the owner can move them around as he needs. The heart of the system is the Concertone ZX800 DVD receiver. It's designed specifically for RV applications and it can run three separate zones at once: the 5.2 channel home theater zone in the main cabin, and two two-channel zones for the bedroom and outdoor patio area. The owner can play a different source in each zone-a movie in the family area, music or a different movie in the bedroom, and music outside.

Replacing the TVs
So here's the old TV. This was the main TV that was up in a cabinet above the driver's area in the front of the RV. This old thing is going to be replaced with this nice new LCD flat panel — obviously much bigger picture, much brighter, more clear picture compared to this old thing. The new TV combined with the new Concertone sound system means there isn't a bad seat in this rolling theater.

Like we did in the front, we replaced the bedroom's old TV with a new LCD and added a new Blu-ray player too. Now viewers in this room can watch whatever's showing on the main TV or they can switch over to their own movie.

New camera system in the RV
In addition to entertainment, we also upgraded the RV's rear-view capabilities with a new camera system from Accele. On the outside we installed three new cameras-one on each side and one to replace the old black and white camera on the rear. The new cameras provide a clearer picture that's in color. We also replaced the old black and white monitor on the driver's console with a new color LCD. The driver can view the feed from all three cameras at once or switch to a single camera view for a better view of that angle.

Craig, the owner of this Fleetwood Discovery will be able to have even more fun when he's touring the countryside. I wonder if he'll let me borrow it for my vacation. You can read more about this RV installation at crutchfield.com/rv. And if you'd like some help outfitting your RV or any other vehicle, just give us a call.

  • Frosty J. Hammer from BF Idaho

    Posted on 5/22/2015

    "I wonder if [Craig] will let me borrow it?" You don't know 'til you ask!

  • Mark House from Phoenix, AZ.

    Posted on 7/19/2015

    Are your services available in Phoenix? I have an '03 class A that could use some of your talent.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/20/2015

    Mark, we're based in Virginia, but give us a call. Our advisors will have great suggestions for your Class A, and when you purchase an InstallCard with us, you'll be able to find a professional installer in your area.

  • Wayne Stewart from STAFFORD VA

    Posted on 9/4/2015

    Where can I get service & installation done for my rv.

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/4/2015

    Wayne, when it comes to professional installation, we recommend using InstallCard, which gives you access to a nationwide network of installers. If you have any questions, give us a call at 1.888.955.6000.

  • Cindy from Sacramento

    Posted on 7/1/2016

    How much did all this run????

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 7/5/2016

    Cindy, quite a lot of gear and labor was involved. This was a full overhaul, so the cost wasn't small. It's been long enough that we couldn't tell you an exact number for this project, but if you have a project in mind for your RV, give our advisors a call for an estimate.

  • Ken Pichelmann from Chandler, AZ. 85286

    Posted on 8/10/2016

    I'm not sure where to start....We have a 2010 Allegro Bus with four HD Panasonic TV's (two in the main cabin, one in the bedroom and one for outside viewing), WineGard slimline HD satellite dish and an in motion satellite dish both using a DirecTV receiver with an inferred remote system controlling. There is an electronics cabinet specifically for audio/visual electronics we would like remodeled to include a home theater controller, switch for changing motion dish, HD satellite dish and cable tv inputs (to prevent having to manually change cabling and add a couple DVD players (one for main cabin, one for bedroom). basically were wanting to simplify the use of our audio/video system! We don't have a problem using the InstallCard program, but where do we start when we don't know what is actually needed?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/10/2016

    Ken, sounds like you've got a seriously fun RV. I've passed your question along to our sales team for the best answer. An advisor will contact you soon to help simplify your system.

  • Abbe from Custer

    Posted on 8/27/2016

    We have a 2002 Southwind. We would like to replace the tvs with flat screens, update the stereo system. We live near Rapid City SD and are not sure if there would be someone in the area that can install on the install card program

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 8/29/2016

    Abbe, I've passed your question along to our sales team. An advisor will contact your soon to help find the best options for your Southwind.

  • Dan from Sturbridge MA

    Posted on 9/19/2016

    I am interested in upgrading the back up camera system in my 2005 Fleetwood Bounder to an in dash navigation system with integrated back up camera. If I purchase the gear from you who would install it in the Worcester MA area?

  • Alexander Hrabe from Crutchfield

    Posted on 9/20/2016

    Dan, I've passed your question along to our sales team for the best answer. An advisor will contact you soon. Regarding installation, we sell InstallCards for easy use at an installer near you.

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