Dave and LJ’s RV Interior Design can upgrade your motorhome’s TV, entertainment system and more
As RVs morph into an extension of our homes, rather than a getaway from them, the entertainment system(s) a motorhome offers has become an increasingly important purchase consideration. Where our parents or grandparents used the family RV as a way to distract us from the evils of TV and even radio, nearly every motorhome on dealer lots today is equipped with at least one TV, and an audio/video head unit with a wide range of entertainment capabilities. Indeed, there are times when we’re camping off the grid and just want to soak in Mother Nature’s abundant beauty, but most of us enjoy a favorite television show or movie as part of the RV experience.
Technology changes rapidly, however. In the course of a decade, we’ve seen motorhomes move from using heavy tube-type CRT TVs to plasma and LCD flat screens, DVD to Blu-ray, and now LED “smart” TVs that can stream a variety of entertainment choices from platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Vudu, YouTube and more. Unlike your home, however, updating an entertainment system in an RV isn’t a simple “plug and play” proposition; TVs and their associated equipment are usually built into one or more cabinets, so stepping up to a better/larger TV can require not just electrical savvy, but skillful fabrication to make the new system look factory-installed.
New TV Installation Gallery/Photos: Chris Hemer
Dave and LJ’s RV Interior Design of Woodland, Washington, is more than up to the task. Brothers Dave and LJ Ast have been in business for 13 years performing all types of RV interior upgrades, from flooring and furniture to cabinetry work. The two learned their craft growing up in their father’s interior shop so their combined experience actually spans more than 60 years. In that time, they’ve seen and done it all, but to this day, TV upgrades are still the most popular with their customers. “New TVs not only offer higher definition, but are equipped with digital tuners for over-the-air broadcasts, so a converter box isn’t required,” explained Dave Ast. “You can receive HDTV with your existing antenna.” Another advantage, said Dave, is that new TVs are equipped with one or more HDMI ports so you can easily connect a Blu-ray player, gaming console or other device. “It really opens up a lot of options,” he says. “Plus, today’s flat screens are so much lighter and better looking.”
Though each case is different, a TV upgrade in the main area of a motorhome takes between 10 and 20 hours of labor, and typically ranges in cost from $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the size of the TV and work involved to fit it correctly. Dave and LJ’s consults with its customers first to determine what size TV is desired, and what will fit in a given space. For example, if a customer wants to make the largest possible TV a priority, the quote will include labor for building a completely new cabinet as well. In most instances the existing cabinet is modified to fit the new TV and then finished so that it looks like a factory installation. The customer can supply the TV of their choosing, or Dave and LJ’s can provide its recommendations and purchase one on the customer’s behalf.
Dave and LJ’s was recently visited by a customer with a Class A motorhome that was in beautiful original condition, but was equipped with small, heavy CRT TVs in both the living area and bedroom. We followed along with the Ast brothers and their team as they installed new, larger flat-screen LED TVs and completed typical modifications to the respective cabinets for a clean installation. The whole job was completed in a single day, and the results, as you’ll see, were quite impressive.
If an old TV is detracting from your RVing experiences, Dave and LJ’s can make movie time something to look forward to again.
More Information: Dave and LJ’s RV Interior Design | 360-225-7700