When integrating an audio video system into a recreational vehicle special care must be taken. There are a lot of considerations you need to think about before you decide what type of system is right for you and your family. With today’s manufactures offering 12volt standard and marine grade systems, adding indoor/outdoor audio was never easier. Since most RV’s and campgrounds have a 110volt supply, this gives you the ability to integrate home AV equipment with your 12volt systems.
We should first talk about your options and what you may want your system to do. Video is one of the main components of a good RV system, considering how much time is spent inside your RV (bad weather, preparing meals, entertaining the kids and for motor homes when your driving). With the ability to source audio and video signals you can have one central media player device and display it’s contents in multiple zones.In other words you can watch a movie on all TV’s or watch different shows on each TV independently. So the children can play games or view their shows in their room and you can listen to music or watch a movie in the living room and even finish it in your bedroom. With the introduction of marine grade flat panel TV’s, it’s even possible to have video outside under your awning. There are many options for your video source, most trailer parks offer cable TV. Satellite TV is another good option and can be set up on site, or a mobile dish system can be installed on the top of your RV, this is a great option for motor coaches where your passengers have the ability to watch TV as you drive. You may also use a digital antenna to receive free broadcasting where available. Now that we have covered network broadcasting, let’s talk about media players. A typical source would be a DVD/CD or Blu-ray player, remember when making your choice that you can play all types of audio and video on a Blu-ray but can’t play Blu-ray on a DVD/CD player. A media sever is a compact hard drive unit that allows you to store movies, albums, photos,etc., these are a great option if you already have all of your media on your home computer, just upload to the server and take it with you. The navigation of the media server is similar to an iPod screen and is displayed on the television.
Now that we’ve covered video let’s talk about audio. Most new RV’s come with a stock stereo system of some sort, but the quality isn’t there (if it is turned up loud it crackles and sounds distorted). This isn’t as bad as it sounds, often with the addition of a good amplifier and replacement of the stock speakers this problem is resolved. Care must be taken when performing this type of installation, make sure you know what wires go where, and don’t add extra speakers without powering them correctly. Adding outdoor speakers is one the most common upgrades. Before doing so make sure that you buy the correct speakers, they must be marine grade to with stand the elements. Just like the video system your audio can be sourced. So before you buy, think about what your trying to accomplish. One thing often overlooked is how loud you really need your system to be, remember most RV parks have rules and quiet time so spending lots of money on a killer audio system may be a waste and would have been better spent on another flat panel, media server, etc..
Installation is as important as the equipment you choose to buy. Unless you have done this type of work before it’s highly recommended that you have it done professionally. Remember you will be dealing with two different electrical system both 12V and 110V, serious damage can occur if things aren’t hooked up correctly. Here at Serious About Sound LLC our technicians can help you with the design and choosing the right products for you and your families needs. We also offer installation of all our maufacturer’s products. We are fully insured and have a secure facility to accommodate most larger size RV’s. If you are a dealer, Serious About Sound can provide you with on site installations. We try to make it easy for dealers to use our services on new and custom ordered RV’s.