Mounting a large flat screen television in your truck while simultaneously freeing up your factory TV slot for more storage space seems like a pipe-dream at best, but we've done it. You will see first-hand what worked for us over the past five years in three different trucks from three different manufacturers. By just looking at the images, you would assume this will take up a lot of space inside the truck. It's the exact opposite. You won't believe how compactly it fits in the bunk area and your lower bunk will still open with no problems. Today's flat panel television technology allows incredible flexibility for you to enjoy large screen viewing in your truck. In this article we will show you how we put a large flat panel TV in a Freightliner Cascadia. You can use this blog for a International ProStar and a Volvo truck using the same basic frame work with minor modifications. We recommend a Low-Profile Tilting Wall Mount that will accommodate up to a 40" Flat-Panel TV's. The price range on an appropriate Wall Mount is normally around $80-$150. These can be found at any Best Buy or appropriate electronics store. There are other cheaper units on the market, but we don't recommend cutting costs in this area especially since the other associated costs of this stand are very minimal. The Wall Mount Bracket is the only material where you will need to spend the money for quality. This mounting system works for company drivers that change trucks and owner operator's alike. Our setup requires no drilling or permanent alteration of your truck in any way. If you have to move to another truck this mount can be removed in minutes with no signs it was ever there.
The following materials are suggested. Just a note, we found the original wood color to be distracting so we chose to spray paint it black.
-QUANTITY (3) 2 x 4" x 8' Studs
-One Box of 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" Wood Screws
-A Good Quality Low-Profile Tilting Wall Mount Bracket
-4 Decking Support Brackets for 2 x 4's.
-Industrial Strength Velcro (If Desired, Not Required)
-Spray Paint (If Desired, Not Required)
Building Recommendations for Freightliner Cascadia Truck: (Small adjustments will have to be made for different manufactured trucks, different model trucks and window configurations. It took us about two hours per manufactuer to modify for each truck) We used two screws per 2 x 4 on our first build but found over time the impact of traveleling the nation's highway's started to crack the wood at the joints. On our second build we used three screws per 2 x 4 and have had no further cracking in those areas.
Note: This is really at lot easier than our instructions make it looks. If your like me you hate reading instructions probably as much as I hate typing them out, so with that in mind please review these instructions best you can and contact us with any questions you may have.
1. Start with your horizontal 2 x 4 base at the very bottom. Length 22 1/4"
2. Next create your two main outside vertical supports, Length 26"
Note: You will not create and screw in the two inside horizontal supports yet. You will measure their position later and insert them.
Now, to create the structure on top that supports the wall mount.
3. The two long horizontal pieces are approximately 24" and 23" long . The top horizontal piece is this length to give you something to hold when you are inserting and removing the base.
4. Create the small inside horizontal piece that are stacked and screwed individually. The length is 13", You will notice there is a gap there. We recommend you completely fill the gap with 2x4" for a sturdy base and more drilling options for your mounting bracket. All you are doing here is creating a false wall for you to mount your wall bracket. Modify as you see fit.
5. Create the two vertical pieces. The lengths are 3 3/4".
6. Now you can screw the TV Wall Mount onto the wooden stand and put the connecting bracket on the back of your TV.
7. Inside the truck's bunk area, where you want to place the stand and TV, unscrew the four screws in the trim around your push out vent. Leave the trim around the window with out the screws in it.
8. Take the 4 deck brackets and screw one in each hole in your window trim. Open part of the bracket at the top.
9. Now you are going to measure where you need the two inside horizontal 2 x 4's on the stand. Place two loose 2 x 4 pieces in these brackets. Insert your stand around them and mark on the stand where they connect with the outer base. When measuring, make sure the bottom 2 x 4 of the stand is sitting firmly on the lid to the bunk. We're referring to the lid that your mattress container lays on. It needs to rest in the space between the bed and the outer wall firmly. Please note this is were all the weight rests. The deck brackets screwed to the window are only to keep the stand from falling forward, not to hold weight. When you have marked where those inside horizontal 2 x 4's should be placed on your outer base, screw them into place.
10. Place the stand inside the metal brackets and screw the brackets into the stand.
Strength and Stability:
Everything bounces around while the truck is moving. Those unwanted noises can be an annoyance. This is the solution we found helpful for the shake, rattle and roll. Velcro the bottom of the base to the lid of the bunk between your mattress and the wall. We use the soft side of the Velcro on the 2 x 4 and the hook side or "grippy part" on the lid of the bunk. Pro-tip: Put some Velcro on the front of the stand where the TV doesn't cover and you can Velcro your remote to the front of the base. Your stand is now stable it wouldn't hurt to use some bungee cords to minimize shaking. Use your best discretion as to where you put your own bungees. We put one up around the top bunk and one off behind the cabinet to the left. We place on bungee from the wooden stand up to the top bunk, which is always down. Then another from the stand to behind the cabinet which is to the left of where we placed our TV.
Mounting the TV:
Mount the TV to the wall mount and make sure it is locked in place depending on the wall mounting system you purchased. The wall mount that we use allows for left and right sliding of the TV. We weren't sure that hitting a big bump wouldn't cause the TV to shift on the mount from left to right even though it was locked in place. Where the bracket on the back of the TV locks to the wall mount, we placed vice grips to make sure the TV does not slide side to side if that locking mechanism should fail. Our wall mount had small holes in it so we used these holes to place bungies from the top middle of the wall mount, around the outside of the TV and connected them to the 2 x 4 on the stand underneath the TV. We also placed bungies from the mount to the base of the stand to stop vertical vibration of the TV. Again, your mount and televison will be different. Secure it any way you see fit. Extra pillows can even be used to reduce movement and unwanted noise.
If you have any questions feel free to use the "Contact Us" link and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Coming soon will be a "Source For Your TV Blog" Including reviews on ChromeCast, WiFi HD Antenna, HDMI from your Laptop and other options.