Why Are RV Entertainment Systems So Old?

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Couple entertaining themselves playing guitar outside of RV.

RV manufacturers often add the latest technologies to their RVs. However, not much has changed when it comes to RV entertainment systems. Depending on how you use your RV, this can be rather frustrating. So why are RV entertainment systems so old? Let’s take a look and see!

What Is an RV Entertainment System? 

An RV entertainment system includes all the electrical components you could use to entertain yourself in your RV. While you may be looking to use your RV to unplug and disconnect from technology, many RV manufacturers include these systems in their units.

No matter how often you use it, an RV entertainment system is excellent to have when the weather doesn’t cooperate and the rain or cold forces you to stay inside your camper. Some RVers even use their entertainment systems to host watch parties for a big game. This can be a great way to connect with other campers.

RV entertainment system and television in a camper

What Types of Entertainment Systems Will You Find in an RV?

When it comes to entertainment systems in RVs, you’ll typically find a TV, radio, and CD/DVD player. These are often low-budget electronics. However, you may need to upgrade depending on your needs and preferences.

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There are a couple of upgrades that many RVers make from the factory entertainment system. The first upgrade is adding a Blu-ray player to their system. Despite Blu-ray players coming out in 2006, even some of the most luxurious RVs only come with DVD players. Some RVers opt to add a Google Chromecast or Amazon Firestick to stream their favorite shows or movies and ditch DVDs and CDs altogether.

The second upgrade many RVers make is to their speakers. Much like DVD players, the sound system is where manufacturers may sacrifice quality to keep costs down. However, many RVers aren’t particular about their speakers and aren’t bothered by the low quality.

Why Are RV Entertainment Systems So Old?

The majority of RV owners aren’t picky regarding the entertainment system in their RV. For many, the RV itself is a source of entertainment. RVers plan to take their RV to a local campground a few times each year.

They’ll spend most of their time outside the RV and may not rely on the RV entertainment system. For these RVers, a high-quality entertainment system would be rather useless and would only add to the cost of the RV. Therefore, manufacturers have cut costs and continued to use the same old systems they’ve always been using.

However, there’s a new breed of RVers on the scene. Full-time RVing has gained popularity in recent years. The needs and expectations of many full-time RVers are much different than a recreational RVer. They want to have the latest technology and are more willing to pay for it. This often means upgrading TVs and other pieces of technology to accommodate their needs.

The vast majority of RV owners aren’t demanding upgrades to their RV entertainment system. These upgrades would increase production costs, ultimately getting passed down to consumers. Don’t expect significant changes in this area until there’s a change in consumer demand.

How Do I Replace My RV Radio?

You might want to replace the radio in your RV for multiple reasons. Maybe it broke, or you want to upgrade to add a DVD or Blu-ray player. If you’ve ever replaced a car stereo, you know it’s not a massive project. If this is your first try, don’t panic. It’s a relatively simple job that just about anybody can do with a handful of tools.

Many radios in RV entertainment systems are held in place by a few screws. You may need to remove the old radio faceplate to access these screws. Once you unscrew the mounting screws, you can pull the entire stereo out and expose the wiring. Don’t worry; manufacturers commonly provide a few clues to ensure everything is connected correctly.

The biggest mistake you can make is to start unplugging and clipping wires from the old stereo. If the old stereo was hooked up correctly, looking at how it is connected can help ensure you hook up the new radio correctly. This is especially helpful when connecting speaker wires, as they may all look the same.

Follow the instructions with the stereo and ensure any wires connected to the old stereo get connected to the new stereo. Don’t cut any wires if you don’t know what they go to or how you’ll join them to the new unit.

After connecting all the wiring, you may notice the new radio is smaller than the old radio. A quick trip to the lumber store and a bit of creativity can help. You can cut the wood to create a tight fit for your new RV radio.

Keep in Mind: Considering replacing your stereo system? Learn about our favorite stereos to upgrade your RV.

Two remotes sitting in the back pocket of a travel trailer for the RV entertainment system

How Can I Get Better Reception in My RV Antenna?

Yes, some RV entertainment systems still use antennas. There have been many technological advancements in the past few years, especially regarding RV antennas for televisions. If you have an RV that’s a few years old, you might upgrade your RV antenna and install a booster on it.

A booster can significantly improve the clarity and quality of your reception. You may only have to undo a few screws or bolts and connect the new antenna. 

Pro Tip: Upgrade your reception with these top-rated antenna suggestions.

How Can I Upgrade My RV Sound System?

Quality sound systems can be pretty pricey. RV manufacturers may not spend the money on putting them in the RV due to low demand. However, upgrading your speakers can be a relatively simple project.

Many speakers in an RV entertainment system will have a cover over them to protect them. Once you remove this cover, a handful of screws should hold each of your speakers in place. Slide the speaker out of the hole and note the polarity of each speaker wire. Make sure you hook up your new speakers using the correct polarity for the best results.

Now place the speakers back in the hole and tighten the screws to hold the speaker in place. If your new speakers came with a cover, put the cover back on and crank the tunes to test the speakers. You should notice a massive improvement in sound quality. Just don’t get so carried away with the action movies that you disturb your camping neighbors.

guitar in kitchen for entertainment.

Is Upgrading Your RV Entertainment System Worth It?

Upgrading your RV entertainment system can be worth it if you plan to use it. Many RVers use their RVs to escape the real world and won’t spend much time watching movies or listening to music.

Instead of upgrading their RV, many will purchase Bluetooth speakers or tablets, which are helpful even when you’re not camping. What do you want to change about your RV’s entertainment system?

Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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