How to Install a Radio Into an RV

How to Install a Radio Into an RV
New RVs typically come with factory-installed radios, but there are all kinds of reasons why you might need to install a radio yourself. You could be restoring an old RV, refitting a truck or bus into an RV, or simply do not like the radio you have. If you have any experience with installing car radios, installing a radio into your RV is reassuringly familiar.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pocket knife
Step 1
Shut down the RV's 12-volt DC electrical system by disconnecting the battery with a wrench. Unscrew the negative terminal first.
Step 2
Thread the wiring and connected adapter through the new radio's cage and then slide the cage that comes with the new radio into the aperture, and lock it into place by pushing out the tabs on the cage with a screwdriver.
Step 3
Examine the wires from your radio and make sure they have enough exposed metal for installation. If not, strip off some insulation with a pocket knife.
Step 4
Match the speaker, antennae, power supply and ground wires from your radio to the stereo wiring adapter in the aperture. The wire colors should match, making this an easy task. If they do not, consult your RV stereo manual and the manual for the new radio. Also, the radio might have a ground wire with a big clamp on the end. If yours does, this is connected to a bolt elsewhere in the radio assembly, so fasten that wire as directed by the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 5
Reconnect the battery, put the faceplate on the radio and give it a test run. If it doesn't work, you probably connected the wiring improperly and need to look at it again.
Step 6
Install the radio's bracket fittings with either bolts and nuts or screws, depending on your kit. Then slide it into the cage until it clicks into position.
Step 7
Attach and secure the radio's faceplate as directed by the manufacturer.

Tips & Warnings

If your radio is smaller than the aperture for it, which is often the case when installing a new car radio into an older RV radio's space, the radio will be too small to secure. If this is the case in your RV, use a car radio adapter to create a better fit.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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