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Discussion Starter #1
My wife & I recently purchased a used, 1999 Trail-Lite Bantam 17 hybrid travel trailer for a trip to PEI & Nova Scotia this coming summer. The last time we camped along this route, I entertained our daughter with a 2.7” LCD TV and tapes transferred to our camcorder. This makeshift tangle of cables was a pain and a safety hazard; and I’m surprised our daughter didn’t squint the entire time. I briefly had in my possession (but didn’t install) a 5.6” roof mounted LCD screen. I was reluctant to slice holes in the headliner, and I would really like to be able to bring the video system inside the trailer on rain days. Our “new” trailer has a TV shelf & antenna. The options outlined below revolve around a DVD/VCD theme because tapes just take up too much space, but other opinions are welcome.

1. Portable DVD/VCD player with integral LCD screen for car viewing & 13” TV in trailer. (PROS: All-in-one solution for DVD/VCD/CD/MP3, highly portable. CONS: Where do you put it in the car?, need a separate TV to watch broadcasts)

2. Portable DVD/VCD player with separate LCD screen for car viewing & 13” TV for trailer. (PROS: Plays DVD/VCD/CD/MP3, highly portable, easy to mount LCD in car. CONS: Getting pricey, need a separate TV to watch broadcasts)

3. Portable DVD/VCD player with separate LCD TV. (PROS: Plays DVD/VCD/CD/MP3, highly portable, now you have a TV! CONS: Damn expensive for decent screen sizes)

4. Laptop computer with DVD-ROM and USB TV tuner. (PROS: You’ve got everything you need & more, very portable. CONS: Very expensive option, an even bigger pain to place in the car, USB tuners have so-so quality, high theft risk, I’m trying to get AWAY from computers on vacation!)

If some of you have wrestled with a similar problem, I’d love to hear about your solution!


Mike Clarke
 

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Why not use a 9" TV/VCR or TV/DVD with the Steel Horse tote?

PROS: It straps between the front seats very securely and once you do the initial instalation, it's quite easy to take in and out. No holes to cut anywhere. Pretty cheap (my VCR setup was a total of $240). Gives you TV as well. Move it from the van to home to your trailer to another van.

CONS: Locks front seats together, no reclining on long trips for the passenger. Driver or passenger gets TV sound in his/her ear because of side firing speakers on most 9" TV's. (This can be solved with headphones or the use of battery powered computer speakers plugged into the headphone jack.) Not as elegant as built in systems. No moving from the front to the back while in motion.

Do a search for 'Steel Horse'in this forum, quite a lot has been posted on them. I love mine.

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D Schaefer
99 Odyssey EX
93 Escort LX
60 Thunderbird Conv.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by donlibes:
Get a book bag. Visit public library. Fill with books. Place book bag between 2nd row seats. Cost: $0.

What? Your child doesn't like to read? All the more reason to do this then!
</font>
She loves books, but she won't read for 6 hours straight; and "I spy" will drive both driver and passenger to new levels of insanity in short order! In-car video IS a very good way to occupy a restless child for short periods of time and does wonders to mitigate adult stress levels when it comes time to set up camp.

Mike
 

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You have a point there. But how often do you take 6 hour trips? For us, it's rare enough that I would just bring along my laptop and let her watch DVDs while it sits on her lap.

When I bought my Ody, I figured that if it had the RES built-in, she'd see it every day and ask to use it every day. Who needs that grief? (Besides, if she got the RES, then I wouldn't have been able to get the NAVI!)

So I guess I'm voting for your option 4 although I don't see the point of a tuner. As if the stuff on broadcast TV isn't bad enough, who needs the commercials?

I do sympathize with your desire to get away from computers, though. On the other hand, your daughter may not share that desire. (Mine sure doesn't.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by donlibes:
You have a point there. But how often do you take 6 hour trips? For us, it's rare enough that I would just bring along my laptop and let her watch DVDs while it sits on her lap.

When I bought my Ody, I figured that if it had the RES built-in, she'd see it every day and ask to use it every day. Who needs that grief? (Besides, if she got the RES, then I wouldn't have been able to get the NAVI!)

So I guess I'm voting for your option 4 although I don't see the point of a tuner. As if the stuff on broadcast TV isn't bad enough, who needs the commercials?

I do sympathize with your desire to get away from computers, though. On the other hand, your daughter may not share that desire. (Mine sure doesn't.)
</font>
Since I'm pretty sure NAVI isn't available in Canada, the lack of it isn't an issue, especially since I never get lost................

We take maybe 2 or 3 long trips (>800 miles) each year, the longest of which is our summer vacation. While we do try to fit 2 or 3 reasonable stopovers into our schedule, we cover so much distance that 6 to 8 hour drives are common.

I agree that a permanent video system would be a pain, since our daughter would want it on all the time. She'd love it if we brought a laptop with us, but I feel that's going beyond the scope of what's reasonable (personal opinion subject to change without notice!).

Mike
 

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We had some of the same concerns about our kids wanting the video on all the time. We just imposed a rule about when they could watch the video system. Generally we won't use it unless the trip is about 2 hours or longer. Once they understood the rule, they almost never ask to watch the video system for short trips. As has been pointed out, the video system is a good way to keep restless children occupied. Also, it can be used for more than just watching videos. Many people have incorporated PS2s and other game systems. Though this is not as educational as reading, there is the "hand/eye coordination" merit of games. One last point is that our kids are not glued to the video system, even when it is on. Many times they color or play other handheld games while the video is on.

One thing to consider in your decision is the safety aspect, which has been talked about in this forum a while ago. It is best that the equipment be well restrained for crash purposes.

Good luck on your decision,

Jeff

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Jeff

'01 SS EX
Cassette, Rosen Video System, Fog Lights, Splash Guards
Full Nose Mask

See photos at:
http://www.fototime.com/inv/B5EC5C7BC6CFA07
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by jvennitti:
One thing to consider in your decision is the safety aspect, which has been talked about in this forum a while ago. It is best that the equipment be well restrained for crash purposes.
</font>
That's why I'm not crazy about schemes involving a 9" portable TV bungee-corded to the armrests or resting on a tray. Same thing for a computer or all-in-one DVD player. The latter two, especially the computer, are not very amicable with the sorts of items found on road trips (eg. coffee, juice, crumbs, dog drool). By the same token, our two dogs should be secured in their own, fenced off area in the cargo bay, but the Cocker Spaniel would drive us to drink with his whimpering and howling.

Mike

[This message has been edited by mclarke (edited 01-24-2002).]
 

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It sounds like something like the Steel Horse (I think that's the product name) might be a good way to go for you. It is portable and seems to mount fairly securely in the van.

There is also the Backseat Theater system that requires little headliner "destruction", but provides a reasonable entertainment system.

Again, good luck with your decision.

Jeff



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Jeff

'01 SS EX
Cassette, Rosen Video System, Fog Lights, Splash Guards
Full Nose Mask

See photos at:
http://www.fototime.com/inv/B5EC5C7BC6CFA07
 

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Search the forum for "Steel Horse". Someone posted a picure of theirs. It really is quite secure.

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D Schaefer
99 Odyssey EX
93 Escort LX
60 Thunderbird Conv.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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Steel Horse product - Mobile Cinema Tv Tote. This is for a 9inch TV/VCR or TV/DVD combo. I paid $64 at Target store the other day. Well made accessory too!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Too bad there are no Target stores in Canada (although I think they did buy a retailer up here recently). Do you have a picture of the "Tote" or a URL that shows it?

Mike

<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by 7155gr:
Steel Horse product - Mobile Cinema Tv Tote. This is for a 9inch TV/VCR or TV/DVD combo. I paid $64 at Target store the other day. Well made accessory too!</font>
 

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It took some digging, but here's the link for the previous thread about the steel horse tote:

http://www.odyclub.com/ubb/Forum4/HTML/000352.html

For some reason, searching for 'Steel Horse' didn't find it. There's some good pics of a unit in an Ody.

If you do get one, don't get frustrated trying to instal it. It took me well over an hour and several tries to get it right. (Don't panic, the second time took about 5 minutes.) The instructions are less than clear, and there's more than one way to do it. I have mine set up a bit differently than the photos in the above link show, I couldn't get it as tight as I wanted with that set up. Stick with it and you'll be happy.

BTW - How does your Ody pull that trailer? I realize that it's well within the weight ratings, but does the large size and extra wind drag give you trouble?

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D Schaefer
99 Odyssey EX
93 Escort LX
60 Thunderbird Conv.

[This message has been edited by dgs (edited 01-30-2002).]
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't know how it will pull yet: we'll find out after we pick it up in April when we pay the balance. At 17', it's really not that big, and the front has a pretty good slope to it. I'll keep all of Ody-dom posted!
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by dgs:
BTW - How does your Ody pull that trailer? I realize that it's well within the weight ratings, but does the large size and extra wind drag give you trouble?

</font>
 

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I came across this site for ideas. I cannot believe the variety of video options Audiovox has. Here is the link to a distributor which has ceiling, bag, console and build your own shells:

http://www.discountmobilevideo.com/
 

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Read and Ride???

Earlier in this thread a few folk mentioned having the little kiddies read on long road trips rather than do the video thing.

I don't know abot you all, but I get a severe headache when I read while riding in a car for more than five or ten minutes. Have had the problem since I was a kid. Even on business trips on a plane, I can only read for 15 minutes or so and then have to take a short break. Planes (the big jets) are more stable in mid flight than any car. Guess it is the the motion sickness thing.

I have not encouraged my 3 year old to read or study small print while in the car for this reason.

Anyone else experience this or am I extra special:)

rlpenny
 

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I too have that same problem. I remember when I was lil we went camping a lot and I could read in the car fine. Now I cant read at all without getting sick. Wife thinks its funny. My kids read, no problem. I should get our 2000 back next week. When I get the Back Seat Theater installed I will post. Cant wait!! Gotta get some movies, too.
 
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