This is a question we get a lot when people check out our trailer. That and…do you have to take the tailgating TV’s down before you travel? I’ll try to answer these as best I can, but I’ll warn you….I’m not AV expert. I did work at Best Buy for a while, but I worked in appliances about as much as video, so not sure I can call myself an expert. I could upsell some Monster Cable like a champion though…
Back on topic…
***Oct 2015 UPDATE*** We purchased an LED TV for one of our starter tailgating packages (it’s a hitch mounted TV package we rent to tailgaters, see more by clicking HERE) and really like the additional brightness of the LED TV. We went that direction with a few of the trailers we built and have been happy with the results. Plasma TV’s are also becoming a lot harder to find as they are being phased out.
Plasma: The workhorse tailgating TV
For our “Heisman” trailer, we chose 51″ Samsung Plasma TV’s (link to TV at Best Buy) attached to a swivel mount from Monoprice.com that set us back around $40-$50. We have been extremely pleased with the durability of the TV’s. Not sure of the reliability of this or not, but someone told us if we had gone with the LCD version, the grease in the smoke from the grill (located 10+ feet away when cooking) would eat through the screen itself. Yikes. That would have been a disaster. You can see some spots on the outside of the TV, but the screen looks great. For our “All American” trailer, we went with 43″ Plasmas (Samsung Site for more info) and hope to have the same result. I’m amazed at the continued price drop of these things.
Durability. We don’t take our tailgating TV’s down before traveling. Seems to have been a good decision so far, as mounting each time we set up would definitely increase the tailgate setup time. We have used the Heisman trailer for three seasons now, and taken it to road games in Fayetville and Shreveport. So with the back and forth trips to College Station from DFW and the road games, I’d say we have put a few miles on the trailer and the TV’s have been solid. My brother even took the trailer to his deer lease a time or two, and traveled down a long, heavily wooded “road” with no issues.
Glare. I’d say the only downside would be the glare in bright sunlight. We have found that angling the TV’s towards the ground and increasing the brightness to 100% helps, but the TV’s really are the best at night. Doesn’t surprise me, as these things were made to be put in comfy movie rooms and over mantles in dimly lit rooms. We also try to put as many canopies around the trailer as possible to cut the brightness around the trailer to a minimum.
We have also had people suggest using outdoor TV’s, but for the cost and the decreased viewing angles, we don’t see that as being an efficient option. For the price of one of those outdoor TV’s, you could probably buy three of our big plasmas.
Some of you AV gurus feel free to chime in with comments/suggestions.
If you’d like to see our tailgating TV’s in action for yourself, check out our website at www.biggametrailers.com to get rental & sales info.