How to pass all that time traveling.

As we get ready to leave on our trip to the Black Hills and Yellowstone next week, I have spent an awful lot of time trying to decide how best to pass the time spent in the truck.

Jackson (our 10 year old son) is bringing along a close family friend by the name of Isaiah. We have always had a portable DVD player for Jackson to use and he recently purchased himself an iPad mini that he also uses in the car.

A while back Jackson asked if there was a way to play video games in the truck. I pondered this question and realized that there probably was. Our truck has a built-in inverter that gives us 150 Watts of AC power. I figured that would be enough to power the xBox and maybe an LCD TV. My original plan was to mount this TV between the two front seats. When I temporarily set this up I noticed that neither of the rear occupants  had a clear view of the screen and each had to tilt their neck to see the TV.

I then looked into dual monitors that could be attached to the back of the front seat headrests. The biggest ones I could find were 9″. This was problematic because many of the games the boys play are two person and use a split screen thereby making each viewing area even smaller. The deal breaker here was that the reasonably priced dual screens I found did not allow for video input. They could only play a DVD in one screen’s built-in player and output to the other screen.

While I was at the Walmart looking at portable video screens I noticed thin, lightweight 19″ LCD HD TVs sold under the name of Orion. They sold for $98! I bought two, hung them off the back of the headrests and now each boy has an easy to see video screen right in front of him that can be used simultaneously to watch the same program/game or can be used individually so each kid can watch what he wants.

We tested it our on a trip to Belmont Race Track last weekend and the setup worked flawlessly. I’m kinda proud of myself for figuring this out, not for using TV and video games to occupy my kid for hours on end – but that’s a topic for another blog entry.

This is the rear of the TV. I used nylon straps secured to the TV using the threaded holes for the backets.

This is the rear of the TV. I used nylon straps secured to the TV using the threaded holes for the backets.

Here are the TVs installed on the back of the front seat headrests. These are VERY lighweight. Each weighs in a 5.1 lbs! Notice the milkcrate between the seats. The Xbox is secured to the top. The games and remotes will be stored inside.

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