How to Install a DVD Player in a Dodge Caravanby Chris Moore
Installing a DVD player in a minivan, such as a Dodge Caravan, isn't as easy as with an SUV, especially if you have an older model van. The possible lack of bucket seats in the middle limits the number of places for a headrest player. The van's higher ceiling can make a ceiling-mounted player more difficult to watch. Still, there are multiple ways you can install a DVD player in your Caravan, although hiring an expert is recommended for methods such as mounting one to the ceiling.
Choose a spot to install the DVD player and purchase the appropriate set. If you get a headrest player, you can be limited to the front seat headrests unless the Caravan has bucket seats in the middle. For a ceiling player, pick a spot where both the middle and rear seats can get a good view.
Mount the DVD player to the ceiling using the screws on the frame. The ceiling must have a metal sheet between the upholstery and the headliner. Otherwise, you must remove the upholstery and place a large piece of plastic or wood behind it. Make sure the player isn't in the way of an overhead light.
For a headrest installation, remove the upholstery from the headrest and cut a hole into the foam. Attach the player's frame with contact cement. Cut into the upholstery after reattaching it and place the player into its frame.
If you don't want to cut or drill into any part of the interior, buy a portable DVD player to mount inside. Place the portable player in a case that has straps to hang it from a headrest, or get a shelf that hangs from the backrest on which the player can be placed. Lay adhesive strips on the shelf to secure the player.
Make note of how the DVD player will be powered, especially if it doesn't come with batteries. A ceiling player must be wired directly to the electrical system. Route the wiring through the upholstery and door frame to the steering column. Other models, especially unmounted portable players, can use adapter plugs to a cigarette lighter.
Include a set of headphones to listen to the DVD audio in private. These headphones can be difficult for backseat listening, as you'll need an extra-long cord that might get in the way of anyone sitting in the middle seats.
Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.