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Old 06-05-2018, 02:49 AM   #1
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THOR #5837
Replaced Axxera stereo with Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX

My 2018 Chateau 31E came with the Axxera AVH70 stereo, and I found it very annoying. It mutes the stereo when you use a turn signal, and if you are in rear camera mode it switches to the home screen after turn signal use, so you have to go through menus to get the rear camera view again. When listening to podcasts via bluetooth, it would cut in and out. It didn't stop, but actually cut out partial sentences. When the headlights were on the display would flicker. And the USB connection is only a charger, not an input. It also had no microphone, so the hands-free phone was useless.



So, I replaced it with a Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX DVD/CD receiver. It used to be their flagship model and sold for $800+, but it has now been replaced with the 8201NEX (which looks the same to me), so its now $620 at Walmart or $645 Amazon. This seemed like a good deal to get a good Pioneer stereo with Car Play plus a navigation system. Some details:

7 touch-screen display
Built-in navigation system. Has 7.9 million points of interest.
Can create a navigation system profile for the RV, with vehicle dimensions and weight. Also which type of roads you want to avoid (dirt roads, toll roads, etc.)
Receives free traffic into
Has Apple Car Play
Compatible with the 3 cameras
Does not change the radio volume when switching to camera view
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:03 AM   #2
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THOR #5837
The installation was fairly straightforward. The front cover of the dash from the instrument panel to the glove box unclips. The difficult part is unplugging all the electrical connectors. Then I used a Ford stereo adapter and connected the wires. The Pioneer unit has an extra wire for a vehicle speed sensor (VSS) input. This can improve the accuracy of the nav system. But I couldn't easily find which wire to tap into, so I left it disconnected.


The stereo came with a microphone for hands-free phone use, and I mounted that on top of the steering column. I mounted the GPS antenna on the front right corner of the dash.


I connected the existing HDMI and USB plugs on the dash to the stereo, and I added a USB input and an AUX input in the empty hole between the two 12v power plugs. So now I have 2 USB inputs -- one supports Apple CarPlay from my iPhone. The other will support Android Auto, or can just be used as an iPod input/charger.


The AUX input will allow me to connect a cable from the TV to the stereo so I can play the TV sound through the stereo. The TV speakers fire downward into the bunk and aren't very loud anyway, so they are difficult to hear, especially if the A/C is on.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:59 AM   #3
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THOR #10803
Nice! I was just looking at that same unit. Does the video from your side mirrors come up automatically when you activate the turn signal?
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:28 AM   #4
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THOR #3918
I have that Axxera in my 2018 Windsport and I use hands free calling all the time with no issues so it must hav a microphone. Also the HDMI is not just a power source I use it to mirror my IPhone. However, it does mute the radio when I put on the turn signals which is annoying and I am thinking of replacing it for that reason alone.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gdi_m View Post
Nice! I was just looking at that same unit. Does the video from your side mirrors come up automatically when you activate the turn signal?
Yes. I used the existing camera multiplexer box with the 3 camera inputs and one output connected to the radio and it switches with the turn signals and reverse signal as before.
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Old 06-05-2018, 03:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Kev View Post
I have that Axxera in my 2018 Windsport and I use hands free calling all the time with no issues so it must hav a microphone. Also the HDMI is not just a power source I use it to mirror my IPhone. However, it does mute the radio when I put on the turn signals which is annoying and I am thinking of replacing it for that reason alone.
I was specifically talking about the USB, which is a charger only. I did use the dual mirror function a couple of times, but usually just mounted my phone on dash and used its display for nav and the Axxera screen for camera viewing and music control.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
I was specifically talking about the USB, which is a charger only. I did use the dual mirror function a couple of times, but usually just mounted my phone on dash and used its display for nav and the Axxera screen for camera viewing and music control.
What about the hands free talking have you tried that?
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Old 06-05-2018, 05:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Kev View Post
What about the hands free talking have you tried that?
On the new unit it works great. And I can easily dial with voice commands. The Axxera never worked hands free for me. Id get a call while driving and answer it via hands free but couldnt be heard so Id have to grab my phone and switch to Hand held. When I removed it there was no external mic connected. Maybe it had an internal mic but that didnt work well.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:03 PM   #9
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Is the video quality from the side and rear cameras any better than the Axxera? Ours is so bad that the side cameras are useless. Backup camera is okay, but still not that great. Wondering if it's an issue with the video quality of the stereo unit or the cameras.
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Old 06-05-2018, 06:54 PM   #10
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THOR #5190
I just went through an exercise in futility with my Axxera uv615bhm. I was trying to get a bluetooth transmitter to connect so I could route TV sound to the speakers above the couch are (now a recliner area).

I could get the Axxera to "connect" but maybe 5% of the time it would actually produce sound. I have since given up and have a 15ft headphone cable that we run above the door and plugs into the aux input. That mostly works, but with a low volume hum you can hear when the TV is muted. Replacement is on the plan, but she who must be obeyed says that I've already spent my allowance for this year.

Just for grins I sent an inquiry to Axxera through their lack of support link. I got back gibberish - which is basically what I expected.

First response

"Dear Coustmer,
The AV615BHM is already equipt with a bluetooth transmitter."

I responded noting that I'd asked about the Axxera receiving not transmitting and got

"Thank you again and I did look into this and I found this is a Bluetooth device like an iPhone so it will not connect to a receiver like the AV615BHM."

Funny, my iPhone 7 connects and works just fine, at least for music, podcasts, etc. However, I have never attempted to make a call or answer on through the Axxera. I've seen a bunch of folks note that a common problem is Thor forgetting to connect the microphone. Never tried with mine, so I don't know what I have.
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Old 06-05-2018, 07:13 PM   #11
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THOR #5837
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Originally Posted by DanChateau33SW View Post
Is the video quality from the side and rear cameras any better than the Axxera? Ours is so bad that the side cameras are useless. Backup camera is okay, but still not that great. Wondering if it's an issue with the video quality of the stereo unit or the cameras.
It's a little better but still not great. My side cameras have always been okay, but the rear camera isnt good in really bright light or in the dark. Its only good on cloudy days, dawn, or dusk.
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Old 06-11-2018, 03:34 PM   #12
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THOR #5837
We went camping over the weekend, with several hours of driving each way, so I got to test out the new stereo some more. Overall I'm very happy with the upgrade. There is no more annoying muting of the stereo whenever I change lanes, and I think the stereo sound quality is even better. It was nice to connect the TV headphone output to the stereo's AUX input and get really good sound while watching movies. Once connected, the volume can be adjusted with the TV remote.


There were a couple of cons:
- To turn it off you have to go to the A/V input selection menu, and then select "Power Off". It would be nice to just have an on/off button instead.


- The built in navigation system did some strange routing. It would tell me to exit the freeway and take some side roads and then get back onto the freeway. Maybe it was trying to avoid some traffic, but Google Maps and Waze were not telling me to exit the freeway. I checked my settings, and I have routing set on "fastest", and I don't have it avoiding toll roads, so I'm not sure why this strange routing is happening.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:57 PM   #13
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Model: Hurricane 31S
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THOR #4468
I have a Thor Class A on the F53 chassis. I also want to replace the Axxera but can find no plug and play harnesses listed for the F53 chassis. Where did you find your harness?
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:30 AM   #14
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THOR #12406
Camera

Quote:
Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
My 2018 Chateau 31E came with the Axxera AVH70 stereo, and I found it very annoying. It mutes the stereo when you use a turn signal, and if you are in rear camera mode it switches to the home screen after turn signal use, so you have to go through menus to get the rear camera view again. When listening to podcasts via bluetooth, it would cut in and out. It didn't stop, but actually cut out partial sentences. When the headlights were on the display would flicker. And the USB connection is only a charger, not an input. It also had no microphone, so the hands-free phone was useless.



So, I replaced it with a Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX DVD/CD receiver. It used to be their flagship model and sold for $800+, but it has now been replaced with the 8201NEX (which looks the same to me), so its now $620 at Walmart or $645 Amazon. This seemed like a good deal to get a good Pioneer stereo with Car Play plus a navigation system. Some details:

7 touch-screen display
Built-in navigation system. Has 7.9 million points of interest.
Can create a navigation system profile for the RV, with vehicle dimensions and weight. Also which type of roads you want to avoid (dirt roads, toll roads, etc.)
Receives free traffic into
Has Apple Car Play
Compatible with the 3 cameras
Does not change the radio volume when switching to camera view
Did you have any problem with cameras showing opposite after changing radio thanks bob
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Old 08-25-2018, 03:08 PM   #15
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Florida
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THOR #7049
I'm not sure whether to post this as a reply or start a new thread but I am currently replacing the instrument panel on my Thor 2015 chateau 31l... This seems like a good time to also replace the radio / backup camera dot-dot-dot the backup camera is almost worthless in that you cannot see it most of the time and the side views are almost impossible to see with the turn signal on. So, with that said I am primarily interested in a good back-up camera... Does anybody have any suggestions? I have a Toyota RAV4 and The Back-up Camera there is Crystal Clear in almost any lighting situation I was not really concerned with the stereo... More so the camera viewability
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