Replacing Axxera radio!
Well, after much research and fiddling I pulled the trigger on a replacement radio for the POS Axxera radio. I went with the Pioneer AVIC-8200NEX. For me, this unit had the best features and options. Although, the deciding factor was the navigation system which is powered by HERE maps, which offers free lifetime updates. Coverage includes US and Canada.
What I really like about the nav system is the ability to create a profile for my rig, with all of the dimensions, including weight. Also which type of roads I want to avoid, dirt roads, toll roads etc.
Bluetooth pairing was simple and easy, also has Apple play. For those of you with IPhones, you can plug in your iPhone and your apps will appear on the touchscreen, giving you full control of your phone thru the touchscreen; text messages, phone calls etc. I purchased the XM tuner for $30.00 on Amazon and added it as well. Although if you have a Sirius account and pay the additional $4.00 per month, you can simply play Sirius on your iPhone app and feed it via Bluetooth thru the stereo, it sounds great. Not sure about the streaming costs, I can't imagine it's using that much data!
It also receives free traffic info via the the Total traffic network, which partners with Clear Channel, I like free stuff!! One more important feature was the units ability to connect to my 3 cameras. Unlike the Axxera, when I switch to the rear camera, I still have control of the radio volume.
On a down side, it appears I did lose the mic on the rear camera, I guess the up side to that is I don't have to listen to the wife yelling at me!! That's just naming a few of the great options.
The install took approx 1.5 hrs at a local car toys shop, the installer did a fantastic job!!
On a different topic, when I removed dash cover, I was surprised at how thin it was and how much dead space was under the dash!! I also found a 3-4 inch diameter hole under the dash panel as well. This hole has several wiring bundles running to the chassis. There was easily 2 plus inches of open space for (road & engine) noise, air and bugs to make its way into the coach, not to mention letting heat or cool air escape!!
I used a can of pest block insulation spray foam to plug the hole. Next I found some heat resistant 1/2 inch foam and some 1/4 inch sound deadening material. I glued the sound deadoner material to the foam and placed it into the dash filling the voids.
Next I ordered some Dynamat 11102 Dynaliner 3/4 inch sound deadener. I cut and formed it to fit the dash cover, and used the dynatape to cover all seems and edges.
With all modifications in place, plus the earlier dog house modification, I've noticed a YUGE (HUGE) reduction in the noise level. I'm on a mission now to try and reduce the engine and road noise as much as I can. My next project when it warms up will be to clean the wheel well area under the driver and passenger seats and apply a couple of coats of Boom Mat sound deadoner to see if I can further reduce the noise levels. I may not be able to eliminate the noise, but any more reduction added to what I've done already, will be a big improvement over when I started this venture!!
I'll try and attach some pics I took along the way!