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Old 08-05-2020, 07:00 PM   #1
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THOR #19397
Replacing the Stock Radio

Hi all. Anybody out there ever swapped out the dash radio that came with their rig?

Bought a 2018 Thor Siesta Sprinter a couple of months ago, and we are getting ready for our first major trip. The radio/speakers in this thing are a joke, and I want to replace it. And that's where the odyssey begins. We have an Axxera Double Din unit, with a backup camera and side cameras. It does support Bluetooth and hands free calling. But I'd like satellite radio, and Apple Car Play sure would be nice. As would navigation.

I went to Camping World. They were no help. I went to the local authorized Thor dealer - GeneralRV. He said the radio comes with the Mercedes chassis and he won't touch anything on the chassis. (How the heck can they be the authorized repair shop.)

I called a shop that does repair work and radio installs and such for the local Mercedes dealer. He said no problem, he'd research it and get back to me. Never heard from him again.

I've found two radios that meet the need - both Kenwoods. But I need somebody to put this in because some adapter harness will also be needed.

Any suggestions from someone with real world experience would be appreciated.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:56 PM   #2
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Hi,
I would think that a good Audio shop
would be able to do it. The guys who trick out
those cars with the big boom stereos.
I have seen some things that they do on television
and some of these guys are amazing.
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Old 08-05-2020, 07:59 PM   #3
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I stopped at the two biggest ones in the Jacksonville area. The cameras scare them off.
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Old 08-06-2020, 01:19 PM   #4
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I replaced my own with a Kenwood in a Ford E-450. The hardest part is removing the dash trim to access the radio mount. All of the necessary wiring will already be in place, but you will have to replace the Axxera plug with the provided Kenwood plug. That involves matching wire colors and making good splices. It requires some patience and a minimum of skill. I've read that Best Buy is good with motorhome installations.
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:03 PM   #5
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I had a local shop replace the factory Axxera radio with a Kenwood head unit , I added a powered subwoofer which serves double duty as a foot rest for my wife. To say there was a difference in quality would mean that the original system was actually a radio...... we are now able to hear the music rather than the screeching sounds heard from the stock system. Crystal clear sound at minimal cost. The head unit was 250.00 (they have models with more bells and whistles) the powered subwoofer was 300.00. install was 200.00. We are happy we did it, the wife has good music a foot stool and depending on the type of music playing she also gets a foot massage. .
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:18 PM   #6
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Thank you. Do you have side cameras? Any issues with the Kenwood and cameras?
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAW2018SiestaSS View Post
Thank you. Do you have side cameras? Any issues with the Kenwood and cameras?
Yes, I have the side and rear cameras, they are working better than stock as you can activate them now without loosing sound.

Armando
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:21 PM   #8
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That's great news. Do you have the model number on the Kenwood head unit?
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:25 PM   #9
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Kenwoods will fit perfectly in the Sprinter Dash.
We've got one, and it's been great!
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Old 08-06-2020, 02:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAW2018SiestaSS View Post
That's great news. Do you have the model number on the Kenwood head unit?
Kenwood DMX4707S for the head unit and PA-W801B for the subwoofer.


Head unit also has Apple CarPlay


Armando
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Old 08-06-2020, 03:32 PM   #11
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The cameras are controlled by an outside controller and have nothing to do with the radio head except for standard camera input plug is needed.
The controller is a single cable in. The radio head has no idea of anything except it is hooked up to a single camera. The external. control box is what does the switching.

This is true on regular model rv's where the cameras are an add on, not Ford or ram or gm or Mercedes factory cameras.
Double check me on your vehicle.

And
I think the shops just didn't want to mess with an rv.
Side cameras have been around for years.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:54 PM   #12
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Just today replaced my expensive factory Xite radio with a basic Kenwood. I retained the factory amp but I may replace that too one of these days. Pretty simple job, and Made easier because there were no required contortions for access and there was plenty of room and nice long wires. Mine is SOB, however. Glad I did it and now my RV radio is just like my Jeep radio so I already know how to work it.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:20 AM   #13
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Where I can relate my radio should never have been put in the vehicle it’s impossible for the driver to operate it’s impossible for even the passenger to operate without a magnifying glass 2014 Outlaw. It’s a Jensen by the way. I would absolutely recommend changing it and suggest perhaps considering the people that manufactured the camera system has an alternative
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:39 PM   #14
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Tech is installing a new Kenwood now. The side and rear cameras work, but the quality of the images is very poor. It's almost as if the Kenwood unit is looking for a higher data rate.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:43 PM   #15
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Better cameras?
The quality on mine is excellent!
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:48 PM   #16
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These came with the rig, so I don't imagine they were spec'd very high. The previous owner replaced the rear view mirror with one that has a built in camera display and a separate rear camera. That image is stunning. So yes, I think the issue may be camera quality.

I just hope that the controller doesn't affect it and I just need to find new cameras.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:54 PM   #17
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The image with the Kenwood is a noticeable improvement over the Axxera.
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Old 08-13-2020, 03:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAW2018SiestaSS View Post
These came with the rig, so I don't imagine they were spec'd very high. The previous owner replaced the rear view mirror with one that has a built in camera display and a separate rear camera. That image is stunning. So yes, I think the issue may be camera quality.

I just hope that the controller doesn't affect it and I just need to find new cameras.
They're doing something wrong.
They have a poor signal coming in.
It's not the cameras.
Have them flip the switches on the control box a couple of times and double check their cables. My guess is they bumped a button and are getting a double feed to the one out cable.

Those mirror mount cameras are about the last 5hing I'd ever ever want to mess with. Just getting a mirror off of the rv is major work.
It's a major bit of remove and replace of LOTS of stuff inside those mirrors, and some drilling filing and resizing if you don't manage to get the exact same size and housing cameras.
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Old 08-14-2020, 04:06 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philhy28763 View Post
I've read that Best Buy is good with motorhome installations.

We contacted Best Buy about replacing the Axerra. They said, "no problem," until they heard that our class C is over 25'. That won't fit into their bay.


That struck me as one of the dumber things I've heard this year, and I've heard a lot.



How about I park my rig right next to the bay door and the technician comes out and changes out the Axerra????

If someone can explain Best Buy's logic, please tell me.
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Old 08-14-2020, 11:37 AM   #20
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Most likely since over 99% if their customers are in cars, SUVs, or pickups: they never build with the idea of servicing something so large...
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