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Old 11-19-2017, 11:23 PM   #1
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Stereo upgrade etc...

Hello friends.

We have a 78' Excella Sovereign that we're doing a small remodel on. It was in great shape when we got it so it's hard to tear into the original, however, the 8 track has to go! So, what do ya'll recommend for electronics? We need a new stereo, speakers, and wifi connectivity. What's the hot ticket?

Also, we're installing new flooring. Out goes the brown shag! We'd love to go cork but we live in the pacific northwest and water is an issue so we're thinking drop & done flooring..anybody used this and how is it for you?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
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Old 11-20-2017, 08:25 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amy air View Post
Hello friends.

We have a 78' Excella Sovereign that we're doing a small remodel on. It was in great shape when we got it so it's hard to tear into the original, however, the 8 track has to go! So, what do ya'll recommend for electronics? We need a new stereo, speakers, and wifi connectivity. What's the hot ticket?

Also, we're installing new flooring. Out goes the brown shag! We'd love to go cork but we live in the pacific northwest and water is an issue so we're thinking drop & done flooring..anybody used this and how is it for you?

Any thoughts would be appreciated!
I would start at your local auto stereo shop. See how much you want to spend and then go from there. They will have everything, but in IMO keep in simple. Especially if you want to Boondock. You don't want high power amps and subwoofers. You want a stereo to play music and DVDs to link to your TV. Maybe you want to have an XM radio. In this day and age you want bluetooth and the ability to plug in a USB stick with music. My unit came with a multi CD player. Of course that went out last decade. Now it just takes space.

For WiFi I would look at the threads that cover WiFi and on road connectivity. They will be able to guide you in that area.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:07 AM   #3
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You need the Crutchfield catalog.
They're the leader in mobile stereo.
They also have the parts like faceplates and covers if you need to fit in odd places.
https://www.crutchfield.com

Don't overcomplicate it. I had a stereo in my former RV that must have had 10 buttons. None were labeled. It did everything but I never knew what button to push, especially while driving.
Stick with a brand name.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:21 AM   #4
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X2 on Crutchfield. Have used them since they started into business.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:24 AM   #5
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Also check out marine stereos as they are built for more vibration and often include a weather band which is a useful addition.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:42 AM   #6
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I bought a Sony car radio/cd player (less than $60) and picked up a Bose III which consists of a bass unit and two cubes. The Sony is installed above the fridge and the speakers are mounted between the kitchen and the front of the trailer. We have traveled full time for 10 years and towed our AS with a 4X4 Ford E350 on every road surface for 200,000+mi. Sony still works and the Bose has never failed.
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Old 11-20-2017, 10:53 AM   #7
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Before installing the flooring be sure to check for any rot in the plywood. Repair the floor as you see fit and then paint it with "Rot Doctor" two part epoxy. It will take several gallons to make the floor resistant to mold and fungal growth. Just make sure you have several fans to pull in fresh air while you are painting it on.

Peel n stick is good but you can put anything on the floor that appeals to you but keep in mind that you will want to redecorate every three to four years. Consider the weight of the material before buying. Lighter the better.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:13 AM   #8
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Congratulations. Let the overhauling begin! I have to tell you I spent over half of what I bought my Safari for in upgrades already! All DIY. Electronics?

My suggestion would be to get TV mounts if you do not already have them. Get two newer TVs and wire the trailer with HDMI and an HDMI switcher. My model did not have a bedroom TV but had the electrical outlet and cable connection for where one would go. I used the wiring tray conduit under the floor to wire the HDMI from one side to the other - different in each trailer most likely. Also, Airstream recommended to me to avoid the OEM radio/TV audio solution and go with two separate means to make it easier. That was good advice.
--TVs
--small TV soundbar system
--new radio head unit with Bluetooth/phone/streaming
--BlueRay Player
--Apple TV or Roku Stick (if you plan to use streaming services for movies, etc.)
--HDMI update to crank antenna or newer design air HDMI antenna
--WiFi Ranger AC (all in one solution- Elite AC Pack is if you keep your crank up rod)
--Cell Booster (Wilson has different options. I just went with cradle and roof mounted antenna on gounding plane)
--LevelPro helps level the trailer at all stops. Invaluable.
--TPMS - Tire Pressure Monitoring. A simple system is all you need.

addtional:
inverter- to run devices when not on electric- minimally a unit with ac plugs. More extensive is wired into camper electric

solar- to charge batteries for inverter use when not hooked up to electric
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Old 11-20-2017, 12:09 PM   #9
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Start with determining what your budget is and what you are trying to achieve.

Basic Airstream clarion car stereo (clari-crap) system that comes from the factory is about $200 (crappy stereo and 4 crappy speakers). It works fine for people who don't really care about sound quality, clarity, power or total acoustical experience.

If you want a proper acoustic experience you could easily start your budget in $2-3k+ range for a great full-range component-based system.

Based on you asking the question, sounds like you are new to the audio scene.
Given this is a complete Renovation - you need to first decide if you want to go down the "home audio" path or "car audio" path. Home audio would required 120v power to be available direct or via an inverter, but provides for a lot more options.

For some people, a great soundbar for the television + subwoofer is all they need. Call it $500- $800 bucks and you are good.

If you can provide more detail on what you are trying to achieve, how you plan to listen to music and / order movies, and what general budget you are comfortable with more guidance and advice can be provided.
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Old 11-20-2017, 01:49 PM   #10
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Crutchfield is a great source. I've done lots of business with them over the years, but you can get good stuff lots of places. (Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, etc...)

Go with a car/marine/rv system. Put a set of good speakers where the originals were, you can use the original wiring. Will sound great.

Add a subwoofer and amp. Be sure to have a separate switch for the subwoofer amp for boondocking.

In my opinion, this will sound much better than a soundbar. Soundbars are the least you can do to upgrade the speakers that come in a tv. You also have to put them somewhere.

Speaking of televisions, your antenna is just fine. There is no such thing as a HDMI or high definition antenna, no matter what the seller says. Biggest bunch of BS since the 1950s when antenna makers said you needed a special Color antenna. I have one of the Braund Skyliner crank-up antennas, and it works just fine. Repair parts are available, if you need them. Antennas don't know or care whether the signal they pickup is analog or digital.

You will also want an auxiliary input to connect your TV. You can run a headphone type cable from the TV to the stereo and you're good.

You will want phone connectivity these days. You can stream music off your phone using Bluetooth or with a USB connection (USB would charge the phone too).

It's not that complicated to get good sound in an Airstream. Use good quality auto stuff and you'll be fine. It will be out of sight and not in the way, and it's all 12 volt DC to boot.
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Old 11-20-2017, 09:23 PM   #11
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Stereo upgrade etc...

Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post

Speaking of televisions, your antenna is just fine. There is no such thing as a HDMI or high definition antenna, no matter what the seller says. Biggest bunch of BS since the 1950s when antenna makers said you needed a special Color antenna. I have one of the Braund Skyliner crank-up antennas, and it works just fine. Repair parts are available, if you need them. Antennas don't know or care whether the signal they pickup is analog or digital.


Yes,however it depends on the old antenna. My OEM antenna was the standard Winegard without the UHF nose piece and it only picked up a few stations in 2012 when I purchased the trailer. I added the center UHF piece and it went to about 20 stations but I had to turn it around to tune. The newer Razar Air I got added about six more channels with half as much turning as it was bi-directional. I added the pro tuning booster and it made it easier to find the sweet spot. I am not disagreeing but just saying that in my case,the older antenna was limited without the UHF band, considerably.
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Old 11-20-2017, 11:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
Yes,however it depends on the old antenna. My OEM antenna was the standard Winegard without the UHF nose piece and it only picked up a few stations in 2012 when I purchased the trailer. I added the center UHF piece and it went to about 20 stations but I had to turn it around to tune. The newer Razar Air I got added about six more channels with half as much turning as it was bi-directional. I added the pro tuning booster and it made it easier to find the sweet spot. I am not disagreeing but just saying that in my case,the older antenna was limited without the UHF band, considerably.
I will certainly grant you that. I recall that the batwings benefited from add-ons for UHF reception. I hadn't thought about them being unidirectional, but it makes sense after giving it some thought.

The old Braund Skyliner antennas are bi-directional, but tend to focus narrowly even if in two directions. (I've linked to a photo at Out-of-Doors Mart for illustration. Good place to get the gears and other parts if needed.)



I'm guessing that this is what Amy air has since the Excella is a 1978. That's what's on both my '67 Trade Wind and '83 Excella.

I'll admit that the Skyliners are not perfect. I mentioned that they tend to focus narrowly, making aiming important. You can see in the photo that it is supported by four roughly parallel legs when cranked up. No cross bracing. A gust of wind can cause it to drift a few degrees side to side causing the signal to fluctuate slightly. I can also make a squeaky sound when this happens. Given that, I haven't felt the need to replace it.

My advice on stereo/TV upgrades would be to make changing the antenna one of the last things. Then, if you do, the effect of the upgraded antenna will be obvious.
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Old 11-21-2017, 06:43 AM   #13
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Don't Be A Box Trailer

Don't be a box trailer and sit indoors and watch TV and listen to your tunes. Come outside and experience true camping the Olde Airstream Way. (I apologize for the Editorial.)
Regards,
StevieB
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Old 11-21-2017, 10:33 AM   #14
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I agree with Steve, the outdoors experience is a huge part of traveling. If you are full timing being outside is essential. You can determine whether you want to increase the number of 110 outlets to accommodate the extra devices. Your trailer will probably have a main 30A a 15A GFI and two 20A breakers. The old breakers should be replaced with new but instead of getting two standard 20A breakers you can pop in four slims. Locate all of your ground points and make sure they are secure and clean.

Flex tubing is easy to install and you can put 110 outlets wherever you need them. If you have never installed a 110 system learn about the components, draw out a schematic, cut the holes for your outlets and run the 12-3 flex. I like having romex inside of metal flex for additional safety. Find an electrician who can connect everything for you. Last thing you have to do is put the trim pieces on the outlets.
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