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Old 04-25-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
David
 
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Smile Radio swap on 2015 FB Flying Cloud

Hello all,

I just traded in my 2015 FC23FB for an FC27FB. (yup, we were one of those "should went bigger" kind of folks) It has the same Clarion M502 radio that my 23 had and I despise that thing. Too complicated to work. I'm going to swap out with a compatible Alpine unit and add Sirius. My questions for the forum are:

Are you able to remove the access panel that the radio is attached to, or do you just go in from the front by pulling the radio out with the removal tools?

If you added Sirius, tell (or show) me how you ran the antenna. I've heard a few folks mounted to the skylight. I'm looking for a very clean install, no wires hanging out or visible.

I don't pick up the new coach until 5/7, but I want a good game plan when I get it, so tell me what you folks have done.

Thanks,

Davz2k
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Old 04-25-2015, 09:41 PM   #2
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If you figure this out please post your set up. I would like XM radio in the Airstream and not just the tow vehicle. But I haven't figured out the antenna. You'd think that would make a nice factory option. Hard to believe AS still puts a crank up television antenna.
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Old 04-25-2015, 10:02 PM   #3
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New Radio

Oh, don't you love the Clarion....LOL. I truly understand the confusion, and have as yet to get it figured out. Ironically, however, I am always getting it to do what I want.

I had the factory install a Sirius/XM antenna in when the unit was built, and it sits on the front. On my 27FB of 2009, I had mine in the skylight.

It is easy to remove the Clarion with the tools supplied, and I would guess it is easy to access an area one could install an exterior antenna on and fish the wire to the new head unit.

As to replacing the Clarion, I have been looking at the Clarion M505 so it will work with the Sirius/XM unit I have with the current original equipment Clarion, which incidentally is no longer made. Or a unit with a pop out face so i can see what is in my iPod, iPhone, etc.

Will keep up on what you do.
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:32 PM   #4
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That Clarion is a complete piece of......

So, use the tools, pull it out and move on to something better

I have SXM in both my cars and as a result have a nasty annual bill and the internet service... So I have a 4G booster set up and use some of my data to stream when needed.

Personally, I am really nervous about cutting holes in my AS, water leaks give me nightmares....

If I had to put the SXM antenna up, I would start by looking at the FM antenna, pulling that up and fishing the SXM cable through that hole, then replace the FM and seal it all up with globs of sealant...
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Old 04-25-2015, 11:40 PM   #5
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The ongoing saga

Truth be told, I would never put a hole in my trailer. I'd rather pay the hour of labor and have my dealer do it if it comes to that. I've used Sirius at my office and my antenna sits on my window sill. South facing works best. I'll post pictures of my project as icy comes along. Thanks for the input so far.

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Old 04-26-2015, 05:47 AM   #6
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Sirius/XM

I suspect there are many solutions to the OP and we have lots of opinions as well. Holes in an AS, yes, this requires lots of courage, possibly even less intelligence....LOL.

If one does not mind a small wire from the radio area to the skylight or even fantastic fan, the Sirius/XM antenna should work there although the fan may be an interference source. However, the idea of streaming, if one has the Hot Spot or WiFi, is the best idea economically, and I have given thought to doing this by canceling one of my subscriptions.

As to head units, when all is said and done I may go with a large double DIN unit with something I can actually see, and which has touch screen controls, these being far easier to use when one is getting "old timers disease". Having had my Clarion out to reconnect wires behind it....loose when factory did this, I think it would not be so difficult to cut the opening and add this. The critical issues would be compatibility with the Sirius receiver connected to the current Clarion, and all the capabilities of Bluetooth, AUX for television sound, input for DVD Player, USB inputs, and ease of use.

One point about the sound system, the Clarion speakers are not good. I replaced all mine with Polk Audio, and behind all these the area is packed with closed cell foam so as to give the speaker a solid mounting rather than the speaker mounted on aluminum sheet as it is from the factory....yikes!

Bose speakers replacing Clarion by Fantinesvoice.com, on Flickr

The speaker change makes so much difference that the Clarion head unit sounds quite nice.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:00 PM   #7
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Msmoto,
How do you like the Polk Audio speakers?
I am considering a pair of Polk Audio tweeters in my Nissan Pathfinder to replace the blown/non-working Rockford tweeters.
Looking at Polk Audio's website, no car stereo speakers they sell are very expensive at all- from about $60-$200- the tweeters I am considering are $100.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:23 PM   #8
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My pet peeve with the radio is that every time you hit the "store" switch to cut off the batteries, you lose all the setting in the radio and it goes back to the defaults. I'd love to find a radio that maintained your settings.
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:26 PM   #9
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Little secret for folks complaining about SXM cost. Do not let them auto renew you. Every year I get a bill for over $100 or so. I call and tell them I am cancelling. Suddenly they have a special price just for me. Currently it is six months for $25. I have been doing this for 10 years.
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Old 04-27-2015, 06:07 PM   #10
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I have 2 SiriusXM lifetime subscriptions. They don't sell lifetime subscriptions anymore, so I won't have anymore radios. CD's and Bluetooth from a smartphone are way better sound quality and don't fade out in the shade.


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Old 04-28-2015, 09:42 PM   #11
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Polk Audio

Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
Msmoto,
How do you like the Polk Audio speakers?
I am considering a pair of Polk Audio tweeters in my Nissan Pathfinder to replace the blown/non-working Rockford tweeters.
Looking at Polk Audio's website, no car stereo speakers they sell are very expensive at all- from about $60-$200- the tweeters I am considering are $100.
Mine are DB651 speakers, cost about $100 a pair, from Crutchfield, but well worth it, IMO. The sound goes down to 50 Hz, so the subwoofer is hardly needed. When properly mounted, which means good support, especially on the aluminum, I would guess there is not another speaker which will give any better sound. We have to face the fact that any speaker mounted in the space provided by AS will have some reduction in sound quality, especially in the low and mid range.

I am baffled by the speaker placement in the Airstreams....I mean overhead when in the recliners? I may be moving these to someplace near the television to have the proper direction of the sound from the picture. At the same time, a nice acoustic enclosure might improve the sound even more.
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Old 04-28-2015, 11:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
My pet peeve with the radio is that every time you hit the "store" switch to cut off the batteries, you lose all the setting in the radio and it goes back to the defaults. I'd love to find a radio that maintained your settings.
Its not the radio. Airstream didn't run a always hot wire to the radio like they do on automobiles. There's two hot wires to the radio. One through the ignition (store button) the other direct from the battery to keep the clock and settings. You can fix this if you can fine a way to run a wire direct from the battery.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Msmoto View Post
Mine are DB651 speakers, cost about $100 a pair, from Crutchfield, but well worth it, IMO. The sound goes down to 50 Hz, so the subwoofer is hardly needed. When properly mounted, which means good support, especially on the aluminum, I would guess there is not another speaker which will give any better sound. We have to face the fact that any speaker mounted in the space provided by AS will have some reduction in sound quality, especially in the low and mid range.



I am baffled by the speaker placement in the Airstreams....I mean overhead when in the recliners? I may be moving these to someplace near the television to have the proper direction of the sound from the picture. At the same time, a nice acoustic enclosure might improve the sound even more.

I am considering a pair of Polk Audio tweeters for my Pathfinder to replace the blown/non-working Rockford Fosgate tweeters which replaced the original equipment blown/non-working Bose tweeters. Our local audio store also sells Rockford Fosgate, Sony, and Alpine, 3 brands I've used and enjoyed for many years. They also sell Pioneer, but I was burned too many times by Pioneer products back in the day. The have other brands that I've never heard of and want to steer clear of. I've had bad luck with Pioneer, JVC, Panasonic, Kenwood, and Memphis.
The salesman swears by the Polk Audio tweeters, stating that they are a silk dome tweeter which provides a smoother, less harsh tone.
We'll see.


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Old 04-29-2015, 07:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscherzi View Post
Its not the radio. Airstream didn't run a always hot wire to the radio like they do on automobiles. There's two hot wires to the radio. One through the ignition (store button) the other direct from the battery to keep the clock and settings. You can fix this if you can fine a way to run a wire direct from the battery.
Yes, I know that's the problem, but then you're draining the battery all the time. I wish someone made radio that retained the settings via a internal battery or a cap.
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