Well I finally got around to replacing the original 2008 Sony MX DVD player / head unit and CD changer that came stock in my trailer.
I updated the system to a double DIN, touch-screen Pioneer head unit (AVH-X3800BHS) paired with 4 Polk Audio DB651 full-range speakers. I kept the existing subwoofer. Full cost was about $350 plus some miscellaneous bits... so maybe $400 total. I chose the AVH-X3800-BHS from pioneer because it has no moving parts (no flip up screen), has a ton of features like HD radio, Pandora and iPhone/iPad integration via bluetooth, excellent sound output quality and fully compatible with my current wiring for integration with my TV (composite Video OUT and Aux audio IN for watching DVDs on the TV and playing TV audio over the system speakers)
In the end, the sound quality is absolutely night and day. So so much more crisp and clear with defined highs and lows, and no distortion. My only complaint is that I didn't do this upgrade sooner!!
Below are some of the details of the install for those who are interested.... the system pretty much kicks butt!
First, my 2008 international 25SS had the "Audio Video Upgrade" which basically equates to a RATS NEST of wiring, most of it useless. The upgrade included a 10-disc Sony CD changer, multiple AUX inputs and Sony switching bus, outdoor speaker switch (but no outdoor speakers or wires?!) and a sub-woofer.
: Out with the Old....
Removed the Sony CD changer which was a price of cake... 4 screws + unplug wires. I then removed the side panel in the overhead bin to expose the dreaded rats nest... then popped out the current head unit using 2 removal tools I bought on Ebay for $5.
: Once I spilled the wiring guts into to the overhead bin I carefully dismantled things and removed wiring components that were no longer necessary. God bless airstream, I am sure it seemed like a good idea at the time but the original system wiring was unnecessarily complicated. This included the inside/outside speaker switch, Sony AUX input switch, wiring harness, etc.. I emailed Airstream support last week and then sent me the original wiring diagrams for the trailer so fortunately I was prepared in advance for the mess, which was very helpful.
: I carefully labeled the key wires for the new pioneer harness.... Power, Ground, indoor speakers (4), sub-woofer signaling line, and RCA connections: video OUT to the TV (for playing DVDs), Audio IN from the TV for playing TV audio over system speakers and finally the sub-woofer line level L/R outputs.
: Time to cut a larger opening in the overhead bin... The double DIN unit is the same width as the old stereo, but much taller. Using the generic Clarion bracket I purchased for $25 as a template, I traced out the new opening, then masked it off, measured again, then measured once more, and using a jig saw with a fine blade for laminate started cutting. Measure twice cut once worked out - my dry fit was perfect and I was off to the races....
: Power up.... I test fit the head unit in the new bracket and connected just the Positive and Negative leads from the wiring harness to my trailer 12v
supply. Unit powered up, onwards and upwards...
: Connected the Pioneer harness... I used twist locks for connecting all the speaker wires from the radio harness to the system speaker wires. That worked out really well. For power, ground and sub-woofer remote signal I used regular electrical connectors and electrical tape. Because of US regulations, the pioneer (and other) DVD head units require you to connect the unit to the positive side of a hand brake... once you turn on, then off, then back on the handbrake you can watch video and access all system settings. Well as we all know airstreams don't have handbrakes so for $15 I purchased a small signaling unit to emulate the on-off-on sequence for the handbrake input so that the unit will be full functional. That was also wired in...
: Speaker installation. Speaker installation was pretty straight forward.
Removed the old ones (4 screws each), drilled new holes (hole pattern for Polk's was different), connected the leads and mounted the 4 speakers and grills.
: Testing. Plugged in the wiring harness and RCA cables to the head unit, as well as the antenna lead, pushed the unit back into the mounting sleeve and tested everything out. I couldn't hear the TV initially because I had the RCA cables from the TV Audio output attached to the "AV" RCA inputs vs the "AUX" 3.5mm audio input. Luckily I had a 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter in the garage so that was a quick fix... Everything worked great out of the box. I was able to pair my iPhone, play pandora from the head unit menu, play Amazon Music app, send DVD video to the TV, and hear TV audio from an over the air broadcast on the system sound...
: Buttoning up. Cleaned up all the mess, taped up the wiring harness so it is neat and tidy, permanently secured the head unit Clarion bracket, attached head unit to bracket with supplied screws, attached the plastic radio surround trim using 2-sided tape, and re-secured the inside panel within the storage bin. I kept the 1970's looking input and speaker switch panels for now, there are no wires off the back of them (I cut them all off), but I'll eventually replace the entire panel with a new one when I get around to it...
Good little project, and the sound is phenomenal so I'm a rapper camper!