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Old 05-27-2014, 10:49 AM   #11
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The side by side, I should clarify is for 2015 product. The file name is 2014 since it was made in 2014.

There are some late model 2014's with the new Jensen radio (XM tuner and antenna), but that's just because we changed over early.
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:27 PM   #12
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I noticed that it said that you can monitor the rear camera all the time. Mine only works in reverse. What do you need to do to make it stay on?
Also it said that the Solera comes with the come with XM. Mine did not.
The rear-view camera is great for monitoring the "toad." After a year without a separate vehicle, we bought a 2014 Honda CRV. Had a top-of-the-line tow package installed and it tags along like a dream. Being able to glance at the screen and see it right where it is supposed to be is reassuring.

As for "XM Ready," that was a big disappointment. Ours is a 2013 24R and I'm seriously considering replacing the Magnadyne with something more robust…and truly "XM capable…not 'ready'." Looks like some folks have installed a Kenwood replacement. Anybody know if that also includes the GPS navigation function capability? Or, do you need to go to a separate GPS unit.

TJ
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Old 05-27-2014, 04:41 PM   #13
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The only way to get one that is XM capable and not XM ready is to add the tuner and antenna. Even if you got the Kenwood, you would still need to install the tuner and antenna even if it was included in the purchase.

Adding XM tuner and antenna needs to be done in either scenario.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:37 PM   #14
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Magnadyne

Boy was I lucky, Not only did I get the crappy Magnadyne in my 2014 but got left out on the XM as well.
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Old 05-27-2014, 09:31 PM   #15
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The only way to get one that is XM capable and not XM ready is to add the tuner and antenna. Even if you got the Kenwood, you would still need to install the tuner and antenna even if it was included in the purchase.

Adding XM tuner and antenna needs to be done in either scenario.
Interesting! It sure doesn't work that way with car units. My new Honda CRV came "XM capable." Not only that, but I got a free 90-day SiriusXM subscription.

Why can't the RV folks do the same. Doesn't make much sense to me to aggravate buyers with offering something that really doesn't exist.

TJ
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:05 PM   #16
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It workd that way for cars "now". It wasn't always that way and if you read the rest of the post our 2015s are capable not ready (again ready is not our term)

The other reason is most cars are used 95% of the time. RV's are limited use and most people don't want to pay a monthly subscription for something they only use a couple of months out of the year. Having said that we added it to prevent confusion. We are the exception, not the norm.
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:22 PM   #17
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The rear-view camera is great for monitoring the "toad." After a year without a separate vehicle, we bought a 2014 Honda CRV. Had a top-of-the-line tow package installed and it tags along like a dream. Being able to glance at the screen and see it right where it is supposed to be is reassuring.

As for "XM Ready," that was a big disappointment. Ours is a 2013 24R and I'm seriously considering replacing the Magnadyne with something more robust…and truly "XM capable…not 'ready'." Looks like some folks have installed a Kenwood replacement. Anybody know if that also includes the GPS navigation function capability? Or, do you need to go to a separate GPS unit.

TJ
Kenwood "double DIN" units are available both with and without GPS. With GPS example: Amazon.com : Kenwood DNX570HD Touchscreen In-Dash 2-DIN Multimedia DVD Receiver with Navigation/Bluetooth/HD Radio : Vehicle Audio Video Power Adapters : GPS & Navigation
Without GPS example - the one I chose: Amazon.com : DDX470 Car DVD Player - 6.1" Touchscreen LCD - 88 W RMS - Double DIN : Vehicle Receivers : Car Electronics (may now be superceded by a newer model).

I believe in either case an added module is needed for Sirius - e.g.: Amazon.com : SiriusXM SXV200v1 Connect Vehicle Tuner for SiriusXM-Ready Car Stereo Receivers : Vehicle Satellite Radio Equipment : Electronics As Brian commented, I am in the group that does not want to pay for a subscription to Sirius for part time use - so I did not add this item.

As noted above, I went without integrated GPS. I added a Garmin RV760LMT: Amazon.com: Garmin RV 760LMT Portable GPS Navigator: GPS & Navigation I like having the NAV display separate and continuously available.

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In the middle picture you can see a push-button to the left of the Kenwood. As with the Magnadyne, the Kenwood dim circuit in the Solera sees the lights "on" all the time (Sprinter's answer to DRLs) and therefore always starts in "night" mode. There is a menu-driven way to switch modes - but I found it inconvenient. I added this push-button to disconnect the light sense wire in daytime to enable the bright display - a "manual night dimmer switch". Works great. The Garmin dims itself based, I believe, on GPS time. I don't know if the Kenwoods with integrated GPS will similarly dim based on GPS time - as the headlight sense wire is useless in the Sprinter chassis.

Pleased with my current setup. The Kenwood sound quality seems crisper; the displays on both the Kenwood and the Garmin are nice and bright; the manual dimmer push-button is quite convenient and works well. I really like the separate NAV unit continuously displaying my route. The Garmin RV 760 LMT is a designed RV GPS - useful RV functions included (but if you are considering, check out the thread on the device for its "quirks").

Garmin RV 760 LMT
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:46 PM   #18
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I also don't use XM when RVing. Seems like I have plenty of music on the iPhone to get me by in a pinch.

We always have to weigh things like that. For example, do we build in the price of a tuner and antenna on 100% of the units, when the uptake for XM is only 5%?

To shift that balance, one of two things has to happen. #1 the uptake increases to the 50% range, (costs then average out better, instead of 95% paying for the 5%) or #2 the price drops so low that it is negligible.

I'm still not 100% sold on the necessity of XM in RV's. But the problem is, I at least want to make it XM ready and we have found once you make it XM Ready, no one understands it so you might as well make it XM capable. Damned if you do damned if you don't (to put it simply)

I have a really nice radio that I could install for less money with HDMI and other perks, but it is not even XM ready...so no option to add XM later without a separate control unit.
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Old 05-28-2014, 02:02 PM   #19
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It workd that way for cars "now". It wasn't always that way and if you read the rest of the post our 2015s are capable not ready (again ready is not our term)

The other reason is most cars are used 95% of the time. RV's are limited use and most people don't want to pay a monthly subscription for something they only use a couple of months out of the year. Having said that we added it to prevent confusion. We are the exception, not the norm.
Good points, bc! Thanks for the other view.


TJ
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Old 05-28-2014, 03:25 PM   #20
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I spent months browsing the Sprinter RVs, and then weeks seriously shopping and test driving them. I find it interesting to see your post and pdf comparing the Solera and Thor Siesta because I was very close to buying a Siesta and ended up with the Solera.
I could not bring myself to buy the Thor because there were some notable issues with the quality. The longer I inspected the vehicle, the more I found disappointing use of materials and the more blemishes I discovered. There would have been a list of little things that had to be fixed before I could buy it.
When I looked at the Solera I was instantly impressed. Forest River used better materials, had superior craftsmanship, and there wasn't a list of things that already needed to be repaired.

FWIW, my impressions are based on spending many hours with 3 different Thor Siestas 2 different Forest Rivers (1 of which I ultimately bought).
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