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Old 02-28-2021, 03:13 PM   #1
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DX3 Jack Knife Sofa Replacement

We finally decided to replace the jack knife sofa/bed in our DX3 because it wasn't real useful as a couch & was even less useful as a bed. Probably only someone under 5 yrs old could have used it to sleep on. The replacement sofa/sleeper will allow me to completely stretch out to take an afternoon snooze & also sleep there comfortably (hopefully). I added some pull out storage compartments under it so I can store more stuff than under the original unit.

It's somewhat longer than the original unit so it cuts into the seating area, so we may have to give up one of our recliners. We'll see how that works on our first 2021 camping trip in April.

While I was working inside I replaced the radio head unit because the touch screen on it became mostly inoperative, plus I never really liked the unit. The new one has a 10" display & I angle it towards the driver, so it's much more useable than the original unit.
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Old 02-28-2021, 05:29 PM   #2
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That's pretty slick does it just cantilever out or are there legs supporting it in bed position?
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Old 02-28-2021, 07:26 PM   #3
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Sleeper Sofa

It has legs that fold down at each corner. I forgot to do that when I was taking the pictures.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:23 AM   #4
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That is cool. is the head unit just a flat plate in the dash with the mount attached?
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:46 AM   #5
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Wait just a minute... I looked at the head unit pic and saw those bubble levels. Did you add those? How do they work being that far forward? That's a pretty fantastic setup if they work good!
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Old 03-01-2021, 01:07 PM   #6
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What brand sofa is that, it looks great!
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Old 03-01-2021, 08:09 PM   #7
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The head unit is a double din size & the display is referred to as a 'floating' unit because it can be adjusted up/down, in/out & angled up/down. I modified the display mounting bracket so the display is angled towards the driver. It really makes a huge difference looking straight at the display vs at angle.

I purchased the sofa/sleeper at IKEA & made a few modifications to it so it would work better in the RV. I removed the front panel from the sofa, cut it in half & added the wood trim to use as the drawer front panels. I think it blends in nicely. I looked at a number of RV specific sofa sleepers & most weren't long enough to sleep on & really didn't provide a flat sleeping surface. Plus they were somewhat pricey & usually had shipping costs at top of that.

I added the dash mounted levels a few years ago because the 'Auto' leveling system was herky jerky & basically didn't really work that well - i.e. POS. It doesn't matter where the levels are mounted in the coach as long as they are 'level'. I leveled the RV using a traditional level on the floor until it was 'level' & used double stick tape to attached the left/right level to the dash. I designed the fore/aft level so I could adjust it since there wasn't a level/plumb mounting surface on the dash. The dash levels work perfectly & I can get the RV leveled very quickly & easily. After using it a few times you learn which button to give a quick 'jab' to get the RV dialed right in. I did check a couple years after installing them & they're still right on the money.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:06 AM   #8
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I'd really like to know more about the radio head unit.. I've never even heard of such a thing. Is it an entirely new radio? Does the radio that comes with the M2 have optional "heads"? Did you make a mount, or is there an optional mount to extend and angle it? It looks like a great idea. Any specifics you can share on that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:44 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Invisibleman View Post
I'd really like to know more about the radio head unit.. I've never even heard of such a thing. Is it an entirely new radio? Does the radio that comes with the M2 have optional "heads"? Did you make a mount, or is there an optional mount to extend and angle it? It looks like a great idea. Any specifics you can share on that would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:38 AM   #10
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I like the concept of being able to angle the head unit towards the driver for sure. My only concern is the Navigation system it uses. Is it RV specific, meaning, can you input your RV’s weight, width and height so you get routed on roads that match those specifications? The double din Kenwood that has been standard in the M2’s since 2019 uses the Garmin RV Navigation system. Being routed down a two lane country road with a railroad bridge that only has 12’ of clearance when we need 12’8” has the potential to result in a bad day. Is it rare? Yep, but it only takes once. Bridges that are not rated for the weight of our M2’s can also be an issue.
I was in a small town early last year and missed the turn that Garmin told me to take because I was too busy checking out the cool little downtown area. So, being the bright guy I think I am, I turned at the next street to just go around the block, no problem. Except the road I turned on had small bridge with a huge sign that said “No Vehicles Over 20,000 lbs Allowed”. The Garmin had already warned me before I saw the sign. Needless to say, it was a difficult situation to find a place to turn around at that point.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by MoJoe1003 View Post
I like the concept of being able to angle the head unit towards the driver for sure. My only concern is the Navigation system it uses. Is it RV specific, meaning, can you input your RV’s weight, width and height so you get routed on roads that match those specifications? The double din Kenwood that has been standard in the M2’s since 2019 uses the Garmin RV Navigation system. Being routed down a two lane country road with a railroad bridge that only has 12’ of clearance when we need 12’8” has the potential to result in a bad day. Is it rare? Yep, but it only takes once. Bridges that are not rated for the weight of our M2’s can also be an issue.
I was in a small town early last year and missed the turn that Garmin told me to take because I was too busy checking out the cool little downtown area. So, being the bright guy I think I am, I turned at the next street to just go around the block, no problem. Except the road I turned on had small bridge with a huge sign that said “No Vehicles Over 20,000 lbs Allowed”. The Garmin had already warned me before I saw the sign. Needless to say, it was a difficult situation to find a place to turn around at that point.
It is not. The double-din floating screens are VERY popular now. We have been looking at them for quite some time, but they do not have dedicated RV Nav yet (with a couple of exceptions).

1. Garmin is making a floating screen version that is super expensive right now. You would be better off using the 8" dedicated NAV that is removable. We have looked at that, but it is a better value if you did it yourself.

2. Kenwood is working on a floating screen version of the radio that we use, but we do not have a release date at this time. If it is available we would likely make it standard.
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Old 03-02-2021, 12:12 PM   #12
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The head unit is from ATOTO which I found on Amazon. It doesn't have the pedigree of a Kenwood and is a fraction of the price. I wanted something that could run Google Maps vs dedicated RV nav programs. My DX3 came with Rand-McNally preinstalled & I never found it to be useful - for anything. Every time I would drive near main street where I live, it would blurt out a warning about a over weight condition & I could never figure out how to turn that off. Fortunately the touchscreen quit working so that was a good reason to get rid of that creature.

I installed the floating screen the way it was intended to be mounted & the more I looked at it, the less I liked it, so I took it out & modified the mounting bracket so it would be facing the driver. A vast improvement.

I do all of my pre trip planning using Google Maps at home so it's nice to have that while on the road - everything looks familiar & there are no annual update fees.

The ATOTO is set up for exterior cameras, it just didn't have a way to keep the rear camera on all the time if you wanted to watch what was following you, so I added a small toggle switch below the head unit to trick it into thinking the RV was in Reverse so then the camera stays on. Actually it works better than the original setup.
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Old 03-02-2021, 07:43 PM   #13
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Sorry but I am just learning about this head unit thing. I just googled about it and ended up more confused. So, the M2 has a Kenwood radio. Whether or not you opted for the Grarmin nav, which I didn't. So the display, that I would normally call the radio, is a head unit? So not sure what you do with the ATOTO. Just plug it in somewhere (big somewhere) and instead of the normal radio display you now have a tablet like display? How does it connect?
What happens to the original "radio" display?
Do you take the entire Kenwood unit out of the dash.?
I just didn't see answers to these basic questions on the google seach.
Brian did mention in a former post that he was going with a standalone Garmin gps, and mounting the display was in question.
I actually like several gps navs, like RV lifes and a few other truck gps so I had planned to figure out a mount for a small ipad or Win10 devise. Actually there are more ipad options even though that's not my favorite. But I do listen to the radio and sirioux XM and did like your angle display "head". Maybe its moot since I am not going to be using the radio display for nav.
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Old 03-03-2021, 07:59 AM   #14
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My DX3 (2014) came with a 'Infotainment' brand radio/head unit, & then the factory probably switched to the Kenwood brand sometime after that. The Infotainment system wasn't really good at anything so I don't miss it. The ATOTO is a brand of radio/head unit. They make a double din version so the base (head unit) went right into the dash in the place of the Infotainment system. With the 'floating' display design, the display is not an integral part of the head unit but rather attached to the base with an adjustable bracket. I think it probably has to be done this way since the 10" display won't fit into the double din opening which normally have 6 or 7" displays. The display isn't designed to be removed from the adjustable bracket, but when no one was looking I did it. The adjustable bracket is fairly adjustable but not to the side which is where I had to make some changes to it.

I like the ATOTO because of it's price (slightly over $200 vs a lot more for a Kenwood), it runs on Android (though a slightly older version) so any Android app (within reason) can be installed from the Google play store. I wanted to use Google Maps to navigate so that was the clincher for me. It also has an optional bluetooth remote that can be attached to the steering wheel for basic radio adjustments. It works nicely.

For me, this is just a radio or media player when I'm driving so I couldn't justify $1000 or more for a Kenwood or equivalent. It has better sound output adjustment than the original system and the large display is really easy to see (probably AARP approved) so I'm very satisfied with it and would buy it again.
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Old 03-03-2021, 08:13 AM   #15
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Thats great info. Really paints a much more clear picture for me. Thanks again.
BTW, I'm figuring you did a lot of research in your sofa search and wondered if you ever came up with a theater seat that had a foldable (up) center console. I've found them with and without console, but not with a fold up one, like on the front seat of a pickup truck (at least on my Silverado). I know you can removed the center console and put the two end units back together, but then you a end up with lot of extra space. And it's nice to have the center console if you are just hanging out, but nice to have the Honey Dew snuggling up now and again. I think impossible, but I was always looking for a full recliner/sofa bed. I don't think there is such a thing. They're available with foot rest but not recliner.
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Old 03-03-2021, 11:30 PM   #16
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In our DX3 the main TV is located at an angle behind the passenger seat so a theater seat where you're normally looking at the other side of the interior wouldn't do anything for us. The floorplan we have isn't offered anymore. We bought a couple of Ekornes Stressless recliners which we normally use to watch TV & they basically work like the theater seating except we orient them pointing towards the front where the TV is. Every floorplan has pros & cons, and we've mostly figured out how to make ours work effectively for us.
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