Open Roads Forum

Print  |  Close

Topic: Sound system makeover for Access 31C

Posted By: sreeder on 03/10/09 03:35pm

Hi All,

I have a Winnebago Access 31c that we purchased new about 3 years ago. Just recently discovered that the cab radio is connected to two speakers above the couch, between cabinets but only usable by cab radio.

The sound output from our TV is dismal and hard to hear over the AC when running.

So I would like to do a "sound makeover" for the rig. I want to accomplish the following items. 1.) Get better sound out of TV/DVD and possibly add surround 2. Add AM/FM/iPOD capabilities for central system 3. Repurpose integrated speakers over couch into the "new" system.

Any thoughts or suggestions on a upgrade that isn't too expensive but will improve what we have?

Posted By: mikhen on 03/10/09 04:19pm

We just purchased a Sunseeker that had no sound system in the coach area except for above the bed. I added a complete surround system with DVD player and I-pod input. We purchased a cheaper system from Walmart and I did the wiring myself. It sounds really good, I just wish the system had a radio built into it.

They do make wireless systems, but the ones I have seen a a bit pricey.

2005 Sunseeker 3100 QBS
camping Pa...The most FREE camping giveaways in Pa

Posted By: dry_fly on 03/10/09 05:06pm

We have a similar situation with our Jayco Melbourne 29D Class C. Consequently, we'll be following this thread very dilligently, and hope you get lots of useful information. Thanks for bringing it up.

Posted By: sreeder on 03/10/09 05:21pm

Two alternative solutions we are looking at are EOS and ZVOX

I've personally heard the sound that comes out of the ZVOX units and it is great. Very simple solution to improve the sound quality of the TV setup. Doesn't address the AM/FM issue, but is very cost effective and simple.
True surround sound is not a requirement for me, improved overall sound quality is more critical.



Posted By: sreeder on 03/10/09 07:24pm

Third alternative option I have just been turned on to is the Cambridge Soundworks i765

Seems like it can do it all except for tie into additional external speakers.
Cambridge i765

Posted By: AstroRig57 on 03/11/09 01:48am

Our Coachmen came with the usual, cheesy, Magnadyne dash unit as original equipment. It did have two redeeming qualities though. First, was the built in Weather radio, the other was that the audio outputs from the TV were wired into an auxiliary input. When it's CD player died, for the second time, I replaced it.

The replacement unit is a Sony CDX-GT520 (discontinued but comparable available). It has numerous extra inputs and outputs on both the front and back panels. As RCA jacks were already run from the TV (over the cab) to the prior dash unit, I just had to plug them into the replacement to be able to run the TV sound through the car stereo. Running similar cable should be no real issue in most Class-C's.

It also has inputs for an available iPod controller (which I purchased) which enable the dash unit to control an iPod, including displaying play lists and songs. Other Sony units have a front panel USB/iPod input which permits controlling an iPod without the purchase of the adapter that I had to use. The unit has a wireless controller which is very convenient when using it to play TV sound.

I replaced the cheap Magnadyne 5" ceiling speakers with very efficient (2 ohm) 5 1/4" Infinity Reference 5022i and the stock Ford door speakers with Kicker KS680 6 x 8's. I installed a Blaupunkt THb 210A subwoofer under the passengers seat (the dash unit also has a sub output which is also controllable from the remote).

I don't claim that this is audiophile quality, but it is substantially better than what went before. It would have been better if I had been willing to cut larger holes, for larger speakers, in the coach ceiling but I chose to go with something that would fit in the holes cut at the factory. It has sufficient power to be heard over the road noise and rattle inherent in a moving motor home, is clean with good frequency response, and flexible and convenient with the numerous inputs and outputs and wireless remote control.

I put it all together by writing to the product advisers at who configured it all and offered various product suggestions.

2005 Winnebago Sightseer WFD30B "rigged for night" with red LED lighting for night adapted vision.

Do you remember when the sky was dark, and the stars were bright?
The International Dark-Sky Association
American by birth...Scottish by the Grace Of God.

Posted By: Kamphiker on 03/11/09 04:44am


DId you use the stock Sony builtin amplifier or did you add external amps.? If external where did you mount them ?

I take it that the Sub is a Powered Sub. With the additional draw on power how did you connect to the battery ?

2006 Winnebago Outlook WF324V
2009 Honda CR-V 2wd TOAD ......Campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains NP

Posted By: AstroRig57 on 03/11/09 08:11am

Kamphiker wrote:


DId you use the stock Sony builtin amplifier or did you add external amps.? If external where did you mount them ?

I take it that the Sub is a Powered Sub. With the additional draw on power how did you connect to the battery ?


No external power amps used. The power available from the Sony receiver seems more than adequate.

Yes, the subwoofer is powered. I tapped into an unused 12v supply on the existing (stock Ford) radio wiring harness. It's my belief this was originally intended to power a CD Changer had the chassis been so equipped.

Posted By: sreeder on 03/16/09 06:07am

Ok, for now we are going to try to keep it simple and buy a ZVOX mini. Since it contains all the speakers and sub-woffer it makes the install as easy as sitting it on the counter or entertainment shelf. I've been watching and you can pick up refurbished ones direct from the manufacturer on ebay for a reasonable price. If we decide we want more, I will move the ZVOX to the bedroom and then retro the front again.

Since it is semi portable, we can plug in the TV, iPhone, small radio and place it inside or outside if we need to move our sound requirements around. Plus figured I could take it inside the house in the off season and use it with one of our small TV's.

Once I get one, I will report back on the system, how it worked and the sound qualities in the RV.

Posted By: RVWithTito on 04/15/09 10:11pm

My rig has a back bedroom with speakers mounted in the ceiling that are fed by the cab radio. I'm never going to use them for that, so instead, I'm going to use this inexpensive 12v amp and hook the rear speakers up to the TV and DVD player I have in the back. It's a simple 12V solution that I will wire in to one of my overhead 12v lights. Here's a link to the kind of amplifier I'm getting. Similar amps are used for motorcycles and boats.

By the way, I wired a surround sound system in the front of the rig for the front TV. Total cost was around $120 from your local *Mart.

2007 Four Winds 31F Class C; Ford E450 Chassis; 250 Watts Solar;

RV Solar, Towing, DIY and Tips on my website
Watch My Video Tips at YouTube/RVWithTito

Posted By: sreeder on 04/03/09 12:56pm


Final post on this topic to update anyone that is following. I got the Cambridge Soundworks radio that I ordered for the MH.

This is also another great solution at a very reasonable price. The simulated surround sound (wide mode) does a good job in the small space and it has more than enough wattage to fill the coach with deep rich sound. Unit functions as an alarm clock, radio and has two iputs (one I have for ipod, other for TV) Note that they sell an upgraded unit that also has an integrated CD/MP3/DVD player along with an ipod dock.

The two products, ZVOX mini and the Cambridge radio are far better than any stock system and give a really nice punch to flat sound in the RV without spending a ton of money.


Posted By: sreeder on 03/25/09 09:10am


All I can say about the ZVOX system is WOW! For a small box, it sure packs some great sound. I really like the simplicity and no fuss / no muss right out of the box. It sure was a great addition especially for the price.

However, wanting to build on this theme and add some more capabilities, I have just ordered a Cambridge Soundworks radio for the RV also. I've been watching and they put open box items on clearance. I picked up a AM/FM radio with multiple inputs for 119.

You can see the item here Radio

I'll post back once I get this unit in and test it as well. Should have decent setup with the addition of this to fill all of our audio needs in the coach.


Print  |  Close