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Old 06-28-2014, 06:25 PM   #1
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Default Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

As you guys know, I'm enjoying the heck out of my cheap, ugly, dysfunctional rolling torture chamber of a B van.

One of the things that I like, that was a surprise, was how quiet it is. Considering the entire power train is under your feet, that is quite the surprise. I doubt there is any secret sauce or uber-design involved. I think they just used the normal automotive grade insulation in the cab floor and ceiling, and got lucky with their tire selection. I've yet to pull off the door cards to see what's in there. The Uconnect 5.0 head unit is certainly adequate to overpower any present noises - I certainly don't have any issues enjoying the XM. The dog gives me looks now and again - like he's saying "what?". Probably not that he can't hear me, but can't believe my crazy pontifications.

Dynamat has been used by automotive sound engineers for many years. Watch any car restoration show on TV and they'll be sticking dynamat all over the interior. It's fairly cheap now - you can buy it at Autozone and similar places - but it is heavy. So you have to balance how quiet you want it with how much weight you are willing to add. Just peel back your carpets and headliner and stick away. Another thing you can do is get quiet tires - research on tire rack and a little experimentation is needed to get the right tire for your van.

My new Honda Accord has a sound canceling technology included in the car stereo system. It cancels out the low frequency sounds from engine and tires. It's really effective. I wonder if something is available as an add-on module people could use in their vans?

My van has 2 stereo systems - the one in the cab (with xm) and an RV style sound system in the house. They are not joined together, which is a shame considering I'd like to enjoy the xm when parked. Any thoughts on how to get this sound in the house? I'm researching if I can do it thru bluetooth since both units support bluetooth streaming.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

I added internet access to my Sirius/XM subscription, stream to phone app, then Bluetooth to speaker. Of course, this requires a cell signal and eats up some of the data allowance.
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

Dynamat is similar to Hushmat that Advanced RV uses throughout the van on walls, doors, floors and ceiling. They are butyl rubber membranes with an aluminum foil face. Hushmat is a little bit thicker at 1.5mm vs 1.12mm. Did Winnebago install the Dynamat or is that the way the van came from Chrysler? I think all manufacturers install something in the cabs and at the fire wall now. I know there was a major difference between 2005 Sprinter vans and the 2007 and newer models. I kind of attributed that to the differences in engines but it could have also been improvement in sound insulation when Sprinter upgraded its cab to more car like maybe after learning something about American preferences.

Tires are kind of a wait until the next round when needed. Factory OEM tires are usually not the best but they are usually non-aggressive in sound. Then if you want a more aggressive tire for off-road or winter you wont get quieter. I had cheap Continental tires OEM and installed top of the line Michelins that were supposedly a top rated quiet road tire at 36,000 miles. I did not detect a lot of difference, if any, in sound.

My Great West Van has a cab radio and a back of the van radio. They are separate with separate speakers so we have the same issue as you. Fortunately, or is that unfortunately, I don't have XM radio so it is not an issue that I cannot get the cab radio sound in the back. We are getting a Pioneer system in our Advanced RV that will go through all the speakers in the van if we desire. I also understand we can still have separate speakers in that one could watch TV while the other is listening to the radio with zone control of the speakers. I hadn't given this a lot of thought because I can't recall my wife and I actually listening to two different things on the radio and/or TV simultaneously in the campground but have while on the road (radio in front/DVD in back). But I can understand if you had XM radio you would want to hear it everywhere in your van.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

There may be RCA outputs on the back of your cab radio. Check your manual or go on the radio manufacturers website and get a pdf of your radio because I doubt Dodge will include a comprehensive manual for the dash radio. Run wires to the input on your entertainment center. I would definitely try Bluetooth first. I just thought of something. You may be able to buy a stand alone handheld satellite unit that runs on batteries. They are usually fairly cheap to get you hooked on the Satellite subscription.
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Old 06-28-2014, 10:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

I don't think Winnebago installed anything in the cab area - the floor is the OEM plastic covering and the ceiling is your typical OEM headliner. So no dynamat in the cab area AFAICT.

I suppose I could get an XM add on tuner for the house stereo, but I hate to have another gadget floating around. I can always play the cab stereo with the key on accessory, but don't want to do that too long for fear of a dead auto battery.

Hadn't thought of streaming from my iPhone. Think XM has an internet streaming add-on for a few bucks a month. That's probably a better idea than having a second subscription for an add-on tuner.

Davydd - which Pioneer head unit are you getting? I bought a AVIC-8000 for one of my cars. It has Nav, Wifi, XM, HD, bluetooth, all with a touch screen (7"). http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-AVIC-8...neer+avic-8000
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Old 06-28-2014, 11:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

Yup, internet XM is $4/mo and the app is free. I usually listen on a baseball-sized rechargeable Bluetooth speaker (called Sound Pop). Surprisingly good sound and works while lounging outside too.
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Old 06-29-2014, 03:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

I haven't investigated much yet on Advanced RV's sound system other than knowing they are installing Pioneer with GPS and backup camera.

The iPhone is nice if you have an unlimited cellular data account. I do right now have that with AT&T (supposedly grandfathered in) but my wife has a limited account of I believe about 2G. I don't think 2 gigs is going to go far if you do a lot of streaming.
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Old 06-29-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

Streaming audio doesn't use a lot of data (relatively).

I also have an unlimited ATT plan. When I was traveling to Maryland each week, I would stream Pandora in the car - 8 hours at a stretch each way, 4 times a month and some on ways to work. Worked really well, but never got a warning from ATT. Not surprisingly, unlimited isn't unlimited. If you use 2gb, then they send you a warning that if you go over, they will start to throttle your speed, effectively shutting you down, but not violating "unlimited".

I once got a Tether account so I could use my laptop and use the internet by connecting to my iPhone. After a few days, I got a warning from ATT. Youtube uses a surprising amount of data! It may have something to do with the rate at which you consume data - maybe music doesn't hit their triggers, I don't know.

I've tried Apple's streaming music and got a notice that Amazon has one too now (free with Prime). I think the iTunes one is except from data limits, but need to research more if that is true.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: Quietness/Insulation & Stereo

My Agile's in-dash stereo/nav system and the rear Sony system can use the same speakers or flip the switch to change. Both units also can play the same format music DVDs and USB memory sticks. A DVD holds about 1200 songs in mp3 format organized into folders or playlists. A USB stick can hold up to 9500 songs organized the same way. I could plug my phone into the head unit, but haven't really seen the need.

Long ago I digitized my lp and cd collection to make the music portable. Since I don't fly much, my credit card gives me iTunes gift cards instead of air miles, so the music keeps coming in.
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