A stereo is a key accessory in your RV.
For the best entertainment, an RV stereo system upgrade may be a significant consideration or decision to make.
The importance of a top-quality RV stereo system cannot be overemphasized.
When traveling on a long trip, driving across the city, or when stuck in traffic, your stereo is what keeps you company, ensuring you stay awake, entertained, and alive.
For best performance, ensure you pick one of the latest stereos for your RV stereo replacement project.
The modern designs are built to perform numerous functions asides from supporting audio and visual performances.
For instance, you can make and receive calls with them, charge your smartphone, make necessary adjustments and controls with your voice, and many more helpful features.
As you read along, we will look at 5 reliable and best performance RV stereo systems that you can invest in, the installation time, cost, and tools.
Also, we will discuss how you can set up this system independently.
- A Table of RV Stereo System Upgrade
- 8 Step By Step Guide For RV Stereo Replacement
- Buying Considerations of RV Entertainment System Upgrade
- 5 Best RV Stereo System Upgrade Among of 10 (Top Rated Reviews)
- The FAQs About RV Stereo System Upgrade
When is RV Stereo Replacement Needed?
There are two major reasons vehicle owners may decide to consider or conduct an RV entertainment system upgrade.
To replace a faulty or damaged stereo system or a desire to achieve or do more with their stereo.
Over the years, there have been significant improvements and innovations in automobile audio system design/production.
Now, there are numerous functions that you can perform with your stereo while driving on the road without necessarily getting hold of your phone.
Once your phone is connected or synchronized with your stereo, you can access various features directly from the stereo.
For instance, you can make and receive calls, connect to streaming platforms, and access music files on your phone.
A Table of RV Stereo System Upgrade
|iRV Technology iRV34|
|iRV Technology iRV66|
|BOSS Audio Systems 616UAB|
|BOSS Audio Systems BV9384NV|
There are various designs, brands, or types of RV stereos on the market.
Each stereo design is offered at a specific price and comes equipped with unique features that promote long-lasting fun and excitement.
On average, an RV stereo replacement may cost you between $180 and $300.
If you want to hire a professional to complete the setup or installation, it may cost between $50 and $200 on average.
Some top factors that contribute to the installation cost include the region you live in and how complex the installation may be.
The installation time may be shorter or longer depending on your skills & experience and the tools you have at your disposal to complete the process.
If you have the technical skills or expertise (have performed a similar task before), and with the necessary tools available or within your reach.
You should complete the installation in about an hour.
The process may extend between 1-3 hours in some cases.
Especially if you are doing this for the first time, requiring you to read through the installation manual to understand the steps involved in successfully mounting the stereo on the vehicle.
- Pry tools
- Drill machine
- Stereo’s instruction
- Wiring kit
- Torx driver
- Crimping tool
- A plastic container or bowl
- Insulation tape
- Cable clips
- Connector strips
8 Step By Step Guide For RV Stereo Replacement
01. Read the instruction
Check the instruction that comes with your stereo.
Read the details carefully to have a clearer and better understanding of what the process entails.
02. Ensure you have adequate space for the installation
Irrespective of how you choose to have the stereo or receiver installed on your vehicle, ensure you have enough space to accommodate it.
You may decide to cut a hole through the old stereo cabinet, especially if you are installing a bigger/larger unit.
Before you cut or expand the hole, ensure you check the stereo’s size or dimension to know the correct measurement.
Once you have confirmed the width, height, and length, cut/create the hole accordingly to allow easy and smooth fitment.
Also, you may decide to use a mounting bracket in a situation where there is insufficient space for expansion.
The mounting bracket can be held together or attached to the sidewall using screws or bolts.
03. Route the speakers’ wire
Ensure each speaker’s cables are connected appropriately and extended to the stereo.
If you are connecting the rear speakers to the stereo, it is advised that you opt for wires with a lower gauge number.
These types of wires lower or control signal loss.
The speakers’ impedance must align with your stereo system.
In a situation where there is an alignment or compatibility issue (when the speakers and stereo impedance do not match), you may experience a loss in power.
Also, the input signal produced by the speakers would be very weak, which may lead to a reduction in sound level or even distortion.
04. Prep the power source
Go through the instruction manual to check the power source that may be required for your stereo.
Usually, the RV stereo system may need or run on the AC power source or DC power source.
Check the user’s manual that comes with your stereo to find out the specification.
Your stereo can be powered by a source that is close by.
Once you find a power source, for instance, a light.
You can connect your stereo system to it using a connector strip.
Alternatively, an independent wire can be extended through the circuit breaker panel, which can then be used to power the stereo.
Whatever way you choose to power your RV stereo, it is always recommended that you have a separate control button installed to switch it on/off.
This way, you will be able to track and regulate energy usage/consumption.
05. Connect the ground cable or wire
The role of the ground wire in your audio setup cannot be overemphasized.
You must conduct the connection appropriately to prevent any issues with sound quality.
Locate a screw on your vehicle’s chassis and connect the ground wire to it.
Ensure the screw is free from dirt or paint to allow the wire to sit correctly.
For best performance, 12 to 14AWG cables should be used for this purpose.
06. Install & connect the antenna
To access numerous AM/FM radio channels, you may need to install an antenna.
The antenna can be placed or mounted on your RV’s roof or other preferred location.
Once the antenna is mounted, the cable will be extended/connected to the stereo.
07. Ensure all wires are connected correctly and neatly packed
Check if all the wires or cables are appropriately connected and insulated.
Inspect all the joints that connect the power source and speakers to the stereo.
Hand-made joints can be insulated by wrapping insulation tapes all over the joint to lower or prevent possible short circuits.
This also reduces unnecessary distortion from emanating from the speakers.
Usually, it is an ideal practice to use connector strips for joints instead of hand-twisting the wires.
Also, all the cables must be neatly packed using clips.
This way, no wire will be moving freely or loosely inside the cabin.
When the wires are left hanging across the vehicle, it may result in safety issues or concerns.
For instance, individuals making their way into the cabin may slip due to the wires coming in contact with their feet.
Also, the wires may break when pulled under extreme tension.
08. Test the stereo
Now that all the necessary connections have been made and rightly executed, the next stage is to check if the stereo has been successfully installed.
Switch on the stereo to confirm if everything is working as expected.
If you are satisfied with the performance, you can then complete the setup by attaching the screws to the stereo to hold it in place.
Buying Considerations of RV Entertainment System Upgrade
When choosing an RV stereo system for your upgrade, price plays a critical role in your product choice.
Your budget reflects what you want the stereo to do, preference, and performance expectations.
For instance, the 2-Din stereos are usually more expensive than the single-Din.
Hence, you must ensure you have a more robust budget if a 2-Din stereo is what you want.
When you have a specific budget you are willing to spend or invest in a stereo, it becomes easier to tailor your search at products within that price range.
This way, you won’t have to read about, research, or study a long list of stereo designs before you finally choose one to buy.
Make sure you consider the available installation space before choosing a stereo to mount or install on your vehicle.
If you are installing a bigger stereo, you will need to adjust the current space (expand or create more space) to house the stereo.
Hence, measure the available installation/mounting space and choose a stereo with a dimension or size that can easily fit into it with or without the need for space expansion.
If you are using a mounting bracket, ensure the mounting bracket is compatible or can adequately hold or house the stereo system.
03. Ease of use
Choose a stereo that you can operate with ease.
You do not need a design that requires any technical skills before you can control or adjust the stereo to deliver your performance needs and expectations.
A design that can be operated and controlled with a simple swipe on the screen is excellent.
This enhances operation, control, and safety.
A stereo system that is complicated or complex to use should be avoided at all costs.
04. Existing users reviews
Before you finally settle for a product, you must go through the seller’s page and check what existing users say about the overall performance.
A design that delivers on its promises (as indicated by numerous reviews) will be an excellent pick.
05. Music option
Go for a stereo that supports various music options or sources.
Many new designs or RV stereos do not come with CD & DVD features.
These features are replaced by Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone synchronization, and access to various streaming services.
If you consider the CD & DVD feature essential, go for a stereo that offers these functions.
This further expands your options in case your Bluetooth fails to connect or when you drive through a region with limited or restricted internet to access the streaming platforms.
Nobody wants/likes a stereo that breaks down or stops working after a few days, weeks, or months.
If you are focused on top performance, reliability, and longevity.
These attributes or features do not come cheaply.
The good thing is that you will get great value on your investment.
Choose a stereo that is built from top-quality.
You can check how solid or robust the product is by going through what previous or existing users say about the quality.
5 Best RV Stereo System Upgrade Among of 10 (Top Rated Reviews)
01. iRV Technology iRV34
- LCD display
- AM/FM, CD/DVD, Bluetooth, USB, and HDMI compatible
- App remote control
- Mounting bracket, power & speaker harness, and installation manual
- 6 x 9.63 x 8.5 inches in dimension
- 34 pounds in weight
iRV Technology iRV34 is designed to be mounted on the wall.
This is one of the best picks you will find in the wall-mounting RV stereos category.
The use/operation is not technical; anyone can navigate through the available features and control.
It is Bluetooth compatible, allowing you to connect and access music files directly from smartphones and other Bluetooth-compatible devices.
Users can play audio and visual files across various formats. For instance, you can listen to music in WMA, mp3, and several other supported formats.
The HDMI input supports a significant improvement in audio quality.
Also, you can easily connect your game console to the HDMI input to play and have access to video games.
- Fits perfectly into installation space
- Very easy to use/operate
- Installation is easy and stress-free
- Impressive sound quality
- A bit expensive
- The remote range is limited to about 15 feet
02. Jensen JWM62A
- AM/FM, DVD/CD, USB, AUX, and Bluetooth compatible
- Wall-mounted installation
- LCD display & wireless remote control
- White LED-backlit & front panel control buttons
- 25 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches in dimension
- 55 pounds in weight
Jensen JWM62A is built as an upgrade to the JWM60A model.
Compared to the JWM60A, this design comes with additional features for improved control and performance.
For instance, it supports app remote control, and it comes with two (2) outputs for your visual needs.
When you download the remote app on your smartphone, you can easily make necessary adjustments and controls at the tip of your finger to achieve desired outcomes.
Also, there is a dedicated Bluetooth switch on the stereo.
You can play or access various audio or video file formats.
This lowers restrictions or limitations to what you can listen to during those long trips to a greater extent.
The LED display adds exciting color to the appearance.
Impressively, the brightness level can be adjusted or even switched off depending on each user’s preference or mood.
- Installation/setup is not challenging
- The display brightness can be easily adjusted
- The Bluetooth pairing is fast and responsive
- No antenna
- No user manual
- A bit pricey
03. iRV Technology iRV66
- LCD display & app remote control
- AM/FM, CD/DVD, MP3/MP4, Bluetooth, USB, and HDMI compatible
- Wall-mounted installation
- 200W output
- 8 x 6 x 11 inches in dimension
- 6 pounds in weight
iRV Technology iRV66 is yet another impressive stereo that is worth your money.
Asides from its 3 speaker zone, another impressive feature that catches users’ attention are the significant/multiple numbers of HMDI inputs & outputs.
The installation is not complex. If your old stereo is the same size as this design.
You won’t have to make any modifications or adjustments to the mounting position or existing hole.
The installation can be done or successfully executed in about an hour for users who are conversant with the RV stereo installation process.
However, individuals with little or no experience of what the task entails (first timers) may find the connection or installation a little challenging.
This is because the instruction manual is not well-detailed.
The iRV66 is compatible with various audio and video file formats.
Also, the appearance looks appealing, and the sound quality is excellent.
- The Bluetooth connectivity is excellent
- The extra inputs offer impressive flexibility for your video needs
- Flexible design and provides an outstanding sound experience
- Installation is easy
- The front display is not dimmable
- The installation manual is not well detailed (some vital steps are not included)
04. Jensen JWM60A
- LCD display
- App remote control
- AM/FM, DVD/CD, USB, AUX, and Bluetooth compatibility
- White LED-backlit & wall mounted
- 25 x 8.5 x 8.5 inches in dimension
- 4 pounds in weight
Jensen JWM60A is highly rated for its compelling appearance, excellent sound quality, durability, and ease of control.
The control app supports connection with Bluetooth-compatible devices.
Once the app has been installed, you can easily access & control various features and functions some distance from the stereo’s installation point.
The USB port can be used to connect your flash drive to access your music and video files.
Also, it can be used to charge your phone.
This design supports a wide range of audio and video file formats for your listening and viewing pleasure.
The installation is not difficult.
Its well-detailed instruction manual provides the help and guidance you need to complete the various connections required to bring the stereo to life.
- The backlight is dimmable
- Well-detailed instruction for stress-free installation
- The wire harness is well-labeled
- Appealing appearance, sound quality is excellent & loudness can be adjusted with ease
- A bit costly
05. BOSS 616UAB
- 1-Din stereo
- LCD display & wireless remote
- MP3, USB, AUX, AM/FM, and Bluetooth compatibility
- Instant mute button & built-in EQ
- 88 x 7 x 2 inches in dimension
- 08 pounds in weight
BOSS 616UAB is one of the most affordable RV stereo systems you will find in the market.
Good enough, the price is not limiting or restricting when it comes to quality and overall performance.
With a maximum power output of 200W, this design is one of the most powerful options you will find out there in the reasonably priced stereo category.
Although it is a 1-Din design, it offers several impressive features and functions that are usually not associated with stereos that fall under this design option or category.
You can access your audio files and play music from several sources using one of the available options to users.
The LCD display is appropriately lit, guaranteeing improved visibility when operated in the dark.
Also, the brightness level of the LCD display and other illuminated parts can be adjusted or dimmed to every user’s preference.
- Illuminated LCD display, knob, and buttons are dimmable
- Supports streaming platforms such as Pandora & Spotify
- Sound style and performance can be adjusted to each user’s preference
- Very affordable design
- Doesn’t support CD/DVD
The FAQs About RV Stereo System Upgrade
01. What makes up the RV stereo system?
The RV stereo is also popularly known as a receiver.
Usually, the receiver/stereo has both the audio source and the amplifier in one unit.
02. What is the role of an amplifier in a stereo?
The primary function of the amplifier is to improve/enhance the electrical signal produced by the audio source before it is transmitted or promoted to the speaker.’
03. What does the speaker do?
Once the speakers receive the electrical signal from the amplifier, the signal is then converted to audible sound within the frequency range that is appealing to every listener.
04. Where can I get the installation tools?
All the tools that are required or needed to complete the installation process can be purchased from Amazon.
05. What does the RV stereo system installation entail?
The installation is easy and fast when you know what is expected and what you need to do.
Basically, the process involves creating adequate mounting space or room for the stereo and connecting the wires/cables accordingly for optimum performance and functioning.
06. Why is grounding necessary in stereo system installation?
Grounding plays a vital role in ensuring excellent sound quality is achieved at all times.
It controls or eliminates distortion, noise, or interference that may affect audio signals.
When you follow all the information or details highlighted/discussed in this guide, choosing the best product for your RV stereo system upgrade should be a walk in the park.
Make sure you go through the reviewed products.
Take your time as you read each design and pick the one that meets your desired performance expectations or preference.