Head units (1 Viewer)

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Wasteman2022

Free Member
May 11, 2022
2
0
Funster No
88,647
MH
Pilote 696
Hello. New to this motorhome thing so please bear with me.
I have a pilote 696 and have the issue with the in vehicle head unit. Basically it's not very good the dab doesn't work and the screen is fairly dark. Is this usual or should I just get a larger screen / replacement unit as I understand that the standard fiat unit is not really that good as it's for a standard fiat and not specifically for a motorhome.
Thanks Graham
 
Solution2
Yes. DAB poor, as is fm but that’s not unusual for Ducato units and their aerials. But the sat nav is poor, the gps is shocking and looses it’s self. The music quality is good, well ok for standard speakers. I’m amazed at how few things that are on my phone/iPad aren’t CarPlay compatible. I just play radio via internet or music from phone. On CarPlay google maps, or Apple maps the functionality is all skew so not very usable. Google being particularly bad.
The iPad on on the dash with a wire into a cheap head unit was a far better experience. I wouldn’t buy another pioneer thing, and would prefer the £1400 in my pocket. It immediately wanted updates that it wants money for, and basic things aren’t doable.
Rather glad I bought a...
May 7, 2016
7,577
12,496
West Sussex
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42,951
MH
Malibu Van 640 LE K
Exp
Since 2003
Hi. Poor DAB radio performance is often down to the aerial.

If you do decide to change the head unit I would suggest getting one with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. CarPlay and Auto allow you to use the head unit screen as an extension to a smart phone. In particular you can use the phone navigation systems e.g. Google Maps, Waze etc. You get full screen maps and touch screen control of your phone and are not tied to one inbuilt navigation system.
 
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Apr 19, 2019
2,335
4,981
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60,021
MH
Carado T339
Exp
5 years
I got a cheap android unit off Ebay. It was a doddle to fit and works fine. It was £75. It has some limitations but better than the original FIAT one.
 
Upvote 0
May 1, 2015
586
438
Caerphilly
Funster No
36,145
MH
Rapido C86 Auto
Exp
Since 2014
Hello. New to this motorhome thing so please bear with me.
I have a pilote 696 and have the issue with the in vehicle head unit. Basically it's not very good the dab doesn't work and the screen is fairly dark. Is this usual or should I just get a larger screen / replacement unit as I understand that the standard fiat unit is not really that good as it's for a standard fiat and not specifically for a motorhome.
Thanks Graham
If it's the IDmedia head unit you may as well chuck it away. Dealer did various fixes over the course of 18 months and failed to fix ours.
If it's under warranty badger the dealer to replace it.
 
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Sapper520

Free Member
Jan 22, 2020
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September 2020
We’re on Unit number 6 in two years (4 failures and one that the dealer was unable to fit in the dashboard 🤷‍♂️ )……and it appears to be a great piece of kit. And, it’s working fine using the factory fit Fiat DAB ariel.

Eyewateringly expensive but it’s the new Pioneer unit being offered to owners of the new Fiat Ducato.(y)

I can put some photos on here if you’re interested.;)

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Jan 19, 2014
9,573
25,349
Derbyshire
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29,757
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Elddis Accordo 105
Exp
since 2014
I've got a £10 Bluetooth/FM transmitter which has worked very well, I can get Internet radio, phone calls and navigation instructions all through the van's speakers. It can be used on site too in one of the habitation accessory sockets, also I use it in the car.

FirstE Bluetooth FM Transmitter,... Amazon product ASIN B07BF52BY7
 
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May 7, 2016
7,577
12,496
West Sussex
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42,951
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Malibu Van 640 LE K
Exp
Since 2003
Having spent over a thousand pound on an Apple play unit, I would highly recommend you don’t bother. A basic unit, and money in the pocket would be my next choice.
You can get a good Pioneer Apple CarPlay/Android Auto head unit for £440. I consider it one of my best buys. I run Waze from my phone on it with speed and speed limit at the top of the screen because it is far easier to read than the Ducato speedometer.
 
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Sapper520

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Jan 22, 2020
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You can get a good Pioneer Apple CarPlay/Android Auto head unit for £440. I consider it one of my best buys. I run Waze from my phone on it with speed and speed limit at the top of the screen because it is far easier to read than the Ducato speedometer.

Stick £1k on top of that for ours ( Lenny got it for under £800 as an option on his new van), but only had a little play and both I and more importantly my wife, are happy with it.

After two years trying Xzent’s, Zenec’s and an Alpine, we’re just happy that we’ve got DAB that doesn’t drop out for 75% of any journey (in fact this one hasn’t dropped out at all so far), Android Auto works great with Spotify and Google maps (although the Nav system in the Unit is good as well). (y)
 
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slowcoach65

Free Member
Jan 23, 2020
90
137
Funster No
68,276
MH
A
Presuming yours is a Ducato base vehicle, if you do replace the head-unit, you may find you can no longer change the clock on the dash! That's what happened to us and there is no easy work-around.

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ROCHESB

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Mar 18, 2022
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Itineo SB740
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SInce 2002
Presuming yours is a Ducato base vehicle, if you do replace the head-unit, you may find you can no longer change the clock on the dash! That's what happened to us and there is no easy work-around.
It is possible, a dealer should be able to do it or you can DIY using MultiECUScan software and an OBD2 cable, you need to tell the Ducato onboard 'computer' it doesn't have a FIAT supplied radio, then you can use the keypad which controls things like foglights & headlight aim to set time etc.
 
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slowcoach65

Free Member
Jan 23, 2020
90
137
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68,276
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A
It is possible, a dealer should be able to do it or you can DIY using MultiECUScan software and an OBD2 cable, you need to tell the Ducato onboard 'computer' it doesn't have a FIAT supplied radio, then you can use the keypad which controls things like foglights & headlight aim to set time etc.
I am sure you are correct but both solutions require time, effort and money - just to change the time :) I just ignored it and sold the van!
 
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ROCHESB

Free Member
Mar 18, 2022
112
211
Funster No
87,516
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Itineo SB740
Exp
SInce 2002
I am sure you are correct but both solutions require time, effort and money - just to change the time :) I just ignored it and sold the van!
I got as far as buying the software & cable, but then sold the van with the Uconnect radio in it. Our current van has a £900 9" Alpine head unit in it, I doubt I would have chosen it myself but it was part of the dealer spec they ordered.

I much prefer the Copilot Caravan navigation software that runs on my iPad Mini........ that takes into account the size of the vehicle, unlike the Alpine unit. I only wish Copilot would make their software work on Apple Carplay and/or Android Auto.......
 
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ceejayt

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 12, 2015
3,298
5,963
Stamford Bridge - Yorkshire
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RS Elysian A Class
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Since 2004
Hi. Poor DAB radio performance is often down to the aerial.

If you do decide to change the head unit I would suggest getting one with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. CarPlay and Auto allow you to use the head unit screen as an extension to a smart phone. In particular you can use the phone navigation systems e.g. Google Maps, Waze etc. You get full screen maps and touch screen control of your phone and are not tied to one inbuilt navigation system.
And the benefit of BBC sounds which works much better than our DAB aerial
 
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Jun 6, 2022
295
627
Bottesford, Scunthorpe, UK
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89,122
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Autotrail Cheyenne
Exp
Newbie
I have just fitted one of these, a direct upgrade from the one I fitted originally but had lying around bought for another car but never fitted, it was only Android 8 this is 11 and a damn site faster, car carplay and to map aps but I use Sygic, you can choose with or without camera, DAB (which I got) etc. I had no need for camera it integrates with my Autotrail fitted one as soon as reverse is selected, comes with all the wiring you need, I had to get a double DIN mounting cage to fit my Ducato dash after removing the Pioneer single DIN media player.
£80 basic and about 10 days to get here.

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Apr 22, 2018
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53,503
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Adria Coral lowline
You can get a good Pioneer Apple CarPlay/Android Auto head unit for £440. I consider it one of my best buys. I run Waze from my phone on it with speed and speed limit at the top of the screen because it is far easier to read than the Ducato speedometer.
If a £1400 pioneer is as poor as the one I’ve got, then I dread to think how bad the £440 is.
 
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Sapper520

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Jan 22, 2020
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I got as far as buying the software & cable, but then sold the van with the Uconnect radio in it. Our current van has a £900 9" Alpine head unit in it, I doubt I would have chosen it myself but it was part of the dealer spec they ordered.

I much prefer the Copilot Caravan navigation software that runs on my iPad Mini........ that takes into account the size of the vehicle, unlike the Alpine unit. I only wish Copilot would make their software work on Apple Carplay and/or Android Auto.......

The Alpine Unit I had fitted wouldn’t update and I couldn’t get the Naviextras to work.

I had to take photos of the unit, and what I was trying to do, and send them to both companies……both came to the conclusion that the unit was faulty and take it back to the dealers that fitted it…..but that’s another story.🤦‍♂️

Taking our van to a Specialist Company and buying from them…..expensive…..but they know what they’re doing.👍
 
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Sapper520

Free Member
Jan 22, 2020
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North Somerset
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September 2020
If a £1400 pioneer is as poor as the one I’ve got, then I dread to think how bad the £440 is.

No, our £1400 Pioneer is shaping up to be what I paid a Motorhome dealer £2000 to be what should have been. 🤷‍♂️

The Units fitted by the Dealer can be had for under £400…..but many fail.
 
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Sapper520

Free Member
Jan 22, 2020
2,879
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No longer own one
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September 2020
Mines an Avic something or other. Great disappointment,

Pioneer Avic Z1000DAB.

Disappointments for us are 2 x Xzent AF-270’s, Zenec something or other, and a expensive Alpine…..all fitted by Motorhome Dealers.

Here’s what the Specialist Company removed and said they have no idea why it was there…… minus the rocker switch that they replaced with one of their own, and the Fiat USB dash socket, which they replaced with a double that comes up on the Unit screen for charging and updates. (y)

CCD42190-E993-4220-BC94-B5741C2F1C45.jpeg
 
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Apr 22, 2018
7,057
12,967
Herts.
Funster No
53,503
MH
Adria Coral lowline
What has disappointed you? DAB, phone interface or sound quality etc.
Yes. DAB poor, as is fm but that’s not unusual for Ducato units and their aerials. But the sat nav is poor, the gps is shocking and looses it’s self. The music quality is good, well ok for standard speakers. I’m amazed at how few things that are on my phone/iPad aren’t CarPlay compatible. I just play radio via internet or music from phone. On CarPlay google maps, or Apple maps the functionality is all skew so not very usable. Google being particularly bad.
The iPad on on the dash with a wire into a cheap head unit was a far better experience. I wouldn’t buy another pioneer thing, and would prefer the £1400 in my pocket. It immediately wanted updates that it wants money for, and basic things aren’t doable.
 
Upvote 0
May 7, 2016
7,577
12,496
West Sussex
Funster No
42,951
MH
Malibu Van 640 LE K
Exp
Since 2003
Yes. DAB poor, as is fm but that’s not unusual for Ducato units and their aerials. But the sat nav is poor, the gps is shocking and looses it’s self. The music quality is good, well ok for standard speakers. I’m amazed at how few things that are on my phone/iPad aren’t CarPlay compatible. I just play radio via internet or music from phone. On CarPlay google maps, or Apple maps the functionality is all skew so not very usable. Google being particularly bad.
The iPad on on the dash with a wire into a cheap head unit was a far better experience. I wouldn’t buy another pioneer thing, and would prefer the £1400 in my pocket. It immediately wanted updates that it wants money for, and basic things aren’t doable.
Rather glad I bought a basic Pioneer CarPlay, the expensive one seems to be trouble.

There are quite a few reports on the internet about smart phone navigation going haywire when connected to CarPlay head units that have their own gps navigation. The nub of the problem seems to be the head units think they should supply the gps info to the phone, which confuses the phone tracking. My head unit does not have gps or navigation and the phone navigation works really well on it. I didn’t see the need for built in navigation so long as it displayed the phone navigation properly.

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Solution

Lenny HB

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Oct 18, 2007
54,898
157,150
On the coast in West Sussex
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658
MH
Carthago Compactline
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Since 2008 & many years tugging
My head unit does not have gps or navigation and the phone navigation works really well on it. I didn’t see the need for built in navigation so long as it displayed the phone navigation properly.
That would be my choice but the option was a no brainer to get a high res 9" screen only £795 extra.
 
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Sapper520

Free Member
Jan 22, 2020
2,879
4,506
North Somerset
Funster No
68,245
MH
No longer own one
Exp
September 2020
Yes. DAB poor, as is fm but that’s not unusual for Ducato units and their aerials. But the sat nav is poor, the gps is shocking and looses it’s self. The music quality is good, well ok for standard speakers. I’m amazed at how few things that are on my phone/iPad aren’t CarPlay compatible. I just play radio via internet or music from phone. On CarPlay google maps, or Apple maps the functionality is all skew so not very usable. Google being particularly bad.
The iPad on on the dash with a wire into a cheap head unit was a far better experience. I wouldn’t buy another pioneer thing, and would prefer the £1400 in my pocket. It immediately wanted updates that it wants money for, and basic things aren’t doable.

Early days with ours, but not having issues and very pleased (Hope I’m not talking too soon;)).

The Unit loads up quickly.

Register the new unit with Pioneer and the guarantee period goes from two to three years. You also get a code (still waiting but only registered it a couple of days ago) for three years free map updates with Naviextras.

They told me they’ve plugged it in direct to the Fiat DAB ariel, and I’m finding it works great. I tested it on two areas of my route home where normally the DAB dropped out……didn’t even flicker.

One things for sure, I’m glad I finally went to a Specialist company who know what they’re doing, just look at all the wiring they removed, having no idea why it was in there. A local company who converts VW vans take all their vans to the same company a well, that’s where I got the recommendation from.(y)
 
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