Pioneer head unit (1 Viewer)

Sep 12, 2020
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Had a new head unit fitted but with Google i can't find a way to input vehicle dimensions. Waze only comes with car size vehicles. I'm wondering about having a Pioneer AVIC F-160 added as camper and truck sizes can be inputted. Any other thoughts, options gladly received please.
 
Jan 30, 2020
3,028
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Mid Bedfordshire
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RS Endeavour
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Just a tad..
Get a dedicated satnav, would be my advice. Garmin Camper is very good and what I use. You can save various profiles for different combinations and vehicles. Car is just car, but the Motorhome is 7.3T and 9.35m and with a toad is quite large. Without toad, much more manoeuvrable, Garmin means I can save both profiles.
 
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Sep 17, 2017
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Birmingham, UK
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A-Class
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2017
I assume you are using Android Auto or Apple CarPlay? These use your phone as the satnav and the radio is effectively a dumb screen.

The only app I'm aware of that supports Android Auto/Apple CarPlay AND allows you to input vehicle dimensions is TomTom Go. And you need to pay a subscription to activate the 'truck' features.

My personal opinion is the dedicated units that allow for vehicle widths have worse mapping and worse information than apps like Google Maps and Waze. It's very rare that vehicle width affects the routing. But very common that poor mapping or poor traffic info sends you a stupid way. I use Google Maps.
 
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OP
OP
M
Sep 12, 2020
43
23
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75,779
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Compass Avantgard300
Exp
Since June 2020
Get a dedicated satnav, would be my advice. Garmin Camper is very good and what I use. You can save various profiles for different combinations and vehicles. Car is just car, but the Motorhome is 7.3T and 9.35m and with a toad is quite large. Without toad, much more manoeuvrable, Garmin means I can save both profiles.
I've been using a Tom-tom camper but its about as much use as an ashtray on a bike.
 
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zac

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Nov 19, 2013
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I have a Pioneer F160-2 connected to the AVH-X3800DAB and this allows dimensions but i don't use it as its not very user friendly and the maps are extremely expensive to update as opposed to getting a Tomtom truck subscription which then also includes the traffic or a dedicated tomtom truck unit which usually has traffic included or it does on my Tomtom Truck 6000. The best option i have found is to use the tomtom go (truck activated) on an adroid tablet which then if you use the apps like search4sites/campercontact/park4night etc you can then just go from straight within the app to the navigation app without having to input co ordinates.

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Sep 17, 2017
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2017
I believe TomTom now use the same base software and mapping on the app and on their dedicated units. You just pay to have features turned on and off. So I'd expect a modern TomTom Camper to be very similar to the TomTom Go app with the Truck subscription.
 
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Apr 5, 2019
353
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I'm a newbie
We have a Pioneer AVIC-EV01. It was expensive, map update are expensive and I need to sort the radio aerial, but other than that I'm happy with it.
You can set multiple profiles, in our case with or without trailer.
 
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OP
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Sep 12, 2020
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Thanks everyone for taking time with this. Think I will play with the Tom Tom Go app and see how I get on.
 
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zac

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So glad I skipped that series and went for the EVO instead



It's a joy to use
That's a big old beast, looks very nice and being bigger will be easier to use I suspect. I think these ones have the truck maps built into them as opposed to the separate Avic units pairing with an AVH of some kind.
 
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Mar 12, 2021
306
376
North Lincolnshire
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carthago e line 64xl
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2017
We have this unit fitted and a very expensive option the sd card got corrupted and cost £210-00 and a lot of hassle to get a replacement wish I had not bothered

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Mar 6, 2008
126
138
Spixworth
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Van Conversion Moto-
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Since 2006
We used to have the Pioneer stand-alone sat.nav. Its true you can input the van dimensions but only as a truck! As it thinks you are a truck you will come across many Truck related problems. Buying the maps from Naviextras can be er! a right pain.You only have a 4 Gig SD card and I had multiple warnings of this card filling up.Also the speed camera database never seemed to be updated. The only way to increas space was to remove maps I was never going to use like Russia and several others. Trouble was when an update arrived it re-included all the maps I had deleted. When we went to Romania it was ok for a while but eventually it refused to plot routes, but only in Romania!! I should also warn you to make back-ups as it will keep reminding you. If you lose the maps , Pioneer advised me that they will not replace them until you pay almost as much you paid for the unit. They also reckoned the SD card is coded so you just cannot replace it.I put up with it for2-3 years then sold the whole lot as it was no lomger worth the hassle. Instead I bought an Android based multi media radio. Absolutely brilliant. I have installed TomTom Go! which is ok, but wait, I can also use Waze, Google maps etc. Very nearly the best thing I have ever done, the best thing if you are asking is marrying the misses and buying a campervan/motothome.
 
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Nov 10, 2020
158
126
Glasgow, UK
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Globecar Roadscout
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Since 2017
We paid about £1,500 to have a Pioneer AVIC-Z830-DAB-C system installed by the dealer. It allows you to input the dimensions of your vehicle, which was the main selling point for us.

However, I can't say we are particularly impressed by it. Lots of things are really annoying.

One of the most irritating things is the sensitivity of the touch screen. You have to touch the screen and immediately lift your finger off. If you keep contact too long, it doesn't register. However, when it does register your touch, there can be a slight lag before the screen changes, which causes you to try to touch again, only to inadvertently touch something on the new screen. It is very frustrating indeed trying to input the destination. It's really bad if you (as a passenger of course) are trying to use the screen when moving but it's also pretty bad even when stationary. It's also very hard to scroll or zoom in to the map.

It hasn't yet taken us down a route with a height restriction lower than our van but it has at least once taken us along a route with a width restriction (we had to do a 8-point turn, holding up the traffic). You can choose which type of route you want (Fast, Economical, Easy etc.) but it's not clear which is best to pick.

It has quite often taken us along routes which are less suitable than those suggested by Google Maps or Apple Maps. Most recently in northern Spain where we drove along single track roads (and no passing places!), up and down hills, for about 3 miles to our destination. The final ½ mile we actually had to drive the wrong way down a one-way road (either that or reverse the whole route). We twice crossed over a regular two-lane road — when we reached our destination, there was that same two-lane road that we could have used (and did on the return journey).

We were at the Sangatte Aire recently and tried to plot a route. It seemed to think that we were in the Eurotunnel already!

For some reason, the unit will randomly re-start playing any music or audiobook that it can find. Even when I close the Music app on my iPhone and select Source Off on the Pioneer, every now and then it starts to play the first tune in my Music app. Also, the same thing happens when there is a CD in the unit; it just starts to play now and again.

You seem to be able to get paid or free updates to the maps. We just use the free updates as the paid ones are quite expensive. We have had numerous occasions where the Pioneer information is out of date (even when we have just updated the maps — the free ones, mind you).

In order to update the maps, you need a Windows PC or laptop (it doesn't work on a Mac) and a USB drive of at least 4GB. The update procedure instructions are a bit obscure.

Usually, we use both the Pioneer sat nav and either Google or Apple Maps on a phone on the dashboard. When they disagree, we have to make a quick decision.

I definitely wouldn't buy it again. It's not terrible, but not worth the money when Google and Apple Maps are free. We used to use Waze when we had a car, which we liked but that often used local shortcuts through residential areas so we don't use it for the van.
 
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OP
OP
M
Sep 12, 2020
43
23
Funster No
75,779
MH
Compass Avantgard300
Exp
Since June 2020
We paid about £1,500 to have a Pioneer AVIC-Z830-DAB-C system installed by the dealer. It allows you to input the dimensions of your vehicle, which was the main selling point for us.

However, I can't say we are particularly impressed by it. Lots of things are really annoying.

One of the most irritating things is the sensitivity of the touch screen. You have to touch the screen and immediately lift your finger off. If you keep contact too long, it doesn't register. However, when it does register your touch, there can be a slight lag before the screen changes, which causes you to try to touch again, only to inadvertently touch something on the new screen. It is very frustrating indeed trying to input the destination. It's really bad if you (as a passenger of course) are trying to use the screen when moving but it's also pretty bad even when stationary. It's also very hard to scroll or zoom in to the map.

It hasn't yet taken us down a route with a height restriction lower than our van but it has at least once taken us along a route with a width restriction (we had to do a 8-point turn, holding up the traffic). You can choose which type of route you want (Fast, Economical, Easy etc.) but it's not clear which is best to pick.

It has quite often taken us along routes which are less suitable than those suggested by Google Maps or Apple Maps. Most recently in northern Spain where we drove along single track roads (and no passing places!), up and down hills, for about 3 miles to our destination. The final ½ mile we actually had to drive the wrong way down a one-way road (either that or reverse the whole route). We twice crossed over a regular two-lane road — when we reached our destination, there was that same two-lane road that we could have used (and did on the return journey).

We were at the Sangatte Aire recently and tried to plot a route. It seemed to think that we were in the Eurotunnel already!

For some reason, the unit will randomly re-start playing any music or audiobook that it can find. Even when I close the Music app on my iPhone and select Source Off on the Pioneer, every now and then it starts to play the first tune in my Music app. Also, the same thing happens when there is a CD in the unit; it just starts to play now and again.

You seem to be able to get paid or free updates to the maps. We just use the free updates as the paid ones are quite expensive. We have had numerous occasions where the Pioneer information is out of date (even when we have just updated the maps — the free ones, mind you).

In order to update the maps, you need a Windows PC or laptop (it doesn't work on a Mac) and a USB drive of at least 4GB. The update procedure instructions are a bit obscure.

Usually, we use both the Pioneer sat nav and either Google or Apple Maps on a phone on the dashboard. When they disagree, we have to make a quick decision.

I definitely wouldn't buy it again. It's not terrible, but not worth the money when Google and Apple Maps are free. We used to use Waze when we had a car, which we liked but that often used local shortcuts through residential areas so we don't use it for the van.
Thank you, I think it will be TomTom Go and Google maps.
 
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Feb 18, 2017
4,199
8,125
Greenwich, London, UK
Funster No
47,382
MH
Hymer MLT 570
Exp
1986
My 2018 van was unfortunately specified with the notorious Zenec head unit.
It was apparently a £1,200 extra on the new vans at the time.
The Zenec Units are not fit for purpose, the main issues are:

The original software and maps supplied is from around 2012-1014. You have to pay £70 for an upgrade each year.
The small memory chip supplied can not be swapped or upgraded, so you are limited to a few countries maps at any given moment
It keeps giving 'max speed 30mph' verbal warnings on motorways/Dual carriageways, particularly in Scotland, to such an extent you have to ignore all warnings.
The unit freezes about every 2-300 miles. No GPS, can't change the radio station, can't switch off.
The only way to unfreeze it is engine off for at least 3 mins.
Occasionally (2-3 times a year) the unit totally freezes and will only work on radio. The solution we got from another Zenec user was to point the van south, switch on the radio, and leave it running for an hour.
Quite frankly I'd give you £12 to remove it

I went to the NEC Motorhome Show yesterday.
One of the things on my shopping list was to look at replacement head units.

As soon as I mentioned Zenec I realised I was in a club, all the other suppliers, even the cheap ones, have replaced Zenec units, no one has a good word to say about them.
To save you all a load of walking with your fingers I have narrowed down the field to either
Kenwood or Pioneer.

Both are a similar price (wrong side of a grand)
Both have all the things I need (radio, SatNav, wifi updated maps, TomTom or Garmin base maps, phone connection, traffic, motorhome size and weight restrictions etc)

I'm going to do some more research, but i think it's the Kenwood version that is in the lead.

I also found out that Hymer have now swapped the Zenec unit for the Kenwood unit as the recommended head unit for 2022 vans onwards

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Bobby-gg

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Feb 28, 2020
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Ducato IH pvc
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Brains , I've just fitted the pioneer evo93 with the 9" capacitive touch screen and it is a joy to use compared to older resistive touch screens.
If the Kenwood is better than this it must be something special - although I picked mine up on the classifieds on here for a bargain price 👍
 
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Sapper520

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Jan 22, 2020
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Had this fitted last September……

9F1A9A07-244E-469B-AC47-CA71F10BE145.jpeg


Three year warranty and three year Map Updates…..by far better than the 3 Xzent, 1 xZenec and 1 xAlpine that all went t@t’s up in less than 2 years.

Fitted by a proper Specialist, who handed me a load of wiring that he said he had no idea why it was there and there was no reason for it being there. Plugged into the original Fiat fitted DAB antenna which is working perfectly.

Expensive yes, but easy to update and use. It’s an optional extra on the new Fiat Ducato 8…..at half the price I paid.
 
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Sep 24, 2013
1,324
762
Norwich
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28,255
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Carthago A class
Exp
Since 2014
What
Had this fitted last September……

View attachment 719362

Three year warranty and three year Map Updates…..by far better than the 3 Xzent, 1 xZenec and 1 xAlpine that all went t@t’s up in less than 2 years.

Fitted by a proper Specialist, who handed me a load of wiring that he said he had no idea why it was there and there was no reason for it being there. Plugged into the original Fiat fitted DAB antenna which is working perfectly.

Expensive yes, but easy to update and use. It’s an optional extra on the new Fiat Ducato 8…..at half the price I paid.
What make and model is that? I have a new Ducato 8 based van on order and specified the 9” Pioneer option (not the expensive 10”unit). Current van has a Zenec unit which certainly has some foibles!
 
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Bobby-gg

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Sapper520

That almost looks like the evo93 but with an additional control in the bottom left.

Any idea what it is?
Rotary dial volume & multifunction control?
 
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Oct 4, 2019
381
502
Milford on Sea
Funster No
64,934
MH
Globecar Campscout
Exp
Since 2005
We paid about £1,500 to have a Pioneer AVIC-Z830-DAB-C system installed by the dealer. It allows you to input the dimensions of your vehicle, which was the main selling point for us.

However, I can't say we are particularly impressed by it. Lots of things are really annoying.

One of the most irritating things is the sensitivity of the touch screen. You have to touch the screen and immediately lift your finger off. If you keep contact too long, it doesn't register. However, when it does register your touch, there can be a slight lag before the screen changes, which causes you to try to touch again, only to inadvertently touch something on the new screen. It is very frustrating indeed trying to input the destination. It's really bad if you (as a passenger of course) are trying to use the screen when moving but it's also pretty bad even when stationary. It's also very hard to scroll or zoom in to the map.

It hasn't yet taken us down a route with a height restriction lower than our van but it has at least once taken us along a route with a width restriction (we had to do a 8-point turn, holding up the traffic). You can choose which type of route you want (Fast, Economical, Easy etc.) but it's not clear which is best to pick.

It has quite often taken us along routes which are less suitable than those suggested by Google Maps or Apple Maps. Most recently in northern Spain where we drove along single track roads (and no passing places!), up and down hills, for about 3 miles to our destination. The final ½ mile we actually had to drive the wrong way down a one-way road (either that or reverse the whole route). We twice crossed over a regular two-lane road — when we reached our destination, there was that same two-lane road that we could have used (and did on the return journey).

We were at the Sangatte Aire recently and tried to plot a route. It seemed to think that we were in the Eurotunnel already!

For some reason, the unit will randomly re-start playing any music or audiobook that it can find. Even when I close the Music app on my iPhone and select Source Off on the Pioneer, every now and then it starts to play the first tune in my Music app. Also, the same thing happens when there is a CD in the unit; it just starts to play now and again.

You seem to be able to get paid or free updates to the maps. We just use the free updates as the paid ones are quite expensive. We have had numerous occasions where the Pioneer information is out of date (even when we have just updated the maps — the free ones, mind you).

In order to update the maps, you need a Windows PC or laptop (it doesn't work on a Mac) and a USB drive of at least 4GB. The update procedure instructions are a bit obscure.

Usually, we use both the Pioneer sat nav and either Google or Apple Maps on a phone on the dashboard. When they disagree, we have to make a quick decision.

I definitely wouldn't buy it again. It's not terrible, but not worth the money when Google and Apple Maps are free. We used to use Waze when we had a car, which we liked but that often used local shortcuts through residential areas so we don't use it for the van.
It's about the least user friendly piece of kit I have ever had. Just about everything is difficult from finding the right button to inputting data. It was sold to me as the all singing, all dancing best thing since sliced bread for radio, GPS and as a reversing camera. Even the reversing camera took forever to get lined up correctly. The lack of a ON/OFF button so it can be used without the ignition on is also extremely annoying. Value for money - close to zero.
 
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Sapper520

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Jan 22, 2020
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Sapper520

That almost looks like the evo93 but with an additional control in the bottom left.

Any idea what it is?
Rotary dial volume & multifunction control?
Manual volume knob…..volume can also be adjusted on the touchscreen and on the steering controls. The button is to switch on the rear view camera on should you wish to take a look behind whilst driving along……camera also works in reverse gear of course.👍

And there’s a separate power switch should you wish to use the unit whilst the ignition is switched off.
 
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Apr 3, 2019
1,589
2,899
UK
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59,597
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Burstner Travel Van
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Few years now
I have a Pioneer AVIC-EV01 which was an expensive bit of kit specified by the previous user.
The sat nav is piss poor. If we go off its plotted route it often doesnt do any recalculation. I tend to use Waze/ Google maps via the Appleplay function.
Had a Garmin Camper in my last van, wasnt impressed with that either, it used to take me on really long routes which werent necessary.
 
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Sapper520

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Jan 22, 2020
2,879
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North Somerset
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68,245
MH
No longer own one
Exp
September 2020
I have a Pioneer AVIC-EV01 which was an expensive bit of kit specified by the previous user.
The sat nav is piss poor. If we go off its plotted route it often doesnt do any recalculation. I tend to use Waze/ Google maps via the Appleplay function.
Had a Garmin Camper in my last van, wasnt impressed with that either, it used to take me on really long routes which werent necessary.

Haven’t encountered that with my unit. It does try to steer you back to your original route at first, but as soon as it identifies another route it recalculates quite quickly.
 
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