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Old 08-15-2016, 10:14 AM   #1
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Clarion vs. GPS in Essex/King aire

Not to beat this topic to death, there are so many posts on this forum regarding the Clarion GPS. I've seen people asking if the Clarion can be switched out or ordered on their new DS/MA/LA with the GPS unit that is in the Essex/King aire.

But I have seen no real answer to this question. ( only that everyone uses the portable Garmin 760 on the dash ).

Has anyone ever requested that this switch be done and is Newmar willing to do it?

Also out of curiosity, what GPS unit is used in the king year/Essex models?
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:08 PM   #2
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JMHO: I believe that one member's comment that he'd " rather take $1,000 dollars and throw it out the window" than order another in dash GPS unit. Just about covers it. Too many problems with up-grading the maps at least on the older units. One member commented that it was impossible to change route while mobile. Just because the factory offers it doesn't mean it's the latest and greatest. Like other electronic devices , obsolete once it hits the shelf.
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Old 08-20-2016, 06:48 PM   #3
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We are currently trying to repair our NX501 as our Sirius is no longer working. But, staying on the gps theme- my maps were out of date and the monitor had me driving in the open fields. I contacted navie who informed me my unit was given 5 years of free updates and the calendar began in 2010 so I was out of time for free updates. I wrote an appeal email as my Ventana is a 2013 with a manufacture date of Jan 2013. I'll share the response when I get it.
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Old 08-21-2016, 06:13 AM   #4
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The clarion gps sucks. Radio is ok but not great.


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Old 08-21-2016, 08:04 AM   #5
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Clarion GPS

101st Airborn pretty well hit it on the head! I have complained to Newmar about these pieces of junk, but can't get them over to Magellan Rand/McNally. The more people that complain about it may get their attention.
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:17 AM   #6
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To put a positive spin on it. If that's the biggest thing we have to complain about with our Newmar life ain't to bad. I've got the unlevel full wall slide and the front axle to be addressed but they have said they will make it right.


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Old 08-23-2016, 09:24 AM   #7
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Sirius Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenMarNewMar View Post
We are currently trying to repair our NX501 as our Sirius is no longer working. But, staying on the gps theme- my maps were out of date and the monitor had me driving in the open fields. I contacted navie who informed me my unit was given 5 years of free updates and the calendar began in 2010 so I was out of time for free updates. I wrote an appeal email as my Ventana is a 2013 with a manufacture date of Jan 2013. I'll share the response when I get it.
My Sirius Repair. My Sirius was stuck in the "LOADING" mode. I replaced the Sirius 8 pin male/male cable and the Clarion specific cable that allows for the Sirius cable to connect. This repair was a success as Sirius is now playing. A local repair shop recommended I replace the cables connecting the SCC1 box and the NX501. I did not remember reading this remedy so I wanted to share it. NAVI got back to me and requested I provide proof of purchase. I did and now am waiting for their reply.
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Old 08-23-2016, 02:50 PM   #8
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Point one: The Clarion GPS sucks, based on the one that came with our Revolution

Point two: Don't spend any money on upgrading an in-dash nav system. As already pointed out, it will be a pain to update, and expensive to do so, not to mention it will be out of date shortly after you get the coach. Our Jeep came with an in-dash unit, I paid to have it updated once a couple of years ago, first trip out the updates failed to recognize a "new" road we knew had been there for two or three years.

For the cost of a couple of in-dash unit updates you can buy the latest portable GPS which will probably come with free lifetime updates.
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:24 PM   #9
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I had a NX501 in our Dutch Star. I have 2 other portable GPS units I use in my other vehicles- a Tom Tom and a Garmin . each one has it's quirks. Once you get accustomed to the individual traits of the unit(s), I feel that each one is a usable device once you get used to it's operation.
The NX501 was very back leveled with the maps. I attempted to upgrade it, but kept getting message that there was insufficient storage to handle the new maps. I contacted the mapping support company ( I think they are in eastern europe) and after many frustrating email dialogs ( they don't communicate via phone-- language issues?) where they told me I could only update a couple specific areas of the US vs a total update due to the storage issues. Obviously this was not adequate as we travel throughout the country and don't limit ourselves to a few specific regions. I wrote to the CEO of Clarion USA explaining my frustration. They arranged to ship a NX602 to me. I had to load it with the most current level of maps after installation ( really not a big deal) The NX602 operated differently than the NX501 , but after a bit of use and getting used to it's programming and quirks, I have no issues with it. They are all different-- see what you want and like . I prefer having an in-dash unit in the coach vs having a unit stuck on the dash
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Old 08-24-2016, 08:13 AM   #10
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The Essex/King models come with a radio/GPS unit called "Exite", an imported generic unit that Newmar, Entegra and others use on their higher-end models. Not a great unit, to be sure, but a local jobber there in Elkhart will customize them with brand logos, Rend-McNally maps, etc. for that particular brand. I think that is why you see them in those coaches. Just like the Clarions, Alpines, or other dash models, the GPS is particularly difficult to program, especially while on the move. (I know, I know....). In my experience, NONE of these dash units can beat the ease of use of the Garmin or perhaps other portable GPS units. I run with BOTH GPS units working, but the Garmin is my go-to unit by far. I like the ease of use, the customized POI's I've installed and the easily-updated maps of the Garmin.

My advice?....Don't waste your money on an "upgraded" dash unit. Spend it on a portable unit and save the extra cash for happy hour.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:18 AM   #11
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I realize that lots of owners don't like the in-dash GPSD units and prefer a standalone unit and there's nothing wrong with that. However some people like an in-dash unit for the clean look of the dash without having extra devices laying around. I'm one who is in that group. But you still want to have a unit that works reasonable well or else you are throwing your money away.

In my case I replaced the non-GPS radio in our Allegro Bus with a Kenwood system that used Garmin software. This system worked well for me. When we traded up to our Cornerstone it came with the Excite system - pretty much like on the King Aire. It has Rand McNally TripMaker software for the GPS which I didn't care for so I replaced it with a new Kenwood DNX571TR system, which came with Garmin GPS software designed for trucks and RVs. This system I like and works well. Granted, no GPS system is ever 100% accurate so I never follow any of them blindly but if you do want an in-dash unit it's hard to beat Kenwood's DNX571TR.

If you do want an in-dash unit I would suggest just ripping out your Clarion and buying the Kenwood. I bought mine online at Crutchfield and it was a fairly simple swap because most units use the standard double DIN size. I know, it's an extra grand you have to spend but when you consider how much you already have invested in you coach it's not that bad to get things the way you want them. At the end of the day it's all about enjoying the drive.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:38 AM   #12
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I have and use the Exite system with Rand McNally Tripmaker software mentioned above. It is the same system as the standalone Rand McNally units sold online and at Camping World under the Good Sam brand. I like it very much. While not quite as intuitive to use as a Garmin, once you get used to its operating logic it is very accurate and extremely useful. It has RV specific features that are very helpful. With a few button presses I can locate truck stops, campgrounds, rest stops, Walmarts etc, either along my route or near my destination. I am really happy with it.
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