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Old 12-02-2016, 11:10 AM   #1
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Clarion's refusal to update SD card in their GPS

Back in October I was informed by Newmar that Clarion would be releasing an update to their GPS that would allow the ability to program in RV-specific criteria such as height, length, weight, tow vehicle, etc. Just like the Rand McNally systems I've used in other motorhome brands.

Newmar informed me today that Clarion has refused to offer either a software download update, or an SD card exchange. Instead, customers are now required to purchase the entire head unit which comes with the updated SD card. Really??!? The head unit is unchanged. I cannot imagine how Clarion's legal counsel was able to justify this over the minimal cost of offering a software download on their website? It opens up significant potential to liability, property damage and collision potential... and not just on the customer's part.

But first things first... to properly point the finger, it should be determined whether this is Clarion's fault (was this unit intended for RV use), or Newmar's fault for using a product that was never intended for RV use. While I don't know the answer to this, I do know that Clarion has updated the product for RV use as long as you're willing to pay for another head unit. I wonder if this will be the default unit on new '17 builds at Newmar now?

I wrote a detailed letter of displeasure to Newmar, who have offered to forward it to Clarion. I doubt it will make any difference, but it may make a dent if enough people feel the same way and provide feedback.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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I spoke with CS about this yesterday and I believe the new units are going in to the new motor homes. No relief for me. I bought the new clarion unit and swapped the cards. The new gps is great!
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:40 AM   #3
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Bill - how did you swap cards? Newmar told me this wasn't possible, and the ONLY way to get a new card was to buy the entire head unit.
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:04 PM   #4
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If one can swap the card, what's preventing one from buying a new head unit, copying the card and then returning same head unit stating it's not what was expected? Or just sell it on the open market as new
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Old 12-02-2016, 12:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bokobird View Post
If one can swap the card, what's preventing one from buying a new head unit, copying the card and then returning same head unit stating it's not what was expected? Or just sell it on the open market as new
And that's what I bet a bunch of us will do. Silly companies for not selling customers what they want, especially if it will make them money.
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:40 PM   #6
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What model # is the Clarion?
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Old 12-02-2016, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emcee View Post
What model # is the Clarion?
I'm 2000 miles away from my beloved motorhome at the moment... perhaps someone else can help.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:23 PM   #8
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The new unit is Clarion NX405TRK
I bought it, took the card out then swapped the sd cards. As far as returning it, don't know where you'd do that. I plan to sell mine on eBay. I paid $650 for the TRK and I think I can get $350 for the regular model. I'll actually be selling the new unit in the box but with the car card, not the truck card. We use the iPad with google maps, the Garmin 760RV and the Clarion. I like the Clarion the best. I bought it from Mito in Elkhart. They sell the units to Newmar. They told me Clarion will not sell them the cards either. This is not Newmar's fault.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:36 PM   #9
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Bill, is the NX405TRK the same model that Newmar uses?

And, are the cards marked as "CAR" and "TRUCK" in the OEM and aftermarket unit you purchased?
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:44 PM   #10
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The new unit is Clarion NX405TRK
I bought it, took the card out then swapped the sd cards. As far as returning it, don't know where you'd do that. I plan to sell mine on eBay. I paid $650 for the TRK and I think I can get $350 for the regular model. I'll actually be selling the new unit in the box but with the car card, not the truck card. We use the iPad with google maps, the Garmin 760RV and the Clarion. I like the Clarion the best. I bought it from Mito in Elkhart. They sell the units to Newmar. They told me Clarion will not sell them the cards either. This is not Newmar's fault.
You're correct in that it is not Newmar's fault that they cannot obtain the updated SD cards from Clarion. Newmar may, however, bear some of the burden by having chosen a unit that - at the time it was chosen - did not allow for motorhome parameters to be programmed into the unit for proper trip routing. Had no other manufacturers offered such a product, this would not be significant... but we know that was not the case.

My hope is to press either Newmar or Clarion to acknowledge this and to do the right thing for the customer. It goes beyond a "nice-to-have" feature.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:44 PM   #11
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I didn't pay attention to what markings were on the cards. CS told me this morning that they are putting the "new" units in coaches being built now so I assume they will be the TRK. They are both "OEM". Exactly the same unit, different cards.
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Old 12-02-2016, 02:48 PM   #12
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I can tell you new units being delivered now do come with the updated unit (we took delivery on 11/15/16). When I first turned on the Clarion it prompted me for the features of the coach (height, width, length, weight, etc.). While driving I received a few warnings for weight on certain roads. I had loved the unit so far in the 2 trips I have taken with it. The only thing that I have to figure out is for some reason on interstates it is saying the speed limit is 50 which is causing speeding alarm to go off, other than interstates the speed limits have been spot on.

By the way my unit just says Clarion NX405 on manual, etc.
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:00 PM   #13
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The new manual says NX405 but I had a little paper inserted that explained the difference. The box says NX405TRK. I agree with barmats that Newmar should have given us an RV model of something. I think Clarion is being unfair, especially with a unit that is two months old, and presumably under warranty. Who else makes you buy a new computer when they have a software upgrade? I would pay for a new card, no problem, but to saddle me with an unwanted piece of hardware is not cool.
Business wise, they are not selling any more units with this tactic because I'm going to sell the extra unit instead of one of their distributors selling it and making a profit. Plus they upset us. Not a good business move any way you look at it.
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Old 12-03-2016, 12:07 AM   #14
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I share you frustration. We have a 2015 Ventana with a Clarion model NX602 which we like except for the outdated non RV friendly maps. Do you have any idea if the SD card from the NX405TRK will work in my model? As always I appreciate your input.
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