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Old 11-17-2020, 02:39 PM   #1
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Sunstar/Vista 31BE Upgrades

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ID:	308361I really enjoyed reading through the "for all Intents and purposes" upgrades thread on the Winne Owners sister forum. Lots of great ideas from those guys that inspired me to work on upgrading some of the budget related shortcomings of the 2019 Sunstar 31BE that the DW and myself really love.

First up is a DYI post for upgrading the poor/failed OEM outdoor/in-wall speakers mounted on some Winnebago and Itasca models with the outdoor TV option.

The first time we powered up the factory outdoor sound system, I was disappointed to hear the rattling and distorted sound coming from the factory speakers high up on the street side wall under the awning.
Both OEM out door speakers had failed on our 2019 Sunstar 31BE in just a few short months.

Warranty replacement did not seem like an option as the factory Jensen dual cone speakers are under engineered for out door use. The glue holding the plastic "wizzer" cone to the paper voice coil apparently is not water resistant even though they are what the Chinese would call "Marine Grade".

The cone falls off and rattles between the grill and the cone. After failure, water can get into the exposed voice coil and enter the wall through the speaker.

The OEM Jensen replacements are $25.00 on line, but why replace junk with more junk? I sourced some 5.25" Power Bass Marine speakers and 1" spacers from Crutchfield online. The mounting depth is 2.06" on the new speakers. Winne walls are only 1.5" deep to the inner Luan paneling and the factory hole is 4.5". The spacers are required if you want to upgrade. Total cost of about $115.00. Including Butyl tape and stainless screws.



You need to be careful removing the speakers as you don't want fiberglass damage. After removing the 4 screws, I slid a glass scraper behind the speaker to cut the silicone and butyl tape. you have to then use a putty knife to gently pry out the speakers. the butyl tape makes a firm bond.

Most of the work is then cleaning of the old silicone and butyl tape, drilling 4 new pilot holes for mounting each spacer ring. I also installed some 10mm foam with reflective foil to add a bit of insulation. I spent about 2 1/2 hours on the project. plus a trip to the hardware store for new stainless screws.

Results, better (or at least correct) sound and return to a water tight wall. Don't get your hopes up for rock concert sound with this upgrade. The factory amp is poor and 5.25" speakers mounted 10' off the ground are not ideal for anything other than back ground listening.

If you own one of these Sunstar/Vista coaches and have upgrades you feel are worthwhile and would inspire others, please add to the thread.
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Old 11-17-2020, 07:54 PM   #2
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I replaced my junk Jensen speakers on my Vista 29ve with Kenwood KFC-1653MRB - 6-1/2" 2-way marine speakers in black.
Only trick was making the holes bigger. Which was not a really big problem at all. I added a new amp for them, and everything sounds great now.
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Old 11-27-2020, 07:21 AM   #3
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Thinking about how to remove the speakers all together and fill the holes, just don't use them enough to worry about water intrusion. If it was up to me I wouldn't have the external tv either, last thing I want to do is watch tv outside when camping, hard to find any RV without one now days though.

45,000 miles on my 31BE cross country multiple times, up and down rockies and smokies, even some mild off-road, love the size and floorpan and storage. I have done plenty of mods to my 31BE and planning more, mostly electrical and suspension.

1. Rear track bar, noticeable improvement especially when towing Jeep.

2. CHF noticeable improvement all around.

3. Adjust toe-in to maximum spec, noticeable improvement in wander and rut following.

4. Safe-T-Plus noticeable improvement to keeping center, however took quiet a few tries to get centered properly and increases steering effort somewhat.

5. Replaced cheap failed chassis / house combiner solenoid with Marine grade Blue Sea ML-ACR. Control switch fits in booster switch hole without cutting dash, shows if active, manual override for jump starting, and engages with charge from either side so keeps chassis battery charged while plugged into shore.

6. 30 amp auto transfer switch so no longer have to plug generator in.

7. Surge Guard 30 amp hardwired surge protector with monitor screen. Really nice to know how much amp draw the coach has at a glance and see any issues with short power.

8. Magnum Hybrid 3000 inverter wired inline between transfer switch and main panel, runs entire coach including A/C if needed. Located in bay right below fridge and main power panel.

9. 320 watts of solar and Tristar MPPT-60 charge controller wires run down fridge vent to same bay with inverter. Panels held down with VHB tape using AM solar bracket, no roof penetrations.

10. Two 6V Lifeline GPL-4CT for house and a AGM for chassis battery, no more corrosion in battery bay and much better capacity and charge discharge ability.

11. Micro-air Easy-start soft starter for A/C to help it play nice with Inverter, much much lower start surge.

12. Panarama 5 in 1 cellular wifi antenna mounted on fridge vent with Pepwave SOHO mk3 router and Verizon Jetpack for internet.

13. Pad holder iPad mount. Nav on iPad is great with multiple apps, mostly Copilot and Google maps.

14. New Moen sink faucet with pull out spray head and soap dispenser.

15. Sureflo expansion tank, quiets down water pump some.

Problems I have had, probably forgot some, always something breaking:

1. Front slide wall motor failed, wast rusted out! Took some time to track down water intrusion, ended up being seam and weep hole in gutter on that side in the middle allowed a drip under slide topper to trim around slide opening. Main issues was no sealant on trim so water went in side trim ran all the way up front and dripped on slide motor in wall. Had to take off slide topper and seal trim all the way across and replace motor, huge pain in the rear.

2. Jack motor failed. Was brushes, again seemed to be water intrusion, jack motor located behind front wheel with only mud flap blocking elements, water spray from wheel went into rubber end cap on motor got into brushes. New motor $700 from Lippert, found new brushes instead for $20 but had to solder them to contacts with heavy duty gun, put grease on motor seals and all over motor has held.

3. Step motor failed multiple times. Runs off power window motor with plastic bushing that act as safety clutch, finally found you could just replaces those bushings for a few dollars a piece. Probably last about a year.

4. Fridge door hinge broke, Norcold sells metal reinforcement bracket, should be standard, stupid design.

5. West system epoxied hood brackets back on after factory glue started failing, common problem, poor design for sure, pretty much whole from cap is glued on. Metal grill is also glued to cap, that glue is now failing will have to do same repair there.

6. Water intrusion through rear tail lights and holes that mount rear bumper on caused water damage to bottom of back wall. Really have to watch this area and keep it sealed. Winnebago should have done sealant around till light but had none, only the gaskets which didn't hold.

Future upgrades:

1. 2nd A/C in bedroom roof vent, probably Coleman power saver with another micro-air. Probably some kind of load shed switch off microwave circuit should all run off 30 amps barely with both A/C's

2. better vent fan in bathroom.

3. More solar.

Will probably upgrade to a different RV at some point, but pretty hard to find one that packs bunks beds and the huge basement storage in 32ft. You really need to keep up with the sealant on these things and there is so much of it, also gelcoat oxidizes and needs to be buffed and waxed a lot in in the sun. Next RV will have full body paint and metal basement doors with no sealant to maintain around them.
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Old 11-27-2020, 08:39 AM   #4
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I did some upgrades to our outdoor entertainment center as well for similar reasons, not impressed with the OEM stereo (primarily lack of bluetooth) and the speakers for similar reasons. I’m not a audiophile, but I do like music to “sound” good to my ears and having a
LOT of music on my phone, Bluetooth makes it a lot easier to listen to it outside. I did a post on mine earlier this year to assist anyone that might want to use it for their coach.
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f101/ext...de-497299.html

Jharrell, if you have the same taillights my Vista had, that design is terrible and it’s not a “if” you will have leaks, it’s “when”. Lots of posts across the various brands all noting the leaks.
The manufacturer has upgraded the design recently to be a sealed unit and all LED. Some discussion here including my posts with the new unit installed: https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/...ge-356693.html

I’ve done a few other upgrades but so far this year was things like waxing, sealing and repairing various odds and ends. (We purchased used last fall and only had a couple trips before having to store for winter so this year was really the first “heavy” use and of course learning the various items needing repair.
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Old 11-27-2020, 09:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Blastvalve View Post
Jharrell, if you have the same taillights my Vista had, that design is terrible and itís not a ďifĒ you will have leaks, itís ďwhenĒ. Lots of posts across the various brands all noting the leaks.
The manufacturer has upgraded the design recently to be a sealed unit and all LED. Some discussion here including my posts with the new unit installed: https://www.winnieowners.com/forums/...ge-356693.html
Problem with the tail light not just water getting into them, which it did rusting out light socket etc, but got behind light into wall. Sealed LED unit would be nice and keep water out of light, but just foam gasket between light and wall and water will get through that, into wall and drip down to bottom and pool around floor area. Soft spot in wall now bottom corner in bedroom behind wall paper, not touching it for now stopped getting worse after putting sealant around edge of lights after taking them out fixing sockets and putting wood epoxy on luan.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:04 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by jharrell View Post
Problem with the tail light not just water getting into them, which it did rusting out light socket etc, but got behind light into wall. Sealed LED unit would be nice and keep water out of light, but just foam gasket between light and wall and water will get through that, into wall and drip down to bottom and pool around floor area. Soft spot in wall now bottom corner in bedroom behind wall paper, not touching it for now stopped getting worse after putting sealant around edge of lights after taking them out fixing sockets and putting wood epoxy on luan.
I replaced our 2018 Vista tail lights with the LED lights. The lights are surface mount and come with a very thick gasket compared to the original leaky lights. Having said that, I still sealed the entire edge of the light with calk. I think they are pretty much bullet proof now. Our original lights were not leaking around the mounting gasket but through the gasket around the backup light lens.
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Old 12-03-2020, 08:51 PM   #7
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Anyone found the amp for the outside speakers yet on the 31BE?
The schematic is nor clear on location. It looks like it should be in the outdoor TV compartment. If it is, I could not find it?

I have a nasty ground noise/hum in the outdoor speakers. So much so thatís itís disturbing if plugged in to 110v camp site power. You can even hear it over the generator. Thinking changing it to abetter amp with a real power supply would help. That or shielded cables, ground relocation, etc.

Gotta fix it for sure.
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Old 12-04-2020, 05:46 AM   #8
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Anyone found the amp for the outside speakers yet on the 31BE?
On mine it was behind the couch behind a panel that covers the cutout for the outside tv compartment. I forgot in my first list the amp went out on mine I had to replace, ended up moving it downing the bay below tv for easier access, the existing cables had enough slick to be pulled down.

Here is the stock one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:47 PM   #9
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Thanks Jharrell,
I didnít want to take those panels off with out knowing. I hate working under that couch.

After seeing that amp, Iím sure I can fix the noise now. Junk like the OEM speakers. Iíll put in some shielded cables and add a power switch to save battery too.

Appreciate your list too, gives me some projects to put on the list. Iím done with the suspension except for Koni FSDís and possibly a Safe-T-Plus.

My solar is about like yours 2 ea 170 watt panels glued down and a sweet BlueSky change controller. Still running on the original batteries until they die, then an upgrade there for sure.

Tail lights have water in them. Going to install the newer LED units.

Our rig has the new small Max air fans, they work, but they are loud and donít move much air. The bedroom could use a fan upgrade for sure. Only one small window in there. Worst thing about the coach, bedroom is HOT. Nice fans are pricey though.

I would like to see a pic of your I pad mount. I have been thinking about upgrading the OEM Pioneer dash unit to a floating 9Ē screen model with blue tooth for ease of navigation.

Lately Iíve been adding insulation. Put 3/4Ē foam and a foil based reflective barrier on the walls next to the fridge (had to pull the fridge). Then 3/4Ē cotton-foil on the bed walls in the large outside storage compartment. Going to stuff the front top cap with fiberglass next then the insulate the outer side of the stair walls. Just sheet metal there.

Going to add a magna shade before next summer and tint the front windows with ceramic tint. Wouldnít mind adding an air unit to the bedroom, but we do like the fan even though itís undersized.
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:39 PM   #10
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I would like to see a pic of your I pad mount. I have been thinking about upgrading the OEM Pioneer dash unit to a floating 9” screen model with blue tooth for ease of navigation.
Its a padholder.com with 24 inch heavy duty universal mount screwed into dog house, perfect position and I can still see the backup cam at all times.

IMO using iPad with apps is superior to nav on the radio. Mostly use Copilot but can consult google and apple maps and all stays etc. as needed. Weather radar is nice too. Also have OBD dongle and can read chassis data in real-time.

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