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Old 05-29-2010, 01:28 PM   #1
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RVputer, aka Carputer, Car PC, Car Computer

I am in the process of assembling a computer to mount in the MH and searched the forums to see what others have done but turned up nothing so I thought I would get a new thread started on this subject.

Currently I have the computer built and just waiting on some additional accessories to arrive before installing the RVputer in the MH. This started off as a way to replace the AM/FM radio in the MH along with providing additional features but is growing into a very much expanded system!


The end results will have at least the following:
  • AM/FM/HD/Internet Radio
  • MP3 Player
  • Media Player
  • Garmin Mobile PC GPS
  • Engine monitor via a ODB II interface
  • Backup Camera monitor
  • Email client
  • Hands Free for bluetooth phone
  • Weather Information
  • Anything else I can work in
The main control will be a 7" or 8" touch screen monitor that will be installed in place of the current radio or backup camera monitor. I will also be installing a second touch screen monitor so the wife can help me with navigation or other functions of the RVputer. The RVputer will also be fed to the 32" LCD that is installed in the overhead so we can play movies or whatever else we want to display on a larger screen.

I have shot photos of the basic assembly of the RVputer and will be shooting photos as I install the system in the MH. Once finished I will post them to this forum.

Now that I have layed out my plans, I would like to know if any others have assembly a similar setup.
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:12 PM   #2
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Anything else I can work in ..
Consider if you will a TPMS too!
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Old 05-29-2010, 09:30 PM   #3
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Consider if you will a TPMS too!
Woops... that was on my list in my head but did not translate to text Now to find a USB TPMS as I don't need all the display stuff!
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Old 05-30-2010, 09:16 AM   #4
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Hey Ronnie... sure glad to see that I'm not the only one who gets stricken with "creeping elegance" in my projects!

I love what you're doing so please keep us posted with pictures, etc.

After going around and around on the topic, we've ended up with a laptop each for DW and I and I'm mounting her old Netbook on the dash above the camera screen but only plan to have it handle GPS and VMSPC at this time... although we do use a Cradlepoint and it will have internet access as well.

Happy engineering!
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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I don't know if you are a full timer or not. If not, add syncing of music, movies and certain files (ebooks, manuals, reading material, etc) automatically when in range of the WIFI at home.

You could utilize the ignition power to launch an application to monitor tank levels, battery levels, propane levels, etc. You could also use this to put the machine is a power saving mode that will still allow for a quick check, or boot of the system.

There are plug in modules for TV reception (over the air), XM Radio.

Depending on the depth of your pockets, and/or the engineering skill you have, there really aren't very many limits to what you can do with one of these systems. You can totally replace the dash if you desire.

MP3car.com is a good source of information, reviews, a forum and sales. It is very car focused, but many of the concepts translate well to RV's.
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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Consider if you will a TPMS too!
Any idea where to find a USB TPMS?
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:00 PM   #7
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I have made progress on my RVputer project. I have installed a 7" touch screen monitor in the dash in place of the Jensen AM/FM/CD unit that was there. The Jensen was a 1.8 din unit so I had to enlarge the height of the hole to accept the 2.0 din monitor and it works great. I currently only have the GPS system and the ODB-II installed and working. Other parts have been received but my time has been the limiting factor. I should have most of the other functions up and running by end of the month.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:38 PM   #8
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Any idea where to find a USB TPMS?
I haven't yeat heard of a USB TPMS but VMSPC will now link to Doran/Pressure Pro... but, as I understand it... at an additional cost of $200 which really disappoints me.
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Old 07-05-2010, 04:57 PM   #9
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VMSPC will now link to Doran/Pressure Pro
Thanks for the tip. It looks as though Pressure Pro has a device they call "EMBEDDED MONITOR BOARD" which says "integrates into electronic products to display tire pressures" The other products they have use RS232 which is easily converted to USB. I will contact them and see what their "Embedded Monitor Board" is all about as it is only listed in the complete catalog with no other info.
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Old 07-27-2010, 03:16 AM   #10
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Sounds like a great project! We've talked about something like this for our truck, for years. Sadly, I never get around to pulling it off. My laptop sits right on my console, and I have a power supply and a single USB cable running into it. Behind my dash is a USB hub, that is connected to my Garmin GPS (routed up into the dash, with the puck hidden) a 15 foot printer cable (connecting to the printer/scanner behind the back seat) and the ipod dock with camera card reader. The stereo in the truck has rear aux inputs, so those go to a (crappy) ground loop isolator, and then I have an aux cable that I can plug into the laptop or cell phone if needed.
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:14 PM   #11
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About 1.5 years ago I started putting together my RVPuter and started this thread. I thought I would provide an update as many changes have taken place including moving the RVPuter from a 2007 Hurricane to a 2003 Monaco Dynasty.

I have installed the computer in the old center CRT TV cabinet that I modified and added a LCD/LED TV. This thread shows what I did for those changes: http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/03-d...ns-115558.html or you can view the photos that have additional comments here: 2003 Dynasty LCD/LED Installation - iRV2.com RV Photo Gallery


The current system now has the following features:
  • Windows 7
  • Centrafuse Car PC front end software
  • 10.4 touch screen monitor
  • Wireless keyboard and mouse
  • AM/FM/HD/Internet Radio
  • MP3 Player
  • Media Player
  • Garmin Mobile PC GPS mapping system
  • Engine monitor via VMSpc
  • Email client
  • Internet access
  • Weather Information
  • Ethernet connection to my router with AT&T 3G
  • Hands Free for via bluetooth for iPhone
  • Display computer, video, GPS mapping and etc on main 32" LCD TV
Future enhancements planned are:
  • Interfaced to my Pressure Pro TPMS
  • Remote control of my ham radios
  • 2nd 7" Touch Screen next to the co-pilot seat so my wife can control radio, MP3, GPS mapping and etc.
  • 3rd 17" Touch Screen mid coach for use when we are parked
  • Remote control of Directv, video and audio equipment
  • DVR software to store movies/video for display on main TV
  • VMSpc output to existing color backup monitor
  • and anything else I can afford
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:40 PM   #12
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Any updates on your rig Ronnie?
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:10 AM   #13
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Use this with caution, But if you have a ROOFTOP type Sat-TV antenna, you might wish to put a video monitor for the receiver in there. .USE THIS FUNCTION only when parking the RV in an area with partially obstructed view of the southern sky to jocky for best signal.. NOTE: add a manual (hidden) switch to disconnect the video feed to this port.

(Watching Sat TV while driveing on the highway is illegal after all, but it is needed when parking)
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:42 AM   #14
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@sparent... Hello Steven, no updates and probably won't be until the fall as I have been busy with other projects and traveling! I trust you are enjoying the Hurricane.

@wa8yxm... Actually that is in the plan BUT didn't want to stir up the pot with the "don't watch while traveling"!!!!
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