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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Had my 2013 caravelle for a few weeks now, and been trying to do as much research as I can about upgrading the stereo as I can't live without Bluetooth, for phone answering safety reasons - and I do have a fair bit of music on my phone.

So, I currently have the RCD310 which has Bluetooth capability but I don't think I have a Bluetooth module fitted - as confirmed by (1) the fcat that I can't sync my phone and (2) I have decoded the spec sheet and can't see it anywhere.

the OEM bluetooth modules are quite expensive, and I spoke to a guy who says that retro-fitting bluetooth is a bit 'hit and miss'.

So, I have been looking at OEM units, ed RNS510 or RNS315 - both of these have Bluetooth and Nav, but it sounds like I will still need to fit Nav and Bluetooth modules as well - back to the cost.

Not sure if there is a cheap aftermarket Bluetooth module that looks factory, and works? Also I think there are cheap GPS modules on ebay - not sure if they work ok, and whether they are just plug and play?

I assume that because my bus has no Bluetooth functionality, there will be no microphone fitted either?

Also, some adverts suggest that if I fit an upgraded stereo I may have to get the bus coded?

That leaves me with these cheap Chinese VW-style stereo'a that you can get off enay for less than £100 upwards - I have seen some for over £400, but they look like they are just the £100 ones that some shisters are trying to sell for stupid money out of greed!

Anyhows, are these any good - looking at Youtube vids, the reviews appear to be good, although too many features for my liking.

Some of these have built in bluetooth, so I assume I don;t have to fit a module or microphone as well, and some appear to have built-in Nav with a maps SD card, but most appear to have a GPS receivied, which is fitted to the top of the dash.

When you look at these stereos on ebay, there are hundreds, and they mostly look the same - mostly unbranded, so wouldn;t really know one from the next?

Can anyone give me any advice, suggestions or recommendations?

Has anyone bought one of these cheap chinese stereos and found it great - if so, can they point out which one they've bought, so I can make sure i get a good one.

Any comments gratefully received !

thx.
 

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hi,
first off, even in Chinese you have got some with more support and reliability. for example xtron, those are what they say on the tin, comes with advertised specs, and has quite few things you can buy as aftermarket parts to connect to like dashcam, tyre monitoring, reverse cams etc..they are usually android units (win ce is too old, dont get one!) thats mean they are like android phones, you can get all the aps you can think off, you can use google maps, or navigation of your choice and set it up to your liking. you can change colour of the night buttons to your liking, customize splash screen logo etc. some of them come with remote (great when in the back of the van) some with tilting screens (help sun reflection and again when watching from the back of the van, some with pure touch csreen and some with buttons and touch screen. . pretty much all of them come with bluetooth and gps. they all do have inbuilt microphone and an extended one that you can route to the A pillar if required or wherever. generally they come with tonnes of connectors at the back so multiple screens can be added (for rear passengers) dab radio modules, tv modules, inputs from various sensors and cameras etc. as mentioned it is usually an android unit, so when paired with your phone and phone as hotspot, you get internet (maps, spotify etc ) easy. can stream music from your phone, and mirroring is supported.
ive got my xtron for about three years, it never missed a beat, screen is great, responsive, plays superb, cos of later android it can use screen in screen, or split screen so can play two apps at the time like maps and stereo etc.
the better chinese units cost is basically in between cheapo chinese units and brand names like pioneer, kenwood or alpine. i got my one for around 300 quid and im very satisfied. ive got t5, with basic canbus, to me installation was easy but did not bother with connecting canbus whether it is coding or wiring. connecting to canbus would show warnings, doors open etc, im not bothered as ive got them on my dash, and only other downside is that whenever i scan my bus it reports radio missing - who cares, right? :)
 

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I noticed these on travelin-lite's website and thought they seemed very reasonable for the price. are they the cheap chinese ones you are on about?
I fitted a VW style chinese one (RCN 210??) in a caddy van I used to have and it had a built in mic, infact it (the surround, mic, card slot etcc) looked very similar to the one I linked to above and the sound quality wasn't as good when the mic is built into the front I don't think. I have the OEM bluetooth module retrofitted with the mic in the interior light and I never get any complaints people can always hear me nice and clear
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thanks guys - managed to get a Kenwood double din off ebay - looks to be 'vw recognised' so the functions such as reversing sensors should work - hope to get it wired in the weekend when my DAb aerial arrives :)
 
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