Sunday, November 27, 2016

New RV Surround Receiver and Side Camera…


Our time in San Diego has not been all fun and games as there are some looming repairs needed while we are able to have packages delivered. Before our arrival in San Diego I had a side view camera fail. This camera is supposed to come on when I use my right turn signal and the on the on-board display allows me to see down the right side of the RV making the “blind spot”… well not blind!


I really love my side view cameras so I took the old camera off which turned out to not be so easy. After much consternation I successfully removed the camera and its casing. It appeared to have a lot of corrosion inside the casing making me assume water had gotten inside it. I attempted cleaning and reconnecting the camera hoping for the best but it continue to fail. I called a few places looking for a replacement only to discover they no longer make my camera!!!


Finally I made a call to Tiffin to see if they had a replacement or could make a recommendation. They told me they had a new version but it might not fit the old casing. I ordered it and was able to install it but they were right about the casing so it looks completely different than the other one. Not sure what I’ll do about that yet but at least it works now. And for only $350.00! Yes that’s right, that little camera cost $350… what a scam. We RV’ers always seem to pay a high price for replacement parts.


Well our receiver for our surround sound system also failed about the same time as the camera. I did a lot of research and narrowed my choices down to following recievers:

Yamaha RX-V381BL (275)
5.1-channel, 70 watts per channel surround sound and the dimensions are 17-1/8"W x 5-5/16"H x 12-7/8"D

Yamaha RX-V481 (400)
5.1-channel, 80 watts per channel and the dimensions are 17-1/8"W x 6-3/8"H x 12-7/8"D (8-3/4"H with Wi-Fi antenna raised)

Yamaha RX-S601BL (600)
Slimline 5.1-channel amplifier, 60 watts per channel and the dimensions are 17-1/8"W x 4-3/8"H x 13-1/16"D (6-15/16"H with Wi-Fi antenna up)

Onkyo TX-NR646 (300)
7-channel amplifier, 100 watts per channel with +Dolby Atmos and DTS-X and the dimensions are 17-1/8"W x 6-13/16"H x 13-5/8"D

Harman Kardon AVR 1610S (260)
5.1-channel, 85 watts per channel 17-3/8"W x 4-13/16"H x 11-13/16"D

Denon AVR-S510BT 180.00
5.2-channel amplifier, 75 watts per channel and the dimensions are 17-3/16"W x 5-15/16"H x 13-9/16"D

Denon AVR-S710W ($479)
7.2-channel amplifier, 80 watts per channel and the dimensions are 17-1/8"W x 5-15/16"H x 13-9/16"D (8-1/2"H with Wi-Fi antennas up)

Sony STRDN1060  7-channel amplifier, 100 watts per channel and the dimensions are 17"W x 6-13/16"H x 13-5/8"D

After reading all the reviews I finally settled on the Onkyo TX-NR646. Each of the ones listed above were worthy replacements but I chose the one I did as it offered all the new technology in sound so if or when I upgrade the TV it will accommodate all the newer technology. Hopefully if anyone else needs to replace their RV home theater receiver these models I listed will save them some research. I included the dimensions as they are very important when replacing receivers in an RV!

Product Details

Of course after receiving it I discovered I needed a powered sub-woofer for that deep base sound and not the passive (non-powered) sub-woofer I currently own. More research and more money but I found a nice 8” powered subwoofer that would fit in a cabinet under our table and would secure to the wood well without me worrying about it moving around. Lastly, I ordered some banana clips to make hooking it all up easier than twisting down all the wires. So now all I have to do is put it all together… wish me luck!


In the meantime there is always time to squeeze in a nice walk around the De Anza Park surrounding our resort. The older park model areas have now been abandoned as the residents were required to vacate their homes so the city can redesign De Anza Park. This does make the walk a bit creepy as the abandoned homes have taken on a feel of a bad neighborhood with all the shuttered and dilapidated buildings.It is all for progress and of course a better environment as the city will increase the acreage of wetlands and improve the water quality of De Anza Cove.


Well I need to get the projects done before our daughter and her boyfriend arrive from North Carolina so we can hit the ground running on their whirlwind tour…


NOTE: Many of today’s pictures were taken on our many walks along the Pacific Beach boardwalk which we always enjoy… We have been busy here entertaining our daughter and her boyfriend and will be leaving here on December 5th.


  1. It seems like when it rains it pours. Pretty soon you will have a totally new RV.
    I see on FB, that y'all are having a wonderful visit with your daughter and her boyfriend. Super.

  2. You've been busy! Some serious projects that are well worth the effort. I'm sure the kids had a great visit in San Diego, did they get out before the rain?

    1. Nope we will go to the zoo tomorrow and Brooks leaves Tuesday... Katie will fly out from Phoenix when we get there.

  3. All the toys are great until they start to break. San Diego is a nice area. We enjoyed our time there last April. Looking forward to another visit someday.

    1. While some may consider a receiver a toy... we don't as we love our music. Also a side camera for a big rig is a very important safety feature and certainly NOT a toy!

  4. Always something to fix on an RV, good thing it is nothing major. We don't have the side view cameras or surround sound, so 2 things we don't need to worry about.

  5. Take the kids to Liberty Station for Stone Brewing or the Fig Tree Cafe where they have an appetizer called "man candy" maple syrup cured thick cut BACON! Love it. Enjoy the rest of your time in SD. It will go all too quickly. Hiw soon will the "Beer on our Travels" book be published?

    1. Running out of time with the kids but hey maybe if we weren't so busy we would pen a book...

  6. Too bad they don't have some of those items available on Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.