Michigan…we’re heading back

 Michigan…we’re heading back

Usually, there's nothing but sadness when a long family vacation ends. And as we watched our two sons, their wives and our grandkids pack up and leave the beachhouse we've shared on Florida's Emerald Coast for the past week, there indeed was sadness to see such a wonderful time come to a close late this afternoon.

But I have to say, I'm also excited to be leaving, because we will be returning to Michigan in our Roadtrek. That's Jennifer and me on Grayton Beach, where the Roadtrek has been parked. We're spending one more night at the beach house – six bedrooms, on the Gulf, and we're all alone now. We plan to get up early and be on the road st sunrise. I'm hoping we can spend two nights in the Roadtrek, making a non rushed drive back.

I drove into nearby Destin the other day to see about replacing the Roadtrek's  inadequate stock radio. I found several models with direct iPod/iPhone USB input for the audio books we like to listen to on long trips. But my hopes of having one installed while I was down here were not to be as it turns out, according to the Best Buy Geek Squad automotive audio installer I talked to I needed to also get some parts that had to be ordered online.

In case anyone else wants to do the same, here's what the Geek Squad guy said I needed:

  • A Metra Installation Kit fo 2003-2006 Dodge Sprinter Vehicles -Black – $35.99
  • A Scosche-Speaker Connector for Select Volkswagon Vehicles – $14.99
  • A Metra – Antenna Adapter for Select Audi and Volkwagon Vehicles.

They would charge me $5 for unspecified materials and $59.99 for in-dash, non-video labor. Why Audi and VW parts…I don't know. That's what the Geek Squad guy's computer said I needed.

All this is on top of the $159 HD Jensen radio I selected.

Good deal? I don't know. But I plan to order the parts when I get home and then take them to my local Best Buy for installation. Unless someone reading this has a better suggestion.


Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.


  • Great post, Mike; hope your “trek” back is a good one. The stock Becker radio truly is a disappointment for a van as nice as yours. I replaced mine a few years back with an Alpine that has the iPod connection. Got all of the requisite parts as you noted. You may find, as I did, that you don’t really need the Metra installation kit. I took the escutcheon off the stock radio and put in on the Alpine, after trying both, and decided the original worked best. As you may have already surmised, I’m pretty handy doing just about everything in the RT, and did the radio install myself.

    I do have to tell you that replacing the radio isn’t going to impress you as much as you might hope. There’s been a fair amount written about the quality of the speakers Mercedes uses in the Sprinters as well, which is on par with the Becker radio. I’m not sure, to be honest, whether the whole sound quality issue might be solely attributable more to the speakers than the radio. One of the best posts I read suggested that WalMart has a pair of speakers which are the closest you can find to a direct replacement for the stock speakers in the Sprinter. I have not replaced mine yet, but that is high on my list of priorities to do this year. It involves removing the “A” pillar covers, carefully removing the speaker grilles, pulling the old speakers and replacing them with new ones.

    Oh, and don’t forget to use the rotary switch behind the DVD player to switch your front radio over to the back speakers. That alone will improve the sound quality a bit. Use the “front-rear” fader to push a little more sound through the speakers in the back.



  • Mike;

    We have a 2007 RS Adventurous and replaced the radio. Got a quote from best buy, then checked on Line at http://www.crutchfield.com/ Crutchfield electronics. There price was $80 less for the same items. It was a Sony Mex-BT2900. What we liked about the unit is that we could use the bluetooth to play our audio books on our iPhone to the unit.

    Good Travels
    Phil & Ellie

Comments are closed.