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I spend a fair amount of time in the back of my cargo van while at the beach with the barn doors open. The thought crossed my feeble mind yesterday when I was putting gear away after a sailing session that it would be nice to have some music. I'm pretty green when it comes to anything high tech and audio systems. I wouldn't need anything fancy or high end. I'm not looking to draw any attention to my van. Just basic radio station music or perhaps off of a thumb drive if reception is poor and adding an antenna would be too difficult. Obviously a portable radio would probably work okay but I'm adverse to using batteries and having something floating around and not mounted.

 

My thought was to mount some type of radio in the back (not sure where) and add a pair of speakers either on the upper grey side panels above the wire baskets (see pic below) or in the rear door inserts if it's easy to put speaker wires through the door conduit. The only hitch with mounting on the rear doors is that the speaker could get wet because I shower off in this area and the wind often sprays the water towards the van doors. I've got 12VDC power in the back that I can tap off of. The doors and side panels already have sound proofing (two layers) so that should reduce any vibration or tinny sound from the speakers.

 

Has anyone else thought about doing this or added one themselves?

If I put a radio in, I'm assuming I would need some type of antenna?

 

Appreciate any thoughts or advice from the audio gurus. Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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Build a overhead shelf right in front of the the rear door.  Single din deck with 6x9 speakers.  While you are running wires, add 12V power ports and USB ports.

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I always carry  one of these , I have lots of batteries and a 12 volt charger in my truck. Very handy and lasts 6 hours on a charge.

  image.thumb.png.7b77de0e33c8ee37eda3c6b419fe30cd.png

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i agree with @G B L.  Construction workers love their industrial strength boom boxes.  They are tough, relatively water resistant and really don't sound too bad.  Any home improvement store will have them Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.  You could simply make a holder to sit it in and attach it to a wall and run a 12v plug to your outlet.

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Thanks guys. A portable radio is definitely an option that could have expanded uses outside the van, around the yard, so that would maximize its use for sure.

I'll keep that in mind if mounting a radio doesn't work out.

 

@doublenickles - good idea for mounting but I have to keep that area clear due to the hanging shelf I use for gear storage. See pic below.

 

What would be optimal is to have a remote control that turns a radio on that is tucked away behind a panel out of sight. Cool if the radio doesn't draw any power when it's off or I guess I could add a rocker switch to control power to it if it does draw power. The remote would make it easy to operate. That would be an ideal setup.

 

 

Barn Door Holder 01.JPG

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Aftermarket entertainment units come with remote controls.  So that is the easy part.  If you replace your OEM stereo with an aftermarket, you will get a remote control with it.  Most aftermarket radios today don't have CD slots.  SD cars and USB drives are the norm.   A lot of people just use them as bluetooth receivers for their phones.  You stream music from your phone to the deck, and take your calls over the speaker system.  Pretty cool to have the back doors open, and be able to talk on the phone or play music from your phone while working.  

 

If you really want to install a second stereo, I think you have enough room under the plastic interior panels above the wheel wells.  It would take a little bit of work to self engineer the mounting brackets.  Speakers could be set in those panels also.  Or you could wire the speakers into your rear doors.  

 

The boom box sounds like a good idea.  But those things aren't small, and you already have a lot of stuff.  The benefit is that the boom box is portable, away from the van, if you want to light a fire, or roast some chicken on a hibachi, down on the beach.

 

 

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A high end portable Bluetooth speaker would be the best option. Doesn't drain your battery and the best ones sound really great.

 

We have ## 3 and 6 of the bunch in the house and both are awesome. I have also one rugged Jawbone speaker to drag around in the garage but it sounds crap.

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Hat speaker is the best suggestion.  No install necessary.  Much smaller than a boom box.  It will also work for hands free calling.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all the great ideas. Lots of choices to consider.

I would have never considered using my smart phone to drive a BT speaker. That's how far behind the times I am.

I do stash my phone away when I get to the beach because of smash and grab break-ins but I can figure something out if I go this route.

Thanks again!


 

Edited by windguy

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I've still got a sneaker phone from Sports Illustrated.  Maybe I should put it on my dashboard.  That will make those smash & grab thieves pause when they look into my car.  I can see why they do it on the beach.  You're in the water.  Your wallet is in your car.  No brainer.  Almost makes you think that you need a pit bull in the car to guard your phone.

Image result for sports illustrated sneaker phone

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Need a favor from a Cargo Van owner.

I need to know the recess dimension of the rear side upper cavity. See pic below.

Mine are covered up with panels and it's not a quickie to remove so I'd appreciate someone taking a measurement for me.

I realize the side wall is curved but just a ballpark on the depth. I found a few surface mount radios I like but need to make sure they'll fit okay.

Much appreciated! Thanks!

 

 

TC rear side panel depth.jpg

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Marked point:

 

70 mm from inner plane to the spot welded edge, +10 mm to the outer shell in the middle.

 

Same spot on the right (towards front of the vehicle) is 10 more mm.

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@MRTN - Many thanks. Exactly what I needed.
The sound unit I'm considering is 68MM deep, so it should fit but might be snug with the wiring harness coming out the back.

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