In Dash Stereo GPS Navigation Review - Eonon G2240u
Eonon G2240U In Dash Stereo and GPS Navigation
I have learned to love and use a GPS navigation system in my cars, and when we purchased an older motorhome I wanted one in that vehicle as well. While I had a small, and quite old, GPS that could be put on the dash I've learned to really appreciate the much larger one in my Toyota Prius, especially as it would have to sit quite a ways away on the dash of the motorhome.
Looking online, there are quite a few in dash GPS navigation units available, all at very high prices compared to the smaller, top of dash, units available. The Eonon, made in China, was an exception, and after much consideration I decided to purchase one of those units. Eonon makes several varieties of the base 2240 stereo, designed to fit specific cars but all with the same features. I chose the Eonon 2240U (US and Canada maps) as none of the others were likely to fit the motorhome at all.
The Eonon comes with several very nice features, including a bluetooth hookup to your cell, navigation of course, a backup camera option, tire pressure system option and DVD player. The TPMS (tire pressure monitor system) would have been nice, but the maximum pressure allowed on the system was considerably lower than the motorhome requires. I did pay a few dollars extra for the backup camera option; the unit has it built in, but the extra fee was for the camera itself.
Following, then, is a review of the installation process as well as use of the system.
G2240U from Amazon
Installing the Eonon G2240 in dash stereo and navigation system
Installation in a motorhome presents some unique problems as nothing is standard. Connectors designed to plug directly into a car, for instance, don't fit, and physical mounting is unlikely to, either.
In my case, the physical mounting had been previously modified to handle a 2din stereo, the same as the Eonon. Nevertheless, the Eonon didn't fit the mounting brackets and the mounting accessories were woefully inadequate. I ended up drilling new holes in the old brackets, holes that would fit the Eonon. The dashboard is not removable, at least without removing a large bank of switches, and work had to be accomplished by just pulling it out a few inches and working through the gap. In spite of this, though, it wasn't too difficult - I just had to make sure it was completely wired before bolting it into place.
Installation instructions are non-existent, but the wires are well labeled and there is a wiring diagram on the unit self. Mostly it was a matter of locating which speaker wire went to which speaker. The connector on the Eonon did not, of course, fit what was in the vehicle and had to be cut off, with wires spliced onto the vehicle wires with a butt splice kit.
The motorhome already had a black and white back up camera hooked up to the TV set; rather than run new wires (they were too short by far for such a long vehicle anyway) the existing video wire from the camera was used. The new camera was much smaller than the old one and fit very nicely into the space where the old one was; it just needed a new mount and that was easy. The power wire for the old camera was wired to a switch on the dashboard, and the new switch wire to turn the unit to backup was spliced to the same switch. It is intended to go to a reverse wire from the transmission, coming on every time the car is put into reverse, but doing it this way will allow me to look at a car being towed just by flipping the switch during travel. Most people will want to wire the new unit to the car back up lights or switch rather than installing a dedicated switch for that.
Additional wiring had to be run between the new unit and the motorhome TV, mostly for the DVD function. While the Eonon screen is 7" in size, I wanted to use the TV for movies, and wanted to use it during travel for the kids. The brake wire, used to deny movie play during travel, was spliced to the hot wire powering the unit - it will now play movies while moving. The video/audio cable was plugged into the aux. outputs of the Eonon and the aux inputs of the TV - it's an old TV and won't accept the S-video outputs on the stereo.
Between dealing with the camera mount (finding access to the old camera, tracing old wires, etc.), wiring the new unit and mounting it, the project took about a day. Without the camera the time was probably around 4-5 hours; I had considerable trouble tracing the wires through the motorhome for the camera hookup. A car, with new wires being run, would have been much simpler.
Eonon G2240 stereo review
Let me be clear here - I am not an audiophile. While the Eonon will run an external amp and has two base outputs I have none of those and don't want them. The speakers used are fairly small and I have no plans to upgrade them.
Having said that, I am pleased with the stereo functions. Sound is reasonably good, even with small cheap speakers, and the controls allow it to be adjusted to a wide range of characteristics. Other reviewers have generally been complimentary as to sound quality.
The tuner supports some functions I enjoy and haven't seen elsewhere, such as searching for a particular type of music, and there are lots of presets available.
Instructions are nonexistent, but most functions are pretty intuitive and I've had no trouble figuring out out to use them.
Eonon G2240 in dash GPS navigation review
This was half the reason I purchased the unit and perhaps the most important to me. Front mounted buttons, physical rather than on the touch screen, for volume and switching to and from the GPS are nice. The navigation is from Sygic, and OK but that's about all. It is not on par with Garmin, TomTom or other common brands. The Eonon runs on WinCE 6.0, though, and searching the web for information I find that Garmin as well as a few other systems can be downloaded to it. For now, at least, I will continue with the Sygic system; I have used it before and found it adequate for my purposes.
The large 7" screen is very nice and makes it easy to display a good bit of information while still having a viewable map. Instructions are again nonexistent, but are available from Sygic by downloading them at no charge.
The map is out of date; the freeway interchange near my house that is well over a year old is not shown. Setting "home" by telling it the current location is what is desired produces the wrong street; my road dead ends at a canal and re-starts on the other side of the canal with a different name and that's where the GPS put "home".
The map display is good; roads are clearly marked, as are turns. The voice prompts are available in a variety of accents both male and female. The stereo (if running) cuts the radio volume on the front speakers when the GPS lady is speaking - there is no difficulty in separating GPS instructions from the radio (or DVD) sound.
Recalculation is good; making a wrong turn results in a quick recalculation with additional instructions. Route choice is good - there are a variety of options such as quick, short, and several options to avoid such things as toll roads, freeway travel, etc.
Intermediate stops can be added without trouble, or routes changed or deleted.
Overall impression of the system is fair to good; the software could be improved, the maps could be improved, but for the price of the unit it is quite good.
This is a much appreciated option and something I required of any in dash GPS. Although steering wheel controls will work with the Eonon, I don't have any on the old motorhome, meaning that I can't control the phone from the wheel. It can be set to answer automatically, though, so that isn't a problem.
Pairing was accomplished without trouble to both a cheap LG phone from tracphone and a Droid smartphone. Phone books from the phone are automatically shown on the screen when dialing out or a number can be entered manually.
Music from the stereo is automatically reduced when using the phone, and the built in microphone picks up the driver with no problem. Sound at both ends of the call is very clear, although the motorhome does add some noise as the engine is right next to the system. A more typical installation in a car should not have that problem.
This is one feature that I give an A+ to. As noted, my prior camera was black and white, feeding to a grainy TV that had to be turned on to use. The new camera is in color, is of course a reverse image, and shows lines and relative distances.
I am a little disappointed that the camera view does not show over the auxiliary video outputs, as I would like to put it on the TV at times for a larger picture, but it is still far superior to the system that was factory installed.
Wiring was pretty straightforward; for cars the video cable has a third wire that is to be used as a switch to turn the unit on when the backup lights come on.
Even with the 7" screen vs a 20" TV the picture is still superior and I seldom need to use mirrors except to see what is to the side. Backing down a narrow drive is simple; align the lines with the edge of the driveway and go. As an additional safety feature backup cameras are hard to beat. With proper alignment the smallest child can be seen behind the car; something that cannot be said for either mirrors or rear windows. The camera also picks up such things as bicycles or scooters left behind the car - something that happens all too frequently whenever there are children involved.
On the whole I am quite pleased. The unit was not too difficult to install, and all of the problems encountered were a result of putting it into a very non-standard vehicle.
Operation is straightforward and I am quite satisfied with performance. The navigation feature could certainly be improved, but for the price paid is more than reasonable. Nevertheless the GPS quality is the only reason I did not give 5 stars.
Appearance is excellent, and the optional looks of the screen and buttons are appreciated.
The only real complaint I have is that it was out of stock for a long time - perhaps something to be expected for a new model that is seeing a high level of acceptance and popularity.
I would buy again, assuming that the life span is reasonable. That is, of course, unknown at this point.
Eonon G2240U Review
© 2013 Dan Harmon