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  1. Hi All, Since I'm always asking for assistance (usually with my stupid steering and tail-wagging-the-dog stuff), I though I'd give back a bit. If anyone would like to know how I did these upgrades, or where to source any of the items, I'd be happy to help. Thanks to all, - John --------------- My 2000 Monaco DIplomat was great - just dated ("pre-ugly") so here's what we did (total upgrades were about $30k): Upgrades: New custom RV Paint (done by me and my three college boys in a rented paint booth). My oldest did the artwork. Looks sorta like "Sonic The Hedge Hog" I think. New leather furniture (seats, sofa, dinette cushions, extra trim leather, reading chair). Drop shipped to my engineering lab dock from Los Angeles. New toys and stuff (TVs, Stereos, Internet, dash electronics, dash veneer, cameras, awnings, Inverters, Lithium battery banks - 1000ah, 1000w of solar, recirculating water filtration system - filters AND sterilizes your fresh water tank continuously, bidet (really), lighting. Replaced the fridge guts with an Amish unit (this was before I put the lithium batteries in) so now it won't burn to the ground. Also, I liked the original cabinetry. New floor (Pergo) up front, and new carpet in the bedroom LEDs everywhere. New ceiling fixtures. All controlled on remotes or iPhones / iPads Almost everything is also voice activated ("Hey Siri") Dash Specifics: I had a 18 year old cracking plastic dash like many of us, complete with B/W CRT backup monitor. removed it, fixed the cracks, and used a really nice wood veneer (Bear Claw Oak) to recover the whole thing (and matching side panel). used contact cement, and when dry, used a trim router with a small bearing to follow the existing gauge holes. removed the original radio and backup CRT, filled the original holes, and cut new ones with a router template I made. The radio screen (capacitive touch screen, very few knobs) is now flush and looks like a custom install. The radio has a backup camera input. New high def backup camera, reused the original wires, but soldered on new connectors. The original backup CRT replaced with an iPad mini for GPS. Hidden magnets (strong magnets) behind dash to hold in place. There is another magnetic mount for my iPhone (music --> apple TV (airplay sounds much better than bluetooth) --> big home Onkyo receiver overhead where the original head banger TV was. 46" TV latches safely to the ceiling, drops down for viewing. Painted the back to match the ceiling when in the up position. iPad (GPS, Waze) and iPhone (Music, phone calls) are controlled by two bluetooth buttons that I stuck to the "not-smart" wheel. Works perfectly. I use Apple's new AirPod Pro ear buds to make/receive calls while driving. They are noise cancelling (but you can still hear warning beeps - it just cuts out the road drone and genset noise). Also used to call the Fetching Mrs Taylor if she is in the back bedroom. All hands free. Everything is controlled by voice ("Hey Siri, skip this song". "Hey Siri, call my Mom". "Hey Siri, where is the closest Chik-Fil-A"), so hands stay on the wheel. Any iPads and iPhones can also control the TV, Amazon Box, Roku Box, Apple TV, Blu-Ray player with one simple app. Wireless and wired charging stations all over the coach. Lights are all on programmable Logitech remotes and iPhones / iPads. BUT the best improvement was the 360 degree overhead camera system. Four cameras (wires run on the roof - can't even see them, and protected by UV sleeves), images stitched together by a computer. Looks like a drone is 50 ft above you. Think "Tesla" dashboard. Now, you can see if you are in your lane, if you'll clear that curb, where all the other cars and trucks are. Absolutely game changing. A 10" HDMI monitor sits on the dash, directly in line with YOUR lane on the the road. It does NOT block your view at that angle, is attached with magnets hidden under the dash. It is like driving a video game or a flight simulator. The monitor can be left up, or put in a cabinet in 30 seconds. The four cameras are all HD, with night vision. You can literally drive with the headlights off and see everything (ever pull in late to a campground?). You can park within 2" of a curb or another obstacle and clearly see what you are doing. Bonus - Security: The output of the 360 camera also feeds into my front main and rear bedroom TV on an HDMI input. Want to see what that noise outside is? One button on the TV and now you see everything for 80' in every direction. In complete darkness! I got the camera system on Alibaba from a company SZDALOS. Good email support. Setup involves marking the ground with playground chalk at specified distances, and lining up on-screen reticles. Not difficult. Two weekend days to install, or a car stereo shop can do it for you. Not difficult. https://www.alibaba.com/product-detail/SZDALOS-HD-3D-360-Surround-View_62000211116.html Here is a video of the system in use (click on the video). It really looks just like this, but on your dash. When you use your turn signal (or back up) the cameras "shift" in the direction you want to go. Simply Amazing for less than $500. Well worth the upgrades, and nothing crazy super expensive. Makes your 2000 Diplomat ($29K from my dentist in 2014 with 29K miles) look like a 2019 for less than $30k in upgrades: the cost of new leather furniture a few TVs some simple woodworking cameras two home stereos (2 x Onkyo 7 channel surround receivers two hidden subwoofers Lithium battery bank New Hybrid Inverter Solar panels ("peel and stick - really") and solar inverter Oh, and my three college kids learned how to prep a coach for automotive painting. I learned how to paint and color sand 1100 sq ft of RV surface 😞 But it looks like a $30k paint job when done. Lotsa photos. Thanks for all the help over the past few years. - John John Taylor Colorado Springs, Colorado 2000 Monaco Diplomat aka "Uberbounder" --------------------- Final "Uberbounder: 1000w of solar on roof Complete darkness at a truck stop: Bidet (really): TV in down position: New leather fold out bed (with cool removable tray tables): 1000Ah+ of LiFePO4 (Lithium) batteries = same capacity of 16 golf cart batteries. Fully charged in 1.5 hours I can run a single roof air (15K BTU) for 8 hours off the battery bank. Batteries fit under the bed. (8" x 10" x 48" space) My reflection in the new paint after color sanding: The prep and painting crew (college was out for the summer): New inside (wall slide is in): The Fetching Mrs. Taylor and Charlie the 90 lb Golden Doodle:
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