Please come in, Apple Carplay

Funny how fast you get used to new technology. Only for some years ago, you definitely wanted that navigation system in your car. And ouch, the € 2.500,- was a pain, but hey, worth it. The VW RNS510 in my campervan worked fine. Even the navigation was ok. But the sound was not too good and how do I connect Spotify? So I needed a new headunit. In fact: only a screen and Apple Carplay (and Android Auto for my son) was needed. This is all I need: Google Maps (or Waze), Spotify and a radio app like TuneIn. Okay, give me DAB for free, but probably the antenna won’t work as promised. At first I wanted an OEM headunit and found the RCD330, only sold in VW in Asia, not in Europe, but with only FM radio and Apple Carplay. Beware: there are many fake RCD330 on the market, sometimes named RCD360, or without the memorycard slot. You don’t want this. I found an original one in Germany. But it did not fit. Why? I learned that a California has a Multivan dashboard. And that is different from a standard and more common VW Transporter dash, including the size of the headunit space!

Then I bought the Alpine iLX-702D with

  • VW Multivan dashboard mount trim (be aware, this one will fit, but in my opinion it’s not the right one)
  • APF-X300VW CAN adapter cables for retaining the parking sensors and displaying (nothing more) images for airco settings. I don’t have a multifunctional steering wheel, but this should also work with the CAN.
  • USB cable
  • Double-Fakra antenna adapter with phantom feed

In the video below you will see my first vlog and hassle to replace the RNS for the Alpine. In short: definitely an upgrade in sound, fixating the 1 DIN headunit did not work out and in my opinion the Alpine graphics are poor. Stated before: switch to Apple Carplay and everything works fine! If I should do it again I think I choose the Alpine iLX-903D.  Looks a bit better, you can place it more upright so there will be less sunlight reflection and hopefully a better mounting in the dash.

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