Sound System





My Overlander, while it had an AM/FM antenna mounted outside near the forward window, came with no radio nor speakers from the factory.  There was evidence that the previous owner had something, but it was never hard-mounted as he apparently enjoyed the use of the CB antenna more.


Research showed Airstreams of this era, if they came with a radio, either had one speaker mounted in the top of the forward, overhead bin, or two speakers mounted on the sides of the street side & curb side overhead bins.  The single-speaker placement was such that the audiophile was forced to listen to whatever sound bounced off the interior shell.  While the two-speaker arrangement would provide better sound,  the speaker grills did not exactly blend in.


Further research revealed that most people, in years past, simply cut holes in the sides of the forward overhead bin to mount speakers.  This was not a suitable alternative for me because in all cases I saw, the grills called a lot of attention to themselves.  Plus, the examples I saw did not appear capable of carrying a lot of bass.  What to do…


Computer speakers!  They can be small & unobtrusive, and with a subwoofer will carry an impressive amount of bass.  So I lugged my existing home stereo speakers out, and went through a few test cases before deciding this was the ticket.  At least with using these particular speakers.


Trooping down to several different places, I could find no new computer speakers which were as unobtrusive as the Altec Lansings used to demo the setup.  Nowadays, computer speakers are bigger & much flashier.  Ebay speaker choices were not much better, and certainly not very cheap for the used ones.  So I bought a new set of Altec Lansings for the house, went about permanently mounting the old ones in the Overlander.


The only real technical challenge was getting the speakers to run on 12 vdc instead of 120 vac.  Email me if you want more detail, but in this case it was done by soldering two wires in the right locations.


The subwoofer fit beautifully in the dead space to the right of the fresh water tank.  A big dollop of RTV on the floor keeps it from chafing on the tank.  12 vdc comes from the overhead storage bin.


I have not decided on a suitable radio yet.  But for now I have been running the TV through the setup, and have been extremely happy with the sound.