UTV Product Reviews

UTV Radio Communication

UTV Communication

UTV Communication Package from Rugged Race Products
Complete 2 Seat UTV Car to Car Package
Rugged Race Products

Information:

One thing that drives me crazy about UTVs is how hard it is to communicate while driving.  With the engine, exhaust and wind noise, it is really tough to talk while driving.  Add an aftermarket exhaust and you can pretty much forget about it unless you are driving less than about 20 mph.

There are a few different solutions when it comes to being able to communicate with you passenger or car to car in a UTV.  We will cover a few of the options, then show you what we tested.

The first thing you will need is an intercom. Add headsets or helmets with ear bud speakers and you are good to go. 


Intercom

In order for you to communicate with another UTV, you will need a radio like this:


Car to car Radio

Communication Options:

  1. Intercom only

This allows you to talk easily to your passenger and also listen to music from a MP3 player.

  1. Intercom with hand-held radio

Add a hand held radio with the proper cable to your intercom, and you now have car to car communication too. Communicate with your passenger just like the intercom only option, but use the push to talk button and you are now broadcasting to anyone within range on the same channel.

The benefit to this system over a built-in having the flexibility to move the radio to different vehicles or standalone, and cost.  The downsides to this method are the shorter transmit/receive range and keeping the radio battery charger (some hand-held radios can be charge while in the car, but others can not).

  1. Intercom with built-in radio

This is the top of the line setup for UTVs.  Talk with your passenger, or push a button and you are talking with another vehicle. 

Installation is a bit more difficult due to mounting and also running the antenna, but the increase in range is greatly increased over a hand-held radio.

Installation:

Polaris RZR – Intercom with Hand-Held Radio


RRP600 Intercom from Rugged Race Products mounted under dash to a small aluminum bracket.


Icom hand-held radio with right angle intercom cord


iPod mount from Axia Alloys was used to hold the radio on the roll cage.

Kawasaki Teryx – Intercom and Built-in Radio

 
Vertex VX2200 50 Watt Mobile Radio and RRP600 Intercom from Rugged Race Products mounted in aluminum  Teryx glove box bracket fromSide x Side Outfitterz.

The radio mount fits snugly in the glove box and won’t move around.  It allows you to still use the area on top of the radios for storage.

Wires are run through a hole cut in the glove box.  Fused wire lead is run down through the tunnel and connect directly to the battery.

How does it Work?:

We took our RZR and Teryx toDumont after Christmas for several days of riding in the dunes and desert.

Sperry Wash Route    

Communication within the car is fantastic.  No wind noise issues.  Music interface was great and cut out nicely when talking to your passenger.

Car to car communication was pretty good. Surprisingly it was better than I expected with the hand-held radio.

We had a sand car in our group that had a radio setup as well so we were able to test things out from several angles.  The 5 watt hand-held radio definitely has a much shorter range and is more line of site where the built in 50 watt radios could reach into bowls and over tall dunes.

The hand-held is satisfactory in you know you will always be close together.  I figured that would be the case with our RZR since my wife normally drives it and she typically follows me.  But I quickly found out that isn’t the “norm”.  I took the RZR out with the sand car once, and another friend took it out another time.  We got split up looking for another person.  The hand-held did OK, but I can easily see that it is best to have a setup that can handle all scenarios or you could end up in trouble.

The good news is that it works decent enough and I didn’t have to spend anything on the hand-held since I already owned it.  If I decide it is worth it, I will just add a 50 watt built-in radio

If you do decide to go with a hand-held radio, check first before you buy.  Some have 12 volt charging capabilities so you don’t have to worry about the battery going dead.

Contact Info:

Radio and Intercom:

Rugged Race Products
3621 Sacramento Drive #1
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Toll Free: 888-541-7223

Website:  www.ruggedradios.com

Teryx Radio and Intercom Mount:

Side x Side Outfitterz

Website: www.sidexsideoutfitterz.com

Roll Bar Mount for Radio:

Axia Alloys

Website: www.axiaalloys.com

 

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