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TOPIC: RV Internet Service

RV Internet Service 2 months 6 days ago #1

We are attempting to resolve our access to internet. We have a 2018 Redwood 3881ES. We have traveled extensively for the past 4 years and since purchasing our first RV we have constantly had to deal with spotty and/or unsecure wifi internet service. We have tried to use our phones as hot spots and a Verizon jet pack. No matter what we do we are subject to the strength of our phone service. Is there a feasible solution which you have used or are acquainted with which allows RV’r access without breaking the bank. This morning we spoke to Verizon Customer Service regarding “Cantenna”. Not certain regarding this system or the high cost. Thank you in advance for your assistance.

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RV Internet Service 2 months 6 days ago #2

We also have Verizon phones with the jetpack & have traveled border to border coast to coast & only one spot were we unable to get a good signal. Not sure what would make the difference?? I haven't heard of the antenna you mentioned.

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Travelin' Texans
Full timers since 2008
2013 FB Black & Tan (FOR SALE)
2013 GMC Denali 3500 DRW

RV Internet Service 2 months 6 days ago #3

Hi. I feel your pain. If your patient I can outline what I use and how I handle the challenge of connectivity on the road. First issue is what carrier to use. I won't offer much other than it's either AT&T or Verizon (US) or Rogers Bell (Canada).

A Cantenna is basically a signal concentrating antenna much like a Yagi style antenna. It is use to point into a very specific direction in hopes of increasing signal strength. While it's very effective its a bit primitive in approach and reminds my of my Dad being on the roof twisting the antenna to get the best tv channels.

There are more elegant solutions. The first and least expensive is to use a MiMo antenna assuming your hotspot will accept an external antenna input. I have one that does. MiMo stand for multi in and multi out. It effectively provides a stronger and more dedicated signal for data only. With my AT&T hotspot it would take a 2 bar signal to 3 bars but would often double or triple the speed. Very impressive and cheap when Amazon has them in stock. I can only recommend the Netgear on e because I used it.Netgear 6000450 MIMO Antenna is only about 30$.

Then there is the issue of the hotspot itself. I just added an unlocked Netgear Nighthawk M1 to my arsenal. Its super fast, picks up great signal and will act as an in-house router and even connect to campground wifi and provide a secure connection for you inside your own network. It was 150$ but so far I am beyond impressed.

The next step I use is a cell signal booster. This helps when we are not in great signal area and we want to use the hotspots or telephones. I use one called SureCall 3.0 RV. Its been pretty good at taking a 1 or 2 bar signal from outside and broadcasting it inside so I have good signal and faster data. I know a number of people prefer the Weboost but I chose SureCall so I can only speak to it. Its a very clean solution that requires so time to install since there is an omni directional attend outside and it connects to an indoor unit with an antenna that you put close to your hotspot. Speaking of Cantenna solutions, the latest RV solution from Weboost has a YAGI style directional antenna that connects to the side of you RV on a long pole. Again images of my Dad yelling better? better? worse? from the roof. My Fusion2Go 3.0 RV was $400 after I found a coupon.

Last and my number one tool is the WiFiRange Elite AC. Its not just a wifi booster. It has an outdoor multi directional antenna that connects to distant wifi signals. We have had it operate 1 mile from a clubhouse that offered campground wifi. It bring the signal to supplied indoor router, in my case called Redwood. That indoor router also has a usb adapter that I plug my hotspot into with one carrier (Verizon) and it will also wirelessly connect to another wifi source, like AT&T on my Netgear. So here is the magic, it does whats called load balancing and failover. This means when not connected to a good wifi signal it switches to my usb hotspot, if that doesn't work it tries my AT&T hotspot.

The last part of the equation is managing data use. Here in Canada we don't have unlimited data plans. Most people are well under 10GB on their plans. Using the WifiRanger it allows us to conserve our data. It connects to local free or paid wifi and provides us a secure connection inside, when we can't get wifi or its not that good it uses the data from our hotpot(s) to speed things up. Here is an example. This summer while spending 2 weeks in Fundy National Park we had a great spot but it was 500 yards at least from the comfort station that provided wifi. Calling it wifi is a stretch. It was pretty slow around 1.5 mbs but since most people had no cell service at all it was popular. It also only covered about 10 yards from the outside of the building. My WifiRanger picked it up and used it all day for email, and facebook etc. even though I was 500 yards away and through the trees. At night when we wanted to stream a movie it was too slow the the WiFiRanger switched to my hotspot on Rogers 25Mbps which had a great signal thanks to the booster while we watched a movie. when the movie was over it switched back to the free wifi for everything else.


Sorry for the long answer feel free to ask if you want any further info.

John

One last thing, this is all on my 12 volt system so when we are literally going down the road we are connected to "Redwood" wifi and still secure and able to stream, surf and listen to music.
The following user(s) said Thank You: redwood5er, Shane Wood, PricelessRVAdventures

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RV Internet Service 2 months 6 days ago #4

Thank you for the information. I f we can find a workable solution we will post it.

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RV Internet Service 2 months 6 days ago #5

The solution you want is called Kymeta. I think it’s a few years out although I know of one RV testing it today.

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RV Internet Service 2 months 6 days ago #6

I think I should try this message again. I sent a response about an hour ago but can’t find where it was sent. Sorry. Do you use the equipment listed in series or separate? Is it possible to get descent results by using th Surecall 3.0 Fusion RV stand alone? If I understand this correctly it will pull a signal from our jet pack or available wifi. Did you mount the exterior antenna on the ladder? How did you bring the coax into your unit? Is there a particular place you identified to which is better access? Sorry for all the questions. We are not very tech savvy.

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RV Internet Service 2 months 5 days ago #7

The challenge is the problem is you need to solve changes each time you pick up and move. So I use all those tools but not necessarily at the same time.

Surecall 3.0 Fusion RV or Weboost 4G-X RV are both excellent cell boosters. These devices will take a poor cell signal and boost it from outside to inside your RV. I assume most campground wifi is crappy, so using a hotspot like your JetPack from Verizon or my Nighthawk from AT&T is the easiest and fastest way to get service, and provide wifi inside the trailer. It's important to understand cell boosters do just that, they boost a signal to make it stronger and increase voice quality and data speeds. If there is no service or signal, they can't do anything. There must be a signal first. Think of it as multiplier. 1 bar of service x 3 boosting power = 3 bars of service. 0 bars of service x 5 boosting power = 0 bars of service. So if you are in an area where you get no cell service on your carrier at all, the booster won't help. If you get some service while outside, standing on a picnic table, facing east, with one leg up in the air.....then thats when a SureCall or Weboost will really help you out. The hotspot (Jetpack in you example) will take that boosted signal connect to your carrier and provide all your wifi inside the trailer.

Cell boosters do not boost wifi signal or connect to wifi in any way. All they do is make your carrier provided hotspots and phones work better/stronger/faster.

The outdoor antenna is mounted on the top of the ladder on my Redwood. Its lower than the air conditioners but still very high compared to standing on a picnic table. Without getting technical the indoor and outdoor units must be at least 20 feet from each other because of something called harmonics. So the cable (slightly smaller than coax) runs across my roof with my solar cable and an ethernet cable from different projects to the front of my trailer. These cables are held in place with dollops of dicor every 3 feet or so. I have a front bedroom and have access through the roof over my bedroom cabinet. I didn't drill the hole my dealer did it for me and installed this entry gland so its completely water proof.

www.amazon.com/LINKSOLAR-Weatherproof-So...rds=roof+grand&psc=1

Anything coming in through the roof can be in my cabinet next to the bedroom tv or drop down to the basement, or from generator compartment. I choose to keep all my electronics in the cabinet next to the bedroom tv. It has a 12 volt, 110V, and I even ran a 110 plug from my inverter in there. Thats where I mounted the indoor part of the SureCall. Its also where I keep the hotspot. close to the indoor antenna.

I hope that helps. Getting Wifi (not cellular) from distant access points is done using a different device. I can explain that if your interested but this would seem like the place to start. All of this is contingent on there being some Verizon signal were you are camping.

I'm not affiliated with either SureCall or Weboost and I'm just passing on my own experience. Weboost is probably the more popular booster but I found SureCall to match them spec for spec on the 3.0 device and it was way less expensive. The SureCall also shipped with everything needed to install it in my tow vehicle if I wanted to.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Shane Wood, PricelessRVAdventures

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RV Internet Service 2 months 5 days ago #8

  • Jim and Mary
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John
I want to thank you for your very informative posts on a problem we all face now that we're "connected" during our travels. I hope if you get to the summer rally, you'll consider presenting a seminar on these topics. I can assure you most of us are mystified by this somewhat, and it sounds like you have plenty of knowledge to share.

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Jim & Mary Butters, Maggie (furry kiddo)
2013 Redwood 36RL
MorRyde IS, MorRyde Pin Box Goodyear G114 17.5's Titan Disc Brakes, Residential fridge Winegard Travel'r rooftop TST TPMS

2015 Ford F350 KR DRW

RV Internet Service 2 months 5 days ago #9

John, thank you for your extensive explanation of how this works. I truly appreciate you taking the time to provide the details. This topic is a little complicated and it appears that you have pretty well mastered it. Thanks again. Nelson

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RV Internet Service 2 months 5 days ago #10

Thanks for the kind words. I’m not sure I have mastered anything yet, but I do enjoy electronics. Some people are mechanical, some are physical. I am neither but I just love technology. Someday I will go over the cool things we do with the trailer. And what my dream projects are.

Technology is very opinion based, so please understand this is just my experience and I know there are equal numbers of people who prefer different hardware and solutions.

Cheers
John

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RV Internet Service 2 months 3 days ago #11

  • Paul Bridges
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John, you already know I consider you the technology guru, and really appreciate the sharing of opinions on this stuff.

I would like to see you on the ROG technical committee in order to share your expertise in this area that we can all use help with.

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Paul & Tracy Bridges
2015 Redwood 38RL
2016 Ford F-350 KR CC LB DRW 6.7L PSD
1924 Ford Model T
1958 Rainbow TT by Edwards ( 1958rainbow.blogspot.com )

RV Internet Service 2 months 2 days ago #12

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Thanks Paul. JoeyD already invited me, but I’m afraid I don’t play well with others :P I’m happy to offer as much help as I can, and I am hoping to make it to this years rally.

You know how I love my little 400watt solar setup and it produces power even when I leave the trailer alone in storage. The new nighthawk hotspot draws so little power I can keep my blink surveillance cameras going all the time. Check this out.
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Last Edit: by boatguy.

RV Internet Service 2 months 2 days ago #13

This is the actual shot. At night, in the dark, closed up. Will still scare the crap out of anyone if they break in
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RV Internet Service 2 months 1 day ago #14

  • Joe Dombrowski
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boatguy wrote:

Warning: Spoiler! [ Click to expand ]
Thanks Paul. JoeyD already invited me, but I’m afraid I don’t play well with others :P I’m happy to offer as much help as I can, and I am hoping to make it to this years rally.

You know how I love my little 400watt solar setup and it produces power even when I leave the trailer alone in storage. The new nighthawk hotspot draws so little power I can keep my blink surveillance cameras going all the time. Check this out.


Yup.... John is playing hard to get.....

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RV Internet Service 1 month 4 weeks ago #15

John,
Thank you for the amazing information. I am going to PM you about the rally.

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George & Lisa

RV Internet Service 1 month 4 weeks ago #16

I look forward to it. Planning my next summer's trips and left it open for the Rally this year.

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