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Old 05-27-2004, 12:45 PM   #29
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On the road internet...

I have used PGHconnect.com for many years to pick up email via dial-up while on the road from local numbers provided and while in Europe where I dial back to a domestic number with an inexpensive MCI international calling plan.

The PGHconnect service starts at $6.95 per month. Go to
http://www.pghconnect.com/
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:38 PM   #30
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I just looked up that site you mentioned. If AOL doesn't pan out, I'm going for it for the trip. Very reasonable, and I can use the hotel phone or data line to post. I have a yahoo site all set up.

Man I can't wait. Husband says we'll be in Wisconsin within two weeks. I know I"ll be a wreck until the reality of the length of the trip sets in...but I have neighbors lending us a truck camper shell, DVD's, buying up Music CD's at half.com, and I even bought some noise blocking headphones so my husband's country station that plays the same 15 songs in a row won't drive me batty (er).

I'm setting up my laptop for the trip right now...!

Get me outta here.
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Old 05-31-2004, 12:54 PM   #31
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Lightbulb WiFi Internet connections

I am a Newbie and have no experience yet, however, starting in 4 days, that all changes in our 1995 Excella.

Regading the internet, I have done some research and found this interesting article. http://www.rvtravel.com/wifi.html It has a list of many WiFi Internet ready RV parks around the country where a wireless connection can be made through a PCMCIA wireless card in the PC or Mac.

I am wondering, has anyone tried the wireless access at any of these RV parks? What has that experience been like......? Otherwise, does anyone use the data/internet connection from their cell phones? I can only imagine access to land lines on the road is a real find.

Newbie out!

Joe
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Old 05-31-2004, 04:49 PM   #32
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If you posted a web page with your wi-fi experiences at each park, I bet that would help a lot of wireless-ers, after your travels. I'm going the dialup route, in motels, on my trip and back so I can't help you much, but maybe even a sub category on this site, so people can post their experiences after staying at each RV park, would be a good idea? Internet on the road is becoming such a big part of trailering.
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Old 05-31-2004, 07:19 PM   #33
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We are clueless but interested in how all this works. Max is getting a laptop to replace his computer at the office so that we can use it on the road, but of course we don't know HOW to use it on the road. What are our options with the laptop? For "Wifi", do we need "cards" purchased to give us access at sites like those discussed above. Would we carry our laptop to a central place at a campground or do we access from our AS? Or, with our cell phone, how do we use that to use our laptop for internet, email, etc? We have On Star with our tow vehicle (ordered 100 phone minutes for emergency use-health issues with son and husband). Is On Star another viable access for internet access with our laptop? I am just grabbing at "stuff" we have heard of, but have little understanding of. We need some REALLY basic info. Thanks.
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Old 06-01-2004, 12:48 AM   #34
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When you get your laptop, you will probably get wireless capability with it. It's called 802-11a or b or g or something like that. That means there's a little device stuck into the side of the laptop that has an antenna coming out of it. With this antenna and the device, you can get on the internet without wires.

Then you need to get to a "wireless hot spot", such as a Kinko's, Starbucks, or RV park that's set up to broadcast a wireless signal. You go there with your laptop, and the device and antenna on your laptop will pick up the internet signal from the broadcast. If you leave the area of the "hot spot", you get no connection. Kind of like a radio station fading away if you drive too far away from the source.

You'll also need an "account" for wireless internet access, which means you sign up for it through a company, and pay for it monthly, or hourly, or whatever. A good one for wireless access seems to be "T-mobile". That one is the broadcast company for Starbucks, Kinko's, and other places that are hot spots.

I also don't know if you go to Starbucks and have to pay a fee to use their "hot spot" in addition to your T-mobile fees.

I've never had any experience with an RV park and their "hot spots". I'm curious myself, I'm definitely going to want to go wireless when we get our trailer. So I might just call a local RV park and see how they run things.
I don't know what RV sites have what service, or how it works.

I hope this has been a good basic explanation of wireless. It's pretty neat; once you're all hooked up, your internet access just shows up on the computer from nowhere it seems.
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Old 06-01-2004, 01:55 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxandgeorgia
We are clueless but interested in how all this works. Max is getting a laptop to replace his computer at the office so that we can use it on the road, but of course we don't know HOW to use it on the road.

The same way you would a regular computer, except in this case it just sits on your lap. Use it in the tow rig with a power adapter available at any place like Best Buy, CompUSA, etc. Dont forget to get a surge protector for when your plugged into the trailer at nights running off the campgrounds electricity.

Quote:
What are our options with the laptop? For "Wifi", do we need "cards" purchased to give us access at sites like those discussed above.
Depends on the latop and how much your willing to spend on it. Lots of newer laptops have built in wireless cards. Those are completely internal cards that you wouldnt notice are there, except for the blinking light on the back of the computer. Some still require that your get a card to plug into it. Which would have an antena or something that looks like a credit card sticking out the side or back of the latop.

Bit of advice on the laptop...dont get the cheapest model. I would like to suggest a laptop the offers what is called "Centrino" platform. What that is is a computer with built in wireless networking and a special type of CPU that is very energy efficient. Thus prolonging your battery life very significantly over standard CPU laptops. My personal laptop is on. I own a Dell Inspirion 8600 and am very happy with it. then again i do lots of gaming, multi-media stuff and lots of web surfing on mine. From my couch, patio, bed, etc. The joys of wireless.


Quote:
Would we carry our laptop to a central place at a campground or do we access from our AS?
If it is a wireless network you are going to be logging into, then yes you will most likely need to go to a central location. Wireless signals only reach so far. Power boosters can increase the range of them but it seems unlikely to me that a campgound would boost the power of the signal enough to cover an entire campground.

Quote:
Or, with our cell phone, how do we use that to use our laptop for internet, email, etc?
Basically just plug the cables into the phone and computer and your good to go. Start up your ISP software on your laptop and it should dial your access numbers through your modem and get you onto the 'net. I have never used such a system personally but have been told about it by those who have. The one i was told about was consisted of USB cable that plugged into the laptop from the phone. Souds more complicated than it is. When you buy the equipment a tech should be able to show you the basics of it.

Quote:
We have On Star with our tow vehicle (ordered 100 phone minutes for emergency use-health issues with son and husband). Is On Star another viable access for internet access with our laptop? I am just grabbing at "stuff" we have heard of, but have little understanding of. We need some REALLY basic info. Thanks.

I have never heard of such a thing. From what i know ONStar is just an emergency thing, like you mentioned. I suppose they could offer such a service. Never hurts to ask them, though i would be surprised if they did. Seems to me one would hear about it in their adverts.


Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2004, 07:49 AM   #36
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Here's one being used currently on a trip:

http://www.airforums.com/forum...040#post101040
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Old 06-01-2004, 08:55 AM   #37
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As always, lots of clear explanations to start our planning. Thanks, all!
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Old 06-01-2004, 09:08 AM   #38
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Thanks, Max and Georgia, as always, you express my thoughts much better than I do. Does this mean that my old dell laptop- microsoft windows 98, bought used in 2000, is probably not useable? It doesnt have a dvd port. No antenna that I can see. Thanks, silver suz
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Old 06-01-2004, 09:28 AM   #39
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Silver Suz,

Most laptops have one or two slots called PCMCIA or PC CARD. All of my laptops have had them on the left side.

Unless your laptop is very old, you can get a card at one of th big-box electronic stores that will give you wireless capability for your laptop.

I am partial to the Linksys brand.

Since you are running Windows 98, you will need to load the drivers from the CD that comes with the card. Do you have a CD-ROM drive? If not, you may be out of luck.

Good luck,

Dennis
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Old 06-01-2004, 10:29 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowaroots
I am a Newbie and have no experience yet, however, starting in 4 days, that all changes in our 1995 Excella.

Regading the internet, I have done some research and found this interesting article. http://www.rvtravel.com/wifi.html It has a list of many WiFi Internet ready RV parks around the country where a wireless connection can be made through a PCMCIA wireless card in the PC or Mac.

I am wondering, has anyone tried the wireless access at any of these RV parks? What has that experience been like......? Otherwise, does anyone use the data/internet connection from their cell phones? I can only imagine access to land lines on the road is a real find.

Newbie out!

Joe
I'm sitting in the Airstream at a Flying J in Ohio writing this. Speed is very good. You can pay by the day, month, or year. I paid for a month since I'll be on the road for the next 3 weeks. Wish my dialup at home was this fast!
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Old 06-02-2004, 07:59 PM   #41
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Walmart internet

Does anyone have any experience with an internet service offered on the Walmart website? Walmart Internet: $9.94 per month, unlimited internet access and email.
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Old 07-02-2004, 12:04 AM   #42
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Thumbs up Texas goes "WiFi"

I read in the Airstream online newsletter that all 84 Texas Rest Areas have WiFi access if you pull off the road to rest. What a great idea! Their pitch is that you can pull off to rest, catch up on email from your own computer for free(if you have wireless capability), or hook up to a kiosk for X$ by swiping your credit card, then log on to get your email, etc. I wonder if they increased their parking spaces at the rest stops, because I think this will be a highly successful way to "stay connected" while on the road. You Texans are always the first to get new toys!

Jim
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