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Old 08-15-2017, 10:05 AM   #1
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2006 22' Parkway
Poughkeepsie , New York
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Personal wi-fi on the road

I know some people have their own wi-fi wherever they go. I have no idea what to get and need some help. I imagine there are monthly charges so I would be interested in knowing that too. Can this replace your system at home?
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:27 AM   #2
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How much data do you use each month? How bad would it be if you found yourself without fast/any internet access for a period of time? How important is coverage (i.e. are you mostly staying in well populated areas where lower cost providers have good service, or do you go boondocking)?

You can get an aircard/mifi type device which is basically a data only cell phone. Different providers have different plans with different costs. Coverage depends on the provider. Verizon is generally the most expensive but has the best coverage.

Data usage is limited. Even the "unlimited" plans will throttle you to a crawl once you go over a certain limit.

Cell signal inside the Airstream can be a problem. Lots of folks add a 4g cell booster like the WeBoost 4G-X RV, which runs in the $500 range. More $$ if you need a directional antenna.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:54 AM   #3
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2017 30' Classic
Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

Simple choices:

1) A cell modem that plugs into your car and looks like WiFi. The data comes from one cell phone company and you pay for it. (You can also do this by satellite)

2) A mobile WiFi that is independent of the cell phone network. The question then becomes "what do you hook up to?". In most cases people want internet connectivity and not a bunch of files on a disk drive.

3) If you are stationary, WiFi systems that link to other WiFi systems are an option. That works if you are close enough and / or have a big enough antenna. Some amount of fiddling is needed for these systems.

What you get depends on what you need. For driving down the road and feeding data to the kids, the answer is a cell modem. If you are at the campsite, it may still be a cell modem if the nearest WiFi is a zillion miles away.

I use a combination of a tethered cell modem and a WiFi Ranger when parked. If I can get WiFi, that's great. If not, I pull 15 or 20 Gigs of data through the modem. When driving, we use cell phones as hotspots.

Bob
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:56 AM   #4
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2015 30' Classic
Pleasanton , California
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If you occasionally need WiFi on the road, and are usually within cell coverage with your smartphone, just enable the personal hotspot feature on your cell phone? This will allow you to connect multiple devices to your phone via WiFi. Of course any data that you transfer via this connection will be deducted from your cell phone plan.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:25 AM   #5
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Verizon JetPac - I don't leave home without it.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:27 AM   #6
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We get unlimited data in our Chevy truck for $20.00 mo. Provided through ATT somehow.
ATT may have a way to add to other vehicles with satellite, don't know, but works well for us. Only problem is having to leave key in accessory position with doors locked to use internet in the trailer.
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Old 08-15-2017, 11:28 AM   #7
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Or you can buy a cell/modem and install wifi throughout your AS as we had done - still uses your phone data like Verizon or T-Mobile but it is far more powerful and really reliable.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:16 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by kdickinson View Post
Verizon JetPac - I don't leave home without it.
Me either. 4 G and works great.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:28 PM   #9
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GILBERT , Arizona
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We have a MyFy from Verizon and unlimited data and work every where, we watch Netflix on the road with a Comcast ($35) at Wal-Mart.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:29 PM   #10
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San Clemenete , California
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Hi--We went with the Verizon Jetpack. $50 for for the receiver (modem) $20 FOR 4G service. (Plus Tax)

Worked great for checking email and paying bills provided you were in a cell phone service area. Does NOT work in Canada as represented by the service adviser at the Verizon store.
It provided good reliable service for paying bills, checking email and sending photos.
Not enough to stream movies or use Skype or other video apps.

Worked in the tow vehicle as well as long as we had cell phone connections.

$20. for a private network, we were "happy campers".
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:46 PM   #11
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We have a jet pack and I just got a verison broadband unit for my business. Both are mobile and are real handy at home when the power goes out .
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdickinson View Post
Verizon JetPac - I don't leave home without it.
Same here. I have used various versions of the Jet Pack for 10 years all across the country. I use a fair amount of data conducting teleconferences while working on the road. The base cost of the Jet Pack connection is $10/month on my Verizon plan and I have a shared data plan (30 GB/month) for all our devices (3 iPhones, 3 iPads, and Jet Pack). This plan allows carry over for unused GB. This helps because most months I am well below 30 GB, and some months I am above that amount.

Verizon has the best coverage and I am rarely out of range. Other carriers (Sprint mostly) claim .5% difference in service reliability, but this is referring to reliability IF you have coverage.

Though some on the forums here have reported problems receiving a cell signal inside the AS, I have not experienced this. I do place the Jet Pack right next to the window. The advantage of the Jet Pack is that I still have my phone free to use without worrying about disconnecting the call or other problems. Verizon store sales staff (take it for what it is worth) tell me the Jet Pack has a stronger/better signal than the iPhone or iPad. I am not sure if that is true, but it works for me. Also, I am sometime in my "Starbucks Office" or other location without power. The Jet Pack has its own battery so my iPhone does not get depleted.

I love being able to work with clients around the world while in my Airstream!
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:24 PM   #13
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FYI the Electronics and Connectivity forum [incl. the 3 sub-forums at the top of the page] has many threads on similar issues:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f317/

Topics include Verizon, weBoost, and other modes of connecting while on the road, for instance:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451...ed-162643.html
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f317...ll-135215.html

. . . are but two of dozens of threads there, containing hundreds of earlier posts.

Peter

PS -- Noticed an interesting weBoost article over on one of those threads -- click on arrow in quote to go to there. Article is a few posts earlier:
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRA15 View Post
Thanks for a great article, Larry!

Peter
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:49 PM   #14
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Stone Mountain , Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwpaint View Post
We get unlimited data in our Chevy truck for $20.00 mo. Provided through ATT somehow.
ATT may have a way to add to other vehicles with satellite, don't know, but works well for us. Only problem is having to leave key in accessory position with doors locked to use internet in the trailer.
___________

We have OnStar and buy our data (ATT) through them. In the truck we run everything on the GMC data. Once we are in the Airstream we run on Verizon and Verizon Hot Spot.

Some areas, like Many Glacier, Montana has -0.0- wifi, television, internet or cell phone coverage, and the pay phones are from the 1970s needing payment cards. We drove out to Babb twice a week to download, upload, pay bills, make calls, etc. then back into the QUIET zone. The Park Service does have phone service and internet, but they don't share.
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