Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-18-2016, 07:03 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
 
2016 30' Classic
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 120
Wireless Cellular Booster - Good idea?

We just took possession of our first trailer, a 2016 Classic. Getting ready to have a solar package installed. Have been reading about cellular booster / repeater systems. I have three questions: 1) Are these systems effective when camping in more rural areas?; 2) If they are effective, what brands/units should I consider?; and 3) Should I have the booster system installed at the same time the solar package is installed (i.e. roof work, etc.)? Any assistance will be much appreciated.
__________________

__________________
dhroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 07:33 AM   #2
2 Rivet Member
 
2014 22' FB Sport
Barrie , Ontario
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 37
I went with the Wilson Sleek 4G. It has a new name now. With an upgraded antenna on the roof I now get a useable signal where I had none before. As the phone sits in a cradle I added a Panasonic wireless phone with 2 handsets that links to both our cellphones.
For internet I went with the Pepwave Surf OTG with a LTE usb modem. It works very well too and will also boost a wifi signal in a campground. Haven't tried that yet.
For all of this stuff the best site I found was http://www.technomadia.com/.
__________________

__________________
Lhunter59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 09:02 AM   #3
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 23' FB International
2007 19' International CCD
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 494
Suggest reading this thread: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f317...ll-135215.html
__________________
Steamy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 09:10 AM   #4
Rivet Master
 
2016 30' Classic
Erie , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,245
Images: 1
Check out rvmobileinternet.com. Consider joining them to get some more in-depth testing data.

If you are going to do a roof mount antenna then doing it while the solar install is done is a good idea. I have the WeBoost (Wilson) 4G-X which is the more powerful update to the 4G previously mentioned. It sits in the roadside cabinet next to the refrigerator.

Don't expect miracles. No signal is no signal. But in marginal areas with the right antenna it will allow you to get a connection.

Many threads here on the forums.

Also consider getting the Coverage? app. Has all the carriers mapped so you can see if your carrier has a signal where you want to go camping. Currently Verizon has the best coverage map if you are out west and like boon docking.
__________________
Gary
2015 Classic
2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax
ProPride
NØVPN
ghaynes755 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 12:15 PM   #5
Stay CazuaL
 
cazual6's Avatar
 
2014 19' Flying Cloud
Reseda , California
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 510
Images: 1
If you plan to go somewhere knowing or not knowing if there is signal, especially for emergencies, I suggest renting a sat phone. When I go to the desert and there is NO signal of any kind, I rent and bring the sat phone.

Otherwise, if you are techie, purchase the PDAnet app, connect your mobile phone to your laptop and turn your laptop into a hotspot.

As someone said above, boosters only work if you have a good signal to begin with. Boosting crap just gives you more crap.
__________________
cazual6 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 03:00 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
1994 34' Excella
Shalimar , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dhroberts View Post
We just took possession of our first trailer, a 2016 Classic. Getting ready to have a solar package installed. Have been reading about cellular booster / repeater systems. I have three questions: 1) Are these systems effective when camping in more rural areas?; 2) If they are effective, what brands/units should I consider?; and 3) Should I have the booster system installed at the same time the solar package is installed (i.e. roof work, etc.)? Any assistance will be much appreciated.
Reasonable alternative:
In Tres Piedras, NM where I keep my Airstream there is very weak to no cell phone reception. A truly great solution I found was to get a Verizon Wireless Home Phone. It does not need to stay in any "home" in that it just needs a ac power source and you can receive much greater cell phone calls on its unique number due to the fact that it has an antenna. It really does work and I've cut the cable at my home in Florida and when I go on the road I take BOTH my pocket cell phone and this portable "home phone".
Many of my friends on the mesa west of Taos now use it since their regular cell phones fail most of the time.
By putting it in my suitcase I get to take my home phone wherever I go.
It will NOT, however, get reception on my ranch which is in the mountains. No type of cell phone up there at 9,700 elevation will get reception due to blocking mountains.

The gentleman that suggested the sat phone comes into play in the latter situation. He's also totally correct in opinion on cell phone amplifiers.

By the way the Verizon "home phone" with unlimited long distance costs me a total of less than $25.00 per month. Can't be beat.

Stay in touch!
__________________
ShyAnn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 03:25 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2016 30' Classic
Erie , Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,245
Images: 1
Does the Verizon 'home phone' handle data?
__________________
Gary
2015 Classic
2015 GMC Sierra 2500HD Duramax
ProPride
NØVPN
ghaynes755 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 07:10 PM   #8
1 Rivet Member
 
1994 34' Excella
Shalimar , Florida
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 6
I've never tried it for data. If it did a lot of internet service providers would be out of business, therefore, I doubt it.
Call Verizon.
__________________
ShyAnn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-18-2016, 07:48 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
 
2015 23' FB International
2007 19' International CCD
Steamboat Springs , Colorado
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 494
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
As someone said above, boosters only work if you have a good signal to begin with. Boosting crap just gives you more crap.
Sorry; I disagree. When camped in Arches NP and Silver Queen near the Maroon Bells, I could not get a strong enough signal to sustain a call or log on for email. When I raise the antenna and turn on the Wilson booster, I get a strong enough signal to do both. Have also used on Lake Powell on our houseboat with similar results. Turns a weak signal into a stronger signal. If there is no signal, then nothing to boost.
__________________
Steamy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2016, 04:56 PM   #10
Rivet Master
 
InterBlog's Avatar

 
2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 2,432
Hello to the OP, a fellow Houstonian. I am also researching this same issue and there are many variables, including where you wish to travel and which cell carrier you have.

As one example, my husband and I just spent a week in rural areas strung between Houston and Amarillo. I had no Verizon coverage 98% of the time, but he did have his AT&T coverage for about 50% of the time (FWIW, we both have iPhone 6 Pluses). Conversely, where he had no AT&T coverage, I did tend to have Verizon coverage (a strong minority of situations).

Most of the time, my phone was saying "No Service" - it wasn't winking in and out on a weak signal that could be boosted, I don't think. There simply wasn't anything there at all. But when my husband had service, it did tend to be tenuous, such that I think the right equipment could have enhanced it - but he got along fine without it.

I'm not quite sure what might have happened if I had turned on roaming. Very often that comes with nasty cost surprises so I didn't try it.

What these kinds of results mean for product choices, I have no idea at this point, other than to suspect that there are no easy answers.
__________________
InterBlog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-21-2016, 05:07 PM   #11
Rivet Master
 
Llando88's Avatar
 
2016 30' Flying Cloud
Tampa , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 655
I bought and use a Wilson Sleek for my iPhone.

We use it when signal is low/weak. It works pretty well.

I try and mount the antenna somewhere high; if it could be permanent, that'd be great. Only problem with remote / high mounting is the loss in the cable may outweigh the gain of the antenna. Being a simple dipole, there is not a lot of gain to be had in one of these antennas.

Yes, it will boost signal as well as gain, the idea being the combination of powered amplification and a bit of directionality from the external antenna is enough to give you a workable signal.

I can't recall exactly but last time I used it, with no booster I was seeing -88 dB field strength on my iPhone, and with the booster something like -79 dB. So a useful increase. I will try mine this week here in San Antonio and see what the numbers are for me these days.

But yes, it works.
__________________
2016 30' Flying Cloud / 2016 Ram 2500 Diesel 4x4

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” - J.C. Watts Jr.
Llando88 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2016, 08:04 PM   #12
1 Rivet Member
 
2014 27' FB International
vancouver , Washington
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazual6 View Post
If you plan to go somewhere knowing or not knowing if there is signal, especially for emergencies, I suggest renting a sat phone. When I go to the desert and there is NO signal of any kind, I rent and bring the sat phone.

Otherwise, if you are techie, purchase the PDAnet app, connect your mobile phone to your laptop and turn your laptop into a hotspot.

As someone said above, boosters only work if you have a good signal to begin with. Boosting crap just gives you more crap.
I purchased the Iridium Go device with prepaid minutes from BlueCosmo. It allows me to make sat calls and send/receive text messages using my smart phone. Huge piece of mind when its me and the kids in the middle of no where if something happens to me or them help is only a call or SOS button away.
__________________
WheelnStones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2016, 08:31 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
interstateflyer's Avatar
 
2017 25' International
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
Los Osos , California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 871
Images: 7
I'm installing a weBoost 4G-X as we speak. The "kit" omni antenna will go on top of the AC, on a 8x8" powder coated steel plate which will act as a ground plane. I've also mounted a SureCall cylindrical gas filled omni antenna on the corner of a solar panel for comparison.
__________________
2017 Airstream International Serenity 25FB
2016 RAM 2500 Crew Cab Cummins 6.7 Diesel
interstateflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2016, 01:37 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
interstateflyer's Avatar
 
2017 25' International
Currently Looking...
Currently Looking...
Los Osos , California
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 871
Images: 7
I mounted an optional Wilson 12 inch antenna on an 8 inch square powder coated steel plate. It's attached to the roof directly behind the rear Fantastic Fan vent. The plate is mounted with 3M's strongest exterior mounting tape and sealed with caulk at the edges.

The 23D has a side vent door for the refrigerator. The thin cable is routed perfectly under the door lip and through the bulkhead opposite the TV. I used a bulkhead mounted SMA Male to Female coax jumper pigtail to route the cable it the eBoost 4G-X cell booster which is mounted on the opposite side of the wall, out of sight behind the TV.

http://www.amazon.com/Wilson-Electro...ilpage_o02_s00

http://www.amazon.com/TECHTOO®-Femal...ilpage_o01_s00

I've decide to skip the SureCall Omni install until a future time when I can figure out to properly route the 1/2 inch low loss coaxial cable. The Wilson omni should do for our upcoming trip.
__________________

__________________
2017 Airstream International Serenity 25FB
2016 RAM 2500 Crew Cab Cummins 6.7 Diesel
interstateflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cellular Blinds TouringDan Upholstery, Blinds, Walls & Interior Finishes 3 08-29-2016 08:36 PM
Consumer Cellular jcanavera Phone, CB & Ham Radio 10 09-25-2014 08:49 PM
FCC Requiring Wireless Booster Registration Effective 5/2014 CA_Tallguy Computers, Internet & Satellite 8 04-10-2014 05:33 AM
Total electric. Good idea or bad idea? EZstream Generators & Solar Power 34 08-17-2011 09:40 PM
Data over Cellular RoadKingMoe Off Topic Forum 2 01-17-2003 07:58 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.