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Old 06-07-2017, 09:09 AM   #1
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Staunton , Virginia
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Alternatives to TVs?

My new airstream came with 2 giant black boxes aka television sets that are eyesores in an otherwise beautiful trailer. But I feel there's just so much wasted wiring and auxillary items associated with those dang tv sets... I cringe at the amount of money I must've spent for stuff that ain't being used... I haven't had the heart to rip em off the walls. So. There's the little alien looking antenna up there for digital and then there's an inlet under the shore power box for cable and satellite.and all that comes up through the walls in the bedroom and lounge into the TV's. And of course there's mountains-of-mountin hardware.

What to do with all this so I feel my money wasn't wasted?

I do use my cell phone and my tablet. These are the totality of my technology needs. I'd like to have more reliable internet for communication and travel research. I was wonderin if I could replace the existing wiring and gadgetry dedicated to television watching with things that would offer me better internet while boondocking? And then maybe I'd put a tablet mount in the lounge where the TV was for controlling music and maybe as a weather station or digital picture frame.

Can I use that satellite inlet to get satellite internet? Is it reliable? How about these boosters?

Im ramblin I'm pretty terrible at this internet posting and I apologise for it!

Thank you.
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:30 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by TravlinMan View Post
My new airstream came with 2 giant black boxes aka television sets that are eyesores in an otherwise beautiful trailer. But I feel there's just so much wasted wiring and auxillary items associated with those dang tv sets... I cringe at the amount of money I must've spent for stuff that ain't being used... I haven't had the heart to rip em off the walls. So. There's the little alien looking antenna up there for digital and then there's an inlet under the shore power box for cable and satellite.and all that comes up through the walls in the bedroom and lounge into the TV's. And of course there's mountains-of-mountin hardware.

What to do with all this so I feel my money wasn't wasted?

I do use my cell phone and my tablet. These are the totality of my technology needs. I'd like to have more reliable internet for communication and travel research. I was wonderin if I could replace the existing wiring and gadgetry dedicated to television watching with things that would offer me better internet while boondocking? And then maybe I'd put a tablet mount in the lounge where the TV was for controlling music and maybe as a weather station or digital picture frame.

Can I use that satellite inlet to get satellite internet? Is it reliable? How about these boosters?

Im ramblin I'm pretty terrible at this internet posting and I apologise for it!

Thank you.
Ramblin'- exchanging ideas is what this forum is all about.

disclaimer: I am not tech savvy at all. Most of the things regarding electronics that are discussed on this forum are beyond my understanding.

It might be best to leave the built in stuff where it is, and store removable things till later if it is in your way. I suggest that you keep in mind resale value with what ever changes you make. When you are ready to sell the new owner will most likely want things to be working and original.

Based on what you said, I think my needs are very similar to yours. I use my phone and my Garmin RV at the same time for navigation. We get by using our phones and/or tablet for connecting to the internet, and also as a hotspot for our laptop connection. But, our needs are simple; banking, paying bills when we are traveling, net surfing, communication, and occasional online shopping. We use video communication occasionally and have had difficulty doing that from some rural areas.

Most places I have camped have internet available, but I do not use them often, especially when doing financial matters. Unsecure connection bother me. Some are so slow that simple email will not work. Those with the worst/slowest/intermittent service I have encountered have been the satellite services. We carry an old laptop to use for those times we do connect to the campground service.

I am happy without either TV or radio. On the other hand TV is a must have for my wife. So, I replaced the clunky original TVs that came in my trailers with LED flat screens, a 32" in the living space and a ~18" in the bedroom. I was able to find 12v TVs in this size that use significantly less power for those times we boondock. I added a wingman to the crank-up antenna and can pickup digital broadcast stations clearly at ~ 60-70 miles. Beyond that, up to ~100 miles but signal comes and goes. When a campground has CATV, DW is a happy camper!
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Old 06-07-2017, 11:35 AM   #3
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Hi

Ok, first things first, what did you spend on all that stuff? In terms of cost to the factory, less than $800. In terms of what it would cost you to put it all in from scratch / bought one pice at a time ... quite a bit more than that.

You have two antennas on the roof. One is for TV, the other is for your AM/FM radio. There are two cables into the side of the trailer. They both essentially do the same thing. They route signals to the two TV locations.

The satellite internet I've seen is not all that great. You have to be pretty desperate to use it. With the systems I have seen, the "satellite" input on your AS can be used. You set up your portable dish on a tripod, aim it, and route the signal into the modem in your AS. You will be dumping your roof mount TV antenna. A roof mount dish would also be an option.

In terms of what to do with the space? I'd put in a rack for your devices. Build something they will be secure in for transport. Set it up so they can charge in the rack.

Some other options to dig into. There are many threads here on the forum:

WiFi Ranger for hookup in areas there is marginal WiFi.

WeBoost for extending the range of your cell phone (and it's data plan).

Have fun !!

Bob
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:12 AM   #4
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Thanks I'm glad to know I didn't spend too much unnecessary labor and items. I appreciate your thoughts on satellite internet, it does not seem worth the price.

I have purchased an RCA to mini jack adapter so that I can use my iPad to play and controlmusic from the TV location and am researching ideas for replacing the TV mount with a rack for my devices, which I believe is a smart idea. Thank you!

I do not very often use wifi. I primarily dry camp and when I am in RV parks I usually find my cell phone is faster than their WiFi and I have better privacy that way, so I would be more interested in boosting my mobile phone.

I looked at the weboost, which I am very interested in. The Drive 4g-x RV model seems like the best for my purpose. I'd rather not put more holes in the trailer. It looks like it just uses a coax cable, I'm hoping I can use the existing one that they ran at the factory for the plug in cable television that I have never and will never use? There was a coax cable plugged into the DVD player that came with the trailer, which I removed, so that cable now just sits there plugged into nothin.

Thank you very much for your replies.
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:11 AM   #5
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Hi

You may be able to do something tricky to get the antenna out via the fridge opening(s). A lot of people snake cable into the fridge "vault" and then out through a vent.

The gotcha with the existing cable is that it may be pretty high loss. It probably is pretty long. It may (or may not) be the best cable for microwave use.

In another thread they are digging into cellular modems (hot spots). If they do come up with a practical external mount unit, that might do pretty well for you.

Have Fun !!!!

Bob
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:17 AM   #6
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What to do with all this so I feel my money wasn't wasted?
Invest in some educational materials on DVD or Blu-Ray (rent or buy). There are collections available on National Parks, History, Science, etc. that you could use to enhance your knowledge of the areas where you're traveling. Enjoy them while relaxing with a cup of coffee, or when getting out of the weather for a little while.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by uncle_bob View Post
Hi

You may be able to do something tricky to get the antenna out via the fridge opening(s). A lot of people snake cable into the fridge "vault" and then out through a vent.

The gotcha with the existing cable is that it may be pretty high loss. It probably is pretty long. It may (or may not) be the best cable for microwave use.

In another thread they are digging into cellular modems (hot spots). If they do come up with a practical external mount unit, that might do pretty well for you.

Have Fun !!!!

Bob
Thank you, Bob, I will look for that thread. I have seen the cellular modems but it looks like maybe Verizon will charge me more to add that as an extra device. But I'm interested and watchin. But the boaster would probably still be needed in a lot of the places I camp cause I'm often in the middle-of-nowhere!

Thank you.
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Old 06-12-2017, 07:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by SeaLevel View Post
Invest in some educational materials on DVD or Blu-Ray (rent or buy). There are collections available on National Parks, History, Science, etc. that you could use to enhance your knowledge of the areas where you're traveling. Enjoy them while relaxing with a cup of coffee, or when getting out of the weather for a little while.
Thank you, SeaLevel, I appreciate the suggestion. As it is, I've already removed the DVD player. Strangely, I have an aversion to audio that isn't music. Recorded talking agitates me for some reason, I don't know why. I can't even watch the news, I gotta read it. Strange, I know. But true.

I haven't had a TV in my house since the late 90's when internet became more reliable.

Thank you.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:54 PM   #9
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Hi

I'm sitting here in a random state park in PA. AT&T is feeding me a 10 Mb/s LTE signal with the booster. There is no coverage at all here with Verizon, not even voice.

Bob
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