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Old 05-25-2022, 08:13 AM   #1
Rivet Master

 
2021 30' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 1,256
What will Cell Boosters do for me?

We just got back from Anastasia St Park in Florida. Love the place and would not mind just hanging out there for an extended period. The wife and I still work so we need Internet connections. Her more than I, since she is on the phone/video calls most of the day. When I got set up I knew cell data would be bad. 1 bar, maybe 2 of 5GE. It even dropped back to LTE a few times. I tried sending a 1 meg file to someone at work and it took almost a minute to transfer. Oddly enough, I was able to watch some shows on YouTube and Formula 1 TV. The resolution was not the greatest, and it did drop frequently, but that was ok although a bit annoying. We have AT&T and have no problems switching providers if it made a difference, but I don't want to switch just to find out all providers are just as bad.

We travel enough that I think it would be worth adding a cell boost system to the trailer. I've read about many people's installations for systems that specifically boost cell data signals. Also, many of these systems have the capability for multiple SIM cards. I just have not got a good picture of what brand or type of system would meet my needs.
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Old 05-25-2022, 08:33 AM   #2
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2020 23' International
Evergreen , Colorado
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We have AT&T for our phones, and I’ve got a Verizon JetPack for areas where AT&T isn’t as strong as Verizon. I’ve also got a weBoost cell booster with the antenna mounted on the roof. I use the omnidirectional antenna, which admittedly isn’t the best solution for signal strength when compared to directional antennae. I find that the weBoost system tends to improve my signal, but it isn’t dramatic. It’s usually a bar or two. I find that it allows for basic internet access, phone, and text in areas where it’s intermittent. I haven’t found it to improve zoom or other video calls considerably. If you’re in an area where you don’t have enough signal for a zoom call, then it probably won’t help much.

Have you seen the recent threads about Starlink? Maybe that’s an option for you.
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Old 05-25-2022, 08:37 AM   #3
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2022 28' Pottery Barn
Varies , California
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https://www.starlink.com/rv
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Old 05-25-2022, 11:34 AM   #4
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2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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I have had a WeBoost, single device booster for several years, and it does just what it advertises…reliably boosts weak cellular signal to usable cellular signal.

Maggie
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Old 05-25-2022, 07:09 PM   #5
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Oviedo , Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WellSaid11 View Post
I rarely camp anywhere with a good view of the sky so that would not work for me
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Old 05-26-2022, 09:54 AM   #6
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RATHDRUM , Idaho
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Check out the coverage maps for the different carriers.

The other thing to remember is that without a cell booster, when you go inside the trailer you have essentially put yourself (and your phone) inside of a shield box -- making it much harder for the cellular signals to reach your phone or hotspot. (The higher the frequency the more effective the shielding effect is). It also makes it that much harder for your phone or hotspot to transmit back to the cell site. At least put the hotspot or your phone up next to the window and try different windows as well.

In addition to AT&T and Verizon, you might want to consider T-Mobile as an alternative depending where you are. Last fall, I took my T-mobile Home Internet Gateway (uses 5G) to the Oregon coast with us. Using it we had really good connections to the Interwebs ! (T-Mobile is unlimited data and is only $50 per month)

Travel Safe,

Bob
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Old 05-26-2022, 10:45 AM   #7
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2021 22' Caravel
Houston , Texas
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WeBoost on discount right now

WeBoost.com have Memorial weekend discounts right now. A lot of folks have luck with the WeBoost ďDestination RVĒ model. It is 75ohm so it has the advantage that you can use the airstream satellite connection to rout the signal into the trailer.
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Old 05-26-2022, 11:22 AM   #8
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2013 23' FB Flying Cloud
Burien , Washington
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We've been using a WeBoost Drive Reach OTR for the last year, and have found that it takes weak signals and amplifies enough to use most data functions in most places. Consistently find that it is faster than campground wifi which is typically worthless.

My main caveat would be to think through how you will mount and connect the outside antennae to the booster and internal antennae before you buy a WeBoost unit, as they are not all the same and the Wilson product info is not clear about the differences. For example, you can connect the antennae through the satellite cable in your Airstream, but you need to get the RV Destination Signal Booster to be compatible with the 75 ohm cable in the trailer.
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Old 05-26-2022, 01:01 PM   #9
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2017 28' Flying Cloud
Bel Air , Maryland
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NIdaho, I was wondering about that T-Mobile system. We have Verizon FiOS fiber in our home. I was thinking about dropping the FiOS and picking up the T-Mobile 5G system home internet gateway. I assume it works on 110V and I could plug it int the AC outlet in our TV. My wife serves as my secretary and I dictate email responses as we travel cross country.

Is what I'm am considering doable... As long was we have a T-Mobile cellular signal.

As we travelled out west last fall, my wife has Verizon and I have AT&T, at least one of us had a great LTE signal in most campgrounds, even if they didn't have wifi. Just used our phones of hotspots. Watched all the cable channels from our My FiOS app on the iPad, etc.
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Old 05-26-2022, 08:01 PM   #10
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1978 31' Sovereign
Green Valley Lake , California
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Location. Location. Location.
As a web pro TechNomad who lives and dies by the internet, the solution that works for me is two phones. One is T-mobile Magenta Max 55+ (100 gigs, 40 hotspot) on iPhone 13 and Visible (VZN reseller no data cap) on Pixel 3a.
I also use the WeBoost Reach (omni) good for 20-30 dB gain. But you have to have some signal to boost first.
1) In some places T-mobile beats VZN and vice versa
2) In all cases, T-mobile data is 2x faster or more (where available).
3) Upload speeds generally 1/10th of download. Also, streaming services can adjust bit rate so that's why your upload is molasses slow but you can still stream F1 (pretty cool, huh?).
4) Instead of bars, look at the more accurate cell signal strength dBm. On Android I use the Net Cell Info lite app (free). Measures cell and wifi signal.
5) Also chk your data rates with Ookla speedtest.net. Download the app for whichever device.
6) Using the apps, find which service is best at your location. Sometimes you just gotta move if your work is mission critical. Or you will run up hefty restaurant tabs.

I have clocked 1.3 Gbps on the iPhone 13 with T-mobile in Hollywood and Highland. That's Gigabit data on a cell phone! Also, VZN gets 250 Mbps in Fortuna (Yuma).

Much BLM is cell dead, especially Quartzsite in high season. Often, High Jolly is the best (but only 14 day).
A web booster can only boost usable signal. But I've found amazing bit rates at low signal rates
go figure.
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Old 05-26-2022, 09:16 PM   #11
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2021 30' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
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I understand the metal box shield analogy, but stepping outside seemed to not make any difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NIdaho View Post
Check out the coverage maps for the different carriers.

The other thing to remember is that without a cell booster, when you go inside the trailer you have essentially put yourself (and your phone) inside of a shield box -- making it much harder for the cellular signals to reach your phone or hotspot. (The higher the frequency the more effective the shielding effect is). It also makes it that much harder for your phone or hotspot to transmit back to the cell site. At least put the hotspot or your phone up next to the window and try different windows as well.

In addition to AT&T and Verizon, you might want to consider T-Mobile as an alternative depending where you are. Last fall, I took my T-mobile Home Internet Gateway (uses 5G) to the Oregon coast with us. Using it we had really good connections to the Interwebs ! (T-Mobile is unlimited data and is only $50 per month)

Travel Safe,

Bob
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Old 05-27-2022, 06:40 PM   #12
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2018 27' Flying Cloud
Atlanta , Georgia
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I had a weboost system for a couple of years. 20 antenna pole. I was not satisfied with it. Increased bars does not mean increased data. My cell phone hotspot does about as well.

We are currently in Ft Nelson, BC headed to Alaska. I have a fair cell connection and am able to surf, but not watch youtube. Tomorrow we plan to go to Laird Hot Springs. There will be no cell connection there at all, boosted or no.

I am tempted by the Starlink RV offering, but we are not full time RVers so not sure it is worth the money.
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Old 05-28-2022, 06:15 AM   #13
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2021 22' Caravel
Houston , Texas
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The Starlink RV subscription now allows you to start and stop service so you only pay for the months that are actually used. Itís expensive at $135/month, but so are cellular data plans and those canít be easily stopped and re-started.
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Old 05-28-2022, 09:17 AM   #14
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Centennial , Colorado
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I have both a Weboost and a PepWave. I only use the Weboost when I need to amplify the signal. Otherwise, the PepWave does a superior job with blazing fast internet (including zoom meetings, podcasts, webinars etc...)

Talk to Evan at TechnoRV.... www.technorv.com These folks have the best customer service and can walk you through your challenges, questions and suggest the best options for your needs.
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Old 05-28-2022, 11:40 AM   #15
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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I purchased and installed this system and absolutely love it. Have stayed at campgrounds both before and after the install. Where I once had no usable cell service for hotspot I now have no problems. I don’t use it for work since I’m retired but use it for mostly audio visual entertainment purposes and it has never let me down. Installed it in 2021.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08L9SG331...7F6CJ4GG4ZDWC1

(My cell plan with Verizon has unlimited data)
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Old 05-28-2022, 01:38 PM   #16
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2000 25' Safari
Woodbine , Georgia
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I purchased a weBoost system and found it to be extremely disappointing. It took a weak signal to a little less weaker signal but it has a major flaw. It can reduce the signal in a strong area because the its single antenna. I removed the weBoost and replaced it with a cellular router. It uses mimo antennas and pulls in a useable to excellent signal 95% of the time. Presently we're on Verizon but I expect to switch to T-Mobile by years end.
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Old 05-29-2022, 05:02 AM   #17
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Hmmm, interesting.

I have never tried to use my booster where I have a strong signal, only where there is little to none.

I have loved mine.

Maggie
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Old 05-29-2022, 06:20 AM   #18
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2018 30' International
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Southern Pines , North Carolina
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Have the WeBoost. Basically it takes poor internet connectivity and makes it ok internet connectivity. Occasionally you may be somewhere where it takes unusable cell signal and makes it useable - but I find this rare. I also understand it can actually so down 5G. You do need to have your cell phone / tablet close to the interior base station. I.e. won’t cover a 30’ Airstream entirely.
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Old 05-29-2022, 11:06 AM   #19
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2021 30' Globetrotter
Oviedo , Florida
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Ordered a Weboost as suggested and we’ll give it a test run next week. May make a pilgrimage to St Augustine to see if it makes any difference there. Thank god for Amazon free returns.

I’ve read thru a lot of posts on Weboost and Pepwave systems. I really can’t tell which one is more effective. I know they are different animals and the Weboost is basically a booster where the pepwave systems are hot spots with their own SIM cards. But I can’t tell which one will be right for me.

Starlink is not in my future because I hardly ever have unobstructed sky so even with their RV plan it would not be of much use for me.

Think I’ll do a high tech install with some clamps, 10’ of pvc pipe and snake the cable out the vent hood. If I like the results I’ll figure a more dignified installation out
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Old 05-29-2022, 04:46 PM   #20
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Houston , Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jondrew55 View Post
Ordered a Weboost as suggested and weíll give it a test run next week. May make a pilgrimage to St Augustine to see if it makes any difference there. Thank god for Amazon free returns.

Iíve read thru a lot of posts on Weboost and Pepwave systems. I really canít tell which one is more effective. I know they are different animals and the Weboost is basically a booster where the pepwave systems are hot spots with their own SIM cards. But I canít tell which one will be right for me.

Starlink is not in my future because I hardly ever have unobstructed sky so even with their RV plan it would not be of much use for me.

Think Iíll do a high tech install with some clamps, 10í of pvc pipe and snake the cable out the vent hood. If I like the results Iíll figure a more dignified installation out


If your trailer has a satellite hook up (with cable hook up) you can use that to hook up the WeBoost to get the signal inside of the trailer. The inboard connection is usually behind the radio/dvd player and you can simply plug in the amplifier there. There is also power so hook up is simple. No need to mess with the vent hood.
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