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Old 08-28-2019, 09:51 PM   #1
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2019 30' Flying Cloud
Federal Way , WA
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Wireless Internet and Power

Hello -

We just made the jump, purchasing a new truck and Airstream, with the intent on taking a leave from work for a year and traveling the country. We purchased a 2019 30' Flying Cloud, and now are looking to update it to prepare for everything from campgrounds to possibly extended boondocking stays. I am trying to figure out how to setup the trailer, both in internet access and power. I don't even know where to start, literally being in this game for about 24 hours.

My questions:
What do you recommend for getting WIFI when on the road? Possibly a WIFI extender to pick up free wifi where available, and a 4G booster to get access when further out with nothing to pick up? Or do you suggest something else?

Where do you start on power? I was thinking of upgrading to lithium batteries, with a portable solar panel. Any thoughts on this, or what you would recommend? If I were to update this, would you still suggest a generator?

Is there anything else we should look into doing for this long adventure, or any words of wisdom you all have learned?

Just trying to make sure we are prepared. Thank you!
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Old 08-28-2019, 11:00 PM   #2
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2018 30' Flying Cloud
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I wouldn’t waste any effort pursuing WiFi. Be able to hotspot with both AT&T and Verizon LTE and you’ll be fine. We have our phones through AT&T and got a Verizon hotspot through FMCA and have coverage most anywhere. Verizon is by far the best coverage, but there are places with only AT&T, so you want both for the best coverage. WiFi everywhere it exists is useless. If you’re not working, just having Verizon would probably be fine.
For power, it depends what your needs are. If you don’t plan to boondock much, you probably don’t need lithium or solar. There’s a good chance your factory batteries will have been killed by the dealer, so you could just drop in two Costco 6V GC2’s and that will work great for the occasional short boondock and only cost you $200. If you plan to boondock often and want things such as microwaves or coffee makers, then you are looking at much more than $200, but more details of what exactly you would like to be able to do are needed.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:48 AM   #3
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Dadeville , Alabama
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonMK View Post
Hello -

We just made the jump, purchasing a new truck and Airstream, with the intent on taking a leave from work for a year and traveling the country. We purchased a 2019 30' Flying Cloud, and now are looking to update it to prepare for everything from campgrounds to possibly extended boondocking stays. I am trying to figure out how to setup the trailer, both in internet access and power. I don't even know where to start, literally being in this game for about 24 hours.

My questions:
What do you recommend for getting WIFI when on the road? Possibly a WIFI extender to pick up free wifi where available, and a 4G booster to get access when further out with nothing to pick up? Or do you suggest something else?

Where do you start on power? I was thinking of upgrading to lithium batteries, with a portable solar panel. Any thoughts on this, or what you would recommend? If I were to update this, would you still suggest a generator?

Is there anything else we should look into doing for this long adventure, or any words of wisdom you all have learned?

Just trying to make sure we are prepared. Thank you!
This one works great for us. 9db gain antenna and 4 times the boost inside.
https://www.technorv.com/wifi-camp-p...2/?Click=11781
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:45 AM   #4
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Austin Area , Texas
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I’ve posted what we’ve added so far to our 2019 NEST in a thread titled "Feathering a NEST". Most of the kit would be applicable to larger AirStreams

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f546...st-199956.html

You may want to look at the Solis Sky Roam WIFI product. It is a wireless hub (5 devices) with a special builtin SIM that talks to multiple 4G cellular providers: AT&T, Verizon, etc. You buy coverage by the day, month or GB.

https://www.skyroam.com/solis
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Old 08-29-2019, 10:07 AM   #5
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Johnson City , Texas
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Sierra Wireless MP-70

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonMK View Post
Hello - My questions:
What do you recommend for getting WIFI when on the road? Possibly a WIFI extender to pick up free wifi where available, and a 4G booster to get access when further out with nothing to pick up? Or do you suggest something else?
Recommend reviewing this post on our use of the Sierra Wireless MP-70 mobile gateway. A nice MP-70 feature is the ability to select from 3 WANs: wired, one or two LTE-cellular (holds 2 SIMs), and external WiFi.
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Old 08-29-2019, 11:16 AM   #6
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2019 27' Globetrotter
San Luis Obispo , California
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Wifi, connectivity, Internet=Satellite dish

Hello 'Streamer friends:

I want to jump in to this thread to share my current pursuit of "no matter where I am, I need to be able to access the web" status.

We are three months into enjoyment of our new Globetrotter 27FB, in California, with six trips so far, both into LA/Orange County (business) and Laguna Seca/Monterey and Three Rivers/Sequoia Nat Park (Leisure).

My situation as owner of a business with six consultants and many demanding clients requires that I at the very minimum, be able to receive and send emails regardless of location. I'm not concerned with TV but also desire to have good cellular service nearby.

So, I decided to purchase a "Gen5" satellite dish system from Hughes through Montana Satellite Services in MT., to assure connectivity for email communications and hopefully, laptop video conference capacity. The dish itself is huge, 39" across, so I will be engineering some sort of folding system and a rack soon to be engineered to travel with it in the pickup tow vehicle or a custom rack on the back bumper of the AS.

I tend to avoid dry camping, because with dual A/C and other luxuries, these amenities would not be available for enjoyment- but our Three Rivers trip for the past week was a little frustrating because cell was non-existent and our full hookup RV park (variously 30 and 50 amp) had lousy wifi and a power outage our last day. We enjoyed the default of reading books, lounging around enjoying spousal company, and being off the grid, but compounding my state of mind was that I was pushing for the satellite install specifically for the trip- and UPS hiccups on shipping delayed one box so I missed the install window.

The AS is now over at my installer and I'll update y'all on progress. I decided to have a remote mount vs. trailer-top because if you park under trees or other obstacles, you may not get a signal; often you cannot select your site; a remote dish allows you choices, with adequate cable, to position the unit for necessary Southern Sky aim-points.

Another part of the back-story is that we are considering post-full-time work travel to Oregon and Washington, specifically the Oregon Coast, San Juan Islands in Puget sound, and possibly buying property and pulling the plug on CA, which may require the AS as our base camp. In these locations there is often little or no wifi available.

When I'm in a major metro area my hot-spots work fine and they are more secure than the public wifi of an RV Park. I hope the satellite will allow for superb coverage, regardless of my location when I am very remote. More information later...
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Old 08-29-2019, 03:00 PM   #7
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2019 Nest
Austin Area , Texas
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One of our happiest days after 2 years using satellite internet was the day our Wild Blue contract expired.

I know satellite internet is faster now, but the speed of light isn’t. It still takes the same time to transmit/receive a signal to/from a geosynchronous satellite — the result is significant latency compared to cellular or WISP internet. That’s why I regard satellite internet as my last resort for bandwidth in the boonies. Which BTW is where we live
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:31 AM   #8
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Runnells , IA
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I strongly suggest exploring the "Mobile Internet Resource Center" website. They have a LOT of information that will be useful to you.
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:13 AM   #9
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I would have thought by now King or Weingard would have a system available by now or have they? A unit similar to the "Tailgater" so one wouldn't have to use a 39 inch dish.
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Old 08-30-2019, 11:39 AM   #10
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I installed a PDQ One Source. The WiFi boost works fine but the only thing you gain is stronger signal so if not enough bandwidth to start with you just have a slow connection without getting dropped. We have found that even in a campground with a good internet system you end up with slow connections early morning and after dinner when everyone else is logged on including a few folks trying to stream movies. The 3G/4G boost works great and the over the air TV signal works well with a signal booster downstream of the splitter. The most reliable is generally the cell booster with unlimited data when you have a cell signal to start with which, in the PNW campgrounds, is not very often unless you happen to be near a cell tower. I am waiting to see what 5G brings.
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Old 10-21-2019, 03:56 PM   #11
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We just did exactly the same. Let me know what you decided on. We are picking up our Airstream on 10/31 and will be traveling a year. Need good WiFi. Thx
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:42 PM   #12
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

A "WiFi booster" grabs an existing WiFi signal and passes it on to you in your RV. In an urban setting (Walmart parking lot, Cracker Barrel, Ford dealer's lot ...) this may do ok. You still will need the password for the WiFi you are boosting. If you do all your camping in cities, it may do you some good.

Campgrounds do sometimes have WiFi. In about 99.9% of the cases, their WiFi is horrible. Getting email may not be possible via the campground WiFi. Your booster will do you no good in this case. The problem is "upstream" from your RV. On top of this is the fact that most campgrounds (depending on how you pick them) simply do not have WiFi in the first place.

Cell based hot spot devices will get you data connections in a lot of camping sites. Indeed we use the cellular data even when there is WiFi, simply because it delivers better performance. I can think of one campground in the last three years where that was not the case. That's out of maybe a hundred places we have camped out in that time.

Satellite based systems are fun. If you are in the mountains, you may / may not be able to "see" the required satellite from your campground. Things like heavy tree cover can also be a problem. Hitting this or that "window" often means locating the antenna a ways away from the RV.

=======

Power is a very different sort of thing.

1) How long (days, weeks, months) will you be camping off grid?

A stock trailer should be ok for a day or three. Past that you will need to do *something*

2) What *must* you run when you are off grid?

If running dual A/C's in 110 degree heat all day and all night is on that list, get a > 7KW generator, that's the only answer. With more modest needs, solar and batteries can be useful.

3) How custom a solution can you afford / tolerate ? Bigger battery banks either take up a lot of weight / space and /or get quite expensive. Filling the roof with solar panels is going to take a bit of work.

Without carefully digging into those details, there really is no way to *guess* what the right answer is.

Bob
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Old 12-02-2019, 09:39 PM   #13
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There is no need for another wireless router..Your mobile hotspot would do. The router won't help to make the speed better.. I learned from my mistake.
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:47 AM   #14
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Long Island , New York
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Welcome to the forum Jason!

FYI there are a variety of forums and sub-forums here, where all of these issues are discussed at great length. I would encourage you to explore the site, and to appreciate that there are literally thousands of "deep knowledge" discussions already available, just for the asking:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f317/
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f451/
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f452/

Batteries etc:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f37/
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f449/

Also, the search function in the blue box above [using the desktop version of this site -- not the App] is a powerful aggregator of info here, powered by Google, which automatically enters the search term "site:airforums.com" to each inquiry. For instance, here are the results for "lithium batteries" --

https://www.google.com/search?q=lith...=airforums.com

In addition to the helpful earlier replies here, please be aware of the vast library of thorough answers already available. You just need to find them. After you find a relevant thread and discussion, you can chime in there to add to your growing knowledge. It is staggering to discover just how much deep knowledge is available here, on almost any topic!

Happy trails,

Peter

FYI
FWIW
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:47 AM   #15
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Oro Valley , Arizona
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Wireless Internet and Power

OTRA15 gave you some great threads.

I recommend looking into Airstream Connected as well. Works great for my bandwidth needs. It is AT&T based so our Verizon phones are backup.

Good luck!
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Old 12-03-2019, 08:43 AM   #16
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Apollo Beach , Florida
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We've been traveling throughout the country for three summers in our Airstream and this is what we have learned:

Connectivity: Agree with all who said WiFi is useless unless sitting in a Walmart parking lot. We do most of our WiFi device updates at Walmart, usually while shopping. We have both Verizon and AT&T unlimited wireless plans. Verizon is the best, but sometimes AT&T is better. We get all of our internet access through these unlimited plans. Great cellphone coverage is very limited in most of the beautiful rural areas. If 4G LTE cellphone service is important, its best to stay close to Interstate highways or major U.S. highways. Cellphone coverage is very poor, mostly non-existent, in the beautiful National park campgrounds and Forest service campgrounds. We also require constant connectivity which is difficult to maintain.

Solar: We rarely connect to shore power. We had 400W of solar on our 25' Airstream and have 600W of solar on our 27' Airstream, both installed on the factory prewire using a series-parallel configuration. The solar decision is easy, just install as many panels as will fit on your roof. You should be able to fit 600W on your 30' Airstream. Here is a parts list to self-install 600W on the factory prewire for $1,800: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ml#post2288472 If you cannot self install, AmSolar in Oregon is close to you.

Batteries: We use a pair of 230AH 6V golf cart batteries. These are capable of supplying all the power needed to heat with the propane furnace, cool with the fantastic fans and refrigerate on propane while also powering all the lights, pumps, TV, and electronic devices. These batteries can easily replace the stock batteries, but will not operate the microwave or the air conditioning. We use a quiet inverter generator to run the A/C and microwave. If you want to run the microwave, you need to upgrade the inverter to at least 2000W and install at least a pair of Lithium batteries (four Lithium batteries would be best). So it costs $3,000 to $5,000 to operate the microwave and you still need the quiet inverter generator to run the A/C.

We enjoy using our solar-powered Airstream to travel around the country. Our biggest challenge is finding beautiful places with cellphone connectivity. Having a solar powered Airstream helps us travel freely without reservations. Many non-electric campgrounds are first-come-first-serve and have open spots on weekdays. We travel on weekdays attempting to find a beautiful spot with good connectivity to hunker down through the weekend. Then we repeat that activity the next week. We are travelers that rarely stay in one spot for more than a few days.
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