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Old 10-07-2020, 04:39 PM   #1
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2021 28' Flying Cloud
Venice , FL
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WiFi for working on the Road-Newbies

Greetings!

We are getting a 28 ft Flying Cloud in November and will soon be starting to live and work full-time in our Airstream as we travel around the country.

Good internet will be critically important for us as we both work remotely full-time. We have just switched to Verizon from AT&T and just bought an 8800L jetpack with our new plan to have in the Airstream because we heard that Verizon's nationwide coverage is superior.

My wife will be doing some video on Doxy.me and possibly Zoom for her work as well as heavy work on the phone.

I work as a company accountant logged in remotely to a company server. So I will have 3 screens (1 laptop & 2 portable side screens). I will be using Outlook & Webex for communications through my computer throughout my workdays.

I have no idea how well the Verizon jetpack does on its own with campground Wifi, areas with only Verizon cell service, or where there are coverage holes. Or if we will need to supplement it with another device, such as an extender, antenna or satellite dish to guarantee consistent internet practically any place.

In terms of boondocking, I don't know what would be necessary to get the connectivity we would need to work "out in the sticks".

We are still learning about what we might need to do to strategize our lodging locations based on our WiFi needs.

We would be most grateful for any advice and/or insights on Wifi that we could get that relates to our heavy internet usage as we get set up for our new life working on the road.
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Old 10-07-2020, 06:13 PM   #2
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Consider a 2.4 and 5 GHz Marine Wi-Fi antenna, a good router, and Verizon, AT&T Hotspots or both.

Mountains are spotty for any nationwide carrier.

For hotspot unlimited data plans... As far as AT&T, look at eBay for an unlimited SIM they are still out there but can get pretty pricy (old plan SIM and truly unlimited and pay monthly and no contract). If you buy and AT&T hotspot make sure it is unlocked in case you want to change to a different provider. Look for a SIM for an AT&T iPad... it worked for me... old plan SIM and truly unlimited and pay monthly and no contract.

I have yet to find a truly decent small antenna for my Netgear Unite Explore but you can always get a Wilson YAGIÖ they work but are big IMO.
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:03 PM   #3
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WiFi for working on the Road-Newbies

Go spend some time at https://www.rvmobileinternet.com.

Regarding the jetpack 8800L - I use the same device for working when on the road. I also have att as a backup but itís pretty rare that I need att failover. This is an excellent cat 18 modem with built in 4x4 MIMO Omni-directional antennas. I have hit 80Mbps download and 40 up. I do have a portable netgear 2x2 MIMO antenna that I use from time to time.

(https://www.amazon.com/Netgear-60004...a-436606720556)

Do not wast your money on a roof mount 2x2 Omni antenna - the built in 4x4 in the jetpack is better in most all circumstances, unless you need directional, which is where the portable 2x2 netgear unit comes in.

I also have a Wilson LTE booster in the trailer with a 1x1 roof top Omni directional antenna. This is used only once in a while - and typically only to make voice calls. If you are running off a far away 3g tower with incredibly weak signal data will suffer anyways - so my point is the built in and portable 8800L antennas will be all you need 99% of the time.

I use about 200-400 Gigs per month run-rate when working from the trailer. I have an old and discontinued prepaid unlimited plan with no throttling but is network managed.

Regarding plans, you will want to look to the grey market unlimited plans. They are about $250/month for Verizon network. There are simply no off the shelf wireless data plans available today that make sense financially for > 100gig per month usage.

Spend some time at the above link.

PS - the 8800L has nothing to do with campground WiFi. For that I use a pepwave soho mk3 wireless router with both wireless as WAN and 8800L tethering for WAN. Recommend you consider this type of device to manage you airstream LAN, especially when managing mobile LTE WAN connectivity.

There is a specific thread on data plans going on right now, FYI...

https://www.airforums.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=203962
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Old 10-11-2020, 07:52 AM   #4
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I've been using a jetpack 7730 as a primary internet device for two years, tried the 8800 and it had some software issues, the 7730 turned out to be more reliable for us, YMMV

Note it is prone to overheating, and I have to reconnect to my company VPN every couple hours, but it's workable, wife does video calls on it for work ok 90% of the time but it can have it's frustrations

As others said, spend some time in RV mobile internet .com, IMO worth it to pay their membership to both support them and get more research material

I've pretty much settled on the pepwave max transit duo with 2x cat12 modems and a 4x4 omni mimo antenna for if we start traveling

If you don't know what that all meant, start researching . It's not as complicated as it sounds and you'll be really frustrated shooting in the dark if you don't spend a couple hours reading up

RV mobile internet.com
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:37 PM   #5
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WULFRAAT, Thank you so much for all the great information. I did go on to the RV Mobile internet website. Such a great resource!

As I said earlier, we got a Verizon 8800L Jetpack. It sounds like this will provide the backbone to our setup most of the time.

I will be working with 3 monitors (laptop & 2 slaves) connected remotely to a server at the corporate office. I will be working mostly with accounting software, Outlook and Excel spreadsheets along with document research on the server. I will be communicating with Outlook & Webex, but almost no video. My wife will doing video sessions along with phone sessions as part of her counseling practice. So both data and phone connectivity will be critical.

You mentioned the Netgear 2x2 MIMO antenna as a directional option. Pardon my ignorance. But is this for when it's necessary to point directly at a cell tower?

I was also looking at Cellular boosters on RVMobileInternet.com and they list the weBoost Drive Reach as their top-rated cell booster. I believe this is Wilson product. It seems like this might be good for boosting a weak cell signal in campgrounds, for us a weak Verizon signal.

Since we will be working full-time, we will need to have good connectivity. So that is what we are trying to guarantee as much as possible.

There is so much information on the internet and the forum about WiFi and cell phone connectivity. And I know that no combo of devices is right for everybody. So making judgments about what would be best for us is certainly a challenge.

Your life situation working on the road seems at least somewhat similar to what ours will be.

I wonder if, for instance, we ended up getting a weBoost Reach along with the Pepwave wireless router you referenced and the Netgear MIMO antenna you referenced in your response to my original post, do you think this combo would take care of our connectivity needs?

Again I know one set up does not fit all. But we really need to get this figured out.

Thank you so much for any follow up guidance you might be able to provide. I know that when we get some experience and expertise of our own, we would love to "pay it forward" and help future newbies on the forum.
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:50 AM   #6
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Keep researching, MIMO and a omni or directional antenna is usually recommended over a booster, boosters will increase range but decrease bandwidth, and if you have a booster and a pepwave, you'll be wanting to switch back and forth, the booster eliminates MIMO capability

Check out their videos, very helpful
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:04 AM   #7
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WiFi for working on the Road-Newbies

Quote:
You mentioned the Netgear 2x2 MIMO antenna as a directional option. Pardon my ignorance. But is this for when it's necessary to point directly at a cell tower?
That is correct. The 8800L has 4 Omni (multiple/any) directional antennas. In some cases, it can be helpful to have a directional antenna aimed directly at the tower. This is what the netgear unit does (it was two antennas).

On another note, as noted in the previous post,for high speed data in particular, Multiple antennas (MIMO) working together perform better than a single antenna, generally speaking. This can be the case even when a single antenna is well positioned, like on your roof, believe it or not... see next on weBoost...

Quote:
I was also looking at Cellular boosters on RVMobileInternet.com and they list the weBoost Drive Reach as their top-rated cell booster. I believe this is Wilson product. It seems like this might be good for boosting a weak cell signal in campgrounds, for us a weak Verizon signal.
Yes weBoost=Wilson (via corporate acquisition)

Boosters/repeaters can be helpful. I have one. That being said I rarely need to use it.

Itís important to know that these devices cannot make the actual signal from the tower to your trailer stronger. What they do is grab on to the weak signal from the tower with a single (not MIMO) roof mounted antenna (directional or Omni directional - your choice on what you install), and that signal is sent to an amplifier, which re-broadcasts inside your trailer through a secondary interior antenna.

But you are still working with a weak signal from the tower to begin with. Also, these are single antenna devices which can work well for voice calls, but are not as performant for data as compared to MIMO configurations. The advantage is the placement of the antenna - typically high up on the roof of your trailer, or on a long extendible mast that you can stick way up into the air to get above obstructions like rocks / hillsides / etc. (couple pictures attached on my exterior antenna at the back of my trailer and the interior antenna positioned mid ship inside)

When Iíve had to use mine itís typically been in a pretty desperate (very relative term here I am using it loosely, obviously situation - IE zero bars with my phone inside the trailer, and Iíd have to walk quite a distance from the trailer to get a signal directly on my Phone. In these cases it works well for voice calls.

I rarely use it for high speed data - because if the signal is that bad data is going to be wicked slow anyways. Emails might trickle in, but surfing, video, etc... typically not gonna happen.

Iíve done some testing and in fact the little netgear most often works better than the weBoost in low signal situations where data is needed.

Finally, note that none of the above has anything to do with WiFi - all of these devices above work with LTE / 3G cellular radio signals for mobile devices (different spectrum than WiFi).

For WiFi I really like my 3x3 MIMO pepwave Surf Soho wireless router. I typically push all data (LTE WAN vis 8800L tether and WiFi WAN) through the pepwave which provides the LAN for the trailer (latptops, phones, smart TV, Victron equipment, etc).


Quote:
And I know that no combo of devices is right for everybody. So making judgments about what would be best for us is certainly a challenge.
You nailed it. Need a few different tricks up your sleeve to adapt to the circumstances present when you park your trailer somewhere.

Quote:

I wonder if, for instance, we ended up getting a weBoost Reach along with the Pepwave wireless router you referenced and the Netgear MIMO antenna you referenced in your response to my original post, do you think this combo would take care of our connectivity needs?
This is a great place to start. You may even forgo the expense of the weBoost day 1, and see how things go. The only downside of the above is that you are more or less single threaded on verizon for data performance unless you hotspot off your mobile att phone, in which case you are reliant on the radio in the mobile phone. But again, a weaker At&T signal to your mobile phone that is still usable will beat no signal to a Verizon 8800L

On a side note the nice thing about the pepwave surf soho is that you can have it hotspot off your phone, and then share that connection with other devices in the trailer via secure wireless LAN.

Iíd recommend to spend the $80 bucks for a membership on RV mobile internet - theyíve got some great forums supported by many users who rely on data every day.
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Old 10-18-2020, 09:11 AM   #8
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2021 16' Caravel
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Pep Wave

Here is a seminar that many of you may be interested in . I have Pep Wave equipment on my last boat, and worked great for all my internet - Wi-Fi needs.
Pep Wave is really engaged in the commercial use of their equipment, but also has some great consumer products. I am sure this Webinar would answer a lot of questions that we all have.


https://forum.peplink.com/t/webinar-peplink-for-rv/31033


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