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Old 07-23-2012, 08:34 PM   #1
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Brand: Airstream
Model: Overlander
State: Washington
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Internet while camping?

I've been wondering how important internet access is for folks when camping. I use a cellular aircard and often choose camping locations based on available signal. I especially like campgrounds that have wifi available although find that coverage is often slow or spotty.

Do you want to be connected when camping? What do you do for service?
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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Brand: Redwood
Model: RW39MB
State: New York
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We're not full timers, but are long timers spending approx 2/3 of the year in our 5th wheel. We're using a Verizon USB Modem connected to a Cradle Point router to enable connection of 2 laptops and a wireless printer. Access is very important to us as we need to pay bills on-line with traveling and of course to keep up with what's happening on all the RV Forums.
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Old 07-26-2012, 03:26 AM   #3
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We opted for the Verizon mifi and have been pleased with it so far. It's 4g where available and 3g when not. My wife is pursuing a masters degree and most of her classes are online so we need reliable connectivity and other than a few times when we've camped in places with very poor cell coverage the mifi has worked out fine.
I created a website that we update weekly that enables our family and friends to follow us on our RV adventure so I too need internet connectivity. Like Janet, we look for campgrounds with free wireless internet but the speed of their wifi can be painfully slow. I prefer to use the free wireless when I upload pictures for the website and save the bandwidth of our mifi for my wife.
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Old 09-06-2012, 10:39 PM   #4
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Verizon Mifi

We also use the Verizon Mifi. Have been full timing for over 10 years and used to have to find a campground with wifi, a city library, or someplace else where we could pick up a signal that wasn't encrypted. I was always a little worried about the open networks, especially when I was sending some private information. With the Mifi, I'm on a secure network, can use it going down the road, and can print with the wireless printer instead of having to hook the laptop up whenever I want to print. Depending on the area and the number of people on, it's sometimes a little slower, but I'm retired and what's the rush.
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Old 11-05-2012, 05:23 PM   #5
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Model: 814RB
State: West Virginia
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THOR #116
Wifi is important as I teach online. I can do many things from my Verizon smartphone but I often need full Internet at least once on our 2 - 3 day trips.

When we camp at state parks, that is not an issue as most have lodges with wifi and I can take the TV and park outside and work. National Parks usually require a McDonalds trip.

If we camped more than once or twice a month for a few days, I would make my phone a hotspot, but I am too cheap to add that to my Verizon plan.
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Old 11-13-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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Wifi isn't that important to us (most of the time) Every fall we spend about a month in the NF dry camp with absolutely no service. We didn't have phone service there for many years then we discovered the Wilson phone booster. What a wonderful product.Now we have phone service in case of emergencies.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:42 AM   #7
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We like to keep in touch with family and friends while we winter in warmer climes from our home in Calgary, AB, Canada. We try to find campgrounds with free WiFi if we can.

Thanks to all for the info on your Verizon MiFi. We will look into that as we have a Verizon phone we use while in the USA.

LLOYD S
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:13 AM   #8
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Just an update to my previous post on using Verizon.
Our plan was to get a new SIM card for our iPad from them and then "pay as you go" for the time we are in the USA and WiFi was unavailable. No go!

Our Cdn iPad is on GSM and Verizon is not.
Also tried AT&T (who ARE on GSM) but in the end they wanted a $500.00 (not a typo!) deposit.

Guess we will stick to campgrounds with WiFi.
LLOYD S.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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Just like Lloyd mentioned, I hear nothing but great things about these Wilson signal boosters:
Wilson Sleek Cell Phone/Hotspot Cradle Booster - 815226, 67 Reviews : 3Gstore.com

The above signal booster can be used with an external antenna to get signal in previously dark areas.
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Old 11-27-2012, 08:29 PM   #10
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THOR #88
If we can get WIFI in RV parks that is usually what I use. If not I use my HTC EVO 3D with EasyTether for internet access. We use Sprint and I have always been able to get a good signal no matter where we travel.
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:16 AM   #11
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Have you ever stopped to think about how full timers did it back before we had mail forwarding services, online shopping, banking and bill pay, cell phones, GPS and everything else we take for granted these days?
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Old 11-28-2012, 01:43 PM   #12
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We didn't get the cradle like Andy has a link to. Ours has an external antenna, plus an internal antenna. We were a little concerned about the radiation with the cradle seeing as you hold it in your hand while using the phone. I don't know if that is a valid concern or not, but it did influence our decision on which model we bought.
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