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Old 07-23-2016, 09:50 AM   #1
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Internet service when driving

We currently use tracfones for phone service only. What do you use to have access to internet when driving for checking gas buddy, google maps, campground info etc. and the cost of your plan if you don't mind sharing?

Smart phones?
Tablet with data plan?
Other?

Do you have problems losing connections when traveling cross country?
Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-23-2016, 09:52 AM   #2
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WiFi came with my truck. I pay $10 a month extra to ATT to add that hotspot to my shared family data plan. Yes, I lose signal. Every cell company's service area map is a joke. Lots of dead spots in this big country.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BandJCarm View Post
WiFi came with my truck. I pay $10 a month extra to ATT to add that hotspot to my shared family data plan. Yes, I lose signal. Every cell company's service area map is a joke. Lots of dead spots in this big country.
Thanks for the info. My Class C forester doesn't have wifi built in, but I have tried mobile hotspots, and haven't been very impressed with them. Coverage spotty and very slow. I'm hoping someone has found a better solution, if there is one.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:58 AM   #4
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We both have AT&T for our phones which allow the phones to be used as hotspots. We than turn on the hotspot to allow the I-pad to be used to searcher for information, if needed. We also have paper books such as the "Next Exit" and "The RV'ers Friend" which provides information on rest stops and fueling stations that are RV friendly. Along with paper maps for when we do not have cell tower service. I also purchase every other year the RV Travel & Savings Guide from Good Sam which list campgrounds and the phone numbers.


I than also use the Rand McNally 7710 GPS which provides fueling stations and campgrounds along with eating, banking, hospitals, RV centers, rest areas and shopping places to visit. This backs up the paper book information we use, the DW does this as we drive.


We take all of this information with us when we travel and have used these items many times.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:16 AM   #5
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The wireless carriers are my customers and I would have to say Verizon has the best coverage of the interstate corridors. Google just released their Google.fi which is the best plan out there today. It's $20 per line and .01/mb or $10/Gig. whatever is leftover at the end of the month for each 1G segment, you get a credit for. They use Sprint, T-Mo, and wifi for unlimited calling/text. The downside is they only currently offer Nexus 6P and no family shared plan. Check out their site as they have a nifty plan calculator.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:32 AM   #6
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We both have AT&T for our phones which allow the phones to be used as hotspots. We than turn on the hotspot to allow the I-pad to be used to searcher for information, if needed. We also have paper books such as the "Next Exit" and "The RV'ers Friend" which provides information on rest stops and fueling stations that are RV friendly. Along with paper maps for when we do not have cell tower service. I also purchase every other year the RV Travel & Savings Guide from Good Sam which list campgrounds and the phone numbers.

I than also use the Rand McNally 7710 GPS which provides fueling stations and campgrounds along with eating, banking, hospitals, RV centers, rest areas and shopping places to visit. This backs up the paper book information we use, the DW does this as we drive.


We take all of this information with us when we travel and have used these items many times.
With iPads and tablets the hotspot seems to be the best option. Both iPads have cellular capabilities but we don't use it. AT&T and others give you a $10 "deal" to use cellular on the iPad but it uses the shared data on your plan, which includes the iPhones. Duuuuuhhh, why pay extra to use data already paid for since, at least for us, the iPads are always within the phone hotspot range.

For nav on a longer trip we use TomTom app. It's a little more work to set up a trip but when using it the presentation is far superior to AppleMaps or Google map. Plus, TomTom has all its data stored on the device so it doesn't need any cellular/WiFi connection.

Our normal setup is one Iphone resting one the instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel and being used as a rear observation camera. The iPad Mini is attached to the center dash ac outlet and displaying TomTom, and the other iPhone is available for miscellaneous info like Gas Buddy, RV Parky, etc.

Since the TomTom app doesn't need cellular data it works just fine when cellular is not available. But, it's a pretty rare occurrence to not have cellular coverage.

The plan cost is $171 (including taxes) for five iPhones, 15 gig shared rollover data and the usual unlimited talk and text.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:39 AM   #7
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This keeps the Grandkids Ipads going.

This keeps the Grandkids Ipads going....most of the time.

Inexpensive Mobile Wi-Fi | WiFi Hotspot | Internet on the Go

Hotspot and data cards sold at WallyWorld.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:45 AM   #8
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Cell phone with sprint (unlimited data and no noticeable slowdown)
iPad with Verizon
iPad with sprint

Plan costs on iPads vary based on how many gigs we expect to use. Verizon seems to be a bit cheaper and have better coverage for the iPad, but heir data rates kill me on my cell phone, which is my primary data when at parks with slow or no internet service

Between these 3 we always have connection except in very remote mountainous areas.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:10 PM   #9
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I have not tried it but I've got a friend that has straight talk and uses foxfi app. 8 dollar one time fee for app. He says it works good for him. This app makes your phone the hot spot. He uses the 10g plan for 55 dollars
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:15 PM   #10
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We have straight talk. For $42.50/mo. We get unlimited talk, text, and datea. First 5 gigs are high speed, after that it slows down considerably. There are dead spots, but 95%of the time we get service.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:35 PM   #11
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Verizon has very good coverage when you are on the interstate. (and pretty good coverage in most places) If we need to use the iPad or laptop we hotspot off the iPhone.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:37 PM   #12
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I have the Onstar AT&T hotspot in my Silverado, but cancelled service after 3-months. Probably the biggest mistake Onstar ever did and that was to switch from Verizon service in 2014 and prior vehicles to AT&T for us out west.
Although AT&T cell service is ok, their LTE/3G does not exist anyplaces I camp, so why have it?
So I rely on a Verizon smart phone to browse the news if needed.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:42 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modemem View Post
This keeps the Grandkids Ipads going....most of the time.

Inexpensive Mobile Wi-Fi | WiFi Hotspot | Internet on the Go

Hotspot and data cards sold at WallyWorld.
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:04 PM   #14
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We have Verizon and it will be what I stick with. Right now I have a very expensive plan and when they are up, I will be going with one of their pre-paid plans for our phones and my Samsung Tablet. Sure there are dead spots, but I have been able to get service in some pretty surprising places.
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:15 PM   #15
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We have T-mobile for our LG 4GLTE cell phones and use them for checking Gas Buddy, posting to Facebook, checking maps using Google maps, etc. T-Mobiles coverage is excellent in most major cities as well as along most freeways East of the Mississippi. T-Mobile may also be a good choice west of the Mississippi but I haven't been there since the inception of cell phones LOL.

We have Xfinity internet service at home so those hotspots are available in most major cities at no extra charge if we want to use the laptop or tablet.

Walmarts, Home Depots, Sams Clubs and most restaurants have free wi-fi if the need arises.

Then we recently purchased a Straight Talk no contract 4GLTE Mobile Hotspot that operates on the AT&T network from Walmart.com. Data costs $15 for 1 gig or $25 for a 2 gig refill that is good for 30 days. We bought this strictly so we could check email, post to facebook, and pay bills online when we were unable to access the internet any other way. The reason being is that AT&T has probably the best rural coverage in the nation and the only time we haven't found it available ( T-Mobile uses the AT&T network for roaming), there was no internet available for anyone regardless of the carrier.

I know some families love being connected and 1 gig would never be enough to satisfy them, but 1 gig is 250- 4 meg pictures posted to facebook, 1000 -1 meg webpages, and 10,000- 100K emails.

Murelene's Equinox is capable of being a mobile hotspot. She will buy 1 gig of data that does not have an expiration date for about $15. It has been a year since we last purchased any data for that plan and we still have about 200 meg available for use.

How much mobile internet access will cost is really dependent on how well connected you want to be.. Remember one- two hour movie uses about 6 GIG of data.
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Old 07-23-2016, 01:33 PM   #16
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My smart phone costs $10 a month. Phone and text all the time at that rate. If I can connect to WiFi I get full Internet with no data limit.

When traveling in the RV for about $0.85 a day I get full Internet when driving. One tank using Gas buddy savings can pay for a few days service.

I can turn this extra service on or off a couple times a month.

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Old 07-23-2016, 01:52 PM   #17
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As an old guy I have service on my Iphone through Consumer Cellular through AARP. I use the built in hot spot (no extra charge) and have the WAZE app on the phone.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:52 PM   #18
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I have a unit from AT&T it gives us our home phone and 10gb of data for our computers a month.cost is $87.00 / month. We used it when we left New York in January and drove to Las Vegas,stayed there for 4 months and returned to New York.We use it as our regular home phone and take it with us when traveling.My motorhome has full time 110Vac and we NEVER lost a call or a signal People call us and think were home in New York and are surprised when we tell em were on the road. Their is cheaper systems out there but we like this plan.Only once did we go over the monthly 10Gb limit and they chg.$10.00 to add another GB.
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Old 07-23-2016, 03:59 PM   #19
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Many thanks

Thanks guys and gals, I appreciate the quick responses to my questions. So far it seems there are a lot of options: ATT, VERIZON, GOOGLE.FI, SPRINT, T-MOBILE, FOXFI, STRAIGHTALK, and a few other ideas I need to
start research on.
I have the Garmin RV 760 GPS for some info, but would need internet anyway.
Now if someone could find a service that was good enough to stream Netflix, we'd be all set, but we do have a few hundred movies on dvd.
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:24 PM   #20
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Seems like the general consensus is using a phone Hotspot feature to create a wifi network. Even at locations with free wifi I usually still use the hotspot. Most public wifi connections are so slow they're almost unusable. Speedtesting most of them show results of 0.5 to 1.5 MBPS speed, and even less using VPN services. LTE speeds are usually around 35-40 mbps, sometimes as high as 90. But rarely do I see speeds less than 12-15.
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