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Old 10-28-2020, 01:30 PM   #1
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Searching for a quality mobile WiFi Hotspot

Dear Forum,

We are owners of a 2020 Rockwood A214HW camper trailer equipped with a WiFi antenna. Many of the places we want to go do not have WiFi availability in the park. As a result we are looking to get a mobile hot spot capable of handling sufficient data and traffic for iPads, our cell phones and maybe a streaming service. I am looking for advice on what device and carrier the community has found to meet their needs. We are looking for quality and ease of use before price.

Any and all advice is welcome.

Scott
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:48 PM   #2
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Scott, welcome to the forum, I see it is your 1st post.

If you do a search you will find many previous discussions on WIFI. It is an often talked about subject.

As you found, many places don't have good WIFI simply because they are located out in the boonies away from any infrastructure that could provide it. Others don't have a clue how to make it work throughout their campgrounds and so forth. But, just like offering/providing cable several years ago, many parks/campgrounds are starting to get with the program.

We don't know your current cellular situation (do your phones have hotspots?/can you add a hotspot to your current plan?) but there are several companies often mentioned when talking hotspots... Visible, Boost, FMCA (Family Motor Coach Association) to name a few.

Most folks (including myself) have a hotspot from more than one carrier as reception varies nationwide. I often work from our R/V and having coverage is a must.
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Old 10-28-2020, 01:53 PM   #3
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Thanks 5picker. Our phones do have hot spots, but are looking towards satellite solutions since cellular coverage is spotty as you say, especially out from populated areas (which we all frequent). So, net, refinement is satellite...
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Old 10-28-2020, 02:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by SEBelanger View Post
Thanks 5picker. Our phones do have hot spots, but are looking towards satellite solutions since cellular coverage is spotty as you say, especially out from populated areas (which we all frequent). So, net, refinement is satellite...
Well... satellite internet coverage is a toss up with no clear winner.

Things like Viasat and Hughes Net isn't what it is cracked up to be with its high latency, low download speeds, almost non-existent upload speeds, large dish size and is pretty pricey.

Elon Musk's Starlink is slowly starting to deploy in beta mode in a few parts of the US but reports of $99 per month will scare off many if/when they can launch the other 12,000 birds into low orbit.
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Old 10-29-2020, 12:20 PM   #5
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We use Calyx. Unlimited data is hard to find. They run off Sprint so we did have a few dead areas out west but I'm hopeful that after Tmobile merges tower networks it will get better
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Old 10-29-2020, 01:43 PM   #6
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Works for me

Quote:
Originally Posted by SEBelanger View Post
Dear Forum,

We are owners of a 2020 Rockwood A214HW camper trailer equipped with a WiFi antenna. Many of the places we want to go do not have WiFi availability in the park. As a result we are looking to get a mobile hot spot capable of handling sufficient data and traffic for iPads, our cell phones and maybe a streaming service. I am looking for advice on what device and carrier the community has found to meet their needs. We are looking for quality and ease of use before price.

Any and all advice is welcome.

Scott

I've had good experiences from MI to TX with my Netgear MR1100 hotspot - ATT sim and ATT unlimited data pkg that sometimes throttles down after 22 GB. You may have to search out a 3rd party for the ATT data pkg as I've been told that's the way it works with ATT now.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:03 PM   #7
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We've found that hotspots on the cellphone are not NEAR as good as a standalone hotspot from your provider. They also don't tie up the phone while using them. We have both Sprint/T-Mobile and AT&T. We use them for some internet/emails but mostly streaming TV and they've been fine when campground cable is horrible.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:18 PM   #8
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Check out consumer Cellular. They have unlimited data plans and their price is great. They don't have the best reception everywhere, but they do use the AT&t network.
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:25 PM   #9
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In post #3, the OP states that they DON'T want a cellular plan. They want a satellite plan.

Quote:

"Our phones do have hot spots, but are looking towards satellite solutions since cellular coverage is spotty as you say, especially out from populated areas (which we all frequent). So, net, refinement is satellite..."
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Old 10-29-2020, 02:29 PM   #10
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Here is the device that, as soon as I had one in my hand, I immediately dubbed "crack cocaine for RV Internet". It uses good cellular antennas so performs great in weak cell areas. You can also configure the wifi as a repeater, thus able to "boost" weak wifi as well. You have to provide a SIM card. Check out Twilio SIM cards, which will connect to (nearly) any available cell service on the planet. Amazing technology. Microhard - LTECube-CAT4NA2 - IoT 150 Mbps Low Power, Low Cost CAT4 LTE Ethernet Gateway
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:21 PM   #11
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Sasch,

Is this a stand alone device and can therefore be moved as needed to other venues?
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Old 10-29-2020, 07:28 PM   #12
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Sasch,

Is this a stand alone device and can therefore be moved as needed to other venues?

You mean the CUBE? Yes. Just need 12 VDC power (or 110 VAC with the included adapter) or a 10 watt USB port.
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:54 AM   #13
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Winegard ConnecT 2.0

I recently got a Winegard ConnecT 2.0 wifi/LTE extender. It's a MIMO cell repeater and wifi extender.

Much to my surprise today, I was about a mile down the beach and still had internet through it... and I haven't even installed it on the roof yet, it's laying on the bed in my cabover!

It does require its own SIM card, and I signed up for the Winegard data plan since nothing else worked at the park I was staying at. But it says it also works with ATT or Verizon SIMs, and T-Mobile at some point down the road.

About $350 on Amazon.

The only gripe I have is -- it should come with at least a day of data right out of the box, but since it didn't, I had to drive a few miles to a library and use their wifi set up the subscription.

Then I had very good internet for several rainy days, until the PNW cold snap pushed me south.
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