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Old 11-08-2018, 09:57 PM   #1
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Thumbs up OnStar Device for my RV

Iím looking for a device like on star to install in my RV, Sunseeker 2860 2018. I have a Chevy express 4500 body. We have ATT for our cell service but we get dead spots when we travel. If we ever break down we will have no way to call for help. Any device that works in similar fashion will help.
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:31 PM   #2
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Iím looking for a device like on star to install in my RV, Sunseeker 2860 2018. I have a Chevy express 4500 body. We have ATT for our cell service but we get dead spots when we travel. If we ever break down we will have no way to call for help. Any device that works in similar fashion will help.
Switch to Verizon or Sprint . Seriously there are several cell phone signal boosters for RVs. Here is a link to one - weboost https://www.weboost.com/boosters/veh...YaArtJEALw_wcB
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Old 11-08-2018, 10:43 PM   #3
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Why not buy an Onstar kit?


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Brandmoti...waAtJgEALw_wcB
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:25 AM   #4
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OnStar is cellular based so itís not guaranteed to work in all locations just like a cell phone.
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:55 AM   #5
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OnStar Service works using cellular or other wireless phone networks in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, as well as the Global Positioning System ("GPS") satellite network. OnStar services are not available everywhere, particularly in enclosed or remote areas.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnStar
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:55 AM   #6
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AT&T is second only to Verizon in cell coverage. I have gotten coverage in the past year or two where I did not have an AT&T signal before so they are almost equal to Verizon coverage. Neither cover the US 100%. Out west or in mountainous areas both will have dead spots, but both will also have nearly continuous coverage along interstates and major highways.

I don't believe getting an Onstar type system is necessary if you have cell coverage. Weboost makes great RV based cell signal boosters for weak areas... but you still need a signal to boost. Visit their webpage for details and prices...
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:55 AM   #7
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If you peruse the wikipedia link above you'll find that:

- "Blondestar" uses CDMA, which is predominatly Verizon with Sprint and US cellular being minor players, especially outside urban areas. So if you happen to be in an area where even Verizon doesn't have coverage On-star is of no help.

- The aftermarket On-star mirrors have been discontinued in 2014, apparently they didn't work well in RVs and some other vehicles with steep windshields. Currently On-star is only available on GM products.

Personally I found the marketing highly questionable, with TV commercials showing a vehicle having an accident in the middle of nowhere and On-star coming to the rescue. And people fell for it, I used to hang out on Death Valley related message boards when traveling there frequently. Some guy came across a broken down vehicle on Hunter Mountain (not a very busy area) and the occupants initially refused help because they already had "pressed the On-star button". Nevermind they didn't get any response....

If you really feel the need to cover all the bases a satellite phone is the solution.
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Old 11-09-2018, 01:42 PM   #8
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Hand held cell phones have 0.5 to 1 watt of transmit power depending on manufacturer and model. iPhones have a maximum of 600 Milliwatts (0.6 Watts) of transmit power for example.

Car cell phones (like Onstar) have a maximum of 3 watts of transmit power.

The ACTUAL power used varies by the distance to the closest cell phone tower and the quality of the two way signal.

In rural areas, Onstar will connect MANY miles away from where the most powerful hand held cell phone would connect.
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Old 11-09-2018, 02:07 PM   #9
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Car cell phones (like Onstar) have a maximum of 3 watts of transmit power.
Herk,

can you supply any links to an official site that talks about the 3 watt transmit signal?

I found 3 unofficial sites, but those are not from the factory...
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Old 11-09-2018, 03:00 PM   #10
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Herk,

can you supply any links to an official site that talks about the 3 watt transmit signal?

I found 3 unofficial sites, but those are not from the factory...
https://auto.howstuffworks.com/onstar2.htm

Lou
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:20 PM   #11
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Herk,
and that is the only site that I could find that references 3 watts... I only found a couple of others that quote that site... so I am somewhat skeptical since Onstar does NOT toot their own horn over this benefit. I find no other references for the 3 watts output. Yes, the shark fin does make a better antenna then a handheld phone.
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:27 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Herk7769 View Post
Hand held cell phones have 0.5 to 1 watt of transmit power depending on manufacturer and model. iPhones have a maximum of 600 Milliwatts (0.6 Watts) of transmit power for example.

Car cell phones (like Onstar) have a maximum of 3 watts of transmit power.

The ACTUAL power used varies by the distance to the closest cell phone tower and the quality of the two way signal.

In rural areas, Onstar will connect MANY miles away from where the most powerful hand held cell phone would connect.
I donít know if this is still true but OnStar used to be an analog system. As far as I know all newer cell phones are digital. I was told that analog signals are stronger and can cover a greater distance.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:45 PM   #13
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Get a "Spot" device used by off roaders. You can send pre-programed msgs to selected individuals with your GPS location. Not perfect, but better than nothing and cheaper than a sat phone.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:58 PM   #14
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OnStar can be blocked

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OnStar Service works using cellular or other wireless phone networks in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada, as well as the Global Positioning System ("GPS") satellite network. OnStar services are not available everywhere, particularly in enclosed or remote areas.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OnStar
DW was up at the resort where the Cherokee 38P is parked, a heavily wooded area. She locked her keys in the car (as she is prone to do).

She called OnStar but they could not communicate with the vehicle for an unlock. She had to wait a couple of hours for the person they dispatched with a SlimJim to arrive.

Larry
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:03 AM   #15
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I donít know if this is still true but OnStar used to be an analog system. As far as I know all newer cell phones are digital. I was told that analog signals are stronger and can cover a greater distance.
Analog phones were phased out around 2008-09. GM moved On-Star service from Verizon to AT&T around 2012. Chrysler/Ram/Jeep are all AT&T with the uConnect service. Donít know about Ford but their RV rigs are still using roadside pay phones or the tin can & string technology.
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Old 11-10-2018, 12:26 AM   #16
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Analog phones were phased out around 2008-09. GM moved On-Star service from Verizon to AT&T around 2012. Chrysler/Ram/Jeep are all AT&T with the uConnect service. Donít know about Ford but their RV rigs are still using roadside pay phones or the tin can & string technology.
My 2018 F150 uses my cell phone.

I havenít had a GM product since 2011 or 2012.
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Old 11-10-2018, 02:29 AM   #17
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Ain't nuthin' like a big old 10-4...

A good, old fashioned CB radio!

There is almost always someone out there near your 20!

No matter where you are.

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Old 11-10-2018, 06:17 AM   #18
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Analog phones were phased out around 2008-09. GM moved On-Star service from Verizon to AT&T around 2012. Chrysler/Ram/Jeep are all AT&T with the uConnect service. Don’t know about Ford but their RV rigs are still using roadside pay phones or the tin can & string technology.
Nah... Ford owners are self sufficient and don't need no stinkin' help!

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Old 11-10-2018, 09:12 AM   #19
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Ain't nuthin' like a big old 10-4...

A good, old fashioned CB radio!

There is almost always someone out there near your 20!

No matter where you are.

Good point. When I listened to CB regularly I would occasionally hear someone calling for help. Some police used to monitor the CB channels but I suspect many donít anymore.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:29 AM   #20
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Good point. When I listened to CB regularly I would occasionally hear someone calling for help. Some police used to monitor the CB channels but I suspect many donít anymore.
Truckers still use them (CB radios)...

And those small multi-channel walkie-talkies are using the CB channels also.

I have a set of Uniden walkie-talkies and keep them in the truck, but don't use them much as they munch down the batteries fast.

But I keep them handy!

I have a really nice Uniden CB radio that I modified the power cord to a cigarette lighter adapter and a magnetic mount antenna...haven't used it in years!

I've been meaning to install it in my truck.
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