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Old 05-04-2011, 11:47 AM   #1
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Connecting While On The Road

Hi All,

Any advice on how to use networking while on the road in an rv? I want to be able to check email and do web browser while in travel status. I do not have a fancy phone with a data plan. What about a netbook or etablet? Anyone have experience with them?
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:11 PM   #2
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I just use my android verizon phone to check my emails anywhere I can get phone service on the road. We use the gps function almost everyday. Can also web browse and find places of interest. When we stop somewhere with wifi, I can use computer.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:33 PM   #3
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We've found that some campgrounds have an area, such as the visitor center, where you can get free wifi.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:38 PM   #4
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There are alot of campgrounds that now have wireless for your use. It is setup as public domain, and you will need to be careful when you use it, but you should be fine. I have used it at campgrounds before. You also have alot of fast food places that offer it while you are traveling. A small netbook is a good way to go.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #5
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For just email and surfing I recommend an iPad with 3G and WiFi. It will also have a GPS for navigation apps.
I use COPILOT for in-truck navigation.

Apple - iPad - All-new design. Video calls. HD video. And more.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Free wifi is available in a LOT of places...starbucks, you can park outside of hotels and motels; I even get wifi in Sams club; you should definately be able to keep in touch without purchasing a fancy phone or plan. Take your wifi enabled laptop for a walk
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:33 PM   #7
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Most military FAMCAMPS do not have wifi (and those that do have VERY limited connections). What may have been adequate (barely) three or four years ago are woefully inadequate with the proliferation on smart wifi devices. Worse yet, since once you shut your computer or device off you might not get a connection until 2-3 in the morning, most quietly leave their computers on to keep the connection.

Without 3G you will need to drive to the base library (or off base with your laptop). Some base FAMCAMPS can be a half hour from the main facility or closest town.

If you are at MacDill, there is a dedicated telephone pole for calling 911 since cell coverage is near nonexistent at the FAMCAMP and the wifi is extremely hard to connect to.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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The most available source is your smart phone. I use mine as a wireless hot spot and can connect up to 5 devices to it. I have even been able to stream movies from Netflix on occasion if the phone signal is strong enough. The least expensive source is free wireless but it is hit or miss if you can find it and connect to it. I camp in rural NH and found the smart phone is my best resource for communication.
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Old 05-04-2011, 04:57 PM   #9
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We have a MIFI from Verizon. Its about the size of 5 credit cards stacked on top of each other. It uses the cellular network and can have up to 8 devises connected wirelessly to it (laptop, ipod, etc). It costs about 50 dollars a month for 5 gigs of download. 5 gig doesn't sound like much, but it really is. Unless you are playing online games and downloading movies a lot, you won't come close, we never have. My wife will turn it on and set it on the dash of the truck, so the kids and her can watch you tube or what ever else they want while going down the road.
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:00 PM   #10
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We used our iPhones on our last trip and the worked GREAT!
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Old 05-04-2011, 05:38 PM   #11
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I have a Blackberry and use Tether. A one time fee for the app for the phone, free download for the computer. Works great.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:00 PM   #12
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We just got our smart phones a few months ago and plan to tether when camping this season. We have in the past used a truck stop, the office at a famcamp, wifi with limits at the cg, or snagged what we could from others. Usually we just did without but think we will try it this year.
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Old 05-04-2011, 09:16 PM   #13
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In our case - we're from Canada - we use WiFi, as the roaming charges for data access on mobile phones or tablets are obscene.

We can always find free WiFi access somewhere and most campgrounds now offer it too we found.
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