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Old 11-18-2021, 10:50 AM   #1
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Why is campground WiFi always abysmal?

Why is campground WiFi so bad!? I no longer even consider WiFi as an amenity, because it's always useless. And I actually find it irritating when it is listed as an amenity.

Last weekend I was in Vermont and the WiFi would almost play Netflix, though not quite, and I commented this was the best WiFi we've ever had at a campground, and it was still terrible (and the campground was pretty empty this time of year). Even right next to a router with excellent signal, I never get anything usable. And this has been universal everywhere we've stayed, whether out in the sticks, or right in a town/city.
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Old 11-18-2021, 10:54 AM   #2
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They refuse to upgrade their internet/wifi infrastructure at most parks. I've been to some where they have good coverage with plenty of repeaters; You usually pay more at those parks, or they want you to pay more for 'premium' wifi, like at hotels, which I refuse to do. I'm happy if I can open a webpage for nearby restaurant searches and the like, or stream music.


**Freaking Vermont. Now that's a place where wifi would be important. You can drive 50 miles in Vermont and not get any cellular service at all. I used to live in Vermont 30 years ago. Nothing has changed.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:06 AM   #3
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Campground WIFI at 'most' campgrounds isn't meant for streaming. Many don't have the infrastructure within to provide big bandwidth data. Many others simply cannot get a broadband service delivered to them (by the Internet Providers) to supply enough bandwidth for the entire campground to be streaming.

Then, you have folks who do try to stream and make it worse for everyone else.

Unless the campground has the capability and the ability to upgrade your WIFI connection suitable for streaming, please don't 'hog' all the bandwidth so others can't even check email.

Streaming can eat up 2-4GB of data an hour. That's a HUGE number when you start to add up over (insert number here) campers trying to stream! Even with a fiber connection to the campground, that much bandwidth is expensive. And, most don't have access to fiber.

If you want to stream, sign on with an internet provider via a mobile hotspot and provide your own internet.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
Why is campground WiFi so bad!? I no longer even consider WiFi as an amenity, because it's always useless. And I actually find it irritating when it is listed as an amenity.

Last weekend I was in Vermont and the WiFi would almost play Netflix, though not quite, and I commented this was the best WiFi we've ever had at a campground, and it was still terrible (and the campground was pretty empty this time of year). Even right next to a router with excellent signal, I never get anything usable. And this has been universal everywhere we've stayed, whether out in the sticks, or right in a town/city.

Probably because it was installed years ago by popular demand strictly for email, and some surfing the internet at the cheapest price. Back then it was never designed to stream video or stand up to the bandwidth requirements that multiple devices demand when everyone in the camping party wants to connect. That and the fact that it probably has never been upgraded which would come at great expense to the campground (thousands of $$) just to get it to be able to barely handle todays normal usage. Streaming would strain even any moderately price upgrade. It's more complicated than one thinks to upgrade wireless technology. It involved tons of equipment strategically placed and aimed around the campground to best eliminate dead spots. In the case of the resort where I am now, ALL the equipment including underground cabling & poles had to be replaced. Even at that, they had to go back to the internet provider company (Frontier) and get them to supply more bandwith into the campground (additional monthly cost). 6 months in now and the internet company is still in here daily "tweaking" the system to gain optimum performance
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Old 11-18-2021, 12:24 PM   #5
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Probably because it was installed years ago by popular demand strictly for email, and some surfing the internet at the cheapest price. Back then it was never designed to stream video or stand up to the bandwidth requirements that multiple devices demand when everyone in the camping party wants to connect. That and the fact that it probably has never been upgraded which would come at great expense to the campground (thousands of $$) just to get it to be able to barely handle todays normal usage. Streaming would strain even any moderately price upgrade. It's more complicated than one thinks to upgrade wireless technology. It involved tons of equipment strategically placed and aimed around the campground to best eliminate dead spots. In the case of the resort where I am now, ALL the equipment including underground cabling & poles had to be replaced. Even at that, they had to go back to the internet provider company (Frontier) and get them to supply more bandwith into the campground (additional monthly cost). 6 months in now and the internet company is still in here daily "tweaking" the system to gain optimum performance
For people who still believe "campgrounds" are for "camping" WiFi is not important.

For those who are full timers and working from a campground I think the next iteration of "Campground WiFi" will be a tiered system. Free WiFi for those who don't need the bandwidth and are merely checking e-mail or a simple web search. Those who want to stream video's from their favorite service can pony up some extra $$ and get access to a satellite broadband service provided by the campground.

I personally wouldn't want to be charged more for a service I wouldn't use and those who demand it should pay for it.

I had a friend who passed away a couple years ago who was a writer. He had a Datastorm Satellite system on his MH and was able to avoid campgrounds most of the time. Expensive, yes, but considering the number of days he spent NOT in a campground as a full timer it was in the end more economical.
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Old 11-18-2021, 12:28 PM   #6
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Campground WIFI at 'most' campgrounds isn't meant for streaming. Many don't have the infrastructure within to provide big bandwidth data. Many others simply cannot get a broadband service delivered to them (by the Internet Providers) to supply enough bandwidth for the entire campground to be streaming.

Then, you have folks who do try to stream and make it worse for everyone else.....
Truer words were never spoken.
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Old 11-18-2021, 12:59 PM   #7
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Campground WIFI at 'most' campgrounds isn't meant for streaming. Many don't have the infrastructure within to provide big bandwidth data. Many others simply cannot get a broadband service delivered to them (by the Internet Providers) to supply enough bandwidth for the entire campground to be streaming.

Then, you have folks who do try to stream and make it worse for everyone else.

Unless the campground has the capability and the ability to upgrade your WIFI connection suitable for streaming, please don't 'hog' all the bandwidth so others can't even check email.

Streaming can eat up 2-4GB of data an hour. That's a HUGE number when you start to add up over (insert number here) campers trying to stream! Even with a fiber connection to the campground, that much bandwidth is expensive. And, most don't have access to fiber.

If you want to stream, sign on with an internet provider via a mobile hotspot and provide your own internet.
In my opinion, I shouldn't have to be made to feel bad for using a service that is advertised and paid for. If they advertise it as slow internet only suitable for web browsing/checking email, and advise against streaming, than fine. I certainly won't be the one hogging the bandwidth. But, if it isn't, it's 2021, streaming is the norm, not the exception.
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:06 PM   #8
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For people who still believe "campgrounds" are for "camping" WiFi is not important.
LOL. If you believe "campgrounds" are for "camping," an RV shouldn't even be in the discussion. In my tent camping days, I could definitely get behind this sentiment (and rarely camped in campgrounds; usually out in the woods). However, I tow around a small house with television, lights, heater, air conditioner, sink, oven, microwave, fridge, shower, toilet, couch, beds, etc. And I've got a very small basic travel trailer. Discussing whether WiFi is important when "camping" in an RV seems a silly distinction.
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:08 PM   #9
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In my opinion, I shouldn't have to be made to feel bad for using a service that is advertised and paid for. If they advertise it as slow internet only suitable for web browsing/checking email, and advise against streaming, than fine. I certainly won't be the one hogging the bandwidth. But, if it isn't, it's 2021, streaming is the norm, not the exception.
How about only streaming when the WiFi is advertised as being capable of streaming?

I've stayed at campsites like that, and it's great. Otherwise, I use my phone's hotspot or don't stream out of consideration for others.

I guess I'm just a dupe.
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:27 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GravelRider View Post
Why is campground WiFi so bad!? I no longer even consider WiFi as an amenity, because it's always useless. And I actually find it irritating when it is listed as an amenity.

Last weekend I was in Vermont and the WiFi would almost play Netflix,

The campground wifi is so bad because of people are trying to run stuff like netflix.


the average require bandwidth for netflix is 3mbps for standard video, 5mbps for HD but it works best with 15-25mbps.


now remember your campground is getting as much bandwidth as most rural homes, maybe 50mbps? that is less than 10 users might get to use netflix



its really made for checking email, menus, etc.
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:40 PM   #11
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We stayed at this campground a couple of weeks ago. Our site was at the extreme limits of the property. Excellent WiFi! I did not bother to check the speed. Streaming was good. But then I get good streaming using my phones tethering service. Most of the time.

Check the pictures. See that tower? It is actually smack dab in the middle of the campground. This place upgraded their WiFi! There were 4 or 5 WiFi antennas pointed strategically to cover the entire campground. The tower also had another radio service on it. I did not bother to analyze what it might have been. So the Campground owner is also making money on that.

Anyway, my point is this place spent the money$.

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Old 11-18-2021, 01:42 PM   #12
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In my opinion, I shouldn't have to be made to feel bad for using a service that is advertised and paid for. If they advertise it as slow internet only suitable for web browsing/checking email, and advise against streaming, than fine. I certainly won't be the one hogging the bandwidth. But, if it isn't, it's 2021, streaming is the norm, not the exception.
They don't have to advertise that. In most cases that's just the way it is
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:47 PM   #13
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LOL. If you believe "campgrounds" are for "camping," an RV shouldn't even be in the discussion. In my tent camping days, I could definitely get behind this sentiment (and rarely camped in campgrounds; usually out in the woods). However, I tow around a small house with television, lights, heater, air conditioner, sink, oven, microwave, fridge, shower, toilet, couch, beds, etc. And I've got a very small basic travel trailer. Discussing whether WiFi is important when "camping" in an RV seems a silly distinction.

I'm pretty much "old school" when it comes to camping. I will admit I bring my creature comforts with me but I now rarely stay in an RV Campground with full hookups. Maybe one or two nights out of a month long journey from boondocking spot to boondocking spot to dump tanks, fill with water, and take advantage of nearby stores to restock.

My TT isn't huge and gets in and out of public lands quite well. Self contained for up to two weeks if I practice good "water discipline".
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:51 PM   #14
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I'm pretty much "old school" when it comes to camping. I will admit I bring my creature comforts with me but I now rarely stay in an RV Campground with full hookups. Maybe one or two nights out of a month long journey from boondocking spot to boondocking spot to dump tanks, fill with water, and take advantage of nearby stores to restock.

My TT isn't huge and gets in and out of public lands quite well. Self contained for up to two weeks if I practice good "water discipline".
We mostly boondock or stay with no hookups either in our 22 ft TT. And maybe that's why I get frustrated when I spend $50-$100+ a night for a full hookup RV park that advertises wifi, and it's basically worthless. I end up using my phone's hotspot instead.

I can make it 5 days with 'good' water discipline... But 90% of that water usage is my wife and kids. If it were just me, I'm sure I could go much longer.
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:59 PM   #15
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I do believe those campgrounds who are able to get increased bandwidth, will do so as time goes on. Just like when cable became available. Today, many pay for that and never use it and yet don't complain they are paying for that service. I believe every campground we've stayed in over the last several years that had WIFI spelled out whether you could/couldn't stream and if additional bandwidth was available.

Again, the amount of bandwidth needed to supply streaming data for the entire campground is HUGE so I agree, many campgrounds will go to a tiered structure... IF and that's a big IF... they are even able to get more bandwidth coming in. Many campgrounds are located in geographical areas where additional bandwidth simply isn't available.

With a tiered structure, if YOU want more you can get it but Joe Smith, who doesn't own an internet capable device, doesn't have to help foot the huge bill.

Seems the days of going camping to get away from visitors, phones, television and now connectivity are long gone... even for weekend warriors. Everyone wants exactly what they have in their homes (sometimes more) and no longer wanting the "different experience" that camping used to bring.

How did we ever survive getting up in the morning, building a nice campfire, perking coffee, frying bacon & eggs, taking a walk, sitting around the fire chatting, (in person) playing cards and smelling the fresh air without having to 'check in' with an app first!
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Old 11-18-2021, 01:59 PM   #16
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We mostly boondock or stay with no hookups either in our 22 ft TT. And maybe that's why I get frustrated when I spend $50-$100+ a night for a full hookup RV park that advertises wifi, and it's basically worthless. I end up using my phone's hotspot instead.

I can make it 5 days with 'good' water discipline... But 90% of that water usage is my wife and kids. If it were just me, I'm sure I could go much longer.
One way to reduce water use is to use disposable plates, bowls, utensils, and cups. Just like a 4th of July Picnic, etc. Even just me alone, I find my water savings from washing dishes is significant. Not just from the Fresh Water tank but how fast the gray water tank fills as well.

Bathing water use can be greatly reduced as well by using bath wipes similar to what are used in hospitals with patients that can't use a shower.

Put the package in the microwave for a few seconds and they are nice and warm.

As for disposal, all but plastic items can safely be burned in the campfire.
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Old 11-18-2021, 02:06 PM   #17
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Elon Musk will hopefully make this streaming controversy moot before long...
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Old 11-18-2021, 02:08 PM   #18
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One way to reduce water use is to use disposable plates, bowls, utensils, and cups. Just like a 4th of July Picnic, etc. Even just me alone, I find my water savings from washing dishes is significant. Not just from the Fresh Water tank but how fast the gray water tank fills as well.

Bathing water use can be greatly reduced as well by using bath wipes similar to what are used in hospitals with patients that can't use a shower.

Put the package in the microwave for a few seconds and they are nice and warm.

As for disposal, all but plastic items can safely be burned in the campfire.
We do use disposable items when boondocking to save water, which from an ecological standpoint, I dislike, but if I want to cut down on water usage, that's what we do.

If you can convince my wife to use bath wipes instead of a shower, I will buy you a case of beer. She's gotten good at the 'navy shower,' but there's a limit to what she's willing to do.
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Old 11-18-2021, 03:24 PM   #19
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Infrastructure is expensive and it's not installed or upgraded over night. If I'm digging up my campground; campers don't want to stay there. Never mind the cost if I have to "repave" the roads after an upgrade. The internet service installed just 10 years ago is already outdated and slow because the explosion of devices connected has increased exponentially. Constant upgrades to infrastructure requires capital investment that is generated by higher fees. Towers and repeaters have to be approved by all sorts of agencies before they can be constructed.
If you want all the amenities expect higher campground pricing. None of this stuff happens because of wizards or magic. Again; welcome to Business 101.
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Old 11-18-2021, 11:44 PM   #20
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Today it’s WiFi, tomorrow…….

There was no such thing as WiFi when I first started camping, now it’s expected as a standard amenity by most RVers. With the new all electric Ford F150 arriving soon, we can expect electric vehicle charging capability to be an expected amenity at RV parks in the not too distant future. Embrace technology and the future, don’t live in the past. (Hey, you kids get off my lawn!”) lol
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