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Old 10-08-2012, 05:21 AM   #1
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Internet Access in the Boondocks

We're just starting our travel trailer adventures this year and are trying diferent places in western Colorado and eastern Utah to see what we like. Been in both well developed campgrounds and some pretty much less developed out in the boonies campgrounds.

Unfortunately, both my wife and I, for various reasons, like to have access to the Internet. We rely mostly on mobile broadband via a Verizon MiFi mobile hot spot - works pretty well, better than I expected - except in some of the places we've found we like to camp.

What are other folks experiences and work-arounds for this? Do mobile signal boosters really seem to work? Is anyone using mobile satellite Internet service?

Thanks for your help,
John
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:00 AM   #2
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I hear what you're saying, but in my books and that is just my opinion, the boonies should never offer ANY services, except for the pure joys of nature and the sounds of wildlife.

If you and your wife "like" to have the internet....well find a campground that offers it - not in the boonies.

There has to be areas in this crazy world we live in that does not allow for cell phones, television, radio or generators. Take a deep breath and enjoy your surroundings.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:03 AM   #3
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Well the reality for many is that the reason you can get away for that weekend in the wilderness is that you can still be reached by the office by email or text. I've had good results with my iPhone on AT&T.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:03 AM   #4
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My present solution is the same one you are using, a VerizonWireless MiFi mobile hot spot. It has worked well for me in (all but one) location attempted so far. However, we did have one campsite where I had to drive about 3 miles back toward civilization to get reliable signal coverage. For the cost, I'm not sure there is anything close to this option in my Michigan area.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:45 AM   #5
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I use the Verizon MiFi also. It works well where there is a signal available. Unfortunately they are many areas in the U.S. where there isn’t a signal available. I hate it when they have commercials on television hyping their 4G network. Instead of building a faster network, I wish they would increase the coverage they have around the country with ANY G.

The other option would be to go with a satellite network, but that has serious limitations too.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:54 AM   #6
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I figure that if my Verizon MiFi can't get a signal, I wasn't intended to have one!!! The problem is that we've become so totally dependent on our wireless devices for tele, email, internet, news, and everything else the we need to live, that it's sometimes scary....

And for those who flame others about the NEED to maintain communications with the world, In addition to having a parent in a care facility (which it seems need to communicate with me two to three times a week) I work in a job that I can totally "unplug" for no more than three days at a time, however, if I can maintain contact and answer emails once or twice a day, I can enjoy a "regular" (10-14 day) vacation!
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:13 AM   #7
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And for those who flame others about the NEED to maintain communications with the world, I work in a job that I can totally "unplug" for no more than three days at a time, however, if I can maintain contact and answer emails once or twice a day, I can enjoy a "regular" (10-14 day) vacation!

Ditto to that. No such thing in my world where I am unplugged as I am on call 24/7 365 for the powers that be.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:37 AM   #8
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I get a kick out of those who are critical of other RV’ers who like to have television reception or Internet available and yet, they go “camping” in a house on wheels with all the other modern conveniences.

It's kinda like the “Pot calling the kettle black.”
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:50 AM   #9
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Just don't know how we made it this long without internet, etc. Have jobs gotten "more important" than before internet? Don't think so. When I was a kid, my dad was tied to a telephone due to his job and guess what? We worked around it and just had to sacrifice what we "Wanted" to do with what we "Had" to do.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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Not meant to be a critisism, but isn't camping supposed to be relaxing?
I remember back before all of this high-tech garbage, when you went camping it meant hiking in the woods, sitting around the campfire, and visiting with whoever you ran into.
Now, with the internet, satellite tv, and all of the other "luxuries", some "campers" never leave their motorhomes or trailers.
Times do change, but one has to wonder if it is for the better.

As for getting internet out in the middle of nowhere, satellite is about the only option I know of.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:01 AM   #11
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Come to think of it, it is a bit ironic that there are those of us who critisize others who want the internet while camping, while many spend all day on this site!
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:42 AM   #12
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If you have Verizon cell phone and a smart phone, Verizon no longer charges for tethering or wireless tethering to your smart phone. For the android phone there are free apps for doing this, we use FoxFi which works good for us. You do use some of your monthly allotted data on your cell phone. We each have the 2GB's plan and have not had any problems. We do not stream video's and avoid other data hog applications while using FoxFi.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:56 AM   #13
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I agree with Road-King. I've been using FoxFi on my Razor Max for the past 9 months and it works fine to connect out laptops or tables. Most I've ever used was 2 GB over a week. Wife and I both have plans with 4GB each so we have never had any issues.
Make sure you setup a secure SSID with a password so the camper next to you doesn't piggy back :>).
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:57 AM   #14
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I have mobile hotspot on the IPad so I can connect the laptop if needed, ideally I wouldn't need to but being the IT guy I'm always on call. Most people don't understand that you don't work on a holiday....
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:13 AM   #15
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Come to think of it, it is a bit ironic that there are those of us who critisize others who want the internet while camping, while many spend all day on this site!
But most of us are not camping. When we camp, we take what we can get and don't gripe.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:15 AM   #16
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I have an old Palm Pre and it has an unlimited free hot spot. If I can get a tower, I get internet. If not, no big deal. Just enjoy camping and reading a book.
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Old 10-08-2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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Isn't this why we have lots of camping choices?

If internet access is a requirement, pick a campground that has it instead requiring all campgrounds to have access.

Dave
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Old 10-16-2012, 06:57 PM   #18
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I can't get AT&T reception at Lake Wateree/just north of Columbia SC. I leave the # for the SP with my neighbor/son and I drive a mile down the road 1-2 x week to check in. There is no TV reception either but I do just fine playing with the dogs, reading, napping, with a little biking thrown in. I leave home to have a change of pace and listen to the sound of the birds rather than traffic.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:43 AM   #19
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Don't judge till you walk in my shoes.
Having said that 1 time a year me and my DH take a few days respite from my son who has Cerebral Palsy. I am his caregiver and have been for 21 years and he goes with us camping everywhere with no regrets but 1 time a year its just my DH and me. But I have to have cell phone so if anything happens to my son the caregiver (my daughter) can contact me. If I didn't have a cell phone you ask? He would be going with us. So again I say "Don't judge me till you walk in my shoes"
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:30 AM   #20
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I love the HD flat screen, wifi and cell service etc in my' house on wheels' and love having all the comforts of home while we RV, not camp, but RV. I gave up roughing it when the kids were in scouts and we slept in tents. Boo-yah.
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