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Old 05-05-2019, 05:31 AM   #1
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Cell Phone Signal Booster

We have a 2018 Dutch Star 4002 with the Nova awnings. We want to install a cell phone signal booster antenna permanently on the roof. My understanding is that for best performance, the antenna must extend above the awnings and flaring along the sides of the roof. Has anyone found a cell phone signal booster system with an antenna that can be permanently mounted on the roof and raised and lowered remotely from inside the motorhome? What are you using?
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:51 AM   #2
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I have a WeBoost cell signal booster and it works. I have the external antenna attached atop a 8' PVC pole that is attached to the side of our coach with suction cups. It must be installed and removed every time we travel. It reaches about 3' above the roof.

If you are looking for a permanent solution some folks have attached the antenna to the roof ladder or to the top of the air conditioner unit.

Lots of creative ways to skin this cat.
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Old 05-05-2019, 06:11 AM   #3
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The days of Weboost and WiFi ranger are over. I used Weboost successfully and did get results but there are better options now. For the Weboost the external antenna type and location are important as well as proper separation from the indoor antenna, i.e. at least 20ft. The inside antenna must also be selected properly and realize that you will only get a boost max of 8-10 inches from that antenna so if you're just trying to use a cell phone in the coach, not going to happen. The Weboost RV 65, which I own along with a Weboost 4G-X (RV) has a larger booster that is designed for longer range boosting indoors but it's paired with a YAGI directional antenna so you have to know where the cell tower is and point at it. I wasted $650 on this system..want to buy it from me? The weboost can help if the indoor antenna is located in proximity of a hotspot device of your choosing, that's all it's going to help but not much.

Thanks to Turbopilot discovering a much better solution for this day and age and that is a Peplink Pepwave or Cradlepoint cellular modem with MIMO antennas either on the unit or via cable to the roof. I recommend this one but I suggest going to http://5gstore.com and speaking with them and see what they recommend for your needs.

Again, times have changed, cellular is better, there are unlimited "connected car" plans available as well as Verizon Prepaid Unlimited plans (rumor is they are no longer listed on the web but you can still get them by calling).

Having used weboost a lot, being well versed in WiFi ranger and a beta tester, I no longer recommend either of these products.
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Old 05-05-2019, 09:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealC View Post

Thanks to Turbopilot discovering a much better solution for this day and age and that is a Peplink Pepwave or Cradlepoint cellular modem with MIMO antennas either on the unit or via cable to the roof. I recommend this one but I suggest going to http://5gstore.com and speaking with them and see what they recommend for your needs.

Again, times have changed, cellular is better, there are unlimited "connected car" plans available as well as Verizon Prepaid Unlimited plans (rumor is they are no longer listed on the web but you can still get them by calling).
Thanks for the acknowledgment.

For others reading this thread let me shout as loud as I can what Neal and I are trying to say.

YOUR DAYS OF BUYING EXPENSIVE EQUIPMENT TO BOOST CELLULAR SIGNALS OR TO "BARROW" WIFI ARE NOW OVER. ALL OF THIS IS OBSOLETE, EXPENSIVE TECHNOLOGY THAT WILL NOT SERVE YOUR NEEDS.

Cellular boosters and WiFi as WAN (ie WiFiRanger) are technologies born out of the days when there was sparse 3G cellular coverage. Those technologies were "better than nothing" in those days but now everything has changed.

We now have extensive 4G LTE and LTE-A coverage across the country providing cellular data. These technologies are increasing being offered at lower frequencies increasing range and speed in fringe areas.

In order to use this new network you need two important pieces of equipment:

1. A high quality integrated cellular modem/router (PepWave or CradlePoint).

2. A high quality integrated MIMO cellular/WiFi antenna on the roof.

The technology serving the two requirements above is changing rapidly, so recommendations about the best equipment in categories above will likely change every few months.

At a minimum for RV applications to you want an integrated modem/router with the following features:

1. LTE-A Cat 6 Modem
2. Dual WiFi Radios (2.4 and 5.0 ghz WiFi)
3. WiFi as WAN functionality
4. 2X2 Cellular MIMO and 2x2 WIFI MIMO antenna ports

Before the end of the year item 1 in the list above will change to a LTE-A Cat 18 modem which offers much better fringe reception and more frequencies on all carriers. Currently you can only purchase Cat 18 modem/routers for ATT. Hopefully the other carries will be cleared soon.

You may wonder why I included WiFi as WAN functionality on the list when I said it was obsolete. First, it comes free on a quality integrated modem/router. Second there are situations where you may find an acceptable WiFi as WAN connection in your travels that will allow you to preserve bandwidth against the cellular data caps found on most cellular data plans even though you have a better connection available via a cellular network. Then you have a choice.
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:23 PM   #5
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I guess I'm not following the cell booster is dead line of thinking. I can certainly see the advantage of an integrated router, but it's the claim that WeBoost (a brand, not a device) is dead or the like makes no sense.

Weboost (Wilson) and SureCall are two of the leaders in cell boosters for homes and businesses, as well as cars/RVs. They will boost signals not only for hotspot type devices, but also phones, including guests that come in the RV. Do these integrated routers also feature traditional cell boosting capabilities?
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Old 05-05-2019, 12:36 PM   #6
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...They will boost signals not only for hotspot type devices, but also phones, including guests that come in the RV...
Nope. Call Wilson/Weboost and ask them how close you have to be to the indoor antenna on a 4G-X (RV) to get any benefit from it.

RV-65 is more powerful for stationary use only. In my tests I was not impressed especially for $650. I own a 4G-X with 50 OHM Omni antenna on the roof and Desktop indoor antenna.

Does not compete with Pepwave or Cradlepoint in the slightest. MIMO antennas are so much better even if internal and NOT roof mounted the connectivity will far exceed that of any gains from Weboost. If you want you can also use Weboost with your Pepwave/Cradlepoint as long as the antennas on the Pep/CP are within effective range of the Weboost indoor antenna but it may also generate so much noise it degrades as well.

Mine are unplugged and not used since November. I've needed nothing since I switched to Pepwave where I frequently used the Weboost with AT&T Mobley and Verizon MiFi 8800L.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:01 PM   #7
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If you have an Android device you can use an app to show you the signal strength coming from the Weboost indoor antenna and watch it change over distance. I use OpenSignal. Here are others discussed:

https://www.signalboosters.com/blog/...gnal-strength/
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:15 PM   #8
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NealC, how much you want for your Weboost system?
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:20 PM   #9
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The comment about "no more expensive equipment" I guess doesn't take into account that the Pepwave is more expensive then the system Neal was using before going to pepwave.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:26 PM   #10
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NealC, how much you want for your Weboost system?
PM me, the problem is shipping the monster, the pole is the biggest item. The 4G-X will remain dormant as does the WiFi ranger but the RV 65 I'd be fine with selling. I used it once.

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The comment about "no more expensive equipment" I guess doesn't take into account that the Pepwave is more expensive then the system Neal was using before going to pepwave.
Not really, but yes in the end but to me Internet is vital to my RV'ing experience and it's well worth it.

With my Weboost 4G-X I've been through a number of antennas external and internal - that adds up. I finally came to what worked best for me so you don't have to spend the $$$$$$$ - the 50 OHM Omni (about $99) and the indoor Desktop antenna which comes standard now.

The Weboost RV 65 is a $650 system. Complete waste of money.

The Pepwave LTE-A is $699. I went with a 5 in 1 panorama antenna which is around $350. Not required at all, the internal antennas are great but I wanted the best setup.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
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Weboost (Wilson) and SureCall are two of the leaders in cell boosters for homes and businesses, as well as cars/RVs. They will boost signals not only for hotspot type devices, but also phones, including guests that come in the RV. Do these integrated routers also feature traditional cell boosting capabilities?
Most modern smartphones include WiFi calling. With this feature activated you don't have to worry about signal strength to the smartphone device inside a coach, just signal strength to the integrated modem/router antenna on the roof. Smartphone voice call will be handled locally via WiFi from smartphone to the integrated router.

Bottom line today all you need is a good cellular data connection to handle all client related voice and data in the coach. In the modern world of 4G LTE-A you just need a good antenna on the roof with direct line of sight to the towers 360 degrees around the coach. No other piece of equipment will get you a better cellular data signal than a good MIMO antenna on the roof with a short cable run to an integrated modem/router in the coach.

It should be clear by now neither Neil or I have any thing to sell with these recommendations. We have both tried all the solutions for getting the best cellular data experience in a coach. We know what works and what does not. Signal boosting and bridging WiFi connections has come and gone. New technology has replaced these old solutions.

In a few years we will do this all over again when hopefully the low earth orbit satellite data connections finally become available.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:53 PM   #12
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One important point. The weboost and Pepwave/Cradleppint systems do not yield the same end result. You will have much better connectivity and speeds than a weboosted hot spot device or phone. You will also be able to enjoy WiFi calling when youíd have no signal with the other option. The benefits are well worth the cost for connectivity and emergency services.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:59 PM   #13
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PM me, the problem is shipping the monster, the pole is the biggest item. The 4G-X will remain dormant as does the WiFi ranger but the RV 65 I'd be fine with selling. I used it once.



Not really, but yes in the end but to me Internet is vital to my RV'ing experience and it's well worth it.

With my Weboost 4G-X I've been through a number of antennas external and internal - that adds up. I finally came to what worked best for me so you don't have to spend the $$$$$$$ - the 50 OHM Omni (about $99) and the indoor Desktop antenna which comes standard now.

The Weboost RV 65 is a $650 system. Complete waste of money.

The Pepwave LTE-A is $699. I went with a 5 in 1 panorama antenna which is around $350. Not required at all, the internal antennas are great but I wanted the best setup.
I can understand Neal's viewpoint since he needs solid internet connectivity for his work. In my case, however, where that connectivity is not so critical, the WiFiRanger that came with the MADP provides an adequate connection.

Yes, I had one issue with the WiFiRanger, but that was resolved by simply turning it off and back on a minute later.

My point is that we each need to evaluate our level of need and use the appropriate mechanism for meeting it. And, at least in my case, I also need to evaluate how much technical savvy will be needed to install and maintain a new, high-tech system.

TJ
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Old 05-05-2019, 02:04 PM   #14
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TJ, yes we each have our connectivity needs. I think you go mainly to a owned property with WiFi. Most CG WiFiís are not useable and they know itís not an investment worth making with cellular advances. I believe WiFi as a source with RVs will decline and the move will be towards cellular.

Elderly RVers should not be without phone services. This is vital in my opinion for anyone feeling a phone connection is important to their RV experience. I donít want to be without the ability to dial 911 which is also why I wear a LTE enabled Apple Watch now for the first time ever as it detects falls and will auto call for help. I am thinking beyond my business needs but also life saving crisis plans.
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