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Old 03-03-2017, 10:17 PM   #1
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Tethering distance from car's wifi hotspot

I have an idea to run past you guys. So At&t is now offering unlimited $20 plan for the car's wifi. I got my 2016 car last year before getting our RV and it came with a 3-month trial period. My Nexus phone seeks out wifi so when I was in the car, it had a great signal. Unfortunately, I never tested how far away from the vehicle that signal would travel. My question then, do you think that I could theoretically use my vehicle's wifi as a hotspot that would reach into the coach, assuming I parked next to it? Since it would be truly unlimited per At&t, it would be a great solution IF it works. I have a feeling it's reach won't make it to the coach, but was wondering if anyone had this crazy thought as well?
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Old 03-04-2017, 05:57 AM   #2
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Just start walking away from your car, and see how far away you get before the signal drops.
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiawah View Post
Just start walking away from your car, and see how far away you get before the signal drops.
That would be the obvious solution. However, before I go through the trouble of setting it up and paying for it, I wanted to know if it was even feasible.
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Old 03-04-2017, 06:52 AM   #4
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Do they have a free trial or something like a 30 day cancellation policy? I think you could make it work even if you have to install a wifi booster in the MH. Since you know there will always be a decent or better signal right next door, your booster should always have a signal to grab and enhance. Are you sure it works when the car isn't running?
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:19 AM   #5
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Most of these only work if the car ignition is on. We pick up car wifi from some distances from our coach with the outside omnidirectional wifi set up but do not pick them up on our computers inside the coach without the outside antenna. If the car is parked next to the coach, this might work. But only trial and error will tell. If you know someone that has it in their car, have them park next to you and see if you can find the wifi signal. Chuck
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:58 AM   #6
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A WiFi Extender would probably solve the problem if it didn't reach. There are ways to make it work with the ignition off.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:02 PM   #7
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This should answer your question. The adapter will allow you to use it in your coach.
https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/att...or-zte-mobley/
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:01 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum.
We use the OnStar AP in our GM truck occasionally from in the coach. It does work while in the tow position either forward or backward. Caution, leaving the ignition in the acc. position to long can and will run ones battery(s) down [yeah our diesel has two batteries]. Had to call AAA that morning, go figure. We've since acquired a compact solid state multi-stage battery tender that I installed under the hood. It uses screw on terminals and the power plug hangs out similar to the block heater when needed. I run a drop cord from the pedestal. We've typically just purchased GB's per month as we go. Didn't know about any unlimited. I would expect there to be much fine print.
We used the key in and a key fob to lock truck, but a second key would be prudent. Although the fob still unlocked the doors when the D-Max wouldn't quite crank. Live and learn.

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Old 03-05-2017, 10:09 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by MtnTrek View Post
Welcome to the forum.
We use the OnStar AP in our GM truck occasionally from in the coach. It does work while in the tow position either forward or backward. Caution, leaving the ignition in the acc. position to long can and will run ones battery(s) down [yeah our diesel has two batteries]. Had to call AAA that morning, go figure. We've since acquired a compact solid state multi-stage battery tender that I installed under the hood. It uses screw on terminals and the power plug hangs out similar to the block heater when needed. I run a drop cord from the pedestal. We've typically just purchased GB's per month as we go. Didn't know about any unlimited. I would expect there to be much fine print.
We used the key in and a key fob to lock truck, but a second key would be prudent. Although the fob still unlocked the doors when the D-Max wouldn't quite crank. Live and learn.

Be well
Thanks for the response and you brought up one issue of obvious concern: the car having to be on. I sort of have an idea what you mean about your solution with the battery tender. But if I can rephrase to see if I understand correctly. So you hook up the tender to the battery. Then you plug that battery tender in to whatever 110v source. While being plugged in, the car is set to the ACC position. Do I understand that correctly or is there any step I'm missing? Also, my car has the push button start, do you know if it will stay in the ACC position with the tender on it?
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Old 03-05-2017, 11:41 AM   #10
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Good points. Well I've only rented push button starting cars so I'm not that well versed on their acc. operation.
Our late model truck has a standard key and clicks to a acc. notch which powers all the instruments, GPS audio head PC unit etc..
Yes, the tender attached with circle ring connectors to small screwed terminal already on the battery terminals. It stays connected all of the time. The unit is about the size of a small durable laptop power supply has a minimal LED status readout and is velcro'ed to a flat surface in the engine bay. It is unaffected by the operation of the truck it also has a quick disconnect cable for removal if need be. The truck also doesn't know or care the tender is there. It has a peak 12V of 6 Amp bulk and monitors battery state then falls back to float and pulsing float charge so it could be left plugged in indefinitely with no over-charging harm. The pulsing is said to prevent sulfur crystals on flooded type cells. Would also work for extended storage of coach house batteries etc.. Is comparable with flooded, AGM, and lithium cells. Yes 110V very low current draw.
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:58 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by MtnTrek View Post
Good points. Well I've only rented push button starting cars so I'm not that well versed on their acc. operation.
Our late model truck has a standard key and clicks to a acc. notch which powers all the instruments, GPS audio head PC unit etc..
Yes, the tender attached with circle ring connectors to small screwed terminal already on the battery terminals. It stays connected all of the time. The unit is about the size of a small durable laptop power supply has a minimal LED status readout and is velcro'ed to a flat surface in the engine bay. It is unaffected by the operation of the truck it also has a quick disconnect cable for removal if need be. The truck also doesn't know or care the tender is there. It has a peak 12V of 6 Amp bulk and monitors battery state then falls back to float and pulsing float charge so it could be left plugged in indefinitely with no over-charging harm. The pulsing is said to prevent sulfur crystals on flooded type cells. Would also work for extended storage of coach house batteries etc.. Is comparable with flooded, AGM, and lithium cells. Yes 110V very low current draw.
In doing research on this I found an article plugging this device to deal with the power issue. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01L8CEDBU...58115960f3ea5d
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Old 03-08-2017, 10:05 AM   #12
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You should probably really read the fine print on who AT&T is defining 'unlimited' in this instance. For the cell phone carriers 'unlimited' really doesn't mean what the dictionary definition would lead you to believe.
There ARE restrictions, you would likely be well off to know exactly what they are before you sign up.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:18 AM   #13
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You should probably really read the fine print on who AT&T is defining 'unlimited' in this instance. For the cell phone carriers 'unlimited' really doesn't mean what the dictionary definition would lead you to believe.
There ARE restrictions, you would likely be well off to know exactly what they are before you sign up.
I agree. From what I'm seeing "Unlimited" means we will give you service but it *may* be much slower than you are expecting at anything past 20-25GB in a billing cycle.
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Old 03-09-2017, 09:33 AM   #14
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Update: First I wanted to show you the "fine print" that I cut and pasted. I saw either on this forum, or elsewhere, where someone posted the same thing, but I couldn't find out where I saw it. Anyway here's the language:

"After 10GB, tethering speed will be slowed to a max of 128Kbps for the rest of the bill cycle (except for these products: Connected Cars, Hot Spots, and Wireless Home Phone and Internet.). Except for those products, all tethering data usage, including sponsored data if tethered, will be impacted and will not be fully functional. "

I cut and pasted from today's AT&T webpage so it appears that cars (and AT&T sourced hotspots which is huge in itself) have unlimited data. Period. I went further and chatted online with ATT. They said it is $20 billed separately. Finally, I called Onstar (it is not active, but if you have a GM car you know that there is a button ready to go in the hopes that one day you reactivate). GM (Onstar) said that they understand it to mean the following (which would work for me if I can get the range figured out), that you can use 22gb every 24 hours starting at 12:01. The next day it resets and you get a new 22gb. And just like the phone plan, it is merely de-prioritized after that. TBH, it sounds like they don't really enforce it, because frankly even if you did use your car for all your hotspot needs, that is one threshhold I don't ever see crossing.

This really make this MUCH more enticing than I once thought. I'm going to decide over the next week or so to get it and I'll fill you in later. Hopefully this post will clear some of the confusion though.
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