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Old 02-26-2017, 07:06 PM   #1
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Talking to other RVers using CB, FRS, Ham radios

I'm curious if there's a widely accepted way to talk to other RVers while on the road? Not necessarily in a caravan, but just a friendly chat to the MH up in front of you on I-95?

I'm sure CB radio is still being used to some extent, but it's noisy and full of foul language. I would not leave a CB radio on.

FRS and GMRS would be clear, without all the noise, but I don't know if the range would be very far from a handheld to another handheld inside the MH.

I know that ham radio would be the most reliable means of communications, but don't know if many other RVers are licensed? And, is there a specific freq that is used for RV simplex? Of course, repeaters would provide more range. I used to have a 2 meter rig in my SUV and would either leave it on 146.520 or the local repeater to make any contacts.

So, back to my question....what, if anything, are you using to communicate with other RVers while travelling. (and I don't mean hand gestures)

Thanks,
David, K4ZZR
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:44 PM   #2
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I use to operate ham radio mobile while commuting. I found it dangerously distracting while driving a car. I stopped doing it before I had an accident. It is widely accepted that driving an RV takes more attentiveness than driving a car. I would never use a cell phone or have a radio conversation while driving. I even discourage in cab conversations with me when situations are demanding. I even did this in the car.
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Old 02-26-2017, 07:54 PM   #3
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i installed a cb radio in our rig, mostly for the weather function, work great when there was a tornado warning in the area we were at, no one at the campground knew. it scans the weather channels and alarms if there is any weather alerts in the area.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:11 PM   #4
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I am licensed and listen while on the `road in my truck but not so much in the MH. As you suspect, the ham radio will cover much more distance depending on the radio and antenna. Tuning or programming a radio while driving is too much of a distraction so I either preprogram it to local repeaters or stick to the national calling frequency, 146.520 (similar to channel 19 on CB).

There is a lot of background noise in the MH and driving a class A truly requires 100% attention.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:24 PM   #5
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I have a 2 meter and a CB in the MH. I have the CB on but squelched up high and can only hear about a mile down the road listening for traffic problems. I do talk on the 2 meter on .52 except if I am in a high traffic conditions.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:28 PM   #6
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https://www.waze.com/

I own a telecommunication company and can have any two way radio needed. I only use them when traveling with my wife.

The majority of the time I use the Waze app. It is outstanding. You really don't need verbal communications with other folks. Getting a heads up on construction, objects on or next to the road, or traffic jams is really handy. It can be used as a gps and shows your speed and if you exceed the limit.

The app is free. The more Wazers the better the information.
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Old 02-26-2017, 08:38 PM   #7
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When my wife drives I sometimes listen on .52 and seek out local repeaters via a 2meter HT. We have FRS radios for parking our MH and campground communications.

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Old 02-26-2017, 08:53 PM   #8
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It used to be that RVers would use channel 13. It was suppose to cut down on the amount of offensive language streaming into the MH. However, I have had my Cobra and in 7 years have only talked to two people on this channel. Which brings us back to ch.19.

With a limited rage of only a couple of miles, by the time you hear of a road problem, it's usually too late to do anything about it. I have real traffic on my GPS and it does give me ample warning for most road problems, and will give me alternative routes.
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Old 02-26-2017, 10:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phochief View Post
I'm curious if there's a widely accepted way to talk to other RVers while on the road? Not necessarily in a caravan, but just a friendly chat to the MH up in front of you on I-95?

I'm sure CB radio is still being used to some extent, but it's noisy and full of foul language. I would not leave a CB radio on.

FRS and GMRS would be clear, without all the noise, but I don't know if the range would be very far from a handheld to another handheld inside the MH.

I know that ham radio would be the most reliable means of communications, but don't know if many other RVers are licensed? And, is there a specific freq that is used for RV simplex? Of course, repeaters would provide more range. I used to have a 2 meter rig in my SUV and would either leave it on 146.520 or the local repeater to make any contacts.

So, back to my question....what, if anything, are you using to communicate with other RVers while travelling. (and I don't mean hand gestures)

Thanks,
David, K4ZZR
Well David,
Your analysis of C/B systems as being "noisy and full of foul language" is a bit off. We've used them for decades in both caravans and, sporadic communications with un-known RVers or travelers and or truck pilots and, have had great responses to questions and inquiries. If a C/B is set up correctly, all grounds etc. are clean and stable, and, the C/B and antenna is tuned correctly, the back ground noise will be minimal. Sure there will he potential noise on occasion due to atmospheric interfearance and more but, in general, C/B is still a pretty simple, easy and cheap form of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, without any form of a license.

As for FRS radios, I've used a few over the years and, while they work, the "advertised" range is a joke. 3, 5, 10, 20 and more miles is advertised as range for many of them. Yeah sure. I've used some that were in the higher dollar range and, we lost all ability to communicate in less than 500' and, that's in line of sight. So, if anyone's happy with them, then by all means enjoy them.

AS for Ham, I put the same question out about a year ago. There are some that use it with and or without a license. Of course you're supposed to have one but, you know people, if they can get away with it, they will. The circuitry in Ham rigs is better and more refined. And, even the smallest "handi-talki" Ham set is more powerful then a regular un-modified C/B. Then there's the mobile Ham sets. Those range anywhere from 20 watts to upwards of 75 watts or more, BONE STOCK. So, those can get WAAAAAAAAY OUT and beyond, even without the use of a repeater.

I use both Ham and C/B in different applications. The Ham is usually more clear and has better range than the C/B, even while talking to the same person in the vehicle in front of me. And yes, it's simplex that we use, the frequency you stated.
Scott
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Old 02-27-2017, 12:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by FIRE UP View Post
Well David,
Your analysis of C/B systems as being "noisy and full of foul language" is a bit off. We've used them for decades in both caravans and, sporadic communications with un-known RVers or travelers and or truck pilots and, have had great responses to questions and inquiries. If a C/B is set up correctly, all grounds etc. are clean and stable, and, the C/B and antenna is tuned correctly, the back ground noise will be minimal. Sure there will he potential noise on occasion due to atmospheric interfearance and more but, in general, C/B is still a pretty simple, easy and cheap form of vehicle-to-vehicle communication, without any form of a license.

As for FRS radios, I've used a few over the years and, while they work, the "advertised" range is a joke. 3, 5, 10, 20 and more miles is advertised as range for many of them. Yeah sure. I've used some that were in the higher dollar range and, we lost all ability to communicate in less than 500' and, that's in line of sight. So, if anyone's happy with them, then by all means enjoy them.

AS for Ham, I put the same question out about a year ago. There are some that use it with and or without a license. Of course you're supposed to have one but, you know people, if they can get away with it, they will. The circuitry in Ham rigs is better and more refined. And, even the smallest "handi-talki" Ham set is more powerful then a regular un-modified C/B. Then there's the mobile Ham sets. Those range anywhere from 20 watts to upwards of 75 watts or more, BONE STOCK. So, those can get WAAAAAAAAY OUT and beyond, even without the use of a repeater.

I use both Ham and C/B in different applications. The Ham is usually more clear and has better range than the C/B, even while talking to the same person in the vehicle in front of me. And yes, it's simplex that we use, the frequency you stated.
Scott
Hi Scott....I only use CB on my Goldwing GL1800 motorcycle when on a group ride and it works fine for that. But, unless things have changed, putting it on CH-19 was just awful. And, you can't compare CB's noisy amplitude modulation to ham radio's quiet VHF/UHF frequency modulation.

FYI, I've been a licensed Advanced class amateur radio operator for 40 years and have built HF radios and a few 1500 watt amplifiers. So I'm fairly familiar with using a radio. Finished up DXCC Honor Roll last year.

I'll probably just install a 144/440 mobile rig in the new MH for local repeaters and simplex and use my FRS radio for around the campground with my wife. I really just wanted to know if there was an established method of communications with other RVers while on the road, just to have a quick chat with someone else driving a MH.

Thanks,
David, K4ZZR
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Old 02-27-2017, 04:53 PM   #11
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I always have my dual-band 2m/440 radio on when we travel. I leave one side on 146.52, and I program repeaters along my expected route, in order, on the other. I can just scroll along as we travel without even having to look at the radio, other than to verify where I am.

As others have noted, dialing around on a radio can distract you from your primary job, which is driving! Careful pre-planning can eliminate most of those distractions and make your drive more enjoyable.

73 de AC7FM
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Old 02-27-2017, 07:06 PM   #12
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I always have my dual-band 2m/440 radio on when we travel. I leave one side on 146.52, and I program repeaters along my expected route, in order, on the other. I can just scroll along as we travel without even having to look at the radio, other than to verify where I am.

As others have noted, dialing around on a radio can distract you from your primary job, which is driving! Careful pre-planning can eliminate most of those distractions and make your drive more enjoyable.

73 de AC7FM
That's what I'll do too. I don't plan on doing a lot of rag chewing while driving. I need to concentrate on driving, eating, drinking and watching tv. Just kidding!

73 de K4ZZR
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Old 03-02-2017, 01:00 PM   #13
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I agree with FIRE UP.

Remember now, some rv resorts, and. Casinos use CB radios in there office, and some shuttles. I remember calling a shuttle while at 7 Feathers rv resort in Oregon on the CB channel they advertised to pick us up and take us to their Casino. So don't rule out CB's. There still cheap, and no license required. I'm also a Ham operator, but a CB is always an option for me.

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Old 03-02-2017, 01:20 PM   #14
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Completed 4000 m trip and hollared at lots of RV's. Never got one reply. Ch13
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