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Old 04-25-2017, 06:43 AM   #1
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Cool Show or describe your RV home office

I own a software business and with my first RV to be hatched in June I'll be taking my work on the road with me, because I can, why anchor to one place when there is so much to see or work along side some gorgeous view, water or mountains or desert. I got the dinette option (two chairs) but may customize if needed. I'll be taking an iMac and Macbook Pro, possibly one additional external monitor (24") a color laser printer, document scanner, battery back-ups, and the usual network gear. Already have the weboost and wifi ranger configs ready to go but can work disconnected too and commit my work when connected.

I read some articles here about laptop vs. desktop, who takes what. I've googled and looked at images for RV setups but it's always interesting for those that like to compute on the road (in a RV/MH). So I'd love to kick off a thread here to show off your MH OFFICE setups and what you've learned. Not so much interested in the laptop vs. desktop but your actual office setup, space, furniture, ergonomics, etc.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:56 AM   #2
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I had been doing this sporadically over the past three years. I never had an "office", but always worked from the dining table or couch with a folding table. I was able to use my cell phone or park WiFi pretty reliably and never needed the Weboost option. I used remote desktop to connect to a PC in the office. This kept my data usage very low and was pretty good at keeping the screen updated.

We did look at some fifth wheels that had a "kids" room with a door that would have been a good option. It wouldn't really make it any much quieter, but it would have been a separate work area. You will likely need something like that with all the tech you'll be taking with you.

I got tired of being a remote worker and was given the option to go back to an office with my new job. We're relocating this weekend and I'm honestly looking forward to being around other people at work. I've been telecommuting for 12 years and need a change, for a few years at least. Good luck!
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:00 AM   #3
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I don't have an office set up, but I take my laptop, external drives, and compact printer. When I need to use the printer or external drives, I set up on the dinning table. If you get a chance, let us know how best to set up for connectivity as most CG wifi is slow, spotty, or non-existent. Currently, my Option B is a hotspot from my cell phone - not an optimal solution.

Best of luck on your new MH. Update us on how that exciting and scary process goes.

P.S. Don't let your clients know what you are doing or they may think you have become a slacker! :-)
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:24 AM   #4
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Until I retired last year I was a remote worker in the computer field for many years, and traveled in the motorhome frequently. I would setup and create my my office on the dash in front of the passenger chair. This way it did not impede on the dining table or other space.

Notebook computer, a couple external monitors, etc. Battery backup power supply on the floor at the wall next to the chair and plugged in there. When traveling I would stow the monitors and computer on the couch. Pretty easy and quick to setup when camped. Small wireless inkjet printer / copier / scanner on a shelf in the dining cadenza - which got used seldom but needed occasionally.

Connectivity via CG wifi if available and a Hawking Technology repeater to help. But most often working from a Verizon jetpack. At&t cell phone with headset.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NealC View Post
I own a software business and with my first RV to be hatched in June I'll be taking my work on the road with me, because I can, why anchor to one place when there is so much to see or work along side some gorgeous view, water or mountains or desert. I got the dinette option (two chairs) but may customize if needed. I'll be taking an iMac and Macbook Pro, possibly one additional external monitor (24") a color laser printer, document scanner, battery back-ups, and the usual network gear. Already have the weboost and wifi ranger configs ready to go but can work disconnected too and commit my work when connected.

I read some articles here about laptop vs. desktop, who takes what. I've googled and looked at images for RV setups but it's always interesting for those that like to compute on the road (in a RV/MH). So I'd love to kick off a thread here to show off your MH OFFICE setups and what you've learned. Not so much interested in the laptop vs. desktop but your actual office setup, space, furniture, ergonomics, etc.
We are the same as you, just a few months ahead. I've posted this before, but I have a writeup on our blog about our setup. I need to update it a bit because the Cradlepoint died and I'm using a WifiRanger Core now. We had intended to replace the dinette with a real 2-person desk, but this is working so well we're going to stick with it. Makes it easier to sell/trade down the road if we ever want to.

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Old 04-25-2017, 08:01 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by marknpeg View Post
We are the same as you, just a few months ahead. I've posted this before, but I have a writeup on our blog about our setup. I need to update it a bit because the Cradlepoint died and I'm using a WifiRanger Core now. We had intended to replace the dinette with a real 2-person desk, but this is working so well we're going to stick with it. Makes it easier to sell/trade down the road if we ever want to.

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Good article on your linked page, I'll have a very similar setup. I'll see how things go as is for now before I go crazy in customizing the coach. I'd love to get an updesk in the place of that dinette but that takes out pretty much the only eating area. I read another article here where someone mentioned removing one of the two couches, my coach is coming with two couches but I think that's a huge selling point in resale and why one of the coaches on the dealer's lot is not selling, people like these opposing couches. So we'll see how it goes...my main concern now is running wires mainly from external antennas into the coach, everything internal should be wireless.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:08 AM   #7
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Depends on what you need. I'm a software developer and I'm more than comfortable working on a single screen laptop. At work, I use multiple screens but I can work effectively from a single screen as well.

So the first question to ask yourself is what is required for your setup? If you can hack it on a laptop, then there's not much to setup. Otherwise, you'll need a dedicated or easily convertible place to set up shop.

As to the dinette, I've found them to a bit cramped, especially on the knees. Also, the table is too narrow for me because I prefer the screen and keyboard further back than most. However, I found if I remove the vertical back cushion I can sit back further and that makes all the difference. This also gives me better thigh support.

I cut up a piece of thin closed-cell foam and use it as a substitute back cushion. I swap out the cushions whenever I have an extended keyboard session.

I think after our kids are done "glamping" with us in a few years I'll replace the dinette with something more desk like and get a quality office chair.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:11 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by NealC View Post
Good article on your linked page, I'll have a very similar setup. I'll see how things go as is for now before I go crazy in customizing the coach. I'd love to get an updesk in the place of that dinette but that takes out pretty much the only eating area. I read another article here where someone mentioned removing one of the two couches, my coach is coming with two couches but I think that's a huge selling point in resale and why one of the coaches on the dealer's lot is not selling, people like these opposing couches. So we'll see how it goes...my main concern now is running wires mainly from external antennas into the coach, everything internal should be wireless.
Funny. I can't stand the dueling super-couches and made sure ours was configured with the fireplace/televator on one side. And if I get my way, the remaining 72" couch will also get replaced soon with a pair of theater seats. We love watching movies, and the sound system in this thing will shake the earth!

So far we have not needed external antennas or boosters at all. I never use campground wifi because I need my own secured connection for work, and Verizon along with the Coverage app has been just fine. I may pick up a cellular booster before we head out west, but so far here in the east it's been perfect. If/when I do go up top, my plan is to use the same hole/connection as the TV antenna.
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:44 AM   #9
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Show or describe your RV home office

I'm getting ready to go mobile as well. My first thought was to get a coach with a desk in the passenger area. That was a good thought right up to the point that we bought a coach without one so now I'm looking for a good desk solution. I *can* work from a laptop but I really like using my monitor so will likely take that with me. I have already installed the Weboost for cellular enhancement and have an AT&T Mobley for primary internet (I may supplement this with a Verizon mifi if/when needed). I need to find a nice little all-in-one printer as my big Xerox laser will draw more power than the AC units combined, I fear.

I did see a fold up desk on Amazon the other day that looks promising for a work space. I may try to use the extremely large table in our coach first and see if that drives me nuts before doing anything more.

The amazon desk that folds: Spiderlegs Folding Couch Desk Tray Table, 25-Inch, Dark Walnut https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AGYLYFK..._3k1.ybJ1V3QCJ
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:51 AM   #10
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I'm good at cart before the horse hence my spare bedroom full of stuff and I don't eve have my coach yet! I also bought a table as I like a little distance between me and my 27" iMac. Here is what I got:

http://a.co/4qM5R0C
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:41 AM   #11
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Workspace as built, now more stuff strapped down on the shelve.
The desk is a sheet of aluminum, bolted to the pedestal with a flooring covering. The desk also rest on the shelve from more stability.
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:59 PM   #12
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I'm a laptop-only guy. I became this way after being on the road at various customers all of the time. My coach has a flip-out desk on the passenger side that I or my wife can use when the other is driving. Otherwise we work from the dinette, outside at a table with the dog taking in the sun, or in the garage when our baby is napping. I don't miss having a monitor, big keyboard or mouse. If I really needed, I could plug the laptop into a TV and have a dual-monitor setup but I find this is most useful when I want to watch a movie from the laptop.

If you need extra screens, virtual desktops are great. I have multiple customers, so a couple of virtual machines to VPN into various customers and everyone's happy!
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:14 PM   #13
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I'm about to be moved out, give me a week or two and I can send pictures.

My MH has a desk area including a pull-out keyboard tray (I put my work laptop there) and then above is an area for my 27" monitor, and to the right I put my little 13" Lenovo for my personal stuff.

I have a ZTE Mobley connected to an Asus router/switch/AP for internet access. This is a necessity for me because my VPN connection back to "the office" (I work from home) is through a Cisco router that must be hardwired.

What's even cooler about ours, is that it has horizontal files and such right at my work desk.

I don't worry about backup batteries, the coach itself has batteries and a generator, I see no reason for another UPS in the coach, it's just added weight and space.

I did get rid of the super-comfy recliner, had to move it away from the desk, because although it is great for watching TV or hanging out, it has no support and my back would hurt on my test runs. I have a Herman Miller Sayl chair I had customized to my specs, and it includes casters for both carpet and hard floors, and it works great.

I like sitting at the dinette sometimes, but honestly with the dedicated desk area, if I work on the dinette it is just taking away from good space we need for eating and such.

If I'm being too technical or not technical enough, let me know, I can go more into the details if needed.
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:56 PM   #14
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From a tax perspective be careful about taking a deduction for the home office in the RV. A couple tried to go that route and they got audited and the deduction was thrown out because their office in home was not a "dedicated office space" separate from the non office space. I know it was a technicality but be aware that to use the RV as a business expense does require a lot of planning and remember to follow the old adage, "pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered."
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