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Old 01-04-2020, 09:03 PM   #1
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Winegard WIFI/4G extender

I am having a hard time understanding the technical benefits and value proposition of the Winegard WiFi/4g1 extender on the 2020 Anthem. The pics at Winegard show an outdoor antenna farm (no dome) on the roof of the coach and an internal unit. Where is this internal unit in the coach? It is not with the other electronics in the cabinet above the fireplace (Anthem 44B).
The model installed by Entegra is not the latest model offered by Winegard as it has no dome and is locked to only use their own SIM card, which uses ATT signal at $150 month for only 20 gigs of data. I get 22 gigs of data on my own ATT hotspot for about $50 a month.
The interface to select WiFi or 4g is clumsy and canít automatically switch between the two.
Seems like this $1400 option is a waste of money and results in four needless roof penetrations.
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Old 01-04-2020, 10:23 PM   #2
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I agree with you. We never use park wifi. AT&T hotspot and a Netgear mimo antenna suction cupped to an interior window. Normally has a download speed of 8 MBs and above. I have a weboost and we never use it plus the speed is slower because it is only using one of the hotspot antennas.

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Old 01-05-2020, 06:52 AM   #3
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Pat, from post like yours, I passed on that upgrade along with solar this time around. Thanks for informing others before they order that the wifi upgrade hasn't changed.
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:41 AM   #4
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Pat, from post like yours, I passed on that upgrade along with solar this time around. Thanks for informing others before they order that the wifi upgrade hasn't changed.
Yes, the solar option is a $5,000 joke. 200 watts would barely light up Julia Roberts smile ó and then only at peak sunshine! But it does get you another 12 unnecessary roof penetrations.

I picked my 2020 Anthem out of NIRVCís floorplan before it left the factory, but the coach was already built so I was stuck with these preselected options. At least, now a drone video would show our hi-tech antenna farm and climate friendly solar panels helping save the world. Greta would like it.
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Old 01-05-2020, 08:25 AM   #5
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Solar has gone up. It was $2,700 on the 14 and I never used them. For $5,000. one could have a solar farm installed by an outside source if one used solar. It's kind of like the wifi system, it's outdated before it's installed. Outside source can be updated by plugging in a new hotspot.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrandPaPat View Post
I am having a hard time understanding the technical benefits and value proposition of the Winegard WiFi/4g1 extender on the 2020 Anthem. The pics at Winegard show an outdoor antenna farm (no dome) on the roof of the coach and an internal unit. Where is this internal unit in the coach? It is not with the other electronics in the cabinet above the fireplace (Anthem 44B).
The model installed by Entegra is not the latest model offered by Winegard as it has no dome and is locked to only use their own SIM card, which uses ATT signal at $150 month for only 20 gigs of data. I get 22 gigs of data on my own ATT hotspot for about $50 a month.
The interface to select WiFi or 4g is clumsy and canít automatically switch between the two.
Seems like this $1400 option is a waste of money and results in four needless roof penetrations.
I purchased this option as represented by my salesman, sounded like a great addition. I was led to believe that I could install my AT&T card. I personally paid a tech to install my sim card. My Installer said that it wasn't possible even though the sales person said it was. I called Entegra, they told me to call Weingard. Weingard told that it was only usable with a $150 monthly charge. I then called several people at Entegra and they were not willing to switch my range extender with a useable (that will accept my sim card) unit. Everything you say is correct and as a result I haven't found any use or benefit from this option. It is absolutely worthless. Very discouraging a company like Entegra would market such a product. More discouraging that they do not offer to rectify the situation. I learned the $1400 unit is available from Weingard for less than $400.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:56 PM   #7
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If yours is like ours on our 2020 Cornerstone it's a WF4030 ... Yes it's locked into their sim and you have to buy gigs from Winegard.


BUT look at a somewhat larger picture :


At many locations there's things like xfinity hot spots that your devices may not see but the extender has the gain to see them. And bonus, all devices connected to the wifi booster are NAT'd behind it so as far as the hot spot is concerned it's only 1 device connected. Also great in parks that have wifi and limit connections.



At places where we may need 4G we tend to open my cell phone as a hot spot and point the Winegard at that. The gig's are cheaper or free depending on your plan and many cell phones aren't happy with a bunch of connections, so bonus again.


Only after hurricane Irma [ different coach ] did we use the Winegard 4g data plan and it was because nothing else was working, only at&t in the area we were.


There's a whole bunch of other things you can do if you think outside the box a tad.


And for the OP the IDU is in the basement on the passenger side.



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Old 01-10-2020, 08:43 PM   #8
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Yes, the solar option is a $5,000 joke. 200 watts would barely light up Julia Roberts smile ó and then only at peak sunshine! But it does get you another 12 unnecessary roof penetrations.
Hi Pat,

For a variety of reasons, I store my '18 Anthem outdoors with no power available. Yeah, I know that's not ideal, but, it is what it is.

The 200 watts of solar has worked very well for me to keep the house and chassis batteries topped off during storage. I've never seen less than 13.6v on either house or chassis while it's in storage.

IIRC, the solar option on my '18 was $2,400. I rarely boondock and fully understand that 200 watts won't keep up with power use during normal living, but, for my purpose, 200 watts seems to work pretty well and IMHO was worth the cost.

Take care,
Stu
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Old 01-10-2020, 08:59 PM   #9
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Pat, from post like yours, I passed on that upgrade along with solar this time around. Thanks for informing others before they order that the wifi upgrade hasn't changed.

I live in FL also. My coach is stored outside. The 200watts of solar panel keeps my house batteries charged. I keep a 5amp waterproof Battery Tender on my chassis batteries. In this way I don't need to be connected to shore power all the time which is really bad when it's hot outside if you're not running the A/C.


There's a lot more uses ofr the solar panels and winegard wifi than you guys acknowledge.
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Old 01-20-2020, 05:45 PM   #10
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Certainly I recognize the benefit of being able to trickle charge batteries with 200 watts of solar while in uncovered storage. My issue was with the total capital cost per watt. At the going rate of $.50/watt our 200 watts means only about $100 is spent on panels. There are 350+ watt panels available now.

I called Winegard CS to ask why our 4G/WiFi extenders are locked to their SIM card for $150 a month when it only costs $20 direct from ATT. The rep said ďI donít know. I just work here.Ē

I have the Winegard Traveler on the roof too. But donít really want to pay sat tv monthly either. So I am thinking I will mount one or two 4g hi-gain whip antennae on to the Traveler and use it to raise and lower the antennae.

Our first coach had a Traveler and I recall being able to manually move the dish with the controller. If correct then I should be able to point the 4G antennae vertically anywhere. Might also be able to use the existing coax cables running from Traveler to the controller (with adapters) to connect to our existing ATT mifi device since it has two external ports.
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Old 01-21-2020, 07:26 AM   #11
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Sure is a waste of money. My sales person talked me into this option on my 2019 Anthem. He said I could use my sim card. Obviously I cannot. Now it's just one more thing on top of my Anthem!
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Old 01-22-2020, 07:59 AM   #12
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There's a couple different models. The 4G1 which is what Entegra installs and the sim is locked to at&t and only activated via Winegards billing system.


Then there's the 4G2 which looks like a dome, DOES HAVE a replaceable sim and less capability [ in my opinion ] than the 4G1. Wiring wise it takes only power wiring coming into the coach, there's no IDU.


Entegra does like to use the network port on the IDU at least on my 2020 CS so it may not work for everyone, but what you're looking for does exist.
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Old 01-22-2020, 02:15 PM   #13
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Yes, the solar option is a $5,000 joke. 200 watts would barely light up Julia Roberts smile — and then only at peak sunshine! But it does get you another 12 unnecessary roof penetrations.

First, solar panels are not $5k. list price on a 2020 CS is $2775 ...


Second, I don't consider 15 amps a trickle charge as you allege. 15 amps will run some stuff as well as your water pump. During the day it will go a long way recharging the batteries because you don't need lights. Will it run the microwave ? Maybe. Will it run the fridge ? Probably not. But what they will do is delay the need for the generator and save you fuel. Assuming there is some sun which around here is almost all the time.


When you consider the cost of fuel these days that can pay for itself pretty quickly.
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Old 01-23-2020, 10:03 AM   #14
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I had my dealer install the Winegard 4G LTE + Wifi extender as part of the sale and not as a factory option.

All components except the power switch are mounted under a dome on the roof.

I took a sim card and an old Verizon MiFi to Verizon and they transferred the info from the MiFi to the Sim. Once the SIM was installed the unit now has 4G LTE under my Verizon service. The WIFI range extender works great. One of the best features is that I named the Winegard network (SSID) which does not change. At a campground I connect the Winegard to the campground network and all of my devices connect to the Winegard SSID without having to change any settings or enter any additional passwords.

We also had solar installed by the dealer and the jury is still out on that. The solar does keep the batteries changed at the house without having to plug into the shore power connector.
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