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Old 03-27-2020, 02:41 PM   #1
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Wi-Fi and satellite help

Glad to be part of the forum. Totally new to RV'ing and just purchased a Tiffin Allegro 32 SA. Have not taken possession of it pending the Stay at Home order in Illinois (who knows when it will be removed). I'm not retired and need to access the internet for work and would prefer to use it for TV as well. Am overwhelmed with options, plus not sure what half of them do. I'm reluctant to spend any funds initially until I see what my real needs/options are. My MH is prewired for "Traveler Satellite". Does anyone have suggestions for a must have accessory to access Wi-Fi or should i just rely on my phone and downloads for a few months.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:57 PM   #2
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You can use this time at home to start researching this very large subject.

If the choice is SAT or Streaming then you need to start there. Of course, it's for TV only. Not any practical SAT Internet options for RVs yet - those are likely a year or so away.

We had the same decision in July 2017 when we bought a new Adventurer. We had already dropped SAT TV at our home so we said NO to SAT on the RV (though I've kept an auto SAT dish I had from a previous RV, just in case.) And we went full into Streaming all our TV on the RV.

The basics are easy. But the details are quite complex. To stream TV on your RV you'll need some kind of cellular data device - smartphone or Mifi broadband router.

Those are all the easy parts. The hard part is getting enough, affordable HIGH SPEED data.

We like to watch TV at lunch and dinner and after dinner before bed. We stream from all the usuals, Netflix and Prime, etc. I would say our usual data usage is between 5gb and 8gb PER DAY.

The run of the mill "Unlimited" data phone plans offer at most 22gb of on phone data and 15gb of Mifi hotspot data PER MONTH.

So, you need to learn about all the not so run of the mill options that are available.

The best place to do this is at www.rvmobileinternet.com. They track all the devices, all the data plans, all the boosters, antennas, etc There is a lot of info there for free but the really in depth valuable info is in the paid membership section. I've been a paying member for 3-years and it's been 100% responsible for me being able to successful stream all our TV.

If you go SAT the only real practical choice is DISH. It's just like cable TV. No streaming so no netflix, prime, etc. Lots of channels you'll never even look at.

So, good luck. It is possible, but it's difficult. The truth is a lot of folks see it as easy because they use just a few gigs of data a month and don't see what all the fuss is about. So, you'll hear about all kinds of easy cheap options that have a ton of gotchas and don't really work for people that stream hundreds of gigs of data a month.
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Old 03-27-2020, 03:16 PM   #3
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Welcome,
You cannot get wifi and sat tv all in one. Sat internet is available, but remember back when you had dialup at home. Thats the speeds you can expect via sat.
Most folks go with cellular based wifi. Depending on how much you need cell based is probably your best option. With the new 5G coming on line its eventually going to be THE way.
As for TV, Dish network is your best option. With any sat TV you antenna choices are limitless. Roof top automatic dishes, whether open or dome are really handy. But the downside, parking in the trees you likely will not get a signal. Ground based dishes at least allow you to place the antenna someplace where you can get a signal.
So, bottom line, Verizon for your cell service, Dish for TV. Verizon offers a MiFi which is a stand alone super dumb cell phone that recieces signal and broadcasts it via wifi to you devices. They have lots of plans to cover your needs.
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Old 03-27-2020, 10:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help and suggestions. Iíll do some additional research while my MH is in quarantine and I have plenty of time the next few weeks.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:00 PM   #5
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Take a look at this post about Visible

Post on using Visible and how to do it
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Old 03-28-2020, 03:32 PM   #6
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My MH is prewired for "Traveler Satellite". .
With all due respect to the other posts, satellite TV is a 20-year-old technology that is cratering in the marketplace. A last-ditch merger between DirecTV and Dish is not unlikely.

We own a Trav'ler and got ~8 good years out of it watching DirecTV. Ours is now stowed on our roof unused. We switched to pure streaming 6 months ago and have not regretted it. Yes, you do have to look around and be creative to find data plans, but they are there if you look hard enough.

The overall cost to us is somewhat less using streaming and we have a far greater range of programs available. Even when we had DirecTV we still streamed Netflix, Amazon Prime and Acorn. So the only real change was substituting YouTube TV for DirecTV and adding a backup data source. With two cellular hotspots backing up the RV park's wifi in a Load Balancing router we always have plenty of bandwidth to stream what we want.

Bottom line, I sure wouldn't put money into satellite TV at this point in time. JMO

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Old 03-28-2020, 06:47 PM   #7
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. . . need to access the internet for work and would prefer to use it for TV as well . . . My MH is prewired for "Traveler Satellite" . . . should i just rely on my phone and downloads for a few months?
A Winegard Travler will set you back about $2k . . . that's a lot for just "a few months".

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Sat internet is available, but remember back when you had dialup at home. Thats the speeds you can expect via sat.
Those were the speeds for your father's satellite Internet, it's much faster today. However, it's expensive and for only a few months, stick with cellular.
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Old 03-29-2020, 06:17 AM   #8
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Thanks for all your comments, Iím lucky since I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan. Unless there is something that could be a significant benefit to cellular speed, Iíll probably just take a few trips and see how it performs. I donít mind investing in Wi-fi technology if it will be more reliable and faster.
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:30 AM   #9
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Streaming will work as long as you can get a good cell signal and a good data rate. We have been to too many places that even using a cell phone booster with a direction antenna, we can only get a signal for phone calls and text.

So until the country is blanketed with a cell signal, we have to rely on satellite TV. Streaming is just not there yet.

Ken
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Old 03-29-2020, 07:37 AM   #10
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Thanks for all your comments, Iím lucky since I have a grandfathered unlimited data plan. Unless there is something that could be a significant benefit to cellular speed, Iíll probably just take a few trips and see how it performs. I donít mind investing in Wi-fi technology if it will be more reliable and faster.
gUDP with which carrier? Thatís great to have that. I remember when my wife and I held on to one for years and then she got a new iPhone 5 and the salesman talked us into dropping it.

I have an ATT and Verizon truly unlimited now but they were not easy to get.

The Netgear Nighthawk MiFi is a great choice for ATT. Itís a super capable modem/router. It works great. For Verizon I use a 7730L Jetpack, itís not the latest MiFi for them but the 8800L that is has had some issues with reliability. Though that might be fixed now, Iím not sure.

Both of these MiFis have dual TS-9 antenna ports to easily connect MIMO antennas. And Netgear sells a cheap small MIMO antenna that works great with either MiFi device.

We also use them with a WiFi Ranger GoAC router. The Nighthawk connects via Ethernet and the Jetpack via USB to the GoAC. Then the GoAC in load balance mode seamlessly switchís between the two as needed to use the best signal. Itís WiFi as WAN capable as well and picks up campground WiFi to add that to the mix, as well. So, it load balances all three at the same time - campground WiFi + ATT + Verizon.

There are other options that are a bit better but more expensive. Pepwave and Cradlepoint make combination devices that are roof mounted and are both WiFi as WAN devices with built in cellular modems that accept SIM cards. They are a great option now. And WiFi Ranger has a brand new line with similar capabilities. I purchased my gear a few years ago and over time updated it piecemeal. So Iíve not looked into replacing everything for the newer and frankly better options. But they are more expensive, as well.

I also have a WeBoost Drive 4G-X cellular booster but itís not needed very often any longer.

So, there are a lot of options and you can move your gUDP SIM card to all manner of devices to get great internet access in all but the most remote areas.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:00 AM   #11
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gUDP with which carrier? That’s great to have that. I remember when my wife and I held on to one for years and then she got a new iPhone 5 and the salesman talked us into dropping it.
.
I’ve had an AT&T business account for 20 years. They have changed my plan many times when I upgrade phones (without full disclosure) but somehow I was able to keep unlimited data. Called yesterday to confirm because of all the posts I’ve read about expensive data plans.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:02 AM   #12
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Streaming will work as long as you can get a good cell signal and a good data rate. We have been to too many places that even using a cell phone booster with a direction antenna, we can only get a signal for phone calls and text.

So until the country is blanketed with a cell signal, we have to rely on satellite TV. Streaming is just not there yet.

Ken
Wow, Ken you must be hitting some really out of the way places. We stream over cellular broadband for all our TV and have only encountered one place in two years that we were unable to get a good cell signal for streaming.
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Old 03-29-2020, 08:18 AM   #13
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Wow, Ken you must be hitting some really out of the way places. We stream over cellular broadband for all our TV and have only encountered one place in two years that we were unable to get a good cell signal for streaming.
When people report "there's no cell service where I am" they often fail to appreciate that cellular coverage varies significantly across the major carriers. Just because they couldn't get cell service on their carrier doesn't mean that service wouldn't have been available on a different one. We try maintain service on at least two carriers to ensure that we always have a good chance at having it and our findings are similar to yours.
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Old 03-29-2020, 09:56 AM   #14
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You're right Joel, I hadn't thought perhaps he has Sprint or just one carrier.

We have ATT and Verizon and there are plenty of places we don't see one or the other. And sometimes, without our WeBoost we don't see anything either.

Let me make my original statement again: Only once, in the last two years, were we somewhere with no ATT and no Verizon and the Weboost was not able to help.
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