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Old 02-26-2020, 02:56 PM   #1
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Wifi access for the RV

I have been doing a lot of research lately, and I think all I need is a booster antenna and a wireless repeater so I can pull in a WiFi signal for my devices...i.e.; streaming on the TVs, laptop, and phones. Any suggestions as to who may have the best deal? I have looked at TechnoRV (Alfa), Amazon (various companies), and Bitstorm (Bad Boy). Any help would be most appreciated! Thank you in advance!

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Old 02-26-2020, 07:19 PM   #2
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An antenna and/or booster isn't going to make campground wifi usable for streaming. There are too many other people using it, the bandwidth just isn't there.

Now, if you're looking for a way to boost your cell signal so your hotspot will work better, you can usually do that, as long as there is a signal to work with. If you have one bar, you can probably turn it into three bars, but no bars will remain no bars.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:27 PM   #3
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I have been doing a lot of research lately, and I think all I need is a booster antenna and a wireless repeater so I can pull in a WiFi signal for my devices...i.e.; streaming on the TVs, laptop, and phones. Any suggestions as to who may have the best deal? I have looked at TechnoRV (Alfa), Amazon (various companies), and Bitstorm (Bad Boy). Any help would be most appreciated! Thank you in advance!

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Chevy Aveo (toad)
In my experience, what works best for wifi is height and directionality.
Without both, it's hit and miss. About 1/2 of the camp wifi systems are overtaxed every evening, and they don't care. If you do everything mid day, you might get by.

Our setup consists of a 12-20ft telescoping mast with a Ubiquity Nano-Station at 5.8GHz. We create a local wifi network within the trailer.
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Old 02-26-2020, 07:27 PM   #4
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Build a Private RV Wi Fi System with a NanoStation & AirCube AC

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Old 02-26-2020, 07:47 PM   #5
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It might be worthwhile getting the terminology right. A "booster" is generally something that amplifies a signal, however that's probably not what you want. For one in most cases it doesn't increase signal quality, and also it would require all your devices to join the campground WiFi which is a pain as it requires configuration of each device plus the devices are more exposed on the network. What you likely want is a solution that creates a private network inside the RV (just like a typical home router would do) and then uses the campground WiFi as Internet access. Typically the connection to the campground WiFi is via a separate radio on the roof, this is what the two solutions above do. There are other pre-packaged solutions like RV-link, WiFi Ranger.
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:23 AM   #6
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Thank you all for your input; the Nano Station and Air Cube looks like a good way to go!
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:45 AM   #7
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Please do not waste your time and money on campground Wi-Fi access. You will find that even if you have solid connection to it, it will not support streaming video, it will cut out randomly. It will barely support checking email and a little web surfing.
Much better to invest in cellular access. You really need to shift your research to this. Granted there will be monthly fees for data access, but if you want good somewhat reliable internet access this is about your only option. Be aware though, you need to do LOTS of research, there are many options and much to learn.
Of course if you can wait a year or so, low orbit satellite technology such as starlink may be the new way to go. Once again just forget campground Wi-Fi. It is not worth the investment.
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Old 03-02-2020, 12:50 PM   #8
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Please do not waste your time and money on campground Wi-Fi access. You will find that even if you have solid connection to it, it will not support streaming video, it will cut out randomly. It will barely support checking email and a little web surfing.
That's not what I found in 43 campgrounds last year.
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:03 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your input; the Nano Station and Air Cube looks like a good way to go!
I have the 2.4 & 5 . They will reach out and pickup WiFi I can't even see on my cell. But you are still at the mercy of what's out there! Some configuration every time you move. Connect it to my toad OnStar when traveling.
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:34 PM   #10
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That's not what I found in 43 campgrounds last year.
I spent my 1st year of RVing (4years ago) trying to use the campground's WiFi. I built David Bott's Nano station rig and it did do a good job of connecting to Campground Wifi. However, It can do nothing about actually getting a good reliable internet connection. My own real world experience showed me that campground wifi is simply crap. I believe I managed to stay at one campground that did have pretty good WiFi, but even there during peak hours it dropped way off. It is always considered bad etiquette to stream video using the campground WiFi because of how much bandwidth it uses.
My experience is that cellular access is way more consistent and reliable than campground WiFi. I also believe we will be seeing fewer and fewer campgrounds offering wifi. It is expensive to install and even more expensive to maintain, on top of that, fewer and fewer campers are using it as well. But if you want to hang your hat on it, be my guest, but don't say you were not warned of it's demise.
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:44 PM   #11
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I spent my 1st year of RVing (4 years ago) trying to use the campground's WiFi . . .
If your campground WiiFi experience is from 4 years ago, things have changed.

How many campgrounds did you stay at?
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:48 PM   #12
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Im with the other poster on this thread who suggested checking out Starlink once it is up and going.

It is supposed to start this year, possibly by this summer. I'm going to jump on the bandwagon right away and give it a try.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:42 PM   #13
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I have the 2.4 & 5 . They will reach out and pickup WiFi I can't even see on my cell. But you are still at the mercy of what's out there! Some configuration every time you move. Connect it to my toad OnStar when traveling.
I too am using a NanoStation. At this point, only 5GHz. Do you test with both? Are there many places where there is 2.4Ghz but not 5GHz?

With the Nano, once the connection is made it stays connected very well, even if the speeds are variable.

Ironically, as more people use cellular, the load on camp wifi may be reduced. At least I hope so.
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Old 03-03-2020, 09:19 AM   #14
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Ironically, as more people use cellular, the load on camp wifi may be reduced. At least I hope so.
In my opinion, as more people move to cellular and away from campground WiFi the campgrounds will also respond by putting less resources into their WiFi. For many campgrounds keeping their WiFi systems maintained is one of the biggest problems they face on a day to day basis. For many of the smaller campgrounds the owners have no clue how to fix it when thing go wrong. I have a friend who owns one of these type campgrounds and he tells me he would love to stop providing Wifi and in fact as usage falls off he is giving it serious consideration. With the promise of starlink on the horizon, I see campground Wifi dying off.
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