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Old 07-14-2022, 06:52 AM   #1
JDT
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WIFI Extender

Maybe not wording it correctly, but what I'm trying to do is get wifi to my fifth wheel which is in a garage behind our house. Our Pinnacle has the BMPro system which needs updating on occasion. It is hooked to shore power 24/7 and if I can get it hooked up to continuous wifi I can also use the BMPro app on my phone to check on its systems from anywhere.

I just installed a new TP-Link mesh router in our house. The closest I can get to the rv is with the satellite in our bedroom which is about 75 feet from the Pinnacle's parking spot. The signal has to go thru 3 walls before it reaches the rv. We have a 400 mbps cable internet service and in my shop I can get over 200 mbps but when I get inside the rv it drops to almost nothing. I was looking at one of those plug in extenders to put in my shop on the wall dividing it from the rv garage hoping that would work. I have no knowledge of them so I'm not sure if that would work. Just looking for ideas.
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Old 07-17-2022, 09:10 AM   #2
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Since no one has taken a stab at responding to you, I thought I'd give it a try.

From what you describe, you have a couple of issues. People tend to overlook the fact that WiFi is a 2-way communications medium. Your laptop, iPad or similar device has to be able to "talk" back to the access point you are trying to connect to. If you are barely able to see a WiFi signal when you are inside the RV, think about the problem going in the other direction since the transmitter on a battery-powered device is typically going to be small compared to that of a fixed access point.

To address the specific of your problem, it sounds as if the walls or "skin" of your RV may have a fair amount of metal which are contributing to the signal drop-off inside the RV. If that's the case you're never going to overcome that with brute force. I would suggest an antenna of some sort mounted outside the RV (on the roof?) with a cable to bring the signal inside to an antenna or device that would re-broadcast it inside the trailer. That same "system" would need to be able to transmit back to the source somewhere in your house.

In addition, rather than simply relying on a WiFi signal from a device in the bedroom of your house, take a similar approach and mount an antenna outside the house so that the signal going to the workshop and garage is stronger. 75 feet isn't a huge distance to travel, but be wary of all those claims about being able to connect a mile or more. Usually those tests are done under "ideal" conditions which don't often exist in the real world.

There's a lot of hardware to choose from with respect to implementing this approach; I'll let others chime in with respect to what to buy.
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Old 07-18-2022, 06:58 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by docj View Post
Since no one has taken a stab at responding to you, I thought I'd give it a try.

From what you describe, you have a couple of issues. People tend to overlook the fact that WiFi is a 2-way communications medium. Your laptop, iPad or similar device has to be able to "talk" back to the access point you are trying to connect to. If you are barely able to see a WiFi signal when you are inside the RV, think about the problem going in the other direction since the transmitter on a battery-powered device is typically going to be small compared to that of a fixed access point.

To address the specific of your problem, it sounds as if the walls or "skin" of your RV may have a fair amount of metal which are contributing to the signal drop-off inside the RV. If that's the case you're never going to overcome that with brute force. I would suggest an antenna of some sort mounted outside the RV (on the roof?) with a cable to bring the signal inside to an antenna or device that would re-broadcast it inside the trailer. That same "system" would need to be able to transmit back to the source somewhere in your house.

In addition, rather than simply relying on a WiFi signal from a device in the bedroom of your house, take a similar approach and mount an antenna outside the house so that the signal going to the workshop and garage is stronger. 75 feet isn't a huge distance to travel, but be wary of all those claims about being able to connect a mile or more. Usually those tests are done under "ideal" conditions which don't often exist in the real world.

There's a lot of hardware to choose from with respect to implementing this approach; I'll let others chime in with respect to what to buy.
Thanks for responding. Evidently trying to keep a wifi connection to an rv while parked at home is not a common issue. When I posted my question my frustration was kind of high. We had had issues with an older Orbi mesh not maintaining a connection with our Ring cameras, which Ring said was not uncommon. After a bunch of research I went with the TPLink which provided a great signal at the main unit next to our modem but not so much at the satellite. The distance was evidently too much for it to work at top speed with a wireless connection. Then I remembered I had previously run a Cat5e cable from our office where the modem is located to our bedroom tv, which we no longer used. I had to fish it out of our wall. When I connected it to the main unit and the satellite I had a full signal in our bedroom.

We mainly use our hotspots when we travel so I had not thought about using the Winegard 360+ and the Gateway router that came with our Pinnacle. I got the Gateway connected to our TPLink, no issues, and when I asked the BMPro tablet to find networks it was all downhill from there. The tablet is now connected full time and just did an update, which I had missed. All is good and again, thanks for taking the time to respond. I apologize for not posting an update but since the responses were not coming I just ignored it.
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Old 07-18-2022, 09:38 AM   #4
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We mainly use our hotspots when we travel so I had not thought about using the Winegard 360+ and the Gateway router that came with our Pinnacle. I got the Gateway connected to our TPLink, no issues, and when I asked the BMPro tablet to find networks it was all downhill from there. The tablet is now connected full time and just did an update, which I had missed. All is good and again, thanks for taking the time to respond. I apologize for not posting an update but since the responses were not coming I just ignored it.
You're use of the Gateway router was exactly what I meant by suggesting that higher power was needed on the RV side of the connection. I'm glad you were able to get things to work out.
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Old 07-18-2022, 11:36 AM   #5
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I had spotty wifi in my backyard, my rv is parked next to my detached garage. When another provider ran fibre optic up our street I decided to switch but only on the condition they could give me good coverage in my garage and backyard (I have 3 wifi cameras in the garage).
They installed two $400 panel booster antennas for free, one in the house and one in the garage. Coverage is fantastic now, the old service provider wasnít willing to do anything until I switched then of course they promised the moon.
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Old 07-19-2022, 06:26 AM   #6
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I had spotty wifi in my backyard, my rv is parked next to my detached garage. When another provider ran fibre optic up our street I decided to switch but only on the condition they could give me good coverage in my garage and backyard (I have 3 wifi cameras in the garage).
They installed two $400 panel booster antennas for free, one in the house and one in the garage. Coverage is fantastic now, the old service provider wasn’t willing to do anything until I switched then of course they promised the moon.
You are lucky. We've been in our house for 20 years and the only option we have ever had for high speed internet is Suddenlink. They are absolutely the worst company to deal with that I have ever encountered, in my life. We have heard rumors of other companies coming our way but it never seems to happen. I hope I live long enough to dump them. They are being taken over by another company next month and changing their name but my guess is that will be the only thing that changes.
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Old 08-18-2022, 12:41 PM   #7
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This setup works well for me

Also had problems with weak campground wifi signal.
This settup works well for me.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1

Set this up using a laptop. Unscrewed the primary antenna then added the 2nd item to the extender. Ran antenna wire through window or thru slde out seal, then put magnetic base up on roof. Pleased with results. Don't forget to stow add on antenna when breaking camp.
Also sometimes worked well with just the base unit alone.
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Old 08-18-2022, 04:47 PM   #8
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Also had problems with weak campground wifi signal.
If you have a weak WiFi signal you can do a variety of things to make it stronger.

However, if the park WiFi is slow and overloaded there is nothing you can do to improve it.
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