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Old 09-20-2021, 09:12 AM   #1
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Winegard ConnecT 2.0 questions? internet options?

This may have been discussed already, but I can't find the topic.

My Chaparral came pre-wired for the Winegard Connect 2.0 4G / wifi booster. We often need to work from the road, so we are looking at internet options that do not require us to hotspot our AT&T cell phones.

We try to use park wifi when available, but our favorite campground doesn't offer wifi and even in the ones that do, we haven't found it to be very reliable. We would prefer a pay-as-you go plan since we don't travel every month.

Could someone help walk us through the questions below? I am pretty green with all things traveling internet.

1.) Is the ConnecT 2.0 a viable option for us, or is there some other equipment that we should consider instead? Price point is definitely a consideration, as we don't want to spend a fortune for sporadic internet use. We're ok with the $500-600 range for equipment if we have to be.

2.) Which carrier plans should we consider? We would primarily be using this for conference calls and emails, but the kids may want to occasionally watch a movie, youtube, etc... if it's a rainy day and they can't go outside.

Are there any other things that we have not considered, but may need to?
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:22 AM   #2
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Do your research here https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/ they provide a lot of valuable and up to date insight. You don't have to join.
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Old 09-20-2021, 09:32 AM   #3
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This is a huge topic and cannot be easily answered. The very best thing you can do is purchase a membership at www.RVMobileinternet.com. It will take some reading but they report, test and evaluate all mobile Internet options, equipment, data plans, etc and they update their info constantly.

To answer your two questions:

The winegard product isnít terrible, but itís not really going to do what you think it will - itís not really a booster but it puts antennas for WiFi and cellular on your roof which does improve performance. Their system contains no boosting amplifiers.

There are many better options some of them cheaper than the Winegard and many of them more expensive.

Your number two question is an ever changing issue that depends entirely on your needs and budget. However, the Winegard product has its own data plan that is both too expensive and not competitive with what youíll be able to get elsewhere.

Iím not a fan of the Winegard product but they have convinced (or paid) some RV manufacturers to include support for their product in many RVs. Your mileage my vary, as they say.

If you donít wish to take the time to learn all about this topic but just want some vendor to figure it out for you you might try www.Mobilemusthave.com. They are rvers and sell complete solutions. They seem to price things fairly but expect their services to come at a premium price.
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:07 AM   #4
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I have the Winegard Connect (white dome). I believe it was the first 4G version. I regret purchasing it. I purchased it when they offered the ATT yearly plan. When I had that plan it was a perfectly fine solution. We didn't have to worry about running out of data and the speeds were good enough. When we had a decent signal we could stream from one TV. Then they cancelled the plan. The new plans were awful. Too expensive and very little data. They are still awful today.

I recently installed a Verizon sim in ours. We had a four-week trip and Verizon waved the activation fee. The plan was 50GB and then the speeds reduce when you exceed the 50GB. No idea what ate through the data. It lasted less than two weeks and we did not stream anything from the TV. The reduced speeds were almost unusable. We were back to using our phone hotspots halfway through the trip.

I dropped the Verizon plan last week.

My 2-cents... The Winegard is not worth the initial investment. You'll get the same results, possibly even better results by just using your phone hotspot. The fact that the Winegard has the Wifi connection also doesn't really help unless the place you are staying has great internet service. I believe we have maybe found one RV park out of over 50 that had great Wifi.
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Old 09-21-2021, 08:09 AM   #5
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I have had less issue with the Winegard 2.0. I think the equipment works great and it is all out of site. No wires or extra components laying around and it sends out a really strong signal even enough for our family camping next to us to use. The real problem is with the data providers. As said the winegard plan is expensive. Verizon is absolutely horrible when it comes to customer service and helping getting it to work on their system. I am using At&t now and have no complaints so far.
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:32 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ssowers View Post
I have had less issue with the Winegard 2.0. I think the equipment works great and it is all out of site. No wires or extra components laying around and it sends out a really strong signal even enough for our family camping next to us to use. The real problem is with the data providers. As said the winegard plan is expensive. Verizon is absolutely horrible when it comes to customer service and helping getting it to work on their system. I am using At&t now and have no complaints so far.
Agree. As the SIM card is easy to change but on the roof to get to it there is a challenge. The problem of bring own device that many 2nd party retailers are pushing now is that it only applies to phones and not a SIM only. So then ATT, Verizon can dictate the pricing.

Come on Starlink....
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:35 AM   #7
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Nothing wrong with the Connect 2.0. I installed a Connect 2.0 on our last unit. It worked just fine. Went from NC to WY and back over 2000 miles. Used AT&T service plan. Not one LOS . It had a signal in Colter Bay Village where cell phones and other units with wifi systems couldn't get a signal. The speeds are nothing great at all. Best It ever did was 12 up and 3 down. It's not designed to go any faster. At least that is how Winegard explained it to me. While on the way out west I tried to see how well the WIFI booster part worked. It did OK but then again your left depending on what that campground or RV park offers ( in most cases not much ) we found. The only real draw back to the system if there is one. You have to climb up on the roof to install the sim card or factory reset the unit.

All that said , would I go out and by the system again, if my needs were small yes. The Connect 2.0 is a good simple to install system and is reliable. Just nothing for long range connections to cell towers and while you can stream with it just fine it is not going to allow much more than a laptop or tablet while you stream TV.

There are better options and I like what I have put together on our new 5th wheel now. I did pay more for the home built system and do pay more for service too. One of us is surfing on the web and the other is streaming and or working plus we use Google voice as our house phone with a OBi 200. Free house phone that way. For work it is great to have. The Netgear Orbi router connected to a Parsec Huskey antenna does a great job. On a 4G network connection and only 2 bars and I'm getting 75 to 110 Mbps down and about 4 to 5 up. If I set up on a 5G network ( only did it once so far) I get 125 to 200 Mbps down and 20 up. This set up is more than twice the cost of the Connect 2.0. It all comes down to what you need and want. Lots of options out there. As others have said check out www.RVMobileinternet.com they can be of great help with information.
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Old 09-21-2021, 06:28 PM   #8
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Had the Togo version for the AT&T unlimited plan. Tossed it after they cancelled it. Old cat 4 tech, limited bands, only 2.4 Ghz wifi. Get a cat 18 hotspot with antenna ports like the Inseego 8000 or 8800. Get a FMCA or Caylx Sprint /T-Mobile plan and/or a Visible plan that runs on Verizon. Or look at some of the carrier data plans.
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Old 09-22-2021, 02:47 PM   #9
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Wow, a lot of good info here and a lot to consider.

Price is definitely a factor for us, since we don't full time and during the summer and winter we really don't use the camper much (if at all). But at the same time, we don't want to completely cheap out and buy something that isn't usable when we do need it. It seems that the balance may be more difficult to achieve than I originally thought.

Primarily we need it for work during spring/fall, but there are times when the kids might want to stream a movie, so we are trying to find something that will balance that out.

Our phone hotspots "work" if we need to do some work, but we've had issues with having teleconference calls while on the hotspot uploading/downloading.
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Old 09-23-2021, 05:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nlambert View Post
Wow, a lot of good info here and a lot to consider.

Price is definitely a factor for us, since we don't full time and during the summer and winter we really don't use the camper much (if at all). But at the same time, we don't want to completely cheap out and buy something that isn't usable when we do need it. It seems that the balance may be more difficult to achieve than I originally thought.
I will preface my comments with the fact that we've been using the TOGO/Connect2.0 for several years now because of the attractive unlimited AT&T TOGO deal that was rolled out and then promptly went away when AT&T realized that we RVers can use a bunch of data! We quickly moved away from the next Winegard data plan because of cost and have been running a Cricket SIM since with respectable performance. Remember, you are relying on cellular technology and comparing speeds is a slippery slope to base your decisions unless you limit your travels to areas that have specific carriers with very defined performance. CAT 4, 6, 12, 18, 20, we all want to believe that a faster modem is better and in theory, it is. A CAT18 MIMO 4x4 modem on the bench will blow my old CAT4 out of the water. In the real world RV experience, not so easy to make comparisons. If budget was no concern, there are MUCH better and newer technologies than the Connect2.0. If budget is a concern, don't discard the Winegard just yet. Be very wary of the comments, "I get X-Mbps speed" since we don't know where you will travel or what carriers you will use.

To answer your question #1, "Is the Connect2.0 a viable option". You mention that you are "prewired", I will assume that you already own the Connect2.0. Yes, the Winnegard product in my real-world experience has been an OK performer. Old CAT4 architecture, limited bands, and it's easy to dismiss what the Connect2.0 can still do-especially for those who already own the unit and who desire a simplistic system. I routinely test and compare speeds with our Connect2.0 on Cricket vs. our Verizon Iphones as we travel across the US and it's all over the board-sometimes better, sometimes about the same, and sometimes no so good. Remember, you are a cellular user and conditions/carriers are the determining factor.

Question #2, "What carrier?" As you've probably already determined, there is no single answer as it all depends upon how much data you need, where you will be and it sounds like, perhaps the ability to suspend or at least limit the costs when you are not using the RV. We travel to all corners of the US yearly and getting off the beaten path will limit the carriers who will provide a reasonable signal so for us, the answer will be different than for many others. So, the real answer I guess is, it depends.

Dig through all of the good answers you have been given already, do some more research and then take your best guess as to what will work for your situation.
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