Jump to content


Garage Vehicles

Disney Pics 003.jpg

Jeep Wrangler (1992)

Owner: Megatron

Added: 27 September 2013 - 08:56 AM

20131023_113518.jpg

Dodge Ram 3500 (2006)

Owner: Megatron

Added: 25 September 2013 - 07:37 AM

6-inch XJ suspension lift (Lead).jpg

Jeep XJ Cherokee 4WD Sport 4-door (1999)

Owner: Moses Ludel

Added: 15 September 2013 - 01:16 PM


Photo
- - - - -

Travel Trailering and Access to High Speed Internet Service

travel trailer camp trailer 4x4 trailer trailering trailer accessories travel trailer forum toy hauler forum

  • Please log in to reply
5 replies to this topic

#1 Moses Ludel

Moses Ludel

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 919 posts
  • LocationReno Area...Nevada
Garage View Garage

Posted 22 July 2013 - 07:10 PM

As the publisher of 4WD Mechanix Magazine, I often find myself covering events and subjects at remote areas or outside the Starbucks or motel/hotel's Wi-Fi internet access. The magazine and forums require ongoing access.  Sometimes HD video news warrants immediate uploading to the 4WD Mechanix HD Video Network at the magazine website...

 

Does anyone have experience with reliable, or for that matter unreliable, mobile or RV internet access equipment and services?  The aim is to be anywhere within reason and still remain connected.  I understand the satellite needs: a clear line of sight South and no dense cloud cover.  We used Wild Blue (Hughes) coverage years ago. 

 

Upload and download speed is very important, cost is always a consideration, and reliable internet service is a must.  Any insights here? 

 

Appreciate all comments, many of us need more than "Dish TV" and HBO in the wilderness.  A trip to Alaska along the Alaska Highway through the Yukon cannot mean the end of internet access—or magazine connectedness.

 

Moses



#2 Megatron

Megatron

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts
  • LocationGVMO
Garage View Garage

Posted 24 July 2013 - 08:50 AM

  Unfortunately, I don't think the tech world has caught up to you travelers that well yet. I install communication equipment on towers for cellular use. To me that is your best bet if you're in range of said services. Satellite would have to be a great option for traveling really remote areas, but I'm not sure what prices and speed are. Plus, I thought only download speeds from satellite were high speeds and uploads were not?? I could be wrong. Just ask my wife..

 

   All of my crews travel and we use tethering from phone to pc or configure the phone to be a mobile hotspot (assuming your phone can do it). Now speeds and data size are restricted by the capabilities of the supporting cell site and your wallet ha-ha. With us it's mainly documents being transferred back and fourth so no real size. Blueprints, RF configuration sheets, etc. Generally less than 1mb per transfer. Now if you're trying to stream movies and upload pictures, well hurry up and wait...Now a modern phone with a bigger processer will help with speeds, so don't forget to take this into consideration.

 

  The best way will always be a modem hooked to the land lines with you linked either to it directly or wireless. Wireless infrastructure is improving, but not in areas we go off-roading and camping lol.  

 

  As for you, I think you're too far ahead of technology. Really, coverage outside of your Starbucks and McDonald hotspots really doesn't support that much speed and file transfer size. For years we would stop outside of the high dollar motels and do our upload and downloads before we headed off to the site. Sleeping at the Motel 6 and doing paperwork at the Hilton lol.

 

  Now there is equipment that can extend your range of cellular coverage. It acts like a booster (assuming similar to the CB radio situation). The problem is while it extends your range it really does nothing in the way of faster up/downloads. Just lets you get further into the woods/desert before you lose signal. 

 

  If it was me, I would pick the best cellular carrier, with coverage in my area (and since you're traveling guess they all qualify lol), and go with an unlimited data plan. Tether your phone or choose Wi-Fi extender, keep your cell battery charged and click send. Then make a sandwich and watch the sunset while it grinds away.

 

  The recent round of cellular upgrades (aka LTE) has been relocating the radios from the ground level to the top of the tower. We then run fiber optic up the tower thus putting the radio directly behind the antenna with a direct path to fiber. This gives the highest rate of speed and data transfer possible. While this still seems to be in metro areas only, it will expand over the next few years to the more remote areas.

 

  The leader of this install, and I think they are the Devil, is AT&T. They have the jump by a year or so on Sprint and Verizon. They have more areas with this capability then anyone else. Sprint would be a strong second and third would be Verizon. (and for the most part, if you have any other cell provider, you're just buying minutes through a middle man of the Big 3). Now Verizon is my personal favorite because I think they are a better company as a whole, but that's a different topic for a different forum.

 

  I don't have any experience with any other technologies out there so my field of view is focused on what we use. Plus if you guys burn up that cellular data it means more work and off-road parts for me lol.

 

  Hope this gives you some insight to our field of work. Coverage and speeds get better everyday. However, we just haven't reached all the areas yet. Hopefully someone else may have some insight to other technologies available for your situation. I would like to see what else is out there.

 

 Attached is a photo from last month showing a new fiber LTE site on a new stealth pole we built (can you spot the RF equipment?). It is designed to look like a pine tree. So when you're traveling keep an eye out because you may already have some high speed cell service at your campsite lol.

Attached Files


If you think its expensive for a professional to do it, wait until you see what it cost for an amateur to do it... 


#3 Moses Ludel

Moses Ludel

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 919 posts
  • LocationReno Area...Nevada
Garage View Garage

Posted 24 July 2013 - 03:20 PM

Megatron, very insightful!  I'm still laughing about making a sandwich and watching the sunset as the data uploads to the internet!

 

I took a quick look at satellite services, the affordable ones tie to HughesNet.  A bit of history:  We lived and I wrote from Yerington, Nevada for years.  We began our internet access with a 24K modem to a local server host, with bandwidth, as we used to say, generated by squirrels running in a cage. 

 

This thin stream of data fed through our archaic, analog telephone lines, which would unexpectedly disconnect at odd times in the winter months.  Next up was the quantum leap to a Wild Blue dish (somewhat like HughesNet).  I could actually upload a light URL page in just minutes—as long as Nevada Energy wasn't dropping electrical service on our rural power line to satisfy big agriculture's irrigation and pumping needs during the summer season—and barring January or February storms that would smother the receiving dish with blizzard snow every ten minutes.

 

The magazine's location at Fernley revolutionized our internet access.  Charter, frankly, has served us well.  Plenty of speed up/down (4-5MB up, 10-15 down) without a high monthly cost.  Given our historic experience, this is really something and certainly acceptable for the magazine site's maintenance and HD video uploads to Vimeo Pro.  Fast enough.

 

Given your expertise in cellular, is there a cellular solution that makes sense?  Satellite with any speed is too costly, but cellular with current 4G available in many locations must have some potential, right?  We're using Verizon, would otherwise consider Sprint, and I appreciate your comments here.  For years, we had AT&T for cellular phone service and discovered its perfect score for dead cell areas that never improved, despite the AT&T claim that the company was "constantly adding towers"—certainly nowhere near rural Nevada!

 

On trips to Moab, Utah from Fernley, we have traveled from just east of Fallon, Nevada to Delta, Utah, along U.S. Highway 50 ("The Loneliest Highway in America"), without any cell phone reception—either from AT&T or any partners in the area: a distance of 437 miles!  This and chronic dead spaces from Yerington to Silver Springs, Nevada, and from the Humboldt Sink NE of Fernley all the way to Wendover along I-80, made us believe that AT&T meant, "You'll only have service when you don't care, and never where you might really need it!"  Despite promises to build more towers, AT&T apparently held out for the next leap in technology. 

 

The combination of fiber optic and RF sounds promising, though likely expensive for consumers initially.  (I did spot the RF fixture atop the stealth pine tree, it's at the upper branch, right side, right?)  A visit to the local Verizon office a year ago to consider an Android and similar options left my wife and me scratching our heads. 

 

Would 4G and a tablet make sense, and is that cost effective?  Is this an alternative to a satellite dish on the trailer?  Could I keep the magazine fresh and running (including uploads to the server and Vimeo) from the Rubicon Trail or Black Rock Desert?  Your comments about traveling deep into the woods or desert and watching the signal get steadily dimmer is all too true!  We do magazine coverage at places like Moab, Utah and High Rock Canyon, Nevada—as a general rule, the words "canyon" and "cellular" should never be used in the same sentence!

 

Your thoughts?  Comments from others? 

 

Moses



#4 Megatron

Megatron

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 32 posts
  • LocationGVMO
Garage View Garage

Posted 26 July 2013 - 07:12 AM

  I would love to say a 4G device is your end all problem answer but I'm afraid I would be lying. It's just simply a coverage thing. Cellular does not focus on areas that don't see big traffic numbers. They do in some situations but only if there is a dollar to be made. I think it would solve some issues in certain areas, but the back 40 that you work with, well not so much. We need to find a way to turn the Ham radio scene into high speed internet. Those guys can reach out from anywhere lol.

 

  I personally think you are faced with an issue that does not have a do all, affordable solution. To me satellite has more of the anywhere factor you are after, but the price is enough to make you buy a fleet of carrier pigeons and send little messages back to a secretary and have them update your info. There are things in the works for a mobile boost station that can reach a lot further than the normal amps. They also provide a wireless work station for your mobile platform. This would allow you to continue using your current equipment if it is wireless. The problem is they still can only offer you the ability of the cell site you are reaching out too. Plus toss in your canyon factor and your back to square one, no service lol.

 

  If you were in a fixed location all the time you could do a simple microwave hop and get your high speed signal, but that's not the case..

 

  Your eye for the RF equipment on the Monopine is good. There is actually 3 T mounts, 6 antennas, 3 tower mounted amps, 3 tower mounted radios plus a host of other supporting hardware and cables on that tower.

 

  Don't get me wrong, I think cellular will work in many of the locations and help you out a lot, but it still has its voids. The old rock and middle of nowhere issue if you will...or was that a rock and a hard place..


If you think its expensive for a professional to do it, wait until you see what it cost for an amateur to do it... 


#5 Moses Ludel

Moses Ludel

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • 919 posts
  • LocationReno Area...Nevada
Garage View Garage

Posted 26 July 2013 - 02:56 PM

Yep, a rock and a hard place!  You're right, there is no "silver bullet"...Sounds like cellular would be similar to the Wi-Fi at Starbucks:  great when available.  Wi-Fi cafes are largely an urban phenomenon. 

 

At Moab and other places, the RV trailer parks now have Wi-Fi.  However, there's no promise of evening bandwidth availability when everyone in town is drawing down the local server with streaming Netflix, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter—as the night drags on, speed and bandwidth dwindle to something like the 24K modem and analog phone lines at Yerington.

 

Nothing's perfect, and you do paint a brighter future.  For now, Wi-Fi and spotty cellular access can at least keep track of the magazine's 450-plus URL pages and its dozens of dedicated-domain, Vimeo Pro hosted HD video frames.

 

I'll add more info as this "connected at the woods" venture unfolds...Thanks for the reality check, Megatron!

 

Moses



#6 biggman100

biggman100

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 225 posts
  • LocationNew York
Garage View Garage

Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:08 AM

Moses, i would like to add some real world experience here. My wife and her parents have an AT&T cell phone plan, with the largest data package they could get, and it is very useful in most places, but like our recent trips to the Adirondacks, and the 1000 islands, their phones wouldn't work at all. No cell, no internet, nothing. I on the other hand, have a pre-paid cell phone, and although it has limited internet, it is useful for at least checking email and such, and, even though my phone is on the Verizon network, i still had the same issues. No cell coverage, and no internet coverage.

 

After having this issue last year as well, my wife and i thought it would be advantageous, at least in an emergency, to try a mobile hotspot, so we got a pre-paid one, first from Verizon, and then tried one from AT&T, and still, no internet coverage. Last year, i decided to try satellite connection, and although it worked fairly well, it was very expensive, so we decided we would just go without it for the times we are out camping and such. My father in law has a satellite phone, which even works in the middle of big lakes, but, again, he pays an astronomical fee for having it.

 

On a side note, i have some practical experience with Wild Blue, in that before i opened my computer shop, and while i was still in tech school getting a masters in computer science, i worked for dish network at the start of the Wild Blue craze, and for those of you that don't know, Wild Blue is a Dish network owned company, or at least it was, i havent kept up on it much. Wild Blue worked well for what it was advertised for, except that the dish has to be pointed the right way, and things like severe storms, snow on the dish, and even trees can block the signal. The down side to Wild Blue, it's only for internet coverage, and doesn't help in anyway for cellular service—unless you have an internet texting app that will work on your phone when it is connected to internet, and what use would that be when driving?





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: travel trailer, camp trailer, 4x4 trailer, trailering, trailer accessories, travel trailer forum, toy hauler forum

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users