RV'ing and internet

katlanNovember 21, 2012

We bought a Winnebago Rialta. I will be shamelessly asking for rv'ing advice about all sorts of things. We won't be going anywhere right away, but hopefully soon!

My big question now is how or what do I do to get internet on my laptop while traveling? Not just free wifi at places like Starbucks, but access all the time, no matter where we go? Is there a plan, service, download that I can get so I have secure internet anywhere?

Thanks for any and all advice!

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We have an air card but almost all campgrounds have WiFi that is good or at least decent enough. I'm going to look into how the new phones can be used as an air card. Need to do a little research on that.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 9:36AM
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Most of the campgrounds have WiFi, which in most cases is very good. I always check before making reservations to see that they do have internet. If at all possible we don't stay at RV Parks that don't have internet.

If we are out for only a week or two and there is a campground that doesn't have WiFi and we will only be there for a night or two we do without. You can survive for a night or two without internet.

If we are going to be out longer than a couple of weeks then we use our Virgin Mobile broadband to go and get unlimited minutes. Since we travel with 2 laptops we got the unit that will work up to 5 devices. There have only been a couple of places that it didn't work and that was because we didn't have service for our cell phones. Otherwise we like it just fine and would buy it again.

We buy our Virgin Mobile cards at places like Best Buy, Walmart, Target. We buy cards for a month at a time so when we aren't traveling we don't have service.

I am sure others will come in to share what works for them but so far this has worked for us and we have been traveling a lot over the past 3 years.

Congratulations on buying your RV and I am sure you will have lots of fun when you hit the road. There are so many beautiful places to go in this great country of ours.

There are a lot of us that RV so just ask away for any information you want.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:22AM
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The internet is more and more available as you travel. At campgrounds especially. We also have a Verison card that we can use but it is $$$ as you use it, Often the connections at campgrounds can be frustrating, as in very slow or droping you...the slowness usually makes me give up on the laptop. We ;have had an 'android' cell phone for a year or so, and it can access the internet and pick up mail, text, and connect to many apps while 'on the road'; at least most of the time you can pick up a phone signal. We haven't been away from the west coast for a few years, and improvements come pretty fast, but even in Alaska, we could catch a signal every few days.
Location, location, location.

My son tells me that once I get an IPad, I will not want to have my laptop... but I really like a keyboard, as my texting skills are not great..

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:43AM
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We have an AT&T account and get ours through that unless we are in a park and even then sometimes. We also have a little unit that boosts the wifi from the park...Whhere your lot is in the park sometimes makes a difference too.

Honestly we use our iPad constantly while we are traveling so I wouldn't want to be without service. Even with our AT&T sometimes there is no service because you are outside the range of a tower...In some of the northwestern states you can be Sheet out of luck anyway for long periods of time. The signal just doesn't pierce those tall mountains...

We end up checking the iPad and internet constantly to find the answer to some question about the area that we are in. We also have a little ap that allows me to follow our route and it gives lots of info about miles and time etc etc

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:52AM
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PS....Check out your local chapter of the Winnebago travel club...it has become our travel family. All the people we have met while traveling are wonderful folks...but a club offers close to home get-togethers that really can help you find your way in your 'magic wonder machine'. Wishing you many years of safe travels! Nanny

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:53AM
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Hey thanks for all the well wishes! We are excited for sure. Although we really can't go anywhere til our long time family pet, Jack, is no longer with us. He's part border collie and full blooded dalmatian.

He is 17. Totally deaf, almost completely blind. He has never been kenneled. He has extreme anxiety if we are away from him for too long. We can't take him with us because the rv is too small for that, and he gets upset when we take him to my in-laws for a visit and that's only a mile away. We can't leave him alone and have someone come everyday to feed him and let him out. So, we know it's only a matter of time, but we have to tend to and care for him first.

I will definitely check out the options you all suggested. I want to see the Grand Canyon! haha I even told DH I would be willing to give Florida a try, once, and only in the winter. I don't know if anyone remembers that I hate summer. I hate the sun, the heat the humidity.

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate your help.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 5:20PM
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Congratulations! You will love it.

We will be happy to answer any questions you have.

Who is your cell carrier? If Verizon, email me. No, I don't work for them, don't even like them much but will be switching back to them in a year or so. There is a trick to it, but I don't want to post it here.

My biggest tip? Check into Passport America!!!!!! For about $40/year, you can get 1/2 price camping at certain campgrounds, certain days of the week. We love it! And, no, I don't work for them either.


    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Not sure, but no laptop is secure unless you have a firewall regardless of the server--go to the Computer Forum for computer infr. there are some great people there.
As for RV--Passport America is good and for supplies, Camping world is good, but expensive. Stay away from other places like Coast to Coast--Thousand Trails is good, Western Horizons dupilicates Coast to Coast --rip off. Good Sam has excellent books, some campgrounds are better than others. There magazine is worth the money for ideas,tips and suggestions.
Good luck and enjoy

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 10:54PM
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Tami, I do have verizon. I clicked on your "my page" and then clicked on send a email from this email but it's the wrong email address for me in there. I tried changing my email, then went back to email you again, and it still has my old email in it.

hmmmmm, I changed it on the edit my info page, saved the changes, but it's still showing the old email.

I'll go back and try again, maybe it takes a while to be changed?

Anyhow, thank you everyone for your great advice about where, and where not, to go for rv'ing information.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 9:30AM
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Katlan, just go ahead and send me the email thru my page and include your correct email addy in it, and I can get back to you that way. I might be able to help and may not.


    Bookmark   November 22, 2012 at 10:20PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I bought a very small travel router that I can use in the RV that way no matter where I am and what connections I am using I have it go through my personal router so that I know it is secure. I have it set up with the highest security settings so even if I am using free wifi somewhere it is secure. Plus it can create a wifi hotspot for me to use all my wifi devices.
I have an air card from ATT that I use sometimes plus I have Att on my cellphone, you can add a data package, most of the big carriers have ways to do this some more costly than others. And it definitely depends on where you are at some places have service some don't.

my portable router
Mobile Wireless Router

We joined Good Sam and have been happy with them and the discounts we get at Camping world and Flying J truck stops through them.
I will warn you after I signed up with Good Sam and used my regular email address I have been swamped with junk mail I am afraid it came from there because that was the only new place I used my regular email address. Had I known I sure would have used one of the other email addresses.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 3:57PM
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My dad's been RVing for a long time and does 6 months/year for the last 9 years. He belongs to Passport America and Good Sam's for their documentation and various discounts. He doesn't use any internet other than free ones (at campgrounds) and does without when he stays at some of the more remote parks. He likes the Army Corps of Engineers parks because there is more space at each site. You sacrifice some "perks" but if you're self contained, it's not a big deal.

Sorry to hear about your dog; I know what that's like and hope that journey is peaceful.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 6:41PM
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Hubby and I RV with our 10 yr old boys. Used to have Mifi card for laptop. It was a pain.

I use an IPAD now.

Wouldn't be without it.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 11:15PM
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