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Old 12-02-2022, 12:49 AM   #1
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Wifi/cellular data based router

Im looking for a router that can distribute wifi to the devices in our rig. This router should use the hosts wifi connection or a cellular connection/card.


Ever hear of such a thing? TIA
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Old 12-02-2022, 04:33 AM   #2
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I did some researching before I bought my cell router. This site may be of some help.

https://wirelessjoint.com/index.php?...65cf7a8e341e9c
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Old 12-02-2022, 07:14 AM   #3
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We use Pepwave BR1's in our fleet of motorcoaches at work. I bought 1 for my camper. It supports 2 Sim cards for carrier aggregation so you can choose the best 2 carriers for your needs if you want. They are a bit difficult to get setup initially but have been rock solid in both providing customer wifi in our buses and in my camper.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:25 AM   #4
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Im looking for a router that can distribute wifi to the devices in our rig. This router should use the hosts wifi connection or a cellular connection/card.


Ever hear of such a thing? TIA
Whatever it is it will not make a slow WiFi faster and most campground are slow. Starlink!

If you are using you cellular or something that is already inside the rig I have never found a need to extend it beyond the distance of 30 feet or so.

What specifically are you trying to do?
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:27 AM   #5
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Winegard products are very good IMO, we struggled with cell hot spots for a while then when got this Class A, it came with the Winegard WIFI/CELL modem and works great for us...
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Old 12-02-2022, 01:52 PM   #6
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It all depends on your budget.

A Pepwave or Instyconnect type device supporting 5G and 2 sim slots will cost at least $800-2000. This is hardware cost only, installs can be easy or difficult depending your your knowledge/skill. They will have the best cell coverage/signal strength and work in 99% of locations. Also might be faster than the RV Starlink in most locations. Using the sim from FMCA will run you about $65 a month, other sims can go up from there, or less depending again on technical knowledge. These systems run off 12v DC and are usually easy to keep running 24/7 and can be connected to even from the TV while traveling.

A RV Starlink setup will cost $700ish, along with the $135 a month. The signal is deprioritized which means you will get best effort, but not fastest speeds. Again a cell signal may and usually is better or the same speed and cheaper (currently). This will however be the only solution if you are boondocking in location where absolutely no cell signal is available. (as long as a starlink signal is available which I believe it covers most of if not all of north america now) The other things to keep in mind on this is that it only runs off 120v AC power. It also is pretty power hungry for what it is and can consume a lot of batter if running off a inverter. Trees and shade will also impact its ability to be used and cannot be used in motion (can be used in motion but much more expensive dish/initial cost).

If you cannot afford any of those you can also get a Netgear hotspot (other brands may allow you to connect external antenna) with cell service from ATT or Verizon etc. and use an external antenna and it will get better signal than a cell phone or winegard device.


Couple other things to keep in mind is that the Pepwave and InstyConnect and I believe Starlink will allow you to bridge to a campground WiFi (if its decent, otherwise no need to do this). This means only one thing to connect to the camp WiFi and all your devices work. It will also keep things more secure for you.
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Old 12-02-2022, 03:12 PM   #7
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We use Pepwave BR1's in our fleet of motorcoaches at work. I bought 1 for my camper. It supports 2 Sim cards for carrier aggregation so you can choose the best 2 carriers for your needs if you want. They are a bit difficult to get setup initially but have been rock solid in both providing customer wifi in our buses and in my camper.
Which one? There's a max and a mini and one on Amazon for $900.
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Old 12-02-2022, 06:39 PM   #8
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Im looking for a router that can distribute wifi to the devices in our rig. This router should use the hosts wifi connection or a cellular connection/card.

Ever hear of such a thing? TIA
Yes, and you might already have it in the palm of your hand.

If you have iOS or Android devices, contact your cellular provider to see if it supports a Personal Hotspot. If it does, they can provide the necessary information for setting up your device to use this feature.

Service, coverage and data plan offerings vary among the cellular providers; and just like any Wi-Fi (which is what they are), there's a maximum number of devices that can be connected. Transmission speeds can vary too.

I have had various iPhones with Personal Hotspots on Consumer Cellular's network (which uses AT&T's cellular network) since 2014. For me, it worked well.

Some important thoughts to keep in mind:
  1. Cellular providers, rarely offer a true unlimited data plan like the landed providers like Comcast, Verizon FiOS, and others. Consumer Cellular says their plan is unlimited, but in the "fine print" it says your speed may be reduced once you exceed the 50GB of data limit during your billing period.
  2. The data plan usage is the sum of the data used from all the devices you have your cellular plan. So if you have five devices on your cellular plan and each of them used 10GB...You've reached your data limit.
  3. If you currently do data intensive activities like streaming, cloud storage, large file transfers, etc., you, again, risk exceeding your data plan limit.
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Old 12-02-2022, 08:22 PM   #9
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If you are looking for a 5g modem combo than T-Mobile rents one ( no rental fee, no contract) for $50 a month flat, no taxes. But you have to be in a T-mobile area. May have to put it in a plastic bag outside if no window faces nearest tower.
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Old 12-02-2022, 09:01 PM   #10
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Im looking for a router that can distribute wifi to the devices in our rig. This router should use the hosts wifi connection or a cellular connection/card.


Ever hear of such a thing? TIA
Can you be more specific here? A Wifi AP (Access Point) are dime-a-dozen that can give you Wifi in your RV... What I don't quite understand is what you are describing as """This router should use the hosts wifi connection or a cellular connection/card.""" I'm assuming you are describing the WAN side, but there are routing considerations.

I think of the Wifi Connection of the RV Park you connect to being the WAN? They are typically the host, and on the WAN side of the router if your are maintaining a local network inside your RV. A Cellular interface is also typically on the Wan side of the router, but finding a device that can dynamically switch between one or the other requires some more sophisticated network gear and configuration.

Not that it can't be done, it requires a lot more configuration to make it able to sense the better network connection and dynamically fail over to the other route.
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Old 12-03-2022, 07:24 AM   #11
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I use the Mini - I bought mine through our vendor at work for $350. There are lots of places you can find them for around that same price. Here is a link to one I found. I have no experience with this seller.

https://5gstore.com/product/11484_pe...ecare_hw3.html
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Old 12-10-2022, 11:38 AM   #12
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If you are looking for a 5g modem combo than T-Mobile rents one ( no rental fee, no contract) for $50 a month flat, no taxes. But you have to be in a T-mobile area. May have to put it in a plastic bag outside if no window faces nearest tower.
I believe what you’re referring to is T-Mobile Home Internet. I’ve had it since March of this year. Unless T-Mobile has relaxed (or removed) the word “Home” in this service, it’s not intended to be used for mobile purposes. However, I have read where folks have successfully used the service in this manner. You might want to read the JOF thread, T Mobile Internet, for member posts regarding the service.

The T-Mobile Home Internet I use at my home in the Fayette Ridges of PA indicates a “Good” signal of the five signal strengths the T-mobile gateway displays. Overall, I am pleased that I was finally freed from the 40GB data limit I had been paying $40/mo. For $10 more, $50/mo. (if paid using Auto-Pay)with all taxes and fees included, plus no price increases, I now have a true unlimited data plan. Some cellular data plans say “unlimited” but, in the “fine print” you learn they can throttle you after you exceed a fixed amount of data.

Under my previous cellular IPS’s data plan, that 40GB of data was shared among 4 iPhones (with Personal Wi-Fi hotspots), 2 iPads, 3 Windows computers, 2 smart devices and 3 smart televisions. We could never do streaming , podcasts, or permit App, iOS and Windows updates to be applied automatically due to the amount of data they use; and using a cloud for data storage? Surly you jest! The initial backup of a of just a 64GB flash, SD or other type of storage device would blow my 40GB data plan right out of the water.

We took full advantage of our now, unlimited, data plan when we purchased a Samsung 65” smart television which came with a free subscription for their Samsung Tv Plus (which later was offered free to anyone). Our monthly data usage is almost always over 100GB; which clearly indicates (and I always knew) we needed more data than we could purchase. If I had stayed with our previous cellular ISP, their maximum data plan available is called “unlimited” and priced at $50/mo. (if paid using AutoPay and E-Billing). Note the “fine print”, though, which appears below.

“The totals shown here are costs for your monthly service only. They do not include any taxes and fees. Plans include a $5 monthly credit for participation in AutoPay and E-Billing.

On unlimited data plans, access to high speed data may be reduced after 50GB of use, and you may experience slower speeds for the remainder of your billing cycle.”
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Old 12-10-2022, 01:00 PM   #13
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this my third year renting one from T-Mo and never noticed slow down and watch a lot of movies.


Note, T-mobile now gives a refer a friend bonus so if you have someone on tmo and you get one they get a rebate on their monthly bill same as phone companies do for cellphone referrals. Make sure you use autopay and keep the UPS return or store return receipt to make sure they don't continue to bill you after you stop service.
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Old 12-10-2022, 04:00 PM   #14
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I carry three different hotspots. One is my Verizon phone, but it slows down after 5GB in a month. I have an AT&T 4G hotspot that is unlimited, but *may* slow down after 20GB. Then I have a 5G Verizon hotspot that is 150GB per month, which stops working if you hit the limit. I don't do enough travel to justify Starlink, but I certainly used satellite internet in the pre-cellular days.

Last night wind took out our home power for several hours, but I was able to use my laptop the entire time, including HD streaming.
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Old 12-10-2022, 06:15 PM   #15
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I am still trying to wade through all of this information but basically we have used our Verizon hot spot with unlimited data for years. While "unlimited data" is a great idea, there are limits. Unlimited data is the right word for data over your Iphone with Verizon at 5g but when you go to your hot spot it becomes 10G with our plan and then you get throttled.



I have found that they only true unlimited data is Starlink and while there are slowdowns at certain times of the day 100G is more than tolerable when it runs 180+ the rest of the day.


So I guess you can trial and error with all of these others but if you want true RV park WiFi you probably need to do something besides the cell phone plans and the RV park Wifi is probably going to do 5-10 at best if you stick with it. Good Luck!
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Old 12-10-2022, 09:09 PM   #16
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I am still trying to wade through all of this information but basically we have used our Verizon hot spot with unlimited data for years. While "unlimited data" is a great idea, there are limits. Unlimited data is the right word for data over your Iphone with Verizon at 5g but when you go to your hot spot it becomes 10G with our plan and then you get throttled.



I have found that they only true unlimited data is Starlink and while there are slowdowns at certain times of the day 100G is more than tolerable when it runs 180+ the rest of the day.


So I guess you can trial and error with all of these others but if you want true RV park WiFi you probably need to do something besides the cell phone plans and the RV park Wifi is probably going to do 5-10 at best if you stick with it. Good Luck!
Well said!

... and having a T-mo, Verizon and ATT hotspot with you while you are travelling across the vast continent of North America, You will find that T-mo/Verizon/ATT will have lots of places you find as the perfect place to stop - have no service. As technology continues to evolve, you have to evolve as well.. Even Starlink has places where the service is not that great, and we have Starlink too. It has proven to be the best at providing service for us to work, but when camped in a deep canyon along a river that seems to be paradise, sometimes Internet is not included in the "paradise package"
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Old 12-11-2022, 12:14 AM   #17
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Whatever it is it will not make a slow WiFi faster and most campground are slow.
What specifically are you trying to do?

Normally I tether to cellular for data. Some wireless parks have good speed, but lack in security. Having a decent firewall with source options is a possibility.
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Old 12-11-2022, 08:59 AM   #18
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CAG and Slopoke, have either of you used your starlink in Ouray CO? If so did it work?

I have seen and talked with many others who have starlink and have had both good and bad experiences with it. Unfortunately more bad than good as far as speed goes. Maybe thats changing as they place up more satellites, but they are also expanding the service. They also seem to be constantly changing terms of service as well, which now include throttling for home (not RV as their terms are already lowest priority).

I have worked in technology for a while and have learned to let some new tech "bake" for a while before jumping onboard. Starlink is one of those. Everyone who has it seems to still have cellular and usually a nicer Pepwave or Insty Connect not just a hotspot. My sticking point right now is the monthly cost at $135 it is cheap in some ways, depends on how much cellular you pay for. For me I use a high end cellular device and only pay $35 a month total between two providers both with unlimited service. I will probably be adding ATT from FMCA to the mix later in 2023 (unless starlink improves). Total cost between the three will be right around $100 a month with taxes.

I worked from the trailer for a few months this summer and only experienced complete lack of service in two locations across the US. One was Ouray CO and the other was Mesa Verde NP campground. I needed a better antenna... The speeds I averaged were 120+ the whole time. Very few times was it slower. But in almost every location my uploads were much faster than any starlink in the same campgrounds lor boondocking location. My average there was 20-40+ depending on the connection and others also using it.

I will say for total out in the middle of nowhere starlink is for sure the winner, but it really did surprise me how often and where cell signals were available. This includes hard to use locations like Glacier NP campgrounds etc.. Hosted a video teams meeting outside from there while my wife was streaming TV in the camper. No one else had any service and too many trees for anyone's starlink (would have needed to put it in the road and may still have been too many trees).
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Old 12-11-2022, 04:00 PM   #19
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Until Starlink came around, we relied heavily on Cellular LTE connections to allow DW and I to work as we travelled. Ut, Co, Az, Nm, Tx, Al, La, Fl, Ok, Ks, Ms, Ia, Mn, Ne, Nv, Wy and Id.

Early on, it was mostly a VZW or ATT hotspot or our Tmo phones tethered. Between the three carriers, we found a signal on at least one of the carriers when we were near a metro City, but that was not always the case. There were many times that we found a weak signal and terrible internet right off Interstate-10, and others where we could not work at all and had to move. That was when I invested in our Mikrotik LHG equipment. It made a weak or poor LTE connection on a MiFi box or our phones into a good connection that we could both work from. ** That includes both of us sharing the same connection and we both use Teams for our videoconferencing at the same time.

But even the Mikrotik radio's can't make LTE available where it really isn't there. Places in the wilderness of the Grand Tetons, or Moab, the Sawtooth's of Idaho and even Monticello FL have no service... and Starlink was a long time from being ready.

Now that we have our Starlink, we have not found one place that we have been unable to connect and work. We have the residential with portability plan and notice a slight speed difference when away from home, but even when we travel to a place where that location is on a waiting list still.. we have decent speeds and reliability - all for $135 a month. (Sorry, have not been back to Ouray with the Starlink)

When we are back at our home base, we keep the Starlink up and running on our Seneca, and have configured the Starlink to be our backup internet connection for our home offices. I configured our main router to fail-over to the Starlink connection in situations when our primary internet goes off-line.
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Old 12-14-2022, 01:03 PM   #20
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take a serious look at 'InstyConnect'. you will not be sorry.
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