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Old 01-14-2016, 07:50 AM   #1
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WiFi Signal is poor at some RV Sites

Is there a way to improve the WiFi signal coming to my RV at some sites? Sometimes the location where I'm placed I receive a very poor WiFi signal which makes it difficult to get on internet or even watch Neflix, Hulu, etc.. Someone said that if I raise the TV Antenna on the RV (even though I'm on their TV cable) this will improve the incoming WiFi signal as well as cell phone reception. Sounds "fishy" to me. Any recommendations?
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:57 AM   #2
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They make a WiFi booster from what I understand. I'm not at all techy..so I can't give solid advice as to which one to purchase. But I'd like to enhance my signal as well. I'll piggy-back on this post to see what's up!
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:09 AM   #3
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Sawdust&Woodchip,

Here's WiFi Boosters you can check out:

WaveWiFi Rogue

Netgear WiFi Range Extender

If you do a Google Search on "WiFi Boosters", a lot of others will show up.

On Amazon.com search on "home wifi booster" and you'll get a lot of different options / products to view & compare.

I don't have any experience with any of these products, so I can't provide any insight on their performance.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:15 AM   #4
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sawdust&Woodchip View Post
Is there a way to improve the WiFi signal coming to my RV at some sites? Sometimes the location where I'm placed I receive a very poor WiFi signal which makes it difficult to get on internet or even watch Neflix, Hulu, etc.. Someone said that if I raise the TV Antenna on the RV (even though I'm on their TV cable) this will improve the incoming WiFi signal as well as cell phone reception. Sounds "fishy" to me. Any recommendations?
Raising your Tv antenna on the RV will do nothing for your Wi-Fi. There are Wi-Fi Signal Extenders that will amplify the signal to and from the CG access point. The key to these Wi-Fi signal extender is that you need to have them mounted outside and above your (and other TT's) in the CG f or best results. The units that you plug into your USB port will give you a little better signal, but they do not have external antennas. I am on my second Wi-Fi Signal extender, I use the EnGenius ENS202EXT Wi-Fi signal extender. I have it mounted on a PVC that is attached to the rear ladder of the TT and extends about 6 feet above the TT and the other TT's between me and the CG's AP. Understand that 2.4Ghz is a line of site technology, and if you have a lot of trees between you and the AP, your signal will be affected, but will still be a LOT better than the one you would get without it.

Two years ago, we were camping in Colorado, CG had Electric but no cable. In clear site on a ridge a little over 1.5 miles away was a HomeDepot store. I put up the antenna, connected to their stores Wi-Fi and we were up and running.. Was able to stream my Rays base ball games from them with no issues. (Did not feel bad about using their customer Wi-Fi as we dump over $1K a year to their bottom line) Remember it is a line of site item.

There are many different types of these Wi-Fi extenders and I can only give you my results. There are others on the forum that use EnGenius and other mfr types and if you search WiFi Wi-Fi or EnGenius you will find them. This model requires a regular Wi-Fi router (like used in the home) to transmit the signal to your tablets, laptops, smart phones...

I wired mine directly to the battery (uses 12VDC) and runs 24/7 as my SOLAR data is available via Wi-Fi.

I also have Magic-Jack service that uses the internet for calling/receiving phone calls and with the POOR cell service in the mountains we forward the phones to the magic-jack and take/make the call from the wireless phones.

To the average person, it may take a few tries to set it up the first time, but after that, you just select the AP from your smartphone/tablet/pc.

I am a firm believer of don't leave home with out it!

One additional point, I have seen an increase in CG's blocking steaming video (Netflix, HuLu...) at their routers, which had some campers upset, but streaming really slows the service down, and add 3 or 4 campers streaming, you then start to get into problems.

Good Luck with your selection,
Don

I have a diagram and pictures how my Wi-Fi is set up on the TT in my albums. It is my old model but the new one operates the same.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by ROC-REQS View Post
Sawdust&Woodchip,
...

Netgear WiFi Range Extender

...
Hope this helps.
WIFI boosters are not necessarily great at bringing in weak signals. The intention is to extend an in-house system by being placed where the signal is strong enough and then rebroadcasting to extend the coverage.

There are some cheap DIY solutions if you search.

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Old 01-14-2016, 08:37 AM   #7
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On a long trip this year we encountered WiFi problems similar to yours. Although we have a WiFi antenna that helped improve the signal strength in some situations, the problem then became the campground's limited internet capacity. In those situations the internet was painfully slow with buffering, etc. and we struggled to use Google maps, PassPort America, Harvest Hosts, etc. for trip planning. In those situations, I can't imagine there'd be enough bandwidth for watching movies etc.

We also encountered some campgrounds that advertised 'free WiFi' and we found that the 'free' part was a limited time (30 min) per day or a limited time only on the first day. We elected not to sign up for pay WiFi at about $5 per day. We were also unsuccessful at using the antenna to access free WiFi from McD's Home Depot, etc. near the campgrounds.

We ended up using the wife's cell phone ('phablet') for internet access for making reservations, google maps, etc.

I imagine some campgrounds have free WiFi with good signal strength and sufficient capacity for folks to watch movies etc., but we didn't find them. We were on a budget and stayed at lower cost CG and at reduced rates (except for Ft.Wilderness in WDW ).
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:42 AM   #8
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Great info amigos! I too sometimes use "Hot Spot" on my cell phone for WiFi, but I just wonder if it's pulling too much data (more $$$) if I decide to watch a Netflix movie or 2 per nite.
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Old 01-14-2016, 08:55 AM   #9
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Although we have a WiFi antenna that helped improve the signal strength in some situations, the problem then became the campground's limited internet capacity.
What is the unit you use?

Some CG's offer "FREE" Wi-Fi" and only have 10Mb service, then you divide that up between 20 users and the results are bad. What I noticed also (working with a CG owner) is that all the smart phones are linked into the Wi-Fi and have apps that are poling the router constantly, add tablets to that. When I looked at a live picture of the connections, it was amazing at how many connections were active, over 2x the number of camping sites being used, and you could see a lot of streaming going on. The CG we stay at in the GA mountains has 7 AP's and 25MB service at each one. So I usually check the 4 in our area to see which one has the best connection/data. On holiday weekends the service is really slow, other than that no complaints.

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Old 01-14-2016, 09:35 AM   #10
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Ummm - even with a great signal, you may continue to see "bad" WiFi. Most campgrounds STRONGLY tell you to not watch movies, etc. Some even are fancy, and will detect that you are watching movies, and deliberately slow down (or cut off) your reception.
Why? - they only have so much bandwidth, that has to be shared between all campers. And videos take up a lot. So the more you use, the less available for everyone else - making it slower and slower for everyone. Think of it as one water line for the whole campground, and if everyone took a shower at the same time, there would be very low water pressure for everyone!

The only real way around it is to have your own "water line" - separate service via your cell phone carrier. But, you have to pay.

WiFi boosters might help a little bit where the signal itself is low, but they will be of no help if the problem is really that everyone is trying to use Netflix at the same time!
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