Camping with WiFi

Discussion in 'Campsite Electronics' started by Jan Cristo, Jul 21, 2019.

  1. Jan Cristo

    Jan Cristo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 24, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    I'm totally in the dark right now! I have a smartphone from Consumer Cellular. When I'm camping I do not get the internet. Please tell me the easiest, cheapest way to be able to use my phone and my computer while camping. Do I need to change carriers? What else do I need to do? Any personal advice will be appreciated. Just keep it simple, I'm a beginner!
     
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,879
    Likes Received:
    874
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    I have unlimited data on my phone. I use it as a mobile hotspot for my tablet.
     
  3. Jan Cristo

    Jan Cristo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 24, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    So how? I don't understand. Do you mean that you can use your phone anywhere? What carrier do you use? What kind of phone do you have? I need a bit more information than you ave provided.
     
  4. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    757
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Location:
    King George, Virginia
    Most of the time we get something using VERIZON... Seems to have the best coverage for us... I also have a VERIZON MIFI unit that does the same thing you can do with your cell phone... The MIFI unit is mounted up behind my valance curtains sitting in a WILSON Cradle and has outside antenna... This will become a secured hotspot and allow up to five devices to use it... Gives us a good couple of hundred feet hot spot coverage around our camp site...

    We only use WIFI for checking in with the kids, paying a few bill maybe and some surfing of the web. Not enough GB for down streaming TV or movies... My BATWING antenna setup gets something to watch on TV just about where ever we go...

    [​IMG]
    Roy's image

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Jan Cristo

    Jan Cristo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 24, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Thanks roybraddy! Verizon is a carrier I wondered about. I came back to the US after living 12 years in the jungles of Costa Rica and am new to smartphones and the whole new America! That's why I am a know-nothing. I just picked up the first phone I found at Target and went from there. Can't even use text yet. I think all I need is to be able to contact the outside world, check emails, and maybe search for another site. No TV. Your post is very helpful. Thanks.
     
    HappyTraveler and Orchid like this.
  6. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,514
    Likes Received:
    2,314
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    It really depends on where you are camping. The more remote places you go, the less reliably the cell phones will be. Last few places i went we had 0 service.
     
    Blackripley likes this.
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    4,833
    Likes Received:
    1,706
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I also use Verizon and have more luck with them than what I used to have. With that said, there are a few places I get absolutely nothing. I was camping in the mountains once and in order to make a phone call, I had to drive to the other side of the mountain to get even one dot. So it entirely depends on where you are and the coverage of your provider. If you camp closer to towns your more likely to find coverage. The further from town the spottier the coverage. Some providers none at all. Sadly there isn’t anything to do to to make coverage when there is none. They do make boosters that can help boost an existing signal. I don’t bother though. One of my big things about camping is disconnecting for me. Besides the boss has finally learned when I’m on vacation I won’t get back with her until I return. Otherwise she was trying to call me about something all the time.
     
    HappyTraveler, Sjm9911 and Jan Cristo like this.
  8. Minimalist

    Minimalist Active Member

    Messages:
    242
    Likes Received:
    42
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2015
    My work phone is t-mobile and my personal phone is Verizon. I get much better coverage with Verizon in the southeast. From what you are describing I'd go with something like medium priced smart phone and a tablet. The phone can be used as a hotspot and the tablet can be connected for example via bluetooth to the phone to use the internet. I personally like my Motorola G7 Power better than my Samsung S9. The tablet I'm using is a cheap Galaxy Tab A. Does all I need it to do.

    One thing to be aware off iPhone and iPads are generally a bit easier to set up but are much more expensive than the phone and tablet I mentioned above. You may also just get a tablet with a sim card.
     
  9. Jan Cristo

    Jan Cristo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 24, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Thank you so much, Minimalist. I especially like that you gave me specifics. I can do that!
     
    HappyTraveler and Minimalist like this.
  10. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Messages:
    5,329
    Likes Received:
    2,020
    Joined:
    May 8, 2011
    Location:
    Florida by way of WV and MD
    I was going to ask if you had been in prison, or what? [LOL][LOL]
     
    HappyTraveler and Sjm9911 like this.
  11. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,178
    Likes Received:
    757
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Location:
    King George, Virginia
    Being OFF-ROAD and back in the woods a lot you really need to keep a good check on what WX CONDITIONS are heading your way... Use the TV for that a lot here... Also have a NOAH WX alert radio built-in to my radio console... Don't like to get caught off guard with high winds in a POPUP... Always mindful where to run to if high winds come up haha...

    I am not CELLPHONE SAVY here too much... There is a lot of things you can do with one... Verizon has been great for my needs getting off the beaten path... I think I am hearing T-MOBILE is also a good choice... One of my kids has SPRINT and here at the home place in Virginia she has to go outside and sit on the porch steps to use it haha... I guess it all depends where the CELL TOWERs are located...

    Back in my working days with COMMUNICATIONS and ELECTRONICS on the road we all had to use VERIZON to make connections... Most of the early CELLPHONE towers were associated with the big cites and the Interstate highways... Up on the US/Canada border States was nothing haha... Sometimes you had to climb a tree or telephone pole to make a phone call...

    Roy Ken
     
    HappyTraveler, Jan Cristo and Sjm9911 like this.
  12. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    685
    Likes Received:
    743
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2016
    Location:
    Jackson Hole
    IMO. Pretend you’re still in Costa Rica and turn it all off.
     
    neighbormike, NMroamer and Minimalist like this.
  13. Jan Cristo

    Jan Cristo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 24, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    I get that a lot! LOL And NO, I wasn't hiding either! Just an adventurer who wanted to get away from it all!
     
    HappyTraveler and Orchid like this.
  14. Jan Cristo

    Jan Cristo New Member

    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    May 24, 2019
    Location:
    Florida
    Right now I'm camping mostly around Florida, but next month I'm heading up to Tennessee and later in the year maybe going out west to New Mexico and Arizona.
     
    HappyTraveler likes this.
  15. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,945
    Likes Received:
    1,347
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Location:
    Kansas City
    It all depends on available reception. If your not in range, you're out of luck.

    We camp regularly in the same state park. There is a water tower with cellular antennae on top less than two miles away. I get no service at the campground on my Android phone. DW has an iPhone and can usually send and receive text messages.

    If I have to do something that requires Internet, I go to the park office and borrow some wireless reception.
     
  16. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,105
    Likes Received:
    98
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2013
    20190125_193418.jpg We are on Verizon and find coverage to be very good..... maybe great. When we were with Sprint, not so much. We do not have an unlimited data plan due to the price, but I do occasionally use a phone as a hotspot. It works really well. Unfortunately, we are limited to 10 gigs/ month.

    I find a lot of campgrounds offer wifi near their office or store. For this I purchased a long range wifi antenna and made an inexpensive mast and mounted it on the tongue of the trailer. So far I have been amazed at the wifi reception. Like we can stream on 2 TVs and a tablet at the same time, from across the campground. Usually, I can pick up a bunch of networks that would also be useable, but they are usually private and password protected. I may get 15 to 25 networks that show up on a given day. The wifi antenna exceeded my expectations, and the best part is we aren't using cell data. Unless you usually camp in the middle of nowhere, I would go in this direction first.
     
  17. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    868
    Likes Received:
    405
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    This only works if you have cell service.
     
  18. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    824
    Likes Received:
    455
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Location:
    New Plymouth, ID
    Over here in SW Idaho, if you're boondocking out away from the populated areas, if you want cell phone coverage, better be checking out satellite phones....but they're incredibly pricey. Pretty much anywhere we camp out in the boonies, we lose coverage at about the same time we lose pavement....sometimes before.
     
    gladecreekwy likes this.
  19. phoodieman

    phoodieman Active Member

    Messages:
    789
    Likes Received:
    96
    Joined:
    May 18, 2009
    Location:
    Hutto, Texas
    I was with Verizon for years. Spotty coverage at best. I switched to AT&T after I noticed a lot of people with it had coverage when with Verizon I didn't have any thing.

    phoodieman
     
  20. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,527
    Likes Received:
    532
    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2015
    Location:
    DFW, TX
    I have Cricket, which uses AT&T towers. For the most part it works OK, but there are still some areas that are not an AT&T foothold once I get off the beaten track. My work phone is AT&T, and seems to get better service than my personal one. I have both enabled to run as a hotspot when I need it. Some carriers you have to pay for the hotspot to be enabled, but I also have the pdanet+ app which gets around that limitation. It does not work on all phones/carriers though.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.