Becoming ever so popular are those of us who are now able to experience RV travel while working on the road. We can create a work environment that is as effective as what most experience in the general work space. That is why we now have RV Internet from RV Mobile Connect and Cradlepoint. But first, let me share what brought us to this point.
I began the nomadic style of work a number of years ago in my corporate life traveling from location to location and having the need for a portable office and cellular based Internet. Now owning my own company, I continue many of these same practices along with the advancements in Internet communications as we travel throughout the country in our RV. I have to admit, that working on the road as a nomad worker wasn’t always a bed of roses. RV travel has allowed us to see so much of what our country has to offer from nature, historic places, and so much more. This often takes us into remote areas where cellular coverage may be challenging. This has caused us to think outside of the box and incorporate new and improved devices for Internet leading us to RV Mobile Connect for a solution.
Where We Started and Why We Needed To Upgrade
When we started RV travel and working on the road, reliable Internet was a must. We operate a web design company and along with our iLoveRVlife efforts requiring us to move substantial amount of data files into remote servers throughout the week.
As with many, our first efforts was using our phone as a hotspot. We discovered quickly, this was not going to be a long term solution. On a typical workday, I may need Internet for 6 to 8 hours and tying up my phone as a hotspot wasn’t feasible.
Next we went the dedicated hotspot route. While this was a big improvement, we still had issues as we traveled to more remote locations. The challenge was signal strength. Without addressing all the technical numbers and ratios for signal strength and signal to noise ratios, simply stated, using a hotspot with one bar of signal provided very low up and download speeds and made working from an RV very difficult.
Finally, we stepped up our game and installed a dedicated cellular router and mounted a high gain cellular antenna on the roof of our 5th wheel. This reduced many of the challenges we had in the remote areas increasing the signal to the cellular router. The cellular router also had ethernet ports allowing us to connect data storage devices and printers, just like a home based WiFi router. But, over the past several years, the technology used in that system was getting dated, the using an older style Cat 7 radio, plus needing a better antenna, we started our search to update our cellular Internet.
Why Not StarLink
I suspect many reading up to this point are asking why not acquire a Starlink system? Startlink is an exciting product that has some interesting potential, but it is a satellite based services. Looking at our 2022 travel, over half of the campground spots we traveled to were located in heavily wooded areas with a thick tree canopy which would have blocked the Starlink signal preventing the system from coming online. Plus the equipment and the monthly recurring cost is expensive and more so if we can only use in half of our RV travels. Lastly, we can’t be without Internet service for days in a row, much less weeks, and a cellular based service doesn’t have the limitation of trees blocking the signal.
RV Mobile Connect
After much research for a cellular Internet solution and weighing our options, we contacted Bryan Marklin at RV Mobile Connect. RV Mobile Connect offers various cellular routers and antenna packages specifically designed for the RV traveler.
A number of the strong points selecting RV Mobile Connect and their ability to find a connectivity solution designed for our specific communications needs. RV Mobile Connect:
- Assisted in the selection of the best cellular router option comparing both price and performance.
- Recommend cellular antennas for our RV and type of travel.
- Assisting the selection of a cellular data plan if needed.
- Connecting us with qualified installers if needed.
RV Mobile Connect offers a number of packages from their Stay Connect Package for those needing email, internet banking and keeping up with the family. And expanding their offerings with the Power Package, Professional Package, and the solution we selected, the 5G Package. Each package contains a high quality Cradlepoint cellular router, a ParSec antenna, 3 years license for NetCloud management service, and one hour with a Cradlepoint system engineer.
Starting the process could not have be easier. I visited their website at https://rvmobileconnect.com, reviewed the products and packages offered and then completed the contact page to start the process.
Cradlepoint Cellular Routers
Cradlepoint is an industry leader in cellular router technology providing systems worldwide. Over 32,000 enterprise and government organizations and over 1 million units are installed throughout the world using Cradlepoint within public safety, banking services, long-haul truck fleets, ambulance services, military and much more.
We select the R1900 router and Parsec Husky antenna for our installation. Starting with the antenna, the Husky provides 12dB of gain to boost signal for those more remote RV campgrounds. It provides a series of antenna supporting 2 MIMO connections, external WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth. CLICK HERE to learn more.
The R1900 router contains an advanced CAT 20 LTE radio supporting 5G and 4G LTE communications. Connection to the router can be made with WiFi 6 or one of the Ethernet ports for devices needing hardwired connectivity. The routers supports hotspot SIM cards from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon. This unit has 2 SIM card slots allowing the user to select the cellular provider offering the best transport along with load management features based on use. The unit can be power by 12V DC or the option 120V AC power adapter. CLICK HERE to learn more.
Discovering Cradlepoint as the core of RV Mobile Connect’s product packages, I now had confidence I could obtain a cellular Internet solution not just for my immediate communications needs, but into our future as our business and entertainment needs continue to grow.
Installing the Cradlepoint Router and Parsec Husky Antenna
Anyone who is capable of using basic tools, is comfortable drilling a hole in the roof of an RV, and running wires, should be capable of installing the router and antenna. For those who prefer a professional installer, RV Mobile Connect can get you in contact with those who can install your system.
For our efforts, the installation took about 4 hours. Half of the time was spent determining the location of the antenna and router. We then had to ensure we would not drill into the roof structure. See the video below for the installation. Once the hole was drilled, the installation was quick placing the antenna, running the wires, and connecting to the router.
Without any configuration, we powered the router and performed a speed test. We are currently located in an area where we have a poor cellular connection. We were amazed the Cradlepoint R1900 and Parsec antenna providing a 17 times improvement in download speeds when compared to the cellular router and antenna system we replaced.
The RV Mobile Connect package also contains a 3 year license to Cradlepoint’s NetCloud service. This provides a very simple interface with diagnostics to determine connectivity performance as well as the tools to administer the router.
And with every package sold, RV Mobile Connect provides one hour of systems engineering to help configure the router. This is especially helpful for those needing to set the router up for the first time and for those who need assistance configuring the unit for VPN services if required to connect to a corporate network.
We could not be more pleased with the solution provided by RV Mobile Connect, Cradlepoint, and Parsec. The system was simple to install and with the one hour we spent with the systems engineer, we were able to manage the router with ease. Overall, the Internet performance is outstanding.
Out thanks to RV Mobile Connect providing their 5G Package for out evaluation. If your are needing a cellular Internet solution for your RV travel, click this link to RV Mobile Connect to learn more.
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