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Thread: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

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    Senior Member Greengas's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    Quote Originally Posted by Oregon_Camper View Post
    Get the Hootoo "TripMate" device. I have this and I can't believe what it offers for under $40.

    1 - Router (AP mode, bridge mode, router mode)
    2 - Battery charger for all USB devices(ipad...iphone...etc)
    3 - Media Sharing to anyone you allow (using USBdevice with music or movies on it)
    4 - Chromecast fully supported.

    This will/can replace your router and it is very easy to setup/connect to internet source. Example...you get WIFI code from campground...you then use the app (free) to connect the HooToo TripMate to campground and then the Tripmate will act as a router and all your devices are connected.

    We use this all the time. The best part is it is mobile, so you can move it to a location in your RV with the best coverage.....or even outside if you plan on spending time outside and what phone/tablet with you and have it still online. The battery last well over a day. Just uses standard USB plug to charge it.

    I will be adding this to our Blog, with a video in the near future.

    Link to Amazon


    Attachment 56033
    This looks very interesting. Will is auto switch between a campground WIFI and my Version MIFI when the WIFI aint so good?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by danemayer View Post
    Hi Ronn,

    I use an Edimax BR6478AC Router from Amazon. Price is usually closer to $60, but currently $67. It has Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) mode (among other modes). When you set it up, be sure to configure to WISP mode. Do a site survey for the campground WiFi (try searching 5 GHz first and fall back to 2.4 GHz if necessary). If no campground WiFi, select your Verizon MiFi on the site survey. What's really nice is that when you hit a campground with Tengo Internet, you make the connection, enter the Tengo coupon code, and the code gets applied to your Edimax device. All of your other devices ride on that single coupon code.

    On the inbound connection side, configure both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz radios for your RV wifi. Your newer devices can connect on 5 Ghz and the older and dumber devices will connect on 2.4.

    Once you have made a campground or Verizon MiFi connection, all of your devices will be on the internet.

    Configuring this type of device is never terribly easy, but it's better than most. Documentation is above average. It's fast and flexible. Reception is very good. And they even provide customer support that's pretty responsive.
    Thanks Dan.

    So, if I am understanding this correctly, I should only have to set up my devices to this once correct? Then when I get somewhere I either have it link via my MIFI or if we are somewhere that there is WIFI I could link it to that. But it will save the link to the MIFI so when it is on, and nothing else is there, it will auto connect via the MIFI.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeletti View Post
    Hi Ronn,

    If all your client devices have WiFi capability, your network can be somewhat simple. In my coach, I have a mix of wireless and wired client devices, so mine's a bit more complex.

    For your needs, I'm seeing these major components
    1. WiFi transceiver
    2. Cellular modem
    3. Wireless Access Point

    Then some magic to get it all connected up.
    What are your thoughts about the items recommended by Dan and Oregon-Camper? They both seem to fit the bill. Of course my understanding of such complicated this is never as good as I would like it to be but that's why I rely so heavily on the experts in my Heartland Family!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by TravelTiger View Post
    We use the Pepwave Surf SoHo router. https://www.peplink.com/products/pepwave-surf-soho/


    Another good resource to learn about your options is https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/overview/

    You don't have to subscribe to find a lot of good information!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Thanks so much for that extremely informative overview link. Now if only after going through it (stupid of me to start reading it at bedtime, kept me up way longer than I wanted) it had, at the end, a simple, "Just do this" it would have been perfect.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jbeletti View Post
    Iím using it. I am not using any phone with it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    What are you using it with? Is this what powers the 1 or 2 cameras you have at your house?

    Ronn and Sarah Greengas
    Traveling the World Together
    Since 1981

    Current Truck: 2017 F350 SRW LB 4x4 The "Bronze Goddess" w/Anderson Hitch
    Previous Truck: 2012 F350 SRW SB 4x4 Airlift 5000 Air Bags with Wireless Remote
    Current Coach: 2014 Landmark San Antonio
    Previous Coach: 2012 Open Range Roamer 316rl
    Colorado Rally - Sep 2013
    Colorado Rally - May 2014

  2. Print this Post   #12
    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    Quote Originally Posted by Greengas View Post
    This looks very interesting. Will is auto switch between a campground WIFI and my Version MIFI when the WIFI aint so good?

    - - - Updated - - -



    Thanks Dan.

    So, if I am understanding this correctly, I should only have to set up my devices to this once correct? Then when I get somewhere I either have it link via my MIFI or if we are somewhere that there is WIFI I could link it to that. But it will save the link to the MIFI so when it is on, and nothing else is there, it will auto connect via the MIFI.

    - - - Updated - - -



    What are your thoughts about the items recommended by Dan and Oregon-Camper? They both seem to fit the bill. Of course my understanding of such complicated this is never as good as I would like it to be but that's why I rely so heavily on the experts in my Heartland Family!
    There's no auto connect to either the MiFi or to campgrounds. You have to do a site survey and select the MiFi or campground WiFi. But all of your phones, tablets, TVs, etc. will remember an automatically connect to the Edimax. Getting set up usually takes me less than 5 minutes, which includes the Edimax booting up twice.

    Regarding other router choices, I would look for capability to connect to the campground using the newer 5.0 GHz, 802.11AC protocol. Campgrounds are gradually migrating to new equipment that runs both 5.0 GHz 802.11AC as well as the older 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n. The reason this is important is that there's tremendous interference and channel contention on the 2.4 GHz spectrum. If you can connect with the newer 5.0 GHz 802.11AC protocol, in a crowded campground, you'll be free from interference and channel contention while everyone else struggles.


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  3. Print this Post   #13
    Senior Member Greengas's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    Quote Originally Posted by danemayer View Post
    There's no auto connect to either the MiFi or to campgrounds. You have to do a site survey and select the MiFi or campground WiFi. But all of your phones, tablets, TVs, etc. will remember an automatically connect to the Edimax. Getting set up usually takes me less than 5 minutes, which includes the Edimax booting up twice.

    Regarding other router choices, I would look for capability to connect to the campground using the newer 5.0 GHz, 802.11AC protocol. Campgrounds are gradually migrating to new equipment that runs both 5.0 GHz 802.11AC as well as the older 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n. The reason this is important is that there's tremendous interference and channel contention on the 2.4 GHz spectrum. If you can connect with the newer 5.0 GHz 802.11AC protocol, in a crowded campground, you'll be free from interference and channel contention while everyone else struggles.
    Thanks for the clarification. My home router has both 2.4 and 5.0 settings and I, well my son actually, set us up with two separate log ins, one for each, so that way I can keep my newer devices moving along quite nicely.

    We head out on our big trip, including of course the regional rally, in May so I want to make sure I am all set up and ready. I've even reserved 10 days at Cherry Creek just to get the rig ready to go! During that time, I will take care of the WIFI, the inverter for the fridge and get my ladder. Oh, and Sarah wants me to build a new kitchen cabinet to replace the barrel door one along with adding some shelves and who knows what else. Oh retirement is going to be GREAT!

    Ronn and Sarah Greengas
    Traveling the World Together
    Since 1981

    Current Truck: 2017 F350 SRW LB 4x4 The "Bronze Goddess" w/Anderson Hitch
    Previous Truck: 2012 F350 SRW SB 4x4 Airlift 5000 Air Bags with Wireless Remote
    Current Coach: 2014 Landmark San Antonio
    Previous Coach: 2012 Open Range Roamer 316rl
    Colorado Rally - Sep 2013
    Colorado Rally - May 2014

  4. Print this Post   #14
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    It is accurate that the 2.4Ghz frequency can be (is?) extremely congested and slower than the 5Ghz frequency, but keep in mind that 5Ghz has a shorter range and has difficulty penetrating solid objects. Since WIFI is a LOS (Line of Sight) technology, solid objects in the sight-path between two antennas have a higher chance of interfering with the 5Ghz signal than with the 2.4Ghz signal.

    If your device is getting a poor signal or low bandwidth using the 5Ghz frequency, consider trying the 2.4Ghz. Note that the speed is affected by the distance between the transmitter/receiver and signal strength. The devices will usually sacrifice speed in favor of signal/range.

    If your 5Ghz speed is low, the range might be too far for your devices. Switching to 2.4Ghz might yield a better signal, and thus better speed, but if you're still getting sub-par performance, consider switching the channel the device is using (you typically do not need to do this for 5Ghz). Personal devices might not have this option, but routers and access points almost always do. Some are advanced enough (802.11n and I believe a/c) to auto-detect an appropriate channel. Others are configured with a random channel by default. Most are configured to the same default for the model, which may be the same default everyone else at the campground is on (usually Channel 1).

    2.4Ghz has three distinct and separate channels (1, 6, 11 -- do not use the others as they do not benefit you due to overlap). Most routers and APs are configured from the factory at Channel 1. So, start at 6, and move to 11 if you still have an older non-802.11n/a/c router/AP and have sub-par performance.

    I believe 5Ghz has eight (officially, something like 23, but I think most of them overlap with non-WIFI signal-emitting transmitters in the wild). You should not typically have to mess with 5Ghz Channels as there is typically more than enough spectrum to go around. Distance and LOS are the larger factors with 5Ghz.

    Inside your home, 5Ghz will almost always be the winner, depending on where the devices are, how large the home is, and what the interior walls are made of. On a campground, or trying to pull a signal from a business while parked outside, it might require some tinkering with frequencies, channels, and antenna placement.

    Of course you can always use directional antennas to help pull in that far-away but speedy 5Ghz signal

  5. Print this Post   #15
    Senior Member Oregon_Camper's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    Quote Originally Posted by Greengas View Post
    This looks very interesting. Will is auto switch between a campground WIFI and my Version MIFI when the WIFI aint so good?
    It will not automatically switch (that I am aware of) to the better network.

    Dan brings up a good point on 2.4Ghz vs 5Ghz devices. The Hootoo device support WiFi-N, but is only 2.4Ghz.

    While 5Ghz will provide you a faster connection, it fails when the primary router is further away. 2.4Ghz can reach much further broadcast distances, but it does have speed issues at those longer ranges.

    Here is link to a page that explains the differences and very basic terms.
    https://www.howtogeek.com/222249/wha...hould-you-use/

    The reason I am showing the image below is to clear up the difference visually. If you camp in a locations that have strong 5Ghz signal (maybe even repeaters through-out) then I'd recommend using Dan's product. In case you don't know, almost every product that has 5Ghz support will also have 2.4Ghz support...again a nod for Dan's product. I love our Hootoo and we use it all the time. I take it with me when I travel all over the world for work.

    Capture.jpg
    Last edited by Oregon_Camper; 01-10-2018 at 03:03 AM.

  6. Print this Post   #16
    Founding Texas-West Chapter Leaders TravelTiger's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    - - - Updated - - -



    Thanks so much for that extremely informative overview link. Now if only after going through it (stupid of me to start reading it at bedtime, kept me up way longer than I wanted) it had, at the end, a simple, "Just do this" it would have been perfect.

    - - - Updated - - -


    The thing is, there is no one right answer for everyone.

    The Soho Router I use does let you set up "rules" so that if one "source" fails, it rolls to the next. You can set it up to use park wifi, but if it fails, it rolls to the cellular data connection (hotspot, whatever.) I typically just use my hotspot. Always more reliable and faster than any park wifi I have come across so far.
    Erika Dorsey
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  7. Print this Post   #17
    Senior Member Oregon_Camper's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    Quote Originally Posted by allera View Post
    Another thing to keep in mind is something I have run across at a few RV parks I've been to: WIFI bandwidth metering. It's where the RV's network allows you a certain amount of data transfer (similar to how cellular plans do it) and then cut you off after you've used it up (the ones I've run into don't even slow you down).

    This is almost always done on a per-device basis, and when you use a single connection (like the routers mentioned in this thread), it's considered a single device on their network, even though you're connecting 2+ devices (indirectly) to their network.

    Excellent point.

    I haven't run into that issue before, however what I see a lot (in my travels for work..not just RV) is you get limited to 1 possibly 2 connections. Then using the device from Erika, Dan or myself will solve that.

    ...why can't this just be easy?

  8. Print this Post   #18
    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    There's nothing easy about WiFi where the access points are outside and the user device is inside. A very good signal outside the coach may be marginal inside. Put some trees in between your device and the access point and you'd better be very close to the access point to overcome that problem. Most devices that are capable of 5.0 GHz 802.11AC will still connect using 2.4 GHz 802.11 b/g/n because of the signal strength being higher on 2.4 GHz.

    But just think about dozens or hundreds of end user devices all using the internet at the same time. Most of them are on channels 1, 6 or 11 at 2.4 GHz. Every transfer of data between end user device and an access point is an opportunity for data collision with another device's data. When that happens, the access point has to send both devices an error message and they wait a short period before retrying. As the number of user devices and data transfers increases, the number of data collisions increases. Eventually all the access point is doing is sending error messages and handling retries and everyone gets frustrated. Over the past few years, the increase in dependence on WiFi and the growth in the number of devices we each bring into a campground, and the proliferation of our own MiFis and local WiFis have all caused this problem to grow.

    If you are on the 5.0 GHz 802.11 AC protocol, you escape the congestion problem.

    Yes, you do have to have a good signal. But if you don't, you can always fall back to suffering with everyone else on 2.4 GHz.


    Dan and Ann Mayer & fur baby Callie the Rally Dog
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    2014 RAM 3500 Laramie
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  9. Print this Post   #19
    Heartland: Director of Owners Interests jbeletti's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    Ronn - you asked a few questions about the gear I'm using. I don't think my setup is what you want but I will give a high level overview...

    Goals
    1. An RV network that allows me to connect wired and wireless client devices together (phones, tablets, laptops, Mac Mini, Printer, IP cameras, NVR, Roku, Amazon Echo, Google Home, DirecTV receiver, Home Automation controller etc).
      .
    2. Internet access by all client devices, delivered from Wired, WiFi and Cellular sources

    Gear Used

    Cellular
    • Novatel / Verizon 4G LTE Broadband Router with Voice T1114 (using SIM from my regular MiFi)

    WiFi
    • HyperLink HG2415U-PRO 2.4 GHz 15 dBi Omnidirectional Antenna w/ N-Female Connector
    • Ubiquiti Bullet M2 Titanium - Wireless Access Point - AirMax (BM2-TI)

    Networking Gear
    • Ubiquiti Unifi Security Gateway (USG)
    • Ubiquiti Unifi Cloud Key - Remote Control Device (UC-CK)
    • Ubiquiti Unifi 8-Port Switch, Managed PoE+ Gigabit Switch with SFP, 150W (US-8-150W)
    • Ubiquiti Unifi 6-Port Switch, Managed PoE+ Gigabit Switch with SFP, 60W (US-8-60W)
    • Ubiquiti Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US)
    • Ubiquiti Unifi Video Camera (UVC-G3)
    • Ubiquiti 4 Megapixel Network Camera (UVC-G3-DOME)
    • Ubiquiti Network Video Recorder with 500 GB Hard Drive (UVC-NVR)
    • Lots of network cabling
    Jim Beletti
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  10. Print this Post   #20
    Moderator danemayer's Avatar
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    Re: Building a WIFI Network Inside My RV

    Jim,

    That's a pretty impressive equipment list.

    Sent from my KFDOWI using Tapatalk


    Dan and Ann Mayer & fur baby Callie the Rally Dog
    2011 Landmark Rushmore
    • MorRyde 8K Independent Suspension
    • 8K Kodiak Disc Brakes
    • RV Comfort Systems Cheap Heat
    • MorRyde 33x90 Sliding Cargo Tray
    • Torklift Glowstep Revolution Aluminum Steps & Dirt Destroyer

    2014 RAM 3500 Laramie
    • Cummins 6.7 Diesel, AISIN Transmission
    • 4x4, Long box, Crew Cab, DRW 3.73
    • Hensley BD3 TrailerSaver Hitch
    • Garmin RV760 GPS


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