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General Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach that are not covered in other Mechanic's Corner categories (ex. refrigerators, water heaters, and compressors).

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  #11  
Old 05-13-2010
bubblerboy64 bubblerboy64 is offline
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I suspect too that there are some disadvantages to the I pad due to it's small size. Not certain it would be my best pick for the motor home. Considering all a conventional lap top might be a better choice, especially considering the $ involved.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2010
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Thank you guys for all your quick responses.
Attn. John Finn, Randy Rob
Where would we be without this forum??
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2010
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We wouldn't have to worry about BAD guys like John!!!!!
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2010
davidmbrady
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I second Bruce's recommendation for the IPAD. My wife bought me one for my birthday. It's pure genius! The unlimited data plan cost is the same as my blackberry, $30.00 per month, which can also be turned on and off at will. The blackberry provides tethering to your laptop, but with the IPAD I get to eliminate one device. Verizon does have better coverage though.

Anyone want to buy a Datastorm Satellite Dish? Cheap?

Last edited by davidmbrady; 05-22-2010 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Added datastorm price.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2010
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There is coverage, and there is coverage at little better than snail's pace. If the latter is considered "good enough" then AT&T has decent coverage. Since the internet is not particularly enjoyable that way, they are generally considered (at best) the third choice in real internet coverage behind Verizon and Sprint.

If it weren't for the iPhone, AT&T would probably be in about 6th place among wireless internet users.

I had a Sprint Air Card for 2 years, and during that time traveled extensively with a Verizon user. Both of us have Air Card Routers, and mine has a booster and external antenna. We did a great many side-by-side test, with these results:

Verizon had coverage when Sprint didn't about half the time.
Sprint had coverage when Verizon didn't about 1/4 of the time.
Verizon had better speed about 1/2 the time.
Sprint had better speed about 1/4 the time.
Sprint had the single-best speed, 2700Kbps, in Fort Meyers Beach, FL

Note that there were a number of times when neither card had coverage. As I "must" be connected, satellite remains my priority connection, with a second satellite as tertiary behind the Air Card.

My final straw with Sprint was this year at Quartzsite, where I was unable to connect from the rally nest. It had worked in 2009. Verizon users did not have that problem, although overloading made them slow. When my contract ended in March I switched to Verizon.
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2010
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I had the Verizon air card -- with an external antenna. Over the 30 months we were on the road, both coverage and speed only improved. I usually kept the external antenna inside the curb-side window by the desk I'd installed. Sometimes, I needed to put the (magnetic base) antenna on the side of the coach just outside the window -- and very occasionally, I'd have to move the antenna to the roof to get a strong signal.

I could usually get a data signal, even though the cell phone might not connect. (I had a cell plan and an associated data card plan.)

I almost always had the "broadband" connection, although speeds varied. The few times when service dropped back to "national access" the links were very slow. I'd stick with text-only material when that happened (e.g. no Google Maps). The slow speed was OK for downloading email -- I could connect, let the email download -- then I could go to work checking messages. Even the slowest "broadband" connections would allow more media rich web sites to work, though not quickly -- but it was far better than the dread "national access."

There were only a few times when we could get no signal -- intermittently, during bad weather, signals would be difficult. Texas only had so-so coverage -- but it improved over the time we had the air card. In Colorado, back up in a canyon (where the RV park was located) outside of Idaho Springs we simply could not get any signal -- but those with AT&T were fine.

So... it really depends on where you're located.

Keep in mind that the steel body of the Wanderlodge will cause reception problems. I had a dedicated GPS (Magellan -- not recommended), and without the external aerial, I'd have been permanently lost. I found I was able to mount the external aerial to the front of the radar detector box (the detector having not survived until my ownership). I screwed a small metal plate in the box to allow the antenna to be fully exposed to the front window. We never had a problem getting at least 3 satellites (or more).

Can't comment on the iPad or iPhone.

The key "depends" is to consider where you are going. If you're really in the back country, far from freeways, you probably would need satellite, as you will never get good cell connections. If you're never too far from freeways and major highways (where cell coverage is pretty good), then the cell-based systems will probably be acceptable.

I considered getting a cell signal "booster" -- but the gradual improvement in service from Verizon rendered that choice less and less necessary.

A few times where cell service was so-so, we were "saved" by an RV park's WiFi -- but that quality varied and the steel body (again) was a factor.
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Last edited by peteaeonix; 05-13-2010 at 12:46 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2010
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My Verizon experiences mimic Pete's. Verizon rocks
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  #18  
Old 05-13-2010
ERay ERay is offline
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We have the Verizon MIFI... we run 2 cpus and the only problem we have had was in south central TX... it worked but was slow... other than that it has worked great... and we can run up to 4 computers on board

If we get a call saying we have an email its a simple matter of hitting the next rest area and take care of business and then back on the road and its the same price as ONE air card
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  #19  
Old 05-13-2010
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My wife recently acquired a Verison Droid. I have an air card. Unfortunately the Verizon Droid doesn't support teathering (connecting your laptop to access the internet) yet. I suspect the plan will cost more when it does. I should have gotten the Verison 'hot spot' unit myself. My air card is not compatable with the routers that allow sharing the card, and I am unable to get Microsoft XP to do it eather. It says it does, but it don't.

Coverage seems to be fine so far.
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  #20  
Old 05-13-2010
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Hello All,

Our current contract with T-Mobile expired so we are now month to month with them.... FREE AGENTS! Have been using the Blackberry with T-Mobile up and down the east coast and west to Quartzsite and back. For the most part, I have been happy with them and their pricing is less than Verizon and At&T. Coverage is surprisingly good. They are a part of the unicell thing whatever it is (share towers I think) but. However, I'll concede Verizon has better coverage not sure about AT&T.

One of the nice things about the plan I have is $19/mo for unlimited data with the Blackberry also VOIP and tethering too!

Gardner,

We are shopping for smart phones and holding off until late June/July to see what Apple MAY release for a new I Phone... all kinds of RUMORS out there including 4G and a Verizon version. Its all Rumors at this point but seems to be some consensus on the late June early July release date.

Last week we spent some time in a Verizon store looking at the Droid "Incredible" and was assured that tethering IS an option on that device and if this is so, it is our first pick at this point. However, want to see about the I Phone. As I understand it, the I Phone itself supports tethering, the problem is with AT&T and their restrictions (probably do to lack of bandwidth and capacity). So, I'm hoping for a Verizon I-Phone with tethering!

NH Bill
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