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View Poll Results: Do you have good cell phone coverage on the road or when camping?
Yes, all the time 1 20.00%
Sometimes, in most places 4 80.00%
Not at all, its hit and miss 0 0%
Voters: 5. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-22-2010, 10:30 AM   #1
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Hey everyone...

I was just wondering if any one has the same issue I do... I did a search and didnt come up with anything. I have a problem with weak signal in my rv... its everywhere, even when I have great coverage right outside! Does any one know how this could happen or why it happens? I just know that I no longer want to be out on the road in the middle of nowhere without having a usable cell phone signal. What if I have an accident or something and need to phone home?! Its not just my cell phone either, its my air card also. Does any one know how to fix this problem? I will be doing my own research as well but I was hoping someone had an experience with this particular issue...

Thanks in Advance!
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Old 04-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
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We have Verizon Wireless cell service and a Verizon Wireless Internet card. In the last three years I can only think of one location where we did not have Verizon Phone Service, (in the Black Hills down a dirt road on an Indian Reservation). We did have Verizon Internet service though no phone.

We do not use an amplifier or external antenna. Prior to the last three years we carried an external antenna that magnetically mounted on the roof of the tow vehicle for the Verizon phone but found it to be unneccessary.

When we started traveling 9 years ago there were some places where their service was spotty but not many now and we've been all over the country.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:40 PM   #3
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Hey Sunshine,
If You have Verizon it is good to update Your roaming capabilities by Pressing *228 and when prompted hit 2 to update them. also I have found some of the phones themselves stink such as the razr. I now have the Motorola adventure and never have any serious problem finding service.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:16 PM   #4
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I had an old phone and had the same problem with reception being MUCH worse inside the trailer than out. (as well as inside the car, or house) The problem was solved when I got my new LG phone. If you have AT&T service that is a different issue.
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Old 04-22-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Folks....

We've had very good service east of the Mississippi River. West of there, it seems good cell service depends on the proximity to an interstate highway. Of course, once one looks at our provider's online coverage map, one understands (we were able to do this before signing up for the service).

A few chuckles are due. We use a pre-paid TracPhone (reconditioned Motorola 260 model) and are greatly satisfied with the service. They lease time on other providers' networks, not having one of their own.

We don't chat a lot on phones. Most of our cell use is when on the road (twice-per-week check-in with the offspring's families, and for emergencies....which we thankfully haven't had).

Last year's cost total for a phone and 12 months of service was about $125 for the year.

Frank
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:25 PM   #6
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I have Verizon. It works well in most places, although I have noticed that sometimes I get a better signal in the front of the tt than in the rear. Maybe it has to do with being closer to the holding tanks and power converter?

XChiefB, thanks for the roaming update reminder. I knew it could be updated, but couldn't remember the number to dial. I made a note of it in memo pad.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:54 PM   #7
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I find that coverage is spotty out here in the west as you get farther from major roads - but if there any service I can usually get online. I use att and have an external antenna for my air card and a signal booster as well. The antenna mounts on the outside of my trailer the cable has been run inside - same on the my tow vehicle. The antenna has a magnetic base so I just move it from the truck to the trailer as needed. Not all AIR cards have a jack (tiny hole) for an external antenna so be sure to check out the specs before you invest in extra gear.

The antenna / booster combo will take me from 1 bar to 3 or 4 usually and can mean the difference between not getting online at all and being well connected.
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:31 PM   #8
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Sunshine,
You said you have weak signal "IN" your RV.
If you have metal, as in aluminum, siding on your RV, being surrounded by metals is like being in a "Faraday's Cage". Remember that one from high school physics? Radio waves will not go through the metal skin, but some sneaks through the windows, bottom and roof, as long as you do not have a metal roof too.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:51 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone!

Thanks for all the input. It makes some sense now. lol. I have AT&T, we use iPhones and a SW air card.

Is there a way to update roaming capabilities on AT&T?

external antenna - cheapest solution - I was actually looking at that on some website, but I called them and found out my iPhone doesnt have a port on it so I cant use it for that, but I can for my air card.

They actually gave me a recommendation... its called a Wilson dual band rv kit... It seems like an interesting concept and the guy said that as long as that outside antenna is receiving some sort of signal that I will have a signal in my rv while I'm on the road. That gives me some comfort.
https://www.unwiredsignal.com/?pn=Wi...s&p=1036&c=206

I have this fear that we will get into trouble in the middle of nowhere and not have a cell signal! If any one has any experience with this set up please give details. From what I read it works for cell phones and air cards and nothing is connected directly to my devices.

Thanks every one for your assistance.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:27 PM   #10
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I own a Wilson---mainly due to recommendations of EMAM.

-Fantastic
-Easy to Use
-Great company support
-Not cheap

I read recently they have created a "cheaper" unit called the Sleek:

http://reviews.cnet.com/cell-phone-a...ag=mncol;lst;1
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Old 04-25-2010, 06:58 PM   #11
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"Smoothtalker" used to advertise in "Trailer Life".
Have not seen their ads lately, but they are at <www>.
They sell a 3W signal booster amplifier. At almost $350 they are not cheap, but they have models that will work with just about any cell phone.
I have no experience with them, but I just remembered their ads.
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:11 PM   #12
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As an aside for those who use an air card, we bought a wireless router for our Verizon air card. This allows more than one user on the air card and lets us both take our laptops any where inside or outside the trailer and have wireless. It is pass word protected so stray people can't get on the Verizon wireless network. On occassion we have let fellow campers in nearby rigs get on.

When we return home in the summer it services our whole house and the RVs in the yard.

Safe Travels from North Carolina tonight
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:29 PM   #13
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I don't notice much difference inside the trailer or outside.

Coverage around here is ok if you stay on the main highways. If you want to get away anywhere, forget it. We have Tracfone and Alltel. The wife's folks have Alltel. My daughter's mom has Verizon. So does my mom and she couldn't get a signal downstate either.

At the campground downstate where we used to go (4 miles off a state highway), no signal but if I went to the pond I sometimes could get 1 bar. At my daughter's mom's house downstate (about 6 miles off a state highway) no signal. No signal at the house she used to live at either, a few miles off a state highway. At the campground we usually go to lately near Wolverine, only a few miles off I-75, no signal, even though I can hear the cars on the freeway at night. At the wife's folks property near Waters, just a few miles off I-75, no signal.

Also when we circled the UP in late 2006, we had Alltel and had ZERO SIGNAL through the ENTIRE UP. Even through larger towns like Marquette. Only time we got a signal was St Ignace, we would pull from Mackinaw City. And in SS Marie, we would get a Canada Roaming signal.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:05 AM   #14
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Norm - Can you describe a little more about your router? Mr Tweety would like to know how that hooks up.
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Old 04-26-2010, 03:03 PM   #15
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Pat and Steve,

I use the Cradelpoint 350 Router. You simply plug your Verizon Air Card into the little 2x3 x1/2" box and it broadcasts a wireless signal that any computer with a regular wireless card can pick up. You can also set up a password to make it a private network. We've had ours for two years and it's worked great.

This site takes you to an add for our device at cradlepoint, the CTR350.


http://www.cradlepoint.com/products/...-travel-router

This site takes you to the 3G store where we bought ours, though it is sold most everywhere.

http://3gstore.com/index.php?main_pa...dlepointRouter

Verizon now sells a similar device and may give deals to customers.

As well Verizon also sells a phone, the Palm Pre, that can perform the same function, allowing upto 5 computers to connect.
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Old 04-27-2010, 09:07 PM   #16
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The "cradle" I got for my Wilson unit can actually be used to expand/contract to fit from small to large phone--- including air card antennae.
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