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Open Roads Forum  >  Technology Corner

 > Skool me on cell phone boosters and install tips, please

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cbigham

orange , CA

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Posted: 08/26/21 06:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,
Got a thor class c 23u...doing more online work, and many areas have low or overly crowded cell resources for Verizon. Occasionally, I get knocked off, can go airplane mode, get back on..then off..etc

I've seen the all cell on amazon for 479.99. That could do the job as we may change carriers. Any tips on install?


Thanks

Chuck

agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 08/26/21 07:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK let me describe my DIY setup, first WeBoost RV seems to be the current leader. We have another brand that I not going to mention, it works but how it compares to the leader I have no idea.
The system consists of:
1) Outside omnidirectional antenna. The higher the better. Cell signals are line-of-sight
2) Amplifier and transmitter that goes inside
3) Inside antenna that rebroadcasts the boosted signal. That need to be a certain distance from the outside antenna, 10 or 15 feet.

To get the outside antenna higher you can buy a collapsible antenna pole $100-150. Or buy a 24 foot painters pole at Lowes: $39. Not as convenient maybe. But I am a cheap-wad...heh.
I attached that to the ladder on back of the RV by hose clamping some short segments of PVC pipe big enough for the painter pole to fix down inside. That pole doubles as a flag pole too.

So far this has been 95% effective in getting enough signal to at least do email, most of the time we can watch videos. You will probably need to buy another length of antenna wire, make sure it has the right connectors there are at least three different types. And you can get wire that is too good, I got some that is 3/8 or so in diameter and too heavy to string up the pole.

You can also buy a directional Yagi antenna that boosts the signal more, but you have to point it at the antenna. There are a number of phone apps that will show you which direction the cell antennas are.
That is my non-electronic tech/engineer explanation. The two time we go zero signal were when we were surrounded by 100 foot pines, or down in a valley with high hills in every direction. I am 17 miles outside YNP right now with a good signal.


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#1Flyboy

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Posted: 08/26/21 08:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

…. Currently boondocking south of Crater Lake using a WeBoost ( tried another brand ONCE to cure me from doing that again) …On about our 7th WeBoost installation on different RV’s & trucks… WeBoost has STUNNING customer service to help you with any issues or concerns… Would not be able to get signal without a booster; slow but effective here… Amazon has all the different models for various applications… If you are really out there a Yagi antenna & a collapsible pole are helpful in getting signal ( or hiking to the top of a hill also has worked several times for us )…I’m a very satisfied WeBoost customer…

rr2254545

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Posted: 08/27/21 08:33am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Waste of money - we have stayed at over 400 parks with Verizon and I can count on one hand the parks where we have not had service


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way2roll

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Posted: 08/27/21 08:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rr2254545 wrote:

Waste of money - we have stayed at over 400 parks with Verizon and I can count on one hand the parks where we have not had service


Such a helpful post. Boosters are beneficial to folks that need internet in places where signals are too weak. It's fantastic that you don't seem to encounter those places or have a need. Others do. Tip- if you aren't going to add something beneficial, just don't post.


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#1Flyboy

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Posted: 08/27/21 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Way2Roll, ……I totally agree; useless post…

goducks10

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Posted: 08/27/21 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rr2254545 wrote:

Waste of money - we have stayed at over 400 parks with Verizon and I can count on one hand the parks where we have not had service


Maybe because you're east of the Rockies. Try coming out west. I've had Verizon for 10+ years and always run into signal problems when anywhere outside a big city. Look at a Verizon cell coverage map and you see that the east half of the country is totally covered vs the west half.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 08/27/21 11:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

goducks10 wrote:

rr2254545 wrote:

Waste of money - we have stayed at over 400 parks with Verizon and I can count on one hand the parks where we have not had service


Maybe because you're east of the Rockies. Try coming out west. I've had Verizon for 10+ years and always run into signal problems when anywhere outside a big city. Look at a Verizon cell coverage map and you see that the east half of the country is totally covered vs the west half.


yup, we have our truck phone with ATT and a higher output power and better antenna than a ATT cell and our cell phones are with verizon. Even with both carriers coverage is hit and miss, mostly miss for our type of camping. regardless of carrier LOTS of the country is NOT covered. Maybe 1 out of 10 campsites we visit has good enough cell service for a voice call, 1 out of 20 for even checking email etc.

Much of our camping is in MT, ID, WA, Oregon, Utah, Arizona. Outside of large metro areas cell coverage is sporatic, even on sections of the interstate, let alone on secondary roads.
And the midwest east of the rockies is much the same from our trips to the midwest east of the rockies.

With our weboost setup 1 out of 20 doesn't have good enough service for voice or checking email etc.

And our experience has been that Verizon has better coverage than ATT for the places we go to.

* This post was last edited 08/27/21 12:40pm by ktmrfs *   View edit history


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3 tons

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Posted: 08/27/21 11:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rr2254545 wrote:

Waste of money - we have stayed at over 400 parks with Verizon and I can count on one hand the parks where we have not had service


It must be the water in Minnesota, kinda like comparing IQ’s to shoe sizes - lol

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 08/27/21 12:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

goducks10 wrote:

rr2254545 wrote:

Waste of money - we have stayed at over 400 parks with Verizon and I can count on one hand the parks where we have not had service


Maybe because you're east of the Rockies. Try coming out west. I've had Verizon for 10+ years and always run into signal problems when anywhere outside a big city. Look at a Verizon cell coverage map and you see that the east half of the country is totally covered vs the west half.


Nope, not just a one coast or another issue, I can take you lots of places "out east" in PA which have zero, zilch, none, nada Verizon signal but yet ATT works fine. The reverse can be said, there are places where ATT doesn't work but yet Verizon does.

In my area, there is one Verizon tower near my home, works sometimes other times no signal, doesn't work at all at my DWs workplace another 5 miles away from our home.

ATT on the other hand has three towers near my home and my DW has no issue getting ATT service at her workplace.

Verizon has one cell tower between our home and nearest city 20 miles away, total dead zone nearly most of the 20 miles.

ATT on the other hand has three cell towers between our home and the nearest city 20 miles away, have service for all but 1 mile of that trip..

Amps and external antennas can only do so much to help and if there is no cell tower located 5-10 miles from there is no external amp or antenna that will fix that. One must have some signal, one/two bars at the external amp and antenna to work reliably.

You have to make a choice on your service, choose one that covers the area you are living in, otherwise live with spotty to no service.

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