We live in and work out of our RV full time on the road, so we need reliable, rock-solid Internet! Accomplishing this on the road, moving every couple of weeks, is not without its challenges.
If you saw our last internet video, you know that was over two years ago! While this setup has served us well, we were ready for something with more capability without as many setup challenges.
Unlike some of the blog posts that go with our videos, this one is not going to cover everything in the video in terms of all of the options available for mobile internet. So, be sure to watch the video to get all of the details.
Mobile Internet Resource Center
There is no way I can convey everything about the world of mobile Internet. That topic is WAY too huge! We wrote an article a while back about how awesome the MIRC is, and that's even more true today! Their web site and the Mobile Internet Aficionados (MIA) membership will provide everything you've ever wanted to know about the ever-changing world of mobile Internet!
In addition to all the awesome resources on the MIA site, as a member, you will be on the “breaking news” email list. I can't emphasize how important this benefit is. It was because of this kind of alert that we knew AT&T was going to be changing their unlimited plans back in 2017 and that we should get a jump on adding a hotspot to our plan even though we wouldn't need it for a few months. We've had that same plan now for almost 3 years! Join MIA! You won't regret it! You can use our code ‘CHANGINGLANESRVMIA‘ for $5 off your membership!
Mobile Internet Interactive (Video Course)
Another resource recently released by the MIRC is the Mobile Internet Interactive Video Course (www.rvmobileinternet.com/courses/mobile-internet-interactive/)!
This is an amazing resource for those wanting to learn about mobile internet but don't know where to start. This course is awesome! It starts out with some basic concepts and builds on them, taking just about anyone from novice to knowledgable at a comfortable pace.
Mobile Must Have!
Over the past couple of years, we've lacked a place to send people to get everything mobile internet. Sure, we had resources for individual products, but none were a one-stop-shop, and none had cellular embedded routers or data plans. That has now changed!
Meet our new partner, Mobile Must Have!
We're super excited about this new partnership! The experts at MMH can chat with you about what you want to accomplish with your setup and get you into the right gear. Just need something to check email now and then? No problem! Need a complete solution with a roof antenna and dual unlimited data plans? No problem there either!
They even have a setup assistance option when you purchase and will walk you through setting up and configuring your new system!
Be sure to use our link before you call them to get 5% off your order! (and so we get credit for sending you ? ) changinglanesrv.com/mmh
Our New Internet Setup!
Oh boy! I'm such a nerd, but this is super exciting! Can you tell Tara didn't write this? ?
MMH sent us the Ultimate Road Warrior RV Bundle with MobileMark 7-in-1 Antenna Bundle! This kit includes the Pepwave Max Transit Duo and a roof mounted 7-in-1 antenna from MobileMark.
The Max Transit Duo is a dual-modem unit! This means it can have two live cellular connections AT THE SAME TIME! With the 7-in-1 antenna, both of those modems' antennas are on the roof, away from the inside interference and with a better line of sight to the cellular tower. This means that right out of the box, the system has a level of redundancy built-in by way of its two live connections.
Another benefit of having two modems, is the capability to use SpeedFusion. SpeedFusion is a connection bonding technology. This allows combining of more than one connection into a single virtual connection. This virtual connection can be configured in a way that makes the overall connection for your mission critical apps very resilient! What this means is that one of your connections can go down or have a glitch, but the overall connection (the virtual connection) stays UP!
If you need this type of redundancy built into your mobile internet connection, SpeedFusion is for you!
Did I mention that Mobile Must Have can be your one-stop-shop for everything mobile internet? SpeedFusion is no exception! If you buy your Pepwave from MMH, you have access to subscribe to their SpeedFusion service for $30 a month ($99 initial setup fee). This will give you up to 1TB/mo of data across your SpeedFusion tunnel, which is a really good deal! We've been using it for a few months now and it is solid!
XPOL Antenna and 25′ Pole
We were in the Smoky Mountains when we decided to try out this new system. Where we stay, it has always been a struggle to get a good signal. We used our booster there, which helped, but speeds were still just barely passable at around 5Mbps. So, we decided we would also try the Poynting XPOL High Gain LTE MIMO Antenna mounted to the weBoost 25′ Telescoping Pole.
Holy COW! What an improvement! We went from 5Mbps to over 30Mbps! Like a booster, there will be locations where this will be completely invaluable!
To facilitate easy cable runs then this antenna is deployed, I put a junction box on the roof above out tech cabinet. I basically followed this video from LivinLite.net: youtu.be/IhiNPRF0x48
Interior Access Point
Connecting the Pepwave Max Transit Duo to the roof antenna moves the primary WiFi to those antennas (on the roof) as well. I could have left those antennas disconnected from the roof antenna and used the included blade antennas, but we wanted WiFi on the roof in case we came across good campground WiFi at some point.
This left the WiFi signal inside lacking a bit. Luckily, the Pepwave systems support the connection of multiple access points. We installed one of them (AP One AC Mini) in our AC duct in the front bedroom of our RV (using the duct as a conduit from the office ?? ). This gives us great WiFi inside as well as to the truck when traveling!
The toughest part of installing the system is definitely the roof-mounted antenna and routing the cables. Drilling holes in the roof of one's RV certainly requires some planning! That said, we cannot say what the best way is for your RV. Contact your manufacturer, ask some others with the same or similar RV. Facebook groups are great for this.
I placed our Mobile Mark antenna in the center of the roof directly above the loft bunk. This was just the right distance from the cabinet where I wanted the router and was also equidistant from the middle and read ACs (you need the antenna to be at least 18 inches from other things on the roof).
The Mobile Mark antenna's cables can only be routed straight out the bottom of the antenna. If you prefer to route the cables across the roof, then down, consider the Poynting 7-in-1. It can be mounted either way. The Mobile Mark antenna also requires a ground plane. This can be pretty much any metal plate, but we used the one made by Mobile Mark for their antennas.
The Mobile Mark antenna comes with a mounting nut that has a slot in int to get it around the cables and can presumably be used to secure the antenna to the roof. That was not practical for us since that nut is very inaccessible from the inside through the roof. So I used that nut to secure the ground plate to the antenna then secured that plate to the roof using double-sided eternabond tape. I then put a bead of lap sealant around the edges of the mounting plate as well as where the antenna and grounding plate meet.
I then simply ran the cables across the ceiling in the loft, through a hole to the cabinet in the office. I secured the cabling to the ceiling using white gorilla tape.
Antenna mounting tip (for any antenna): Get an antenna with the shortest possible cable runs to do the job. Every foot of cable adds to signal loss. Extra cable is just wasted signal strength. Also, do not use any type of extensions if possible. Every junction/connector adds signal loss also.
We do have footage of our install and might do a future video on the topic. Let us know if that is of interest to you.
I almost don't know what to do with myself when we pull into camp and the internet is already up and running! It used to be a 30 to 60 minute game of trial and error with every new campground, followed by daily reboots, modem swaps, etc. Our internet worked very well, but it did require a lot of baby-sitting. No longer! Now, it just works!
✅ Ultimate Road Warrior Bundle with MobileMark Antenna (Our Kit): changinglanesrv.com/mmh-our-bundle
✅ MMH Dual Carrier Unlimited Data: changinglanesrv.com/mmh-dual
✅ Pepwave AP One AC Mini (Interior WiFi Access Point): changinglanesrv.com/mmh-apacmini
✅ XPOL High Gain LTE MIMO Antenna: changinglanesrv.com/mmh-xpol
✅ WeBoost 25′ Telescoping Mounting Pole: changinglanesrv.com/mmh-weboost-pole
✅ Waterproof Dustproof IP65 ABS Plastic Junction Box: amzn.to/3inCZoh
✅ Various sizes of weatherproof cable glands (roof junction box): amzn.to/3grfA3t
✅ NETGEAR 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Unmanaged PoE Switch: amzn.to/3id7oVZ
✅ APC 600VA UPS Battery Backup & Surge Protector: amzn.to/2BhLLTY
✅ WD 16TB My Cloud EX4100 Expert Series 4-Bay NAS: amzn.to/2YDPPXq
✅ Dell 34″ UltraSharp Curved Ultra Wide Quad HD IPS Monitor: amzn.to/2Vlj7bp
How much does all of this cost? We try to not mention prices too much in tech videos because they can fluctuate so much. But, this should answer that question: changinglanesrv.com/faq/?Display_FAQ=3184
Entry-Level Products for Mobile Internet
For entry-level mobile internet, rather than a jetpack or hotspot, there's a much more flexible option in the Pepwave MAX BR1 MINI! (changinglanesrv.com/mmh-br1-mini) The MINI is Pepwave's entry-level device and it can accept SIM cards for AT&T or Verizon (and T-Mobile). In fact, it accepts TWO SIM cards at the same time, allowing you to switch back and forth (manually via the management interface) between the two. Pair the Mini with an unlimited data plan and you've got a little more flexibility if you plan on using two carriers as we do.
If you're not sure what to get, reach out to MobileMustHave (please click our link first) and they can help get you into a solution that fits your needs! ??
✅ Mobile Must Have: changinglanesrv.com/mmh
✅ Mobile Internet Resource Center: www.rvmobileinternet.com/
✅ Mobile Internet Interactive (Video Course): www.rvmobileinternet.com/courses/mobile-internet-interactive/
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