Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Technology in the Little RV

One of the most difficult things to figure out when we started preparing to go full time in the Little RV as how to stay connected.  We knew we needed internet access and we wanted television reception of some sort but we didn't want to attach anything to the roof that may cause a leak down the road.  

Portable Satellite Dish along with the 211k HD Receiver. 50ft. rg6 cable,remote,hdmi cable,rca cables,manuals,instruction books

For television reception, after much research we decided on the Dish Tailgater.  The tailgater requires a receiver. Like all satellite systems it has good and bad points.  When we arrive at a campsite we take it out of the basement and place it where it has a clear southern view so it can locate the satellites.  Inside we turn on the television and go through the set-up process which take a few minutes.  It's very light so we always lock it to the RV with a long cable lock so it doesn't walk away.  It works great bearing in mind that if you move it at all, you have to go through the set-up process again which can be a pain.  We have yet to figure out how to watch the TV in the bedroom without purchasing another receiver but we think it is possible because we have a switch box for controlling the AV equipment.  We recently hooked up an external drive to the receiver so we can record shows like a DVR.
On the plus side;
  • light weight
  • portable
  • easy to use
  • easy to move to pick up a satellite
On the minus side;
  • easy to run over with your big dually truck
  • easy to steal unless you lock it up
  • cannot move without going through set-up again
Internet access was another thing we had to figure out.  We have Verizon for our cellular service and the coverage has always been the best no matter where we go so we wanted to keep them.  
Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 5510L 
We ended up getting a Jetpack.  It is very small, about the size of a deck of cards.  Works great. It tells you how much data you have used which turned out to be very important because we went onto Verizon's new Family Share Plan and we now have data limits.  We so regret switching plans and we can't go back now.  The Jetpack is basically a wireless hotspot so we can get our internet connection through it, we can print to our printer through it and we can use a tablet with it.  We can even unplug it and take it with us when we goOccasionally I'll take it in the truck so we can use it to find campgrounds, etc.  

We also use smartphones so we can stay connected with them.  Yes, we are truly gadget junkies!

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a great thing to have. I have a Verizon hot spot for computers and tablets that works great. It handles multiple items. I did have trouble getting a signal when I was at Ink's Lake State Park, Texas last year. Hope to get a lot of use out of it this year.