Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RV Communications : Honestly, Really

As limited as my RV Park experience is, I've DROVE through many in Texas, but I've only STAYED at a handful, I must say, you simply cannot depend upon the park's WiFi, even if provided by a commercial supplier.

We're currently staying at La Hacienda RV Park (they want to say Resort) which is a first class park. But honestly, you simply cannot rely upon their WiFi which is provided by Tengo Internet.

First, they have a browser-enable concept which really gets in the way if you front-end your computers with a router, which I do. I've had to put my Mac in modes that just are not common and really they do not like it and having the systems all up and working when I want them to is just not going to work. Secondly, the Tengo Internet seems to only work occasionally and I don't know why. The RV Park is lightly populated right now so I don't see that as the problem. Also, maybe they bought a low capacity front end (like T1) instead of just paying Time Warner or AT&T for a high speed link? It really doesn't matter, all I know as a consumer is it isn't available when I want it.

Here is an example of an internet problem caused by availability : We record on our Mac the TV shows we want to watch. We get the program schedule from the internet and that is what turns on the TV. If I miss GhostWhisperer one more time, Sheri is going to get a little made at me!

So, I've decided that I'll just get AT&T DSL because I've had it before and ATT acted like they could easily set me up. So far it has been 5 days and counting and I think the idea of DSL to an RV Park pedestal is blowing their minds.

Unless someone can convince me differently, I'm pretty well convinced that you must have your own communications setup. I see only a few decent candidates (cellular 3G/4G, WiMax (Clear), and satellite. Everything else seems to be unreliable.

1 comment:

Thom Hoch said...

Like almost everything else associated with RV'ing, reliable communications involve compromises. If you're going to rely on WIFI, be prepared to lug the laptop into town to the local library or coffee shop. Satelite (HughesNet+MotoSat, etc) has a huge front end cost and monthly rates of $70 or $80 bucks. Cellular broadband is $60/month and you won't have service if camped in unpopulated primitive areas. For us, the best balance of benefits/costs/negatives is Verizon broadband with an aircard. We're rarely without service, although it can get slow in very rural areas.