Why RV Parks MUST Deliver Reliable Wi-Fi

RVers will tolerate many irritations and inconveniences: Interstate or train noise, overcrowded sites, inconvenient placement of city utilities, poor voltage, low water pressure, GPS misdirection and more.

American RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
We found the Wi-Fi service as promised or better at American RV Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

But, inadequate or inconsistent Wi-Fi and I’m outta there and looking for another campground or RV park.

A study commissioned by Broadcom amusingly found that 75 percent of people say one week without Wi-Fi would leave them grumpier than one week without coffee.

Not surprising since Pew Internet Research says that 90 percent of people have a mobile device in reach 100 percent of the time and Deloitte tells us that Wi-Fi has become the medium of choice with two-thirds of US consumers preferring Wi-Fi to cellular.

These numbers are backed up by a the 2015 North American Camping Report, an independent study commissioned by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).

Today’s campers are more “plugged in” when preparing for camping trips and while at campsites. Of those surveyed, half of all campers (51 percent) claim that they go online at least once a day while camping, and four out of 10 (41 percent) say that having free Wi-Fi influences their decision to stay at a campground.

When selecting which campgrounds to visit and stay, free Wi-Fi ranks as the third most important amenity, behind only clean bathrooms and a kid-friendly environment, and outpaces access to recreational activities such as a campground store, cabins, and even safety lighting.

Arizona Oasis RV Resort, Ehrenburg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
We found the Wi-Fi service as promised or better at Arizona Oasis RV Resort, Ehrenburg, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

It’s no surprise then that the importance of adequate, functional, honestly portrayed Wi-Fi is becoming a highly discussed topic amongst consumers.

When a campground or RV park advertises free Wi-Fi, they should provide travelers with a fast and reliable connection. RVers want fast Wi-Fi for entertainment purposes and for keeping in touch with family and friends.

While there are a number of factors that affect speed and performance, some that simply cannot be helped, the consumer most certainly has an expectation, the one that’s been set by the RV park. When a display ad, listing, website, or telephone representative tells an RVer that Wi-Fi is available it is expected to function adequately. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi reality often times does not live up to the promise.

The key point here is campgrounds and RV parks need to set realistic expectations and deliver as promised. They need to be honest, clear, and upfront with the RVing public.

Whether the Wi-Fi service is a hotspot at the clubhouse, free, offers tiered pricing levels, or is pay to play, say so. If the park’s bandwidth is limited guests should be told up-front.

If Wi-Fi service is frequently down and consumers may experience disruptions campgrounds need to consider a fix and avoid promoting it. It is a mistake for an RV park to set them self up to disappoint their guests and create ill will.

Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
We found the Wi-Fi service as promised or better at Columbia Sun RV Resort, Kennewick, Washington © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

RV park management must think of Wi-Fi as a utility. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Wi-Fi is one of— if not the— first questions I ask when contacting a campground. It’s right up there with 50-amp electric service, city water, and sewer. Connectivity is no longer a nicety but for many of us RVers, it is a deal maker or breaker.

High-end, 5-star RV resorts that advertize an outdoor vacation on par with other vacation options, must deliver the same expectations as if the family chose to stay at the Hilton, go to Disney, or take an urban vacation. That’s their competition and they are delivering on Wi-Fi as a utility, tweaking as needed and adjusting their pricing plans based upon consumer feedback (outrage may be more like it).

It’s all about RV parks listening to their customers and figuring out a way to deliver what we ask for, be it a splash park and spa, 50-amp powered sites, or fast, reliable Wi-Fi.

Set high standards and realistic expectations and live up to them. In my humble opinion, that is one of the key ways RV parks and campgrounds can lift the perceptions of the experiences they sell.

To compete with other vacation/lodging options park management must deliver.

Buckhorn Lake RV Resort near Kerrville, Texas . © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
We found the Wi-Fi service as promised or better at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort near Kerrville, Texas . © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
—Theodore Roosevelt

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Accessing The Internet From Your RVing

Hitting the open road is an American dream. But doing it in an RV means that you can bring all your amenities with you including your desktop computer, laptop computer, tablet computer, e-reader, and smartphones.

Wi-FiThere are three main ways to access the internet while on the road: Satellite connection, wireless service, and Wi-Fi.

Satellite Connection

Through the use of a satellite dish your RV uploads and downloads data. This service tends to be more expensive and equipment heavy than other options.

Wireless Internet

Cell phone carriers offer wireless Internet services designed specifically for the laptop. Most services in this category are based on cellular technology.

Through the use of a MIFI “Mobile WIFI” stand alone device or a smartphone, the device becomes a wireless connection device that uses wireless towers to send and receive data. Recently plans are the cheapest they have ever been and they are pretty reliable.

Your service relies heavily on coverage and the quality of the network you choose to use. The two most common hotspot recommendations are Verizon and AT&T. We prefer Verizon because they have the best nationwide coverage. Be sure to review the coverage map before buying to make sure service is available at your travel destinations.

Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi )

Wireless Fidelity (or WiFi) is a technical term for the wireless network cards in laptop computers.

Most RV park directories including the Good Sam Travel & Savings Guide indicate when Wi-Fi is available.

wi-fiimagesWiFi is the technology that links your laptop to a provider using two-way radio signals, and the provider further connects you to the Internet. The actual speed at which you browse the Internet depends on several factors including the connection speed between your computer and the WiFi receiver and between the WiFi receiver and the Internet.

WiFi has a very limited range. An area within range of the WiFi signal is called a hotspot.

Be aware that if an RV park offers Wi-Fi Internet access, you may not be able to access the network from all sites in the campground, so ask when you make the reservation or check in.

Many RV parks offer Wi-Fi free and others charge a fee for service, in some cases through a Wi-Fi provider. Daily, weekly, monthly, and seasonal rates are normally available.

RV park and campground managers are beginning to think of Wi-Fi as the fourth utility that RV parks offer consumers after electricity, water, and sewer. A service that was once considered a perk is quickly becoming an expectation for most, if not all, RVers.

Just a few years ago, 50-amp electric moved from a “nice to have” to an essential service to some degree at any 21st century park. As difficult as it has been for some parks to upgrade, for the most part successful parks have accomplished it. So it will be with Wi-Fi.

Campers demand a connection and if they have to pay an additional fee, it better be good. Following these demands, RV parks are adapting in a variety of ways. Access is no longer a ‘want’; it has become a ‘need’.

Missouri-wi-fi-for-web-smallToday’s RVer expects to be able to get online, quickly, easily, and reliably.

When I’m in an RV park Internet access is a true need. I use it for everything from this website, to buying goods and services, entertainment, and interacting with family and friends.

Wi-Fi or other internet access at each site whether free or a paid service is, I consider to already be an essential utility in a campground or RV park. Park owners must figure out how to deliver this service regardless of difficulty.

One of the first questions I ask prior to making a campground reservation relates to Internet availability: “Do you have Wi-Fi and is it available from each RV site?”

My reservation is contingent on whether the RV park has reliable Wi-Fi available at the site.

I’ve stayed in campgrounds that didn’t provide adequate Wi-Fi connectivity as promised, where the Wi-Fi network was as good as none. Being told that I can come to the office or sit on a picnic table outside of the office and use it, just doesn’t cut it anymore.

A growing number of RVers expect the campground to deliver reliable online access and will choose not to stay in a park unable to provide it.

Worth Pondering…

What’s the Wi-Fi password?

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Wi-Fi: The Fourth RV Park Utility

Speaking at last month’s APEX/IFSA EXPO, International Air Transport Association Manager of Passenger Experience Development, Dimiter Zahariev made a comment that really resonated with me.

Wi-Fi“We believe Wi-Fi is the fourth utility after electricity, water, and gas.”

I would agree with that.

Wireless is becoming just as indispensable for day-to-day operations in the 21st century as electricity and plumbing were in the 20th.

I believe that RV park and campground managers need to think of Wi-Fi as the fourth utility that RV parks offer consumers after electricity, water, and sewer.

A service that was once considered a perk at RV parks and campgrounds is quickly becoming an expectation for most, if not all, RVers.

Campers demand a connection and if they have to pay an additional fee, it better be good. Following these demands, RV parks are adapting in a variety of ways. Access is no longer a ‘want’; it has become a ‘need’.

Today’s RVer expects to be able to get online, quickly, easily, and reliably.

When I’m in an RV park Internet access is a true need. I use it for everything from this website, to buying goods and services, entertainment, and interacting with family and friends.

WiFiWi-Fi or other internet access at each site whether free or a paid service is, I consider to already be an essential utility in a campground or RV park. Park owners must figure out how to deliver this service regardless of difficulty.

Just a few years ago, 50 amp electric moved from a “nice to have” to an essential service to some degree at any 21st century park. As difficult as it has been for some parks to upgrade, for the most part successful parks have accomplished it. So it will be with Wi-Fi.

One of the first questions I ask prior to making a campground reservation relates to Internet availability.

“Do you have Wi-Fi and is it available from each RV site?”

My reservation is contingent on whether the RV park has reliable Wi-Fi available at the site.

I’ve stayed in campgrounds that didn’t provide adequate Wi-Fi connectivity as promised, where the Wi-Fi network was as good as none. Being told that I can come to the office or sit on a picnic table outside of the office and use it, just doesn’t cut it anymore.

A growing number of RVers expect the campground to deliver reliable online access and will choose not to stay in a park unable to provide it.

wifi-logo4Guest expectations have risen massively in recent years. The explosion in laptop, tablet, and smart phone ownership with the resulting requirement for guests to be able to access Apps, search engines, games, movies, and other content, in addition to the ability to send and receive emails, photos, and large amounts of data, and using Skype to communicate with family is increasing the strain on existing infrastructures.

Add to this the fact that RVers generally carry more than one device (with the average being three) and that, in the past, Wi-Fi installations were aimed at delivering general coverage as opposed to the excellent coverage now required at each campsite.

RV park owners and managers must realize that, like it or not, campground guests not only want it, they expect quality Wi-Fi service.

Connectivity is now critical to how RV parks and resorts do business.

Worth Pondering…

What’s the Wi-Fi password?

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Mito Corporation Introduces WiFiRanger

Elkhart, Indiana-base MITO Corporation, a distributor of premium electronics, will showcase its customizable wireless router kit, the WiFiRanger Sky, December 3 to 5 at the National RV Trade Show, held at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

WFR_Sky_001_9WiFiRanger Sky, exclusively distributed by MITO Corporation, delivers an all-in-one, factory-installed WiFi solution consumers on the go.  Designed specifically for MITO’s OEM market (RV, marine and transit), WiFiRanger combines durable engineering and increased security with signal-boosting technology from 2,500 feet, creating the best connection for outdoor use.

To learn more about WiFiRanger and its capabilities, click here to view the company’s digital brochure.

WiFiRanger_Sky5Details

MITO Corporation

MITO Corporation was founded in 1974 to satisfy a market need for a consistent, high quality sales and distribution service for premium market electronic goods, specializing in the RV, Transit, and Marine Industries.

MITO has also expanded sales into the auto and residential markets through distributors and the internet.

Since 1974, MITO Corporation has provided consistent, high-quality sales and distribution services of premium electronics, a press release noted.

MITO is the exclusive distributor of Clarion, VIZIO, and WiFiRanger.

Address: 54905 CR 17, Elkhart, IN 46516

Phone: (574) 295-2441 or (888) 433-6486 (toll free)

Website: mitocorp.com

Worth Pondering…

I do not think that the wireless waves I have discovered will have any practical application.

—Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857-1894)

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Improving Your Wi-Fi Experience

As an RV park manager, one of the toughest issues that I had was to train my staff on was answering questions about the Wi-Fi service in the park, says Pamela Wright, owner of FocusedWords.

Free-WifiWright recently worked with Jim Ganley, of Checkbox Systems, to create a FAQ sheet for use by RV campground owners and managers. Specifically, it provides information and guidelines on Wi-Fi service for RVers staying at the campground.

This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on Wi-Fi Service in RV Parks.

Part 1: Why is My Wi-Fi So Lousy?

I can’t get the park signal to show on my device. What should I do?

If no Wi-Fi signals are showing on your device, ensure that the Wi-Fi is enabled on your device. Sometimes, there is a physical button on laptops to turn off the radio to save battery, or there may be a software setting to enable Wi-Fi, some phones and tablets feature an “airline mode” to turn off all radios (Wi-Fi and cellular).

If you can see other Wi-Fi signals, but not the park Wi-Fi on your device, check to see if other devices on your site or near you can see the park Wi-Fi.

If you can’t see the Wi-Fi signal on any device on your site or near you, be sure to mention this to the park staff. You may be in an area that they have not extended Wi-Fi into, or the system may be having issues.

Why is Wi-Fi in an RV park different than at a hotel?

wifi-campingRV parks and resorts face all of the same issues as hotels in providing Wi-Fi to guests and have some additional unique challenges.

RV parks and resorts are often in rural or semi-rural areas where Internet speeds are slower and more expensive, electrical supply to the system and access points may be less stable, and links between access points is usually wireless instead of wired.

Add exposure to elements such as rain, wind, and lightning and the equipment is subject to more wear and needs attention more often.

Why do I keep getting dropped?

Getting dropped can mean actually losing the radio signal connection, or it can be maintaining the connection but the flow of data stops or slows to a point where it is not usable for what you want to do.

The radio signal connection can be dropped for several reasons:

You are too far from the Wi-Fi system access point.

There are other electrical or electronic devices nearby causing interference.

There are physical obstacles such as RVs, buildings, or vehicles.

There are too many users on the Wi-Fi system and it is overloaded.

You may be able to maintain the radio signal connection, but the flow of data stops or slows to a point where it is not usable for all of the reasons above, and additionally there may be too many users on the Internet connection shared by the park, the Internet service provider for the park may be experiencing issues (common on satellite-based systems), or the website you are accessing may be experiencing high volumes.

What can I do to improve the Wi-Fi reception at my unit?

wi-fiimagesSometimes just moving a few feet or moving outside of your RV is all that is needed to make a big difference.

If that does not work try plugging your device into AC power, as some devices reduce the power to the radio and screens when unplugged to extend battery life.

For laptops with internal Wi-Fi cards, if the range is not good, then consider investing in an external Wi-Fi adapter. These devices plug into a USB port and have external antennas that are often better than the internal antennas manufactures build into their laptops.

Avoid “signal boosters” and “range extenders.” There are device sold by different manufacturers that allegedly increase the range of Wi-Fi by picking the signal up off the air and rebroadcasting it.

Generally these devices create more noise than usable signal, and will not help you get better Wi-Fi. Oddly, some Wi-Fi enabled devices will misinterpret the noise as signal, and report better signal strengths, but at the same time the speeds will decrease or stop altogether.

focused words downloadNote: All credit and copyrights for this list remain exclusively with the authors, Pamela Wright and Jim Ganley and I am posting it with their permission.

You may contact Pamela Wright at pwright@FocusedWords.com.

Worth Pondering…

I do not think that the wireless waves I have discovered will have any practical application.

—Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (1857-1894)

Read More

Why is My Wi-Fi So Lousy?

As an RV park manager, one of the toughest issues that I had was to train my staff on was answering questions about the Wi-Fi service in the park, says Pamela Wright, owner of FocusedWords.

wi-fiimagesWright recently worked with Jim Ganley, of Checkbox Systems, to create a FAQ sheet for use by RV campground owners and managers. Specifically, it provides information and guidelines on Wi-Fi service for RVers staying at the campground.

Why isn’t the Wi-Fi in the park the same as the Wi-Fi at home?

Several factors can affect the speed and responsiveness of the Wi-Fi in the RV park that may not be a factor, or as big of a factor as it is at home.

The Wi-Fi in the park is shared among many users and devices. You may have a dozen Wi-Fi enabled devices at home, but there may be hundreds of devices online in the park.

At home you may be fortunate to have very fast cable or fiber Internet service, however in many rural and semi-rural areas slower DSL or satellite based service may be all that is available. This slower service must be shared among many users and dozens or hundreds of devices.

Why can’t I download movies and music?

Movies, music, and videos consume a lot of data bandwidth.

Since the WiFi system in the park is shared by many users, downloading movies and videos can seriously impact other users in the park.

How much bandwidth is consumed by different activities?

wifi-connection-wifiFor comparison:

Sending or receiving an email (no attachments) typically consumes 1Kb of bandwidth

Sending or receiving an email with a picture attached typically consumes 1.5Mb

Downloading a 3 minute song typically consumes 5Mb

Using a social networking site for 10 minutes (i.e. Facebook) typically consumes 20~50Mb

Downloading a 3 minute movie trailer in HD typically consumes 180Mb

Using Skype or VoIP for a 20 minute voice chat typically consumes 4~10Mb

Using Skype or other video services for a 20 minute chat typically consumes 40~ 60Mb

Watching a streaming 30 minute TV show typically consumes 400~600Mb

Watching a streaming 2 hour movie typically consumes 1800Mb~4000Mb

In other words, watching a streaming two-hour movie can be the equivalent amount of bandwidth of more than 4 million emails.

wifiWhy is the RV next door to me is getting a stronger signal than I am?

Wi-Fi is based on radio signals, and just like the radio in your car, the signals can be affected and blocked by both physical obstacles and interference from other devices.

Some Wi-Fi devices have better quality radios and antennas than other devices.

You may have something physically blocking your reception such as another RV, a building, or a large RV. Or there may be some other electrical or electronic device in or near your RV that is causing interference.

Or your neighbor may have a Wi-Fi enabled device with a really good quality radio in it. Or your neighbor may be closer to the Wi-Fi access point.

Often it is a combination of all of these factors.

Please Note: This is Part 2 of a 2-part series on Wi-Fi Service in RV Parks.

Part 2: Improving Your Wi-Fi Experience

focused words downloadNote: All credit and copyrights for this list remain exclusively with the authors, Pamela Wright and Jim Ganley and I am posting it with their written permission.

You may contact Pamela Wright at pwright@FocusedWords.com.

Worth Pondering…

We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!

—Sean Parker

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Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013 Now Available

Nobody wants to spend more money than necessary to fill the gas tank, and drivers want to get the most out of each gallon.

Making efficient, customized travel plans is now easier than ever with yesterday’s launch of Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013, the new edition of the popular trip-planning software.

According to a news release, Current users of Streets & Trips will find the new 2013 version offers a sleek and clean look in high contrast designed for easier viewing, updated maps of the United States and Canada—including 150,000 new miles of roads since the 2011 version was released—and more than 2.5 million points of interest.

Tailor your trips by start and stop times, driving speeds, or road types to avoid interstates or other highways to make your route more scenic. Include multiple destinations and stops to rest and refuel. Change your plan at any time—no Internet required.

Longtime fans will also find they can now turn all pushpin names on or off with a single click, and they can create larger drive times for more flexibility in trip planning.

“A new feature people are really going to love is the online ratings and reviews. Customer ratings and reviews on restaurants, hotels, and more take the guesswork out of deciding where to go,” said Larry Petersen, software design engineer at Microsoft Corp.

“Streets & Trips 2013 adds upgrades our customers have asked for, including 600,000 more points of interest than the previous version.”

The 2013 version of Streets & Trips is designed to help travelers plan the perfect trip start to finish—generate maps and directions, customize with start and stop times, and add notes such as reservation numbers or operating hours—all without an Internet connection.

For many RVers, family vacationers, other motorists, and truckers, laptops have become an essential travel accessory. Microsoft Streets & Trips helps them efficiently plan and customize their travel before they hit the road.

Whether the day calls for visiting an amusement park, winery, casino, national or state park, or museum, there is a stop along the way for everyone when using Streets & Trips. One-click route optimization provides the most efficient route, and a fuel consumption manager help consumers budget gasoline costs.

Then, while on the road, Streets & Trips on a laptop helps travelers find necessities such as ATMs, hotels, auto services, restaurants, and more, with no Internet connection required, helping plan for—or discover—plenty of fun and useful stops along the way.

“Microsoft Streets & Trips helps travelers tailor personalized itineraries with as much or as little detail as they prefer,” said Lori Stock, group product marketing manager for Streets & Trips at Microsoft.

“It’s a great travel companion and easy-to-use laptop tool that really helps our customers’ travel inspirations become a reality. Everyone will appreciate how the software takes so many hassles and headaches out of the road trip while providing personalized options for creating memorable experiences.”

Details

Microsoft Corp

Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services, and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013

America’s No. 1 travel and map software for 13 years straight, Microsoft Streets & Trips is a helpful travel companion and easy-to-use laptop guide.

Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013 is available for purchase today, online at the Microsoft Store. Consumers can give Streets & Trips a test drive by downloading a free 14-day trial version.

Estimated Retail Price: $39.95; with GPS locator, $69.95; actual retail price may vary

Microsoft Store: microsoftstore.com

14-day Free Trial Version: www.microsoft.com/streets

Worth Pondering…

You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.
—Yogi Berra

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Free Wireless at Alabama State Parks

In the last year, a new technology has been added to many of Alabama’s state parks—wireless Internet.

With free wireless Internet now available at select Alabama State Park campgrounds, roughing it no longer means disconnecting from the modern world, according to a news release.

“The wireless Internet program is one of the largest wide-scale Wi-Fi deployments of any United States park system,” says Tim Wishum, Alabama State Parks Acting Co-Director.

“The Alabama program will provide more than 20,000 park guests with free Internet access while camping.”

While many people love to come to Alabama’s state parks to experience the beauty of nature, to relax, to hike, fish, and explore, sometimes it’s difficult—if not impossible—to fully unplug from technology. School, work, financial transactions, and social networking are just a few of the many reasons people want to be connected.

The Alabama State Parks Wi-Fi network provides guests with a reliable Internet connection to enhance their visit to the parks by allowing them to stay connected with friends and family back home as well as conduct essential business such as school work, financial transactions, and social media.

Beginning with Gulf State Park in August 2010, the parks system has deployed over 600 radios, routers, and relays, utilizing 92 miles of wireless networks to provide Internet to more than 1,200 campsites for more than 20,000 guests.

Currently Lakepoint, Gulf, Wind Creek, and Cheaha State Parks have Wi-Fi Internet in the campgrounds.

Lake Guntersville, Joe Wheeler, and Oak Mountain are in the final stages of establishing their Wi-Fi systems.

Rather than create a few localized “hot spots,” these deployments have turned entire campgrounds “hot,” allowing for guests to stay connected in the comfort of their own recreational vehicles.

Free Wi-Fi is also available in or near the park office or store in select parks that do not have the campground systems.

Those parks include Blue Springs, Monte Sano, Buck’s Pocket, Florala, Frank Jackson, Lake Lurleen, and DeSoto.

Ongoing support and continuous improvements have been implemented to ensure any problem areas or outages are remedied in short order.

The next time you take a trip and need to stay connected, Alabama State Parks will be ready to meet your needs.

Details

Alabama State Parks

Most Alabama State Parks host modern campsites along with primitive camping.

Modern bathhouses and spacious camping pads—many right on the water—make camping in an Alabama State Park comfortable and fun.

Many park campgrounds offer senior discounts, allow pets, have onsite picnic tables and grills, and ample parking for visitors.

Advance reservations are recommended, especially on weekends and holidays.

Phone: (800) ALAPARK (252-7275)

Website: alapark.com

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR)

The new pier at Gulf State Park. (Source: gulf-shores-alabama.net)

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promote the wise stewardship, management, and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

Address: 64 N. Union Street, Suite 468, Montgomery, AL 36130

Website: outdooralabama.com

Worth Pondering…

Dixie

Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton,
Old times there are not forgotten,
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.
In Dixie Land, where I was born in,
early on one frosty mornin’,
Look away, look away, look away Dixie Land.

—Daniel Decatur Emmett

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RVNN.TV Expands Distribution with Roku Streaming Video Players

Elkhart, Indiana-based RV News Net, LLC significantly boosts distribution and reach of its recreational vehicle focused internet television network RVNN.TV with release of a dedicated top-level channel on the Roku streaming video player.

The Roku is a set-top box that hooks up to a high-speed Internet connection and displays Internet-delivered television and games to consumer flat screen TVs, according to a news release.

RVNN.TV is an internet television network dedicated to the World of RVs, the first of its kind.

While shows have been accessible to a global viewing audience online since early 2011, viewers in over three million households can now add the RVNN.TV network to their channel favorites with a single click on the Roku remote, lean back, and enjoy RV business and lifestyle content via high-speed internet on their home TV set with no computer required.

RVNN.TV joins the ranks of other top-level networks in the Roku Channel Store such as HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Fox News, Disney, CNBC, and WSJ Live, bringing a line-up of more than a dozen RV-lifestyle and business programs to the television screen. RVNN.TV covers news and live RV-related events and also produces popular shows like RVNN Live, Geocaching World, Ask The Professor, GadgetPlex, Tails From The Road, and What’s Wrong With This Picture.

RVNN.TV makes its debut in the Roku Channel Store. (Credit: rvnewsnet.com)

Founder Andrew McCaskey explains, “Roku is the market leader in streaming Internet video entertainment devices for the TV, because they are affordable and have a variety of additional entertainment choices like Netflix and Amazon movie rentals and audio services such as Pandora. They are tapped into social media, allowing users to view video from their Facebook accounts on their flatscreen TV. Their user base is growing tremendously, fueled by distribution through major big box retailers including Best Buy, WalMart and Radio Shack.”

Featuring a starting price of $59.99, Roku players allow customers to stream movies and TV shows, live sports, music, games, and more—instantly on their TVs. The company currently offers more than 350 channels through its Channel Store, allowing people to add those channels to their personal menu and watch the content associated with them.

“RVNN.TV now has highly visible placement in the Channel Store in the Fitness and Outdoor category, so users can easily find our network and add RVNN.TV to their personal channel list with a single click,” McCaskey noted in the news release. “This will have a tremendous impact as we continue to build our RVNN.TV brand and loyal following.”

He added that Roku distribution will also expand viewership outside the U.S., as Roku expands in the United Kingdom and Canada in early 2012.

Details

RVNN.TV

RVNN.TV is a subsidiary of Review Communications Inc., a new media company offering technical and commercial services to reach niche consumer and business to business audiences based in Elkhart, Indiana.

RVNN.TV programming is distributed free of charge to online viewers and Roku users. Programming is supported by paid advertising.

RVNN.TV is the first Internet television network to bring the “World of RVs” to consumers over a wide range of program interests, all of which include some element of RVing or the RV lifestyle. Along with a dedicated channel on the No. 1 selling Internet TV platform, and significant presence of selected RVNN.TV technology and consumer electronics shows on additional “over-the-top” (OTT) delivery systems such as Boxee and Google TV or Internet-enabled television sets. RVNN.TV programs can be expected to expand to other video platforms in 2012.

Phone: (877) 578-7866

Website: rvnewsnet.com

Worth Pondering…
We owe a lot to Thomas Edison—if it weren’t for him, we’d be watching television by candlelight.

—Milton Berle

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WifiRVFriends: Real-time, Location-based Social Network for RVers

WifiRVFriends.com, the first true virtual connection for the RV community opened Wednesday (April 6, 2011).

The new network, available to RVers, resorts, and RV product and service providers uses patent-pending technology to bridge the gap between social networking and face-to-face interaction.

Last week’s launch of WifiRVFriends.com makes location and interest-specific social networking available from leading RV Parks and locations nationwide.

The new location-based platform serves any resort that provides a Wi-Fi connection. It creates a secure and dynamic way for guests to meet new friends online and, where desired, in person.

Resorts gain a means to communicate in real-time with their guests. The platform creates new ad revenue for resort owners and highly-targeted new marketing options for product and service providers, who must offer an exclusive discount to RV users in order to advertise on the WifiRVFriends site.

The wave of the future?

“The RV lifestyle is taking a giant step into the 21st century with WiFiRVfriends.com,” said Ron Lundquist, manager of the Boise-Meridian Idaho RV Resort. “The RV community, both on the resort and guest side, has long awaited a true virtual connection to facilitate its many needs.

“The archaic days of managers taping weekly flyers to shower room doors are soon going by the way side,” Lundquist continued. “Now managers and guests can have open lines of communication. Guests can find friends easily throughout their travels. Guest services will expand to national horizons. As a resort manager, I find that the virtual side of RV lifestyles has not kept up with the fast changing marketplace. Now I can inform my guests of resort and area activities, assist them with a recommended service directory, alert them to severe weather changes and provide a virtual gathering place. With WifiRVFriends, our traveling guests will find the complete RV experience to be truly enjoyable.”

“We’re creating a means for RV users to create mobile communities of users with similar interests,” says CEO Dave Brown. “We’re making it easy to find others with common interests who are right around you that you’d otherwise not have the opportunity to know.”

Get started now!

Basic membership is free, with a VIP option for $6.99 a month that facilitates keyword searches to allow users to focus more heavily on the profiles of the others they most want to meet. The premium version of WifiRVFriends also includes the “Crossroads” feature that lets users set up travel plans that mesh and correspond with other RV users’ plans.

About MobileDN and WifiRVFriends.com

WifiRVFriends, a MobileDN company, is addressing the Real Time Web through location-based technology that bridges the gap between social networking and face-to-face interaction. WifiRVFriends.com facilitates online, location-based introductions as well as the opportunity to meet face-to-face.

Reasons to Sign-up Now

  • Meet new RV friends staying at the same resort
  • See who your neighbors are
  • Choose your next stay
  • Chat with the RV resort host from another resort
  • See when your paths will cross with your RV friends
  • Get instant news from your host
  • Discount coupons from local businesses
  • And so much more

Worth Pondering…

We lived on farms, then we lived in cities, and now we’re going to live on the internet!

—Sean Parker

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