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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KOA Study Reveals Campers Rate Wi-Fi As Top Amenity

More campers today rate access to free Wi-Fi a higher priority than traditional camping amenities, such as access to cabins or recreational activities, according to the 2015 North American Camping Report, an independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA).

KOA Study Reveals Campers Rate Wi-Fi As Top Amenity
KOA Study Reveals Campers Rate Wi-Fi As Top Amenity

The must-have camping gear, according to the results of the survey of 2,104 US households, is the cell phone, as 83 percent of all campers bring their mobile phone to the great outdoors, according to a KOA news release.

What’s more, the heart wins out over the wallet, as more people today see camping as a way to escape the stress of everyday life than as an affordable vacation option.

Highlights from the 2015 North American Camping Report include the following:

Must-Have Camping Equipment: Wi-Fi and Mobile Phones

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.

Spartanburg/Gaffney KOA, Gaffney, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Spartanburg/Gaffney KOA, Gaffney, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The youngest campers, younger than 25, are more likely to bring a mobile phone (86 percent), compared to campers age 65-plus (77 percent). Conversely, campers 25-plus are somewhat more likely to bring along a laptop or notebook (29 percent) compared to the youngest campers (21 percent). Younger campers even say having a smartphone (28 percent) is almost as important as toilet paper (34 percent).

Camping as a Healthy Escape and Relationship Builder

Though the notion of camping as an inexpensive vacation option remains, survey results suggest that while the cash-saving aspect is still important, people are camping to build the emotional connection and relationships with family and friends in nature.

Survey highlights include:

  • According to campers, reconnecting with nature (55 percent), reducing stress (54 percent), and spending more time with family and friends (49 percent) are the key reasons they camp. Economic and practical values were only identified as reasons for camping by less than 35 percent of those surveyed.
  • Campers are likely to say that camping improves family relationships—in fact, 41 percent “completely agree” with this.

Additionally, fully 4-in-10 campers (39 percent) suggest that camping has “a great deal of impact” on allowing them to spend more time with family. Another third of campers say that camping has a positive impact on their relationships with family and friends (35 percent) and their emotional well-being (36 percent).

Outdoor Melting Pot

Gulf State Park, Gulf Shore, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Gulf State Park, Gulf Shore, Alabama © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Nearly one in four campers in 2014 identified themselves as either African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, or Hispanic, a significant increase compared to past industry research efforts. Other key survey highlights include:

  • Camping rates among nonwhites have doubled from as recently as 2012, jumping from 12 percent up to 23 percent.
  • Among multicultural groups, camping rates among Asian/Pacific Islanders have increased the most over the last two years, representing only 1 percent of the total camping population in 2012, compared to 6 percent in 2014.
  • Hispanics jumped from 2 percent of campers in 2012 to 6 percent in 2014.

2015 Season Outlook

Looking ahead to the 2015 camping season, a majority of campers (53%) plan to spend more nights camping, and almost half (48 percent) plan to take more trips. Other key findings related to campers’ plans for the 2015 season include:

  • When asked what has the most impact on their decision to camp more, survey respondents cited spending more time with family and friends (68 percent), exploring new areas (67 percent), and decreased gas prices (60 percent) as the most impactful factors.
  • Among campers who say that decreased gas prices are impacting their travel plans for the upcoming year, 88 percent plan to visit new areas, 88 percent say it will allow them to camp more often and 86 percent plan to visit new campgrounds.
Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Page, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved
Wahweap RV Park & Campground, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Page, Arizona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Worth Pondering…

Life is short and the world is wide.
—Simon Raven

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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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XiteSolutions In-Dash Infotainment Systems Incorporates Rand McNally GPS

XiteSolutions North America Inc. has announced the new “feature-rich” 6-inch, 7-inch and 10-inch touchscreen in-dash infotainment systems to provide RV drivers with advanced navigation while providing simultaneously entertainment, information, Wi-Fi connected services and Bluetooth connectivity.

XiteSolutions In-Dash Infotainment Systems Incorporates Rand McNally GPS
XiteSolutions In-Dash Infotainment Systems Incorporates Rand McNally GPS

The system includes the RV GPS by Rand McNally with optional Wi-Fi that provides:

Live Fuel Prices displayed on the screen map which can also be found by searching brand, distance, and/or price.

Current weather forecasts and forecasted information in your current location, destination, and anywhere along your route. Choose from 10 different live map overlays to display important information for RVers, such as wind speed and precipitation.

Local Search allows RVers to find listings for local businesses or they can search by name or keyword.

Premium Service members, which is available on the Rand McNally Dock, can receive up-to-the-minute traffic information, including alerts, detours, and conditions even in rural areas.

The new connected services from Rand McNally helps RVers plan, prepare, and enjoy the ride.

“The evolution of our products has been in large part due to our strategic alliances with companies such as Rand McNally and RiverPark,” said Craig Smith, president and owner of XiteSolutions North America.

“We are thrilled with the constant innovation of Rand McNally’s Wi-Fi options now delivering live information to our customers. Our OEM platforms continue to pave the way advancing the connected RV Lifestyle.”

The 2014 Xite Infotainment Systems have been re-engineered to ensure that all features an RV user would require are less than three button pushes for simplified operation.

Dash illumination, for an enhanced user experience, has also been improved. Features also include Bluetooth wireless technology, audio streaming, app sourcing and easy pairing.

Details

XiteSolutions North America, Inc.

XiteSNA_smInformation Fused with Entertainment.

XiteSolutions North America is strategically located in southwestern Ontario.

XiteSolutions North America develops integrated in-vehicle entertainment and information systems for the automotive, recreational vehicle and commercial markets.

By working directly with OEM partners we provide seamless integration solutions that combine the latest proven technologies.

XiteSolutions North America’s Infotainment systems with Rand McNally RV navigation is distributed by RiverPark, Inc.

Website: www.xsna.ca

Rand McNally

Rand McNally logoRand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content.

Rand McNally’s products and services include road travel review site (bestoftheroad),  interactive travel referral service (tripology), America’s #1 Road Atlas, TripMaker RVND GPS for RVers, IntelliRoute truck routing software and mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry, and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom.

Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today’s world.

Address: 9855 Woods Drive Skokie, IL 60077

Phone: (800) 333-0136

Website: www.randmcnally.com

River Park Inc. 

riverpark-header-logoLocated in Elkhart, Indiana, the center of the RV Industry, RiverPark provides a full line of mobile electronics to RV manufacturers.

RiverPark develops products specifically designed for OEM manufacturers and partners with industry leaders to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers.

The industries RiverPark serves include Recreational Vehicles, Marine, Home Builders, Spa, Specialty Vehicle, and Hospitality/Health Care.

Website: www.riverparkinc.com

Worth Pondering…

I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.

—Daniel Boone

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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)

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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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Good Sam Camping Introduces Search by Map Feature Online

Planning is an important part of any camping or RV trip.

Camping World Good SamIn addition to preparing your vehicle for the highways, it is critical to obtain information about the attractions, resources and, possibly most important, campgrounds and RV parks along your travel route.

Good Sam Camping’s Search by Map feature gives travelers the “lay of the land” of any travel destination in North America.

The new feature enables RVers to chart a course to any of the 14,000 RV parks in the database, including 2,200+ Good Sam Parks, according to a Good Sam Camping blog.

Simply enter a city and state/province or postal code of your destination, and you’ll get a map of the region you’re visiting, with nearby RV Parks marked by pins.

Good Sam Parks are indicated by pins bearing the smiling halo-topped mascot.

Nearby Camping World SuperCenters and attractions appear with the distinctive blue “CW” icon.

The map does a lot more than just show locations of RV parks and resources.

Click on the campground icon and a window pops up indicating the campground’s ratings, contact information, and icons indicating whether it offers Wi-Fi or is pet-friendly.

Feel lost? A handy geolocator shows your position.

Good Sam Camping map screen shot
Good Sam Camping map screen shot

Use the search filters to show only the types of campgrounds and RV parks you’re looking for, and zoom in for more details about the region.

You can also search by state and province.

Also included is a link to the park’s Good Sam Camping details page, providing you with a complete guide of amenities, features, and RV facilities.

Add a shopping spree to your itinerary by locating one of the more than 100 Camping World SuperCenters across the United States. Simply look for the pins with the distinctive blue “CW” icon.

You can also use the search filters to show only the types of RV parks you’re looking for, and zoom in for more details about the region.

Search by state and province, and use the handy geolocator to determine your position relative to RV parks.

A camera icon indicates a popular attraction, and a brown icon indicates the park is not affiliated with Good Sam.

Use the satellite view to see the type of terrain you’re planning to visit.

Are you ready to hit the road?

Use this invaluable NEW tool from Good Sam to plan your next trip.

Log on to Search by Map and take a tour of this NEW feature.

Details

Good Sam Enterprises, LLC

Good Sam Camping map screen shot
Good Sam Camping map screen shot

Good Sam Enterprises, LLC (GSE), and its wholly owned subsidiaries, is the world’s largest provider of products and services that enhance the RV and outdoor recreation consumer experience.

Their products provide savings, safety, security, comfort, and convenience, making RV ownership and the outdoor lifestyle more enjoyable.

GSE corporate headquarters are located in Lincolnshire, Illinois, with subsidiary operations and divisions located in multiple locations throughout the United States.

Good Sam Camping Blog

Join the community of RVers and Family Campers on the Good Sam Camping Blog.

Website: blog.goodsamcamping.com

Worth Pondering…

When you’re through changing, you’re through.

—Bruce Barton

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Rand McNally Introduces RV Navigation App for iPad

Nearly two years after introducing the first GPS designed specifically for RVers, Rand McNally launched the first RV GPS app for the iPad.

-00rvgps_app_app_icon_smThe RV GPS was shown for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Rand McNally’s RV GPS for iPad is the first iOS application offered that is specifically designed for RV navigation. The new application, available on the App Store(sm), provides RV class-specific routing (and with a quick toggle, over to car routing) based on Rand McNally’s proprietary road data and navigation, plus thousands of RV parks and campgrounds, RV-friendly locations, RVer tools, and pre-planned trips.

The app also includes dynamic weather, a map overlay feature that helps drivers anticipate conditions such as high wind and precipitation along the route.

Also included is a bonus feature of the app: An e-book version of America’s #1 Road Atlas.

-000rvgps_app_2_lg“About 20% of RVers have an iPad, and many of them take it on the road,” said Dave Muscatel, CEO of Rand McNally.

“Our new app lets those travelers access the same premier RV routing, navigation, and content available on our RVND GPS devices, and load it on their tablet.”

The Rand McNally RV GPS is an on-board app that provides safe and easy routing customized for an RV or car. Unlike off-board navigation, the maps load on an iPad, providing access everywhere — even in remote areas where a cellular or Wi-Fi connection is not available. For real time navigation as the vehicle progresses, a GPS signal is required.

The RV GPS app includes:

  • Safe and easy routing for 11 types of RV in the U.S. and Canada; also includes car mode for cars towed to the destination and used for excursions, or for everyday use
  • Routing based on legal and physical restrictions, such as height, width, weight limits, and propane restrictions, and favors right- or left-hand turns depending on RV class
  • Rand McNally proprietary RV-specific road attributes and Rand McNally exclusive highway construction project information
  • Warnings for speed limit changes, sharp curves, dirt roads, and other potential hazards
  • General and RV-specific points of interest including thousands of RV parks and campgrounds listed by category, RV parking, rest stops, exits, and other locations
  • Rand McNally Editor’s Picks, including Best of the Roadadventures, trips, and getaways
  • Real-time weather information including current and forecasted information for current location, destination, and anywhere along the route

Choose from 10 different map overlays to display important information for RVers, such as wind speed, current and forecasted precipitation, and weather-based traffic impact.

-00rvgps_app_4_lgRV Tools such as RV checklists prepare the user for trip departure, campsite setup, and more. Trails record a “bread crumb” path from the campsite, or a favorite shortcut and Quick Planner calculates time, distance, and cost for trips between major cities.

Fuel logs track fuel purchases, including where purchased, gallons, and total cost; and tools are available to record vehicle maintenance.

Rand McNally also sells an in-vehicle mount for an iPad and an external GPS accessory online at the Rand McNally store.

Details

Rand McNally RV GPS for iPad

Cost: $99.99

Website: randmcnally.com/rvgpsapp

Rand McNally

Rand McNally is the most trusted source for maps, directions, and travel content.

Rand McNally’s products and services include road travel review site (bestoftheroad),  interactive travel referral service (tripology), America’s #1 Road Atlas, TripMaker RVND GPS for RVers, IntelliRoute truck routing software and mobile communication solutions for the transportation industry, and the leading geography-based educational resources for the classroom.

Consumers, businesses, truckers, and educators depend upon Rand McNally to help navigate today’s world.

Address: 9855 Woods Drive Skokie, Illinois 60077

Phone: (800) 333-0136

Website: randmcnally.com

Best of RVing website: bestoftheroad.com/rv

Best of the Road website: bestoftheroad.com

Tripology website: tripology.com/

Lifetime Maps program website: randmcnally.com/lifetimemaps

Worth Pondering…

I have never been lost, but I will admit to being confused for several weeks.

—Daniel Boone

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