weBoost Connect RV 65: Cellular Booster Overview

TheRVgeeks Mobile Connectivity 30 Comments

Since we can’t afford to retire, we have a choice. We either work on the road… or get off the road. Luckily, technology allows us to stay connected just about anywhere. So we can take care of our clients and stay in touch with family & friends. The ability to research RV destinations on the fly is a decided plus, too!

Visiting some our favorite (i.e. remote) places used to be a big stressor. As much as we wanted to disappear into the wild, being disconnected for any length of time left us open to all sorts of potential problems. Of course we have the same issues a retired person might have, such as a family emergency where nobody is able to contact us. But we built our website design business on responsiveness. It’s hard to respond if you don’t even know you’re needed.

We’ve been enjoying much-reduced stress levels since we installed our weBoost Drive 4G-X. But people RV in lots of different ways. What if you’re someone who likes to spend longer periods of time in even more remote locations than we do? weBoost has a new cellular booster that might be right for you: the Connect RV 65.

Since it’s designed for stationary use only, the FCC allows the Connect RV 65 (max gain: 65 dB) to be more powerful than a booster that’s used in motion (max gain: 50dB). So if you need even more boost than a mobile unit can provide, and spend longer periods in one spot (so you don’t mind a little bit of setting up each time you arrive at your destination), this may be for you.

Check out the video above for a quick overview of the system and the performance we saw in our brief testing.

And for more information about their full range of products, visit WeBoost’s Website (get 10% off any booster purchase of $100 or more if you sign up for the WeBoost Newsletter!)

P.S. – That amazing boondocking spot shown in the thumbnail for the video is in the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine, California. The exact GPS coordinates of the site we stayed in are: 36.610927, -118.128550. This particular spot is a bit off-level and takes a little work to get a big rig in there comfortably, but if you’re there for at least several days, like we were, it’s worth it! And with a weBoost cellular booster, you can get good, reliable signal from town (without it, you’ll likely have some difficulty getting online or making calls).


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Comments 30

    1. Post
      Author

      Different beasts, Ralph. The WeBoost products are designed to boost your connection to the cellular network for your phone/tablet/hotspot device. The WiFiRanger doesn’t work with cellular frequencies. It lets you get a better connection to WiFi networks broadcast by RV parks, Starbucks, etc.

      1. Thanks for the reply back.

        I didn’t see a price listed for the WeBoost Connect RV 65 product so can you let people know the price?

        Thanks in advance.

        1. Post
          Author
          1. OK, the WeBoost product costs around $650 at the current time based on what I see. The WiFi Ranger costs around $600 based on Nina’s link that I used a long time ago. Nina’s yearly budget for RV upgrades was only $2,000 so people could fit in their budget one more comparable gadget price wise in the budget. Plus I noticed that Nina’s yearly maintenance costs were only $1,440 while in your recent maintenance 2 video, you went 20% or so over that. So I am left wondering how accurate her budget was. I know that budgets are highly personal and can vary from person to person.

            I think last night was the first time that I left comments on here, but have been viewing your videos for a few years now.

          2. Post
            Author

            Hi Ralph. Keep in mind that Nina’s annual budget probably amortized several non-annual tasks/maintenance items that were included in the total for this year’s maintenance. So while our cost for this year may have been 20% higher than Nina’s budget… next year could be 20% less. It just depends on what maintenance items are due on a particular year. So don’t discount Nina’s numbers based on just the one number we reported.

    1. Post
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  1. Hi Guys,

    You may remember that I have a Norcold absorption fridge that I was troubleshooting. The problem as you may recall was that it wouldn’t stay lit on propane mode. One of your suggestions was to replace the propane regulator- which I did. Unfortunately this didn’t remedy the problem. I dug deeper into my situation and after posting the problem on various sites and looking at all my Norcold literature, I decided to replace three parts…the gas valve, connected tubing, and the burner tube/orfice. I’m happy to say that .it works normally now. The repair took me about an hour but a younger, more nimble person could probably do it in less time. It was very satisfying to see the fridge lite right away, and stay lit. In my searches I wasn’t able to find a video anywhere of this exact procedure so I should have done one myself….but I’m an old school guy who still only has a super 8 video cam and no idea how to up load in that format. Anyway, thank you both once again for your help and support.

    Drew

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Drew! Yup… we sure remember! Sorry that the regulator didn’t end up being the problem, but we’re sure glad that you got it fixed! Sounds like you should be good to go for quite a while, now! Thanks for giving us an update and letting us know what ended up fixing your problem… could come in handy for someone else down the road! 😉

  2. Cool – thanks for the info. All I want is the telescoping pole and cabling to get from my WeBoost to the directional antenna. Back around 2003 I built my own mast using a swimming pool cleaning pole and a Wilson directional antenna. It was a pain, but worked on our property near Lake Tahoe. This pole looks nice and clean, and I like what you guys did, placing it up against the inner wall of your slide-out. One could pre-install a coax cable into the basement and connect it to the telescoping pole antenna when stationary. I am sure the pool is not cheap…

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Mike! We’ve seen people with all sorts of home-made versions of this kind of pole (most commonly a telescoping flagpole) and we have to say this one from weBoost is definitely nice: very sturdy, collapses down to (hopefully) fit in a basement compartment, and fairly light for its size. We checked on weBoost’s website, but don’t see it as a separate part. You may want to contact them directly… maybe they’re planning to sell it as a standalone but just haven’t gotten it up and available yet?

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  3. Over the past years I became feed up with the parks poor wifi so I did my research and installed the WeBoost unit. The unit plus install costs were not cheap but well worth it!
    We use a Verizon Jetpak along with the WeBoost exclusively and have never found an issue with poor connectivity. My best example was at a KOA in SanteFe NM where the owner told us at checkin that Verizon will not work at the park and if needed to drive up the hill a mile or so to use Verizon—got to our site and had perfect connectivity!

    1. Post
      Author

      LOL! Love it, Gerald! Nothing better than being able to be online in a place where even the management tells you that you can’t be! 😉 Thanks for sharing that!

  4. Thanks for always trying things out for the good of the entire RVing community! My husband and I hope to start traveling out of state in the next 5 years or so. I was just wondering – does your normal cell booster help you pick up free wi-fi from surrounding areas? Or are you still using data from your own wireless plan? I’m obviously not real savvy when it comes to how all that works, but I can only imagine that amount of data you could go through traveling all over the country! :) Thank you!

    1. Post
      Author

      Glad to help out, Amy! And it gets confusing with all of the different terms & technologies out there. Cell boosters (the WeBoost Drive 4G-X and 4G-OTR antenna we installed on the roof) only boost CELLULAR signal and any data you use (like checking email or browsing on the web) is coming through your cellular data plan. It gets confusing because you can turn on the hotspot feature on your smartphone (iPhone/Android) which then broadcasts a WiFi network that other devices can connect to. You’re still using your cellular data plan… but it’s allowing devices (like your laptop or a WiFi-only tablet) to use that cellular data to be online.

      If you want to improve the strength of a WiFi signal (like from the WiFi network at an RV Park… or the Starbucks in the parking lot you’re overnighting in 😉), you need a different device like a WiFiRanger. They have more powerful WiFi cards and bigger antennas (which are mounted OUTSIDE of the RV so they’re not getting blocked by the walls, etc) so they can get a better connection to the WiFi. They then ALSO broadcast their own WiFi network that you then connect all of your devices to.

      Clear as mud, right?! (let us know if that didn’t make sense or if you have more questions)

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    1. Post
      Author

      Good question, Lawrence. Prior to iOS 11, you could put your iPhone into a test mode and it would display the signal strength instead of bars. But they took that feature away in the new OS… and the test mode now displays a bunch of indecipherable info. But our Verizon JetPack (actually a Netgear AC791L) can display it by going to the “Info” option on the screen on the front… displays the signal strength in dB. Most other hotspot devices will likely have a similar capability. And, of course, Android phones show it (we’re not Android users, but we think it’s available under Settings/About Phone).

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks. After I sent my question I decided not to be so lazy and googled an answer. You can find the signal strength on iPhone X if you have an Intel wireless modem and possibly with a Qualcomm.

        You go to General ->About->Legal.>Regulatory – it will show your model # It should be A1991 if Intel.

        Then get to field test by dialing *3991#12345#* That should take you to a screen that says main menu. Then select LTE->Serving Cell Maes-> RSRP0. Across from that is a negative number and that is your signal strength. And the chart below indicates excellent, good, etc.

        -90 or higher = Excellent
        -91 to -105 = Good
        -106 to -120 = Fair
        -121 to -124 = Poor
        -125 = No Signal

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  5. That set up would definitely be an asset for those heading north to Alaska and MUST have cell service. You did not mention how to aim the antenna. Is there a trick to it?

    1. Post
      Author

      You’re right, John. Since coverage gets more scarce the farther north you go, every tool you can add to your arsenal is a help! Aiming is part science, part trial-and-error. There are quite a few resources out there to find where the nearest cell tower is. Websites like CellMapper.net and OpenSignal.com (which also has a smartphone app) show coverage and tower locations.

      WilsonAmplifiers has a blog post about it with some other examples.

      And Cherie & Chris at RVMobileInternet.com have a great article as well (plus their own app called Coverage?).

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