WiFiRanger Update: Improved Internet Access

TheRVgeeks Mobile Connectivity, Updates & Upgrades 25 Comments

Last year we demonstrated how we installed a WiFi Ranger system on our RV to improve internet connectivity. We mentioned that we’d report back on it, so here’s a very brief example of a situation where we’re picking up free WiFi signal, where we’d otherwise be off-line.

Like many RVers (especially full-timers), we have more than one way to get online on the road, but we save on data costs by taking of advantage of free WiFi whenever it’s available. The WiFi Ranger allows us to do that much more often.


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Comments 25

  1. We just bought a Monaco Dynasty to start our adventures and your YouTube Channel has been a wealth of information. I know you mentioned that you untilized Technomedia and other full timers to help in your decision to go with the Wifi Ranger and we had thought we had to as we need to be able to be connected all the time for the kind of work that we do. We were about to order the stuff and was discussing the installation with our mechanic and he suggested we do a little research on the Cradlepoint IBR900 which has slots for SIM cards for the 4 major carriers but also picks up weak WiFi signals. Evidently switching from WiFi to the cellular data when needed. Did you all do any research on this setup or know anyone that has?

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      Hey Darryl & Rich… thanks for the kind comments. Glad our videos have been helpful! We did look at options like the Cradlepoint when we were evaluating our needs for cellular & WiFi boosting, and for us, the WiFiRanger was a better choice. At the time, we weren’t traveling to particularly remote locations, so didn’t need dedicated cellular boosting (our MiFi was able to pickup strong enough signal), so the fact that the WiFiRanger could tether our MiFi and share it (along with prioritizing WiFi over cellular… or vice versa) was good enough for us. Plus we knew that we could always add separate cellular boosting later (which we did with the WeBoost Drive 4G-X). Another factor was that, at the time, the cellular boosting industry was in a state of flux, with the new FCC regulations for boosting limits, registration, etc coming into play, so we wanted to wait things out until it all settled down.

      All that said, Chris & Cherie are THE experts when it comes to mobile connectivity. And if staying connected while on the road is going to be vital for you, we’d suggest getting a membership to their RV Mobile Internet site (you can get $5 off your first year’s membership with the code “MIAGEEKS”). They’ve got extensive information about all of the WiFi and cellular boosting products that they have tested (including CradlePoint units… not sure if they’ve tested the exact one you’re looking at). Their information was vital to our ability to choose the right solution for our needs.

      Hope this helps!

  2. I don’t have a question on the WiFi Ranger but on your Winegard TV antenna that you mounted the ranger too. I have the same one like most rvs, but with TV going to HD you don’t get the channels you used to on it anymore. I have had people tell me to replace it so I can get the local channels better. Will I found an upgrade for the antenna, its Winegard’s Wingman. Not only dose it boost channels 1-13 you get with just the antenna but gives you access to 14-59, and it just snaps on. My question is have you used this or knows anyone that has and what they thought of it? It sounds like a grate way to update the TV antenna with out the higher cost to replacing it. Any thoughts on it will help, Thanks

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      Hi Andrew,

      Unfortunately, since we don’t watch much TV, we’ve never looked into the options for upgrading the Winegard antenna. We’ve seen the Wingman, but don’t know how effective it is. Our suggestion would be to check out the forums over at iRV2.com to see if anyone has posted about their experiences with one. If not, it’s also a great (and free) place to post a question about it.

      Sorry we couldn’t be of more help on this one, but let us know how you make out!

  3. First, thank you for all of your professional and informative videos. I have views the majority of them.

    I have a dilemma that you may be able to help me with. I am ordering a 2016 Dutch Star 4018. Newmar no longer offers the power up batwing Winegard as shown on your Mountain Aire.

    I intend to install the WiFi Ranger Elite, but I am now stumped as to where to mount it. I don’t care about TV much, but do you know of a source for the power lift batwing anywhere?

    I appreciate any help you can provide me, and I hope to meet you out on the road sometime.

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      Hey Dale! No problem. Just get the Elite FM (for “Flat Mount”). Goes right on the roof. Check with Newmar… if we’re not mistaken, you might be able to order it as a factory install.

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      We removed our internet satellite dish (which also received TV) a few years ago, because cellular data has become so much better, surpassing satellite for internet access. The little TV we do watch is on-demand, over cellular, using Hulu, Netflix, etc. If you’re a big TV watcher, and prefer to use a satellite dish, they still make pretty modestly-priced TV-only dishes, but we watch so little that getting it over the internet is fine for us.

  4. Nice install really like the idea of using eternabond tape to cover the Ethernet cable on the roof with the Elite radio & omni antenna (36 db) when connected to an Access point receiver and antenna combination with average sensitivity of -86 db and assuming an 18 db link margin you should have an effective one mile range (104 db) the only issue at that the edge of th effective range you will have a low signal to noise ratio and therefore can only expect one megabit or less of available bandwidth.

  5. Pingback: Boost Your RV WiFi Signal - Installing a WiFiRanger Elite Pack - TheRVgeeks

  6. We have our WiFi Ranger about 4 months. I do have mixed feelings about it. While it does increase the range of finding WiFi, it cannot get you into a locked network without a password.(We do understand that is for security reasons)
    We have found many of the “free” WiFi signals out there are password protected and limits our options of surfing. Also when using in a campground or just using a free signal, we are limited to band width by the the provider (i.e. campground, truck stop, Starbucks, ect.). So if they bought the cheap plan and have poor quality broadcast antennas or you are not in line of site of the antenna. You may have weak signal. (We do understand is just an expensive antenna, not a magic wand)

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      You’re absolutely right. A WiFi Ranger definitely can’t make up for a slow, or overloaded, internet connection. If you take your laptop and walk right up to the router/access point in the clubhouse or park office, with rock solid connection to it, and the service that they have is either very slow and/or has too much demand from too many people, nothing, including a WiFi Ranger, will improve it. What it does do is extend your reach, so that when good WiFi IS available, but not close enough, you can reach out to it. It also has the advantage of allowing you to keep all of your devices connected to your own private network, instead of having to connect all of them to the park’s network. That’s a benefit when you’re using a pay service with one access code. Connect using the WiFi Ranger and all of your devices can connect through it using that single code.

  7. VERY encouraging for those of us who are about to go out on the road and depend on internet access to earn a living! Thanks for posting this – and all the rest of your great stuff!

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  8. Interesting! How did you get approval to park in the middle of knowwhere? Is it a campground there or did you literally just drive off the road to get there? Glad you are getting Wifi!

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  9. Hi guys. Trust all is good. Haven’t seen much from you guys for a while.

    While I know this video was about the range booster, what I really want to know is about your dry camp spot behind the Patton Museum. This may be a dumb question, but I am going to ask it anyway. Would you be kind enough to tell me how you drove back to this spot. I see in google earth the dirt road next to the museum parking lot with a “Free Dry Camping Sites” sign. Is this how you went and where there any concerns with the sand/road for your heavy rig?

    Thanks and as always, keep those helpful videos coming.

    FYI. We need some new info on Lithium coach batteries. I will drop Cherie and Chris a note on this request also,

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      “Free Dry Camping Sites” it is! Right behind the museum. Just drive on in and grab a site. We were the only ones there, and the hard-packed surface and site size is fine for big rigs. Interesting that you asked about that, since the very reason we moved there for a couple of nights is because we got stuck in soft dirt (for the very first time in nearly 13 years) in nearby BLM land, and had to be pulled out. Thankfully, we have CoachNet. Stay tuned for a video about that to follow. ;-)

      1. Thanks for the info. I always worry when I take out 40′ Tiffin off road. Own 50 acres above Placerville on your way to lake Tahoe. I put down gravel on my dirt road to ensure I didn’t get stuck. CoachNet and AAA don’t like to pay for off road tows.

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