Curing RV WiFi Problems
Jul 1, 2014
|For Fathers Day, my son Joe gave me a Roku wireless device that plugs in the back of my 32" flat screen television up-front in the motorhome to pickup and display movies and television shows from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and a bunch of other sources.
I have a Sprint wireless modem, a $59 a month service I signed up for years ago when they really did offer true "unlimited" including roaming, and I'm grandfathered into the program, something I've verified with Sprint. My monthly usage is outrageous, many times what newer users are allowed, and the bill has never gone up. ( Just in case my Sprint device ever goes bad, I bought a backup spare for $5 bucks on eBay ... )
When I'm in an RV park with a good WiFi signal, the Roku works great, but my Sprint wireless signal back in the farmyard in Princeton is not that good, and I couldn't get Roku to work.
To compound the problem, my son Andy is home from Seattle, and he needed WiFi to get on the internet from my Sprint wireless modem. I'm in the motorhome in the driveway, Andy is in the house, upstairs, about 75 feet away.
I bought an external antenna for my Sprint Compass 597 wireless modem, attached it to the window in the RV with a suction cup, and it worked reasonably well, enough for Andy who was in the house using my EnGenius WiFi amplifier (more on EnGenius below), but I still couldn't get enough signal to the Roku. Andy had a solution, why not get a router in operation?
So, Andy ordered a Netgear router for me that was compatible with my Sprint modem for a whopping $14 bucks on eBay and hooked it up, what a difference. Signal strength is much better, and the movies and television shows on Roku are coming in great.
Hazel can now upload books on her Kindle, and I'm finally able to use the HP iPad clone that I've had for almost a year. And, I think I'll buy another Roku for the 26" flat screen back in the Captain's Quarters (aka "the bedroom").
When we were up in Newfoundland a couple of years ago, staying at a beautiful RV park in Doyles, I noticed a small device with a rubber antenna attached to the park manager's notebook computer and asked about it. "Oh", she said, "these EnGenius wifi amplifiers are amazing, we saw them at an RV show in St. Johns last year, and we sell a lot of them because they really work". "My son lives down the road, and he could never get into our network until I gave him one of these".
I would have bought one on the spot, but we were on our way home to Minnesota with money running short, and the $70 was something I had to pass on. When I did get home, and the Social Security eagle flew by and dropped a load on the motorhome roof, I found them on Amazon for about $30 bucks. The device works exactly as promised. I've been in RV parks (so have you) where the internet signal was so bad I couldn't even log in. With EnGenius, if the signal is there, you'll get it.
A few months later, I was talking to a friend staying in his 5th wheeler near Yellowstone Park, and he complained about not getting a decent signal at his camp. I told him about the EnGenius, and a few days later he called to say it was installed, and working great.
If you are relying on RV park WiFi, Spend the $30 bucks.