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Will a cell phone booster work for you?


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Last month, we had four people camping with us on our mountain property. I was the only one with a working Verizon phone. Att and tmobile got consistent "no Signal" messages, unless we drove a mile and a half down the road..

As an experiment, we picked up a wilson weboost. The guy at bestbuy told me it would only work if there was at least a small signal, but we could return it in 15 days if it didnt work.

Well, long story short, with the booster, i showed 4 bars on the tmobile phone and tablet, but got an error signal of no network. The booster picked up a tower, but not one that my tmobile devices could share, apparently. (Because we experience this issue a lot as we travel, paul and I have one each tmobile and verizon phones and tablets... )

I found this field test info on the wilson site. It explains how to check for towers and strength.

 

What i discovered was what I've known for ten years, at our mountain proprrty. The verizon tower near us has great signal. US Cellular comes in also. Tmobile and att cant sign onto these towers. Back to square one, and the booster goes back...

 

My tmobile devices listed all towers and strength. My verizon devices greyed out the capability to see other towers than verizon, interestingly. All devices were recent android.

Heres the link to the field test. Maybe it will help you.

Its very easy with android. A little typing with apple...

 

Field test

 

Sherry

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Sherry, good info. I’m going to try the test on my iPhone.

 

We use our cell booster quite a bit. Our iPhones are our hotspots for internet that we connect our iPads and MacBook to, we have the AT&T unlimited data plan. We find sitting at the dinette table that the booster gives us 1 or 2 more bars of signal strength. We don’t have a WiFi booster. Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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We found adding the cell boost is worth having, there are times it is the difference of having a signal or not. We use the hotspot for the laptop, but sometimes we have to put the cell phone on top of the window shade at the dinette.

 

 

 

Stan

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Stan and Carol


Blacksburg, VA


2014 Dodge Durango 5.7 Hemi


2014 Legacy Elite II Standard  Hull 63

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As I research and build my list of possible upgrades in anticipation of purchasing a 2019 Legacy Elite II, the question of purchasing the WiFiranger Skypro pack ($699 option) and Weboost Drive 4G-M Cell phone amplifier ($625 option). My thinking is to use a Verizon Jetpack mobile hotspot service in the trailer as my WiFi (MiFi). Will I need the Wifi ranger and/or cell phone amplifier Weboost to supplement the Jetpack? I do realize having internet connection is only possible if I can receive a signal. Really would appreciate some advice - I readily admit my tech-savy bar is pretty low.

KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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WiFi boost would be if you intend to spend most of your time in campgrounds. Cell phone is the way you want to go. Depending upon how you plan to use trailer, if you boondock on the close fringes of society then it will work great as installed. If you are too far out of a boondocker then it will be slightly limited by the mounted elevation in the trailer, at which point a self install on a telescoping pole (which stores away when not used) and is positionable would work better and save some cash from the initial purchase.

 

I have the WiFi and have never used it, use the cell booster all the time.

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Randy


One Life Live It Enjoyably


2017 F350 6.7L SRW CC LB


2015 Oliver Elite II Hull #69

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As I research and build my list of possible upgrades in anticipation of purchasing a 2019 Legacy Elite II, the question of purchasing the WiFiranger Skypro pack ($699 option) and Weboost Drive 4G-M Cell phone amplifier ($625 option). My thinking is to use a Verizon Jetpack mobile hotspot service in the trailer as my WiFi (MiFi). Will I need the Wifi ranger and/or cell phone amplifier Weboost to supplement the Jetpack? I do realize having internet connection is only possible if I can receive a signal. Really would appreciate some advice – I readily admit my tech-savy bar is pretty low.

 

The WeBoost cell booster will definitely improve the performance of the jetpack as a hotspot. The cell booster will mean faster speeds, and at locations with poor cell tower connectivity, the cell booster can mean the difference between a connection and no connection. The cell booster will also improve your the signal on your phones. The antenna for the booster is usually placed above the dinette table, so that is where you want to use your cell phones or place your jetpack. Reed and Karen reported problems at the back of the trailer getting signals from the cell booster. Having a JetPack should help that, with an advertised range of about 30 feet; note that obstacles, such as trailer walls, will diminish that range.

 

In terms of which Jetpack to get from Verizon, I would recommend the 7730L, which gets the best reviews for speed. The AC791L model has longer battery life, which is important if you are keeping the hotspot in a daypack as you go about your day, but that is not an advantage if your use is in an Ollie where you can easily keep it charged.

 

Some advice on properly using the cellular booster. After you turn on the WeBoost you should briefly put the phone in airplane mode, and then turn off airplane mode. This forces the phone to let go of the distant cell tower with the weak signal, and to now look for the closest “cell tower,” which is the WeBoost. Similarly, if you were using the JetPack in the tow vehicle, you should power it off and then back on after starting the WeBoost. If you have been out hiking all day, your phone will remain connected to the distant cell tower, and you can get it to connect to the WeBoost by cycling into and out of airplane mode.

 

If all of your internet connections will be via cellular signal and the jetpack, then you have no need for the WiFi Ranger.

 

If, however, you will sometimes be using WiFi (like when the crappy campground WiFi is faster than the weak cellular signal), then the WiFi Ranger has some real advantages. First, the WiFi Ranger has an antenna on the roof and connects to a WiFi source (i.e. campground or Starbucks) much better than your device, such as a phone or a laptop, could on its own. You get a stronger signal and faster speeds.

 

There are several other advantages to the WiFi Ranger. First, it makes connecting much easier if you have multiple devices. (We travel with two iPhones, two iPads, and a laptop.) With one of your devices you connect to the WiFi Ranger, tell it to connect to Campground X WiFi, and give it the password. You do not need to put the Campground X password into the other devices, because they already know the WiFi Ranger password and immediately connect to the WiFi Ranger.

 

Second, the WiFi Ranger generates a stronger signal than a MiFi device. This means it can transmit its signal a longer distance through obstacles like fiberglass walls than does a Jetpack. This means I can get a strong signal using my laptop at the picnic table outside of the trailer. This is true even if I am am using the Jetpack for internet, with the WiFi Ranger connected to the JetPack, since my laptop is communicating directly with the stronger WiFi Ranger.

 

I have a Verizon Jetpack, which I keep on the dinette table near the WeBoost inside antenna. Here is part of my Campsite Arrival Checklist:

• Turn on Cell Amplifier. Cycle phones into Airplane mode and back again to regular.

• Turn on Verizon Jetpack.

• Turn on WiFi Ranger. Connect WiFi Ranger to either Jetpack or local Wifi.

 

Connecting to the WiFi Ranger Control Panel through a web browser is fairly easy. I have done it on each of my devices, and then bookmarked it so I can get back easily. While on a camping trip one of my browser tabs remains connected to the WiFi Ranger Control Panel. The Control Panel shows the speed of each of the possible connections, say, JetPack vs campground WiFi. If the weather is interfering with cellular signals the crappy campground WiFi may be better. Later in the evening, I can check the Control Panel again, and if the JetPack now has the better signal, I can connect the WiFi Ranger to it. Since all of my devices are connected via the WiFi Ranger, all of them have switched from campground WiFi to JetPack.

 

Hope this helps.

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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DavidS

 

Thank you for an incredibly helpful response! Based upon your thorough counsel, I have decided to add both items to my LEII upgrade wish list, plus the Verizon Jetpack 7730L as my mobile Wifi device (unless they come out with a better model in Spring 2019 when I hope to pickup my Oliver). My apologies in advance for seeking your opinion on future upgrade options - hopefully the forum does not tire of my seemingly endless questions as I plan this purchase. Advice from you seasoned travelers is golden. I am prone to study things too much, even though the decision to purchase an Oliver ELII has already been made. This will be my first (and probably last) travel trailer as Karren and I travel/camp into retirement. After a full working career, my primary selection criteria in all things is minimal hassle (been hassled enough the past 40+ years). Easy is my main objective, and Oliver LEII appears to be a great choice for ease of towing, setup, parking, boondocking, campground, maintaining, and if the need arises, sale. Speaking of "easy", my next forum question will be about trailer leveling. I found videos of an Andersen leveling system that looks to be pretty simple and fool-proof. Being new to this stuff, I have no prior experience leveling a trailer but can appreciate there might be a Best Practice for getting level. I welcome comments on this subject.

KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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KWRJRPE,

 

First, welcome to the Forum, and to the Oliver community. This forum is one of the best parts of owning an Oliver, as the people are happy to share their expertise. Like you, the Oliver is our first and hopefully last RV, and I was woefully ignorant at the start. Better today in some areas, but in other areas my knowledge is still completely lacking.

 

One suggestion. Rather than posting a question about Anderson levelers in this thread, put your question either into a new thread or into an existing thread. There is a search box at the top of the main forum page, and you can search there. I did such a search and came up with this thread. I knew there was another longer thread on this topic. Unfortunately the search tools on this forums are quite inadequate, so I did a google search for "site:olivertraveltrailers.com anderson leveler" and came up with a second thread, here. (I complain about the forum search tools, but the trailer is awesome.)

 

You should also check out the Fiberglass RV forum. They had a recent discussion about leveling here.

David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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I didnt want to leave anyone with the impression that the weboost doesnt work. It does.

It boosted my verizon signal by one to two bars. On our camping property in nc, i was looking for a boost to tmobile. Wilson/ weboost can't boost zero, which is what i have in tmobile signal there.

Thats why i posted the above field test link.

 

Wilson is highly respected. And very effective bidierectional booster. Just doesn't work for me in my back in the woods mountain space in nc.

 

We drove the weboost around the acreage. Interestingly, i got the best signals in a hollow... One att tower showed up, which i didnt expect. But, couldnt connect to... I would have expected better signal high, but it was worse. All depends on available towers in line of sight, i guess.

Sherry

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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We've found that our Cradlepoint system gets better reception than our phones.  I'm sure that's partly due to the antenna being on the roof and partly due to it just being a better antenna in general.  It doesn't do anything to help our phone reception of course, but often we'll have internet even when our phones can't find a tower.  What I like, and wish we could justify taking advantage of, is that the router will accept two sims from different services.  So if we wanted to pay for it, we could get an unlimited plan from Verizon to add to our AT&T plan and that would increase our coverage dramatically, especially out west.

 

I've considered adding a WeBoost, since we could put the internal antenna right next to the router and get an even better signal.  Maybe in the future.  I've also considered just putting the Cradlepoint antenna on a mast to see what it would do.

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