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How do you get local weather while Boondocking and no Am or Fm reception.


MarkC
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Best way to get local weather via satellite companies.  Had Sirius when I purchased a truck.  Let subscription expire.  I only remember getting music and news but no way to pull in local info.  Can you only get weather channels that offer broad reports?  What if I’m in the middle of Kanas with no service…do you sleep with the Truck hitched up and the chairs packed in case you have to make a run for it when the tornado shows up at 3am.  Was hoping to subscribe to a satellite channel that would give more detailed weather rather than a broad stroke of the whole state or region.  Not sure if any is available.  Pickup trailer 9/7 and never RV traveled before.  The better half is nervous…seen Wizard of Oz too many times.   Maybe making too much of this.  But no experience with this.

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I never actually use this, but a Garmin inReach will receive either basic forecasts or detailed one.

Frequently Asked Questions on Weather for inReach SE/SE+/Explorer/Explorer+/Mini Series

It is prudent to have SOME sort of communicator when there is no cell signal, especially we older folks who might have a medical emergency. I am not worried about a tornado - what is that, anyway? 😃 - than I am a wildfire. I try to camp at locations with more than one way out, and yes I do try to stay hitched and ready to go at short notice.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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I recently purchased an emergency weather radio for an upcoming trip to Theodore Roosevelt NP.  I am totally ignorant about weather in the upper Midwest, so it seemed like a sensible solution.  I am very concerned about tornadoes and this is small enough for the tow vehicle and the Ollie.  We have a different one in the house that we have grown accustomed to relying upon.  The alert function might not wake me, but Krunch sleeps with one eye and both ears open, so I’m good.

Mossey

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL  
2017 LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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25 minutes ago, mossemi said:

I recently purchased an emergency weather radio for an upcoming trip to Theodore Roosevelt NP.

The OP should do this too.  Here is a map of the coverage.  https://www.weather.gov/media/nwr/NWR_Propagation.pdf   
Here is a description of the weather radio service, a service provided by NOAA.  https://www.weather.gov/nwr/

Here is a description of NOAA as a whole.  https://www.weather.gov


Most of the time I just use my cell phone for a weather report, but other times I use the weather radio, my shortwave receiver, or my 2M handheld, all are pretuned to the NOAA frequencies.  

The NOAA is the primary source of weather information in the country and is broadcast everywhere.  Local forecasts are included.  
 

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2013 Toyota Land Cruiser 200

2018 Twin Bed Elite II #351

 

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We carry two cell phones, two different services, to improve the odds. Turn on location after you arrive, and weather alerts on your phones. You'll get the alerts for the local area. 

If you camp a lot without cell service, get a satellite service.

Or, camp in/ near town, in tornado country. You'll hear the sirens if there's a warning. 

Four or five years ago, we camped outside KCMO, in a town or county campground. We'd just finished dinner, when the sirens started. My husband asked me what that meant . (I grew up in the Midwest, he didn't. ) I  told him to grab the phones, chargers, wallets and keys, and the dog, and head to the bath house. Tornado warning siren.

So, we spent the next few hours in the cg bath house, in a shower stall (extra structure, safer spot) with 30 or 40 other people in the structure, and their pets. Til the all clear sounded. We had no touchdown in our cg, but a few miles down the road, lots of stuff flattened.

Another time, outside Lanesboro MN, in a tiny county cg, the sheriff came by to warn us. Told us we could go to the jail for shelter. 😄 We gathered the same items, and the dog, and sat in the truck, listening to the radio. Eventually,  storm passed, we went back to bed. Left the phone on, though.

Most (not all) organized campgrounds in the Midwest have a storm shelter.  If not, the bath house is usually concrete block, and safest spot. If not that, you're stuck leaving/running away, hopefully in the right direction (🤪😒🤨), or lay down in a ditch when you hear the freight train sound coming...

Sky (usually) turns kind of a pale pea green when a tornado approaches (daytime.) Kind of rosy peach with an approaching hailstorm. The birds stop singing, and everything gets deadly quiet. Then... the freight train sound..

Get that radio. When I was a kid, we had two homes, in two different states, destroyed by tornadoes. And, I've been in several others, since, and outrun a few.

We didn't have weather radios then, but, luckily, we had my mom. She could read the weather like no weatherman ever could. 

Insure the Ollie.  When the weatherman, or my mom, says seek shelter, do it. And know where it is, ahead of time. 

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I carry my 2-meter handset with me. NOAA broadcast local weather reports in the 162.xxx MHz range. Since I already have the radio and a license why not? Plus it broadcast too, which could come in handy. Although a license from the FCC is required for broadcasting they make exceptions for emergency use.

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Jerry & Kathy

2019 LEII Standard #539 + 2019 Tundra Limited 4X4

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We have several weather apps on our iPhones that keep us up to date.  AM and FM stations also provide local weather.  When we’re boondocking without cell service non of that helps.  I did install a SiriusXM receiver in the trailer that plays through the Furrion.  I haven’t checked to see if I can get local weather, but I can get news, sports and music anywhere.

We were at a city campground in Leavenworth, Kansas for a family reunion a few years ago.  It is right on the Missouri River.  Lots of rain in the area and north of Kansas.  The river was rising and I expected a problem.  We came “home” from a family event one night and I decided to hook up to the truck, put away chairs and disconnect power.  At 2:30am the Leavenworth police drove through the campsite, lights a-blaze, and loudspeaker blaring to evacuate immediately.  We were the first out within 15 minutes.  The campground was under water a couple of hours later before the sun came up.  It was a bit unnerving, but we had been paying attention to the weather and weather reports.  Mike

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

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iPhone can do just about everything all that extra added equipment in the trailer that you pay for can do. How do I know this, because I have no added equipment that is offered by Oliver and for some reason with the iPhone and a Hot Spot we are pretty much always connected to whatever we need and want. Some many not know but you can actually go to your tow vehicle and with Sirius on your iPhone and get just about everything to keep you safe and informed. I guess AppleCarPlay in your tow vehicle has just about for me done away with all the options that are offered in the trailer. I'm sure many have a different opinion on this, remember we all do what works for us.

trainman

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Weather radios work OK, but only if you can receive the signal. I have one for at home, but many of the places I visit have no radio reception, for example, almost any mountain valley away from a town, and much of the NW Pacific Coast. If your phone isn’t working out West, it is very unlikely that your weather radio will work. Just like a cell signal, a NOAA weather radio is short range (40 miles max) and “line of sight” only. 

https://www.weather.gov/cae/reception.html

Satellite communicators work as long as the unit can “see” some of the sky. If there isn’t a satellite in view, it tries again. Usually the message goes out in one to three minutes. My inReach works well through the roof of the Ollie, from its charging cradle. Plus I can send routine messages to family so they know where I am and that I am still healthy and safe. And of course, it goes on hikes or bike rides too.

https://www.garmin.com/en-US/blog/outdoor/favorite-inreach-stories/

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Agree on the Garmin InReach.  We have two in case one of us is off on an adventure from camp without the other.  I like that we can get a month-to-month subscription.  If we know it will be a few months until our next adventure, we simply suspend the subscription.

 

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MaryBeth
Boulder, CO

2022 Elite II #953
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On 8/7/2022 at 9:13 PM, Mike and Carol said:.

We were at a city campground in Leavenworth, Kansas for a family reunion a few years ago.  It is right on the Missouri River.  Lots of rain in the area and north of Kansas.  The river was rising and I expected a problem.  We came “home” from a family event one night and I decided to hook up to the truck, put away chairs and disconnect power.  At 2:30am the Leavenworth police drove through the campsite, lights a-blaze, and loudspeaker blaring to evacuate immediately.  We were the first out within 15 minutes.  The campground was under water a couple of hours later before the sun came up.  It was a bit unnerving, but we had been paying attention to the weather and weather reports.  Mike

The main take away I got from your story is that you were paying attention to what was going on around you, formed and acted on a contingency plan. Without having done so, things would have worked out differently. Perhaps with a much poorer outcome. No doubt, your former military training and good common sense played a big part here. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher and Rocky plus our beloved Storm, Maggie and Lucy (all waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

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On 8/7/2022 at 3:40 PM, KenB said:

The OP should do this too.  Here is a map of the coverage.  https://www.weather.gov/media/nwr/NWR_Propagation.pdf   
Here is a description of the weather radio service, a service provided by NOAA.  https://www.weather.gov/nwr/

Here is a description of NOAA as a whole.  https://www.weather.gov


Most of the time I just use my cell phone for a weather report, but other times I use the weather radio, my shortwave receiver, or my 2M handheld, all are pretuned to the NOAA frequencies.  

The NOAA is the primary source of weather information in the country and is broadcast everywhere.  Local forecasts are included.  
 

@KenB Ken - you got me a 2M handheld!  We are new to the forums and waiting on our LE II to be built.  My wife and I both are licensed hams and are thinking of starting a thread to see how many more are out there.  We are big into POTA (Parks on the Air) and always travel with an HF radio (for long distance) and 2M/70CM radios.  I carry a Chameleon MPAS 2.0 vertical antenna for HF.

Are you very active in radio?  What is your QTH?  My call is AF1US (Retired USAF communicator).

Look forward to hearing from you - and this is a great post.

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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On 8/25/2022 at 1:46 PM, Brian and Brandelyne Lewis said:

@KenBAre you very active in radio?  What is your QTH?  My call is AF1US (Retired USAF communicator).

Look forward to hearing from you - and this is a great post.

Brian

Though I’ve owned my own ham radio receivers since Junior High School, I didn’t have a license until three years ago.  My wife and I went on a group Land Cruiser 4x4 trip in the Colorado mountains around Ouray that required 2M communication, so I got my Technician and a hand held Kenwood radio.   FRS only reaches so far.   I should have taken the General test at the same time.  An engineering undergrad degree and 20 years of teaching high school shop class made the Technician exam pretty painless.  That was the end of my recent radio experience, so you could say that I’m not very active.    Thanks for the kind words.

Ken

KE0VTG

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2013 Toyota Land Cruiser 200

2018 Twin Bed Elite II #351

 

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1 hour ago, KenB said:

I should have taken the General test at the same time.  An engineering undergrad degree and 20 years of teaching high school shop class made the Technician exam pretty painless.

That's what happened to me. After I passed Technician they asked if I wanted to try the General test. I figured, "why not," and passed.

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Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

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1 hour ago, KenB said:

My wife and I went on a group Land Cruiser 4x4 trip in the Colorado mountains around Ouray that required 2M communication, so I got my Technician and a hand held Kenwood radio

Ahhhh!!! *That* KenB, from MUD! No wonder the handle sounded so familiar in my time here! Hi from "Slow Paddler" 👋

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Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin on order - due March 28, 2023

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On 8/25/2022 at 11:46 AM, Brian and Brandelyne Lewis said:

 My wife and I both are licensed hams and are thinking of starting a thread to see how many more are out there. 

I was wondering how my HAM operators would chime in here. I am also one (again not really active but would like to get active again. W3EZY). That was my first thought tough. Fire up the HAM radio and tune into NOAA. I had never heard of POTA so thanks for that call out. Going to read up on it. 

 

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3 hours ago, Zodd said:

I was wondering how my HAM operators would chime in here. I am also one (again not really active but would like to get active again. W3EZY). That was my first thought tough. Fire up the HAM radio and tune into NOAA. I had never heard of POTA so thanks for that call out. Going to read up on it. 

 

POTA or Parks on the Air, in my opinion, is one of the greatest things to happen to HAM radio in 50 years. You can be either an "Activator" where you go out to a Park and set up a radio and call CQ POTA and log as many contacts as you can (make the call and they will come!) or you can be a "Hunter" and look on the POTA.app website and "Hunt" parks. I just earned my Worked All States (WAS) for POTA - NOT an easy thing to do. HI was really tough because when they are in the parks, they are portable and low power but I have a good antenna at home! 

We should have a meet up at the Rally in May to see what kind of activity there is out there. I plan to bring radios to show off to anyone who will listen LOL.

73 de AF1US (Best Regards from AF1US)

Brian

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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5 hours ago, KenB said:

Though I’ve owned my own ham radio receivers since Junior High School, I didn’t have a license until three years ago.  My wife and I went on a group Land Cruiser 4x4 trip in the Colorado mountains around Ouray that required 2M communication, so I got my Technician and a hand held Kenwood radio.   FRS only reaches so far.   I should have taken the General test at the same time.  An engineering undergrad degree and 20 years of teaching high school shop class made the Technician exam pretty painless.  That was the end of my recent radio experience, so you could say that I’m not very active.    Thanks for the kind words.

Ken

KE0VTG

Very nice!  My wife and I met in Ouray on a 4x4 expedition (FJ Summit) and I learned she had her General class. When she heard I was an Extra class (from the 20wpm code days) she had to get hers so I coached her into taking and passing the test first time. She is not as active as I am but not shy on the radio either.

Brian

AF1US

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Brian and Brandelyne

Paris, TN

2020 Ford F-250 Super Duty 7.3L V-8 (Gas), 10 Speed, FX4, Max Tow Package

2023 Oliver Elite II Hull #TBD, Expected Delivery Date 3/08/2023

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My Midland MXT115 GMRS radio has several National Weather Service stations programmed into it, so one is usually available. I also have one of those windup emergency radios in the truck that the girls gave me many years ago. 

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-----
Steve - Northern Ohio, USA
Wandering around on occasion, always lost.
2021 Toyota Land Cruiser - 5X8 Hiker Highway Deluxe Squaredrop Trailer
2023 Oliver Elite II Twin on order - due March 28, 2023

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Garmin InReach (I have an Explorer SE model). I use it more often for texting my wife when off the grid solo so she won't worry, but sometimes get weather reports from it, and it is a nice emergency SOS tool to have in hand when beyond cell range. I have also used it to coordinate with friends who also have an InReach when we are joining up for camping/hiking/skiing in areas beyond cell range.

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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InReach reception varies by location - I've found that it can take a while to get signal in an out when in tight valleys or canyons - in these cases I presume that I'm only getting line of sight to a satellite periodically. The worse was at one of the camps in a tighter part of the Grand Canyon during a raft trip there. It took maybe 4-5 hours one afternoon/evening for my message to get out, and for me to receive the one my wife had sent. I've heard of some folks having reception issues in dense forest as well. So it's not magic - it does need a decent connection to a satellite. 

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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The inReach keeps trying if it can’t connect to send or receive a message, but the tracking, not so much. I had an old SPOT that I used when riding my dual sport bike, in case I crashed and ended up unconscious in a ditch, my wife would have some clue as to my location. In open terrain it would send one track point every ten minutes, regular as a clock. When in dense woods and valleys, sometimes there would be four or five missed track points. But that device was not as smart as the inReach. And the inReach plans were way more affordable a few years ago. The newest SPOTs have two way communication like the inReach, and flexible plans too. I have never used one.

https://www.findmespot.com/en-us/products-services/spot-x

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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