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Topic High Speed Internet and Phone for RV
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High Speed Internet and Phone for RV
Total Views: 2078 - Total Replies: 6
Jul 31 2010, 2:18 am - By DHanna

I am a self-employed sales professional that makes a living on my phone/computer from a home-based office.  5 years ago I left the corporate rat-race and love the freedom of working from home. Now I am interested in taking my dream to the next level and work from an RV. The biggest hurdle that I am finding is the ability to have reliable high-speed internet access.  I need to be able to utiliz VOIP for unlimited phone service and also share lots of computer files with my clients.  I really need reliable high speed internet. 

I believe satellite is my best option, but the equipment and service are VERY expensive.  Anyone have suggestions?  I am wondering if I need to put my dream off for 5 years so that technology and price can improve.

Jul 31 2010, 3:28 am - Replied by: LiveWorkDream

Hey welcome to the tribe!

We've had our HughesNet/MotoSat system since 2007. Specs are here. Yeah, not cheap but we wouldn't have it any other way. I'm not the techie here but DH is and he can tell you more about the pitfalls and advantages (MANY) of the system. However, VOIP is not one of them. Satellite has too much latency. We can't even Skype with it.

So you ask, why did we shell out the doh? Because we go off grid 90 percent of the time, stay in remote areas where there's no phone signals whatsoever. The dish can't be beat for going far away from civilization, all over North America, Canada and Mexico. No roaming charges with it whatsoever. Just ask Sean and Louise.

BUT, we do have a Verizon MiFI card as a backup. One of the pitfalls of the dish is the bandwidth limitations they slap you with (300GB month), and that there have been a few occasions where the dish hasn't gone up due to equipment failures.

The technology is evolving but even in 5 years I wouldn't count on being able to do VOIP with satellite or VPN. Those things in the sky already so oversold, I doubt it will progress that much more.

Get out there though, don't wait! It's a blast, for sure.

Working and Living Our Dream Life
Jul 31 2010, 5:19 am - Replied by: DHanna

Thank you for the feedback. I guess I just assumed that reliable high-speed internet would be reasonably simple and not so expensive.   I checked out Sean and Louise's site. They have a great set up.


Jul 31 2010, 7:51 am - Replied by: KevsKnight

Welcome to NuRVers!

I can pretty much be considered a fulltime telecommuter. I am a web application programmer, and do most of my work for a large client. I work pretty normal(ish) hours during the week, and have been making it work for almost four years now.

I tried working over satellite and it did not work out for me. The primary issue was that I need to be connected via VPN to my client, and the satellite would not allow that to happen.

We are now running two Verizon EVDO cards in a Cradlepoint router. I could probably get away with one card, but to me, it is worth the expense to be able to have a dedicated card for my work computer. Also, if we run off the cards for a full month, it is easy for us to get close to the 10GB limit, so it works out.

We soon found out that where we want to go, we are going to have EVDO service. We are not so much off the grid people, and we can't really be anywhere that our cell phones don't work, so the EVDO network works out great for us. As all satellite people will tell you, EVDO isn't good EVERYWHERE, but a satellite it. However, if I don't have EVDO, I don't have cell phone, so I am not making a living.

However, we have been able to go to the places we want to go, and have never felt like we were too limited. We spent a month in Quartzsite, lots of time in Moab, Utah, Grand Canyon, etc. Far enough out, but still civilized :) I like a coffee shop and sushi within reasonable striking distance :)

There are a few campgrounds that have great wifi, but if you have to work for a living, you should go into knowing that you have to be self sufficient with internet access. Sometimes we will wait until we are on campground wifi to do big windows updates and such.

My suggestion: start finding new ways to do things you have been doing. I did that. As a long time stick house telecommuter, I never thought of bandwidth. Once I knew I would be limited, I started finding new ways of doing things that cost me less bandwidth. Now, with a mix of EVDO and park wifi and coffee shop wifi and whatever else I can find, I am a full time road worker, and couldn't love my office more :)


I have washboard abs. They are just hidden under 50#s of laundry.
Jul 31 2010, 3:56 pm - Replied by: Technomadia

Another pair of teleworkers here... 

Even tho we are often off-grid - we skipped the satellite option mainly because of the size requirements and our small sized rig.

We use a single Sprint EVDO card that we were able to score before the 5 GB/ mo  caps were placed - and it's been working out great for us.  We have a cell phone booster system integrated into our rig to be able to utilize faint cell signal better.  

While we're technically unlimited, we do conserve bandwidth as we know they can cut us off at any time if we abuse it.  So, we don't do things like stream video on it or do massive downloads with it (such as OS updates, developer tools, uploading new releases of our iPhone app, SQL database downloads, etc.)  We save that stuff for when we're at campgrounds with wifi, or visiting friends/family across the country who are kind enough to lend some high speed bandwidth. 

We've heard that businesses can again sign up for unlimited with Sprint..  but we've not been brave enough to try it. 

Generally, we've not had any problems at all. I support some pretty major clients with mission critical applications remotely from all over the country.  We have stayed in some amazing remote places with enough signal to get our jobs done. 

For your unlimited voice needs.. all of the major cell carriers seem to have unlimited voice plans for under $100/mo - seems like a steal to me, and no reason to have to have unlimited VOIP (which I don't think you'll get on the road reliably enough).  

For file sharing.. if they're fairly small, EVDO will probably be fine.  If they're large, you'll just have to set your client's expectations to when you can offer this (ie. when you have wifi access).   We've done that with all our clients, without complaint.  

Like Kev said.. start thinking differently.  You left the rat race already.. now extend that thinking to how you can arrange your work life to live on the road.  If it's what you want to do.. you CAN make it happen.  

So maybe you can't go in the middle of nowhere like LiveWorkDream..  but trust me, you can still enjoy life on the road and be in some friggen amazing places while keeping in cell phone range. 

 - Cherie

PS.  5 years is a long time to put off your dreams.  A lot can happen between now and then. Sure, technology may improve marginally enough to make some things seem more accessible..   but what about your own self?  How might your life change in 5 years to make the 'dream' more unattainable than it is now?
Cherie and Chris / Technomads / www.technomadia.com
1961 GM 4106 - Vintage Bus
On the road since 2006 

Jul 31 2010, 5:48 pm - Replied by: KevsKnight

Technomadia wrote:
PS.  5 years is a long time to put off your dreams.  A lot can happen between now and then. Sure, technology may improve marginally enough to make some things seem more accessible..   but what about your own self?  How might your life change in 5 years to make the 'dream' more unattainable than it is now?

I just thought this quote was worth seeing again :)

I have washboard abs. They are just hidden under 50#s of laundry.
Nov 25 2010, 9:50 pm - Replied by: blars

If by "file sharing" you mean put files where your clients can get them, you can get a "virtual private server" pretty cheap.  I'm running my web pages and email on one I pay $5/month for, and it's running Debian Linux (my prefered OS) and I can install anything i want on it.  This is a well-connected server with limited memory and disk, and it doesn't look like I'll be exceeding my network quota soon.  If you don't want linux or bsd, I think there are even some places offering windows.
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