Location: Anacortes, WA - First day with our new - T-Mobile's new Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 hotspot device.
RVing - to travel, to explore, to connect with nature, and to create memories.
Today, RVing can also mean - working from the road, learning while on the road, meetings and more meetings (and too many Zoom meetings), and just spending a lot of time online. Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, they all make the life style glamorous and inviting - and it is a lifestyle. It invites the promise of so much more and so many are buying into it and hitting the road.
All we need is a good connection (WIFI) and we are happy campers…but the reality is…good connection may be easier than in years pass but is still elusive or at least sluggish in many locations. This explosion of people living in their RVs and wandering from location to location was not something this industry was fully prepared for.
Technology has taken an industry, traditionally comprised of retirees, and opened it up to all age groups and families. Their desires and needs includes WIFI at a decent speed. One of the most frequently asked questions in Facebook Groups and forum is, "How do I get Internet?" And, just as there are so many questions, there also seems to be a variety of answers. Not all are foolproof, not all of them are accurate. Many of these answers and ideas will not work for everyone or work everywhere. There is also a wide variety of cost & complexity, too.
With so many turning RVing into a life style, technology is more critical than ever before. We still need to earn a living, we still need to learn, and we still need some connection to family and friends, and children (and adults) still need to be entertained.
We ourselves are in a “semi-retired” stage, which means we still need to earn some kind of living. For us, Internet is a way to earn income on the road, to continue our RV education, and it is also a way to connect with family and friends.
We have watched countless YouTube videos on this subject and read countless answers. Various groups, some with broad coverage of RV Life tricks and tips, others more manufacture specific, like the various Airstream Groups we follow, are a wealth of information. The old adage “taken with a grain of salt” always applies. Many of which helped, some of which didn’t or were suspect, but sounded good and needed more research.
Many RV Parks offer Wi-Fi, but the main problem with RV park Wi-Fi, besides speed and connection mainly due to too many RV’s trying to connect - is security. Using our phones as a hotspots helps with the issue of security but sometimes may be slower than the RV free Wi-Fi. It’s still a lot of hit and miss.
The solution we have been trying out recently (we are a little over a month into it) is the new, Inseego 5G MiFi M2000. The sales person told us it was 100gb per month at 5G, go over the the 100gb (or in certain areas) it will downspeed to 4G. The cost - $50 per month. The Device is $336.00.
I am not a techie (I leave that to my husband), but what I can tell you is when we first got it, it was AMAZING!!!! Faster than the 100Gb fiber we had in our home. It was screaming fast. Working on-line, listening to Pandora & Spotify and streaming YouTube, Netflix & HBO Movies was an RV’ers dream.
The real test came when we went on our Maiden Voyage along the WA & OR coast, cell phone coverage was spotty and usually only 1 bar. And still it managed to work, even though it did at slower speeds. When it was slow, we had a harder time streaming and being online dragged but was doable – most of the time.
Location - Grayland State Park, WA
Location - Fort Stevens State Park, Oregon
Location - Lewis and Clark RV Park in Astoria, OR
Then upon our return from the coast of WA/OR, about three weeks in, it just stopped working. The device showed it was getting 5G at full signal strength, our (7 Apple) devices would easily connect with it’s full strength Wi-Fi signal, but for some reason there was no internet available.
We returned it under warranty and had another one ordered for us another one (at a cost of $21 for S&H), but still the same issue. When we left for Oregon and stopped for the night at a Harvest Host, it suddenly worked fine and worked as advertised, but then it retreated back to not connecting.
We are not sure what the issue is? As soon as we are near another T-Mobile store again we will have them look at it.
We have encountered other RV’ers who swear by the WeBoost for boosting cell coverage signals. As we are currently in a very weak cellphone signal area, that will be our next exploration, as we will continue to look for that Internet Magic Answer - till then, we travel and connect just one byte at a time.
The T-Mobile Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 hotspot is the slam-dunk portable 5G device we've been waiting for. Up until now, T-Mobile's hotspot lineup has been a parade of relatively weak 4G products with slow modems. The M2000 is far faster, hooking you into T-Mobile's 4G and 5G networks at the very respectable rate of $50/month for 100GB, offering broad connectivity to many phones and computers at a reasonable price. That makes it well suited to both home and professional internet use on the go, and an easy Editor's Choice for T-Mobile hotspots.
As we roam the roads and highways, looking for that next fantastic stop, keep track of our travels in our Airstream - Betty Jo