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Why you need amateur radio in your RV

| Updated Sep 29, 2017

We love to camp to get away from it all. But we do want to be able to get in touch with help should we need it when we are far off the beaten path.

We all rely on cell phones when we’re out there in our RVs. But what happens when there is no cell coverage and you need communications? That’s why you may want to get what I just added to my RV: A VHF/UHF amateur radio system.

First off, let me note that you need to have a license from the Federal Communications Commission to use amateur radio. That’s not all that difficult these days.

The system I have is so advanced that by using radio waves, GPS satellites and the Internet, I can communicate with anybody, anywhere in the world, any time I want. Let me show you.

My new amateur radio system consists of a small handheld transceiver that I can carry around with me– the Yaesu FT2D— and, mounted in my RV, a larger transceiver – the Yaesu 400XDR. Both operate on a specialized system called Fusion, utilizing both analog and digital formats that let you do some pretty amazing things. I particularly enjoy Fusion feature called WiresX that allows worldwide communication. I demonstrate it in the video.

Something else that is very cool: Suppose I have gone for a hike. But I get lost. I don’t know where the RV is or how to get back to it. My handheld transceiver can lock into it and display a map pointing me right back home. Conversely, if I was hurt and couldn’t transmit, the mobile unit in the RV will point right to where my I am out in the woods. I demonstrate that in the video, too.

One more thing. Using something called the Automatic Packet Reporting System – I can generate a map of my travels in my RV that will display in real time on a computer and can be shared with friends or family, so someone will always know where I am. With all the boondocking Jennifer and I do, that provides real peace of mind. Hey, I can even share it on my website, so readers can meet up with us.

See why amateur radio comes in so handy? For information on getting a license, check the resources offered by the American Radio Relay League at

System Fusion as I use is a feature offered with many Yaesu Radios. You can learn more about it at

For information on the Automatic Packet Reporting System, see

For information on Wires-X see  

There are other systems that offer similar capabilities to Fusion. See D-Star at and Echolink at


Mike Wendland

Published on 2017-09-29

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

One Response to “Why you need amateur radio in your RV”

October 02, 2017at8:29 am, mikeyes said:

Great video!! 73s. Mike Keyes KE7ES

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