Roadtreking Podcast 025: Why You Need to Set Up an RV Hotspot and What You Can Do With It

 Roadtreking Podcast 025: Why You Need to Set Up an RV Hotspot and What You Can Do With It

It’s time for the Connected RV.

You’ve no doubt had it with campground WiFi. Useless. There must be a better way. And in this episode of the podcast, we talk all about it: Using a small gizmo the size of a deck of cards to create, via a cellular connection to the Internet, your own WiFi network in your RV.

We brought in Paul Ulreich, a wireless technology expert, to help you understand (in no geek-speak terms) what you need to know to get full benefits from your rolling WiFi network.

Confused about wireless data plans and just what you can do with the various usage tiers? We sort it out. Wondering what you can do with that RV Hotspot? You’ll be ready to rush out and get one, especially if you hand pets with you and a sticks and bricks home back  wherever you came from.

Also in this episode, we hear from a listener in Australia, Jennifer returns to help me discuss some of the most memorable people we’ve met out there, our plans for 2015, tips for staying warm (still), signs of spring at Yellowstone (at last!), an Off the Beaten Path report from the Alabama and Mississippi Gulf shores and a lot more!

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First Things First: Jennifer Returns!

Jennifer returns to help me kick off the show after being pretty swamped recently with a big pending event for our family. Plus, a quick update on our immediate plans involving some shopping, final accessorizing of our new Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL motorhome, a trip I’m taking Grand Rapids, Mich. to install a VHF/UHF amateur radio transceiver in it then and – next week –  Florida for a couple of weeks.

Check-in of the Week: Roadtreking Fan Wayne from Australia

A listener named Wayne calls from Australia to check-in and let us that our fans can be found well beyond our North American base. You’ll recall a couple weeks ago we had a listener named Jose check-in from Spain. Any other international fans out there? Let’s keep adding to the list! Record a quick message by clicking the tab on the right. We would love to hear from you!

Listener Feedback: 1991 Roadtrek at 100,000 Miles and Going

Listener Dave from Kitchener, Ontario calls to let us know his 1991 Roadtrek just hit 100,000 miles and is still going strong.

Reminder of the Week: Stay Warm with Full Propane Tanks

Listener Mike checks in to remind RVers to keep their propane tanks full if you want to stay warm in cold weather camping. Less full tanks can leave you shivering, Mike says. [spp-tweet “If you want your RV to put put maximum heat in cold weather, keep the propane tank filled.”]

Question: Can you talk about 4×4 RVing?

Listener Andrew calls to ask about 4×4 RVing.

Flashback: Memorable Encounters

A listener named Van calls to ask us about some of the more memorable folks we’ve met out there on the road. Jennifer and I recall a few:

RV News of the Week: Airstream Recalling, Park Models Rising, Yellowstone Plowing

Recall – Airstream is recalling certain model year 2015-15 Land Yacht, Eddie Bauer, International, Flying Cloud, and Sport travel trailers manufactured Aug. 1, 2013, through Feb. 4, 2015 (Read more)

Park Model Sales Up – The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association (RVIA) reported January’s park model RV shipments totaled 261 units, up 4 percent from the 227 units in the same month of 2014. By state, the largest number of park model units were shipped to Arizona, followed by Texas, then Maine, Wisconsin, Minnesota and California, according to RVIA figures. (Read more)

Yellowstone Plowing for Spring Season – Yellowstone National Park’s winter season is drawing to a close. Park roads that serve commercial and non-commercially guided snowmobile and commercial snowcoach travel to iconic Yellowstone locations will be closed in stages beginning Sunday, March 1.

After the roads close to oversnow travel, crews will begin to clear them of snow so they can reopen to automobile travel beginning April 17, weather permitting. (Read more)

RV Bucket Destination List: Coast-to-Coast in 2015

Jennifer shares where she wants us to go this year…and the list is quite extensive! But I play some listener feedback that shows clearly we are not alone in planning to spend a lot of time on the road this year.

Giveaway: Free Audiobook from Audible.com

We also have news on how you can get a FREE audiobook download and 30-day free trial at www.audibletrial.com/roadtreking. Audible offers over 150,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player. For listeners of the Roadtreking podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. To download your free audiobook today, go to audibletrial.com/roadtreking.

Interview: Paul Ulreich, WiFi expert, Verizon Wireless

verizon-mhs291lvw-jetpack2Paul Ulreich, a WiFi expert and Verizon Wireless’ own so-called “Uber User,” talks with Roadtreking about what’s involved in setting up a rolling, wireless Internet network. Verizon is just one of many service providers so you don’t need to be a Verizon customer to hear Paul and Mike talk about:

  • Understanding data plans and data cards, such as Verizon’s JetPack (formerly known as MiFi)
  • [spp-tweet “Why you need your own WiFi network in your RV”]
  • Why a dedicated data card like JetPack may be better for you than using your smartphone or tablet to connect to the Internet while RVing
  • [spp-tweet “Navigating the world of data plans and deciding how much data you really need”]
  • How you can connect to your sticks-and-bricks home from your RV to control everything from the garage door to lights and heat
  • What to do about connectivity if you are from Canada traveling to the U.S.
  • What do about connectivity if you’re from the U.S. traveling to Canada or Mexico
  • [spp-tweet “How you can watch your pets in the RV via your smartphone while your away from the campsite”]

Paul also gave us lots of resources and links to the information he shared:

Off the Beaten Path: Mississippi and Alabama’s Gulf Shores

Tom Hopkins from Davenport, Iowa, takes us down south to Mississippi and Alabama on the Gulf Shore

A great Civil War display in Corinth, Miss. at the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center is worth the time for sure, he says. They have some history on Shiloh,  which is very close, as well as the siege and Battle of Corinth. http://www.nps.gov/shil/planyourvisit/corinth.htm

Tom also recommends not missing the historic Ft. Gaines on Dauphin Island (Ala.), on the mouth of Mobile Bay and featuring a beautiful campground. The fort often features live demos of such things as cannon firing, which makes you wonder how anybody could have come out of that war with any hearing left at all!

The U.S.S. Battleship Alabama Memorial Park also is worth a trip, especially for history and military buffs. http://www.gulfshores.com/details/uss-alabama-battleship-memorial-park/38/

Last, Tom recommends the Perdido Cove RV Resort in Pensacola, Fla. He says it’s a super clean and friendly park. Here’s the link: http://perdidocove.com/

Please Subscribe and Give Us a Rating and Review

And, of course, many listeners are asking how they can subscribe, review and rate the Roadtreking Podcast on iTunes. With a new podcast like this, those reviews and ratings are really important to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your review.

Here’s how:

How to subscribe, rate and review a podcast

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts up on the top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in Mike Wendland or Roadtreking RV Podcast.
> Click on the logo image of the Roadtreking RV Podcast on the search return page
> From there (see photo above), you can…

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. That got us noticed by Apple/iTunes as “New and Noteworthy.” I appreciate every review!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments about RV topics by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at Roadtreking.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your words.

Mike Wendland

Mike is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road. He enjoys camping (obviously), hiking, biking, fitness, photography, kayaking, video editing, and all things dealing with technology and the outdoors. See and subscribe to his RV Lifestyle Channel on YouTube, where he has hundreds of RV and travel related videos. His PC MIke TV reports, on personal technology are distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations.