This week in Episode 480 of the RV Podcast, we talk to a trip of mobile Internet experts who share their predictions of RV Internet Trends for 2024 as they answer questions posed by a live audience of our RV Lifestyle Community members.
You can watch the video version from our RV Lifestyle YouTube Channel by clicking the player below.
If you prefer an audio-only podcast, you can hear us through your favorite podcast app or listen now through the player below.
Interview of the Week – RV Internet Trends for 2024
This week on the podcast, we look at the Top RV Internet Trends for 2024. Our expert guests are Chris and Cherie from the Mobile Internet Resource Center (rvmobileinternet.com) and Erik McCauley, the CEO and founder of MobileMustHave.com, a leading provider of RV accessories and mobile internet. Erik is an IT Infrastructure Engineer by trade.
We recently had all three on for a live-streaming event on our RV Lifestyle Community and they had so many helpful tips and helpful inside information that we edited it down to make a special podcast interview segment.
You may hear us referring to audience questions submitted by instant chat with those watching the livestream.
You can hear the interview and the entire podcast by clicking on either the video or audio players above.
Here are just a few highlights from a panel discussion FULL of gems.
Mike: Let's talk about Starlink. And if you're going to get one system, is that the one you'd get?
Well, so there is no one size fits all solution for everybody. So first, you need to understand your unique needs. Are you working remotely? Are you changing locations often? Do you have high bandwidth needs? Are you in places in urban areas where you're going to encounter congestion and oversaturated satellites or towers?
Starlink is an incredible addition to cellular because it can give you high bandwidth, it can give you 4K streaming in a lot of places. But Starlink needs a big view of the sky. So a lot of the places people want to camp, particularly on the eastern half of the country, have this thing called trees, which wreaks havoc on Starlink.
And cellular has gotten really, really good in a whole lot of places as well. So cellular doesn't care about trees too much. So having, you know, cellular as a good foundation and then Starlink as the extra thing you take along.
Mike: Eric, have you ever seen a solar flare disrupt Starlink at all, or is that just media hype we're hearing this week?
I heavily relied on StarLink over the last five days because I was in rural New Hampshire and there's no cellular coverage, and I had very few issues with Starlink.
Mike: We are parked under trees, so Starlink wouldn't have been great here, but we're using a bonded connection with two Verizon lines and two T-Mobile lines all combined together. Those were the best connections here at this place. And Eric, how about you? What are you using?
I'm at my studio, so I'm in my sticks and bricks. So I have a cable modem of Starlink on the roof and then a T-Mobile backup that's plugged into my router. So any one of those fail and I stay on.
Mike: Questions – let's start with the first one that I have here is from Richard, who's looking for simple Internet to watch TV when he's on the road. Chris, Cherie?
Okay. So watching TV sounds like it should be easy, but actually, it requires a lot of data to stream to know you want to watch like a movie.
You know, you can easily burn through six or eight gigabytes of data if it's 4K. Better to get a cellular enabled tablet and the cellular tablets, you can get data plans for them that are unlimited data plans as long as you're not sharing it to a laptop or to a smart TV. You can watch all the TV you want from your streaming services on your tablet or something like that in a signal.
And then you could just run an HDMI cable from your tablet to your big TV. So you're still watching on your tablet using that on-device unlimited data and putting it on whatever TV you want. And you can quite often add on an unlimited tablet plan to a postpaid smartphone plan with the major carriers for 10-20 bucks a month.
Mike: So Eric, here's one for you from Megan. She wants to know how much data should we expect to use on a fully remote workspace per day on average?
I think that what's tricky is at night when you pop in and watch Netflix, that can kind of blow your whole budget. So if you're asking me the question specific to mobile work and you're doing some Zoom meetings and some voiceover IP and some light stuff, I think you can probably figure out how to get away with about 100 gigs per month, but you've got to keep an eye on it and you've got to maintain a close eye on how much you're actually using.
We hope you watch or listen to the entire interview, as there were some great questions and answers. And if you want to see the actual full livestream, you can do that right in our NEW Community – right here.
SOCIAL MEDIA BUZZ – Wendy Bowyer
Wendy Bowyer reports on the hot issues most talked about this past week on social media and our RV Lifestyle Community group.
In our RVLifestyle Community, John said he is planning to go camping in Canada this summer for the first time in 50 years. So he asked the group what he needs to know about bringing a dog into Canada.
Ken said to be sure to carry with him all the current paperwork to prove vaccinations. Several others agreed and some added that border agents for both Canada and the U.S. may – or may not – ask for them, but you need to be prepared either way.
Also in the RVLifestyle Community, Jim asked all the “fix-it-yourselfers” what tools they keep in their rig. Ken has a permanent bag he keeps in the RV with a socket set, screw drivers, pliers, wrenches, zip ties, tape and a flashlight. And he asked “What other tools should I have in my bag? You never know what you will need till something goes wrong and you don't have the right tools!”
Skip and Jill suggested a flat tire plugging repair kit – said this had even saved them on one trip. Edward suggested a jumper cable and small air compressor. And Dan had many suggestions, including a box cutter knife.
Lots of good practical suggestions in that post.
Then, over in our RVLifestyle Facebook group, there have been many posts lately from people putting the finishing touches on their 2024 travel plans. One of those folks is Mary, who is planning a 30-day fall trip from Tampa through Indiana and Michigan, around Lake Superior in Canada, and down through Wisconsin, Illinois, and Tennessee. She said there would be a lot of one-night stops until they got to their destinations, which would include Mammoth Cave National Park, Turkey Run St. Park, Mackinac Island, and the Soo Locks.
Well, Mary's post received over 320 comments, and another 54 people shared it, inspired by the itinerary.
Some suggested shortening the trip, saying that was a lot to squeeze into 30 days. Some suggested Michigan's Upper Peninsula instead of Canada's Lake Superior coast. Others advised her to buy tickets in advance for Mammoth Cave, and she got some road suggestions for Wisconsin, advice to stay clear of Chicago, a good campground for her Mackinaw City visit, and so much more.
Now Mary is going to have to share how her trip goes!
RV NEWS OF THE WEEK
Minnesota's Upper Sioux Agency State Park will close to the public on Feb. 16 as part of a plan to return the land to the Upper Sioux Community before the end of March.
The state park offered camping, hiking and horse trails, and is located west of Minneapolis. It will take about a month to remove all structures before the land transfer.
The park is near Granite Falls and was the site of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. It is the place where many Dakota people starved and died when the federal government failed to provide food as promised by treaty.
The 1,300 acre parcel became a state park in the 1960s, and for more than a decade the Upper Sioux Community asked for the land, saying the place of so much suffering should not be a place for recreation and picnics.
Last year the state of Minnesota agreed, and the transfer is the first time the state has closed a state park and transferred it to a Native American community.
A tornado tore through the Florida Caverns RV Resort at Merritt’s Mill Pond in the Florida panhandle last week, shredding numerous RVs in its path.
Many RVers took shelter in the campground's concrete block clubhouse.
But some stayed in their RV. When the sheriff arrived after the storm, about eight people were trapped in their campers and needed rescuing.
Pictures showed large in-tack RVs lying on their side, while other trailers were shredded with walls, ceilings and the insides completely torn apart.
So how do you know when RVing if a tornado is coming? See our story with nine safety tips here.
While a tornado devastated a Florida RV park, in Georgia, severe flooding was the problem.
The Riverside Estates RV Park just outside Covington, Georgia, was flooded when the rain-swollen Yellow River jumped its banks and seemingly swallowed up RVs, pick up trucks and anything in its way.
About a dozen RVs and cars were flooded in the park, and about half a dozen people needed to be rescued.
The sheriff had given an evacuation order to the park because of the severe weather, but several decided to stay and then when the water started to spread very quickly, for many, it was too late.
To brush up on what you should do in severe weather, check out our story here.
Canine distemper was confirmed at Florida's popular Ft. DeSoto Park Campground last week.
Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease that can be spread airborne by coughing or barking, and can be spread by shared water bowls.
While a vaccine exists to protect dogs, unvaccinated, elderly or imune compromised dogs are at risk. The illness can be fatal and dogs with it can be contagious for months.
Traveling with dogs definitely brings much joy, but there are also precautions and steps to keep in mind. To read our Ultimate Resource Guide for RVing with dogs, click here.
RV QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK
QUESTION: We love the Electric Fireplace in our Fifth Wheel. We are on a trip to Florida and when we set the rig up tonight in Kentucky and went to turn it on, it started flashing an error code of 88. This is a pretty new RV. What do I do? – Bob
ANSWER: We’ve had the same thing happen to us with our Furrion Fireplace. The 88 error code means the blower fan is overheating. First, make sure the inlet and outlets of the fireplace are free of install debris and allow proper airflow. The outlet is the wire mesh on the front of the fireplace and the outlet is the vent on the top of the fireplace. But more likely, your RV is too cold. The error code pops on if the fireplace is used in 40-degree or below temperatures since it will be running all the time and the fan will overheat. The fan is not designed to take the place of a furnace, it's more of a supplemental heat source. As your rig warms up it should work again fine. If not, unplug the fireplace for 15-20 minutes to reset the circuit board.