Posted on December 15th, 2014 by David
What can we say, we all would like a much better connection to an RV Parks Wi-Fi. For at times, you just can’t reach based on where you are parked or you can not stay connected. It also would be nice to have our own internal secure Wi-Fi setup in our coach or RV for all our devices to connect to.
Seeing I have been asked about a lower cost solution vs our other video of our personal setup, in the below video we show you how you can do this for under $100! You will not only have a much more powerful connection to a parks Wi-Fi over a longer distance, but you will always connect to your own secure Wi-Fi in your RV so you never need to connect to another SSID for each device. This also means you will be able to connect your wireless printer and print to it any time. (Just leave the setup plugged in.)
In the photo above, this is all you will end up with at the end. All you will need to do is plug it into an outlet. Then, seeing this is a much more powerful directional antenna/radio, just point the antenna towards the parks closest access point and connect to it.
The best placement for the antenna would be pointing out a window. You can use a longer network cable to put the antenna somewhere else if you do not have an outlet close by. You can even put the antenna outside. But I am getting ahead of myself. First things first….what you need to do this.
All the items listed below you can purchase from Amazon. The names of each product are also links to the product on Amazon. (Below the main products are OPTIONAL upgrades that will setup the same.)
….What you need….
Ubnt NanoStation Loco M2 – This is the directional antenna and powerful radio all built into one nice package. It is made by Ubiquiti which is a carrier grade company. As such, it is not as consumer friendly with wizards and the like, in other words, it is not a fancy looking user interface as it is geared towards someone who knows what they are doing. Do not let that scare you however, as once it is setup, which I walk you through, you will be good to go.
NOTE: You can also use this NanoStation with any router you may choose once it is setup. (Stop video when we get to the AirGateway setup.) You would come out of the POE power injector’s LAN port into the WAN port of a router of your choice and use the same steps below (or talked about at the end of the video) to connect to a RV Parks AP. Sorry, I will not be able to help with your own router setup, just too many on the market. The AirGateway below is what we will use for the wireless router as it makes for a nice little package.
Ubnt AirGateway – This is also made by Ubiquiti and is a very little wireless Wi-Fi router like any wireless router you may have used. It is just nicely connects into the setup without needing a separate router. This is actually what all your devices will connect to to talk to each other and the Internet. It may be small, but can cover your motor coach or RV without an issue. Best part…it’s low cost and it uses the same power supply as the NanoStation as it just pops into place. This makes for a clean setup. You only set this up once like any Wi-Fi router.
Two Network Cables – You will need two (2) of these in order to set this up, but will end up using just one when we are done. I recommend shielded cables and that is what I linked to. If you already have network cables, then you are all set. If not BE SURE to order TWO.
Ubnt NanoStation M2 – A more powerful model of the Loco M2 listed above with double the antenna range for hard to reach access points in a park. (It is also double the height do to the large antenna.)
Ubnt AirGateway-LR – “LR” for Long Range. A more powerful model of the AirGateway listed above giving you increased access to your personal Wi-Fi inside and out of your RV.
NanoStation Window Mount – A handy window suction mount for your NanoStation. Great for windshields or other areas as the NanoStation is usually poll mounted outside. (But we are using it inside.)
Now as a reminder, even though you will have a much better chance connecting to the RV parks Wi-Fi service, that does not mean you will have better Internet. The speed depends on a number of things, from the amount of data bandwidth they have coming into the park, to how many people may be on the Wi-Fi network using it. Or the park could even be limiting speed per user among other things. But one thing is for sure, you will have a much better way of connecting to them as well as having a secure Wi-Fi setup inside your coach or RV.
As a side benefit, if you have a MiFi, JetPack, Hot-Spot, or something else you use to connect you to the Internet, you can also connect this setup to that just like you would an RV park. This is great for the times you need it, like if the park is just really bad or you are somewhere that does not have Internet. Then all your devices will just stay on your secure Wi-Fi without the need to change to another connection.
NOTICE: These Nanostations are very powerful, please DO NOT point it at your our personal HotSpot or even have it close. I would suggest laying it down flat when used with the HotSpot so not to over modulate the radios. Try to be between -50db and -70db when looking at the signal.
The video is a little long, 24 minutes , but that does not mean it is difficult. I just happen to go into more detail and explain things along the way. I could have made it 10 minutes but then some people would likely become confused.
*** NOTICE 1 *** In order to configure the NanoStation you MUST HAVE a network port in your computer and KNOW HOW TO change the network settings from using DHCP to using a STATIC IP and back again. I use my MacBook showing my screen, so if you have a Mac product, you should be able to follow along. If you use Windows, here is a Google search to help you if needed – CLICK HERE (You will only need to set the IP and Subnet.) NOTE: New MacBooks may not have a network card, and the MacBook Air surely does not. If you need a network adaptor a USB to Ethernet one works great. I use this one in my MacBook Air that is $18… Plugable USB to Eithernet.
*** NOTICE 2 *** You will also likely need one computer to do the configuration with and another to watch this video as we will be turning off Wi-Fi during the process.
If you mess up, don’t worry. You can always reset both units to factory defaults and try again. To do this, with the units powered up, use a toothpick or something to press down and hold the RESET button on each unit for 20 seconds and release. Wait 30 seconds before powering them off.
So, are you ready? Do you have your parts? Do you care to just watch the video to see what you are getting into? Well here you go. (You will likely want to watch this in HD and full screen mode to see my screen share as the entire video tutorial is done with my MacBook Pro as I do the demo from my desktop.)
Here is a recap on how to connect your private Wi-Fi network to a RV parks Wi-Fi or to your own Internet data connection… (Like when you go to another RV park or need to use your own Internet data.) Copy the text below and save it if needed.
Plug in the system if not already plugged in and give it 30 seconds to boot up.
1) Connect to your Wi-Fi SSID.
2) Open web browser and go to: http://192.168.2.1
3) Put in the user name and your password. User name = ubnt Password = What you made it.
4) Click on the WIRELESS tab.
5) Click on SELECT
6) Find the Access Point you would like to connect to. (The park or your own data device.) If there are several with the same SSID name you want to connect to, then select the best signal. The first number in the Signal column you want to be closer to zero. -55 is better than -75.
7) At the bottom click LOCK TO AP.
8) If the Access Point requires a password, enter it in the bottom area. (The park would have supplied one if needed. Or the one for our own data device.)
9) Bottom Right of the screen click CHANGE.
10) Top of the screen click APPLY.
In under 30 seconds, you should see the antenna lights light up and then you should have access to the Internet.
REMINDER NOTICE: These Nanostations are very powerful, please DO NOT point it at your our personal HotSpot or even have it close. I would suggest laying it down flat when used with the HotSpot so not to over modulate the radios. Try to be between -50db and -70db when looking at the signal.
Enjoy your own personal secure Wi-Fi connection.
Posted on December 11th, 2014 by Brenda
So I have to say this right off the bat.
Zion National Park, right now, is my favorite. I say right now because there are so many, we have yet to scratch the surface. However, if you have a limited amount of time, I highly recommend Zion in southwestern Utah.
First off, we stayed a short drive (about 25 minutes) away at the WillowWind RV Park in Hurricane, Utah. It was a nice rv park right in town, close to everything, stores and restaurants, yet quiet. You wouldn’t think it would be quiet being right in town, but it was. Our 45ft motor home fit in our spot nicely but there were some sites we would not have fit. Verizon worked well there. Here’s the quadcopter video David did of the park.
We were in town for a week so Zion was naturally our first destination. We had never been there before so we stopped at the visitor’s center, along with half the rest of the world, yes it was that busy, and got some information. There are a bunch of hiking and biking trails, some camping inside the park, if you fit which we would not have, horseback riding and more. Just outside Zion is a cute little town, Springdale, Utah with a bunch of restaurants and stores to explore.
We decided to start off just driving the main road, the Zion-Mount Carmel Highway, and see what hiking trails peeked our interest. There is a tunnel on this route that back in 1930 when this tunnel was dedicated; it was the longest tunnel of it’s kind in the US and has a height limit of 13′ 1″ high. On the other end of the tunnel was the Canyon Overlook Trail that looked interesting.
The Canyon Overlook Trail is only a 1-mile round trip trail, but it feels a lot longer than that. As you can see from the pictures, it can get pretty steep and narrow at times. There are many stopping points along the way for some really cool views. But once you get to the top, oh my! The view is spectacular. So totally worth the climb. See the first picture to see what I am talking about.
Our next adventure we decided to do with our friends Carol and Barry. They had been to Zion before (it’s one of there favorites as well) and they had previously hiked The Narrows trail and said that was one trail that we had to do.
The Narrows is not your average hiking trail. It actually takes you into the Virgin River. Yes, you are hiking in the river. So be prepared to get wet. Thanks to our friends and their previous experience, we all rented neoprene socks and waterproof hiking boots from Zion Canyoneering Outfitters. Best move ever! If you plan on hiking the narrows, don’t expect to wear your own hiking boots or what have you. You are going to get really wet. Rent the proper equipment and you’ll be much happier in the end.
The Narrows Trail starts off pretty calm. A one-mile hike, on a paved path, down to the river. This is where unprepared people just take off their shoes and go wading on the rocks. When we started the hike it was around 10am and we didn’t end until after 2pm. Serious hikers traverse the entire 16-mile (one way) trail. We went about 3-4 miles before we turned around and headed back. The Narrows Trail is one of Zion’s most famous and most popular hiking trails. We found that most people tend to only go a little ways in though. So once we hit around the 1-mile mark, we were mostly alone.
The Narrows really lives up to its name. You’re hiking in the Virgin River between two large canyon walls, which get more and more narrow as you hike further and further. At one point you could touch both sides of the walls with your walking sticks. It was an amazing hike that we both highly recommend. Just make sure you are prepared so it’s a pleasant day. There are so many pictures that we took, it really was hard to pick which ones would make it into the post.
Zion National Park is a must see when you are traveling in/through this area. Even if you only have a day to visit, I highly recommend you spend some time in the park.
Zion National park is not the only thing to do in this area however. There are a few State Parks within easy driving distance and Sand Hollow State Park is one that is right in town. We noticed there was a Razor rental company in town, Southern Utah Adventure Center and after we had such a great experience in Moab on the Razor, we couldn’t pass up another opportunity to take one out for a spin. You can even drive the Razor right to the sand dunes and the park.
It sure is beautiful country out here. Sand Hollow State Park has a campground (we would have fit, however, it was not full hook-up), a boat launch with a fairly good-sized lake that was surrounded by the Sand Hollow Recreation Area and sand dunes galore.
The sand dunes were a completely different experience than our previous Razor experience of rock crawling in Moab but still tons of fun. And yes, you get real dirty. So be prepared with goggles.
We had so much fun in Hurricane that this is one place we can also see ourselves returning. Zion has quite a few trails that we’d like to try in the future and Razor rentals are always fun.
David did another great video with the quadcopter and various GoPro’s of our sand dune adventures. Hope you enjoy the video as much as we had making it. It’s a tough sacrifice having to do all these adventures but we are happy to muddle through, for you, our readers.
Posted on December 4th, 2014 by David
RIVR Media is casting for a new TV show on Buying RV’s…
Essentially RIVR Media is looking for people who have recently purchased an RV and/or people who are about to purchase an RV (within the next 2-3 months). All families will be compensated for their time ($2000 per couple) if selected.
There is only a limited amount of time to cast all the episodes across the country with January 12, 2015 being the deadline to get your application in. In other words, you will want to read the attached flyer and send in an email soon, for they will also be shooting even before January 12th.
So why not get “Outside Your Bubble” and do something different and be on TV. (See what I did there, I just blew your mind by using our blog name differently.
(Ok, Ok, despite the old looking RV photo, this is for real.)
Posted on November 28th, 2014 by Brenda
When we left the Moab area we drove to Bryce Canyon for a few days. We stayed at Ruby’s RV Park right there in Bryce Canyon village.
Ruby’s was a decent campground, very big rig friendly. This is the closest campground to Bryce Canyon. So if you are looking for convenience, this is your place. Keep in mind that even though Bryce Canyon is open year round, Ruby’s campground is not. We were there in mid-October and that was the end of their season.
Ruby’s actually has a pretty interesting history. In 1916 Rueben (Ruby) Syrett brought his family to the area to settle down. A few weeks after his arrival, a local rancher told him about the nearby canyon. They were so impressed by what they saw that they not only took full advantage to tell people of the canyon’s beauties, but they also became hosts to its visitors. By 1919 they had obtained permission from the state to build a lodge, the “Tourist Rest”, near the brink of the canyon. Today the town, small that it is with only one stop light (the only stop light in the entire county) is full of hotels, restaurants, grocery store and campground all part of Ruby’s legacy.
In 1923 Bryce Canyon became a National Monument and 1928 it was designated a National Park. Bryce Canyon is named after Mormon Pioneer Ebenezer Bryce and his wife, whom came to the area to settle down and stumbled upon this canyon.
Bryce Canyon was actually a little smaller than we thought it was going to be. Just one road in and out, only 18 miles long. There are however, lots of hiking trails in and around the area.
High elevation, clean dry air and lack of light pollution make Bryce Canyon one of Earth’s darkest places. To take advantage of that, the park has what they call, “Dark Rangers”. They guide you on nighttime hikes and have telescopes to view the nighttime sky. This is a seasonal adventure, so when we were there in October, they were not offering this program.
There are many turn-off points along the road with various viewing points and hikes. On a clear day you can see over 100 miles from Bryce Canyon due to the high elevation and pure air quality. There is also a lot of wildlife in this area. We saw the Steeler’s Jay, Black Chinned Hummingbirds and White-Breasted Nuthatches. But one in particular seemed to follow us, the Raven. These guys were smart. They went everywhere the people went hoping someone would throw them some food. Even though you are not supposed to feed the animals, people do, as they did when we were there. They would swoop in and just stare at you. Hoping for something and they usually got it. They were patient. It was amazing to us at how adept they were at being around humans. They really didn’t care if you walked towards them or not. This did make for some nice pictures. It was as if they were posing.
So Bryce Canyon is a nice to place visit. I would recommend it if you have not already been there. It’s easy to get to. The drive takes you through some really beautiful country and woods. In October the leaves were still changing into their yellows and reds. The nights were crisp but the days were warm. Ruby’s as well as Bryce Canyon were not crowded. This was truly the perfect time of year to go.