Misleading Wi-Fi Claims

Discussion in 'General Community Discussions' started by Beastdriver, May 25, 2005.

  1. Beastdriver

    Beastdriver
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    We've been to three campgrounds in a row that advertise that they have wi-fi, and are listed in Trailer Life as having wi-fi. Yet, when we get there, we find they have a very weak wi-fi transmitter plugged into the office with no signal available outside of the office area. In effect, the campground has NO wi-fi. I would like to suggest that, when folks write up a campground, they specifically address whether or not the campground has wi-fi that reaches to the sites. Thanks!
     
  2. genestoy

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    Beastdriver,
    I concur with your assessment of some campgrounds advertising ethics! A true WiFi has an exterior (or multiple) outside antennas to spread the signal thruout the campground. I have found a neat little device that all WiFi travelers should get to greatly improve their range. My laptop plugged in at home gets no WiFi signal at all with the built in WifI, but with this adapter I get three (3) neighbors networks (and this is through all the walls) and can log on to high speed internet thru them if I wish (I don't). You might want to check it out, and prices vary all over the internet. :)

    http://www.linksys.com/products/product.as...cid=36&prid=669
     
  3. Beastdriver

    Beastdriver
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    Genestoy:

    The device you mentioned sounds neat. What is its name and the cost of it, and where do I get one? Thanks!
     
  4. genestoy

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    Beastdriver--
    Here is a link to some prices and sometimes they are Ebay also. Just put the model number WUSB54GP into Google and they will come up all over. I know you will be ultra-pleased with this little (and I mean little) unit. A laptop does not even have to be wireless ready just have a usb port to use this as all the wireless card and antenna are inside it. the base detaches also.

    http://www.streetprices.com/Electronics/Ne.../SP1633503.html
     
  5. John Blue

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    Beastdriver,

    We also have found the same problem over and over. One site in Ohio would cover the front office only and it was a large park. Flamingo Lake RV Resort near Jacksonville had three WiFi boxes inside the park and you could pick it up anyplace you went. I add this informatiom to comments if WiFi is poor or will not work on our site. Campground owners do not wish to spend the dollars to get it right.

    I checked out the USB port WiFi and I think it would do the job. Also look at this one www.radiolabs.com and you will see a long range Senao card with a plug in antenna like a car cell phone. Write up said it would travel one mlie with no antenna, I doubt it. Price was $119.95.
     
  6. Homer

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    I agree the WIFI situation is not good at most campgrounds. This winter I paid dearly to be able to use it at our resort in Florida. It did not work 95% of the time. They had three transponders located around the park, but the signal was always weak or non-existent. At another RV park in Georgia the only reason we stopped there was to use the WIFI as advertised. Again the signal was next to zero and not usable. Tennessee same thing. In all of these c/g's the owners or management knew nothing about the system they advertised. They did not want to get involved with it at all, short of taking your money. These were all fee based systems owned by some outside concern on a revenue sharing plan with the c/g. Something is going to have to get a lot better for WIFI to continue. Most of us are computer grounded now days and while I hate federal regulations, some one needs to put their thumb on this problem. :blink:
     
  7. Browzin

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    OK for all of you that have a little tech. ability and enjoy making things of your own. Here is a web site that shows how to build a very simple wi-fi antenna that really does work!! I built one and was impressed with how well it worked. For less than $10 and a hour of your time you can't go wrong.

    http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/cantennahowto.html
     
  8. Stephanie Hochuli

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    I am glad to hear that others have this problem. WE never ever know if the wi fi is going to really work or not. This time out in
    Georgia, it worked perfectly in Hiawassee, as long as I went to the pavilion. Inside the coach, not a chance. Then in Elko, it again did not work.. Very weak signal, but they had high speed as well, so I simply used that instead. When we were out west last year, fully half of the campgrounds did not have any idea how their systems worked..Very frustrating.
     
  9. Webmaster

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    The real problem is the park owners or whoever is selling them the WiFi setups seems to think a nice antenna at the office hooked to a WiFi router will server the whole park. I've tried to use WiFi on this trek to the northeast more than ever before. I've had the best success with WiFi sitting close to the campground offices where I really needed to use it, I haven't found a park yet that I could use the service in the RV reliably.

    I'm grateful that many of these parks even offer Free WiFi, so I hate to complain, but I guess we need to let them know that their service is less than adequate.

    Here's the setup I would use, in case any RV Parks are reading this stuff! (hint, hint)

    To properly deploy WiFi at a park, you should have a WiFi router every 500 feet throughout the park. I consider Cisco 1200 AP Aironet WiFi routers the best option, from the last time I researched this. They can use 802.11A to talk between the routers and provide 802.11b/g service to your users. These routers are difficult to configure, but once configured I believe they provide the best service. Since they use 802.11A between the routers, you don't have to install any cabling for each router, just get power to it, and make sure it can communicate with the next router. One router ( the one at the office will need an ethernet connection to the internet. ) You can get a weatherproof box from http://www.hyperlinktech.com and put these routers all over a RV Park to provide the best service. ( you could print this out and share it with these parks! )
     
  10. Beastdriver

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    Webmaster: Good idea. I'll print it out and start giving it to park owners. In the meantime, perhaps, when you next update this site, the "wi-fi" designation could be split somehow--wi-fi in office area only, or wi-fi to all sites, and, of course, we could share this information in our writeups. Thanks again for your efforts and I hope you are enjoying your trip.
     
  11. texaskid05

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    Routers every 500 ft??? LOL I install wireless at hotels and have started doing a few campgrounds, (Check out the Van Horn Texas KOA) Its free, It not only will work inside your coach anywhere in the park, But goes out well beyond the park.
    It is One access point 59.00 One amplifier 250.00 One ant 18dbi gain 179.00 and will support 100 users. They only have 75 sights. 5 Routers,,,,rofl,,waste of money. two anteneas with two amps and two linksys access points (from wallmart) will talk to each other at 20 miles apart. But most people don't seem to know this or how to set it up.
     
  12. PatJ3

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    From a campground owner: we have installed for WIFI - a Siemens Modem, a Linksys Router, a Netgear Access Point + Exterior antenna (on the office building), a 2nd Access Point + Antenna approxiamtely 300 feet into the park. That only reaches 1/2 our park and has cost us ove $2,000 dollars. Problem: it does not always work out in the park. It flucuates to the point that I have to reboot the system every day and sometimes 3 or 4 times per day. We know it, our tech knows it, but no one can help solve the problem. We are surrounded by businesses that may have WIFI as we get addtional SSIDs when we search for our connection. Could this be part of the problem? Anyone have any suggestions? As a side note: we had a system last year that worked but got hit by lighting this past winter when we were closed and have had to replace everything (so our costs have doubled) Our WIFI is provided thru DSL. We are trying to get it to work and we are contantly apologizing. Most of the campers do not mind coming to the office because it is still new to them and I can help them get started. But right now we are very frustrated with the whole thing. We know it brings us campers - but we also know it is turning some away when they cannot get it at their site.
     
  13. Homer

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    :D mpj's post just proves there is two sides to every problem. What is most important, owners are reading these post, and from this we all benefit.
     
  14. texaskid05

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    MPJ where is your park located? You paid way to much for the equipment you have. Give me a shout
     
  15. RichM

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    Just got back from a six state, month long trip and found three types of wi-fi availability. 1: free, accessable throughout the park; 2: free, but you have to be near the clubhouse; and, 3: At a cost via a third party acting as a gateway and the pricing ranging from $5-8/day or $25-35/month, with a one year min. commitment.

    There are several different "for pay" programs, so if you decide to buy into one, it may not get you anywhere on your next stop down the road. :(

    The talks here have centered on items 1 and 2, but item 3 causes real problems. Why? Because the camp guide or a telephone call will tell you that they have wi-fi, but it won't tell you that it costs or that the RV park across the street provides it free. Personnally, I'd rather walk for the free service than pay more for wi-fi than I'm paying at home for DSL.

    I realize it costs the park owner to install wi-fi, so I'll offer my personal preferrence. Make it free, make it available over your entire park, and increase your daily fees a buck or two to off-set your increased costs.
     
  16. Big Mc

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    QUOTE(RichM @ Jun 22 2005, 09:00 PM) [snapback]2195[/snapback]

    Just got back from a six state, month long trip and found three types of wi-fi availability. 1: free, accessable throughout the park; 2: free, but you have to be near the clubhouse; and, 3: At a cost via a third party acting as a gateway and the pricing ranging from $5-8/day or $25-35/month, with a one year min. commitment.

    There are several different "for pay" programs, so if you decide to buy into one, it may not get you anywhere on your next stop down the road. :(

    The talks here have centered on items 1 and 2, but item 3 causes real problems. Why? Because the camp guide or a telephone call will tell you that they have wi-fi, but it won't tell you that it costs or that the RV park across the street provides it free. Personnally, I'd rather walk for the free service than pay more for wi-fi than I'm paying at home for DSL.

    I realize it costs the park owner to install wi-fi, so I'll offer my personal preferrence. Make it free, make it available over your entire park, and increase your daily fees a buck or two to off-set your increased costs.



    I am an RV Park owner and have been busting my back trying to keep a consistency in the wi fi in our park. I have done some research but I am very " green" in the area. I opted for the "up the rates" and offer it for free idea rather than charge for it. We are only a small park and every wi fi provider had unbelieveable rates just to get started. So, I did it myself. Our customers consist mostly of the elderly, but the "baby boomer" generation is making a huge impression on the RV world and greatly influenced my decision to get the wi fi for the park. I would greatly appreciate any help anyone could give me to make my wi fi more consistant and less of a stress on me. We are not the typical RV park owners. We are mid 30s w/ 3 children (seen and not heard......rare, I know) my husband works and I run the park to the best of my abilty but can use all the help I can get. Contact me via our website or I'll keep checking this site.
    A note to the site owners: This is a great tool to keep up with your customers needs. Some of us do care. This is not a money machine for all of us.
    Leah J Leon
    www.mcintoshlakervpark.com
     
  17. Big Mc

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    QUOTE(texaskid05 @ Jun 19 2005, 10:07 PM) [snapback]2181[/snapback]

    Routers every 500 ft??? LOL I install wireless at hotels and have started doing a few campgrounds, (Check out the Van Horn Texas KOA) Its free, It not only will work inside your coach anywhere in the park, But goes out well beyond the park.
    It is One access point 59.00 One amplifier 250.00 One ant 18dbi gain 179.00 and will support 100 users. They only have 75 sights. 5 Routers,,,,rofl,,waste of money. two anteneas with two amps and two linksys access points (from wallmart) will talk to each other at 20 miles apart. But most people don't seem to know this or how to set it up.



    If you can find the time please visit our website. www.mcintoshlakervpark.com If you would, please give me a few minutes of your time with a phone call. I believe you could help me help my customers enjoy their wi fi experience more. Many thanks in advance, Leah J. Leon
     
  18. ChamberlainCourt

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    We agree that "wi-fi" at most campgrounds equals possibly some wi-fi maybe at a few sites, not the one you are at - and high prices if it works and good luck on speed.

    If you are a regular on the road and depend upon being in touch, consider a broadband air card (available from all the major cellular vendors - be sure to check on their range area maps to ensure they cover where you are going). We have a Verizon - it works in any PC (you need a network card) you have set up the software in (very easy). Great speed, great reception anywhere there are Verizon cells (which is mostly everywhere). The cost is about $50/month unlimited useage. The card you have to buy is about $100 but there is usually a rebate of some amount and it is well worth it. The service can also be suspended for months for a small fee. Check your cell service vendor to see what they offer.

    We couldn't live without it. Forget modem hook-up messes, forget praying for wi-fi, forget outrageous wi-fi costs - go for the broadband air card. Verizon claims theirs works in some number of cities, but we have had great reception just about everywhere except where there is clearly no cell coverage. We use it as we are driving down the road - it's great.
     
  19. Beastdriver

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    Rich M: Good points, but the bottom line is this: It costs money to put in a swimming pool, but campgounds will lose business without one. It costs money to install cable TV, but many people won't stay at a campground without it. It costs money to install 50-amps, but you won't get big rigs without it. The installation of a good, workable wi-fi system is much, much less than installing either a pool, or 50-amps, or cable TV. Why do campground owners not understand this? Am I missing something obvious here? We just completed a seven-month road trip and, without exception, the single greatest complaint we heard at campgrounds all across the country was about their wi-fi, most often due to the fact that the campgrounds tried to get by on the cheap.
     
  20. RichM

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    QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Oct 12 2006, 07:03 AM) [snapback]5235[/snapback]

    Rich M: Good points, but the bottom line is this: It costs money to put in a swimming pool, but campgounds will lose business without one. ...the single greatest complaint we heard at campgrounds all across the country was about their wi-fi, most often due to the fact that the campgrounds tried to get by on the cheap.



    Yep, and a lot has changed in the year+ since I wrote that. I owned my own business half of my adult life and I know that improvements and upgrades cost money. The customer is the only one that can pay for those things but in a free economic system, competition forces moderation in price increases. With that understanding, I'm willing to pay for the services I get. Remember the day when you could get a site for $4-$8/day? Sure, inflation has accounted for a lot of the increase, but so has improved amenities.

    Still, I totally agree with the major complaint of the day being the shamefull wireless service being offered. You read the ad - Free wireless (or, maybe even "wi-fi available") - go there and discover it doesn't work, or at least not at your site. The idiots that run these ads trying to fool the RV traveler are doing nothing but hurting themselves.

    Personally, I think a data base should be opened here that allows users to post good/bad about any resort or campground as a personal opinion, complete with name, address, and mgr. phone number. Then we might see some sudden improvements.
     

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