Wifi ???

Discussion in 'Destinations and RV Parks' started by gilda, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. gilda

    gilda
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  2. Texasrvers

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    I read this review before I read your post and wondered what in the world the reviewer was talking about. They didn't supply enough information to know what really happened--at least their version of it. Maybe they will see this thread and explain things better.
     
  3. HappiestCamper

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    And they gave this one a 5:

    QUOTE
    Our reservation was made by a Nova Scotia information center on our behalf and a specific request was for wi-fi to our site. While the campground was very nice, there are many seasonal sites. There are lots of trees with some privacy between units and clean facilities, wi-fi did not work at our site, or right outside the office building or in the pavilion. The owners solution was for us to sit at the office counter to do our work however this was not acceptable. We chose to leave based on the owners' indifference and unprofessional attitude.


    So I wonder why the difference between a 1 and a 5? At least they stayed a week at the 1 rating.

    In fairness to the rater, the 1's website does say free Wi-Fi, though we don't know the particulars of why their PC couldn't connect. Every post they made talks about the Wi-Fi (10's if it is good), so obviously it is something they must have. For that reason, they should take Gilda's advice and get an air card.
     
  4. JVR

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    Unfortunately, the parks I have visited that advertise WiFi have never delivered a reliable connection to my site, if one at all. I don't expect it to work, but it would be easier for most campers to accept if the advertisement stated "WiFi may be available"

    I opted to buy an Ntelos air card $20/month, but it's not much better, the Verizon card is $60/ month and I haven't decided if it's worth it just to have internet on the road, it's actually nice not to have a connection.
     
  5. gilda

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  6. Florida Native

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    Once again, a WiFi antenna might have helped. If it was connectivity problems of course it wouldn't. We stayed in a park recently that advertised WiFi,but I couldn't connect. I just went to a free open site fairly close and forgot about it. Another camper told me that they had a 3 ar signal, but nobody could get it to come up. This is going to happen sometimes and needed expert attention on their end. I think it is a good point to bring up in the review an the scoring. Campground should not be advertising something they don't supply.
     
  7. gilda

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  8. Florida Native

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    We are rating a park for the time period we were there. Not anything esle. If WiFi was down the entire week, then I think it should definably reflect in the score. A score of 1 certainly wouldn’t be my choice, but having the WiFi down for a week is definitely a negative for the park and as somebody who uses WiFi and frequently selects parks for that reason, I certainly would be downgrading the park for that reason. I realize that you can’t change advertising for a short stoppage, but I would certainly would have expected the park to mention this important fact in a phone reservation. We almost never make advance reservations and always ask about WiFi when talking on the phone the day of the stay. When they advertise they have it and then take a reservation and didn’t say anything about it, the park is deceiving the camper and this is wrong and should be reflected in the reviewers score and mentioned in the text of the review so that future campers can be sure to ask about it before making reservations. I read reviews for exactly this type of feed back. It appears to me that many park owners and camper don’t understand that WiFi is an important amenity to some of us and we don’t like to be deceived about it.
     
  9. DXSMac

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    But to play devil's advocate, some campground hosts aren't very.... shall we say.... "tech savy" an they have no idea that the WiFi is or isn't working as it should, all they know is that it works in the office and they assume it's working fine elsewhere. Or, they don't know that it doesn't extend past the office, so it doesn't occur to them to say anything.

    That is when a review needs to mention it, and I always DO mention it! I also mention whether you "just get it" or if there is a "fol de rol" (have to get a code, etc....have to be near the office...).

    JJ
     
  10. gwbischoff

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    The point is, if it means that much to you, if your complete satisfaction (difference between a "10" and a "1") rests solely on WiFi,don't rely on others. Go get yourself an AirCard.

    Problem solved.

    That's like walking into a Starbucks and their Hotspot isn't working that day and then expecting them to give you free coffee.

    Then, when they don't, you tell everyone that Starbucks coffee sucks.

    Someone mentioned that the CG offered "Free WiFi". Well, you get what you pay for. What exactly should you be compensated for something that's free?

    God Bless America.
     
  11. Texasrvers

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    I'm gonna jump in here. I agree with most everything that has been said. Wi-Fi is important to a lot of people. If a park advertises that it has it, then it should have it and at a reasonable level of service. The general purpose of Wi-Fi is to be able to use it at your site. Otherwise you may as well just have a modem hook up in the office. I also agree that many times the problem is with the RVer or his equipment. (But try to tell some of them that.) If someone specifically asks about the Wi-Fi service at a park I think the staff should disclose any problems, i.e. not at all sites, not currently working, etc. However, I do realize that a park may have good service 364 days a year and that it can be on the blink the one day we stay there. And it is unreasonable to expect parks to change their advertising each time the Wi-Fi goes down (unless it is down for months at a time. And even then they can't retract some of the yearly ads that are already published.)

    I usually never lower a park's rating more than a point for very poor or no Wi-Fi service. If it is completely out while we're there I usually give them the benefit of the doubt that they are trying to fix it. If it stayed out for 2-3 days I might lower the rating depending on whether or not I believed they were truly trying to fix it. If they didn't seem to care about restoring the service, the rating would go down.

    AND I am still curious about the review quoted in the original post that started all this. On the surface it sounds like someone was mad because they couldn't get Wi-Fi and wanted some kind of refund or compensation for the missing service even though it was "free." We have all given our opinions on the situation, but we still don't know what really happened.
     
  12. gilda

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  13. Texasrvers

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    I have never used an aircard, so just out of curiosity do they ever fail or not get reception?
     
  14. westernrvparkowner

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    Aircards do require cellular service compatible to the aircard to be available. (not a given in remote areas) Speeds will also vary due to variances among cellular towers, etc. WiFi connectivity is a tricky issue. As Lindsay mentioned, antennas can be a big issue. Topography also comes into play. You can also loose signal if there is a large metallic object between your antenna and the campground's (big airstream or prevost anyone?) . A bandwidth hog may also stop everyone else from connecting. You may also be getting bumped off by a powerful in coach router that broadcasts on the same frequency as the campground..There are only twelve frequencies available for wifi broadcasting and only three are recommended for hotspot usage. Finally, the software you are using must be compatible and configured to allow connection to the wifi system. Our campground has equipment that is less than 2 years old. It connects to Windows and Macs without problem. However a Vista machine MUST have been updated with microsoft service pack one or it will not connect. I don't think this is the campgrounds problem, since it is an issue with Vista that has been corrected by Microsoft. But we have many guests who have not updated their computers even though the fix has been out for over a year and Microsoft considers service pack one a "critical upgrade". I am sure the campground in question does have WiFi service. It is unfortunate it did not work for the reviewer in question. But to give a rating of "1" to a campground that otherwise would rate a "10" I feel is a disservice to everyone who uses this site to get ratings about a park. Yes the park should be marked down if the Wifi didn't work but a "1" is stupid.
     
  15. gilda

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  16. Florida Native

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    People who are used to surfing the internet or doing big downloads or uploads are probably not going to be satisfied with an air card due to speed issues. It is great for those wanting to check email. Cost is also a factor. I can almost always find another WiFi source even if I do it the next day in town and this is getting a lots better as more and more spots are out there. If the swimming pool was shut down for repairs, I would expect the park person to inform me and WiFi is no different. I suspect that many times when it isn’t working it is something real simple like the computer or modem not turned on. I have made it a point to discuss WiFi with park people many, many time and frequently they don’t have a clue and rely on others. This isn’t a problem as not every body can be an expert in every field. I usually try to tell them that WiFi was one of the reasons I stayed with them and most now seem to get it that WiFi is important to a growing number of RV’ers and it can get them or cost them business. This has changed a whole lot in the last several years and will continue to go in this direction I think. As far a the rating, if the park owner was working on it, I problay wouldn’t cut of any points. If it lasted a week and nobody was attempting to fix it, I would take off a lot of points. Communication is the key on the initial phone call. A good business person can change a negative into a neutral or a positive and the good park owners do this every day. The key is for them to relize that WiFI is an important amenity now to lot of campers and they need to have it as advertised.
     
  17. Jerry S

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    Threads on WIFI may be the most discussed topic on this forum in the last year or so. I am one of those folks who use the internet at a fairly simplistic level - e-mail, some mindless surfing, research for travel (this site, park websites, weather.com, etc.) while on the road. The research activity is very important during my usual 8-10 week long summer trips. While I am not as foot-loose and fancy-free as some travelers, I do allow enough flexibility in my basic itinerary to allow changes to how long I stay someplace and/or where I go. The ability to research parks, areas, and weather predictions on a regular basis in my RV really makes this possible and convenient.

    Well, that was going off on a bit of a tangent. The main reason I wanted to add a post on this WIFI topic was to clarify my understanding of WIFI useage. There have been a number of posts concerning WIFI that have indicated that how you use WIFI effects the park's system. My understanding is that heavy duty usage (downloading/uploading things like pictures, movies, music, games, and other large files) can greatly reduce the availability of the system to other users of the park's system. I would like to hear from those of you that understand this technology a lot better than I do. Others in this thread have taked about antennas, distance, vehicular blockage, etc. Can heavy duty users be one of the things that cause other users to have problems getting on the park's system? I would guess that the size/quality/power of the park's system is a probably a determining factor in whether or not the system can be negatively effected by heavy duty users .

    Thanks from one of the WIFI technology challenged.
     
  18. gilda

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  19. westernrvparkowner

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    Think of a wifi system as a water pipe. There is only so much water that can flow through the pipe. If there are three or four spigots running wide open, water pressure and the amount of water available downstream is reduced. For campgrounds, a big problem is the size of the pipe initially available. Were I am located, the only wifi available is a "wisp" (wireless internet service provider I am talking about how the campground connects it's wireless system to the internet, not the campgrounds wifi system) Wisps are used when there are no wired ISPs available. They carry less bandwidth than a wired or fiber optic connection. This means a smaller pipe is available to begin with. Management of bandwidth is an important factor in a wifi system with limited bandwidth. We can throttle back speed by going to a lower quality standard (I.E. wireless B instead of G), but this gives poor performance all the time. Leaving the sytem at optimum speed does allow a high volume user (downloading movies, on line video gaming etc) to take all the space leaving others without a connection. A big concern is families with multiple computers for kids where each are online with video to their friends. They system can stall very quickly. We try to prevent this by giving one code to each guest and charging for extra connections. It works, but creates customer dissatisfaction because people believe the free wifi should allow them to do anything they want. I equate it with a guest checking in and then bringing by his fleet of water trucks to fill up at the site. We provide free water to guests, but there is a limit. If my campground was in a major city and not adjacent to a national park, maybe I could get more bandwidth, but that is not an option. My system is as efficent as possible. Guests must watch their bandwidth usage, not expect optimum performance during peak usage times and possibly deal with a slow connection. We explain this to everyone who asks about wifi, but that doesn't always prevent hard feelings. As I have said before, WiFi is a necessary EVIL to campgrounds. It doesn't generate revenue, but it does generate bad feelings. Hopefully in a few years, all computers will connect via a small satellite antenna and I can export my wifi equipment to the dumpster.
     
  20. gwbischoff

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    "WiFi is a necessary EVIL to campgrounds. It doesn't generate revenue, but it does generate bad feelings"

    Well said.

    I can honestly say that when I joined this forum, I never would have guessed that WiFi would have been the major hot topic.

    For a technology that was never part of the camping/RV lifestyle and didn't even exist 4-5 years ago, it sure has become a huge burr under a lot of folk's saddle.
     

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