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Texasrvers
In other threads on this forum I have said that I did not like to use third party or outside vendors to receive Wi-Fi at RV parks. I have always felt they were difficult to use (couldn't get signed up or logged on), were unreliable (weak signal, frequent drops, slow), did not provide good technical service if (when) something went wrong, and were excessively expensive. I much preferred the park to have their own "free" system. (I know they still get their service from an outside provider, but I would not be dealing directly with that provider to set up my service.)

Recently, though, we stayed at a park with an outside wireless provider called thewirelessweb.com which provided excellent service. (And I am in no way affiliated with them.) It was very easy to get started and to buy more time when needed. You could purchase 24 hours at a time, and I think they had a discount for a weekly service, but I'm not sure. The signal was strong and fast, and since we had no problems whatsoever I did not get to experience their technical service--but that's a good thing. They were still a bit on the expensive side, but not outrageous, and we think the the good service was worth the cost. I don't know if the park or the provider sets the fees so it is possible they are either more or less expensive other places.

I know there are still a lot of variables that may have luckily come together to provide our good service this time, but if all third party Wi-Fi providers were this good all the time it would solve a lot of the service problems that we RVers have.
pianotuna
Hi Texasrvers,

The rates are listed here.

The Wireless Web

Coverage is quite limited unfortunately.

Coverage

RV Camper
There is a lot involved in good wireless communication. Wifi can be blocked by things like trees, very large RVs, weather and a lot of other issues. To give really good coverage in an RV park that has large trees requires a lot of well located equipment. A park that has young trees may have excellent coverage until the trees grow, then it could go south.

It really is a difficult issue for a park or a service. And it can be expensive to supply coverage which is good everywhere in the park, in all seasons. And it may be that you had great service, while some parts of the park did not.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(Kirk @ Sep 28 2009, 06:37 PM) *

it may be that you had great service, while some parts of the park did not.


That is one of the variables that I had in mind--we were parked in the right place. Other things that could have contributed to our good service are: We were in a rather treeless area, and there were no large high profile RV's around us. The park was almost empty so that probably made it easier to get on-line. The Wi-Fi gods were just smiling for a change.
Florida Native
As I have said many times, a good WiFi antenna is really a good investment if you camp a lot and use the web alot.
Jerry S
Hi TX,

I'm guessing you are refering to the service at Paragon. I have used that service every time I have stayed there. I figured out last year that I have stayed there at least 200 days in the past 13-14 years on my bi-annual May and October trips south. In all that time, I've had only a handful of problems with that service. To be honest, a couple of those were my fault. I have been there when the park was full and the service was still good. Since I usually stay in the first few rows, I can't say whether or not the coverage is good in the back of the park.
Texasrvers
Hi Jerry,

Haven't heard from you in a while. Actually we almost always stay in the back of the park and that's where we got good service this time. I hate the high fee, but I do enjoy the good service. As you know this is not our first time there, but it has been over a year and a half since our last stay. I don't recall them having the outside vendor in the past. Maybe we just didn't sign up because, as I said, we generally do no like them, but I was impressed this time. Wish everywhere we stayed was that good.

TX
Parkview
smile.gif

Hi Tex, et al,

I have not weighed in on the wifi issues lately because this subject has been so cussed and discussed over the last few years that there is little to be said or refuted that hasn’t already been said a number of times. However, the issue of third party providers keeps popping up along with the question of which of them are “good” or “bad”. As a park which has been involved in trying to establish quality wifi service since we opened our park in 2001, we have dealt with three different companies in an attempt to “perfect” the service.

We were disappointed with the results from the first two companies, but I would still not refer to them as bad companies; they spent many hours on site surveys and experimentation on different types of equipment (satellite dishes, radio antennas, repeaters, routers, etc.). The issues were many, topography of the park, bandwidth overuse with the satellite companies, trees, and the occupancy level of the park itself. Both of the companies worked very hard and diligently, but finally gave up. The second company was getting close to the quality of service that we and our customers desired, but ran short of capital and sold out to our current provider.

We finally have a system in place that I am very pleased with as are our customers. Two things happened in addition to the change of ownership of the provider; first, the new company provided us with new site surveys and recommended additional equipment, which I purchased upon their advice; and second, our rural telephone coop finally brought DSL service into our park enabling us to abandon the disappointing satellite service. We currently have three separate directional radio antennas and two omnidirectional repeaters at strategic locations within the park. I have spent over $14,000 dollars in equipment and installation alone over the years to finally get to a system we are proud of.

In addition to the three companies I have dealt with directly, I spoken and negotiated with a number of others over the years, and many of them provide very similar services with slight variations in business models. This finally leads to my main point – any wifi service provided through a third party is only as good as the signal coming into the park and the equipment that the park us willing to purchase in order to feed that signal out to all areas of the park. Incoming satellite service will never equal the speed of incoming DSL service and will be even more disappointing unless the park is willing to purchase upgraded bandwidth packages from the satellite companies, and the additional bandwidth packages are not cheap. Even with DSL, there are different bandwidth and speed packages available for different prices. In other words, you may receive excellent service from Provider A at one park and mediocre to poor service from that same provider at another park. This explains why some comments on this forum will praise certain third party providers while others express disappointment with the same companies.

For us, the advantages of the third party provider are numerous. They provide our customers with real 24/7 tech support and help them with logon problems at any time of the day or night – these logon problems are very often simply a matter of incorrect settings on the customer’s computer, not a problem with our wifi system. Also, they remotely and continuously monitor our system and e-mail us immediately if there is a problem with an antenna, a repeater, or a router at our site. We can usually correct these problems with a reboot, but it is great to receive the timely notification of the problem and the steps we need to take to correct the problem.

We have a rustic campground bordering us on one side, another RV park bordering us on the other side and the Garner State Park, the busiest in Texas, directly across the river from us. A recent review for Garner State Park on this site rated the State Park highly in part because “they even had wifi”. The State Park does not have a wifi system but our system does now reach into some areas of the State park as well as the camps bordering us.

In summary, I believe very strongly in the value and service provided by some third party wifi providers. They are much more to us than a simple billing mechanism. I know that our system would not be what it is without them. I am sorry that this post got so lengthy, but I hope it sheds a little light on third party providers from a park owner.

Doug
Texasrvers
Parkview, As usual you have provided a good insight into what it takes to provide a good Wi-Fi system. Thanks for the input.
Florida Native
Nice post Parkview. One question. When the folks at the state park are using your service, they have to pay directly to the third party online which I assume you get a cut, but doesn't this slow the service on your park' customers? It seems like that might be a problem for your customers.
Parkview
smile.gif

Hi Lindsay,

You would be correct, except that I have purchased the upgraded additional bandwidth package from our local telephone coop. In fact, I have purchased two of those packages on different phone lines, one for our 6-computer inter office local network and one for the wifi system. This keeps our office work from slowing down our wifi users and vice versa. We have had no problems, but if we run into slowdown problems in the park we will just purchase another package on another phone line to run through the park.

You are also correct that we receive a cut from users in the State Park and the neighboring camps. That is because we chose to purchase all of the equipment, installation and maintence outright. Our provider has 2 plans - one whereby they pay for all equipment, installation and maintenance and they keep 100% of the revenue; and the other whereby we pay for all equipment, installation and maintenance in exchange for 30% of the revenue generated. In both cases, we must pay for the incoming bandwidth, whether by satellite or DSL. After 9 years, for the last 3 quarters we have finally reached the point where our revenue share has exceeded what we pay for the DSL - a positive cash flow at last.

I will not live long enough to recover what I have spent on equipment, installation and maintenace over the last nine years, but that is not our goal. The goal is to furnish our customers a wifi system that they are happy with. It is not free, but there is no such thing as free wifi in spite of what some may claim.

Thanks again,
Doug
John Blue
Doug,

Great information on the on going Wi-Fi problems. It is good to know park owners take pride in keeping everything working as best that they can. I wish more park owners would read this and take note. By the time all the problems are worked out we will be on the next generate of equipment and everyone can start over.
Florida Native
QUOTE
The goal is to furnish our customers a wifi system that they are happy with. It is not free, but there is no such thing as free wifi in spite of what some may claim.


I have to believe that it has increased your business and has made you money in that respect as well as being a stong factor in your rate decisions. Unfortunately, some of these positive things could carry over to your competator, the state park, which could have the affect of hurting your business. (I assume they are much cheaper than you.) When we had our lodging facaulity, we had some folks at a deli "poaching" our signal and I put in a password. The owner actully came and asked me for the password. In our camping lifestyle, I have "poach signals when I can and feel that people always have the options of using a password and don't feel bad about it. If I were you, would direct your signal where the state park couldn't get your signal.
RV Camper
Doug,

As a retired tech who worked with data signals, I am really glad to see your post. I got ripped big time on this forum some time back for supporting RV park owners who charge guests for use of their Wifi. I have long held that no RV park can give free wifi, but rather those who claim to do so actually build that into their operating costs/prices. After all, very few businesses are intended to be charities!

As one who used a portable satellite dish for internet for five years, I can also confirm much of what you said about the satellite services, but it is still the only choice for really remote areas. They are subject to weather conditions both in your area and also in the location of the up-link from the provider. They are also subject to volume of traffic effects and if not limited in allowed volume they become quite expensive. The only true advantage to their service is their availability anywhere.

I have now dropped my dish service and gone to cellular which is getting to where the coverage is nearing universal, if the owner has the right equipment. I read that such services are starting to provide service to commercial wifi installations, but have yet to see one.

I have always had my internet through a wireless router, which is a low power wifi station but I also keep and encrypted signal to control who is using it, partly for my protection and partly to avoid competing with a park's provider where I may stay. As one who was once in business, I will not provide free a service that my host depends upon for his livelihood. And I still prefer to stay in parks such as yours, where the users of the wifi also pay for it. I used to pay, rather than put up my dish when in a park for only one night, and have never objected to doing so.

It sounds as though you not only have a good provider, but also the provider has some well qualified, skilled techs to do the work. Great post!
summerland
QUOTE
I have long held that no RV park can give free wifi, but rather those who claim to do so actually build that into their operating costs/prices.
No sir. The park I am at has not changed their rates since installing free wifi throuhout the park. If you don't charge, they don't come back complaining if it's a bad connection on a given day. ( well, actually they DO camplain; but no one listens) wink.gif
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(summerland @ Oct 15 2009, 05:35 PM) *

No sir. The park I am at has not changed their rates since installing free wifi throuhout the park. If you don't charge, they don't come back complaining if it's a bad connection on a given day. ( well, actually they DO camplain; but no one listens) wink.gif

Then they were overcharging to begin with - they are not going to keep the park open if it is at a loss. If they are paying for it, they are not going to "give" it away.

Unless some wifi provider is giving it to the CG for free - which I doubt.
summerland
QUOTE
Then they were overcharging to begin with - they are not going to keep the park open if it is at a loss. If they are paying for it, they are not going to "give" it away.

Unless some wifi provider is giving it to the CG for free - which I doubt.

Of couse it's given away. It's their own system. They insalled it. No third party involved. Why would you say anything about a loss?
Parkview
smile.gif

Whether it's their own system or not, the equipment still costs money and there are always monthly charges for the incoming DSL or satellite signal. As I have said, there is no such thing as free wifi, someone has to pay for it; either the campground owner, the users of the service or everyone who stays, whether they use it or not.

As for what the campground charges for camping and what is included or not included, camping rates are only loosely connected to costs. Generally rates are determined by supply and demand and what the local competition is charging for similar services. During busy seasons when we we aree turning away customers, we charge higher rates than the off-season when we are trying to fill empty sites. That is why we accept all discount programs in the off-season and not in the busy season. Once we begin to fill up during the off-season, you will begin to see off-season rates rise and deep discount programs disappear.

Having wifi does not allow us to charge higher camping rates, but it does bring more campers. If our costs of doing business, including the cost of wifi, exceeds our revenue we will go out of business - we just can't raise rates beyond what the local market will bear regardless of what is included.

Doug

summerland
QUOTE
Whether it's their own system or not, the equipment still costs money and there are always monthly charges for the incoming DSL or satellite signal. As I have said, there is no such thing as free wifi, someone has to pay for it; either the campground owner, the users of the service or everyone who stays, whether they use it or not.
Actually, no. You are mistaken. If the campground has DSL and they choose to share it with the entire campground; there is no expense to the campground or the campers. Yes, the campground is paying for their own DSL. They have to pay for it weather they share it or not.
HappiestCamper
QUOTE(summerland @ Oct 16 2009, 01:32 PM) *

Actually, no. You are mistaken. If the campground has DSL and they choose to share it with the entire campground; there is no expense to the campground or the campers. Yes, the campground is paying for their own DSL. They have to pay for it weather they share it or not.


If they are sharing their single DSL connection that is not made for that many connections, people will not be impressed with the "free" wifi that is agonizing slow. If it was that simple, owners like Parkview could charge the same as the state park. People are willing to spend more at his place because of the extra amenities - and one of those is reliable and fast wifi.

There are plenty of discussions in other threads here where people were not impressed with CG's that just hung a router on their broadband modem instead of paying for the necessary infrastructure.. They were plenty that were willing to pay more for good wifi instead of lousy "free" wifi.
summerland
QUOTE
If it was that simple, owners like Parkview could charge the same as the state park. People are willing to spend more at his place because of the extra amenities - and one of those is reliable and fast wifi.
Guess I don't get what you're saying. I have ALL amenities INCLUDING free FAST wifi. If you have the proper antennas spread out at strategic areas of the park, it is as fast as the broadband in the office. Sorry I missed the previous discussions regarding this. Maybe you are not aware of the poor quality and reliability of some of the "pay" wifi services. Tengo has been nothing but problems for most parks. Linkspot has been very iffy. I have found MUCH faster and more reliable service with our own system. I have had this system in place for four years. The only occasional complaint I will get is when the park is 100% full and the signal is having difficulty getting in to their rig. They then simply move the computer a few feet inside or go out on the picnic table.
Parkview
dry.gif

Well, I say again, there is no such thing as free wifi. You say yours is free and that you are just beaming the free wifi out to the park. Whatever? I guarantee that nobody is sending wifi out to the parh without radio antennas, wifi routers, and probably repeaters if you want to cover the entire park. Those things are not free. I do not have either Tengo or Linkspot, but I know of many parks that are very happy with their service, and I say again their service is only as good as the equipment and/or signal that the park is willing to pay for. If you are providing wifi to your park, you must have such equipment and that equipment and the maintenance of it is not free. You may be providing wifi at no additional costs to your customers, but the equipment and incoming signal does cost money and therefore is not free. You are either paying for it yourself, charging users for it, or including it in your rates, in which case all campers are paying for it whether they use it or not.

I have been down this road for the last nine years and finally have a system that our campers are happy with, and it could not possibly be as good as it is without the third party provider unless I happened to be a full fledged tech geek, which I am not. Again, the geatest value to me of the third party provider is 24 hour tech support for our customers and 24 hour remote monitoring of all of our equipment with telephone or e-mail notification of problems first thing the next morning.

Doug
Florida Native
QUOTE
You are either paying for it yourself, charging users for it, or including it in your rates, in which case all campers are paying for it whether they use it or not.


This same statement can be said of any amenity from sewer to water, to TV, paved roads, ETC. WiFi is just a recent amenity and we tend to think of it as something special. It is quickly becoming a necessary part of a campground.
Parkview
smile.gif

True Lindasy, but less than 30% of our customers use the wifi, but all use the paved driveways, water, sewer, and electric. And none of the people from the adjoining 2 camps or the State park use any of those things, but they do use our wifi. My main interest is to make it as good as it can be, and if my customers are happy, I and my staff are happy, and we even attract a few more customers from the State Park and the adjoining camps.

Also, I have never seen an ad proclaiming free paved roads, free sewer or free electric

Doug
summerland
PARKVIEW, you are wanting to bunch us all into the situation that you have. It's great that it works for you. What works or me is having a "computer geek" who enjoys maintaining our system in his spare time at no charge to us. The entire cost (other than our own DSL service) has been less than $200 and the system has been in place for over 4 years. Our rates have NOT CHANGED. I do not understand why you find this so hard to believe. It works for me. I tried Tengo and Linkspot and the service was terrible, so was the tech support.
Parkview
smile.gif

Sorry Summerland,

I did not mean to offend. My only reason in entering this conversation was to point out the advantages of a third party provider for folks like me who are not computer geeks. When I need concrete work done, I contract with a concrete man; when I need major electrical work done, I call an electrician; when I needed wifi installed, I contracted with a wifi company. And I happen to be very happy with the service I get from my current provider, especially the 24 hour tech support and remote monitoring of our system.

I envy you if you have the knowledge and personnel to build your own system; but I do not. At least not a system of the quality provided by our current provider. As for camping rates, our wifi would have no impact, whether we included it at no charge or not - our rates are based on occupancy demand, competition, and return on investment yield curve. Wifi is just another line item expense.

Good luck to you and your business.

Doug
Parkview
smile.gif

Sorry Summerland,

I did not mean to offend. My only reason in entering this conversation was to point out the advantages of a third party provider for folks like me who are not computer geeks. When I need concrete work done, I contract with a concrete man; when I need major electrical work done, I call an electrician; when I needed wifi installed, I contracted with a wifi company. And I happen to be very happy with the service I get from my current provider, especially the 24 hour tech support and remote monitoring of our system.

I envy you if you have the knowledge and personnel to build your own system; but I do not. At least not a system of the quality provided by our current provider. As for camping rates, our wifi would have no impact, whether we included it at no charge or not - our rates are based on occupancy demand, competition, and return on investment yield curve. Wifi is just another line item expense.

Good luck to you and your business.

Doug
Florida Native
We probably average using about 30% of the amenities of a campground when we stay there several days and probably less when just overnighting. So the 30% of WiFi usage would be about average for all amenities for campers like us. We normally don't even hookup sewer or water until necessary (every 4 or 5 days). Rarely use the park’s TV, haven't been to a park pool in years. My shuffle board isn't too good anymore. I haven’t been to an event in the rally building. We usually do laundry at a commercial site as it’s normally cheaper. We do frequently use the book exchanges a lot, but I expect the cost there is minimal. We do enjoy the companionship of a campground. We are paying for all of these amenities even though we don’t use but the 30% of them . I don’t see WiFi as any different other amities except that it can take a lot of technical knowledge getting started. Strannely enough, as far a WiFi is concerned, I would rather stay at a Wal-Mart where I can get a good WiFi signal with my great antenna than a typical overnight campground where we don’t really use anything but the electricity.
jan-n-john
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Oct 22 2009, 02:19 PM) *

We probably average using about 30% of the amenities of a campground when we stay there several days and probably less when just overnighting. So the 30% of WiFi usage would be about average for all amenities for campers like us. We normally don't even hookup sewer or water until necessary (every 4 or 5 days). Rarely use the park’s TV, haven't been to a park pool in years. My shuffle board isn't too good anymore. I haven’t been to an event in the rally building. We usually do laundry at a commercial site as it’s normally cheaper. We do frequently use the book exchanges a lot, but I expect the cost there is minimal. We do enjoy the companionship of a campground. We are paying for all of these amenities even though we don’t use but the 30% of them . I don’t see WiFi as any different other amities except that it can take a lot of technical knowledge getting started. Strannely enough, as far a WiFi is concerned, I would rather stay at a Wal-Mart where I can get a good WiFi signal with my great antenna than a typical overnight campground where we don’t really use anything but the electricity.

I think you're putting your finger on the key points embedded in this entire "free" wifi debate.

Let's stipulate something going in. We all know nothing is "free," in the sense that everything has to be paid for by somebody. Sunshine, and perhaps clean air, may be the only exceptions to this rule. When the word "free" is used, it means "provided at no additional charge," not that there is no cost to anyone. Thus, "free wifi" means wifi provided by the park with no additional charge above the basic rate.

RV parks all provide some things "free." Electricity, water, bathhouses, and sewerage are typical. It would be very unusual for these things to carry an additional fee at least for short stays. But other things do typically carry a fee, and what typically does and typically doesn't seems to be more a question of what everybody is accustomed to than anything else. Consider the swimming pool and the self-service laundry. There is nearly always a charge to use the laundry, but almost never to use the pool, even tho it costs much more to build and maintain a pool than a laundry or a wifi setup and is probably used by a smaller portion of the campers. Why is this? In the end, I don't believe there is a logical, economical, or financial reason--it's just accepted by everybody that that's the way it is, and the parks' daily rates have come to incorporate it.

WiFi used to be a limited thing, but it is becoming the rule, and in a few years it will be thought of as just as vital as electricity and water, at least in parks that cater to those (like me) who use their RV's as an alternate home, not as a means to go out into the woods and "rough it." That being the case, I believe that parks, at least those who cater to folks who are traveling in their alternative home, are increasingly shooting themselves in the foot by charging extra for wifi. I know I tend not to book such parks if I can avoid it. I subjectively just don't like the idea of it, and objectively I am in part using it as an indicator of management's attitudes about generosity toward its guests, which may come out in other ways. I have been known to go elsewhere even if it costs a bit more. Call me nuts, but I don't think I'm alone. If we do wind up in a park that charges and we think it's too much (like over $2 per day), we have been known to just use the iPhones for our internet surfing needs, so they get no fee revenue at all from us.

In short, for me the bottom line is smart park operators will fold the cost of the wifi into the basic rate and let it go at that, as they all do for so many other things that also have identifiable costs for them. If they must charge, keep it reasonable. They'll get more business, life will be simpler for everybody, and the general sense of friendliness will be augmented.

Just my opinion.
Florida Native
I think it would have been better to exchange the word INCLUDED for the word FREE. When something cost extra and doesn't work well for me, then I tend to get PO'ed like most other old farts. When it is included and doesn't work well, I tend to sluff it off easier. Once again, a good omnidirectional antenna will be a great addition to a frequent RV'ers kit. This will solve many of the WiFi problems discussed here.
olivercamper
As a campground owner, wi-fi has been a real headache over the past 5 years. We have struggled, purchased new equipment, sought different avenues of providing the service...and guess what!

We now know why were having all the problems. Our campers were downloading movies, etc. ( must likely not legally) and pulling our signal strength down due to the "streaming". (We are not savey in the language!)

However, we finally found someone who identified the problem and we lowered the "download rate" to stop the downloading of movies ( although our signal is still plenty strong for surfing and emails) and we have no more problems...when I think of all the time and money we spent trying to find the "right" system when we most likely had the right one to begin with it is upsetting.

If you want to download movies, stay home and do it...oh yeah! It is not legal so I guess thats why you don't want to do it at home!



Florida Native
QUOTE
If you want to download movies, stay home and do it...oh yeah! It is not legal so I guess thats why you don't want to do it at home!


Ever figure that many of your campers ARE at home will they are at your campground? Downloading “movie’s” depends on how you define movies I guess. I download many, many videos probably averaging 2 or 3 minutes each during a normal surfing session. I just downloaded a 28 minute video on the upcoming Florida/GA football game. These are available free and legal on many sites. It is just a regular part of using the internet and WiFi. They range from political, news, humor, and the like. This is the way we keep up to date while we are away from home and deliberately slowing down your WiFi speeds seems to be, if you will excuse an old Southern expression, “cutting off your nose to spite your face”. I think the person who informed you about this illegality is way off base (at least in my experience).

campingoliver
As a campground owner I take offense when "campers" think they are getting ripped off at every turn. In respects to wi-fi we provide it FREE...we did not increase our rates. We have taken the view cable and wi-fi are both a part of the "hookup" package.

We spent about $3000.00 in equipment and pay $85.00 per month to our local phone company which allows us to redistribute their cable signal. For this small amount why would I increase rates when this ammenity has paid for itself over and over in people coming to the park then extending the stay because we have wi-fi and cable!

Unfortunately, many campground owners, like myself, do not understand the technology of wi-fi and are easily "convinced" that any given system is the best in the industry. I paid for 3 different "systems and services" before I talked with my local telephone company which set me up at a minimum of cost for excellent service and signal!

Now, as for cable....it costs me $1044.00 a MONTH for 70 channels, however, again, I did not increase my rates for the reasons outlined above.


Come on guys, give the campground owners a break.....most of us provide a pleasant, clean , safe environment for your family camping needs. After all, really is $35.00 a night too much for a family of 4 to spent 24 hours enjoying each other while camping?








QUOTE(HappiestCamper @ Oct 16 2009, 08:43 AM) *

Then they were overcharging to begin with - they are not going to keep the park open if it is at a loss. If they are paying for it, they are not going to "give" it away.

Unless some wifi provider is giving it to the CG for free - which I doubt.

Florida Native
QUOTE
After all, really is $35.00 a night too much for a family of 4 to spent 24 hours enjoying each other while camping?


Many of us (including me) are only spending 8 or 10 hours and using none of the ammenities except electricity. How much for that?
campNout
Parkview this is not about WIFI, I just wanted to say you have a FANTASTIC WEB SITE. One of the best I have seen. I love the 360 view of the park. I need to find out how to add that.
Lovely park.
Florida Native
As times change, I think WiFi technology and others will be vastly improving. I can now tether my new Android phone to my laptop and use it for checking the Internet.
MelindaK
I know the original post was last year, but I just left Garner State Park a day early because of the lack of WiFi. For me to obtain wifi in the park I had to go to the office. In addition, because of the poor wifi I was not able to download emails into outlook. Unfortunately, when I travel I have to have access to internet because of my business. My Verizon PC card does not work in the Concan area. It made my trip very frustrating. I am usually able to access some wifi and do my work late in the evening or early in the morning from the comfort of my TT so it does not interrupt my fun. This year I was not able to do that. We like going to Garner State Park as some of our friends still tent camp and we all like to be together and enjoy the trails in the park. But wifi is a big issue for me. I was at a point where I would have paid for WiFi.
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(MelindaK @ Oct 12 2010, 12:10 AM) *

I know the original post was last year, but I just left Garner State Park a day early because of the lack of WiFi. For me to obtain wifi in the park I had to go to the office. In addition, because of the poor wifi I was not able to download emails into outlook. Unfortunately, when I travel I have to have access to internet because of my business. My Verizon PC card does not work in the Concan area. It made my trip very frustrating. I am usually able to access some wifi and do my work late in the evening or early in the morning from the comfort of my TT so it does not interrupt my fun. This year I was not able to do that. We like going to Garner State Park as some of our friends still tent camp and we all like to be together and enjoy the trails in the park. But wifi is a big issue for me. I was at a point where I would have paid for WiFi.

The park may only have a dial up connection available to them. If it is so far out that Verizon doesn't have service, they may not have any broadband available to them. There are many rural areas of the country that you cannot get anything faster than a dialup connection. For DSL lines, there is a maximum distance between central switches beyond which DSL is not available. The only other option would be satellite internet which is crap for multiple users, has severe usage restrictions and is very expensive, especially for a state park system. The third party systems I am aware of require the Park owner to pay for the trunk line access, the third party company provides the repeaters, access points, support and billing services. They wouldn't help in a situation where there is nothing but dialup to start with.
Parkview
QUOTE(MelindaK @ Oct 12 2010, 01:10 AM) *


smile.gif

I know the original post was last year, but I just left Garner State Park a day early because of the lack of WiFi. For me to obtain wifi in the park I had to go to the office. In addition, because of the poor wifi I was not able to download emails into outlook. Unfortunately, when I travel I have to have access to internet because of my business. My Verizon PC card does not work in the Concan area. It made my trip very frustrating. I am usually able to access some wifi and do my work late in the evening or early in the morning from the comfort of my TT so it does not interrupt my fun. This year I was not able to do that. We like going to Garner State Park as some of our friends still tent camp and we all like to be together and enjoy the trails in the park. But wifi is a big issue for me. I was at a point where I would have paid for WiFi.


Melinda, there is Wifi available in some parts of Garner State Park, particularly the "old Garner" section in the vicinity of rock beach. I know because we provide it. We have a special antenna beamed into Garner from our location on a bluff across the river from Garner. Unfortunately, we cannot reach the entire state park from our location. This is all done with the permission and blessing of the Garner Park manager. Our Wifi signal also is provided to each of the privately owned parks on both sides of us. There is a charge for it if you sign up with a credit card on-line, or you can purchase a coupon from us for about half of the on-line price. Our monthly campers get the coupons free. I agree with you that Garner is great State Park, the nicest in Texas.

Doug
MelindaK
QUOTE(Parkview @ Oct 13 2010, 04:49 PM) *

Melinda, there is Wifi available in some parts of Garner State Park, particularly the "old Garner" section in the vicinity of rock beach. I know because we provide it. We have a special antenna beamed into Garner from our location on a bluff across the river from Garner. Unfortunately, we cannot reach the entire state park from our location. This is all done with the permission and blessing of the Garner Park manager. Our Wifi signal also is provided to each of the privately owned parks on both sides of us. There is a charge for it if you sign up with a credit card on-line, or you can purchase a coupon from us for about half of the on-line price. Our monthly campers get the coupons free. I agree with you that Garner is great State Park, the nicest in Texas.

Doug


Doug,

The next time I am in the State Park I will come purchase a coupon from you. I would like to check out your campground too for future trips.

Melinda
Seawolf
We are currently staying at a wonderful RV park in Yuma. I signed up with thewirelessweb.com for one week. We had just used it in Bullhead AZ and it was great. WELL NOT HERE!!! The first day was OK, next marginal and from then on +(*(T)(*^&&^%$#*(*!!!! Disconnects every few minutes, taking up to 30 minutes to just sign on, pages loading so slow it's like watching grass grow. I have talked with both the park staff and the provider with no results. Basically, in has worked acceptably 10% of the time and the other 90%, as useless as tits on a boar hog. I consider it fraud to take peoples money and not deliver on service. I will do an fair review on the RV park but this " internet service deserves a -20 out of a possible 10.
Texasrvers
Sounds like the one we ran into in Florida in April last year. That one was called WiFiRV. Totally unacceptable service. The first time we tried we were able to get logged on for about 45 min. After that we were never able to get logged on again. Calls to their technical service and customer went unanswered. I wrote them a letter and requested a refund. Never heard a word from them. I was going to file a complaint with my credit card company, but some of their restrictions kept me from doing so. I am still so mad at the company that I use every chance I can get to let others know about them. Now I wonder if they have a cousin in Yuma.
B. Kidd
I can empathize with CG owners when it comes to Wi-Fi. I full-time and use my Mi-Fi Verizon wireless. Weekenders and part-timers should be able to live without their computer unless it is ABSOLUTELY necessary for 'em. And if it is, then they should pay for it, or stay the hell home if they're so darn-ganged tied to that technology.
Thatz my first and final word on this issue!
Texasrvers
We are somewhere in between full timers and weekenders but are not really part timers. We take extended trips (4-6 weeks) 2-3 times a year. I can go without being connected for a weekend, but when we are gone for several weeks, I want to be able to get my email and surf for information that might be valuable or necessary for the trip, for instant locating RV parks and information about local attractions. I think that for many travelers mi-fi is a very good solution, but after checking on prices, we cannot justify the cost for the short period of time we would use it. So our best option is to stay at parks that provide a wi-fi service.

Also, I do not mind paying for wi-fi, but I do mind paying for it (or any service) when it does not work as it should (or not at all). I think what made me the maddest about WiFiRV is that they never answered their phone or returned my 6 calls or responded to my email. In this case I did not blame the RV park. This was a third party vendor, and the entire problem was their responsibility. I did mention it to the park office, and even they admitted it was a terrible service. They said they had been unable to get the wi-fi company to fix the problems, and even the park was very dissatisfied with their service. They said they had even tried to cancel the service, but their contract prevented them from doing so (without a huge cancellation fee), and they also could not contract with any other wi-fi provider until the WiFiRV contract ran out. They said they could not wait to get rid of the service.

So yes I, too, can empathize with the park involved in this case, but I still have no good words for the wi-fi company due to their total lack of service.
Florida Native
We have an Android and can tether the laptop to it on 3 G service. Kinda slow, but works anywhere. I think this sort of Smart Phone technology is going to make WiFi go away.
nedmtnman
QUOTE(Lindsay Richards @ Feb 10 2012, 09:16 PM) *

We have an Android and can tether the laptop to it on 3 G service. Kinda slow, but works anywhere. I think this sort of Smart Phone technology is going to make WiFi go away.


Where we are at the wifi ( campground owned ) is pretty much nonexistant unless you go up to the office. I got a Mifi unit online at Amazon.com to avoid a long term contract with AT&T and will use that when I need to. When we leave here we be where there s good wifi for a while so no need to pay for the service. I can also tether the iphone to the computer with a 5 gig plan. I agree with Lindsay that wifi will probably be old technology soon.
Texasrvers
QUOTE(nedmtnman @ Feb 11 2012, 09:31 AM) *

wifi will probably be old technology soon.



Sounds like we will need to move into the 21st century sooner rather than later.
RLM
QUOTE(Texasrvers @ Feb 11 2012, 09:42 AM) *

Sounds like we will need to move into the 21st century sooner rather than later.


It is sooner, now. http://www.datajack.com/products
Texasrvers
Thanks for the link. Now I just have to try to understand it.
campergal
I went to Boost Mobile, bought a Mifi 2200 (Virgin Mobile)...cost $149 - allows up to 5 units attached to it. I purchased a top up card from Walmart ($50) that gives me unlimited internet. I can now access internet anywhere, anytime, even on the road.

I am from Canada so I don't have access from my phone etc and this worked well. I don't have to worry if any park I am going to has WiFi ... for the record...since Jan 3, been at 7 campgrounds, only 2 have had free WiFi
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