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janmcn
I'm getting upset at making a point of staying in an RV park that has Wifi listed in their ads as one of their amenities and then finding the site I have, gets no reception...nor do many others! The latest was Orange Grove RV Park in Bakersfield, CA which advertised Wifi in their TL ad, but when I checked in I found it was 5 possible sites. I believe that if a park offers wifi they need to correctly advertise that it is "limited" or "throughout."

I think we need to complain to the campgrounds and TL and Woodalls, etc. about this deception...which not necessarily intentional, makes it inconvenient for those of us who count on periodic opportunities to check in with the 'net.

Jan
Big Ben
I'm in total agreement with you. Thats get to be a common situation. The park I'm in right now is that way.
Beastdriver
I don't know what to do about this. When I make a reservation, I specifically ask if they have wi-fi and if it reaches through the park. Oftentimes, I am assured they do and that it reaches all sites only to find that they have lied when I arrive. I guess the only solution is to continue to write them up on situations such as this on this site.Trying to get TL or Woodalls to be ojective is like trying to get water to boil when the pot is sitting on ice cubes.
Homer
I totally agree on this situation. The last several parks I tried to use WIFI in were at best non-existant to marginal. Half my mail did not make it out. In fact some were fee based and they were the worst. My thoughts are we can only specifically write those parks up on this site and warn others the WIFI is non existant to marginal. Enough people that care, will not use the park, and maybe they will improve their system.
John Blue
We see this all the time. In Berlin Ohio park was on top of a hill and number sites were down in a hole. We were 400 feet from office and it would not work, we found that only site number 1 next to office would work. Site number 2 would not work. We talk to people who own park and they said it was my problem. Other people in park has same problem, no WiFi.

In New Mexico we ask at check in would WiFi work at all sites. Yes, we have tested every site. I had to drive to office at night and park under ant. to pick up system.

Down in Arcadia, FL we could not pick up system. We see other people on way to office with laptops, same problem. We ask office staff what was the problem, well it works here. I checked out system, rabbit ears system from Wal-Mart good for couple hundred feet.

In couple KOA parks I carryed the laptop to office and under the outside ant. We could not pick up anything. Worked next day at a Flying-J fuel stop.

The only way WiFi will work correct in a large park is to spent the dollars to put in a multiply base system. The rabbit ear systems are OK in your home, not in an RV park.

I write up this type of information in all reports I sent in to this board. I wish we had a check list on WiFi rating from poor to excellence. I hope webmaster can add this into report. We will be on a new type of system before WiFi is fixed.
Homer
Great idea John. A short rating system for WIFI (free/fee) would help in determining before you get there what your chances of communication is. Might also let the owners know what RVers are saying about their systems. biggrin.gif
Beastdriver
The greatest service this site could provide to us would be to develop some system where, when we are rating RV parks, the signal and quality of the wi-fi could be included. We are currently staying at the Wanderlust RV Park in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. When I made the reservation weeks ago, I specifically asked if (a) they had wi-fi, and (cool.gif if it could be received throughout the park. I was assured that they did and it worked well throughout the park. A couple of days before we arrived here, I called to confirm the reservation and again asked if they had wi-fi and if it could be received throughout the park. Once again, I was assured that they did and it worked parkwide. Now, I am here, having paid for a week in advance. I am located in the dead center of the park yet can't get even a weak signal except on rare occasions and, even then, it is so weak and slow as to be unusable. I spoke to the management and they told me that "most people usually take their laptops down to the social hall where they can get the signal." This is completely opposite of what they told me before.

What if a park advertised a swimming pool but, when you arrived, it was only a hot tub? What if a park advertised clean restrooms and, when you got there, it was an outhouse? What if they promised cable TV but, when you arrived, it was at only one site? This wi-fi rip-off is becoming ridiculous and I urge the webmaster to modify this site to help us out. I am really frustrated by the whole thing.
janmcn
QUOTE(Beastdriver @ Aug 1 2006, 12:24 PM) *

The greatest service this site could provide to us would be to develop some system where, when we are rating RV parks, the signal and quality of the wi-fi could be included.
What if a park advertised a swimming pool but, when you arrived, it was only a hot tub? What if a park advertised clean restrooms and, when you got there, it was an outhouse? What if they promised cable TV but, when you arrived, it was at only one site? This wi-fi rip-off is becoming ridiculous and I urge the webmaster to modify this site to help us out. I am really frustrated by the whole thing.


I totally agree with Beastdriver about this. Many of us use wifi to conduct our business on the road, so it can really make things difficult when you plan to stay and conduct your affairs in a park, and then find you can't. I'm glad I began this thread and hope that we all can become motivated enough to really start complaining LOUDLY to the parks when they don't live up to what they advertise. This is one place we can all begin when we review a park...to mention the REAL availability of the wifi...along with cost. Perhaps the questionnaire can be modified to allow us space to rate the wifi on a scale of 1-5 along with the cost. Thanks all for participating. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is beginning to really have an issue with this...along with the poor power issue...but that's a whole other thread.
Jan
dmsscs
I am on a wifi network in a campground right now. It seems to be working fine, last weekend when we were here it didn't work so hot. I asked in the office about it and they explained that there were a lot of variables in getting a good connection, heavily wooded areas were harder to receive a signal in than in the open areas. The park is only 25 acres and they have 6 repeaters in place. They said no one can really promise 100% wifi 100% of the time at 100% of the sites which is why they don't charge for it. They said this is the 3rd. system they have tried to make it work and nothing seems to be a sure thing. What they are using now seems to be working...for now! They have one spot that eveybody can get on at their pavilion and most of the sites around it and in the field get great reception, then they have a few seasonal campers in the woods that put repeaters inside their campers to help boost the signal, too. I don't know if it will ever work 100%, but I would say they are trying!
blomquir
It's not just wifi guys. I've been to CGs that didn't have cable at every site and been to some that didn't have full hookups at all the sites. Wifi is just another item to be jammed on.
troyster
I agree 100%. The whole WiFi rip-off is just one more of a series of scam and shams that campgrounds use to lure you in. In some markets it's caled bait and switch. One needn't wonder why so few campgrounds are members of the local BBB. For the ones that are, a complaint should be directed to their branch whenever a situation like this is encountered.

I actually had a RV Park in Vernal Utah tell me to come sit in the laundry room to get online. If I wanted to go sit somewhere, I would go to the local Internet Coffee shop. The point is to be able to have the access in my "home".

If they can't provide that, they shouldn't advertise it.
Beastdriver
Almost as bad as deceptive wi-fi advertising is when they rip you off. I am currently staying at Jellystone Park (had no choice--no place else) in Frankenmuth, MI. They advertise they have wi-fi and, when I got here, after paying $59.00 PER NIGHT for a space, I find they charge for their wi-fi. Wi-fi is quickly turning into the number one disatisfier of RVers, and I am still hopeful the webmaster of this site will make some change that will allow us to rate and comment on wi-fi at specific parks.
Homer
I question the term "Free Wifi"; the places I stopped in that said Free WIFI were charging $5.00 a more a night than last year before they advertised Free WIFI. Even then the WIFI was only marginally operational. You go to the office and no one has a clue as to how their system works or even where the transponder is. So methinks this is just one more marketing tool primarily. What are you gonna do? Most of us stop because we are too tired to continue driving. I still think a WIFI rating gizmo in the reviews would help.
mastercraft
The other rip off with "free wi-fi" is that they advertise it for free, but that is only the first hour. Then they try to get 10 dollars plus per day. I also think it would be nice if we had some way to rate the wi-fi.
normanj
QUOTE(Homer @ Jul 30 2006, 05:33 PM) *

Great idea John. A short rating system for WIFI (free/fee) would help in determining before you get there what your chances of communication is. Might also let the owners know what RVers are saying about their systems. biggrin.gif



I am certainly not impressed about the lies told about internet hookup being mostly unavailable and wifi being charged quite expensively at almost every park I visited over the 4 months south this year. I would rate every park I visited in Florida at no higher than a 2 out of 10

It definately is only another gimmick to get you into the park and the expense for 24 hour hookup is rediculous.

The lies told about the "We're trying our best" are soon to be realized when you call the supplier direct to find the problem.The supplier is quick to expain that usually the campground does not call to get problems fixed, and the main reason is they tell the supplier,"why should we worry about it,internet dosen't make us any money,It costs us." That is where the problem lies and I hope it comes back to Kick 'em in the ass.
dmsscs
I have asked around about the whole outdoor wifi thing and it seems to me it isn't as cut and dry as you think. There are many variables, how many trees are there or other things that might interfer with the signal, is the camper you're in metal, do you have an N card or a G card in your computer? Is it compatible with the parks internet service? that interfers, too. I think the camping industry is changing too fast for the parks to keep up with it. I don't think the whole wifi thing is perfected for use in a campground situation. It seems to me there are no parks that have 100% coverage, if there are, I haven't found one yet nor has anyone I have spoken to, including the posters here. I am happy with a central location that I might sit at to connect. I have seen parks with modems on the pay phone, or a spot in a field. Just like cell service, you can't get it everywhere. I was recently in a park that didn't have cable tv, no cell service, no interent service and some kid slammed the handset on the pay phone down so hard it broke the ear piece rendering it unusable for at least two days. I will tell you, without the interference of these modern conviences, we had a great time "camping". We went canoeing, went to the dance, sat by a fire with new friends we made. The grand kids played volleyball, we entered the horseshoe tournament and won a hula contest. If wifi, cable and cell service are the things that are important to you in life, maybe you should stay home where you can get all those services all the time. We enjoy camping....roughing it with our dish network, our microwave, our air conditioning.. yeah roughing it, that is what I like!! wink.gif
Cheryl
Everyone has different priorities. To some, the wi-fi service is the most important thing. My concern is that a campground that is absolutely wonderful in every other way will get a low rating based on their wi-fi service. So, I totally agree that a separate rating in the review is a good thing. It shouldn't be too difficult to change the line that has wi-fi from yes or no to a 1 - 10 numerical rating.
mpj
JUst a comment: if the campgrounds say they have WIFI and it reaches a minimum of 50% of their park, Trailer Life accepts that and gives them points on their inspection based on that. If the range is less than required, they cannot advertise WIFI or get the points for their rating.

So, if a TL rated park has advertised WIFI and most of the park does not received it due to "obstacles" , you have the right as the consumer to contact TL and report them. If they receive enough reports that are negative, they will be checked.

In some cases, WIFI reception has a bearing on how your computer system/WIFI is configured and the composition of your rig - aluminum or wood frame. I believe there are campgrounds out there who are not trying to con you, but are trying to do the best they can. We have gone to some campgrounds that said Free WIFI - but were unable to get reception until we got to the laundry room. Then we had to pay after the 1st 30 min.

Just my POV. Thanks for listening.
Beastdriver
It needs to be understood that there is not a rv park in the world that cannot provide wi-fi to all the spaces in the park just as long as they are willing to place repeaters and proper antenna throughout the park. I have a MotoSat internet dish atop my coach that feeds down into a wi-fi router inside the coach. I frequently give my access code to coaches as far as ten spaces on either side of me so they can get wi-fi. The world is full of excuses but the bottom line is that, if you are not willing to buy the proper equipment, you cannot serve an rv park. I am tired of hearing these "the dog ate my homework" excuses.
dmsscs
I am sure you are right beastdriver, but at what cost to the park? You must remember that everything costs money and those costs are passed on to us the campers. I know for a fact that a park can have 100% service by hardwiring throughout the park, but that means digging ditches, laying lines at a great expense, so if the site rentals go up to cover the cost, will we then be complaining that camping has gotten too expensive? I think the service is free because they can't promise service to all sites and we should be gateful for the service we do get. I am at a park right now and seem to be getting pretty good service. I am in a field, and my dish is working pretty good, too! smile.gif
Beastdriver
Dmsscs: It costs money to run water lines, but would you stay at a park that wanted you to use water from your neighbor's site even though the park advertised full hookups? Or would you be happy at a park that advertised cable TV but only offered it at a few sites? This whole issue of making excuses for not providing what is advertised by a park is ridiculous. Parks are in business to make money for sure but if they don't deliver what they advertise, then they should be out of business.
johnwadams
How many try to hook up an external antenna to their WIFI?
I have a cell phone with a jack for one and when driving we seem to get one more "bar" by using one on the roof of our truck.
My notebook has built in wifi, but I think I have seen some wifi cards with the ability for an external antenna. TigerDirect.com sells an antenna "to optimize antenna placement for wireless PCI cards." # U13-4166 I think I have seen an ad somewhere for a PC Card or USB adaptor that allowed you to use an external antenna.
johnwadams
Here is something else I found. But you still have to have an external antenna jack to connect it to. I also found one review on it where the person using it could hit 8 to 10 networks from his beach house. He was thrilled. I assume he is using it to hit open wifi networks. ::::::::::::::::::::
TRENDnet's TEW-OA14DK Outdoor Directional Antenna provides long distance point-to-point connection for your wireless network. As an optional antenna for your IEEE 802.11b, 802.11b+, and 802.11g 2.4GHz wireless network equipment. You can install it outdoors for connecting to networks up to 5 miles (8 Km) away, or install it in the building to blast through obstructions. Designed for wireless access point w/bridge, router with detachable antennas, & PCI adapters with detachable antennas, you can simply mount the antenna indoor on the ceiling, wall, or outdoor tower. Unleash the power of your wireless products with TRENDnet's TEW-OA14DK antenna. Comes with the TEW-2000F N-Type Male to Reverse SMA Female 6 ft. (2M) connector cable and Bracket Kit. Will work with any brand with a Male Reverse SMA connector.


Specifications

Frequency Range: 2400 MHz ~ 2500MHz

Gain: 14.0 dBi

VSWR: 1.4 : 1 Max.

Polarization: Vertical linear

3dB beamwidth / H-plane: 30

3dB beamwidth / E-plane: 30

Front to Back Ratio: 15 dB

Down tilt: 0

Power Handling: 50 W (cw)

Impedance: 50 Ohms

Connector Lead Cable: RG-58/u, 27cm (10.6)

Connector Type: N-Type, female

Survival Wind Speed: 180 Km/h (112 Miles/h)

Temperature: -30 C ~ 80 C (-22 F ~ 176 F)

Humidity: 100% @ 25 C (77 F)

Lightning Protection: DC ground

Radome Color: Gray-white

Radome Material: ABS/UV resistant,Fire retardant

Housing Material: Galvanized Steel,Fire retardant

Weight: 0.825 Kg (1.82 lb)

Dimensions:
Height: 240mm
Width: 240mm
Depth: 69.5mm
Warranty: Three year limited manufacturer warranty
Homer
TENDnet sound like a heck of a piece of equipment. You detailed it nicely except for probable price. What say ye?? biggrin.gif
johnwadams
Discontinued per cos web site. Closest item is 8dBi Outdoor Omni-Directional Antenna
TEW-AO080
At a list of $49.95
http://www.trendnet.com/products/TEW-AO08O.htm
I think the price of the TRENDnet's TEW-OA14DK was $79.95. at www.Tigerdirect.com
I bought a desktop computer from them years ago (as in 300 mhz) and had no complaints.
They still send me an occasional catalog. They may still have some in stock. We spend 80 to 90 days a year on the road and I could see some value in having something that would both give me a longer range assuming I could get the system to work. At two CGs in Texas, we had good strength but the notebooks could not connect even though we had a good signal. None of us could play with our settings enough to make them work and the CG operator didnt know anything, plus the connection was free, so no one to ask questions of.
dmsscs
Beastmaster; actually I stayed at a $100 a night park in the Keys that was supposed to give me 30 amp service, and cable. When we got there, they let the tent site next to us plug into our 30 amp plug and we had to buy an adapter to be able to use the 50 amp plug that was left, even tho we paid for a 30 amp outlet and the site next door wasn't supposed to have power at all. To make matters worse, they unplugged our cable to put a splitter on so the tent site could use the cable, too. It rendered our cable useless because the splitter was so taut that it couldn't keep a good connection. When we went to the office, they simply said, sorry, maintenance went home. Obviously we will never go there again, but yes, I would share water if I had to. I kinda lost sight of what I wanted to say here. Water goes in when they build a camp ground, so those lines are in, the power lines are in and most parks that have sewers put them in when they were built. Internet is all new, these guys would have to dig up the whole place to get it in. If their provider is telling them they will have throughout the park, then the problem lies with the providers. A park may advertise thinking it is going to work, then in use they find out it doesn't work so good. Trailer life is already in print, what can they do now? I agree that it shouldn't be advertised as free if they are charging for it. At a park in Miami they said it was free, when I tried to get on the was a $4.95 charge by the provider, seems the park and the provider were two different things. It didn't matter much, I was never able to make the connection anyway. I think as the technology is perfected we will all be getting better connection, in the meanwhile i think I will get one of those antennas so I won't have to rely on how far a parks system can go. I have a fresh water tank, large holding tanks and a blue boy why not an anntena?! smile.gif
Cheryl
I agree they shouldn't advertise as free if there is a fee. Most parks that have water, electric, sewage, phone, cable, and even 50 amp don't advertise them as free. Those sites generally cost much more than a no-hookups site. Maybe they could have the site numbers that actually get the wi-fi listed on the map - like they do cable, sewage, etc. laugh.gif
genestoy
I think I posted this wifi antenna here before but if not here is one that really works great, is very small, needs no card and just plugs into your usb port on the back of your laptop. When I first got mine I fired up my laptop at home using the built-in wifi and received no networks (I don't use wireless in my house) then I installed the Linksys antenna and had 4 networks from neighboring houses and was able to connect to the internet from any of them. You can get varying prices all over the internet usually around $50. Here is Linksys info --

http://www.linksys.com/servlet/Satellite?c...FVisitorWrapper

I also use a Canary to check for open wireless networks while traveling as it is much faster to find a good wifi hotspot that firing up the laptop. They also run $50-60. Here is their link --

http://www.canarywireless.com/
jauth1
Hello....I had sime problems wiath Wi-Fi in some Parks...Your internal card is only good for about 400 ft....I purchased a Hawkings Technology PC Card wath Hi-Gain Antennia # HWC54D....Circuit City.com.....$59.99 ..Free Shipping...Improves Sianil by 300%...I now have very few problems...We are at a park that has 1 outside antenna for the entire park...I am about 1500 ft. from antennia and get ia Good rated signal....I talked to a Hots/Spotz Tecniacial support...That was his adviceiand it works for me.....The card inside your computer is a 1db. gain ...My Hawkings is a 6db. gaian....Big differance....Do a Google.....Jim A.
Homer
Thanks to every one for the information on external antennas for wifi. Think I will try at least one of those mentioned. Have made notes on the information offered. biggrin.gif
FordTruck
I'm responding from Lake Fairfax Park in Northern VA. They have WiFi service through Linkspot, who apparently provide services to a number of campgrounds countrywide.
I too have problems with the staff not knowing enough to help campers. They have 3 locations throughout the park with the transmitters/receivers/repeaters and they do have a pretty good signal and speed (11Mbps).
The way Linkspot works is they give you a box containing a CD, a USB device and an instruction booklet from the company. You download the drivers and Linkspot software and the instructions tell you to connect with the USB device plugged into your computer. At this point, it takes you to their site where you pay for the service (Hourly, Daily, Weekly or Monthly).
The difficulty then begins. What they don't tell you is that if your laptop has a wireless card already, you no longer need to keep the USB device plugged in and you can then just connect to the internet. IF you try to connect with the USB device, you get little or no connectivity. I lost 3 days of work (yeah, I know, I'm supposed to be RV'ing and not working but that's not reality for me) because I was trying to connect with that darned USB device plugged in.

SOMEBODY on the provider side needs to know the questions to ask and correct answers.
riggarob
QUOTE(FordTruck @ Sep 9 2006, 10:30 PM) *

I'm responding from Lake Fairfax Park in Northern VA. They have WiFi service through Linkspot, who apparently provide services to a number of campgrounds countrywide.
I too have problems with the staff not knowing enough to help campers. They have 3 locations throughout the park with the transmitters/receivers/repeaters and they do have a pretty good signal and speed (11Mbps).
The way Linkspot works is they give you a box containing a CD, a USB device and an instruction booklet from the company. You download the drivers and Linkspot software and the instructions tell you to connect with the USB device plugged into your computer. At this point, it takes you to their site where you pay for the service (Hourly, Daily, Weekly or Monthly).
The difficulty then begins. What they don't tell you is that if your laptop has a wireless card already, you no longer need to keep the USB device plugged in and you can then just connect to the internet. IF you try to connect with the USB device, you get little or no connectivity. I lost 3 days of work (yeah, I know, I'm supposed to be RV'ing and not working but that's not reality for me) because I was trying to connect with that darned USB device plugged in.

SOMEBODY on the provider side needs to know the questions to ask and correct answers.
woodman
Just a couple of thoughts.
First, if you're piggy-backing on your neighbor's signal without thier permission, you're stealing from them. It drives down their speed and gives you access without your paying for it. That's stealing.

Second, I, like Beastmaster, run on a Datastorm dish on my roof connected to an internal wireless router. However, it's been working so badly lately that we must have wifi for me to do my job. Until Hughes or Morosat gets this thing fixed, we're in it with you. BUT my point is that if a campground is providing WIFI based on a dish in any way like ours, then they are susceptible to the same kinds of trouble we're having. How can we hold them accountable for that when we have been trying to get help for weeks without success?

W
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