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Author Topic: WiFi and Grand Canyon  (Read 2063 times)

ditsjets7

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WiFi and Grand Canyon
« on: November 18, 2017, 10:28:44 AM »
Hi all, so we hail from Woodstock NY and are planning our first trip x country in July. We recently purchased a 2003 Coachmen Leprechaun. The tires are two years old. Belts and hoses are good to go. My wife’s job requires her to telecommute and use a lap top. It would be so great if we could some how get WiFi for the Motorhome then my wife could work. I questions for you all.

1. Is a WiFi set up possible?
2. Taking turns driving is 800 Miles a day rational?
3. Does anyone have any “must see” stops along the way we should hit?

Thank you all in advance. This forum is full of the nicest folks who are always willing to help rookies like myself!

Mike

Alfa38User

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 11:01:02 AM »
Do you mean "WiFi" or do you mean internet access by a cellular phone data connection?? Using a cellular connection is easily arranged but can be costly. There are many discussions on this subject here, a search using the menu line above will lead to many, many discussions on providers and costs...

800 miles a day will be considered a VERY long and tiring day by most, perhaps more akin to a marathon.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 11:03:43 AM by Alfa38User »
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NY_Dutch

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2017, 11:06:39 AM »
WiFi will be spotty at best, and not always available everywhere you stop for the night. Most of us use cell based Internet service, either with a separate hotspot or a hotspot function on our cell phones. That can be costly though, depending on your usage and plan allowances.

800 miles a day is doable, but it won't make for a pleasant trip. We much prefer a 400 mile max per day that gives us some time to "stop and smell the roses" along the way. We like to make getting there almost as enjoyable as being there.
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Kevin Means

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2017, 11:09:29 AM »
Yeah, if you're talking about the availability of WiFi at a campground, it totally depends on the campground and the number of people using it. We recently stayed at the Grand Canyon Railway RV park in Williams, and the WiFi was strong enough to surf the web and send/receive email.

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rockin rockwood

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2017, 05:04:55 PM »
 I don't know anything about the wi-fi, but I do know 800 miles a day is an incredible amount! You might be able to cover it the first day but after that plan on 400 at most. You have to remember your stopping for lunch, tolls, stretching your legs etc. Even with 2 drivers that's alot. Over the years I've learned that I travel about 50 miles per hour. That's not my speed, that's actual miles travelled.

HappyWanderer

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2017, 05:11:32 PM »
800 miles means 16 hours on the road each day. Whether you're traveling 200 miles or 2,000 miles, 50 MPH average is the magic number.
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RVRAC

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2017, 05:21:52 PM »
800 miles a day.  Are you trying to kill yourself?  200-300 miles a day will be plenty.  Your tires are not to drive at the speed of a car.  Wi-fi is spotty at best.  We use what the campgrounds offer but most are not very good.  We use Verizon unlimited when needed.  Points of interest between NY and Grand Canyon are plenty but not driving the amount of miles you mentioned. It depends how many days you want to spend on the trip as this will determine how many places you can stop to visit.  Also, it depends on what kind of things are you interested.
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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2017, 05:24:11 PM »
I forgot, if you want to travel west past Grand Canyon, there are many more places but also thousands of miles.  Again, it depends on how far you want to go, your destination, and how many days are you setting apart.
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ditsjets7

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2017, 05:43:09 PM »
800 miles a day.  Are you trying to kill yourself?  200-300 miles a day will be plenty.  Your tires are not to drive at the speed of a car.  Wi-fi is spotty at best.  We use what the campgrounds offer but most are not very good.  We use Verizon unlimited when needed.  Points of interest between NY and Grand Canyon are plenty but not driving the amount of miles you mentioned. It depends how many days you want to spend on the trip as this will determine how many places you can stop to visit.  Also, it depends on what kind of things are you interested.

We have 2 boys 8-10. We’ve been mulling the Canyon or Yellowstone. Friends of ours went to Yellowstone last year. They loved it and said there was so much to see and do. I guess we are trying to decide which one. I figure md 65 mph “set the cruise” and every 5-6 hours my wife can give me a breather for an hour or two. I figured between the two of us we could keepnthe Wheels turning 12 hours.

rockin rockwood

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2017, 05:53:08 PM »
We have 2 boys 8-10. We’ve been mulling the Canyon or Yellowstone. Friends of ours went to Yellowstone last year. They loved it and said there was so much to see and do. I guess we are trying to decide which one. I figure md 65 mph “set the cruise” and every 5-6 hours my wife can give me a breather for an hour or two. I figured between the two of us we could keepnthe Wheels turning 12 hours.

Back in the mid 70's we went from NJ down thru arkansas, texas, and eventually to the  Grand Canyon, for 2 days. Then onward up to Montana and back to jersey...in 2 weeks! 6000 miles. To this day I don't know how he did it. I've tried. Lots of coffee, and I can only imagine what else. It was the 70's. My favorite part was riding past the Mormon tabernacle at 50 miles per hour.  Lol

ditsjets7

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2017, 06:02:13 PM »
Back in the mid 70's we went from NJ down thru arkansas, texas, and eventually to the  Grand Canyon, for 2 days. Then onward up to Montana and back to jersey...in 2 weeks! 6000 miles. To this day I don't know how he did it. I've tried. Lots of coffee, and I can only imagine what else. It was the 70's. My favorite part was riding past the Mormon tabernacle at 50 miles per hour.  Lol

OMG! That sounds insane!

Here’s my dilemma. If I can’t get WiFi I’m the vehicle while driving then the most we can go is two weeks. Two weeks is the longest my wife can get off at once. A hot spot won’t do it, she needs a WiFi signal. I know that new cars come equipped with WiFi so I was wondering if it’s possible to get it in the Rig? Im a school teacher so I have  the summer off. I’m thinking/ leaning towards yellow stone now. I am hoping we can get there and. Back in two weeks.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 06:11:46 PM by ditsjets7 »

billwild

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2017, 06:46:33 PM »
What others here have told you is true. 800 miles is way too much. You would get way over tired and not safe to drive very soon. If I were you I would check on line for RV parks along your route and phone or Skype phone ahead to check on the WiFi availability, or even read the reviews. Reviews will usually tell you if the WiFi is any good. Plan your route.


Bill

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 06:51:04 PM »
>>A hot spot won’t do it, she needs a WiFi signal.<<

I don't get this. A hotspot creates a WIFI signal.
For good a good connection it does depend on a good signal from your Cell carrier.
Using Verizon and At&T we are almost also have WIFI available in the coach.

ken
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 06:53:40 PM by Ken & Sheila »
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HappyWanderer

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 06:52:19 PM »
Vehicle WIFI systems are simply integrated cellular hot spots.
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ArdraF

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2017, 07:53:47 PM »
Quote
We have 2 boys 8-10...I figure md 65 mph “set the cruise” and every 5-6 hours my wife can give me a breather for an hour or two. I figured between the two of us we could keep the Wheels turning 12 hours.

I can tell you right now those two boys are going to hate the trip.  It won't be any fun for them at all because they will be bored silly sitting there all day.  Why?  Because there won't be time for seeing anything.

We both drive and we change drivers every hour or so.  My physical therapist says NO ONE should drive more than an hour without getting up and walking around, even if only inside the RV.  An 800-mile day in an RV is VERRRRY long and a 500-mile day is VERY long.  We can do it if we have to, but it's exhausting.  Remember, driving an RV is not like driving a car because you have to pay a lot more attention to staying in your lane, watching out for the idiots who don't know you can't stop like a car, going up grades that require taking it off cruise control and actually driving, etc.  By the time you figure in pit stops, fuel stops, traffic slowdowns, and food breaks, you really average only 50 mph as others have said.  Otherwise you'll be going so fast it will be dangerous and you might end up shaking the cabinets off the walls (don't laugh - we know someone who did it by averaging 70 mph from San Francisco to Florida with three drivers).

By the way, if you were to come across I-80 to Yellowstone it gets to higher elevations (7,000-9,000 feet) west of Nebraska.  If you decide on the Grand Canyon and drop down to I-40 you'll have elevations in the 6,000-7,000 feet range.  We have a lot of high mountains out here and that slows down mph which also affects mpg.

WiFi for people who work can be dicey, especially if it requires a lot of downloads etc.  Staying along the interstates will help as will staying closer to metropolitan areas where there are more cell towers.  Campground wifi is notorious because most aren't well designed originally and then it only takes one or two people who want to stream movies and there goes all the bandwidth.  That's why most of us devise our own system.  Because you just bought your RV you might want to look into a roof-mounted internet satellite dish such as provided by Hughesnet.  It's probably expensive but perhaps can be written off as a business expense on your Schedule C.  The drawback, as with all satellite dishes, is that you need to have a clear sky to see the correct satellite (e.g. no trees or mountains in the way).

Hope you find some good solutions to your questions and that you have a safe and FUN trip!

ArdraF
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NY_Dutch

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2017, 08:21:58 PM »
A hot spot won’t do it, she needs a WiFi signal.

My wife and I are sitting in our motorhome in the Southern Adirondack Mountains as I type this. We have 7 devices currently connected to the Internet using WiFi connections to one of our cell hotspots. We typically have cell based Internet service to our hotspots, even while underway. What is it about a hotspot that won't do it for her?
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ditsjets7

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2017, 09:15:09 PM »
I can tell you right now those two boys are going to hate the trip.  It won't be any fun for them at all because they will be bored silly sitting there all day.  Why?  Because there won't be time for seeing anything.

We both drive and we change drivers every hour or so.  My physical therapist says NO ONE should drive more than an hour without getting up and walking around, even if only inside the RV.  An 800-mile day in an RV is VERRRRY long and a 500-mile day is VERY long.  We can do it if we have to, but it's exhausting.  Remember, driving an RV is not like driving a car because you have to pay a lot more attention to staying in your lane, watching out for the idiots who don't know you can't stop like a car, going up grades that require taking it off cruise control and actually driving, etc.  By the time you figure in pit stops, fuel stops, traffic slowdowns, and food breaks, you really average only 50 mph as others have said.  Otherwise you'll be going so fast it will be dangerous and you might end up shaking the cabinets off the walls (don't laugh - we know someone who did it by averaging 70 mph from San Francisco to Florida with three drivers).

By the way, if you were to come across I-80 to Yellowstone it gets to higher elevations (7,000-9,000 feet) west of Nebraska.  If you decide on the Grand Canyon and drop down to I-40 you'll have elevations in the 6,000-7,000 feet range.  We have a lot of high mountains out here and that slows down mph which also affects mpg.

WiFi for people who work can be dicey, especially if it requires a lot of downloads etc.  Staying along the interstates will help as will staying closer to metropolitan areas where there are more cell towers.  Campground wifi is notorious because most aren't well designed originally and then it only takes one or two people who want to stream movies and there goes all the bandwidth.  That's why most of us devise our own system.  Because you just bought your RV you might want to look into a roof-mounted internet satellite dish such as provided by Hughesnet.  It's probably expensive but perhaps can be written off as a business expense on your Schedule C.  The drawback, as with all satellite dishes, is that you need to have a clear sky to see the correct satellite (e.g. no trees or mountains in the way).

Hope you find some good solutions to your questions and that you have a safe and FUN trip!

ArdraF

I did not think of a lot of these variables. The last thing I want is for my kids to not like this trip. If we can do 500 Miles a day then that’s about 4 Days. Thanks for sharing all of this. I will definitely take this all into account when planning. Thanks again!

ditsjets7

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2017, 09:17:37 PM »
My wife and I are sitting in our motorhome in the Southern Adirondack Mountains as I type this. We have 7 devices currently connected to the Internet using WiFi connections to one of our cell hotspots. We typically have cell based Internet service to our hotspots, even while underway. What is it about a hotspot that won't do it for her?

From what she tells me the programs she runs from her lap tops take up a ton of bandwidth and she said that the hot spot would not work. Not sure why, beyond my comprehension.

How much does this WiFi equipment for the RV go for? Thank you!!!

Larry N.

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2017, 09:17:50 PM »
We have 2 boys 8-10. We’ve been mulling the Canyon or Yellowstone. Friends of ours went to Yellowstone last year. They loved it and said there was so much to see and do. I guess we are trying to decide which one. I figure md 65 mph “set the cruise” and every 5-6 hours my wife can give me a breather for an hour or two. I figured between the two of us we could keepnthe Wheels turning 12 hours.

12 hours may be 600 miles, if you don't take too many rest stops. And everyone is worn out when you get there.

Quote
If I can’t get WiFi I’m the vehicle while driving then the most we can go is two weeks. ..... A hot spot won’t do it, she needs a WiFi signal.

I think you have a misconception: Wifi, in and of itself, does nothing for you. Period. But if it's tied in to something else, then it can wirelessly connect you to something that can then access the internet. A hotspot will use a cell phone data connection to connect to the internet, then broadcast a Wifi signal that you can connect to in order to use the internet. The car Wifi's you reference are just built-in hotspots, and you must subscribe to cell phone data service for them to do you any good -- they just take up space if you don't have that service.

Without a hotspot, you can get occasional internet via Wifi at a few interstate rest areas, at a number of restaurants or other businesses, and away from town you'll usually be out of range. Of those I just mentioned, few will be secure, and many will have performance problems from too many folks using them to get good throughput for yourself.

When you park at an RV park for the night, whatever they may have in Wifi will likely be overloaded from too many users, though in the wee hours you may find some time that works OK. But don't expect ANY of these to do videos -- they're primarily set up to do web surfing and email checking.

Quote
Ardra sez: The drawback, as with all satellite dishes, is that you need to have a clear sky to see the correct satellite (e.g. no trees or mountains in the way).

I'd add that latency is another drawback, that is, it takes time for the signals to travel the 22,000 mile (each way) trip to the satellite, and with handshaking (that's electronic computer communication) there are quite a few round trips every time you click or issue a command, so you'll have several seconds (at best) response time, though once it starts the data may well be fairly fast, depending on your service.

The folks I've known who work from their coach(es) tend to have service from both AT&T and Verizon, to minimize the chances of being out of range of some cell signal.

BTW, large chunks of Yellowstone and the Tetons have no cell service whatsoever, so you may have a 5 to 30 minute drive to where you can get a signal (occasionally further). Both of these parks are larger than most people who've not been there can imagine. A 45 mph speed limit (lower in places) through an area that's bigger than some eastern states, with few buildings of any kind between campgrounds (except around Old Faithful) will take time to traverse.

I expect the Grand Canyon is somewhat that way, though I've never tried for cell service there (cells didn't exist when I was last there).

And listen to the rest of what Ardra says, about being tired, kids boredom (and worse), etc. She nailed it.
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ditsjets7

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2017, 09:45:26 PM »
12 hours may be 600 miles, if you don't take too many rest stops. And everyone is worn out when you get there.

I think you have a misconception: Wifi, in and of itself, does nothing for you. Period. But if it's tied in to something else, then it can wirelessly connect you to something that can then access the internet. A hotspot will use a cell phone data connection to connect to the internet, then broadcast a Wifi signal that you can connect to in order to use the internet. The car Wifi's you reference are just built-in hotspots, and you must subscribe to cell phone data service for them to do you any good -- they just take up space if you don't have that service.

Without a hotspot, you can get occasional internet via Wifi at a few interstate rest areas, at a number of restaurants or other businesses, and away from town you'll usually be out of range. Of those I just mentioned, few will be secure, and many will have performance problems from too many folks using them to get good throughput for yourself.

When you park at an RV park for the night, whatever they may have in Wifi will likely be overloaded from too many users, though in the wee hours you may find some time that works OK. But don't expect ANY of these to do videos -- they're primarily set up to do web surfing and email checking.

I'd add that latency is another drawback, that is, it takes time for the signals to travel the 22,000 mile (each way) trip to the satellite, and with handshaking (that's electronic computer communication) there are quite a few round trips every time you click or issue a command, so you'll have several seconds (at best) response time, though once it starts the data may well be fairly fast, depending on your service.

The folks I've known who work from their coach(es) tend to have service from both AT&T and Verizon, to minimize the chances of being out of range of some cell signal.

BTW, large chunks of Yellowstone and the Tetons have no cell service whatsoever, so you may have a 5 to 30 minute drive to where you can get a signal (occasionally further). Both of these parks are larger than most people who've not been there can imagine. A 45 mph speed limit (lower in places) through an area that's bigger than some eastern states, with few buildings of any kind between campgrounds (except around Old Faithful) will take time to traverse.

I expect the Grand Canyon is somewhat that way, though I've never tried for cell service there (cells didn't exist when I was last there).

And listen to the rest of what Ardra says, about being tired, kids boredom (and worse), etc. She nailed it.

This is great information. Thank you. Looks like work is out. Now the question is is it feasible to get there, have enough time to enjoy Yellowstone, and get back in two weeks time?

NY_Dutch

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2017, 10:01:57 PM »
From what she tells me the programs she runs from her lap tops take up a ton of bandwidth and she said that the hot spot would not work. Not sure why, beyond my comprehension.

How much does this WiFi equipment for the RV go for? Thank you!!!

AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile all offer unlimited data hotspot plans at various price points. Of the four cell providers, Verizon and AT&T have the best coverage, with T-Mobile third, and Sprint a distant fourth. I hesitate to mention the AT&T unlimited data plan we have, because it's no longer being offered. And without some idea of the amount of bandwidth she uses per month, it's even difficult to recommend specific data plans. Standalone hotspots run around $150 depending on the service and contract required, but most smartphones can also be used as hotspots, so you may not need any additional equipment at all, possibly just a plan change.
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2017, 10:08:36 PM »
We live in California and while we were still working we limited our trips to west of the Mississippi. May I suggest going to Gettysburg or Washington DC or somewhere within two days travel time.

In July all RV parks are packed and all roads are being repaired. You will be lucky if you can average 50 mph. Yellowstone will be jammed.  4th of July reservations are a must anywhere in the country. 

I hate to sound negative but we've run cross country many times and at all times of the year and I believe  it will be a memorable trip but not because anybody enjoyed it. 
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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2017, 05:02:58 AM »
At the Grand Canyon there is free WiFi available at the Maswik Lodge cafeteria. Pretty good food too.
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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2017, 06:06:29 AM »
Our public library in Ohio let's us check out Verizon Hot Spots for 2 weeks at a time.  Check with you local library and have your wife go in her car away from service and try her laptop.  We used it twice last summer and streamed tv off my laptop.
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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2017, 06:36:12 AM »
At the Grand Canyon there is free WiFi available at the Maswik Lodge cafeteria. Pretty good food too.

If you go to the north rim, the last cell tower is 40-some miles north of the lodge at Jacob Lake.  You can get crappy wifi at the camp store, or you can get a cell signal on the veranda of the lodge, but it's off the towers at the south rim, and will barely support looking at FB on your phone.
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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2017, 06:49:56 AM »
I agree with the statement that 800 MIles is 16 hours on the road.  Commercial drivers are limited to I think 8 or 10 hours on the road then they are required to take time off. There is a very good reason for this.. (In a front engine vehicle you spend too many hours on the road and either the radiator can become leaky, Suddenly... Or on any vehicle it can get tired and roll over to take a nap)
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ditsjets7

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2017, 06:52:02 AM »
I think she is going to investigate the “Hot Spot” on the way out to Yellowstone. Every day that she can work is a day later she can start her 14 day vacation. Not sure how much time we will need but I know 14 Days is cutting it close. Thanks all!

Ernie n Tara

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2017, 07:22:03 AM »
I'd recommend you search this forum for wifi or similar discussions. There have been several recently that went into equipment and likely speeds in great detail. Then print off a few and provide to your wife for evaluation. There are ways to accomplish what you wish to do, but they may prove more expensive than you wish to support.

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ditsjets7

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2017, 07:23:11 AM »
I'd recommend you search this forum for wifi or similar discussions. There have been several recently that went into equipment and likely speeds in great detail. Then print off a few and provide to your wife for evaluation. There are ways to accomplish what you wish to do, but they may prove more expensive than you wish to support.

Ernie

Thank you! I will do that

RVRAC

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Re: WiFi and Grand Canyon
« Reply #29 on: November 19, 2017, 01:08:41 PM »
"Now the question is is it feasible to get there, have enough time to enjoy Yellowstone, and get back in two weeks time?"

You asked this, I think you will spend so much time traveling and so little time there that although it can be done but it won't be fun.  Find a closer place where you can enjoy more time with your kids and wife on site. MHO
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