Caltex - the answer to your question about signal strength and speed is yes - and no. While signal strength alone can impact data performance, the quality of the signal plays just as important a role. For example, you can have 100% signal strength (a relevant term based on the utility you use for measurement), but the signal could be so noisy that is almost unusable by the radio within your client adapter (due to mutli-path, reflection, refraction, obstacle penetration, RF noise, etc). They keys to the best performance are (in no particular order), radio sensitivity, output power, antenna gain and in the case of wi-fi, clear LOS (line of sight) or semi-clear LOS to minimize signal attenuation.
Keep in mind that having a 11 Mbps, 22 Mbps, 54 Mbps, etc connection has no real relevance to internet surfing speeds since most locations are being fed by a 1.5 Mbps DSL connection or a 1-3 Mbps cable connection. However, those connection rates DO IMPACT the performance of communications between your adapter and the access point. They really should identify these "connection speeds" in a different manner as they really indicate the solidity of the connection between you and the AP, not surfing speed.
To answer your other question - When someone connects to an access point with a 1 Mbps connections, the AP has to "throttle back" its communication with all other associated client radios. This is caused by several factors. The 1 Mbps client has a poor connection to the AP which results in lots of data loss during the communication process. This causes the AP or the client to send many "re-send" request to each other, tying up the network and causing delays for other users. In addition, because the AP really only communicates with one client at a time (again, hundreds of times a second) it will communicate with all clients at the same speed, so a poor/slow connection user causes everyone else to connect at their (slower) rate.
Remember that wi-fi is a contentious based network topology, meaning it uses collision avoidance (like a hub) and not collision detection. When a client has to request a re-send, it does so at "random" (really semi-formulated) intervals after "listening" to make sure the channel is "clear".
I hope that answers your questions. The bottom line is that when all users do everything they can to maximize their individual signal strength/connection speed, it ensures everyon else has a good experience too. Wi-Fi is a shared medium and the better we get at educating the RV wi-fi user community, the better the systems will work for everyone.
RV Parks are particularly difficult to design and install properly simply because you typically have a open area, with trees, with lots of "metal boxes" (RV's) bouncing the signal around. In many cases the signal reflects off other RV's (known as multi-pathing) and causes portions of the data transmission to arrive at the access point at different times. When this happens, the access point will simply ignore the mis-timed receptions and request a re-send, again causing delays.
There are many, many design factors that go into installing a large, outdoor wi-fi network. It sometime irks me when I hear people talk about how easy it is to setup a wireless network in an RV park, with many saying "all you need is an access point with a good omni antenna and a few repeaters and you are good to go". This could not be further from the truth, as demonstrated by the number of parks that hire my company to install them, after they tried it themselves, or had a "local guy" set it up for them, and were dissatisfied with the coverage/performance of the network.
I'll stop rambling now
If anyone has any other questions, please feel free to reply. Thanks!!!