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Old 03-24-2020, 08:30 PM   #1
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Pre-wired for wifi?

i bought a 2020 micro minnie trailer in january. it says prewired for wifi. has anyone set up wifi using that? if so, what did you use? how successful it is? the sign is on the wall in the galley behind the tv. any help is apprectiated.

janis
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:02 AM   #2
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i bought a 2020 micro minnie trailer in january. it says prewired for wifi. has anyone set up wifi using that? if so, what did you use? how successful it is? the sign is on the wall in the galley behind the tv. any help is apprectiated.

janis
Did you ever find out about the "pre-wired for WiFi"?

My daughter pointed that out to me in our 2020 Vista this week while out camping. It would be very helpful to deciding what system to purchase for internet and WiFi.
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Old 10-21-2020, 11:40 AM   #3
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Don't be fooled by the "Pre-wired for Wifi". It's really a sales gimmick from the folks that make your TV Antenna - King.

King sells various WiFi routers and antennas that you can buy and use on your RV. Their WiFi products are not special, nor are they leading edge.

The least expensive is a WiFi Router for $99 that is middle of the road for it's price. It's not terrible, it's not great. For $30 more you can buy a more capable product from WiFi Ranger.

The "pre-wiring" is not used in any way for that product. It plays no part in the use of the router.

Some of their more expensive products - they only have one or two - are an antenna for your roof and an antenna you can aim do use the wiring to connect to they router that they want you to buy as well.

The router is $99
The basic antenna is $99
The antenna you can aim is $319

Here's the webpage for these products:

https://kingconnect.com/wi-fi/

It seems that RV manufacturers that install the King TV Antenna's let King add the "Pre-Wired for WiFi" Sticker as a selling feature for their travel trailers that costs the manufacturers nothing. And, since King makes more money off of the deal it wouldn't be a surprise if they pay some kind of kickback to the manufacturers or a discount in the OEM cost of the TV Antenna.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:01 PM   #4
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If you are not up on WiFi routers in RVs, let's go over their usage.

A wifi router in your RV works like your router at home or office. It allows multiple devices to share the internet.

If you are at a campground that has wifi - you connect to the campground wifi on the Router, not on your phones, computers or tablets in your RV. Then you set up all of your devices to connect to the router. The advantage is instead of setting up every device in your RV to each new WiFi login at each new campground you only set them up once to connect to the router. Then as you visit new campgrounds you only have to set up the router for the new login at that campground.

It can also be used to share your cellular internet data. If you use your phone as a hotspot to share internet then you can set up the router to use your phone's hotspot to all of the other devices in your RV. In this use case, the phone's internet hotspot is just like a campground's wifi.

The same is true if instead of using your phone's as a hotspot if you have a MiFi/Jetpack hotspot from a cellular carrier.

A WiFi Router in your RV with this capability is a very good thing and is generally all you need.

The wifi Antenna's King is selling may appear to be a plus, but they are of limited use.

If you use campground WiFi you may find that it's not really very usable. It's slow, and drops connections. Many folks then think "Gee, if I had an antenna on the roof I could pick up better wifi from the campground." But the real world result is pretty different.

In most cases the campground WiFi is over used and doesn't have enough bandwidth to serve all the campers. It may work during the mid-day when folks are away from the campground, but then at night slow to a crawl as more folks try to use it all at the same time.

An Antenna won't help or fix this issue and it is the most common problem you'll encounter from Campground wifi. If the campground has too few Access Points around the park you may be able to get a stronger WiFi signal with an antenna - but if the WiFi is badly designed or over used getting a stronger signal won't do you any good.

If you're just going to use your phone's hotspot or an actual hotspot device the antenna will not make any difference either.

So, the $99 King Wifi Router would be a helpful thing to add to your RV. All you do is plug it in and learn how to set it up. No wiring or anything else needed. However, WiFi Ranger sells a $129 router that has all the same features PLUS a USB port that allows you to plug in your phone or hotspot directly into the router to connect the internet to the router AND power your phone or hotspot at the same time. Plus, it has a much easier to use interface.

I hope all this extra detail helps some of you figure out what this "Pre-Wired for Wifi" means and offers.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:27 PM   #5
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If you are not up on WiFi routers in RVs, let's go over their usage.

A wifi router in your RV works like your router at home or office. It allows multiple devices to share the internet.

If you are at a campground that has wifi - you connect to the campground wifi on the Router, not on your phones, computers or tablets in your RV. Then you set up all of your devices to connect to the router. The advantage is instead of setting up every device in your RV to each new WiFi login at each new campground you only set them up once to connect to the router. Then as you visit new campgrounds you only have to set up the router for the new login at that campground.

It can also be used to share your cellular internet data. If you use your phone as a hotspot to share internet then you can set up the router to use your phone's hotspot to all of the other devices in your RV. In this use case, the phone's internet hotspot is just like a campground's wifi.

The same is true if instead of using your phone's as a hotspot if you have a MiFi/Jetpack hotspot from a cellular carrier.

A WiFi Router in your RV with this capability is a very good thing and is generally all you need.

The wifi Antenna's King is selling may appear to be a plus, but they are of limited use.

If you use campground WiFi you may find that it's not really very usable. It's slow, and drops connections. Many folks then think "Gee, if I had an antenna on the roof I could pick up better wifi from the campground." But the real world result is pretty different.

In most cases the campground WiFi is over used and doesn't have enough bandwidth to serve all the campers. It may work during the mid-day when folks are away from the campground, but then at night slow to a crawl as more folks try to use it all at the same time.

An Antenna won't help or fix this issue and it is the most common problem you'll encounter from Campground wifi. If the campground has too few Access Points around the park you may be able to get a stronger WiFi signal with an antenna - but if the WiFi is badly designed or over used getting a stronger signal won't do you any good.

If you're just going to use your phone's hotspot or an actual hotspot device the antenna will not make any difference either.

So, the $99 King Wifi Router would be a helpful thing to add to your RV. All you do is plug it in and learn how to set it up. No wiring or anything else needed. However, WiFi Ranger sells a $129 router that has all the same features PLUS a USB port that allows you to plug in your phone or hotspot directly into the router to connect the internet to the router AND power your phone or hotspot at the same time. Plus, it has a much easier to use interface.

I hope all this extra detail helps some of you figure out what this "Pre-Wired for Wifi" means and offers.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. I used to own an IT/networking company so this is all quite familiar. The difference is the availability of the internet.

Sounds like it is just wiring for their antennas which "boost" local wifi signals. And as you say, not terribly useful as they are overused.

It looks like the suggestion of the sharing of the cell hotspot with a router may be the way to go. I'm on an AT&T "unlimited" plan, and have hotspot sharing for the computers at a fee for 100Gb/month. So right now I just use hotspot sharing for the RV, and it works without the router. So I'll probably continue that. Probably the best thing for the short term would be a cell signal booster.

We just did a trip from CA to CO, and my daughter is doing the whole school remotely thing. There was only about 1/2 hour near Price, UT that we couldn't get any internet for her meetings. So overall pretty good experience. But we couldn't do the I-80 through WY, as there is a couple of hundred miles with zero AT&T coverage.

Hoping that the Elon Musk satellite internet becomes a thing soon, at a "reasonable cost".
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:40 PM   #6
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It looks like the suggestion of the sharing of the cell hotspot with a router may be the way to go.
Since you know networking - the key difference between a home router and a RV router is the connection to the internet.

At home, you connect the router via an Ethernet cable to a modem or similar interface - known as a WAN (wide area network) connection.

An RV router can connect to the internet via a Wifi signal from an Access Point (campground AP or cellular hotspot). This feature is known as "WiFi as WAN" - because some other wifi signal is the WAN connection.

If you have only one device in your RV that you want to connect to the campground wifi or cellular hotspot then you don't need a router. If you have more than one such device the router is much more convenient. And, it's safer from a network security standpoint as well.

A great addition to your RV would be a Netgear Nighthawk. It's both a router and a MiFi device. You put your ATT SIM card in the nighthawk and can share it with I think up to 15 devices. Plus, it has both a USB and Ethernet port that can share internet with other devices. Also, it has dual attenna ports (TS-9) that can be used with a MIMO antenna to vastly improve cellular performance. No booster is needed. The Netgear MIMO antenna costs $49 and is just stuck to a window inside the RV to give great cell reception.
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Old 10-21-2020, 01:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sundog964 View Post
Did you ever find out about the "pre-wired for WiFi"?

My daughter pointed that out to me in our 2020 Vista this week while out camping. It would be very helpful to deciding what system to purchase for internet and WiFi.
Lot's good discussion already.

There is one benefit to the "pre-wire", a cable that runs from the wall plate to the roof, under the TV antenna. I wouldn't limit myself to using the KING brand. If the existing cable isn't compatible with a system you select, adapters are cheap or you can use the KING cable to pull a new cable. Note that wifi boosters are for RV parks and don't boost your cellular signal, though you could use the same "prewire" for a cell booster or cellular router.

I don't stay in RV parks much, so I would choose a router over a wifi booster.
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Old 10-21-2020, 02:34 PM   #8
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I know folks are super hesitant to drill into their roof to run cabling. I get that. But after you do it once or twice it's a pretty easy thing to get right.

I don't know what kind of cabling King has pre-wired. Do you? Is it SMA or RG59 or what? I read a post elsewhere where a guy had a very hard time finding any pre-wire at all. I think he ended up putting in his own cable.

The main thing King tries to sell folks is their router and it doesn't require any wiring at all. Pre-wired or not.
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Old 10-21-2020, 03:59 PM   #9
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I know folks are super hesitant to drill into their roof to run cabling. I get that. But after you do it once or twice it's a pretty easy thing to get right.

I don't know what kind of cabling King has pre-wired. Do you? Is it SMA or RG59 or what? I read a post elsewhere where a guy had a very hard time finding any pre-wire at all. I think he ended up putting in his own cable.

The main thing King tries to sell folks is their router and it doesn't require any wiring at all. Pre-wired or not.
Guilty as charged. I'm sure the first cut is the hardest, and my roof is still a virgin.

On the interior of my TT, removing the cover reveals a plastic junction box with about 2 feet of coiled coax terminated with an RP-SMA male connector. This junction box is almost directly beneath the TV antenna. The TV antenna base has a knockout to run the cable out of. The coax looks like RG-174 (about half the diameter of RG-58), but isn't marked that I can see. I would have to open the TV antenna to see the connector inside, but the pics I've seen look like an SMB male. I would just use the existing cable to pull whatever I needed rather that use adapters. Of course, I wouldn't bother adding a roof antenna unless I was having signal strength issues without one.
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Old 07-15-2021, 05:48 PM   #10
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Lot's good discussion already.

There is one benefit to the "pre-wire", a cable that runs from the wall plate to the roof, under the TV antenna. I wouldn't limit myself to using the KING brand. If the existing cable isn't compatible with a system you select, adapters are cheap or you can use the KING cable to pull a new cable. Note that wifi boosters are for RV parks and don't boost your cellular signal, though you could use the same "prewire" for a cell booster or cellular router.

I don't stay in RV parks much, so I would choose a router over a wifi booster.

Sorry to revive an old thread. I took a look in the owners manual and a quick peak on the roof and I didn't see anything obvious for a connection to a Wifi extender.



When you say under the antenna do you have an idea where it could be?

Thanks,
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Old 07-15-2021, 07:18 PM   #11
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This gets a bit techie and I haven't tried this but there's an extensive Wifi thread on Winneowners' sister site, IRV2.com:

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/my-...es-515316.html
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Old 07-16-2021, 04:55 AM   #12
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This gets a bit techie and I haven't tried this but there's an extensive Wifi thread on Winneowners' sister site, IRV2.com:

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/my-...es-515316.html

Awesome thank you. I've ordered a Ubiquity thing.
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Old 07-16-2021, 07:59 AM   #13
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That thread and suggested Ubiquity access point is yesterdayís solution to getting internet.

Bringing in or boosting more WiFi is not the answer for internet access on the road. Who cares if you can bring in 180 WiFi hotspots from ď30-KMĒ away when 178 of them require a password you donít have and the two Open APs have little to no usable internet.

Trying to get better access to campground WiFi is just getting better access to slow unusable internet.

The only reliable internet is the internet you bring with you and today thatís cellular broadband devices - MiFi, Jetpack type devices. Satellite maybe the way a year from now, but who knows when.

For the best most up to date mobile Internet info join www.RVMobileinternet.com.
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:15 AM   #14
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Not sure how far you travel and where you are in the world, but there's really not any decent cell reception in a lot of the Ontario Canada parks, but there are some open wifi. Sure it'll be crappy wifi but for $90 bucks I'll give it a go.



I'll look more into MiFi, however, the last park I was at I had basically zero cell data. Not sure how it'll perform.
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Old 07-16-2021, 09:55 AM   #15
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Not sure how far you travel and where you are in the world, but there's really not any decent cell reception in a lot of the Ontario Canada parks, but there are some open wifi.
I've been in Northern Ontario and to the parks in Alberta but not for 15 to 20 years.

I didn't mention it, but I put a WiFi Ranger "Elite" on my RV first in 2008 and moved it to every RV since. The WFR Elite is similar to a Ubiquity - actually it's a full featured Router with high powered WiFi radio and hard masted antenna.

It helped some in 2008 but in years since I never find it useful for anything. I'm removing it next month to get ready for a trip to Colorado and replacing it with a MiMo Cellular antenna setup - Mimo is multiple in/multiple out and this just means that multiple antenna's send and receive on multiple towers and channels at the same time and agregate the signals for better cellular receiption.

But you are correct - I don't know anything about remote Ontario Cellular Broadband access.

Like everyone else I'm hoping for Canada to reopen it's borders for a trip next year.
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