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Campground WiFi Improving?

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
I've always been in the camp, that it's nice if you can get some use out of campground wifi but it's usually garbage and you are better using your phone for a hotspot.

11 stops and 2 months into a run from Michigan to Montana. Except for 3 campgrounds (state & national parks) that don't offer wifi at all, we've been able to stream TV, work and do wifi calling, etc...no issues at all.

Anyone else seeing improvements in wifi? Are campgrounds starting to catch up with demand?
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV
19 REPLIES 19

liamricci
Explorer
Explorer
I am a freelance, so a good internet connection is important during my travels. For the past 12 months i didn't have any troubles working from the campgrounds luckily. With the microsoft teams sms i stay in touch with all the contractors and clients, able to except the new orders in a real time and answer to customers complaints, which happen from time to time.

Lantley
Nomad
Nomad
Just to clarify Agree many are streaming. I think those that are streaming are prepared to do so with their own hotspots and not relying solely on CG wifi.
In the end the heavy streamers arte not using CG wifi because they understand it doesn't work well.
With the streamers using their own equipment and not using CG wifi, the non streamers have a better experience with CG wifi.
19'Duramax w/hips,12'Open Range,Titan Disc Brake
BD3,RV safepower,22" Blackstone
Ox Bedsaver,RV760 w/BC20,Glow Steps, Enduraplas25,Pedego
BakFlip,RVLock,5500 Onan LP,Prog.50A surge,Hughes autoformer
Porta Bote 8.0 Nissan,Sailun S637
Correct Trax,Splendide

valhalla360
Nomad
Nomad
Lantley wrote:
Would I consider streaming?

No, doing so adds more congestion to the system and if everyone did so would hog the limited resources to the brink of being unusable for everyone.. I am not selfish enough to do so..

As noted above campers are getting wiser and are realizing as a whole that they need to share the available bandwidth and not clog up the wifi with excessive streaming.


I don't think so. More people then ever are streaming based on people we talk to. Also we see fewer and fewer satellite dishes and campgrounds with cable at the site. I doubt they are simply using antenna tv or not watching anything.

Yes, it does use more of the available bandwidth but the first thing to have trouble when the system is reaching it's limit is streaming. If the streaming is working, the folks just downloading a stray email are having no issues. If the streaming is constantly hanging up, most people will switch to their cell hotspot, so the problem is self limiting.

Go back 10yrs ago and cell hot spot streaming was for all reasonable purposes not possible, so you would get some people trying to stream on the wifi even when the system was overloaded. Also, the wifi systems are more advanced and can limit streaming access when the system is reaching it's limit.
Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2021 Gray Wolf
Gemini Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and RV

LMHS
Explorer II
Explorer II
I live in a small 22 site RV Park full of mostly long term working people who live in recreational vehicles (use what ever label you prefer to label these people). There are about 6 or 8 additional sites for overnighters. The park has a couple wifi channels for the customers to use. We can also arrange to get cable/internet hardwired. In the past few years, the number of private access points have risen dramatically. At one point, 15 wifi access points would show up when I looked on my laptop (not counting mine). That's not including the overnighters. I don't use park wifi. I stream a lot (Amazon Prime & Netflix) in addition to running 2 laptops and 2 cellphones defaulting to my wifi (it's just how we have them set up). Park wifi was not made for the way I use wifi. Park wifi is not made for the way most people want to use it. Park wifi is made to basically check your email and nothing else. People have gotten used to streaming movies, listening to music, surfing the 'net and watching video heavy content while checking their email. Park wifi really isn't made to do that. So folks who really want to have wifi available will carry their own internet access with them. They don't rely on park wifi. So I don't think that park wifi is getting better. But I do think there is less demand on the park's wifi, which will make the park wifi appear to be better.

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
NamMedevac 70 wrote:
I am glad to know when streaming with my AT&T Mobley I am not interfering with others that are on different Wi-Fi service. If I am adding to congestion then most sorry. $23.00 a month is sweet for 24 hour service. Cheers


WiFi has multiple "channels" which can be used, generally the channel you are using will auto negotiate channels automatically to the closest AP to you, basically seamless to the user. Congestion can happen when you end up with to many WiFi APs set to the same default channel at the same time and too close together.

Large scale WiFi like in a campground the installer should have set the channel from the factory default for that reason.

Generally your own personal WiFi service like a Mobley will have short enough range (100-150ft or less) to not be much of a bother to others..

Industrial/commercial WiFi APs have a much higher power output plus they use very high gain antennas than personal APs to get more than 150Ft range.

Of coarse now days there are two frequency bands for WiFi, older more common is 2.4Ghz and newer and faster is 5Ghz band.. 2.4Ghz can be crowded but gives the most distance.. 2.4Ghz is also where Bluetooth devices live, but those devices are very short distance which shouldn't be much of a bother. 5Ghz band is less crowded, can support higher speeds but at a cost of distance and there can be a lot of legacy WiFi devices in use that do not have dual band WiFi, only the 2.4Ghz band.

NamMedevac_70
Explorer II
Explorer II
I am glad to know when streaming with my AT&T Mobley I am not interfering with others that are on different Wi-Fi service. If I am adding to congestion then most sorry. $23.00 a month is sweet for 24 hour service. Cheers

Lantley
Nomad
Nomad
Would I consider streaming?

No, doing so adds more congestion to the system and if everyone did so would hog the limited resources to the brink of being unusable for everyone.. I am not selfish enough to do so..

As noted above campers are getting wiser and are realizing as a whole that they need to share the available bandwidth and not clog up the wifi with excessive streaming.
19'Duramax w/hips,12'Open Range,Titan Disc Brake
BD3,RV safepower,22" Blackstone
Ox Bedsaver,RV760 w/BC20,Glow Steps, Enduraplas25,Pedego
BakFlip,RVLock,5500 Onan LP,Prog.50A surge,Hughes autoformer
Porta Bote 8.0 Nissan,Sailun S637
Correct Trax,Splendide

Lwiddis
Explorer
Explorer
Thank you for the explanation, Gde.
Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad

Gdetrailer
Explorer III
Explorer III
Lwiddis wrote:
Doesn’t improvement often depend on the campground’s supplier? If the cable company can’t, won’t or doesn’t offer more bandwidth the campground is stuck.


Sort of to a point.

Most likely is more on the campground's infrastructure more so than the ISP.

Additionally, campground will be on commercial contract at commercial costs. Businesses tend to get beat over the head for data use so the campground may not be paying for a higher data rate tier to keep costs as low as possible. Costs money to build out a large WiFi system and the industrial/commercial high power APs cost a lot more money upfront.

One campground we often visit, last yr they did make some huge improvements by adding in additional APs through out the park. Can't say that the speed was improved, but at least now was able to find strong enough APs to be able to sift through emails without getting disconnected.

Would I consider streaming?

No, doing so adds more congestion to the system and if everyone did so would hog the limited resources to the brink of being unusable for everyone.. I am not selfish enough to do so..

rr2254545
Explorer
Explorer
For all those streaming TV like OP diminishes the use for all of us who do not stream
2012 Winnebago Journey 36M Cummins 360
2014 Jeep Cherokee
492 Campgrounds,107K miles driven in our Winnebago motor homes and 2360 nights camping since we retired in July 2009, 41 National Parks

Lwiddis
Explorer
Explorer
Doesn’t improvement often depend on the campground’s supplier? If the cable company can’t, won’t or doesn’t offer more bandwidth the campground is stuck.
Winnebago 2101DS TT & 2022 Chevy Silverado 1500 LTZ Z71, WindyNation 300 watt solar-Lossigy 200 AH Lithium battery. Prefer boondocking, USFS, COE, BLM, NPS, TVA, state camps. Bicyclist. 14 yr. Army -11B40 then 11A - (MOS 1542 & 1560) IOBC & IOAC grad

wa8yxm
Explorer III
Explorer III
I have seen it go both ways.. More and more of the nation is getting better and better internet and from what I'm reading elsewhere the speed of improvement may soon increase (or not but that is a topic for elsewhere) So many parks have gong from Really crappy Wi-Fi to just plain Bad Wi-Fi Some from Slower to greased lightening. Some from Greased lightening to slower. (Yup At least one)

One campground I frequent now has a two tear.. Crappy is free. Just bad is fee.

Used to be they had good at least in the family center.
Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
Kenwood TS-2000, ICOM ID-5100, ID-51A+2, ID-880 REF030C most times

Lantley
Nomad
Nomad
I would agree CG WiFi has seemingly improved.
Equipment has improved. Many now rely on their own hotspots.
Expectations have come in line with resources. Campers have slowly learned you cannot stream movies like you are at home.
CG's have added antennas and equipment to spresed the signal around.
Net result a better wifi experience for all.
19'Duramax w/hips,12'Open Range,Titan Disc Brake
BD3,RV safepower,22" Blackstone
Ox Bedsaver,RV760 w/BC20,Glow Steps, Enduraplas25,Pedego
BakFlip,RVLock,5500 Onan LP,Prog.50A surge,Hughes autoformer
Porta Bote 8.0 Nissan,Sailun S637
Correct Trax,Splendide

fj12ryder
Explorer II
Explorer II
All the campgrounds we've used recently have had good wifi. We don't stream, so can't say about that, but it has worked well for FB and general surfing. Much better that some years back.
Howard and Peggy

"Don't Panic"