Brand Spankin' New to RV'ing with a Great Used Pace Arrow

Discussion in 'Beginning RVing' started by dogwalker55, May 24, 2009.

  1. dogwalker55

    dogwalker55 New Member

    This is a really terrific forum and it's nice to see that it's current. Some of the ones that I've come across haven't had posts or updates in years!!!

    We haven't been out on the road yet, just picked her up and I have sooo many questions.

    I haven't come across an area here that addresses TV and Internet. I will be purchasing a laptop for use on the road in
    December when Windows 7 comes out. What is the simplest, easiest way to watch TV (don't need anything fancy, just
    regular stations and news) and to connect to the internet. Can you watch TV on your laptop?

    Looking forward to hearing from everyone! :kiss:
  2. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Brand Spankin' New to RV'ing with a Great Used Pace Arrow

    TV can be done by computer, but it really isn't a very effective way to do so. I would suggest that you first try watching TV with the on-board antenna. Most RVs come with a crank-up antenna from Winegard that works quite well. It is called a "batwing" antenna. It should have a signal amplifier located somewhere near the TV set. Most of those are mounted behind a wall plate similar to one for an outlet, usually with a jack for a 12V plug in it and also a small red light and an on/off switch. If you flip the switch and the red light turns on, the amplifier is on. If the RV has a TV in it, most likely that antenna is already connected to the set. If that isn't good enough then you may want to consider a dish system.

    If you don't have the antenna and the TV, then the question becomes quite different so let us know if that should be.

    As to internet, there are many different ways to do that. A great deal of the best answer comes from how you intend to use the RV. If you usually stay in commercial campgrounds, many of them now have Wifi hot spots in them which can be used, sometimes for free, and other times for a small fee. There are also places such as McDonalds, Starbucks and most book stores that have hot spots.

    Another way is to get your internet though a cellular phone service. They can supply a small device that plugs into the computer and which then receives internet service direct from the cellular carrier and into your laptop. This service will cost about $60/month and comes with a two year contract, but you could use it at home as well as when traveling. There are also two satellite internet services, Starband and Hughes. There is also an automatic satellite dish from Motorsat which costs about $5000 to install and then $100/month.

    We are fulltimers and we used Starband dish internet for more than four years and had very good service from them. Currently the equipment to carry a portable dish from them will cost you around $1000 and the service is $50/month with a contract which I think is for three years. Hughes has somewhat similar programs. Either of those could be used at home as well as on the road.

    We recently changed over to service from Verison because the cost is similar to the dish and while coverage is slightly less than the satellite, it is far easier to set up and get on line. I pay $60/month for 5 gigabytes of service. Verison, Sprint and AT&T all now supply this service and coverage is slightly different for each one.
  3. rjf7g

    rjf7g Senior Member

    Re: Brand Spankin' New to RV'ing with a Great Used Pace Arrow

    Welcome to the forum. I have a set-top digital antenna in one of my campers and use the roof-mounted batwing antenna in my other one. Both do fine for the big 4 networks. Some parks have cable as well.

    I use my Treo 755p with Sprint data service for Internet access (I am tethered to a MacBook Pro running Windows Vista right now) and my camping partner uses an nTelos air card. The air card does better but the Treo is fine for e-mail and forums.
  4. dogwalker55

    dogwalker55 New Member

    RE: Brand Spankin' New to RV'ing with a Great Used Pace Arrow

    We're retired but not ready to give up the house so we intend to do spring and fall rv'ing for now.

    Thank you both for all the info.

    I'm sure you'll all be hearing from me quite a bit, LOL!! :laugh:

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