Laptop costs

Discussion in 'Full Timing' started by kojak, May 14, 2007.

  1. kojak

    kojak New Member

    Hello full timers, could anyone advise what the cost would be to completely set up a laptop in a RV , also how it is done and aslo the best company re prices to go with, it would be nice to keep in touch with others,Prior Thank's Kojack
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Depends on what you want it to do. I've seen laptops between 300 and 3300. I'd say a pretty good one could be had for about $1000. I got a HP package which included the laptop, speakers, printer and carrying case from Sam's Club for about that.
     
  3. kojak

    kojak New Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Thanks for advise hertig, I will check out sams club when i get over,where are you guys full timing, maybe we might run into you travelling across country, sorry i dont mean that really catch up with you,Regards Gary
     
  4. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Nope, not full timing, but will be spending time in Central Illinois this summer and Tucson the rest of the year. But I use a laptop for work, so as far as computers are concerned, I'm a 'full timer' :)

    Just was in SWS Electronics in Tucson, AZ, and they had a line of 'micro' computers which might be appropriate for RVs. They use the 'mini' motherboard, and at a guess the case is maybe 8" x 8" x 16" deep. Plus one model built with laptop components, maybe 2" by 8" by 12". Prices were in the $500 to $1000 range. The line is called 'Shuttle', and their web site is www.swselectronics.com.

    Also, Fry's Electronics Memorial Day sale is coming up, if you are lucky enough to be near one.
     
  5. Kirk

    Kirk Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    It also depends upon just what you mean by "set up." If all that you want is a computer, that is pretty easy. If you want internet from that computer, then you need more. For travel, it is wise to select a computer that comes with built in modem and also Wifi. Most of them have it, or it is available and I strongly suggest that you get one that does. For internet you will also need some means of access to it. Some RV parks have Wifi available and it is becoming more common all of the time. It can be free, or for pay at as little as $3/day to as much as $8/day that I have seen. Then you could also get an "air card" from either Cingular or Verison for internet by cell carrier. Those cost only a couple of hundred dollars and they now work in nearly any populated area, but the low population rural areas don't have coverage and some never will. Another way to get it is to get internet from a satellite service, either from one of the automatic dish systems that cost about $5000 plus $100/month or get one of the portable tripod systems that cost between $800 and $1500 and then about $60/month. In our motorhome, my wife and I each have our own laptop, we travel with a portable Starband internet dish (also equipped to receive Dish Net TV) and we have that connected to a wireless router so that we can both use it, at the same time. Then we have a printer connected to the router so we can both use that and there is also a network hard drive (wireless drive) located across the room from the router, which keeps a back up copy of all data from either of the computers. So there are many different options, depending upon just what you want and plan to do. We didn't start with all of this but have slowly aquired it over the seven years that we have been fulltime.
     
  6. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    The air cards are a essentially a cell phone, so require a contract. You may be able to get the same service over your existing cell phone for the same price as the air card (depending on the phone and your service), but without any additional contract. On the down side, you can't use your cell phone and the internet at the same time.
     
  7. kojak

    kojak New Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Hi Kirk & Hertig, thanks for all the info on Rv Computers and internet systems, I was after info to check re costs fitting into Rv so we could check re camp grounds contact our home and kids while we were away, so i will check out these items when we get over,so keep up the good work and enjoy helping others its great to be able to get the information, Regards Kojak
     
  8. Puffdream

    Puffdream New Member

    RE: Laptop costs

    Les Doll, over at "The RVer's Corner" (http://www.rverscorner.com/) has a page up on his site detailing the new satellite Internet set-up he's installing. All the info you need about making satellite Internet connections, plus links to providers, time required to set up, costs, etc. Can be found at: http://www.rv-satellite-internet.com/

    Puff
     
  9. kojak

    kojak New Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Hi Puffdream, many thanks for your help i will have a look and check it out , regards Gary
     
  10. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    This is my first time using my laptop in my RV. The wifi connection was free and seems to be working. My laptop is a $500 Dell that was working great until the night before we left on our summer RV adventure. It crashed and had to be sent back to Dell for repairs. Fortunately they repaired it under warranty. Don't think I would buy a Dell again, but that is just an opinion. Seems like it should last longer than 8 mos before crashing.

    So far wifi seems to work, however, not all the campgrounds have it and it isn't always free.
     
  11. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    And not all the ones which do have it, have it working right. We were in a place last night that about the only place we could get a valid signal was sitting on the porch of the office :)
     
  12. raskal

    raskal New Member

    RE: Laptop costs

    Interesting thread for me ... I'm retired from the real job but shoot and write a little freelance for several publications making our laptops necessary evils. We're not full timers until the land locked house is sold so have been using whatever local WiFi free zones are available in coffee shops and such when away from our home routers.

    We're going to purchase one of the Verizon cards for computers, and switch it between the two as necessary but don't know which plan is going to be best/fastest/most in expensive.

    We'll now also look into that "dish" beast ... thanks!
     
  13. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Hey raskal, let us know what you come up with on costs for the cards/service.. The wifi where I'm currently staying for the month is good when it is up and running. Never know when it is going down and if it goes down between 8 PM and 9 AM the owner isn't in the office, so I'm out of luck until he shows up in the morning. It costs $1.00/day. A lot of the time that's all you get is daytime use.
     
  14. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    I'm trying to use the Verizon service now, but anytime I go a few minutes without transferring any data, it locks up and I have to disconnect and reconnect to get back on. Nearly a month now, and they can't seem to fix it. It's been a week since they captured a trace of the problem, and I have not heard from them.

    I set up a automatic data transfer every so often, and so far that seems to keep me on.

    Some places it works fine, others, not so well...
     
  15. raskal

    raskal New Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Which service did you sign for from Verizon, the Broadband or National Coverage area?

    I'm interesed in that it seems unclear as to where one ends and the other picks up ... also the speeds have a great difference and I'm thinking of getting the Broadband. Even though the area seems more limited, the speed is up there for data transfer but I wonder what happens when your out in the boonies and I need get some images to my editors ...
     
  16. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    There is only one service. Whether you get broadband (major cities) or National coverage depends on where you are.

    When it works 'out in the boonies', it connects at 115.2 Kbps. Theoretically, it should work everywhere your cell phone does, but so far I've found 2 places where it does not.

    I have not found broadband to be 'that much faster'. Maybe 3 times (300 - 400 Kbps); adequate but not spectacular.
     
  17. DL Rupper

    DL Rupper Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Moving down the road Wed. No RV Park provided wifi at the next place ; however, I read in a review of the park that a wifi signal was available in the area. Does that sound reasonable? I' probably need to invest in a card. What do they run and how per/month for the service? :(
     
  18. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs





    I use a Cingular (now AT&T) Air Card and haven't had any problem with it at all. Pay $70 per month for unlimited coverage. Works while driving down the road or at the RV park. I've had it for over a year now with no trouble.
     
  19. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Wi-Fi can be got in PCMCIA card or USB plug in. Cost should be under $100 - often around $40 at discount places. There is no monthly charge for the card, or any charge to use it unless the place providing Wi-Fi has such a charge. For instance, Flying J charges a couple dollars per day. The places that charge will provide you the encryption key when you pay the charge. Free Wi-Fi may or may not have encryption; if it does, you get the key upon request.

    If someone is broadcasting WiFi in the area of the park, and does not 'protect' the signal, than you can log on 'for free'. For instance, if there is a coffee shop next door, you can probably get on. Probably not illegal and perhaps not immoral unless you abuse it by trying to hack their computer or overloading them with spam ,etc.

    If you don't want to mess with Wi-Fi (with a range of 10 to 500 feet or so), an 'air card' (essentially a cellular phone) will cost you from $50 to $200, and about $60 a month, usually with a 2 year contract. Or you may be able to use your cell phone as a 'mobile office' for a $30 cable and the same $60 a month, without any contract except your existing phone contract. You may be able to get cheaper plans, but they usually limit or charge for data transferred, which adds up quickly.
     
  20. raskal

    raskal New Member

    Re: Laptop costs

    Went to the local Verizon shop this afternoon and found the following;

    Since I have their phones an cell service, I can add unlimited access through one of their PCMCI cards. The broadband card is in addition to the WiFi intigrated into the laptops at time of purchase (addition of WiFi can be done for as little as $25 for the hardware needed). The initial cost of the Verizon card is, at present, covered under a rebate (for the least expensive card) and monthly fee added t my cell bill will be $59.99.

    Additionally, found the card can be swaped between my wife's laptop and my own though only one unit can run the program at a time.

    One more step closer to climbing into that turtle shell of a 5th wheel & full timin' .... eventually head out to the Golden State and meet the son-in-law comin' back from Iraq and find if I need see my daughter off on her 4th tour ... good Corpsmen both to their Marine Daddy
     

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