Let’s face it, when you see the campground you want to visit promotes their free WiFi available to guests, you don’t give it a second thought. Past experience tells you it’s not going to be fast enough, the signal will be too weak or worst you can’t even see the signal as an available option on your network list.
But WHY?! Why does WiFi have be so close but yet so far? Well it’s not the fault of the campground for one so don’t go blaming the friendly staff. It’s the environment that makes up a campground which is inadvertently great at making the WiFi network terrible.
Here are 3 reasons why WiFi at the campground isn’t as good as you want it to be:
Weak antennas: The field of WiFi antennas, especially long range WiFi, is a very niche and specialized area where even your “techie nephew” will have a tough time making it work. If you think it’s difficult to understand WiFi for a millennial tech guru, imagine how the typical person comes to make important decisions regarding what antennas to use, what routers, what cables and access points to install. Most of the time the decision maker at the campground is relying on someone they probably paid a hefty price for to install the antenna network and these companies don’t always source the best equipment either.
The trees!: You go to the campground to be closer to nature, to leave the big city filled with concrete for greener pastures. Unfortunately given WiFi’s line of sight requirement, trees and other obstructions like buildings and other RV’s significantly degrade the signal as it makes it’s way from the transmitter to your receiving device like a router, USB adapter, phone, laptop, smart TV or tablet. When parking your RV try to get as close as possible to the hotspot source and maintain a clear line of sight.
Your RV: Building on the point made about the trees, your RV is essentially shielding you from outside WiFi signals (and other signals too). While trees are bad for long range WiFi, worse off is metals like aluminum and steel. Add to that the fiberglass, furniture and kitchen appliances in the camper and you have a recipe for poor reception. That’s why our long range hotspot repeater kit uses an outdoor antenna to grab the signal OUTSIDE with the strong antenna and bring it into the RV via cable to feed the router with the same potency as if it were outside.
So be nice to your friendly campground staff, it’s not their fault you can’t stream the latest Game of Thrones episode.