Any ipad user traveling around the west?? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-03-2011, 11:51 PM   #1
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Any ipad user traveling around the west??

I've read a few raves on the forum about ipads when traveling, but the raves have not come from west coast FGRV folks. We're planning on (and saving for) getting one as a lighter, easier to use in the car, option when traveling, especially since the 3G models offer GPS. Seems like a great traveling companion - GPS, internet & email, ebooks and music.

I'd like to know if anyone has had experience in more remote areas of WA, CA, ID, OR, etc. using ipads when traveling. Supposedly Verizon has more coverage, yet AT&T is faster and we have found it reliable in many rural areas of WA, a little less so when in OR last year. In our own rural area we get good coverage on an AT&T cell phone and my pricy air-card (another reason to get an ipad).

Hope others can give us some info on what provider they use and the pros and cons. I'm sure there are some west coast ipad folks on the forum!

thanks
Penney
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:03 AM   #2
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Cant speak for the West COAST my folks live in Wyoming 6 months out of the year. They have the latest 4G Sprint phones after switching from AT&T to try and get service. Service is non-existent with either company. When they called they were told There isnt ANY "G" (not even 1G) service at all out there so the new phones aren't compatible. My Dad flys for a living and he cant use his cell to call the land line at the house. Guess the "G" phones cant talk to the non "G" networks. You'd think they'd be backwards compatible. When traveling from Phoenix where they live the rest of the year to WY the closer they get I know I wont be able to reach them. Guess that's why my 5 yr old Tracfone is able to make/receive calls when I'm out there since it's not a "G" anything. So not sure how remote you're referring to but be aware if the iPad uses a "G" network you may sometimes be out of luck and need a backup. There are no plans to upgrade to a "G" Network b/c there isnt enough of a population in those Western States to justify the expense.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:03 PM   #3
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We've used Verizon for 11 years, as far as I can tell the first choice of long term RVers. We've had 3G for 3 years now and have been everywhere and always seem to be able to get and make calls to other cells and land lines. It switches well between 3G and no G, though most of the country is covered by 3G.

As to ATT our kids all have IPhones and complain about dropped calls all the time.

When Verizon completes it's 4G I will up grade to it. They are the most expensive but by far the best as far as I can tell and most surveys indicate it to be the case.

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Old 06-04-2011, 08:25 PM   #4
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You can buy iPad2 on either network; AT&T or Verizon. Enjoy!

AT&T, Verizon iPad 2 data plans compared | Tablets | iOS Central | Macworld

Regards,

Matt
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penney H. & Mike E. View Post
I've read a few raves on the forum about ipads when traveling, but the raves have not come from west coast FGRV folks.
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:45 PM   #5
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I have a wireless (not Wi-Fi) 32Gbyte iPad (1). I received it as a gift and use it everywhere with a Verizon Hot Spot.

The reasons I use a Hot Spot are many and varied. I have found that if my Verizon phone works, my Verizon Hot Spot also works (I have not yet been into a roaming zone).

I have a 20Mbyte cable connection at home and yet I haven't found the lower speed of the Hot Spot to be a problem.

I have never used more then 50% of my 5 Gbyte/Month plan.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:15 PM   #6
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I get better coverage in my att iPad than on my att cell phone. The most remote place was Grayland Beach where I did have iPad at a weak signal and no cell phone though a few people got ATT cell.
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Old 06-04-2011, 09:18 PM   #7
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Also, my iPad one can use 2g or 3G... More remote is usually but not always 2g or Edge. Some places here on the island I get no cell but all the bars for 3G.
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Old 06-04-2011, 11:04 PM   #8
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I absolutely love my iPad. I'm on the east coast, though. I have traveled in the midwest with it, and the only bad thing is when you are totally out of signal, you won't be able to get much out of the GPS because it has to download the maps. It would be nice if you could download maps for the area you are in, but they don't have that feature.

Having said that, I still wouldn't travel without the iPad. I surf the web, email, play games, watch NetFlix, read ebooks, listen to music, share photos, etc. while I am out and about. I can even control my home computer, and even see what's going on in the house through my webcam! For campers, a must-have app is StarmapHD, which allows you to hold the iPad up to the night sky and identify all the planets and stars you can see.

I am fortunate enough to still have the unlimited data plan on AT&T. I can watch NetFlix all night long if I want to.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by CD Smith
I have a wireless (not Wi-Fi) 32Gbyte iPad (1).
I know what you meant... But we should clear it up for those who are not so familiar with iPads: ALL iPads have wifi. This means you can connect to wifi "hot spots" such as your home wireless, public wifi at coffee shops, McDonald, airports, hotels, campgrounds, etc.

The optional feature is "3G", which is wireless Internet via certain cellular networks. 3G models are backwards compatible with some other networks such as 1xEVDO. Beware of "4G" networks... There are NO true 4G networks in the United States as of yet. Many (all?) companies are touting 4G, but each makes up their own definition... And some of them are no faster than 3G at this point.

If you buy a 3G iPad, you do not need to activate the 3G service. If and when you want to activate it, you do so on the iPad itself. You don't need to go to a store or even pick up the phone. Service is month to month. There is no contract, no hidden fees, no obligation. If you don't have an unlimited plan, the iPad will warn you well in advance if you are getting close to your limit. You can either let it run out or pay for more. You dont ever have to use or pay for the 3G service if you don't want to.

I hope that helps someone out there.
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:30 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by melissab
There isnt ANY "G" (not even 1G) service at all out there so the new phones aren't compatible.... Guess the "G" phones cant talk to the non "G" networks. You'd think they'd be backwards compatible... So not sure how remote you're referring to but be aware if the iPad uses a "G" network you may sometimes be out of luck and need a backup. There are no plans to upgrade to a "G" Network b/c there isnt enough of a population in those Western States to justify the expense.
What is the G network?
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:36 AM   #11
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I have both WiFi only and an ATT 3g iPads and also a Verizon Hotspot so that I can connect from almost anywhere.
I have only had issues at times in the mountains in Colorado but it varies by even a foot or so between full workable signal and marginal.

I agree that Verizon seems to have more and better coverage especially out west.

I keep mentioning this too but can not stress it enough........the signal required to use the internet features is much lower than that for reliable voice communications,much!

This means that though the ATT iPhones will drop calls as a way of life they are much better for internet use with a computer.

I have been in Joplin all week and had good coverage with both ATT & Verizon though there services were both wiped out by the Tornado's.

These days there are cell sites in place that will interoperate between services so the coverage is getting stronger regardless of your carrier.
I guess they have figured out that if you can get a signal they can still bill you more even if not directly on one of your carriers tower?
Evidently this is a fairly new feature.

Gotta have my broadband while roughing it!
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:53 AM   #12
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Stop. Set up your phone as a mobile hotspot and use both your phone and iPad for the same price. We have a T-Mobile Android phone and it works like a charm. Before that we traveled the West for 18 months in our Casita and used Verizon mobile broadband and it worked nearly everywhere. We were genuinely surprised at the coverage. Then we made the jump to smart phones that can be set up as wi-fi "hotspots" and now we have better phones plus mobile internet for the same price. We use them for our laptops and our iPads. Far less limiting than subscribing for just one device. Do yourself a favor, don't pay for using just one device, pay once and use them all.
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:57 AM   #13
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Stop. Set up your phone as a mobile hotspot and use both your phone and iPad for the same price. We have a T-Mobile Android phone and it works like a charm. Before that we traveled the West for 18 months in our Casita and used Verizon mobile broadband and it worked nearly everywhere. We were genuinely surprised at the coverage. Then we made the jump to smart phones that can be set up as wi-fi "hotspots" and now we have better phones plus mobile internet for the same price. We use them for our laptops and our iPads. Far less limiting than subscribing for just one device. Do yourself a favor, don't pay for using just one device, pay once and use them all.
It turns out that ATT charges $10.00 to tether your iPhone to your computer in addition to our plans rate,What a scam. The phone will do it for free but ATT will not let it?

Again the reason for the decent coverage is the lighter requirement as a data user than for voice,so try the Data signal before deciding it will not work based on Voice performance alone.

Make Sense?
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:18 AM   #14
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Hi Don! I was referring to 3G, 4G etc. My folks never even got 1G where they live much less the 4G they need for their new Sprint cell phones to work. They'll just save them for when they're back in Phoenix this winter.

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What is the G network?
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