Out of my element here

I just bought a large RV. We intend to live in it full time for a while and fast mobile internet is a problem. I’ve been researching solutions and came across load balancing routers, and followed the carrot here… Combining cell signals for a stronger high speed connection. Please tell me if I’m wrong.

I’m a well educated and capable woman. I’m prepared to invest the time, energy and money into learning and buying whatever I need. But can you give me an idea what I’m looking at?

Please don’t attempt to scare me away as people tend to do online. Here’s a few questions to get you started:

  1. My network experience is about a 4 out of 10. How difficult will it be to setup? (I assume it’s not plug and play)
  2. is the “outdoor max dome” an all in one solution, or just basically an antenna that still needs a router connected inside?
  3. what kind of financial investment am I looking at? I understand this is a commercial solutions provider, so I expect it to be pricey.
  4. Are these devices even available to the general public?
  5. Will I need two separate cell providers (differing frequencies) our two identical signals for the channel bonding?
  6. what kind of compatability issues might I encounter? Can I connect a wifi router so my tvs, Xbox, tablet or laptop can all connect if needed? Will household devices be able to utilize the network without further assistance?
  7. on a scale from 1-10 how far off am I coming here? Did I connect the bits of info across the web correctly, or am I totally in the wrong place for my need.

I really just need confirmation that I’m in the right place before setting in to study.

Hi @Elizabeth_McKinney
Welcome to the forum!

You seem to be understanding how the system would work for you and are defiantly in the right place!

  1. The equipment is easy to set up but also has advanced features if required. If you want to see the interface of one of our routers, please have a look at this online demo here - username and password are “admin”
  2. The Dome series are a great product which are easy to install but there is one draw back that they don’t have any wifi built into them. The disadvantage of this on a RV is that it makes it harder to connect your network to publicly available wifi when available.
  3. Our products range in price depending on the capabilities of the device chosen. Please get in contact with a local Peplink Partner and they will provide you with pricing.
  4. Our device are available to the general public.
  5. to provide the best bonding experience, it is recommended to have SIM cards with different providers. This provides much better reliability and higher throughout.
  6. There should be no comparability issues. The network which you would create within the RV is very similar to what you would have at home. The wifi from our router (e.g. Transit DUO or MBX) would be sufficient to cover a RV so no additional wifi equipment would be required.
  7. You are definitely on the higher end of the scale (assuming the higher end is the end where you are on the right track) and you are the the right place! You might also want to have a look at this webpage which has some very comprehensive information about our equipment installed on vessels and RVs. https://seabits.com

Hope this helps

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I’ll take a stab at a few of these questions.

  1. If you don’t mind adding to your knowledge bit here or there, you should be fine. I’d say the investment would be worth it, but I enjoy this kind of thing.
  2. Neither, kind of. It has the cellular modem and router built in, but is not a WiFi access point; if you wanted to use WiFi to access your mobile 4G connection, this will not be all-in-one. I also don’t think it’s the best option for you. I’d suggest looking at the Max Transit or Max Transit Duo; the latter can maintain two active mobile internet connections at once, each on different cellular networks, and route traffic to the carrier with the best connection. They also have WiFi access points built in. If you wanted to mount antennae on the outside of the RV that is still possible by buying them separately; that would drive up cost both in equipment and installation, but should offer better coverage. You could always start with decent indoor antennae set up near a window, and add roof-mounted variants later if you find a need.
  3. A Transit or Transit Max would run you in the high-3-figure/low-4-figure range for hardware, depending on the model and whether you opt for PrimeCare or professional installation.
  4. Yes.
  5. If you’re talking about the ability to spread your usage across two cellular Internet connections, you can do that on the Max Transit Duo with two SIM cards and accounts in any combination of carriers that the unit supports, though my suggestion would be to use different carriers to take advantage of the fact that usually one carrier or another will have better signal in a given area.
    (If by chance you’re talking about LTE carrier aggregation, this is a feature of LTE that is a must-have if you’re looking for truly high bandwidth 4G connections. The good news is that carrier aggregation doesn’t look any different to the end user: a single cellular modem will connect to a nearby tower, and if available and appropriate it will connect on other frequencies to add extra bandwidth to the connection. Only one SIM card and account are needed, those with two SIMs and two accounts, you could get the benefit of CA on both connections if it’s available where you happen to be.)
  6. The WiFi network that Peplink devices create will be useable by any household device with default settings. You can tweak settings to restrict the network to specific frequencies that some devices may not support, but if you just create a network and set up a password, it should work fine as-is with no compatibility problems.
  7. If I bought an RV, I’d be buying a Max Transit Duo for it for sure, 100%. Based on that, I’d say you’re not far off at all… so to answer your question directly, with 1 being the least far off possible :wink: I’d give you a 1.

One thing to note is that the higher “cat” numbers (LTE UE categories) denote higher possible speeds; Category 12 would be the lowest I would opt for in your situation, and Category 18 would offer better potential speed, though not all carriers have higher speeds rolled out to every tower in their network. If it were me, I’d be looking hard at a Category 12 Max Transit Duo.

Overall, it sounds like you’re on the right track and I and I’m sure others would be happy to answer questions or offer more advice if you’re interested.

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One other thing to think about, where are you located?
This will have an affect on what data packages are available to you and how much its going to cost you to operate the system on a month by month basis.

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(4) and (3) Yes, it is available for general public. And as @Sam_Norris mentioned, it is advised to contact a local Peplink Partner to find a suitable solution. https://www.peplink.com/peplink-certified-partners/

(1) Peplink firmware has a huge amount of features and many hidden, but no need to worry about it. A good place to start with configuration is using @Michael234’s checklists on Pepwave Surf SOHO router initial configuration - RouterSecurity.org . Also described in this tutorial is to save your configuration files each time you adjust some features so you can return to satisfying configuration whenever needed. Or do a factory reset and reapply the last know configuration you had.

(2) and (6) There is a whole range of Peplink devices with different features. Or you discuss this with your local Peplink Partner or you can write down some necessary features before going through all the comparison matrices. As you described, that would be ‘Multi Cellular’ to have more bandwith and ‘Wifi’ for all the devices if they support. Or is there some need for ‘LAN ports’. When you are on camping sites or at gas stations, you can also take advantage of the local Wifi spots by using the ‘Wifi as WAN’ feature. And as mentioned by the others, indeed the Max Transit Duo seems very suitable. A last situation in a RV that I saw passing by on the forum is if it’s a metal trailer or not, to think about how to place the router and antenna’s. Surf soho Antenna splitter? - #5 by jharrell

(5) It is adviced to use separate cell providers. I think @Joey_van_der_Gaag explained best in Live Event Streaming Setup - #2 by Joey_van_der_Gaag. There are different options to use multiple WAN or sims, but, using info from @MartinLangmaid, Bonding is a point to point technology. More info here: SIM card Bonding - #11 by MartinLangmaid. You can use multiple WAN without real bonding and this is worth reading on: Confusion over speedfusion and traffic control algrithums - #2 by MartinLangmaid. If there is a need for Speedfusion or not, you can discuss with the local Peplink Reseller also.

When searching for ‘wifi rv’ on the forum, there have been multiple user mentioning RV solutions and situations.