Which PepWave Max for RV in Backcountry California?

There are so many models of PepWave routers, I’m having a hard time deciding. Looking for advice based on the following specifications:

  • Primary goal is getting signal in backcountry campgrounds in the western states of the USA (California/Oregon/Nevada/Arizona).
  • Bandwidth/Speed is not a major concern (don’t need 5G, so 4G LTE is probably fine)
  • Verizon and ATT compatability, as my experiences have been that TMobile and Sprint don’t have covereage where I want to go.
  • Use is mostly checking email, so don’t need hot failover or SpeedFusion.
  • A wide range of channels, especially 600-700MHz ones that tend to have better range
  • External antenna connections, for a directional antenna
  • WiFi: 5GHz would be nice, but not required, as I usually camp in places with no 2.4GHz interference
  • Low power usage/small size: this is for a Class B RV with limited space and solar power budget

Based on this, I think I want one of the Max Single Cellular routers - the one with the widest variety / most modern selection of 4G LTE channels. Which one would it be?

It seems the MAX BR1 mini LTE-A would fit the bill nicely. It checks all your boxes except the 5GHz Wi-Fi (which you deemed less important).

Just my $0.02

Z

Thanks! Does anyone know what the typical power usage is? One specifications sheet PDF says “1.8W (nominal) 12W (max)” but a different PDF says just “12W (max)”

It’s been 2-3 months since we made such a measurement and my lab notebook is a bit out of reach at the moment but I think we saw the BR1 using about 2W when we had the supply set for 13.8VDC. I don’t think we ever saw anything approaching the published maximum.

Thanks, Rick & Zegor. A 12W power draw running 24 hours would suck up about 25% of my solar panel budget, which would not be great. However, if it’s closer to 2W, that’s much more manageable.

I’ve placed an order for the Max BR1 LTE-A model. I’ll run some power tests on it and report back here after it arrives.

Let us know how it works out. As I recall we saw the A/W constantly fluctuating but 2W was about average. (We tested with a variable power supply and a bench instrument with NIST-traceable calibration.)

My max BR1 LTE-A was received, and in initial tests can confirm that it runs cool - just based on touching it, I can feel it’s much closer to 1W than 12W. I’ll put a meter on it and report back some actual #s soon.

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I just tested @ 14.6V DC the PepWave Max BR1 Mini was pulling 0.13 amps, for a total of 1.898 watts.
Very much in line with the “1.8W (nominal)” that Peplink claims. I’m satisfied.

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