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Do You Need More Signal At The Campsite?

Cell Yes I Do!

What’s the worst thing about the great outdoors? The bugs? The scarcity of a hot shower? Eating hot dogs again? No, it’s not having cell reception when you need it. While there are plenty of valid uses for your phone in the wild (Can I eat this mushroom? What’s the weather going to be like tomorrow? Is a bug bite supposed to look like that?); we all know what you’re using your signal for: hijacking the social media feeds of your loved ones with photos of your campfire cooking. No judgement here, I can barely cook in a full kitchen.Keep your friends and family up to date with your adventures, and I guess have your phone when you need it for emergencies with a cell extender.

I Don't Even Know How My Phone Works

Don't worry, you're not alone. For something as commonplace as a cell phone, it seems that very few of us really understand what's going on with them.In order to properly appreciate the value of a cell extender, it helps to understand how a cell signal works. Your phone communicates with a cell tower (often multiple) and that tower amplifies and sends that signal to the tower closest to your recipient, and that tower relays the signal to them. The further you are from a tower or the more obstacles in between you and the nearest tower, the worse your signal will be. These obstacles can be as simple as trees, or even just the topography of the land around you. All of this happens in milliseconds, and it’s important to understand.Note: This is a significant simplification of this process, but the basics are all you really need here.Cell signal is measured in decibels (dB). The higher the measurement is, the better the signal you'll get. Generally speaking, -50 dB is considered a perfect signal, and -110 dB is not reasonably usable. Note: These measurements are negative, so be sure to double check when analyzing your current signal.So What Does a Cell Extender Do?Think of a cell extender as a megaphone for your cell. Basically it amplifies the outgoing signal and makes it easier to pick up by the nearby cell towers, thus giving you a clearer and more high-quality connection to your tower. That tower then sends the signal to the recipient’s tower and the process continues as normal.
To see this article in video form, check out our video above!
cell tower
The signal from your cell phone is sent to a tower, which communicates with the tower the recipient is connecting to. If there is too much space, or too many obstacles between you and a tower, it could lead to bad signal.
Do I Need a Cell Booster?While everyone could benefit from increased access to their friends, family, and the collective knowledge of the internet, there are a few folks that can really get the most from a cell signal booster. Let's take a look at some of those people.
tent camping
Casual Camper
  • Having the internet at your fingertips will allow you to look up all sorts of information that could save you in a pinch.
  • Maybe you didn't bring children or dogs with you, having access to your phone will allow you to keep in touch in case of emergency.
  • There are even extender options for your vehicle, great for tent campers!
working remotely
Mobile Workforce
  • Get your smartphone properly connected, and make sure you have a steady signal for meetings, collaboration, etc.
  • Explore the great outdoors, and save yourself the hassle of coming back to a thousand 'critical' emails.
Permanent RV
Permanent Outdoorsperson
  • You spend weeks at a time RVing or camping, or maybe you are living in your RV full time.
  • Keeping in touch with friends and family is that much more critical when you so rarely are able to see them.
But I Still Have Questions!If you identify with one of the examples above, or maybe you realize the benefit of increased signal in your own situation, we're sure you have plenty of specific questions. We have compiled a list of common questions that we have seen (and that we have asked ourselves) so that we can shed as much light as possible on the benefits (and drawbacks) of cell signal boosters.This seems too good to be true. How well do they really work? Like we mentioned above, cell signal is measured in decibels, and while every product is different, the Surecall Fusion2Go 3.0 RV boasts a 20 dB improvement in signal (remember: the closer the signal is to 0 dB, the better). However, it is important to note that you must have a signal in the first place to boost. If your phone has no signal at all then a booster will not help you. But if you are seeing a weak or unusable signal, this could be the boost you need.How do I install the booster in my RV? Will I be able to do it myself?Every product will be different, and you'll be able to get detailed, product-specific instructions in your owner's manual. But here are some general steps to follow:
  • Make sure to register your device with your service provider. Most service providers consent to the use of boosters on their network, but to be safe you should always consult your provider first.
  • Mount the outside antenna. Make sure to mount the antenna above the roof line of your RV. For best results, mount it at the highest point on your roof in an upright position.
  • Mount the inside antenna. The location of your receiver should be away from any excessive heat, direct sunlight, or moisture.
  • Connect the outside satellite with the inside receiver. It is advisable to do a "soft install" where you run the wires through a window or existing hole in your RV exterior to verify successful operation.
  • Connect power and verify successful operation. Plug the interior adapter into the nearest power outlet. From here you should be ready to go, but verify any status lights or messages with your installation instructions in your owner's manual to make sure everything is installed correctly.
Does a cell booster work with every carrier?The short answer is yes. The long answer is that every carrier has the right to decline usage of a signal extender, although they rarely do. Make sure to check with your service provider and confirm that they will consent to the usage of a signal extender before making a purchase or installation.Can I connect multiple devices?Yes, once the signal extender is installed, any cell signal in the area will connect through it.Is the signal strong enough to be a wi-fi hotspot?Unfortunately, there isn't a clear answer here. Your phone's wi-fi hotspot speed will vary depending on how strong your signal was before installing the signal booster, and how much your signal is boosted. Connecting won't be a problem, and you'll likely be able to complete quick searches and check email without problems. But if you're looking to stream movies you may run into some slowdown depending on your connection.The Bottom LineAt the risk of stating the obvious, more signal is better. You can work more effectively, speak with others more easily, have consistent access to critical information, and yes, post enough pictures of your campfire food to single-handedly take over the feeds of all your loved ones. If after reading this your first thought was, "Sheesh, I would love to have one of those for my next camping trip!" then click here (or the button below) to browse our selection of cell signal boosters, and the benefits of reliable signal will be loud and clear no matter where you are.
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About Jacob JTo say that my path to etrailer was complicated would be an understatement. I have always had a passion for helping others, and throughout my education and career as a social worker or community liaison, I have loved writing as a hobby. When I found etrailer and was given the opportunity to turn something I enjoyed doing into a career that helped people access information and products they need to live the best life they possibly could, I was instantly interested.I am a lover of the outdoors, have been loading and unloading trailers since I before I was old enough to drive them, and have spent my recent years working in and around the automotive industry. And I am excited to share all of the things I have learned (more often than not the hard way).I consider myself a perpetual student, and etrailer gives me the opportunity to learn something new every day and share my findings with others. Which is something I am extremely grateful for. I look forward to continuing to help people find the answers they need to make memories for a lifetime.
Related ProductsWritten By: Jacob JLast Updated: 11/22/2022


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