Rv Internet Setup: Weboost Drive 4G-X RV Review
Disclaimer: While weBoost sponsored this post and video, it was our idea and we contacted them directly. As always, all experiences, opinions, and thoughts are our own!
If you're planning to work on the road, chances are you'll need either decent cell service, or a reliable internet connection. And even if you don't plan to work from your RV, you may need these things to keep in contact with friends and family, research places to stay, or snuggle up for some entertainment on Hulu, Netflix or Amazon.
We've been pretty lucky in our first year of RV'ing, since we've almost always had a decent wi-fi connection. You can read about our original RV internet setup here.
It wasn't until our RV was hit by a semi and we found ourselves stuck at an RV repair shop, that accessing the internet became an issue. We didn't have a decent wi-fi connection so we had to rely 100% on our phones.
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We have the Verizon “unlimited” plan and up until this point we never had an issue streaming movies or updating our website with our mobile internet connection, but this was no longer the case.
While at the repair shop it honestly felt like we time warped into 1998 and were relying on dial-up. The internet was so bad I think I may have cried a few times because it was nearly impossible to be productive and get work done. It would take 45 minutes to do something that should have taken 1-3 minutes. Seriously. I think this had something to do with us being parked next to the shop, which is a large metal building. Yeah, that definitely wasn't helping our cause.
We were frustrated but every week we thought we may be able to leave, so we dealt with the crappy internet. Before we knew it, 2 months had passed and we decided enough was enough. Something had to be done.
With a budget of $500 we decided it was time to invest in the weBoost Drive 4G-X RV. This is the setup we found to work best in improving cell service, specifically for RV travel. The only issue is we couldn't find it locally so we would have to order it online. We almost gave in and bought something else locally, but decided this would be worth the wait. We had dealt with crappy internet for this long, what was a few more days?
It was at that point we decided to reach out to weBoost and see if they would be open to sending us the booster for free to review, and they did, woo-hoo!
So yes, this RV cellular signal booster was sent to us in exchange for a review, but we would have bought it regardless.
The question is… should you buy it? Is it worth it? Does it actually make a difference?
Let's dive in and find out!
Watch the Video:
Watch the video below for our unboxing, installation, speed test results, AND our 3 week update!
First let me mention how clean the packaging is. When you open the box everything is labeled which makes the directions much easier to follow.
Below you can see everything that comes inside the boxes:
Speed Test BEFORE Installation
Here's the screenshot of our speed test before we installed the weBoost Drive 4G-X RV. All I can say is, yikes! And no wonder we couldn't get anything done…
You can watch Eric install the exterior antenna in the video above, but here's a photo of it attached to our ladder:
Rather than set it up permanently, we decided to run the cable through the crack of our RV slide-out. This way we would test the location before making it permanent. We currently have the interior booster set up on one of the nightstands in our bedroom.
Speed Test AFTER installation
Once installed it was time to re-test the speed and holy cow, it made a HUGE difference! It's crazy because these numbers are probably where most people start before installing the booster. Even so, we noticed a huge difference in our internet speed and were finally able to get work done without crying or banging our head against the wall, woo-hoo!
What's funny is just a few days after we installed the weBoost, our RV repairs were completed and we were able to leave the repair shop. Go figure. Sure it would have been nice to have this setup during our 2 months at the shop, but hindsight is 20/20. At least we were able to test it next to a massive metal building and see how much it improved our internet speed.
Results after 3 weeks and testing in multiple enviornments
Even though our results were awesome the first time around, we wanted to test the weBoost 4G-X RV in a few different environments before sharing it with you.
Week 1: Estes Park, Colorado
After we left the RV shop we headed to Estes Park. While there we had a pretty nice view, and the campground offered wi-fi, but we had absolutely zero cell service in our spot
Over the last year we've never stayed somewhere with no signal, but saw this as the perfect opportunity to test the weBoost.
Here's a screenshot from my phone showing there was no service:
And here's a screenshot on my phone just a minute later after we connected the weBoost:
See how it jumped to 3 bars? Awesome! As soon as my cell service came back I realized I had missed calls and text messages from my mom who wanted to make sure we got to the campground safely. She had tried calling Eric too but he also didn't have service. So I was able to call her back and let her know all is well and we were good, haha.
I should mention that we did have to keep our phones near the interior booster to get service, but hey it was better than nothing!
Week 2: Provo, Utah
Fast forward another week and we were staying in Utah. This time we were at a campground with no wi-fi but decent cell service. What's interesting is Eric noticed his cell service was worse when it was next to the booster (he was trying to watch the Falcons game online), but luckily he didn't need the booster in that situation anyway. I didn't have any issues and in fact, still had better service when my phone was next to the interior booster. This turned out to be a blessing because I realized we had server issues and spent the next two days switching hosting companies and making updates to our site, which would have been a nightmare without a reliable internet connection.
Week 3: Truckee, California
Then let's fast forward another week to when we stayed at an RV park in Truckee, California. They had wi-fi but it wasn't until we arrived that we found out it wasn't working because it had been struck by lightning (they have since fixed it). Our internet speed wasn't so hot on our phones until we plugged in the weBoost. Whew!
Is the weBoost Drive 4G-X RV Worth it?
So is the weBoost Drive 4G-X RV Worth it? Based on our experience so far, weBoost rocks! When wi-fi has been non-existent or our cell signal has been low, weBoost has definitely come to the rescue.
I think it's important to mention that when it comes to RVing, having multiple internet setups is key.
What may work in one environment, may not work in another and vice versa. We still love having our wi-fi extender for those situations when we have a wi-fi connection but need to boost the signal strength, but the weBoost 4G-X RV has been our go-to setup when we want to use our mi-fi or phone hotspot. We're currently at a campground that has both wi-fi and decent cell service but but are still using both internet setups. This way we have a secure wi-fi connection, but if Eric and I both want to work online we find it easier for one of us to be on the wi-fi and the other to jump on the phone hotspot.
Having a steady internet connection is vital to our business, so for us the weBoost Drive 4G-X RV is a no-brainer and a product we absolutely recommend to anyone traveling in a tiny home on wheels!
Do you have a favorite setup or product when it comes to getting internet on the road? Tell us about it in the comments below!