Episode 158: Satellite Internet for RVers Takes a Huge Step Forward

Location Independence is a phrase you hear a lot about these days in the RV industry as more and more people take to a life on the road in their RV and do their work from anywhere, as long as they have a connection to the Internet. That connection is now a whole lot more reliable thanks to a company called Kymeta that has come up with a revolutionary satellite solution that provides broadband-speed Internet where it’s never been before. And this week in our interview section coming up, you’ll learn how this works and what it can mean to you. And I’m also excited to tell you that I am testing that solution right now in my RV.

Show Notes for Episode #158 Sept. 20, 2017 of Roadtreking – The RV Podcast:

WHAT MIKE AND JENNIFER ARE UP TO THIS WEEK

We’re back from Canada and the opening of the Erwin Hymer Group of North America’s brand new 250,000 square foot manufacturing facility – see https://youtu.be/CyLm5_3LrA8

We’re testing out that new Kymeta system we’ll be talking about in our interview section but we’ve also added the WiFi Ranger system to the RV, plus our Wilson WeBoost cell phone booster and a new VHF/UHF amateur radio transceiver that utilizes some cool new technology.

We also have tested a new cargo box for the RV. We did a review on it and you can see why we won’t be recommending it for others by watching the video review we did. We’ll link to it in the shownotes for this episode at roadtreking,com/158

Our YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel is rockin and rollin! One of our videos, a tour of our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL RV, just reached a very huge milestone! It has been watched over 1 million times! We love doing RV videos and have been putting out two and sometimes three a week. You can subscribe by going to rvlifestylechannel.com and clicking the little red subscribe button. There’s also an option to be notified of when new videos go online. After subscribing, just click that little bell icon you at the top right of the channel page.

This portion of the Podcast is brought to you by Campers Inn, the RVer’s trusted resource for over 50 years, the nation’s largest family-operated RV dealership with 16 locations and growing

 JENNIFER'S TIP OF THE WEEK

With fall now upon us, the nights are getting colder and for those with forced air heaters, the air inside your RV can get mighty dry. We met fellow RVer Jan Mathews at a campground a while back and she had this suggestion for us.

Get a small portable humidifier/moisturizer.

Janet's Fresh Aire moisturizer

Jan says these little humidifiers are available everywhere. We found them on Amazon. In fact, we found a whole page of them, some of them even offering aroma therapy as well. We even found one that works off the USB connectors in your RV. Here’s a link to the Amazon offerings – http://amzn.to/2w5jCHY

And be sure to send me your tips and suggestions for the RV lifestyle. You can use the “Leave Voicemail” link at Roadtreking.com. Just click it and then use the built-in microphone on your computer or mobile devise to record a message to me. You can do it over as many times as you want, until you are satisfied. And then you just click a button and it comes right to my email inbox.

I love hearing from you!

Jennifer's tip of the week is brought to you by RadPower Bikes ,an electric bike manufacturer offering direct to consumer pricing on powerful premium electric bikes. Now with free shipping

For a complete list of all the products, gear and apps mentioned by Mike and Jennifer on their podcast, YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel and here on the blog, go to http://roadtreking.com/gear

LISTENER QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK

Lynn is from Florida and recently lost power at her home as a result of Hurricane Irma. She wonders about the generator in her 17 year old Roadtrek Popular 200 RV is strong enough to power her house refrigerator of it happens again.

The generators that Roadtrek uses are made by Cummins/Onan and the gas generator model that is installed will generate 2800 wattsor 2.8KW of 110/120 volt AC power. Most house refrigerators use about 700 watts.

Alan asks about his water pump and boondocking. Can he leave it on when off the grid or just turn it on when he needs it.

The water pump in your RV is an on demand pump in other words the only time the pump will operate is when you turn on a faucet or flush a toilet. As long as the pump is operating properly it will not use any power when there is no demand for water.

And Dan wants some ideas on where to go RVing in the winter and I the snow where there are fun things to do.

We suggest he read our blog story on our annual winter campout at Tahquemenon Falls in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula at http://roadtreking.com/time-reserve-spot-annual-winter-campout  It’s January 19-21, 2018

Sponsoring this part of the podcast is Van City RV in St. Louis, and their Partner Dealerships Creston RV in Kalispell, Montana, and Wagon Trail RV in Las Vegas. Bringing You the largest Inventory of class B’s from three locations.

INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK

The Kymeta satellite antenna – though displayed upright in this photo, it mounts flat on the roof of a vehicle/RV

Location Independence is a phrase you hear a lot about these days in the RV industry as more and more people take to a life on the road in their RV and do their work from anywhere, as long as they have a connection to the Internet. That connection is now a whole lot more reliable thanks to a company called Kymeta that has come up with a revolutionary satellite Internet solution that provides broadband-speed Internet where it’s never been before. And this week in our interview section coming up, you’ll learn how this works and what it can mean to you.

The Kymeta antenna mounted on top of Mike's 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4

Bob Shuman, Vice President, Kymeta Corp.

Now this system is brand new and I am really excited to reveal that our RV   – a 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 – is the first production RV to have the Kymeta solution installed. Jennifer and I will be traveling the country with it, testing it out in many different places and under many different scenarios. I’ll be doing a video in the next week or two that shows how it works in our RV but – to answer your question – YES! It will soon become available but only from one RV manufacturer – the Erwin Hymer Group of North America. How soon? I don’t know. How much? Pricing hasn’t been set yet. We should have answers to those questions certainly before the end of the year.

But right now, I want you to meet Bob Shuman, an executive with Kymeta, who will give us an overview on why this system is a first of a kind satellite technology that can deliver broadband Internet connectivity anywhere, anytime, while on the move.

The interview of the week is brought to you by SunshinestateRVs.com, where every new or used Roadtrek motorhome is delivered to the customer free, anywhere in the country

RV NEWS OF THE WEEK:

Interior Dept. Recommends Cuts or Changes to Seven National Lands Monuments

Wildfire destroys 70 percent of Canada's Waterton Lakes National Park's forested area

National Parks Service seeks hunters to shoot bison in Grand Canyon's North Rim area

This portion of the podcast is brought to you by Alde,  the only name in heat that you need to know for your RV

TRAVELING TECH TIP:

By Steve Van Dinter

Steve Van Dinter

Verizon Wireless

Many people have a goal to be more active. But the difficult part tends to be conflicting priorities like family, work and let’s be honest – relaxing. Sometimes all it takes though is a little extra prodding from a digital friend to help you out.

That’s where the newest wearable – the Fitbit Ionic comes into play. This one is supercharged to help you go the extra mile.

Think of it as your coach, friend, assistant and entertainment director all in one!

That’s right, Fitbit Ionic has a full color screen that will walk you through your workout giving you on screen guidance for every stretch, lift and step you take.  It also has built in GPS to keep track of your distance and even a heart rate monitor so you know just how hard you pushed it.

Because life doesn’t stop when you’re working out, Fitbit Ionic also makes sure to keep you on top of your notifications, calls and texts. In fact, you’ll see them right on screen.

And when it’s time for some motivation, just connect a bluetooth speaker or headset to this smart tracker and play away. With it’s on-board memory, it can even store 300 or more songs…so you can leave your phone at home and still get the boost you want.

Speaking of boosts, ever wish you could be pushed harder while training in the water? You guessed it…Fitbit Ionic can track your swims as well!

Finally when it’s time for bed, leave it on and it’ll keep track of your sleep.

Fitbit Ionic boasts a four day battery life and even has an NFC chip allowing you to make mobile payments on the go.

It’s available at Verizon stores and Verizonwireless.com beginning Oct 11.

This part of the podcast is brought to you by Verizon, which operates America’s most reliable wireless network, with more than 112 million retail connections nationwide.

OFF THE BEATEN PATH REPORT –  

By Tom and Patti Burkett

Patti and Tom Burkett

When Mike was twelve years old, he accidentally dropped a baseball in a bucket of paint.  “Interesting,” he said to himself, and kept dipping it. Then he wrapped a wire around it to use as a handle and invited his friends to help.  That was the beginning of this story.  It continues when Mike helped his toddler son begin painting his own baseball.   In 2006 Sherwin-Williams sponsored the ball and provided a building to house it.  It hangs suspended from steel I-beams and occasionally gets a steel band reinforcement.

We came across an article about the ball a few months ago. Don't just drop by, the article said, call and make an appointment. Not wanting to miss it, we did just that the day before we arrived. Mike and his wife Glenda were waiting for us. We pulled up in the drive, and as we got out, the lights in the building lit up the ball for us to see through the glass front doors.   It was quite the reveal.

The Burkett's with their Paintball certificates

The ball hung there like a giant orange avocado, with the number 25,271 written on one side.  We had a brief tour of the historical articles posted on the walls, saw the original ball of paint with its coat hanger hook, and were asked to select from several colors for the next coat of paint on the ball. “Teal looks good,” Patti said. “Now let's get a before picture,” Mike said as he opened the teal paint bucket. Next thing we knew we had rollers in our hands. “You can use the mirror on the floor to make sure you get all the way underneath,” advised Glenda.

Twenty minutes later we'd finished our chore and the once orange 2 1/2 ton ball now looked like a slightly misshapen Earth, seen from space, and covered with clouds. As we painted, we heard about the list on the wall, naming the countries (about two dozen) from which our fellow ball-painters had hailed. We heard about the Oak Ridge Boy's visit and the ball's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel's show, and about the numerous periodicals that had featured this Guinness certified creation.

Paint ball Mike, the guy who invented the pain ball

At least until the next group of visitors, or until tomorrow (Mike or his son paint the ball faithfully once a day even if no one shows up), we hold the record for the worlds largest ball of paint –coat number 25,721!  We have certificates to prove it and signed our name on the wall along with all those who came before us!  So head up IN route 9 northeast of Indianapolis towards the little town of Alexandria, and among the truck farms and housing developments, you'll find this roadside wonder.  It's waiting for you to set your own record. Don't look for us there, because we've already done that, but you might well find us, Patti and Tom Burkett, somewhere else off the beaten path.

This part of the podcast is sponsored by Steinbring Motorcoach, Roadtrek’s newest dealer and a third generation family business in Minnesota’s beautiful Chain of Lakes region built on quality motorhomes and excellent pricing and service.

RV SHOWS THIS WEEKEND

Indianapolis, IN – Indianapolis Fall Boat and RV Show, Sept. 22-24, 2017

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  • TEB

    Why in the world would they tie themselves to a single RV manufacturer, not even the perfect sat internet would make me buy a hymer and deal with those cassette toilets! I know they also now own Roadtrek but I am also not a roadtrek fan due to the floor plans.

    • I’m not so sure that Hymer won’t make them available to other RV manufacturers, as a sort of distributor or upfitter for Kymeta… I think all that is being worked out right now.

  • Jacob

    Mike, do you know if there are latency issues with VOIP calls using the Kymeta system?