The Massive Popularity of Boondocking and Overlanding

If there was any doubt about the popularity of boondocking and overlanding – off the grid camping and exploration with recreational vehicles of all types and sizes – all you had to do was visit to the just-ended Overland East Expo in Asheville, NC

Jennifer and I came away energized and excited like no RV show has ever done. We were surrounded by nearly 6,000 enthusiasts who camped on the grounds of the beautiful Biltmore Estate in everything from rooftop tent campers (Jennifer called them bird nests) to 12 foot high behemoth-sized Expedition Vehicles (I called them Zombie Apocalypse survival trucks).

We were there to get a handle on this fast moving segment of RVers, to understand where the boondocking craze is headed and to take classes in bushcraft and off the grid camping. And, of course, to see the vehicles. Check out this video…

While at Overland East, we also got a chance to test out our new Kymeta Satellite Internet System. We were camped so far out in the 8,000-acre Biltmore estate that there was little to no cellphone service.

Speedtest of our Kymeta satellite Internet connection

That was no problem for us.

I had broadband speed all weekend from our system, which we are prototyping for Kymetta and the Erwin Hymer Group of North America, which will be the distributor for the the software-controlled flat panel antenna.  You can see from the screen capture of a speed test I ran from the Overland East camping field how solid and fast our connection was.

We shared it with our camping neighbors, allowing anyone who wanted to check email or go online. We use it with the WiFi Ranger and were able to broadcast a Roadtreking Guest network for a couple hundred feet around our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4all weekend. At 7.84 Mbps, we were even able to streamNetflix movies. In fact, at one point Saturday afternoon when we were taking a break from seeing the Overland exhibits and classes,  we kicked back and streamed two movies at the same time, one on Netflix and one on Hulu. One for me, one for Jennifer.

We also got a chance to tour the Biltmore Estate and the amazing mansion built by George Vanderbilt.

That's our 2017 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL 4X4 on the right. The vehicle on the right is a Mobile Lab, used by Erwin Hymer Group of North America Advanced R&D Director Joe Raetano. When we heard Joe was coming to this event, we decided to tag along for the weekend.

That's quite the contrast, isn't it? Attending an Expo dedicated to roughing it (indeed, all the Overland campers were boondocking) on the grounds of perhaps the most luxurious place in the country. Hey, it's a tough job. But we were happy to do it!

It was a great weekend.

We're off now to go spend the rest of the week in the Blue Ridge Mountains or wherever the next bed in the road takes us.

 




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  • Bill Krueger

    Since you mentioned Kymeta I’m just wondering if anyone has looked into pricing. All I could find is an article stating that the antenna will cost $25,000 and the service charges for the Kalo service will range from $29 for a gigabyte of data to $899 for 80 gigabytes. Hardly affordable for many of us if those turn out to be the actual costs.

    Note that I found those figures at https://www.geekwire.com/2017/kymeta-intelsat-unveil-kalo-satellite-service-antennas/