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The best ways to get great cell phone coverage when you’re living that van life


A guest post written by Triona Giblin, from Waveform.

If you’ve taken the plunge into full or part-time van living, or if you’re just considering it, chances are a big concern is keeping in touch on the road. A reliable connection is a must for remote working. Even if you’re not working on the road, just connecting with social media is vital for sharing your journey and keeping loneliness at bay.

This means that great cell service is a must-have when you’re on the road. If you’re getting bad signal when parked up or driving in a remote rural area, the most likely reason is simply distance from the cell tower. If you find yourself needing signal and you don’t know where to try for coverage, one useful tip for locating your nearest cell tower – if you are in a very rural location, it will usually be located in the direction of the nearest freeway.

You might have a different problem however. Sometimes, signal can be strong outdoors, but barely penetrate inside your van or RV. This is because the materials of the van may be inadvertently causing what’s known as a Faraday cage effect. If you’ve designed the inside of your van to be as tightly packed as possible, you might find that wire and metal can block frequency waves. This means that once you’re inside, signal can’t reach your devices.

Usually moving nearer to a window will help, but if it doesn’t, or if you’ve set up your van so that your work or relaxing space is right in the dead zone, don’t worry. There are a few technological solutions that can bring cell signal inside your van. A cell signal booster will capture even weak signal outside and re-broadcast it inside via an antenna.

1. If you spend most of your time at stationary camp sites, you can install a booster designed for homes in place of a mobile booster. These systems are more powerful, which means stronger signal for you, covering the whole of your RV.

2. If you’re not willing to compromise on coverage while on the road, a great all-rounder unit that will boost coverage both driving and while stationary is what you’ll need. If you’re worried about dropped calls while driving through remote areas, this is the unit for you.

3. If it’s just you in the van, or you and your travel companions have the same carrier, a single carrier booster will be perfect. If you are in really remote areas and need a powerful booster to amplify very weak signal, you’ll want this.

4. Finally, if all these options seem like a lot of work attaching antennas and running cable, you might want to check out the budget-friendly easy-install single device booster. With a 3-step installation process it is simple and quick, allowing for easy transfer between vehicles. It will only boost one phone at a time, however, and you’ll need to keep it in the magnetic phone mount on the dash for it to work – not a big deal in a small van, or when you’re driving, but it won’t cover the inside of a large RV.

Exclusively for Workfrom members, Waveform is offering a 10% discount on our cell signal boosters.


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