There are many ways to skin a cat, and in the case of internet for RV families, there is a constant evolution in options. We have been only using RV Park Wifi and our Verizon Phone plan with 30 Gigs of data since we sold our home and went nomad; however, I (Valerie) am the one that always gets in trouble for all of the overage charges we've had as of late.
In my defense, I'm a homeschool mom. I'm a research-a-holic. I love information and the benefits of learning. So, I spent more data in the past two months trying to find more data solutions as we travel; especially for this long of a trip we plan to take.
The first opportunity we came across that looked like it could work for our situation is simply upping our high data plan to an unlimited plan through Verizon. They "rate manage" instead of throttling data once you cross the 22 gig threshold of usage. We finally bit the bullet and gave it a shot. At the end of this first billing cycle, Tom and I had both crossed the 22 gig limit. We noticed a slight decrease in speed; however, we could still do our work and watch YouTube videos.
The second option that I came across after getting onto a Facebook group dedicated to RV Internet, was a device called a Mobley. I looked at several member posts stating that this option allowed them to purchase the device and a stand alone plan with AT&T, meaning I didn't have to have another service plan through them to get this. The plan is called the Connected Car plan and the Mobley device is something that is plugged in to the car.
I noticed some comments about a work-around by purchasing an adapter that allows you to plug in to a regular outlet in your motorhome.
We went to Best Buy first and got some strange looks. They said we had to have or purchase a plan through them first for our phones and other data and then we could add the Mobley to that. Being the persistent husband, that answer wasn't good enough for Tom and we left to go to the AT&T store up the road.
Once in the store, we explained to our salesperson what we were looking for, the Mobley LTE device with the stand alone Connected Car plan and we were again met with some "You're crazy" looks. We pulled up the posts on our phone while in the store and finally he said he would bring his manager over to look at it.
Sure enough, and to the manager's shock and surprise, she was able to verify that this was a valid plan. She helped the salesperson find out how to get us set up and within two days we had the Mobley device in our hands. However, we had to wait until our adapter arrived from Amazon. And, being on the road, we couldn't receive packages at the RV park where we were staying.
So, thanks to Escapees, our mail service, they received the package for us and shipped it to our new park. Now we've had the chance to test it out and so far it is working well. I am looking forward to giving it a better test drive with some homeschool resources I've been wanting to use for a few months, such as Mobey Max and Hooked on Phonics. In addition, I won't have steal data from Tom anymore and can do more with our businesses and websites, including updating the blog more often!
Now we have 3 options that we can switch between while traveling. First, we will always try to use the Wifi from the RV parks where we stay. Some are great and some are average and some just plain stink. Second, we can use our current data plan with our phones and mifi device and finally, we can use the Mobley for up to 5 devices- my phone, my Mac, and the kids Amazon Fire Tablets and if all else fails for Tom's work we can connect his laptop.
We are thankful that there are forums and YouTube channels that offer suggestions and feedback so that we can optimize and enhance our travel experience.
Here's where we found the AC Adapter (please note this is an affiliate link, and by purchasing through this link, we get a commission at no cost to you):
If you want to read more about the Mobley LTE device and if it would work for your family's needs, I recommend you do your own research and possibly check out these resources. I'm just sharing what we have found and what we are currently using; however, no plan is one size fits all! And things are changing all the time. Something better may come along, and the plan we have now may not be around tomorrow. So, for today, we'll keep trucking along and will enjoy our $20 a month data plan.