Thursday, March 23, 2023


What would you do for an internet connection?

By Dave Helgeson

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After nearly two weeks of boondocking at various sites without a usable internet connection, the inbox of my email account was approaching 100 unread emails and dozens of unread newsletters. Plus, I have to admit, I was just a little anxious about catching up on what had been happening on social media.

Upon arriving at a new boondocking campsite, I was presented with several options on where to set up camp. Two relative level spots where others had previously camped and one “spot” out on a point with a commanding view of the valley miles below, not offered by the other two spots. While the two “level” sites had a usable internet connection (2 bars of LTE), the one on the point was much stronger (4 bars of LTE). Since I always enjoy a campsite with a view, the spot on the point won out.

My jacks kind of reached the ground!

After backing out onto the point to a spot that I felt was the best position to obtain level, I quickly realized my supply of leveling blocks was woefully inadequate. This problem was quickly remedied by dismantling part of a nearby rock fire ring and utilizing the few pieces of split firewood left behind by previous campers. Luckily my wife was inside the RV as I put the finishing touches on my leveling job. Therefore, she not able to witness the precarious piles of rocks and wood we were perched upon until the next morning when she exited our travel trailer prior to departure.

Image courtesy of Joe Schmidt and

The strong internet connection allowed me to catch up and clear the backlog of emails and newsletters including RV Travel newsletters / Daily Tips. Given the view, I took care of them while sitting outside the RV while soaking in the view.

Just a few rocks needed for side to side leveling

So what are you willing to do for your internet fix after being without service for weeks? Please comment below.

Note:  I should have left the social media alone. After two weeks camping in the boondocks without internet access I had pretty much forgotten what a mess our world is in. As a previous article published in RV Travel pointed out, we all should consider a digital detox now and then.



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2 years ago

We’ve been using our unlimited data plan for 2 cell connected tablets and phones from ATT. Wifi is the FMCA unlimited data hotspot from Sprint.

So far, we get 5 bars 4G on the hotspot and 3 bars on the ATT down in Big Bend in Texas. Our Att plan includes Mexico so we still have service if we swap to a Telcel tower.

2 years ago

I get 100+ junk email daily and 3-4 that are wanted. While I should just get a new address it usually just takes 3-4 minutes to weed out the trash so internet connection is just not a big deal for us.
Since we’re from Kansas we do go for the view however and it sometimes takes a hodgepodge of whatever means available to make it work.

Judy S
2 years ago

OMG Dave! The Rube Goldberg meets Dr. Seuss blocks on the left look kind of scary but funny. I’d have loved to see your wife’s reaction the next morning.

2 years ago

I would not bother with it. One of the prime reasons I ever took up camping and hiking was just to get away from all the crap.

2 years ago

I would guess that this whole business of levelling is quite a pain—luckily for us, our super-small fiberglass egg trailer rarely requires more than the use of our Anderson leveler. That is one darn fine product!!

Montgomery Bonner
2 years ago

I can get internet through phone. If I don’t have it oh well. It’s not life and death to me.

John Koenig
2 years ago

A hundred emails in TWO WEEKS and you’re complaining??? I get 100+ emails EACH DAY. Two days ago, I left MO and drove to TN where I’ll “isolate in place” for the winter (and possibly much longer if the Covid-19 Pandemic does not significantly improve). I had SEVERAL HUNDRED emails to clear after two days of being off line. I have MULTIPLE smartphones, each on different carriers, just so that I can get a 4G/LTE data connection in 99+% of places I visit. Several years ago, while traveling through “the middle of nowhere” Wyoming, I did go for most of the day without any cell signal but, that is an EXCEEDINGLY rare occurrence.

Bob Palin
2 years ago

This seems like a no brainer, the spot with the best view has the best internet, game over.

Neal Davis
2 years ago

We live on the side of a ridge in the western foothills of the Smoky Mountains and have stunning views from the front and back porches. So, I would take the level spot over the profoundly non-level one, figuring that I can walk over and enjoy the view or skip it entirely. We RV more to flee farmwork than to take in nature; we are in nature constantly at home.

Glen Cowgill
2 years ago

We enjoy the one button leveling but have encountered situations where we have had to put blocks under our leveling jacks and sometimes other material. We always worry about the weight of the motor home collapsing the precarious pile under the jacks.
I am no longer able to get down and do the leveling job if I have to crawl under the coach. I do agree though that the view is priceless. Coming from WV originally, I always enjoy the view from above. We used to have a camp on the Buchannan River and while traveling there we would pass a house that you could almost look down the chimney from the road and joke you could see what they were cooking for breakfast.
I really wish I could return to those days when life was simple. Even though the 1940’s was depressing in many ways, life was good without all the modern inventions.

2 years ago

Stop at McD’s for senior coffee. We travel with a cellular-based hot spot, separate from cell phone. We are very seldom out of contact. However, East Coast may have better coverage than the Wild West.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

Dave, you’re a man after our heart. We too have done some seemingly goofy things to level out in various boondocking sites. We’ve dug holes to let our landing gear crank down, stacked up two sets of leveling legos (like your stones) to allow the ‘landing gear’ to touch the ground, driven up on stacks of boards on one side of the trailer, etc. All to make the parking site ideal for the view. Ah, the beauty of boondocking.

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