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CB radio, FRS and cell phones


scouserl41

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I just installed a CB in the rig and I remember seeing a sign on the back of a rig somewhere that said "We monitor CB channel 13".

Is there an "RV" channel of choice that most people monitor rather than 19?

My motorcycle group use channel 1 nationwide and it's so easy to talk to somebody along the way.

It would be nice to talk to fellow RV'ers on the road sometimes.

 

How about FRS?

 

I wouldn't feel comfortable putting my cell phone number on the back of my rig but most people have one with them all the time and with a Bluetooth hands free device it's easier than CB with a mike to hold and a transmit switch to push.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thanks

BnB

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In my experience the number of RV'ers who have and use CB's is close to zero. It is a fad that passed long ago. Truckers still use it on Channel 19, but you don't want to listen to that unless you're comfortable with foul language.

 

As for FRS or GMRS, the range is so limited that they are essentially useless for anything other than talking to someone 1/4 mile away or so in another vehicle. We use one when my wife is following in the car.

 

I think what you are asking for just doesn't exist in the RVing world.

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I've used a cb since the early 70's. There aren't as many people on the air as there were in the 80's, but I still find a cab to be useful. On the road I monitor 19 because that's where the truckers/professional drivers are. I have been alerted to accidents ahead several times and been able to take a recommended detour around to avoid being stuck in traffic. I've not found regular traffic on any other channel ...even truckers don't use it as much as they once did. They are really good when you are traveling with other rv's in caravan.

 

FRS can be useful for a small caravan, but even the better ones have a pretty limited range. We used them on an rv caravan to Alaska and found that their range was limited to 3 or 4 vehicles, and sometimes someone in between would have to relay messages between the rvs on each end. Line of sight was pretty much the rule.

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We used the CB on 19 when we saw a problem coming up but otherwise left it off, never bothered with any other channel.

 

We used FRS radios in convoys from time to time but as was mentioned range can be an issue as can getting several different brands to talk together nicely.

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Although the DW and I both have ham radio licenses, we also have a CB which came with the motor home (they all did back then) as well as one in the toad. Both of them are Cobra brand and quite good for both range and audio so we use them often when one of us goes ahead to scout out fuel stops or camp spots. Barring the virtually unintelligible skip signals, the entire frequency band is almost always quiet.

 

Owners of Foretravel motor homes often say they monitor channel "Fore" (4) but since the numbers of Foretravel RVs are pretty small the chances of finding another one on the road monitoring that channel have always seemed slim to me.

 

Channel 19 can be handy, though.

 

FRS is ok but many of those radios also include the GMRS channels which are illegal to use unless you have an actual license for them. CB is always safer.

 

Amateur radio trumps them all whether long distance or walkie-talkies. Back in the days before cells (or at sea) phone patches were terrific for keeping in touch with family and friends.

 

WDR

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We usually keep the CB on 19 with the squelch up so I only hear close transmissions. If the garbage yakking gets too bad - usually around cities - I just turn the volume down to minimum. I keep it on as the weather frequency will sound an alert even with the volume down.

 

Useful for traffic problems and accident alerts. Most often it is truckers asking about, or commenting on, the smart or the duals on the trailer - surprising how many truckers notice those. Also get comments about towing with the HDT.

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I gave up on CB a number of years ago but when I did travel with a CB turned on it was extremely rare to be able to contact any RV people that we met and I don't remember ever having some RV owner call me. For that reason we stopped using one several years ago. We have had FRS radios and now the improved GMRS radios and we still have them for use if traveling with another RVer or even with another car. We find that they work just fine for the occasional use that we use them for. If you put one in, just realize that it won't do much for you.

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When we bought our current Landau, the CB didn't pick anything up in testing, so I was going to toss it. Instead, I found a cold solder joint in the antenna connector when I started to disconnect things, and couple of minutes with the soldering gun took care of that. Now we monitor ch. 19 while on the road, as well as the built-in weather radio. We have avoided a couple of accident related heavy traffic issues due to the advanced warnings from truckers, but I'm not sure I'd bother to buy and install one from scratch though.

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I could be wrong, but I think a lot of truckers are now using HAM radio. I know I hear a lot of them on a local repeater which has some really wide coverage due to its location on a mountain. What I don't know is if there is a particular 2m/70cm frequency they might monitor aside from 144.2 or 432.1 in other areas. I have a CB I could hook up if the need arose, but otherwise, I just use HAM. We use FRS when parking and around campgrounds.

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I have a CB radio that came in the MH. I only turn it on if I need info from truckers such as road conditions or why we arent moving in traffic. Also have a CB radio for the RZR and the toad for communicating with other riders and the MH.

 

We sometimes travel with friends and for that we use VHF radios which gives us about a 10 mile range..very handy..

 

We also have walky talkies but they usually are in a drawer somewhere not charged.

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In some states it is illegal to talk on a cell phone while driving. Tests have shown that doing so, even hands free, uses the same brain cells that driving does which means you can't do both well. If someone calls me while driving I tell them to call back when parked and I hang up. I don't want to be involved in anyone's accident.

 

Linda Sand

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I have a CB in the MH, it is on Ch. 19 when it is on most of the time to pick up road problems.

I usually monitor 146.520 Mhz on the Ham 2 meter band, that is the National Calling Freq.

The National Calling Freq. on the Ham 440 UHF band is 446.000 Mhz. I never listen to that freq.

The National Calling Freq. for 6 meter Ham band on FM is 52.525, I sometimes listen to that freq. if the HF rig (TS-2000) is not on HF.

When I am mobile in the MH I usually am on APRS at 144.390 Mhz with pl tone of 100.0 Hz for Voice Alert also.

 

Give me a call sometimes, I show up on the RV International Service nets on 40 Meters on Wednesday usually.

 

John kb0ou

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We have a CB but the only time it is on is if there is a road issue.

 

We use FRS around the campground and sometimes for parking. When used for parking it is ONLY a supplement to hand signals. Typically it is not used for parking.

 

We rarely use a phone in motion - even the navigator. But sometimes we accept a call. Usually they go direct to voice mail.

 

For caravans we use CB if possible because of the range. FRS otherwise, but at best the range is LOS. But we rarely caravan. If we travel with someone we typically "meet up" at the end of the day or at a lunch stop.

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Think I know where the RV with the sign we monitor channel 13 comes from. Imperial Dam Long Term Visitor Area, North of Yuma AZ.

 

RVers there formed a group that monitors CB channel 13 (24/7) for medical emergencies. Thousands of RVer Winter there in the desert. They check in with each other around 7 pm at night. A lot of older folks there. The group will meet and direct the ambulance to the site of the stricken member. If you select to be on the list and do not answer the 7 pm call-in, they will dispatch someone to do a welfare check. Good group of people there.

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I parted with $50 and purchased a couple of Midland GXT1050 FRS/GMRS handheld radios. Haven't used them as intended yet ... but think they're going to come in handy. We rented a 32' Class A and took a weeklong trip last fall just to get a little experience with a coach prior to purchasing our own. With us both being a couple of newbies in our roles (me as driver, she as spotter) - not being able to communicate with her easily was a little frustrating. As was the couple of occasions that I hoofed the 1/4 mile back to the campground office only to find that I needed a piece of information that I didn't have with me. The extra walking was probably good for me ... but still, I'm thinking having a couple of handheld radios available if/when we need 'em is probably a good idea.

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