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Questions for Software Devs working from their RV


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Hello,
I am a software dev, and looking at doing the fulltime RV thing.

I have a lot of questions.

Is this is a possible thing with the current mobile internet offerings. (PLEASE Starlink hurry)

So with my current work flow, i need to remotely connect to databases , AWS , and linux servers

Is anyone on this list doing something like this in their RV?

What has been your experience. Is this possible? What equipment are you using?

Thanks for any help/Information

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Hi thundersnow, welcome!

I spent almost two years as a devops engineer and much of that remote.  Really more of a deployment engineer but now we're splitting hairs :).

The key was managing bandwidth  - Working with github/bitbucket, Ansible Tower, Jenkins, etc was no issue, all worked fine even over 4g cellular.

SQL though I found it helpful to have a jump box close to the source.  We did some fun stuff with CloudFormation that would deploy a linux version of MSSQL in EC2 and then load the dbs from NFS.  Way to slow to try that remote - keep the data in the cloud/data center and just issue commands across the slow connection.  We also used CloudFormation to deploy EC2 workstations for using things like SQL Management Studio, again, keeping it close to the actual data.  The modern versions of RDP are more efficient than ever and work well when piped through an RDGateway.

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@rollinbrain , thanks for the info
I think my biggest concern is running locally and connecting to a remote DB. 

What did you use for cellular hardware? did you use multiple vendors?  I do not think i have to rdp to anything (thank goodness),  most will be SSH

So when looking for a place to stay, were there times you had to bail because of bad coverage or where there anythings you did to kind of "pre-survey" where you were headed.

Thanks again for your info.

 

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I, too, am a developer / programmer.  Not only do I have the "day job", but the wife and I also doing a lot of side work in the social media area.   This is what I added to our rig:

https://www.mobilemusthave.com/Ultimate-Road-Warrior-Bundle-with-Poynting_p_168.html

Currently, we only have the AT&T sim card, though I'll be adding Verizon soon.  (Paying about $120/mo for the AT&T, been pretty good.  New limit (as of 2 or 3 months ago) is 500GB.  I haven't hit it, and the Pepwave has reports to let me check.)  The device will accept FOUR sim cards, but use only two simultaneously.  Technically, it can switch back and forth based on the best signal, but you can also use Peplink's "bonding" feature, if you're into that.  (Bonding is needed to get a single IP address for your "outbound" connection, if using multiple cell networks.)   We have the Pepwave wired directly to DC voltage, therefore it's always on, even in the truck while traveling. (We have a fifth wheel.)

In the rig, too, brought from the house, we have an Asus RT-AC66U B1 router (that I've had for years, and love).  It's the "internal" network.  Everything in the rig runs through that, and the Pepwave is only my WAN provider.  Unless we're boondocking, then everything else is off and we use the (for the phones), the Pepwave directly.  (Though I'm planning to change that.   I'm going to wire up the Asus directly to DC at our next month's stay.)  Technically, I don't need the Asus; the Pepwave can do everything.  I just like it.  Battery power be damned! Heh.

I have a tiny little switch (4 port), that doesn't cut it.  I'm replacing it (next stop) with a 16 port switch.  A little overkill, but draws less than a single amp.  And will also be wired to the DC.  There's a router installed by the mfg. in the rig, but I'll be removing it.  Anytime I want to use the house's OneControl system via my phone, I have to switch networks on the wifi.  Silly.  Also, yet another power drain I don't need.

Lastly, we have a Drobo 5N with 10TB storage.  It can do more, but I have it configured for enough redundancy to lose TWO of the five 3TB drives and still be able to recover.   We also have an Arlo system, I just stick the cameras up when we stop, if I feel the need.  And we have two Echo/Alexa units; one in the bedroom, one in the main room.  (One is the normal big Echo, the other is a rechargeable that I can pull off the base and move around outside for music.)  (Did I mention we have a fifth wheel?  It's 44' long!  Heh.  Two Echos isn't really overkill for us.)

We each have laptops, mine with an additional monitor.   We ripped out the 5 banger sofa and replaced it with a two person desk and chairs.  We just turn the chairs in the evening to watch TV if that's on the schedule.  I don't seem to have real good pics, but I'm attaching one (okay, I'm not, can't get under file size limit), and this Facebook post has about 17 pictures in various stages of removing the sofa and getting the desks setup, though we didn't have the new chairs.  We had started in the toy hauler garage, but the setup/teardown was a beating.  (If we had done like Changing Lanes, maybe not so much.)  Of course, since we have carpet, we put down those clear chair/floor protectors.  (Though I have to shift it constantly.)   The chairs themselves aren't holding up super well, we'll be looking at other alternatives soon.

Probably more information than you wanted, but I tend to give a lot of detail.

PS.  I should add (via this edit) that the laptops are on Wifi.  I'm very strongly considering figuring out how I can get a network cord from the slide wall (there's power connections, so...) through the bays up to the cabinet where I have the switch, etc.  Just would like the faster connection to the Drobo.  Oh, this silly rig has FOUR TV's (didn't have that many at home) and three of them have Roku's on them.  I also have a small Intel NUC computer that serves primarly as a Plex server for all my media.  It also, in a pinch, can serve as a backup work computer (slowly).  When we got into the rig, I bought a new laptop, and had to start work immediately on my new gig.  The first THREE laptops I had delivered were all DOA and I ended up running into Dallas to just go BUY a machine from Microcenter.)

Edited by Will B.
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7 hours ago, thundersnow said:

@rollinbrain , thanks for the info
I think my biggest concern is running locally and connecting to a remote DB. 

What did you use for cellular hardware? did you use multiple vendors?  I do not think i have to rdp to anything (thank goodness),  most will be SSH

So when looking for a place to stay, were there times you had to bail because of bad coverage or where there anythings you did to kind of "pre-survey" where you were headed.

Thanks again for your info.

 

I use a Visible R2 phone velcroed to a WeBoost RV65 and a TPLink N300.  We'll ask the RV Park while making the reservation how the Verizon service is and how the park wifi is.  We don't boondock or glamp, just plain RV parks with basic services.   The WeBoost makes weak cellular quite usable and the N300 makes the Park WiFi much better. 

Its a plain simple setup with low cost.  After a day of network engineering It's not necessarily fun to do it at home too, so this is easy.

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Starlink won't help you much as of right now.  It IS NOT mobile YET.  You can move around some within a specific geographical area but only a few miles.

It does work great here at the house.

Lenp

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46 minutes ago, lenp said:

Starlink won't help you much as of right now.  It IS NOT mobile YET.  You can move around some within a specific geographical area but only a few miles.

It does work great here at the house.

Lenp

This is what I'm really looking for.  Dump Visible and Comcast and just set my little dish out wherever we park.

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Full stack developer; 100% cloud and Microsoft stack, my wife is 100% remote worker also in tech.

Through the build of our new place the rental and the rv didn't have great internet options.  We have cellular 100% unlimited plans.  (100% unlimited in that they aren't capped or throttled; legacy plans).

We worked off of those plans for about 6 months during the build.  For my wife totally no issue (she isn't pulling any large datasets across the wire).  For me the workable path was doing the development work close to the datastores vs. pulling the info local.

Basically, I'd VPN into corporate then remote desktop into a workstation on the same high speed network as the data stores.  Works incredibly well.  Even now with the new place online having crazy fast internal access I still use the same model as it makes access the datastore's very simple.

Connection to the internet when remote was done via tethering to the phone.  Did this as we could each then have our own bandwidth vs sharing between the two of us (basically double the bandwidth).  Simple and worked great.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/4/2021 at 10:41 AM, thundersnow said:

@steiny93great info.  RDP sounds like an interesting solution.  I wish  macos remote worked as well as windows RDP.

A lot of people have said "The best Windows machine I ever owned was a Mac."

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  • 3 weeks later...

I used to work for a consulting company where several people went off and did their own things remotely.  One important piece of advice is to start looking for clients while you are stationary.  It will be a lot easier to continue with clients or get referrals than to look for them when you are moving around.  In other words, you want to establish that you can work independently before you take off. 

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On 3/3/2021 at 2:54 PM, 2gypsies said:

This couple would be able to answer your questions.  They are Escapees and X-scapers and give presentations on various technology subjects.  They full-time in an RV and a boat.

https://www.technomadia.com/

I second this recommendation 100%! They also have a website and a series of complete online courses you can take if you join as a member here: https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/ - but a large percentage of their content is FREE, no need to join unless you want that extra helping-hand in getting your setup built out.

What I like about these two are how dedicated they are to staying on top of all the latest technology, which changes rapidly both for mobile and stationary internet hardware and options. I've been following them on youtube for a couple of years as I started down the path to making my decision and plans for becoming a full-time remote software product manager, and now I'm finally starting that final transition with their help and will be using them this month and next to get my RV outfitted for my needs to be reliably online as I travel. 

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