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Planning trip to southwest, needing recommendations for cg with good cell tower signals


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Hello all and happy almost springtime,

I'm starting to plan a trip out west this year and will be working from my camper, so thought maybe some folks on this site could recommended their favorite campgrounds in the southwest vicinity (including CO) that have the best cell tower reception for internet. I have done a fair amount of homework on the topic of remote work and getting a good signal and many of the challenges it poses, and so I know there are a million variables involved. But can you recommend your favorite cg/blm where you've done remote work? Also let me know what aspects of the cg made it your favorite to work from please. If the cg is under 50.00/night that is a plus; BLM/free is great. Thank you. 

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I've found the cell tower map site below to be helpful in determining the proximity of the towers to the park I'm in or planning to use. Use the "Location" drop down to enter the location of interest, and then enter 310 in the "Provider" box to select the T-Mobile and AT&T listings, or 311 for the Verizon listings.

 https://www.cellmapper.net/

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Southwest is a huge, huge, huge area and first we all have to agree on what is included.   A lot of people include Texas.   Can we get a little more specific about where you want to go.  BTW, the temperatures are about to start their climb, so hope you like hot weather.   

Edited by Barbaraok
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Great recommendation for tower location site, thanks.

My itinerary is not set, and nor are my dates. I would need to get to the desert area before June or into the fall sometime. Getting to higher elevations to escape summer heat would likely result in weakened to no signal, I'm guessing. 

I'm traveling from NC and first destination might be something central like Denver area. I'm meeting family outside of Santa Fe, NM in late June and we'll be there for maybe 10 days, and after then will need to head northward for less heat I guess. We'll be traveling in tandem for the next month + and then head back eastward.

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I not a fan of commercial campgrounds and have found that their internet connections and cell phone signals are generally not worth the money.  It is disappointing to drop $40 on overnight site and find poor connectivity.

I would just add a couple of points.  Don't believe the cell coverage maps in mountain country.  My home is in a sea of 4G signal according to their map.  It is no service at my house.

If your working I would get a phone with a hot spot from both ATT and Verizon.  That will generally work in many places out west.  I would stay away from T-Mobile.  I assume you will be getting a phone amplifier.

Generally, the cell phone coverage will get more "spotty" as you move north into the northern Rockies.  If you stick to major highways that will be your best bet.  The other is to go high.  Get up on almost any major ridge line out west and you will have cell service.

I would actually stop at BLM and Forest Service offices and ask about places to camp and boondock.  I found one of my most favorite boondocks this way.  BTW, the lady did mention that she didn't understand why people camped there (no trees).

Also ask BLM and Forest Service employees you see working out in the field.  These days they know the cell coverage areas, even though they have radio's.  They also know great spots to camp in the area.

I would get a couple of solar panels for use while working.  It doesn't take much electricity to run a office from a RV and that will free you from generator noise during the day.

I use this panel setup.  Yes it is expensive, but well made and stores easily in a handy carrying case.  You can get them in different wattages, but I would check the size of the carrying case and find a place for it in your RV.

https://www.etrailer.com/RV-Solar-Panels/Go-Power/34282729.html

There are so many great spots in the Rockies, I would hate to limit myself to campgrounds. 

 

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You mentioned traveling north to avoid the heat.  That isn't necessarily so.  You need to concentrate on elevation or along the coastline.  Some places north can be very hot, such as eastern Oregon and Washington and South Dakota, North Dakota.

Instead, think of elevation and above 6000' elevation.  We enjoyed 7500'-8000' in the summer or along the coast.

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There are many Escapees campgrounds out west. NM, AZ, CA. Call them and ask about their cell coverage. Also as mentioned campground reviews.com has cell coverage information on their reviews. And you could call the BLM, COE etc where you may have interest and ask them about the cell coverage in their area. 

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3 hours ago, jules2go said:

Great recommendation for tower location site, thanks.

My itinerary is not set, and nor are my dates. I would need to get to the desert area before June or into the fall sometime. Getting to higher elevations to escape summer heat would likely result in weakened to no signal, I'm guessing. 

I'm traveling from NC and first destination might be something central like Denver area. I'm meeting family outside of Santa Fe, NM in late June and we'll be there for maybe 10 days, and after then will need to head northward for less heat I guess. We'll be traveling in tandem for the next month + and then head back eastward.

It was 110 then middle of May in the desert last year.  Didn't get under 100 until almost November.   So you might want to rethink where you are going.   Now higher altitude will be cooler.   By June Santa Fe will be in the 90s.   

If you want to spend time in the desert you should be be on your way NOW.   It will be ~82 today in the Phoenix area today and in the upper 80s tomorrow, then back into the 70s next week.

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One person in our caravan is a teacher and school isn't out until mid-June. Otherwise we'd be on the road now. Such as it is, we'll be in Santa Fe/Taos late June and then will head up into the Rockies. Just have to find places with the best signal. Thank you everyone for the great suggestions. 

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19 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

It was 110 then middle of May in the desert last year.  Didn't get under 100 until almost November.   So you might want to rethink where you are going.   Now higher altitude will be cooler.   By June Santa Fe will be in the 90s.   

If you want to spend time in the desert you should be be on your way NOW.   It will be ~82 today in the Phoenix area today and in the upper 80s tomorrow, then back into the 70s next week.

What about high desert 5-7k? That was my plan really, not lower than 5500. I know that I tolerate arid heat better than what we have in the easts. Thanks.

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