Gary asked: “I have a small RV and when I go certain places, I get very poor cell signal. I’ve tried one of the major cell phone boosters but it didn’t seem to work. I need a real good way to be able to amplify that signal so that when I’m in an area where I only get one bar, I can increase that to two or three.”
Gary, the first thing we have to tell you is that the signal has to be there. In most cases you won’t be able to “boost” a bad signal, what you do is pick it up better with a bigger antenna, then have a device re-broadcast it, but what you’re re-broadcasting has to exist.
Since you’re trying to get a good signal from an RV, you may benefit from trying out an antenna built for a home. The main benefit of that is that it would be large and probably mountable outside. Mounting an antenna outside is definitely more work, but you may benefit by avoiding the tin roof effect. Many tin roof homes get bad reception, your RV is basically a tin-everything home, so you may get better signal from an antenna outside than inside.
If you’re going to places with bad cellphone signal but good WiFi, you can also look into WiFi calling. Many phones and service providers do allow WiFi calling and it may be a simple solution that will help you in areas with poor signal.
If you want to make the investment, though, here’s what you’ll need. First you need a signal booster like the weBoost Drive 4G-M Cell Phone Signal Booster, which sells for $357 at Amazon.com. This is the unit that rebroadcasts the cell tower’s signal inside your RV, and then picks up your phones and sends it back to the cell tower.
It comes with a small magnetic mount external antenna, but for the best performance, you should combine it with a larger unit like the Wilson 318433 RV Trucker Spring-Mount Antenna. It sells for around $50 complete with a 13.5 foot cable and the SMA connector you need to plug in with the Drive 4G-M.
It’s not cheap, we’re talking over $400 for parts here and you still have to mount an antenna and run some cable, possibly needing to drill a hole. But in the end, you will be your own little mini cell tower, amplifying the connection back to the cell towers of your wireless provider.