The weatherman said it was going to be windy yesterday, and one news report predicted wind gusts as high as 55 mph. Not a good day to be out on the highway in a high profile RV! And still, we saw several rigs pulling out of the fairgrounds RV park. Where do they have to go to make them get out on the highway in these kind of conditions?
Fortunately, those high gusts didn’t happen here, and while it was pretty windy out at the fairgrounds, when we drove into Tucson to my cousin Beverly’s apartment it wasn’t too bad at all. That same weatherman is predicting more wind and rain, and decidedly colder temperatures for the next couple of days. I’m hoping he misses the mark again.
I’ve always considered myself lucky to have grown up in the age of the muscle car, when gas was cheap and horsepower was plentiful. When I was a teenager, just by the sound of it starting up, I could tell you if a car was a Ford, Chevy, or Mopar product. They may not have had all the high-tech features of modern cars, but in those days automobiles had character and they didn’t all look the same, like today’s cars. Before we hit the road fulltime, I had a garage full of classic cars, including a couple of old Mustangs, a vintage 1969 Corvette, and a customized 1958 Chevrolet pickup truck that brought home more than a few trophies from car shows.
Of course, as fulltime RVers, it is not all that easy to keep a stable of old cars. But I still can’t help looking and lusting. So yesterday when we were wandering around town and Miss Terry spotted a place called Southwest Collector Cars I did an immediate U-turn to go back and check it out. The owner, Rick Klank, had a very nice 1965 Corvette Stingray convertible in the showroom, along with the 1968 Dodge Charger that appeared in the old Steve McQueen movie Bullitt. I asked Rick if he had documentation to prove this was really the Bullitt car, and he said he did. Anybody want to buy a famous movie automobile?
I don’t have a place to store one, and I don’t really have a need for one, but if I were to stumble upon a nice 1966 Mustang Fastback, I might be trying to figure out some way to take it home with me. So I guess it’s just as well that Rick didn’t have one in his showroom.
A while back, when we were in Rockport, Texas, I was bemoaning the fact that the Verizon cell service was almost nonexistent. My friend Phil May from TechnoRV said he thought he had a couple of ideas to help us in poor signal areas. We had a Wilson Trucker antenna mounted on the outside of our motorhome, feeding a Wilson signal amplifier, and while it helped in some areas, there are others where it just wasn’t doing the job.
Phil sent me a Wilson AG SOHO 60 Cell Phone Signal Booster and a Wilson wall mount panel antenna and told me to try them and see what I thought. Here at the Pima County Fairgrounds RV Park, on the outskirts of Tucson, the Verizon signal is pretty flaky, both on our cell phones, our 3G air card, and our Verizon MiFi device. Signal strength was showing 1 to 3 bars, with constant fluctuations, and quite often the signal just disappeared.
After I replaced our old signal amplifier with the new unit and connected to the flat-panel antenna and sat it on our dashboard, then tuned in the new amplifier, everything jumped right up to 5 bars and stayed there. I had to tune the amplifier to such an extreme that even in the back of the motorhome my cell phone drops down to one bar, but in the front of the coach we have a much stronger and more reliable signal. According to the paperwork that comes with it, the less you have to tune the signal booster the greater range it will have inside a home or RV.
Of course, no matter how strong a signal you have, your data speed can still be really slow in some areas, and we’re seeing that here at the fairgrounds. But given Verizon’s poor service in this area, we might not be able to get out at all without the upgraded equipment. The AG SOHO 60 supports multiple cell phones and data cards simultaneously, and works with all major North American cell phone carriers, which include both Cellular (824-894 MHz) and PCS (1850-1990 MHz) carrier frequency bands.
We know a lot of RVers who are working as gate guards at oil and gas wells around the country, sometimes out in the boondocks. I think this equipment would be great for that kind of situation, or anyplace else where you have to reach out and pull in a weak signal. These new goodies are going to serve us well in our travels. Thanks Phil!
Thought For The Day – Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.