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  • Winegard Gateway - for Canadian Owner - questions

    Questions that might be answered by a techno nerd owner in Canada. Not really relevant for US owners where Cell plans are so much better :-)

    We recently purchased a 2021 GD 310RLS Reflection, and are figuring out a few things. I have a bunch of questions about the Winegard technology and what options we have.

    So, as I understand it, the Winegard 360+ unit attached to the top of our RV is an omni-directional antenna that can pick up the following signals:

    - TV ‘over the air’ transmission and radio AM/FM signals – this feature is already connected to our TV A/V centre in the RV, correct? So nothing else we need to do there.

    - Wifi signals – It can pick up these signals, and then can be attached to a gateway / router to amplify the signals in our RV and nearby, through a wifi hotspot it creates (ie – it becomes the wireless router) – I have some questions about that below. I believe there are connectors for that preinstalled in the ceiling of my unit. These would make it very simple to install the Gateway device.

    - Cell signal – If I’m in the US, and have an AT&T or Verizon plan, I can get a sim card from them and put it into the Winegard Gateway (if I buy one), and connect it to my existing plan. This allows me to use my cellular provider to create a wifi network in my unit from my cellular service, in places where there is no wifi or bad wifi (that’s about 70% of the RV parks in Canada based on my experience to date.) Basic question here. In Canada, if we have Telus as our cell plan provider, can we also get a Sim Card from them and connect the Winegard to our cellular network here in Canada? I don’t think that’s an option from what I’ve seen so far?

    - Of course I could get a cellular data plan through Winegard, but that seems dumb. I already pay good $ for a 10Gb monthly cellular data plan to Telus that works on both sides of the border, why would I get yet another plan and pay yet another provider every month for something I already have? We’re not full time RV’ers so certainly wouldn’t want to purchase a monthly payment cell service. Also, I’m suspecting the Winegard Canada plan would only work in Canada?

    So IF I can connect the Winegard Gateway to my Telus plan, then getting the Winegard Gateway and attaching it to the 360+ seems like a very good investment, I can use it to create a much better wifi hotspot than my phone itself can create (given my phone has a much smaller antenna and will be inside my unit where the signal will be weaker.)

    However, if all the Gateway can do for me in Canada is act as a Wifi signal extender / router, then it sure is a darn expensive option for that. It looks to cost almost $500 in Canada, and I can purchase a top of the line standalone wifi extender for maybe $200, and a bargain basement version (which we already have) for maybe $50. The drawback is, a standalone unit wouldn’t be attached to the 360+ antenna which seems like it would really boost the connectivity. So a couple of questions here:

    - Can I purchase a wifi extender that is NOT from Winegard, and connect it to the 360+ antenna hookups already pre-installed in the ceiling of my unit?

    - Or, does Winegard sell a gateway that is only a wifi extender that hooks up to the 360+, and doesn’t cost so darn much money?

    Am I missing something here? Seems to me that if I want to use the 360+ antenna to help improve my wifi, then I need to pay for the overpriced Gateway. Unless someone has better options to suggest.

  • #2
    I have similar questions and observations.

    As far as I can tell, based on my own research to date, none of the major canadian carriers (Telus, Rogers, Bell) will "support" using their sim with the winegard. I seriously doubt it's a technology/compatibility issue - my guess is that they want to promote their own mobile internet devices. So, for me, the gateway is not yet useful enough for the cost and we will rely on a mobile hotspot from the phone - and/or - purchase one of the canadian carriers portable cellular routers (which price-wise are similar to the winegard gateway but lack the wifi boost capability)

    I would be happy to learn otherwise!
    Ken & Sandra
    2021 303RLS | 2020 F350 Lariat 6.7L 4x4 SB SRW

    Comment


    • #3
      Geoff Collier Welcome to the family and the forum.
      Jerry and Kelly Powell, with Halo, Nash, Reid, Cleo, and the new baby kitty Rosie..
      Pilot (Zebulon), NC
      2020 Solitude 390RK-R

      Comment


      • #4
        Geoff Collier KSC_Travels
        Geoff & Ken:

        I would agree that all of your assessments are correct. Over the last 5 years as Snowbirds in Florida, we have tried a Verizon hotspot (very expensive and elusive connectivity), travel plans on our Canadian phones (very expensive for extended use) and the Roam Mobility Sim Card which was the most reasonably priced alternative. With the demise of Roam Mobility, we are not sure what our plan will be for this coming Fall . . . so, I will be interested in what you learn.

        I don't think that Winegard is the answer and I have to think that someone will step in to fill the void left by Roam Mobility.

        Rob
        Cate & Rob
        (with Border Collies Molly & Angel)
        2015 Reflection 303RLS
        2022 F350 Diesel CC SB SRW Lariat
        Bayham, Ontario, Canada

        Comment


        • #5
          Cate&Rob Geoff Collier

          ​​​​​​​
          Originally posted by Cate&Rob View Post
          Geoff Collier KSC_Travels
          Geoff & Ken:

          I would agree that all of your assessments are correct. Over the last 5 years as Snowbirds in Florida, we have tried a Verizon hotspot (very expensive and elusive connectivity), travel plans on our Canadian phones (very expensive for extended use) and the Roam Mobility Sim Card which was the most reasonably priced alternative. With the demise of Roam Mobility, we are not sure what our plan will be for this coming Fall . . . so, I will be interested in what you learn.

          I don't think that Winegard is the answer and I have to think that someone will step in to fill the void left by Roam Mobility.

          Rob

          Thanks Rob. Will keep looking... cross-border roaming definitely expensive as you have noted. Research has only been online to date - haven't had the patience yet to call and wait on hold due to "unusually high call volumes" lol. Will post back if I learn anything new.
          Ken & Sandra
          2021 303RLS | 2020 F350 Lariat 6.7L 4x4 SB SRW

          Comment


          • #6
            On our trip to Arizona last winter, we used Visible. Their plan looks great on paper - $40/month for unlimited data plus phone/text. But the performance varied from poor to unusable due to Verizon throttling during times of heavy use. I had hoped to be able to use it to stream video, but that was only possible at off-peak times (which seemed to be in the middle of the night). But it worked well enough that I could make phone calls, surf the net (slowly), download files (again slowly and usually scheduled them for overnight) and get turn by turn GPS mapping. So if your needs are not too demanding, this is not the worst solution. Will likely try it again this winter if nothing better comes along.

            Bob
            2014 Ford F-150 Ecoboost / Max Tow / HD Payload
            2018 Reflection 295RL

            Comment


            • #7
              Just a brief note to say that I got this working with a Telus SIM (note - fairly IT capable - I'm IT manager at my company).

              After fighting through the crappy app, need for internet, because you need an account, and wrong instructions, I got my newly purchased Gateway to work in an area with terribly spotty cell service, with a Telus mobility card. I had to try different settings and card insertions, but it works excellently. Hope that helps, joined just to post this.

              Oh ya, VOIP works better than any cell in the area.

              Comment


              • #8
                isthatahemi I am curious to get more details on how you got it working. Can you share your settings? What was the solution for the card insertion problem?
                I am curious to try this solution on a Bell network. Or should I just get 1 of these Bell mobile router?
                I am "IT capable" as you said but that is not my day job
                Thank you

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am a Canadian running a Winegard Gateway in my 2022 310GK. I should mention that during the workday I'm an IT person dealing with networking, cellular, and communications systems.

                  Tried to get TELUS sim to work using the Gateway and it was a no-joy. Was able to place sim into a phone and get data without issue, same with a cellular router.

                  The issue with the Gateway is that the APN is wrong when the TELUS sim is loaded into the device. With the wrong APN, there is no way to get access to the cellular network.

                  Here is the kicker. Most cellular-based devices connect to the network using the SIM and then get the APN from the network. Some devices require the manufacturer to provide the APN through their own connection, which can be a security method or also a restriction to use only approved services.

                  I've got a call into Winegard right now to add TELUS and the correct APN into their supported device table.

                  If they are willing to do it, then it will just suddenly start working for anyone using TELUS sim cards... will update this once I hear back from the support ticket I logged today.

                  Regards to all,

                  Jon

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I’d like to update my last information. It is possible to manually update your APN by connecting the system to wifi. Once in wifi with internet access, access the config website for the gateway at 10.11.12.1 using a web browser on the device connected to gateway. Go to the change carrier page and select the APN drop down option for manual entry. Enter the correct APN for your carrier (you can find this from your phone settings). Save the new setting. Change from
                    wifi to LTE and done.

                    my telus data is working fine now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I was trying to get mine to work on a T-Mobile data card and was never successful. I spent hours over many days working with both T-Mobile and Winegard tech support without success. It seems to me that the system is designed to work with the Winegard data card and doesn't play well with others. I was hoping it would work, but no luck, so I sent it back, hope yours works better!
                      Blessings,
                      Kevin & Tracy
                      2021 Grand Design Imagine 2600RB
                      2016 Chevy Silverado 1500

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jonathan G View Post
                        I’d like to update my last information. It is possible to manually update your APN by connecting the system to wifi. Once in wifi with internet access, access the config website for the gateway at 10.11.12.1 using a web browser on the device connected to gateway. Go to the change carrier page and select the APN drop down option for manual entry. Enter the correct APN for your carrier (you can find this from your phone settings). Save the new setting. Change from
                        wifi to LTE and done.

                        my telus data is working fine now.
                        Hi Jonathon… I too am with Telus and wanting to solve this issue…. Did you discover the solution on your own, or did you get helpful advice from Winegard Tech Support? Would sure be nice for them to start working with the Canadian networks and add them to the drop down list with the proper APNs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Geoff Collier View Post
                          Questions that might be answered by a techno nerd owner in Canada. Not really relevant for US owners where Cell plans are so much better :-)

                          We recently purchased a 2021 GD 310RLS Reflection, and are figuring out a few things. I have a bunch of questions about the Winegard technology and what options we have.

                          So, as I understand it, the Winegard 360+ unit attached to the top of our RV is an omni-directional antenna that can pick up the following signals:

                          - TV ‘over the air’ transmission and radio AM/FM signals – this feature is already connected to our TV A/V centre in the RV, correct? So nothing else we need to do there.

                          - Wifi signals – It can pick up these signals, and then can be attached to a gateway / router to amplify the signals in our RV and nearby, through a wifi hotspot it creates (ie – it becomes the wireless router) – I have some questions about that below. I believe there are connectors for that preinstalled in the ceiling of my unit. These would make it very simple to install the Gateway device.

                          - Cell signal – If I’m in the US, and have an AT&T or Verizon plan, I can get a sim card from them and put it into the Winegard Gateway (if I buy one), and connect it to my existing plan. This allows me to use my cellular provider to create a wifi network in my unit from my cellular service, in places where there is no wifi or bad wifi (that’s about 70% of the RV parks in Canada based on my experience to date.) Basic question here. In Canada, if we have Telus as our cell plan provider, can we also get a Sim Card from them and connect the Winegard to our cellular network here in Canada? I don’t think that’s an option from what I’ve seen so far?

                          - Of course I could get a cellular data plan through Winegard, but that seems dumb. I already pay good $ for a 10Gb monthly cellular data plan to Telus that works on both sides of the border, why would I get yet another plan and pay yet another provider every month for something I already have? We’re not full time RV’ers so certainly wouldn’t want to purchase a monthly payment cell service. Also, I’m suspecting the Winegard Canada plan would only work in Canada?

                          So IF I can connect the Winegard Gateway to my Telus plan, then getting the Winegard Gateway and attaching it to the 360+ seems like a very good investment, I can use it to create a much better wifi hotspot than my phone itself can create (given my phone has a much smaller antenna and will be inside my unit where the signal will be weaker.)

                          However, if all the Gateway can do for me in Canada is act as a Wifi signal extender / router, then it sure is a darn expensive option for that. It looks to cost almost $500 in Canada, and I can purchase a top of the line standalone wifi extender for maybe $200, and a bargain basement version (which we already have) for maybe $50. The drawback is, a standalone unit wouldn’t be attached to the 360+ antenna which seems like it would really boost the connectivity. So a couple of questions here:

                          - Can I purchase a wifi extender that is NOT from Winegard, and connect it to the 360+ antenna hookups already pre-installed in the ceiling of my unit?

                          - Or, does Winegard sell a gateway that is only a wifi extender that hooks up to the 360+, and doesn’t cost so darn much money?

                          Am I missing something here? Seems to me that if I want to use the 360+ antenna to help improve my wifi, then I need to pay for the overpriced Gateway. Unless someone has better options to suggest.
                          Geoff - while not directly related to this thread don't be so hard on your Canada cell plans. Walmart at LeDuc and a plan sponsored by "Lucky" save my Alaska vacation by working just about everywhere there. I use consumer Cellular here below you , but neither (AT&T or T-Mobile) worked in Canada even though I had arranged for service before the trip. So we had to figure out a way to have a phone. South of Edmonton at a Walmart we got a one month plan that allowed unlimited calls in Canada + US and enough data to Google camp rounds or travel maps.This was at LaDuc and the folks went out of thier way there to help us and recommended other services like a bank to convert funds. - also a bypass around Edmonton to get us west. It was a simple sim card change. BTW if you ever need to call your carrier . dial 611- works in Canada and the US. Never knew that until the tech mentioned it.

                          Please take the rest with a grain of salt as it happens in the US too.

                          For the greater part you folks up north are wonderful - but I wounder about the folks wearing the hats and speaking India British - had a few very unpleasant experiences fueling up. SWMBO was actually unnerved at one stop near Red Deer running back and locking herself in the truck. The clerk had creeped her out with his stare and comments. Even though I paid at the pump I made sure I went inside and confronted him - not a good idea on my part. Its good I did not follow his directions that I had gotten earlier to the nearest Walmart as he was sending me down a dead end flooded road. Thanks to the Ford navigation system that showed the road closed I decided to head to LaDuc

                          Then there is the town of Prince Rupert...I wont go into details about the dirt and lack of friendliness, or rip offs at the RV park, but I will advise folks not to go there.

                          Sorry but I had a 99% wonderful time in Canada ( except for the roads near Whitehorse to the Alaska border and 43 near Grand Prairie). But I am sure here in the US it might not be as good. Based on my travels I would give us maybe 80%

                          Overall You have a great country with good services and fair pricing so be proud. Politics are the same, so be thankful. Its just too bad our cell plans and yours cant come together and cover everywhere without surcharges and not working together. Hopefully someday that will change.

                          I still remember the old days crossing into Canada with out a passport and answering simple questions and a thank you for coming. Not now - but I will say the grumpiest border cussing I had was into Alaska - I hope he was having a bad day.....but I suspect not.

                          Back on topic - good information here if I ever go high tech and actually use my TV, wireless, etc. I am lucky I can partially use my smart phone so understand I am tech impaired



                          BTW the most beautiful and relaxing drive I had was 37 south of Watson Lake (a fantastic and friendly town) If folks can manage fuel stops they should take it. The Lucky plan actually worked most of the time there.

                          Keith

                          Again sorry to the detour
                          2018 Reflection 150 Series 220RK 5th wheel, SteadyFast system, Star White 2022 F350 King Ranch CC Long bed (HAL), B&W 25K OEM Companion

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My wife and I are fairly heavy data users when down south. We both have Telus phones with the Canada/US plan and 30 gig of shared data each for a total of 60GB on the phones. While down south, we go with a reseller who sells Verizon and AT&T plans. Their web site is https://myficonnect.com/. They offer true unlimited, unthrottled data plans for much less than the name brand companies. Currently their Blue (AT&T) plan is $80/mon and their Red (Verizon) is $100. We regularly use 200+ GB/mon with no issues. The only time we really have any trouble with it is in heavily congested areas like Quartzsite in January!
                            They also sell current hardware if needed at reasonable prices with a lifetime warranty!
                            -
                            Rob, Chris and fur baby Maya
                            2019 Solitude 374TH, Victron Multiplus II 3000 2x120, 600AH of Battle Born LiFePO4, 1800W Solar, Blue Sky CC's, WineGuard Trav'ler (Shaw)
                            2020 GMC Denali Duramax 4x4 DRW LB CC, Curt Q25
                            Follow us at https://rctravels.rmcd.ca/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If it's available in the area (area is steadily growing) T-mobile plan for $50 a month. IT Guy at work lives in a black hole for connectivity and he loves his. It works wonders for the whole house.
                              Joseph
                              Tow
                              Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                              Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                              South of Houston Texas

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