Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Beached Again

I'm still hanging on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Currently I'm back at the Brazoria County Free Beach near Surfside (I'm such a sucker for the seaside.)  No review this time because I already reviewed the beach here:  Brazoria Free Beach Review

The Tank's campsite by the Sea.

In driving down to the beach from Houston I heard on the radio that a Texas Representative is trying to introduce a bill that would allow localities along the Gulf shore to prohibit people from living on the beach.  It's weird but both times I've stayed at the Free Beach I've never seen anyone "living on the beach".  No trailers or RV's that look like they've been in place for more than a day or two.  Maybe the bill is targeting different Texas beaches but it would seem that this beach would be a prime candidate for "living on the beach" if that was a widespread problem...oh well.

Obligatory sunrise over the Gulf photo.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Wilson Sleek 4G - A Cellphone Booster That Works

(DISCLAIMER:  I am not in any way benefiting financially or in any other way from the makers or sellers of products I review.)

Readers of this blog are aware that my preferred mode of camping with the Tank is boondocking, usually pretty far off the beaten path and almost always (it seems) on the very edge of cell coverage.  Being "unreachable" for a week to ten days isn't something I'm comfortable with, family and friends might have an urgent need to contact me for any number of reasons including emergencies.  So, after reading rave reviews of a cellphone signal booster on some of the other full-time RV'er blogs I bought a Wilson Sleek 4G.

The Sleek 4G comes with a 12-volt cigar lighter power supply suitable for use in a vehicle, a couple sets of "arms" to hold the cellphone in place, and 20 feet of cable that terminates in a small antenna that has a really strong magnet on the bottom to hold it in place on the roof of your vehicle.

The principle parts of the Wilson Sleek 4G
In the Tank, I run the cable through the hatch over my bed and secure the magnet of the antenna to the TV antenna on the roof.  If you were using the Sleek 4G in a vehicle you'd just run the cable through a window to the top of your vehicle.  The "arms" of the Sleek 4G are adjustable width-wise to handle almost any size cellphone, even my old T-Mo phone.

I was taking this with my current phone so my old one stood in.
When I was unboxing the Sleek 4G I wondered why cellphone manufacturers wouldn't automatically include Wilson's signal boosting technology in with their phones?  After I used the Sleek 4G after 15 minutes the answer was obvious, it gets REALLY warm boosting your signal, some might say hot.  But does it work?  Yes.  On my Samsung Galaxy S4 the Sleek 4G typically gets me two extra bars of signal.  As a bonus, often times I'm camped in 2G areas and once I boost signal I get 3G or even 4G reception.  The important thing is seeing your phone go from No Signal to reception but there is also one extra bonus the Sleek 4G provides RV'ers who use wireless Internet...

My Verizon LTE modem being boosted by the Sleek 4G!
Wireless Internet data uses the same spectrum as your cellphone and the Sleek 4G will boost that signal as well!  I get the same two extra bars on my LTE modem using the Sleek 4G as I do on my phone.

The Wilson Sleek 4G works with all the major cell networks so there's no reason to think it wouldn't boost Sprint or T-Mo phone signals just as well as Verizon's (and truthfully those networks need coverage boosting way more than Verizon's) although my testing was done on Verizon.  I bought my Sleek 4G off Amazon for $129.99 and am very satisfied with it.  It hasn't happened yet but there's no doubt in my mind that someday my phone will ring with an important call I would have missed if I hadn't been boosting.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 9, 2015

I Bring You Tidings of Great Joy!

 January 9, 2015 at a Walmart in Tomball, TX

Frack Baby, Frack!

Thanks for reading!