Overcoming the Next Big ‘Connectivity’ Challenge in RVing - RV Enthusiast Magazine

Overcoming the Next Big ‘Connectivity’ Challenge in RVing

by | Jun 18, 2021 | Staying Connected, Technology

RVers have always wanted to be social. It’s a core part of the camping experience. Here are three ways to rekindle human connections during travel.
RVing isn’t an all-inclusive vacation: it takes effort and know-how to find the relaxation that so many seek with camping. Congratulations to the founders and staff of RV Enthusiast for embarking on a journey to help bring more education and technical articles to our community. It’s a bold move but one that is well-timed, with so many consumers trying RVing for the first time in the past year.

Like the founders of RV Enthusiast, I too have felt moved to help make better stories and tools available to RVers that put a little more “recreation” in recreational vehicles. I left my role at Airstream Inc. and helped create the Togo Group in 2018, which now operates Roadtrippers.com, RVillage.com and TogoRV.com. We’re making quick progress on our mission to bring out the joy of getting to, staying in, and exploring the outdoors. If you haven’t tried one of our products I hope that you will soon — and then share your feedback with me. Our RV GPS, automatic safety recall notifications and RV-specific checklists are some of my favorite stress-reducing features.

A truck pulling a travel trailer by a lake
Staying connected on the road is easier than it’s ever been.
Staying connected on the road is easier than it’s ever been. That’s not to say that you can’t overcomplicate the process with boosters, antennas, hotspots and other tech gear. However, with both campground WiFi and nationwide cellular service improving, it has never been easier to stay connected in your RV. While many rural or isolated locations don’t get cell service, you can simply check what your connectivity will be before you arrive with an app like Coverage or by reading reviews on Campendium. If you’re interested in diving deep into the nuts-and-bolts of internet-connectivity, visit our friends at rvmobileinternet.com for the latest information on mobile internet tech.
The next big “connectivity” challenge in RVing is the decline in human connections. There’s no denying the last year has been a strange one, full of isolation, separation and restriction. But even before everything that happened in 2020, some of the most extroverted RVers I know complained about the loneliness of RVing. Extended trips longer than a few weeks seem to eventually trigger that yearning for connection, a basic need that shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Here are three easy ways to stay connected:

  • Video calls. There are hundreds of ways to do these, but I have a few recommendations. Schedule a recurring time for family or friends. Simply looking forward to regularly scheduled chats is good for you. Use Google Duo for Android-to-Android calls and FaceTime for calls between Apple devices; these native services are particularly efficient with your data and battery usage. If you need a service that can be used regardless of the device, go with Zoom or Glip which have free tiers of service.
  • Activity Planning. This can seem a bit trivial, but taking a walk through the campground or planning a hike through a nearby park ensures you’ll get the opportunity to wave hello to a passing human or strike up a chat about how someone likes their tow vehicle. Again, the key to success is making it a regularly scheduled habit. This works in reverse also — if you’re in a site where people could walk past, enjoy the outdoors and make it a point to wave and say hello to passersby. You never know who you might meet.
  • Virtual Communities. Since RVillage joined Togo Group in 2020, I continue to be impressed by how well it brings RVers together around common interests, places and activities. With more than 360,000 people on the platform, it’s big enough to connect travelers with the information and social interaction you need. In particular, it blends real-world social interaction with virtual messages by allowing you to check in to a location and converse with others who are nearby. And there are hundreds of special-interest groups that range well beyond the busy RV DIY groups, from bird-watchers to Instant Pot lovers. It’s free to join and is a great way to connect with others who share a common travel instrument.

RVers have always wanted to be social. It’s a core part of the camping experience that I was taught by my grandfather as we explored the upper midwest and Canada. As we navigate 2021, I hope you will take a moment to safely and kindly connect with other campers. There are thousands of new RVers amongst us and it’s never been more important to show them how inclusive, kind, helpful and friendly that campers can be. Stay connected to your friends, your family, and your fellow campers — it makes the RV lifestyle that much more durable and enjoyable.

Steven Hileman smiling out in nature
Steven Hileman

As Togo Group’s chief customer evangelist, Vice President of Marketing & Communications Steven Hileman is charged with positioning Togo’s products as trusted sidekicks for RV owners. Based on more than a decade of customer experience in some of the industry’s most well-known brands, his technical acumen is rooted in his deep understanding of consumer tech, dealer marketing and OEM product development. Hileman holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Dayton and lives in Coldwater, Ohio, with his family. He is a self-described automotive geek and early adopter of all things tech.

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