How do you work from the road?

By far and away the most common question I have been asked is how I work while living on the road. To be honest, it is the only question I have gotten, but I have been asked twice. Considering the tremendously limited popularity of my blog, any question at all is astonishing.

Connectivity

If you are reading this as a how-to article you will likely want to look into Starlink. This is a satellite service that Elon Musk is rolling out which is touted as fast, cheap, and coming soon. Being a Musk service the fast is probable, but the cheap and coming soon are neither likely. Historically, satellite broadband has been good for downloading, but the ping rates are far too slow to allow conferencing making it unviable for work. The Starlink service is touted as breaking this barrier and early reviews agree that it does. Time will tell.

In the meantime, the only broadband option that is versatile enough is cellular. If you just walk into a cellular store looking for a broadband account, they are going to price gouge you so hard you will think you’re passing a kidney stone. I recommend following Technomadia. This couple is on top of every deal from every cell service and will also have the newest information available about the Starlink product. We subscribed to their full feed about a year before going on the road and managed to get deals that don’t charge a pound of flesh.

The newest version of the RV WeBoost system. Ours is one version back with the major difference being antenna upgrades.

My connectivity equipment consists of a WeBoost, AT&T router with 100 gigs a month, Verizon jetpack with “unlimited” bandwidth, and two T-Mobile phones with “unlimited” bandwidth. There are quotes around the word unlimited as both companies will throttle you down to half the speed of smell if you use a lot of data. With Verizon, we can get approximately 100 gigs and both phones 50 gigs. This is more bandwidth than I require for work, but we also use it to stream entertainment many evenings. The WeBoost helps a lot if the signal strength is on the low side, giving you a bit better download and much better upload than you could get without it. That may not sound like much, but it has made the difference between being able to stay where we want, and having to move many times.

The office configurations

My very first efforts at work environment. A lot of thought went into it. An A for effort, but B- performance.

If you have a giant fifth wheel you might have room for an office with an office chair, but in a small RV you have the dining table or the cabin seats to use and that is all. I began our journey with my laptop as my primary monitor and an energy star rated 17″ side monitor as seen above. This was passable, but a lot less monitor than I was accustomed to, it dominates the dining area, and the comfort is less than ideal.

It’s bigger on the inside

My new office space. Lap desk, with wireless keyboard and mouse sitting in the passenger seat facing into the living area.

I like to keep up with all the newest tech gadgets because I am a big old nerd. I stumbled across a video review of a VR product called Immersed done by Cas and Chary. The last time I had tried VR it was fairly primitive, but that was likely in the ’90s. It was certainly not good enough that I would consider working in it. Add to that my aging eyesight, and I was fairly skeptical, but with the Oculus Quest priced so low, I felt it behooved me to give it a try. So glad I did. I now have four huge monitors in a virtual coffee shop where I spend my workdays. Are there downsides, you ask? Twice I have attempted to set my very real cup of coffee on a completely virtual table. Sorry, no video of that. In the video below, on your monitor, it may look small, but in VR these monitors are huge. I would estimate I set mine at around 36″, but the upper limit is far bigger.

Showing off three of the environments available to work in. Starts in my café of choice, heads over to a public area that no public was in, and ends up on a space station.

May peace find you.

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