Wilson cellular antenna installation
We all expect to be "wired" where ever we go. The expectation is that we always have cell phone access and hope that we have some kind of Internet access. Most of us that have traveled much at all have discovered that you still cannot take either one for granted. As a radio amateur ("ham") of many years, one thing that was always emphasized was "go for the big antenna before you spend money on more power." If you can't hear the other party, it doesn't matter how much power you have. So - the first thing I did to improve my chances of having decent cell phone access anywhere we went was to install an external (roof-mounted) antenna. We chose a popular truck and RV model, the Wilson 301119. Installation was easy once you worked your way past drilling that hole in your roof!!
I did buy a three watt amplifier though. When we were at a Salt Springs Florida campground which is notorious for poor cell coverage (unless you have Sprint), I tried to call the campground office (yes - call! It was about a 10 minute walk!) - I could hear her okay, but she could not hear me. Most problems can be solved by throwing money at them ;-) so that we did.
May, 2010 update: The amplifier combined with the external antenna has been a great combination!
Let's take a look at the installation
Here is the antenna peeking up over the roof. I chose an installation spot right over a particular overhead cabinet
The antenna as mounted on the roof. Yes, I know - the leaves must go!
The other end of the antenna mount. I could have cut off some of the threaded tube, but it really wasn't in the way