Cell Service Across The Country

We visited almost 30 states on our cross country road trip, we drove down the East Coast to Georgia and Florida and then headed out west. We covered a lot of ground and got to test our cell service in a ton of places.

 

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Our Route

Before leaving Paul and I decided we would switch our cell phones to be on the same plan. Prior to switching, I had T-Mobile and Paul had Verizon. We knew T-Mobile service wouldn’t cut it, because even in places in New Jersey I would have spotty service, and Verizon was the most expensive carrier, so we met in the middle and signed a contract with Sprint. Sprint claimed to have 99% of the coverage of Verizon and they gave us an unlimited plan for less than what we would have paid with Verizon.

After traveling for over 100 days and over 2,000 miles we switched both our phones to Verizon once we settled down in Idaho. Not only was Sprint’s service terrible once we left Georgia, their customer service was a joke, and no help to us at all as we traveled. As we traveled and met up with family and friends who have Verizon it was obvious that we were duped by Sprint, our friends and family would have full service on the Verizon network while we were constantly roaming. We hardly had full service once we left the East coast, we were always roaming (unless we were in a big town/city), so we would make phone calls to our family and if necessary have them google things for us.

In the end, Sprint didn’t ruin our trip, in fact a lack of service in a lot of places was peaceful. Towards the end of our trip we both broke our phones, and because we were traveling Sprint would not help us replace them, but we found the silver lining in that situation too and basked in the solitude of no social media or apps. If someone were to ask me, I would only recommend Verizon to those looking to travel, not only is their service much better but their customer service has already proven to be superior as well.

Something that we didn’t have and I wish we would have was a WiFi hot spot. Many of the RV parks that we stayed at had their own WiFi but with everyone in the park trying to use it, it was usually too slow to upload pictures or stream videos.

Happy Trails…

 

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Amazon Associate

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We’ll be hitting the road again soon and it’d be nice to earn some money while were on the move. So I’ve added Amazon Associate to my resume recently and I’d love to see it take off. I’ll be doing more blog posts about some of our favorite products/wish lists and add links to some amazon products, each click counts for a few cents. Please use the link below if you plan on doing any Amazon Holiday shopping this year.

AMAZON

5 Lessons Learned on the Road

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After traveling 12,000 miles we learned a thing or two on how to make it work. We spent 24/7 together for over 100 days and managed not to kill each other, these are a few things that helped…

  1. Music/Radio/Podcasts
    Before we left New Jersey we knew we were going to need some entertainment for the long hours of driving we had ahead of us. Paul and I both had not downloaded nearly as much music as we had thought, so we needed to keep reminding ourselves to download music whenever we were connected to wifi. Paul also loves podcast so those were always good to have when we weren’t in the mood for music. My favorite thing was local radio stations, especially as we drove through Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, the South played really good old folk and country music that we couldn’t get enough of.
  2. There’s No Rush
    After we did our big push out west from Arkansas we realized we needed to slow down. As we were driving down the highway we’d see things that looked cool or interesting, but with the camper on the back of the truck we weren’t always able to make a quick turn-off and never knew what parking would be like. Once we got into New Mexico we both agreed that long drives weren’t worth it, we decided 4-5 hours to our next destination would always be the most we’d drive. Because we kept the trips shorter, we were able to drop the camper in a place and stay, usually for about 4-5 days, and then we had the ability to go back and check out some things we may have wanted to see along the way. We never drove at night, we never discussed this but who wants to drag a camper around at night and figure out where to set up in the dark? Not us.
  3. Regular Maintenance
    It took some time to get used to doing all our checks before hitting the road each time with the camper, but after doing it for weeks and months it became routine and it was part of the reason why we successfully made it across the country with no major mechanical problems.  We would check the blinkers, brakes, and all the lights each time we hooked up the camper. Paul faithfully changed the oil in the truck, even if we weren’t supposed to in some places, and we checked tire pressure regularly. At the Utah boarder we did have a slightly flat tire, it was a quick fix because we luckily had a air compressor in the truck, (the air compressor came in handy for our bike tires as well).A maintenance tip that may seem silly but is critical for any road trip, window washing, every time you fill up, wash those windows!
  4. Pack Food (but keep your eye out for roadside snacks)
    Once we started exploring the national parks and spending our days hiking we knew we weren’t going to be able to afford buying food in the parks or in the town near the parks everyday. We also didn’t want to take the time, we wanted to see as much as possible and sitting down to eat in a restaurant or cafeteria wasn’t something that appealed to us. So every morning we would make sandwiches and take them with us wherever we went. We also had our bag of “truck snacks” to rummage through if we needed a little something, we always had chips, granola bars, crackers, cookies, and peanut butter packets.
    Extra water in the back of the truck was always good to have too. We have portable water containers that are always full and in the back of the truck, we drank our weight in water while we were in the desert so an extra 10 gallons in the car was always nice to come back to after a hike.
    *While we were well prepared food wise, we did grant ourselves local cuisine when it was calling to us, like the green chili burger in New Mexico or the fried bread in Arizona’s Navajo Nation or the crabs we got on the docks of the Oregon Coast. Treat yo’ self!
  5. Maps, Maps, and more Maps
    Paul and I really lucked out when it came to navigating this trip, for Christmas before we left we were given a Garmin GPS and a National Geographic Road Atlas. Between the GPS, Atlas, and our phones we were able to navigate across the country fairly easily. It’s important to have multiple forms of GPS because you will not always have cell service and the Garmin GPS can sometimes bring you down dirt roads or closed roads. The atlas really saved us, while Paul was looking t the GPS mounted on the dash I was able to use the atlas and/or my phone to look ahead on the route or plan an alternate route.
  6. *Bonus* Take a Day Off
    While traveling and sightseeing are amazing, it can also be exhausting. After over a month of traveling Paul and I were in Moab, Utah when we realized we hadn’t spent a full day in the camper yet. We had been adventuring and exploring all day everyday and hadn’t stopped, we decided we needed a day to just relax and it seemed like Utah’s 117° summer days were just the excuse we needed. It’s important to not wear yourself out when traveling, keep yourself well rested, hydrated, and healthy because no one wants to be sick on the road.

Space Saving RV Gifts

  1. Instant Pot

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    7-in-1 programmable cooker
  2. Collapsible Silicone Pot

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    Save room with this collapsible pot

     

  3. Outdoor Mat

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    Helps keep dirt and rocks outside, while giving you a homey feeling where ever you are

     

  4. Table Top Patio Heater
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    Great for chilly nights when you don’t/can’t have the campfire

     

     

  5. 4-in-1 Hand Blender
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Great Multi-functional Kitchen Tool

Our Travel Playlist

For much of our journey we didn’t have data service, so whenever we came across a decent WiFi connection we downloaded music and podcasts. When we weren’t listing to our Spotify music or podcasts we enjoyed scanning the local radio stations, and sometimes just sitting in silence and taking it all in.

I created this playlist in Spotify, if you have an account feel free to give it a listen.

Enjoy…