Sunday, December 9, 2012

Internet on the Road

Our experience with internet service on this trip has been up and down. In private campgrounds it is available for a charge - usually around $10 for 3 days day or $30 a month. Pretty reasonable really. In state parks it is usually free but only available if you go and sit close to the transmitter - which is near the campground office. Not very convenient.

Jekyll Island Campground is different. Although it is run by the state, internet service is available at all campsites and included in the campground fee. This didn't happen by accident nor is it the result of the desire by the state to offer their campers an excellent service. Mostly it is due to the hard work of two people.

Firstly the campground manager. It is the policy of state parks to limit the time a camper can stay to two weeks thus preventing the campground from transitioning from a campground to a full-time trailer park. Not a bad idea. But Ronnie, the manager here, saw an opportunity that other state parks are missing. Why not offer a reasonable monthly rate to "snowbird" RVers, thus keeping the campground busy in the off season and everyone employed.

The winter climate on Georgia's southern coast is mild, but not warm - about 14C to 16C (high 50F to low 60F). Not great if you are a beach person but perfect for golfers, bikers and walkers.There are 4 golf courses on the island, 30 miles of bike trails and miles and miles of beautiful beaches to walk on. All of which have great appeal to retirees. So the result is that the campground is half full during November and December and full from January to March. It reverts to the 2 week rule in April.

The one problem was the bad internet service. So Ronnie invited the internet provider to come and talk to his winter customers to determine what they wanted. The meeting did not start well. "What" asked the internet provider "do you old people want the internet for anyway?".  I will leave it to your imagination as to the tone of the meeting after that statement.

The result is that the campground now has very excellent internet service set up and supervised by the second person,  one of the "old people".

For you youngsters who may not take full advantage of the internet, we old people use the internet for the following:

  • emailing friends and family, 
  • phone calls, 
  • mapping our travels
  • reading newspapers and magazines
  • banking and bill payment, 
  • investment management and stock trading,
  • social sites - especially Facebook
  • trading information and helping one another on internet forums
  • music
  • radio
  • photo editing and organization
  • gaming
  • and of course, writing blogs, publishing books, etc., etc.
In other words, it is our lifeline to the world. If you are an "older" reader and I missed how you use the internet please add it in the comments section. Maybe some campground managers will read it and see the value in offering better service.


  1. We have found that campgrounds that provide internet in the lot deal...are not always up to enough I always carry my midfi thru verizon..which works quite well..because like you I need access with our kids and grandtots...and I can use it anywhere including rolling down the road...we shut it off when we go home on a vacation system and reactivate when we return...we can setup up to 5 items to it..laptops I pad well for us...

    1. We have a Verizon MIfi as well Elaine. We pay as we use it with preloaded cards. I use it in poor service areas and while in motion but prefer to use "free" service when it is available, with enough broadband, as we have here.

  2. I have a Verizon unlimited data plan ($29.99 a month) on my Android phone. With the app, FoxFi, I can connect up to 5 devices. I use this almost exclusively as I have not found many campgrounds with free wifi.

    Ann, where and when did you stay in Marathon?

    1. We finally purchased a Verizon MiFi and buy as we go -10G for $90 or 1 month. whichever comes first. But, I cannot buy a $90 card - must buy $100. :) Next year we will buy a phone and the unlimited plan and just pay the $29.95, even when we are in Canada and cannot use it - cheaper in the long run.

      We stayed at the Jolly Roger Travel Park on Grassy Key - It is a Passport America park so we got 5 days at half price. Crowded sites but nice people so we had a good time.


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