Today’s modern campers still see camping as a great way to decompress from the stresses of everyday life and to spend more time with family and friends, according to the 2015 North American Camping Report. Yet, among those surveyed, 51% of all campers stated they go online at least once a day while camping, and 41% said that having free Wi-Fi influenced their decision regarding what campground to stay at. In fact, according to the study, free Wi-Fi ranked as the third most important amenity, behind clean bathrooms and kid-friendly environments.
51% of campers go online at least 1 x a day while camping
Improving the camping experience and offering campers this increasingly important amenity are just a few of the benefits of incorporating reliable WiFi services into your site upgrade plans. As the demand for near continuous Internet connectivity continues to increase, your ability to provide this “must-have” amenity to existing and potential campers will help set your campground or RV park apart from those who do not.
A surprising 2013 study showed that 69% of employed vacationers planned to bring a work-capable device with them on vacation and 67% of these said they expected to use the device for work-related purposes while vacationing. This is just another example of the growing need for you, as a campground or RV park operator, to consider providing reliable Wi-Fi services to your guests. This guide is designed to help you assess your needs and effectively plan your wireless network.
Free Wi-Fi ranked as the 3rd most important campground amenity, behind clean bathrooms & kid friendly environments.
The following questions will guide you in assessing your needs in preparation for your wireless network site plan.
- Where Does the Internet Service Enter Your Property? When considering Wi-Fi for your staff, campers and RV guests, it is important to understand how you are going to deliver that service. The location of the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) equipment will help you determine what is needed, such as Ethernet cabling, network Power- over-Ethernet switches and/or wireless access points to deliver that service to your users.
- How Far Is the Internet Service Entry Point from Your Desired Coverage Area(s)? Having an understanding of the distance from your ISP’s equipment to the service area is important. This will give you a good idea of what equipment is needed, and where it should be located. For example, if your Internet service is coming into the basement of the main office, you may need to run cabling from the entry point to other equipment in order to connect an access point that will provide Internet connectivity to the office, and extend it to other access points throughout the property.
- How Much Bandwidth Are You Currently Receiving From Your ISP? The amount of bandwidth you are currently receiving from your ISP will determine the maximum speed you can offer your staff, campers and RV guests. More bandwidth enables more users to connect and allows you to provide higher quality Wi-Fi services. With this in mind, you may need to consider increasing your bandwidth to ensure a positive Wi-Fi experience for all guests.Not sure how much bandwidth you may need? Visit Bandwidth Pool’s, free bandwidth calculator: http://bandwidthpool.com/bandwidth-calculator/
- What Is Your Approximate Average Number of Users? The average number of users is also known as user capacity, and this helps determine the number of devices that will likely be accessing your wireless network. As a rule of thumb, assume that your network will need to support 2.5 devices per person, including smartphones, tablets, gaming devices or laptops in order to determine the number of access points needed for your site.
- What “Quality of Service” or Level of Access Would You Like to Provide Your Guests? Knowing the quality of service that you want to offer to your staff, campers and RV guests will help you determine the best placement for your access points. Common offerings include hotspot service, individual campsite/cabin/RV site service and complete park services.
- What Is the Construction of Your Buildings? Wireless signals degrade when traveling through different materials. Concrete, wood, metal siding, fiberglass, and/or rebar can result in different levels of Wi-Fi signal degradation. Knowing the construction of your walls, ceilings and floors (in multi-level buildings) will help determine the quantity and appropriate placement of your wireless access points.
- Do You Currently Have Ethernet Cable Run Out to Each Building or Desired Wi-Fi Location?
Having the proper, shielded Ethernet cable already run to buildings or centralized locations makes the deployment of Wi-Fi very easy. If not, you can simply implement a secure wireless link or wireless bridge that will carry the signal to a designated location, avoiding the need for additional cabling, costs and the hassle of permits.
When considering a wireless bridge, use one that supports the same wireless speeds as the rest of your network. The more speed the link provides, the better the experience for the camper.
- How Many Campsites, Cabins or RV Sites Do You Plan to Provide Wireless Access to? Knowing the number of campsites, cabins or RV sites you would like to provide Wi-Fi connectivity to will help determine the required quantity and placement of access points and wireless bridges. Knowing this information will also assist in determining the average number of users that will be on your network at any given time.
- Do You Plan to Implement or Expand an Existing Surveillance System? Surveillance systems are becoming more commonplace in campground and RV parks. Not only do they provide important, 24/7 visuals on key areas, they also add a level of comfort and security for your staff, campers and RVers, and can provide valuable evidence to protect your property in cases such as liability issues, vandals and theft. When installing an IP surveillance system, you will again need to consider your site’s available bandwidth.Ideally, you will want to put your security system on a separate network segment than your user network to divide up the amount of bandwidth/ speed being used between each, while also allowing you to allocate limits as needed. Be aware that higher resolution IP cameras will need more bandwidth than lower-resolution IP cameras as they provide sharper details, which are important for applications such as identifying facial features and license plate numbers.
41% of campers said that having free Wi-Fi influenced their decision regarding what campground to stay at.
Contact Us Today to see what we can do for your resort or campground by Calling: (218) 297-0992 or Email: [email protected]