Working Remotely From the Road: How to Wifi Enable Your Sprinter Van
Working from the road, not going into an office, having the flexibility to take hikes during the day, and engaging with nature is a liberating idea. No wonder so many people are embracing van life and becoming digital nomads. The rewards far outweigh any downsides to extended road travel or full-time van life. However, to assume the digital nomad life requires a little bit of thought before leaping into this lifestyle. It starts in the van-build planning stages.
Ensuring you have a comfortable and functional workspace is very important. For example, if your job requires you to sit for long periods or requires lots of live video chatting, consider adding swiveling captain’s chairs and a drop-down table. An excellent option if you like separating your living space from your workspace. You could also work at a ‘desk’ that doubles as your dinette, which may eventually transform into your sleeping area at night.
The next thing to consider is your source of power for charging your computer and other devices. You’ll want to make sure that you include as many 120 AC outlets as you think you’ll need throughout your living space in the planning stages of your van build.
Your van will also need a reliable source of power to recharge its batteries while on the road. When at campsites or RV parks, you should plug into ‘shore power’ when possible. But your van will also need a source of power for off-grid trips. Solar panels installed on the roof of your van are an excellent alternate source of free energy.
You’ll also want to invest in portable batteries as a backup. Portable batteries can power your electronic devices or fully charge them if needed. Still, portable batteries can allow you to work outdoors in nature, and they unquestionably come in handy if your van’s main battery ever fails.
Now, how to get reliable wifi while on the road. Again, there are a few options.
- Cell phone tethering is the most common way digital nomads access the internet. This method uses your cell phone’s signal to allow your computer to access the internet. You will want an unlimited data plan from a reliable cell service provider. Of course, cell phone connections aren’t always strong. They are limiting if you have multiple devices or users running simultaneously. To counteract this, you will need a signal booster. Cell signal boosters can magnify your signal significantly, making your connection faster and more robust. Again, this only works if you have a signal to begin with. Weboost is a popular signal booster that may run you around $500.00.
- Satellite internet and wifi range extenders are other options to look into as well. Satellite internet allows you to access the internet from anywhere. Still, as of now, they don’t have a reputation for being reliable. Wifi range extenders work if you are utilizing the wifi network of a business or you and a friend are parked right outside their doors.
- Public wifi, yes, you can get excellent and fast wifi connections at most public parks. In addition, RV parks and campsites often have wifi available as an amenity. If you only plan to stay at campsites on your trip, this might be an acceptable option.
In sum, working remotely in your van may be a necessity. Still, with a bit of research and planning, it’s a seamless and relatively stress-free prospect. At Roav, we take all the stress out of your custom van build. Our experts can work with you and outfit your van to your exact needs, whether work or play.