Wow. I just looked at our last post, and it was just over two months ago. Oops.
The lack of posting certainly doesn’t convey the abundance of activity in our lives. So the good news is the reason for our absence is simply because we’re having way too much fun.
So first, let’s get the topical stuff off the plate.. and then try to summarize that past couple of months.
Mobile Internet Boat Setup Tour
As you know, tracking mobile internet over at the Mobile Internet Resource Center is our day job. And we’re often asked what our personal setup is.
Trouble is, it changes all the time because we’re constantly testing out the latest and greatest for our members. However, we’ve had a particular setup installed for a few months now, so we’ve updated our Technomadia Mobile Internet Setup post with all the nitty gritty details.
But real quickly, here’s a graphical illustration of our current highly redundant setup featuring six cellular connections, Starlink and marina Wi-Fi (preface: no one – not even us – needs this much!):
At the core of our setup is the Peplink MAX BR2 Pro 5G – a powerhouse of a router featuring dual 5G modems. It’s a pricey beast at $2,899, and would be a stretch for us to justify if we didn’t receive our unit on extended evaluation loan from Peplink and our friends at MobileMustHave.
We then connect in multiple 5G hotspots and USB modems, as well as our Starlink.
We’re still using the residential service on the Standard Starlink Dish (even though we tested the new flat high performance dish last year), as we’ve been mostly stationary in Sanford, FL these past few months. However a recent change in terms of service has removed the Starlink Portability option, so we’ll have to switch to the new Roam service plan at $150/mo for deprioritized service when we get back into motion. Assuming Starlink doesn’t get overly aggressive in their stated terms of geofencing to land and make boat use obsolete.
It all adds up to 6x 5G connections, Starlink, plus marina Wi-Fi – all bonded together and in use simultaneously.
If you’d like a video walk-thru of the equipment we’re using – we recently produced this tour on our MIRC YouTube channel:
We’re considering hosting a rare live Q&A about our Mobile Internet setup later this month on our personal Technomadia channel. That is, if we can ever find some open time.
So be sure to be subscribed to the channel to get notified if you’re interested in joining in to watch or ask questions. It might be rather spontaneous.
Edit: We have schedule a live Q&A on Wednesday, March 29 at 8pm E – click for the video stream link.
RVillage Says Good-Bye – End of an Era
We met RVillage’s founder, Curtis Coleman, back in 2013 as he was just ramping up the project. We were so inspired by the concept of a social network for RVers to check in at their campgrounds and meet other like minds – that we signed on to help with the launch. We ended up handling the initial social media, and being project advisors (and more!) to round out some rough edges and get RVillage ready to launch.
We stepped back soon after the launch in March 2014, to focus on launching our own project – the Mobile Internet Resource Center. And we had also signed on at that time to help launch Xscapers, a new club within a club for the Escapees RV Club aimed at the working aged RVer.
But we had remained on the sideline of RVillage, and had frequent check in advisory calls with Curtis over the years – including when he sold RVillage to Thor Industries back in 2020.
Thor also purchased several RVing online platforms, including our favorite campground review site Campendium.
About this time last year, we heard that Thor had sold all those RV websites to another entity in a package deal.
We don’t have any specific insider information as to what actually occurred, but from our understanding RVillage was just costing too much money to operate and hadn’t found a way to sustain itself. And the new owner just decided to pull the plug.
This has now left a lot of communities that had standardized on RVillage as their hub without an online home.
We’re of course sad to see this project we worked so hard on initially come to such an abrupt stop without a path forward. It’s an end of an era for sure, of nearly a decade for us and the other founders.
Farewell, RVillage – thanks for the memories.
Travel & Life Updates
We had originally intended to set sail from Sanford, FL – our home base through the pandemic – at the end of January. But at the end of the year, we just couldn’t bring ourselves to give our 30-day notice at the marina.
Between the hurricanes last year impacting our time, and so much going on in Sanford over the winter – we felt called to stick around.
So since the beginning of the year we’ve been keeping busy with non-stop Sanfording. Musicals, plays, festivals, wine walks, live music and more. Two of our favorites are Porchfest (17 stages in the historic neighborhood hosting over 70 local bands) and Love Your Shorts Film festival.
Our social life has also been abundant as we continue to make local friends, intersect with fellow nomads passing through and connect with dock neighbors (including our buddies Dave & Stacey on Stinkpot finally being able to return!).
And we’re continuing to keep super active, having completed another 1/2 marathon in February – this time a trail race at the Seminole State Forest.
And we’ve really gotten into exploring the amazing network of bike trails around Central Florida accessible right from our marina – in thanks to our new friends Theo and Pete showing us around in what has become our Wednesday morning ride date. We recently managed our longest ride yet of 48.5 miles to downtown Orlando, returning to Sanford by the SunRail commuter train. While we have electric bikes, we’re mostly not using the electric for these rides.
We’ve been getting out for some RVing adventures too, joining up with our friends Sabine & Eckhard for a trip to nearby Wekiwa Springs State Park, and we broke away for some beach time at Gamble Rogers last week as well.
And then there’s boat adventures. We have taken the boat out anchoring on the lake multiple times when we find that rare confluence of good weather and no on-shore commitments. And there have been boat projects, including replacing our hot water heater (Chris made lots of notes, maybe one day he’ll post about it?).
And of course there’s family time, with my mom visiting several times for Sanfording fun and us going out to the Brevard coast to see her. My brother and his wife also visited, and I overcame my fear and hit the aerial zip line course at the zoo.
Whew. That’s a lot. No wonder we’ve had no time to just sit down and write!
We technically semi-retired late last year for Chris’ 50th birthday – and it’s been going mostly well. As evidenced by all the fun we’re able to embrace.
We are still working, trying our best to limit ourselves to no more than 15-20 hours a week. Sometimes we’re successful, sometime’s we’re not and slip back into full time. It’s really helped that we’ve grouped all of our scheduled meetings & webinars into a span of a couple days each month – so we can really focus our work hours.
But regardless, we mostly enjoy our work time these days – and are thankful for our team that handles so much of the daily stuff. Our stress levels are definitely way down from where they had been these past few years.
What’s Up Next?
Most of our paramount Sanfording events have passed at this point, and summer is quickly coming. We know from experience that it can get fairly warm and humid here, and we’d like to not repeat a summer along Lake Monroe.
At present time, we have a haul out for the boat in Jacksonville scheduled for late April – so we’re making motions to actually turn on the engines and motor north down the river in about a month. We’ll then attend to some routine maintenance on the boat (bottom paint? new anodes?), perhaps some other upgrades, and new canvas.
After we’re free of boat projects (ok, you’re never free of them.. but at least this round), we’re aiming to get some cruising in. We’ll likely be too late in the season to re-start the loop at that point, so where we head is unknown.
I have had some medical stuff come up that I need to attend to – so our schedule is actually a bit up in the air and will be predicated on the findings in the weeks ahead.
As there’s now a multi-year waitlist to get a slip at our Sanford marina, we’ll keep paying for our slip until the future is more clear.
Anyway, that’s our update as it stands now. Sorry for neglecting this space for so long. I can pretty much promise it’ll happen again. We are sharing fairly often on our Facebook page if you want to follow along more in real time.