If I'm gonna be out there by myself, with a dog and a complicated machine, communication is important. It's hard to tell until I've done it, but it seems likely that I'll spend some of the time I'm not driving or setting up camp or breaking camp or fixing food doing what I do here at home: Reading, writing, listening to music, admiring the view outside, playing with and caring for the dog.
The first three involve internet access. Almost all of my recreational reading is now done with my Kindle device or my iPad. By definition, all of my email and web surfing and blogging. I don't think I'll spend a lot of time watching movies, but I don't do that much at home.
There will be times, I hope, when there's no cell service and I'm really on my own. But I have to confess that being out of touch is a bit more daunting than it once was: medical crap limits my mobility. I hate that, but I need to deal with it. Hell, my reduced mobility is why I'm in the RV, not hiking and sleeping on a tarp out there somewhere back of beyond.
I can get internet through my ATT cell phone. I can read books and email, spend quality time with my feed reader. I can send emails and blog posts. But I want a little more ease in doing that. I want my iPad and, yes, my laptop.
The answer: a mobile hotspot. I had fun the last few days researching that, and wound up with a T-Mobile gadget which connects to their net and makes it available as a wifi hotspot for a distance of perhaps 30-50 feet. It's expensive bandwidth, but it can be turned off when I'm not on the road, unlike the competitors which ask to you buy X gigabytes a month, every month. I get unlimited bandwidth from ATT, so the phone will be the way to stream music and ball games and movies.
So that seems to be the answer, at least for now. The device is made by Samsung, which makes the Apple fanboy in me a little uneasy, but I can deal with that.