“I had always wanted to try to do this,” says Nick Vivion of his decision to measure and work full-time during a manufactured home or RV (RV). “I took some house money and purchased myself a house on wheels, with no mortgage and no rent. Then never looked back.”
Mr. Vivion, the founding father of US-based PR firm, Ghost Works, has spent the last four months as a digital nomad, living and dealing full-time during a manufactured home
He’s not alone. Just within us, the RV Industry Association estimates there are approximately a million people living in them – from retirees to full-time wandering employees.
But for those that also need an honest internet connection, there are often tons of frustration, particularly in a big country just like the US.
“I examine all the various options and things to try to and prepare until my eyes bled,” Mr. Vivion recalls, speaking from his manufactured home in Texas.
“But you’re never fully prepared… it can get very stressful when you’re constantly trying to urge off a client call and need to wrap it up before they use all the info .”
Mr. Vivion says his first mobile WiFi hotspot often didn’t function properly, forcing him to undertake additional options and eventually a billboard bus router of the type employed by intercity transport companies.
“I very quickly realized that redundancy is vital,” he adds.
Keeping people like Mr. Vivion connected, working, entertained – and cozy – is forming an increasingly prominent part of the worldwide manufactured home industry, which the firm Research And Markets estimates are worth approximately $42bn (£30bn).
“The truth is that first-time travelers, and even seasoned travelers, might hesitate to stay in an RV in fear of getting to ditch their comforts,” says Joanna Franco, the host of Netflix’s The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals.
“But the experience is getting on the brink of staying during a standard home – with way better perks,” Ms. Franco adds. “RV technology is getting more user-friendly.”
Among the businesses offering solutions for digital nomads is that the Indiana-based Aluminum Trailer Company (ATC), which offers a variety of caravans (or trailers within the US).
ATC chief executive Robert Paden says demand for mobile connectivity has spiked as a replacement generation of nomads takes to the road.
“We’ve seen an especially large increase in people new the camping and off-grid world beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Many of these still want to remain connected for remote work or family purposes, so we have seen increased demand for features that leave reliable connectivity.”
His company offers solar panels and mobile signal boosters.
“It’s somewhat ironic because the thought is you’ll be totally unplugged…. but still catch abreast of your Netflix shows,” says Mr. Paden.
“We certainly have tons of consumers who don’t need to possess anything to try to do with technology in their RVs, but the bulk is eager to have access to an equivalent entertainment they are doing reception .”
Mr. Paden adds that for a replacement generation of consumers, road trips are not any longer merely about getting away and unplugging from the digital world.
“It’s about lengthening stays and increasing experiences, including bringing along technology you’d normally have reception,” he says.
Brian Demo may be a retired US the United States Marine Corps helicopter mechanic and now a master RV technician and expert at JustAnswer – an internet site that connects material experts to people with questions. He has noticed mobile homes becoming more and more sophisticated.
“The computer systems that are in a number of these coaches are mini-tablets that you simply can [use] to work the whole RV,” he explains.
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As an example, Mr. Demo points to In-Command, a corporation that produces control systems that allow users to regulate a spread of features remotely from anywhere within the world.
“You can run that from your telephone to run the electrical system in your coach, operate your leveling jacks and even adjust the temperature for your air-con, or furnace,” he says.
Mr. Demo says that the pandemic has cemented the high levels of demand for connectivity technologies.
“More people had to believe faster internet speeds to urge work done remotely, so there was more leaning on the telephone side with hot spots, especially with families that had children in home school.
“Trying to place everyone on bandwidth-sucking video conferences put a significant strain on home networks.”