Winegard ConnecT RV WiFi Extender Installation and Setup

A few months ago the Winegard company contacted me offering to send out their new Winegard ConnecT RV WiFi Extender for a Love Your RV! review. It was to be publicly launched in mid-October and they were interested in having some RVers try it out. I have a 5-year-old JefaTech WiFi booster but was intrigued to check out what the latest technology has to offer.

Unfortunately, as is often the case, shipping to Canada was a no go, but they would gladly ship it once I was in the USA. Finally, we are in an RV Park near Palm Springs for a few weeks and can receive packages. I contacted Winegard, and they shipped one right out. Cool!

Veteran RVers know crowded RV park WiFi speed even with boosters leaves a lot to be desired. Most networks are overloaded, and an extender is most often useless. So why was I interested?

Well, we tend to travel in the off-season and have found many of the parks aren’t too bad at that time. We like to overnight in casinos who generally have pretty decent WiFi but only if we can get the signal into the rig.

Seven Cedars Casino

Another use case for the extender is when we pay extra for guaranteed campground WiFi bandwidth but are too far from a broadcast antenna. Or, when driveway surfing with friends/family and are trying to receive their home WiFi inside our rig.

Winegard ConnecT information

Winegard ConnecT RV WiFi Extender Installation

Inside the packaging, you’ll find a bunch of different components which may seem intimidating to nontechie DIY folks, but in reality, the installation is quite straightforward. The biggest hurdle will be deciding how and where to mount the antennas and run the wiring.

Winegard ConnecT Box Contents

The Winegard ConnecT consists of an external unit with three separate antennas, kinda looking like it belongs on a piece of NASA gear. Each antenna gets hand tightened onto the weatherproof amplifier unit, which attaches to the RV’s roof. Power for the outdoor unit is provided through the same cable as the signal.

 Winegard Connect Antenna

On the side of the outside antenna unit, a cover pops off and reveals an ethernet port. The supplied 25-foot cable gets plugged in there, and the cover gets screwed in place sealing the port. Next, the 25-foot cabling has to be feed into the RV to connect up with the internal broadcast unit which also handles the routing of  WiFi signals to each of our internet devices.

Winegard ConnecT RV Rooftop Installation

For my Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer install, I mounted the outside unit at the highest point on the roof to maximize range. I picked an empty area away from other rooftop devices. I followed the instruction manual’s location instructions which state:

  • Do not mount closer than 12 inches from the edge of the roof. 
  • Do not mount closer than 24 inches from adjacent devices.
  • Do not mount the outdoor unit (ODU) with the cable facing the front of the vehicle.

Securing the Winegard unit to the RV roof is done with supplied metal feet and wood screws, perfect for my rubber roof, but if I had fiberglass or aluminum I might be inclined to look into using some 3M VHB tape instead. If it can hold down solar panels, this little Winegard ConnecT unit should not be a problem.

Screwing the Winegard Connect rooftop unit down

Before screwing it to the roof 1/8″ pilot holes are drilled, and the screws get dipped into some Dicor sealant (not provided), then covered in more Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant. Next, the 25-foot cable needs to find it’s way into the rig.

For my particular install, I decided to use the refrigerator vent to feed the wire down and mount the internal unit in a cabinet just above the fridge. To secure the cable between the outside antenna unit and the fridge vent, I used some Eternabond roof repair tape. I’ve used it for other rooftop wires like my solar panels and my cellular booster antenna with good results.

Fridge Vent

Winegard ConnecT Rooftop Installation

EternaBond RSW-4-50 RoofSeal Sealant Tape, White - 4" x 50'
Price: $52.14
You save: $27.36 (34 %)
39 new from $44.630 used

Winegard Inside Unit Installation

A 3/4″ hole was needed to be drilled in the back of the cabinet to fish in the ethernet cable from outside. I used the supplied hole cover plate to tidy things up. The inside unit is attached to the cabinet back wall with two screws and the extra cable spooled up all hidden from view when the door is closed.

I chose this mounting location for the internal Winegard unit because of its proximity to an AC power outlet in the next kitchen cabinet. The Winegard ConnecT requires AC power converted to 24 volts DC using a small power adapter. With the extra cable available, I can always move the inside unit around the RV interior, if  I need to, for a better signal.

Complete Winegard ConnecT inside installation

Once I had everything neatly secured in place, the final task was to setup the software and get online for a test.

Winegard WiFi Extender Software Setup

The system’s setup is super simple. First I found the Winegard ConnecT’s default SSID (WiFi signal name) and connected my laptop using the default password found on the back of the inside antenna unit. Step number two, enter 10.11.12.1 into a browser and log into the admin panel using the default password “admin.” 

Winegard ConnecT admin panel

Once logged in I was able to scan for available WiFi networks and edit my internal WiFi network names and passwords and update the Winegard ConnecT firmware software. (See video below for more info)

Video Detailing My Winegard ConnecT RV Installation

Well there you go, everything went smoothly and in less than an afternoon of puttering I was online with my fancy new Winegard ConnecT RV Wifi extender. Unfortunately, where I’m camping right now the WiFi connection is rather good, so not much to say from a first impression other than it works and the connection is stable. I did see a marginal increase in speed.

I plan to use it over the next few weeks as we travel and camp testing the system in different WiFi scenarios and will report back with a full review of its performance. Stay tuned for that.

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Installing the Winegard ConnecT RV WiFi Extender onto my Keystone Fifth Wheel Trailer by the Love Your RV! blog - http://www.loveyourrv.com/

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  • I agree, definite negative so I’ve ordered myself a 12 to 24 volt DC to DC converter so I can hook it to the rigs battery bank.

    • Tiziano Vercelli

      It shows a lack of knowledge from Winegard side. Very bad.

  • Wade Kropelin

    Hey Ray awesome job as usual! My wife and I still haven’t ventured off the Island yet, not til I retire I guess which will be soon! Anyway, when we were camping near Black Creek, we were able to pick up a Shaw hotspot with our iPads, however, I could not connect with the Jefatech. Called tech support and they told me that Shaw is using a wireless U standard vice the normal G or N. This “new” standard makes it impossible to repeat the Hotspot. It’ll be interesting to see if this Wineguard allows to repeat a Shaw hotspot.

    • Thanks Wade. I sure hope so, we use the free Shaw hotspots a lot. Guess I find out in the spring. 🙂

  • Scott Van Artsdalen

    EE-thernet, EEEE-Thernet, EEEEEEEEE-thernet! I cringed every time you said EH-thernet. 🙂

    • Funny, no one ever said anything to me. Maybe it’s more acceptable where I’m from. Now I know, though! Several folks on YouTube informed me as well.

      • Scott Van Artsdalen

        They probably just thought it was your Canadian accent, eh?. 🙂

        • haha, ya. It’s amazing the subtle differences between US and Canada. A few that that stick out for me are insurance, a big emphasis is made on the “in” and roof which sounds like ruff and how Americans pronounce Anne’s name. it’s almost like the A has an E too. Of course, that’s just generalizing there are huge differences inside each country too. 🙂

        • Scott Van Artsdalen

          I know exactly what you’re talking abote. Though I say r-oo-f, and would pronounce Anne to rhyme with can. But I’m from the South and people think I talk funny too.

  • Gary Seyer

    Ray, could you use 3M All Weather Flashing Tape to secure the cable on the roof? Thank you in advance.

    • Can’t say for sure, I’m not familiar with the product. I go with Eternabond because it is designed as a roof repair tape for rubber roofs, so I know it will be OK.

  • Richard Machida

    The Ethernet port on the outdoor unit needs to not face the front simply to minimize rain water getting forced in.

    Nice review…

    • Ahhh, that makes sense! Thanks, Richard.