Hardware ideas for an RV network?

I want to setup a router/firewall that can support multiple WAN connection types. Any hardware recommendations would be appreciated.

Wan options

  • Cellular
    • Preferably this would be a separate ethernet device
  • Wifi client
    • Not high on the priorieties but would be nice use something in the airmax family as I am occasionally at sites with LOS to varies 5ghz devices (nanobeam, nanostation, ect)
    • could be integrated if the device supports an external antenna so that it can be installed on the exterior

Hardware requirements

  • runs on 12 volts DC
  • somewhat rugged and large operating temperature range

Nice to haves

  • fanless
  • integrated wifi
  • ability to connect to captive portals

I was trying to keep it modular, mainly for ease of upgrading in the future as more 5g hardware comes on the market.

Current considerations

  • mikrotik configured with a script to toggle the WAN interface between cell and wifi, the only issue with this is Im not sure how I would route LAN traffic to said AP to change the SSID as needed. Possibly a ubiq device with two ethernet interfaces can do this.
  • mikrotik flashed with openwrt - low cost, rugged, readily available hardware, assuming I am understanding the travelmate package it would check the captive portal box
  • For the wifi client use an RPI with USB wifi than NAT the two interfaces and have a small touch screen for managing the wifi connection
  • PC engines apXX running pf or opensense


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You might want to check out the self-hosted podcast. One of the hosts, Chris Fischer has done what you’re trying to do with all the attendant problems. Can’t recommend particular episodes off hand, but they are only up to episode 38 and the show notes are good about the contents of each episode.

He goes through the trials and tribulations to get to the setup he’s got now that works well. Right now that includes a router and service than can bond multiple connections to improve performance.

And the back catalog as he’s progressed to his current system is a good collection of things to skip.

Thx, I do listen to JB. I dont think there is any one episode where Chris deep dives on his setup…possibly because it is ever changing. The router you are referring to is a peplink. I do own one and while it could satisfy most of my requirements there is one issue. To keep costs down most of the peplink features are a licensed addon such as ethernet WAN and WLAN as WAN. I dont want to put any money into it or cellular equipment at this time as I would rather wait for a 5G model. That said I can use the peplink as an ethernet WAN link to whatever device I decide on.

I’ve installed this once before. It connects to wither the cellular network OR a WiFi network and then spits that out of an Ethernet port. From there, I just hooked up a UniFi AP to provide coverage within the living quarters. For my install, I utilized external (outdoor) antennas for both cellular and WiFi to get the best coverage. Switching between cellular and a WiFi network at the marina / campground is fairly simple (uses a web interface); I just bookmarked that page for the end user.

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