Drive to Mexico | Travel MUSTS for Visa, Pets, Insurance, RV & Car

Drive to Mexico | Travel MUSTS for Visa, Pets, Insurance, RV & Car

Travel Mexico in Your RVTraveling to Mexico in your RV can seem daunting, especially for the first time. So, I'm going to take the mystery out of crossing the border and give you some easy steps that you can follow so you can get on your way to that sandy beach in Mexico. Under the sun, soaking up the rays, maybe a little cold beverage with some fruit around the side. An umbrella, perhaps, and a straw, or you could just keep it simple and drink some cerveza. 

Today I'm going to give you the seven must-haves when traveling across the border to Mexico in your RV or your car, if you're going to vacation over there. Especially if you're going to be there for over seven days and you're traveling with pets.

Now, I'll tell you. When I first thought about traveling to Mexico, even in a caravan with my Xscapers group, it felt a little bit daunting to figure out all of the requirements to get across the border. One of my number one fears was traveling to Mexico was insurance.

Thinking about the requirements for having insurance in Mexico and making sure that my RV was covered and safe worried me – and what if I was in an accident and it was my fault would the other person's vehicle be covered?

Get your FREE Mexico Travel Checklist so you can print out and check off each item as your prepare for your trip. I make it so easy for you with the printable checklist with tips and recommendations so you don't have to go through the worry that I did with researching and filling out forms.

Watch the video for more tips and details: https://youtu.be/NUPqroOWWKg

7 Mexican Border Crossing Musts

#1 Purchase Mexico Vehicle Insurance

The number one must have and my number one fear in going to Mexico is vehicle insurance. I actually went with a company called Sanborn Insurance. 

insurance

The reason why you want to get Mexican insurance is because Mexico does not recognize U.S. insurance. Even if your RV or your car is covered in the United States, you'll need to get insurance in Mexico because if you get in an accident and you don't have insurance you could potentially be taken to jail for it or cited and ticketed.

So, you want to make sure you have Mexico insurance.

I'm with Progressive Insurance for my Hymer Aktiv van. I knew I was covered in Mexico but I didn't know to what extent. So, I made sure that if I was in an accident that my vehicle would be covered and the other vehicle would be covered as well.

I wanted to find out what would happen if I did get in an accident and what would I need to do. So, I called Progressive to find out.

What Progressive told me is that if I was in an accident and my vehicle was incapable of driving that my insurance would cover a tow back to the United States so that it could get repaired. They would not cover any charges to repair it in Mexico. So, because Mexico does not recognize United States insurance, you need to get Mexico insurance.

Since I was completely covered in Mexico on Progressive, I decided to only get liability in Mexico to satisfy Mexican law. I also made sure that that Mexico insurance had roadside assistance even though I had roadside assistance on my Progressive Insurance.

I thought it might be a little bit easier to have roadside assistance in Mexico on Mexico insurance should I possibly need it. So, I went ahead and got that as well.

Now, I was in Mexico for 10 full days and because I'm in a van and I'm potentially going to drive that van around for all of those 10 days, or some of those 10 days, I decided to get insurance for all 10 days while I was there.

If you have a tow vehicle, if you're in a trailer and you have a truck, you potentially don't need to have insurance on your trailer for all days that you're going to be there. You can just get your trailer covered for the days that you're driving into Mexico and driving out of Mexico. But then only cover your truck for all of the days.

Since you're going to be driving your truck around Mexico potentially on all days – since it's your main transportation – you want to make sure that it's completely covered on all days that you're there. Then you only have to cover your trailer for the days that you're actually driving with the trailer in and out of Mexico.

I went ahead and covered my vehicle for 10 days, full liability. Just to give you some basis of cost, it was $75 for me. That's going to vary, depending on what kind of coverage that you want to get with Sanborn.

Number one, make sure you get insurance. They might check it at the border as well, so make sure you have that before you cross the border.

#2 Traveling with Pets to Mexico

The second thing you need to have, if you have pets, is you need to make sure that you have their rabies vaccination and a health certificate.

The health certificate must be signed by a licensed veterinarian and within 15 days of traveling into Mexico.

Now, I will tell you I've been to Mexico twice with my pet. One walking into Mexico through Los Algodones – just south of Yuma, AZ – with my dog Lily and they never asked me for that information even though I did carry it on me.

When I traveled in my RV to Mexico, they also did not ask me for that information but I wouldn't go over there without it, just in case you do get asked. You definitely do not want to get to the border and then all of a sudden not be able to get your pet over the border.

That would put a huge damper in your vacation plans and nobody wants that. Make sure you have the health certificate and the rabies vaccination with you.

#3 Mexico Travel Tourist Visa

The third thing that you need in order to cross the border into Mexico is something called an FMM. You need an FMM no matter how many days you are traveling in Mexico; however if it's 7 days or under, it's free. If you're staying 8 or more days then there's a fee, but it's pretty small. I was there for 10 days and paid around $30.

Mexico FMMWhat is an FMM?

An FMM is basically short for a tourist visa. I was there for 10 days so I did need to fill it out. It's a really pretty easy form to fill out and I went online to complete it.

I'll give you a little tip here, make sure you use something like Google Chrome that has a translate button on it because the first part of filling out the form is in English, but when you get to the payment section, it wasn't in English at all and I had no idea what it said. I had to hit the Google Translate button and even then it did not completely translate everything.

Especially if it was a picture on the webpage and the picture had a word that was in Spanish. It wouldn't translate a picture, it only translates text.

I did go into online to Google Translate, take the word that was in the picture and type it into Google Translate, then it would translate it into English. It's really not a big deal, just make sure you have that Google Translate on, or, if you know Spanish, you're a little bit ahead of where I was with that.

It's very easy to fill out online. It's basically just going to ask you, what is your entry point into Mexico. We were entering from El Centro, California, into Mexicali.

There's a little drop down for choosing your entry point and you just would choose Mexicali or wherever you're going to cross the border.

You're going to put the date that you are crossing the border into Mexico and then you're also going to put the date that you're going to depart Mexico and cross back over the border.

Now, if your departure date should change and you want to extend your stay, that's completely fine. You don't need to change your FMM. The FMM is actually good for 180 days. It's just a starting point for you when you cross the border.

The other thing that you need to complete on the FMM is where you're going to be staying. If you have an RV park, like we did, you'll note the address of the RV park where you'll be staying.

You'll need to put some sort of address on there for where you're staying in Mexico. Now, you may be hopping around Mexico and that's completely fine, just find a place that you're probably going to stay at some point in time and put in that address.

It asks you for some more information like your name and your passport number, so you'll want to complete all of that.

The next think you'll need to do is pay for the FMM. Once you get to the payment screen, you'll put in your credit card information and then you're going to see how much it's going to cost you. Keep in mind that is in pesos.

It's not dollars, so don't freak out like I did at first. It's around 500 pesos. When I paid for it, my credit card statement showed it was about $30 once the conversion rate was applied.

You're going to get an email once they approve your FMM and you'll want to click on the link inside of the email to go to the FMM form and print out your FMM. Make sure you go ahead and print two copies while you're in there.

The other thing that you need to be aware of when filling out the FMM is that you need to make sure you fill it out within 30 days of arrival to Mexico. If you're thinking that you want to go to Mexico in about six months – and you're super proactive – and you want to go ahead and get your paperwork done now – WAIT!

You cannot fill it out the FMM right now and have it approved six months ahead of time. You have be within a 30 day window before you cross the border so just make sure you keep that in mind.

#4 Drivers License

The fourth thing that you're going to need is a driver's license. Now this may seem like a stupid thing for me to tell you but yes, you definitely need to have your driver's license. They might check once you cross the border and you need to have a drivers license to drive in Mexico just like everywhere else.

The good thing is you don't need an international driver's license to cross over the border and drive into Mexico for your vacation. So, just make sure to bring your driver's license with you.

#5 Passport

US Passport

The fifth thing that you're going to need is a passport. You can take a passport card or you can also use your traditional passport.

Now, you cannot get into Mexico without a passport.

They no longer use a driver's license. Maybe I'm dating myself by saying that but in the past you could get into Mexico and Canada with your U.S. driver's license. You cannot do that now. You actually have to have a passport or the passport card.

Make sure you have that with you. They will absolutely check that at the border.

#6 Vehicle Registration & Title

The sixth thing that you're going to need is to make sure you have your registration and or a title with you for a car to make sure that you own it and that it's actually registered.

They may or may not look at that. In my case, I brought it with me, they did not review my documents for my RV, but you always want to make sure you have it, just in case.

You don't want to get into Mexico or get to the border and they turn you around because you don't have the proper identification to prove that you actually own your vehicle that you're in.

So, make sure that you bring that with you.

#7 Duplicate Copies

The seventh thing that you're going to need is a copy of all of the information that I referenced above.

You want to make sure you have an additional backup copy. Just in case it gets lost, or they happen to take it for some reason. Just have an additional backup so that you can have your passport number on there, your driver's license number. Any of your pertinent information like your insurance so that you can have it handy in case it's lost or it's taken from you.

Preparing for Mexico Border Crossing

Before I actually got to the border, I put all of my documentation into a clear, plastic sleeve and then I kept this up in the front seat with me so that I could access it easily if I needed.

I even put my passport in there where it was right in the front. I made sure that, again, that was accessible to me in the front so that I could grab it really quickly.

When I actually got to the border, you have to park your vehicle and then go into the customs office so that you can show them your passport and show them your FMM document.

They're going to stamp the FMM document and they're going to, obviously, look up your passport to make sure that you're good to go into Mexico.

One of the reasons that I made sure that everything was inside of the plastic sleeve, is that I could just grab this pouch, go into the customs office and show them all of my documentation. Hopefully, I can make the process as easy and painless as possible and, hopefully get through the border very, very quickly.

The other thing is that there's a border agent that will want to come into your RV and inspect it.

One of the things I did before I went to the Mexico border crossing, the night before, was that I made sure that my RV was inspection-friendly.

What I mean by that is, if I open a cabinet up, is everything going to fall out of it if they open it up and inspect inside.

That happens in a van, by the way, or an RV. Things jostle around when you're driving. So, I made sure everything was tight in there. It was not going to fall out if they went to open it and inspect it.

Free 4 Day Mini Course Budgeting

I made sure that was done all throughout the RV.

Also, another thing that you want to make sure of is you are not taking anything illegal or that is prohibited into Mexico. The two number one very large things that are a no-no to take into Mexico is one, firearms. Can't take those in guys. No firearms, no ammo.

The second one is no drugs. So, I'm talking about illegal drugs.

Seems like a no-brainer.

There are also recreational drugs, in the United States, that are legal now, like marijuana. You want to make sure that you're not taking those over into Mexico.

It is not legal there and you will be arrested for that if it's found. They do have drug-sniffing dogs around the border so make sure you keep that in the United States.

One thing that you can do for items that you can't take into Mexico is to find a friend who can keep them for you. Or, just go get a storage locker and put all of that inside there.

So, you just want to make sure that everything in your RV is inspection-friendly and ready for them to board and look through. The cleaner you have it, the less things that will fall out. I feel like the easier it's going to be on them and the easier it's going to be on you. Just make sure that's all set and ready to go before you get to the border.

I'm going to make this so easy for you. I'm providing a checklist that shows you exactly everything that you need to do to cross the border so make sure you click below:

What is your number one fear when thinking about traveling to Mexico? Go ahead and leave me a comment below.

Video/Audio/Gear Used

Panasonic Lumix G85 Camera – For most still images and vlogging

Sony Action Cam FDRX3000 – For dash cam and walking/talking video

Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.

Xenvo Iphone Wide Angle (and Macro) Lens – Clips onto your iPhone did give you a wide angle view of your surroundings.

Ulanzi Metal Smart Phone Cold Shoe Mount – Attaches to a selfie stick, but allows you angle the camera and it has a mount for an external microphone.

AllStays app – Use on phone or desktop for finding gas stations, RV parks, campgrounds, propane, and more on your travel route.

Verizon Data Plan – Best nationwide coverage as of this post while traveling.

weBoost Cell Booster – A must have when traveling full-time especially if you work and are staying in areas outside of cities.

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Camper Van WiFi & Mobile Internet On The Road As A Digital Nomad

Camper Van WiFi & Mobile Internet On The Road As A Digital Nomad

Mobile Internet on the RoadIf you're looking to hit the road and be a digital nomad or maybe you're just looking to binge Netflix when you get to your camping spot – then you'll need a great cell signal for your mobile Internet.

How I stay connected on the road as a digital nomad is a hot topic and what equipment I use to make sure I have a cell signal the majority of the time.

I have multiple devices, a cell booster system, and I'll show you how to set it all up and explain the process of how it's connected inside and out so you can decide if this is something you'll want in your travels.

First Method to Getting Internet on the Road

The first piece of equipment you'll need is a hotspot like a Jetpack from Verizon. Verizon came out with the most fantastic plan yet that us digital nomads have been waiting for forever!

It's a prepaid, unlimited, unthrottled, no cap plan. I purchased the plan to test it out, and so far it's performing well, even in cities too where there's more traffic congestion on the networks.

I know, amazing huh?

Make sure you watch the review and click the link to take you right to the exact place to get the plan if you're interested. Part of my video shows how to set this plan up because most of the Verizon agents don't know about it.

A hotspot works off your current cell phone and/or data plan. The major players in the market that have the most coverage nationwide in the United States is Verizon, #1, and AT&T, #2 as of this posting.

I have a Verizon hotspot as well as an AT&T hotspot. I like having both because sometimes AT&T is better in one area than Verizon or vice versa. My entire business and consulting practice are online, so it's essential that I almost always have a cell signal for the Internet – unless of course I just am taking a break and need some digital downtime.

Now, in my video from last week, I talked about how I use my Verizon hotspot with a new prepaid plan so check that out. You may want to look into that because the Verizon hotspot that I was on before with my regular cell phone plan just didn't work that well.

The hotspots will allow you to get Internet on the road, but what about when you're in rural areas or places where the cell signal is weak?

Boosting Your Cell Signal So You Can Boondock Most Anywhere

So here's the thing, as a digital nomad, you need to make sure you're connected everywhere you go. I'm online 24/7, and it seems like I'm always charging my equipment, I'm always online loading videos or answering emails, social media, etc.

As a digital nomad, it's very important that you are always online and connected. So to make that happen, I have the two hotspots with Verizon and AT&T.

The other thing that's super important to make sure you're connected is a cell booster. The system that I use is called a weBoost, and it is connected to an antenna on the roof that boosts the cell signal inside the van and to my devices.

Weboost antenna on Hymer aktiv camper van

weBoost Antenna and Cell Signal

The weBoost is mounted to the side of the wall under my bench seat so it's out of the way and that is connected to AC power. To have AC Power you do need to have your inverter on to make that work properly.

The antenna that came with my weBoost is not the antenna that I'm using currently. The one that came with the system is one that you hard mount onto your van or to your RV, and I didn't want to punch any holes in my RV, so I got the magnet instead. This antenna is one that I specifically bought because it has an earth magnet on it and is very strong so it will mount on top of the van and stay there, even if I drive with it.

I do take it on and off when I travel and then when I'm stationary I keep it up on the roof. The cable runs down the side of the van and in through the driver door, and then that connects to the weBoost inside.

That is how I stay connected to a cell booster. The cell booster, if you're not familiar with it, will boost your signal typically when you're going to be in rural areas or places with weak signals.

The cell towers are far and few between, more so than in an urban area, so you sometimes to boost your signal. The weBoost has helped me so many times when I'm in rural areas, and sometimes it'll say I have no signal whatsoever or just maybe one bar and then I'll plug it in and voila, I can sometimes get anywhere between two, three and even four bars.

That will help me to get that cell signal in those rural areas.

Hymer Aktiv Camper Van Mobile Internet on the Road

If you're going to be doing a lot of boondocking, make sure you get some kind of a cell booster. There are different ones out there, weBoost seems to be the best one in my opinion, and so that's the one that I went with, and it's the first one that I bought when I started RVing.

I haven't had any issues with it, except the fact that – oh guess what? I had a different antenna, and that antenna was just a slender antenna that had an earth magnet on it. I would put it on the top of the roof, and I could drive around a lot with that one on, but I was on the coast so much, and with all the salty air it got rusted.

So I had to replace it with the one I have now which won't rust when exposed to the environment.

How to Set-up weBoost Inside of Van

So you have your cell booster set up now, it's plugged in, the green light is on.

Now the green light means that it is getting a signal from the antenna on top of the roof and that it's working properly inside. The next question is how do you get that cell tower signal boosted to your devices? Like your hotspot or your cell phone and how does that whole system work?

You have the antenna on top, you have the weBoost system connected to the AC power, so then you have an inside antenna that's plugged into the booster. I place it on my table where I do most of my work, and I'll place my hotspots up in the window so it's getting a signal outside and it's close to this inside antenna.

The inside antenna is what ties it all together so that you can get a good cell signal to your devices. The closer it is to the antenna, the better.

Making sure that I use my weBoost and cell booster and these two hotspots – that's how I stay connected most of the time.

Free 4 Day Mini Course BudgetingConnecting to Free WiFi & Internet on the Road

Most of the time I use my hotspots in the current set-up I explained, but there are times when it might be necessary to seek out WiFi.

My goto places are typically places like a Starbucks or a place that offers free WiFi.

The only time I've had issues is when I go to other countries like Canada and Mexico where my cell plan will cap me at a half a gig of data a day. So I will make more use out of the Starbucks, or believe it or not, Home Depot has excellent WiFi if you sit out in their parking lot next to the contractor section. I'm sure that sounds weird, but I've done all over New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec, Canada.

That's an option too if you are traveling and for some reason, you don't have a hotspot, or you can't get a good cell signal. Go to a Starbucks, or Home Depot, a Lowe’s, or Walmart. I've had sporadic luck with Walmart and better luck with Home Depot for free WiFi.

Keeping Devices & Gear Charged in Camper Van

The other thing about being a digital nomad is making sure that you have enough power to charge everything.

I tend to use a lot of power because I have a lot of things to charge like a computer, a camera – well several cameras – an iPhone, and my two hot spots. Those hotspots need to stay charged up so that I can always stay connected.

My weBoost needs to be plugged in so that it can get a signal as well and that draws energy using AC power so the inverter must be on. I do have my solar panels which charge the batteries, and most of the time this is sufficient for my needs.

All of the devices also use AC power, which means I need to have my inverter on to get power to the USB port and the plugs.

Hymer Aktiv Inverter

I have to turn on my inverter, and I have to make sure my lithium batteries are on, and then I will be able to have power to everything.

Lithum Batteries Hymer Aktiv

I'm pulling so much energy from my batteries, so I want to make sure that I'm getting enough solar power so that:

  • I am charged up by using my solar panels which means that my batteries have to be on to convert the solar energy to store into my batteries, or…..
  • I'm driving throughout the day to charge the batteries, or …..
  • I can turn on my under hood generator, which is part of the Hymer Aktiv van system and charge my batteries.

And that allows all of the batteries to charge in the van.

It's pretty easy once you get the hang of it and you understand the charging and solar power system. You get to know your van or RV and figure out how much power you're pulling in from the sun and how much energy you're pulling out of your batteries on an everyday basis. As a digital nomad, that is something that I have to pay attention to daily.

Aerial Van Drone Footage

I'm very conscientious of how much power I'm using just to turn the lights on or how much power I'm using when I'm cooking. I want to make sure that I'm entirely powered up throughout the day and just managing how much energy I'm using and consuming.

One of the things you might think about too is getting that Verizon hotspot that's prepaid and that is not throttled and completely unlimited. Go ahead and watch that video so you can see how you can get that hotspot, make sure that you're always connected, no throttle and unlimited.

That's a big deal in this digital nomad community as well.

Video/Audio/Gear Used

Panasonic Lumix G85 Camera – For most still images and vlogging

Sony Action Cam FDRX3000 – For dash cam and walking/talking video

Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.

Xenvo Iphone Wide Angle (and Macro) Lens – Clips onto your iPhone did give you a wide angle view of your surroundings.

Ulanzi Metal Smart Phone Cold Shoe Mount – Attaches to a selfie stick, but allows you angle the camera and it has a mount for an external microphone.

AllStays app – Use on phone or desktop for finding gas stations, RV parks, campgrounds, propane, and more on your travel route.

Verizon Data Plan – Best nationwide coverage as of this post while traveling.

weBoost Cell Booster – A must have when traveling full-time especially if you work and are staying in areas outside of cities.

weBoost Antenna – Rust proof antenna to use on the earth magnet mount

weBoost Antenna magnet mount – Used for antenna mount above

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Verizon Jetpack Unlimited Data Review NO THROTTLE Hotspot

Verizon Jetpack Unlimited Data Review NO THROTTLE Hotspot

Verizon Unlimited Data Plan Review and hOw to set upHave you heard of the new Verizon Jetpack unlimited data plan that has no throttle, and you want to know if it's legit? Then make sure you read this post all the way to the end or watch my video for my review of the new Verizon no throttle prepaid plan and how you can quickly get it set up.

What's Different About This Plan?

Alright, so you've heard of this new Verizon Jetpack prepaid plan, and let's be honest, us digital nomads have been waiting a very long time for a plan like this.

It's something that we all talk about, and something that's been a much-needed thing for us as we travel around the world or travel in our RVs. So, here's the good news.

I think it's legit, but let's check it out and find out.

I'm going to give you all the details on this new Verizon prepaid Jetpack plan, I'm going to show you my speed test and my review, and I'm going to show you how to set this up easily.

Trust me; it was a little bit of a headache for me.

I had to talk to four different Verizon agents to get this set up, and some of them didn't even know that the plan existed.

Some of the agents want you to set up a new account, and some say you can put it on your existing account if you already have a Verizon account. Some of their information was true, and some of it was not exactly accurate; however, I finally got it all squared away.

So I'm going to show you what I learned through the process so that you can easily set it up online or go in and talk to an agent and get this set up for yourself.

Verizon Prepaid Jetpack Plan

Good news! This new plan is also truly unlimited.

Now, where this differs in comparison to the old plans, like the one that I have on my Verizon plan which is throttled – this one is not throttled – in other words, there's no cap on it which is good. That's a huge plus for all of us digital nomads.

Verizon and AT&T Hotspots

The other thing is that it is $65 per month if you auto prepay for it. It's advertised on the website at $70, but there's a $5 discount if you prepay.

This plan is for Jetpack, so if you already have one of those hotspot devices than you can still use it – kind of – so keep reading where I tell you how to set it up.

Here's the clincher, and you probably knew there would be one.

It is network-managed.

I talked to the representative to find out exactly what that means. The Verizon representative told me about network management, and there are essentially three tiers of priority in network management.

Verizon Plan ReviewEmergency vehicles like police and ambulances or firefighters will get the first priority.

They are in the top tier.

The second tier are people who are post-paid, which means you have a standard account and you don't prepay for it. A post-paid account, which is like the current plan that I'm on where I pay for my cell phone and hotspot each month with an invoice. Note this hotspot is throttled at 15 GBs.

The third priority is prepaid, which is what this prepaid plan is at Verizon. Prepaid is at the bottom of the barrel. I don't know why they do that; it doesn't make sense to me that they would differentiate tiers between people who pay by invoice versus prepaid.

We're all paying money into it, but that's how they network-manage.

So, of course, when the representative told me this, I was a little bit concerned because I certainly don't want to be bottom of the barrel, and there are a lot of people out there who have the regular post-paid accounts.

Being at the bottom of the tier as a prepaid customer, I was concerned that the network management was going to be too much and it was going to be as if I was throttled like on my existing plan. I went ahead and decided to get the prepaid account and go ahead and test it out so that I can find out if it's going to be better than my original account.

Then, I can make some decisions on the original hotspot that I have on my account already, which is still under contract.

Is It Really a No Throttle Data Plan?

So, the big question here is, does this plan work, and is it indeed a no throttle plan as they say? The short, general answer is – yes.

It has been working really, really well for me, except for one specific situation in the desert – which is a bit weird. So far in the two weeks that I've had the new Verizon plan, it's worked well.

I will say, I was very skeptical in the beginning about it.  Which is why I wanted to test it and really put it through its paces by taking it to rural areas, to urban areas, and testing it at different times of the day. This way I could see what kind of speeds I was getting and when I would see that slow down due to the network management.

The first thing I did to be able to test the Verizon Jetpack plan is I suspended my current, existing hotspot account, which is attached to my cell phone plan. I suspended it temporarily for two months so that I could test out the new prepaid Verizon plan and also still use my current Jetpack since I didn't want to buy new equipment.

My cell phone plan is still working on my original account where my original hotspot line, on the same account, is suspended.

I had to set up a brand new account for the prepaid plan, and I got a new SIM card.

I could've just left the old, original hotspot as-is and still paid for that account and get a new Jetpack and a new SIM card. However; I wanted to use this existing Jetpack so that I didn't have to buy new equipment, especially in case I didn't like the plan, and it didn't work for me. So, we suspended the old account, opened a brand new account, got a new SIM card, and I was able to use that new SIM card in the old Jetpack because the old SIM card is not deactivated, but just suspended. The old Jetpack was able to recognize the new SIM card even though this is still under contract which can only happen if you suspend the other account.

That's how we worked it out to use the existing Jetpack.

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Speed Test of the Verizon Prepaid Unlimited NO THROTTLE Plan

When I purchased the new prepaid plan, I was in Dana Point, California, and I was there for about a week with the new prepaid plan working, and I had phenomenal results. I was surprised by how good the results were considering I'm in this city with a lot of people, and it's Southern California in the Los Angeles area, which is a vast urban area.

I was again, very skeptical of this new plan and whether it would really work because of the network management, but it did work!

I was able to upload a YouTube video on it within 30 minutes, something that might have taken me an hour to an hour and a half using my AT&T hotspot. The AT&T cell signal wasn't getting good service there at that point in time. Verizon was a stronger carrier in that area, so it was great to see that it was able to upload a video, no problem whatsoever, in a very populated, urban area.

Fast forward another week, and I went to the desert and decided to test it out in that area. This particular area that I was in has great service for AT&T and Verizon, and I decided to go ahead and do some speed tests in the evening and in the morning to see what that was like.

So, the first test I did is the Verizon AM speed test. This test underperformed especially compared to what the speeds were when I was in Dana Point, California, although I did not get an actual speed test on the record like I am here.

Verizon Morning Speed Test

AT&T speed test in the morning did very well and again, this may or may not be because of the cell tower strength here. It may just be that AT&T has a better signal in this rural area that I'm in versus Verizon. So it can't be considered conclusive that Verizon is network managing and not a great plan yet. I still have more testing to do.

AT&T Morning Speed Test

The evening speed test produced similar results as the morning. Even though both carriers are working very well in this rural area, Verizon underperformed, which was pretty surprising considering how well it worked in an urban area. There are not very many people out here where I'm at in the desert, so I'm not sure why that is, but it was just an interesting thing to note, and we'll continue testing it.

Verizon Evening Speed Test

AT&T Evening Speed Test

 

How to Set-up the Verizon Prepaid Jetpack Plan

Whether you have an existing account or your not a Verizon customer at all, you'll want to set up a brand new account. Prepaid accounts need to have their own account, separate from an existing Verizon account that you may have already.

Setting Up a New Account for New Verizon Customer

If you are a new customer to Verizon, this is going to be pretty easy. You just go to their website, and you sign up for an account.

Make sure click on this link to go directly to the prepaid plans area, scroll down to find the Jetpack and tablet plans, and you'll see the unlimited plan for $65.

Set-up Account Verizon Prepaid Jetpack

Then you'll need to pick out your actual Jetpack. Click ‘next steps,' ‘new customer,' and then you'll see different plans, but the one you want to select is the unlimited data for $70, although it is $65 for auto prepay.

Setting Up a New Account for Existing Verizon Customer

If you're an existing Verizon customer AND you want to use your existing Jetpack, this is where it can get a little bit tricky.

You can go through the same methodology with setting up a new account with one difference.

Using Your Existing Jetpack

If you're like me and you already have a Jetpack, and you want to use an existing Jetpack, then you will need to deactivate the old SIM card.

The only way to deactivate the card is to either get rid of that original line on your existing cell plan or suspend the account like I did to make sure it's what you want after testing it for a bit.

The Jetpack will only recognize one working SIM card according to Verizon if the other account is still under contract – which mine is under contract. You then have the option of paying off the contract and then deactivating that line if you think the new prepaid hotpot line is the one you'll keep.

If you still want to use your existing Jetpack, then these are the steps that you need to go through to make sure that your old Jetpack works with your new SIM card.

Once you know the steps to get the account set up, then it shouldn't be a problem for you whatsoever, even if you wanted to go into the store and get it all set up there. Just present to them exactly what I showed you on the website by going to the prepaid plans option, and then click on the one that says $70.

Remember, it's really $65, but it's a five dollar discount for auto prepaying.

Review of Verizon Prepaid No Throttle Plan – So Far

So far I really like what I see with the plan. I had that one exception in the rural area, but other than that, I was able to upload a video pretty quickly, so I'm pleased with those results.

It's still a little too early to tell right now if I'm going to stay with this plan. I'll be testing it for two months, so I will do a follow-up video/post review after that time to let you know my findings. I'll show you speed tests again and the places that it worked well, and the places that it did not work well.

Then we can decide if it's a plan that's worth keeping, or should I go back to my original hotspot contract and just use that particular account for my backup to my AT&T account.

If you're anything like me, I wanted to jump on this before anything changed with the plan so I could start testing it right away. The good news is, it's a prepaid plan and no contract, so if you want to jump on this plan as well, then click this link to go directly to the prepaid section of the Verizon website and go ahead and get your account set up as well.

As I mentioned a moment ago, I also have an AT&T hotspot in conjunction with my Verizon hotspot. I use both of hotspots as backups depending on the area, but I'm going to put together another video and post soon that shows exactly how I stay connected on the road in my camper van and how I work remotely as a digital nomad.

I'm curious if you all have already been set up on this prepaid plan, and if so, leave me a comment below. I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on it, what your findings have been. Are you using it a rural area or a city area? So, make sure you leave me a comment below if you've already signed up for this plan.

Video/Audio/Gear Used

Panasonic Lumix G85 Camera – For most still images and vlogging

Sony Action Cam FDRX3000 – For dash cam and walking/talking video

Joby Gorillapod – Used for holding the cameras as a tripod or mounting to just about anything to capture a shot.

Xenvo Iphone Wide Angle (and Macro) Lens – Clips onto your iPhone did give you a wide angle view of your surroundings.

Ulanzi Metal Smart Phone Cold Shoe Mount – Attaches to a selfie stick, but allows you angle the camera and it has a mount for an external microphone.

AllStays app – Use on phone or desktop for finding gas stations, RV parks, campgrounds, propane, and more on your travel route.

Verizon Data Plan – Best nationwide coverage as of this post while traveling.

weBoost Cell Booster – A must have when traveling full-time especially if you work and are staying in areas outside of cities.

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