Geek Speak: Software Developer setup in an RV

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Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,902
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
As many here know 1) I'm am a software developer and owner of a small biz, 2) I removed my jack knife sofa in my Newmar Ventana and installed a 6ft UpDesk. I bought the coach 3 years ago as for me to do my work all I need is an Internet connection and I really missed the travels from my Air Force days. There is so much to see as ALL of us know here. As I'll always work, I hate an idle mind, I'm continuing to evolve my RV setup.

When I first started RVing I just used an iMac which can run both Mac and Windows. I dev for everything (Windows, Mac, Web, iOS, Android...). I prefer Windows 10 (yes, I said that) but also love macOS but much of my work is done on Windows including mobile development (iOS/Android) which can be done on either. The iMac is a great option for RVing, compact all in one desktop with 27 inch screen, powerful, great all around. I stored it on the bed during travel with one of these covers over it. I also own a recent Macbook Pro but I cannot stand working on a 15 inch display.

This past winter on my 7 month trip I used a different setup. I used two ergotron arms which clamp to the desk and the monitors (I use two) attach to these arms. This is great for a desk setup as it gives you all of your desk space with no monitor stands. I use a 32 inch LG primary with a 27 inch LG secondary for dual displays. I could swing the monitors out of the way to watch TV on the televator but it wasn't ideal. I typically watched TV on the front center TV. I use two machines for development, a Dell XPS 8930 running Windows and my MacBook Pro for the mac side of the house and also pair my dev tools in Windows to the mac (Xamarin).

I'm going for a new option going forward. I just ordered a Mac Mini max'd out except on RAM as it's recommended to add that aftermarket. If I need more graphics power I can add an eGPU. I will still bring along the MacBook Pro as a spare but it will be used for patio side computing and the Mac Mini mounted beneath the desktop with a mount (3D printed of course). The windows machine will continue to go along with me and I'll be using the same two monitors but on their stands so they can be moved when I want to watch TV. So in essence what is going to change from my winter trip is the new Mac Mini recently refreshed (March 2020), it will connect to the two displays via USB-C which are on stands now ditching the ergotron arms. Windows uses display port to connect to the monitors. I use a Logitech K780 keyboard which handles multiple devices, as well as a Logitech MX Master mouse which switches between systems also supporting 3 devices. I do use a APC UPS battery backup but it's more for surge protection and power strip for more outlets but I always wonder if it's really needed as the coach has a battery backup on board aka house batteries!

For those that work in their RV I'd love to hear your setup. My passion is all related to computing whether software development or 3D printing. I'm very lucky to have a job that I can RV while working and not be stuck in an office, although I do love my office too, helps me focus :)
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2019
Messages
296
Location
Rockville, Va.
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Canyon Star 3710
RV Length
38
TOW/TOAD
2017 Gmc Terrain & 2017 Chevrolet Colorado ZR-2
WOW!😵 Impressive, but too much "Geek Speak" for me! I got lost after Windows 10, Macbook, & Dell...oh, & I guess there's IBM in there somewhere too!:unsure:
Maybe one day I can learn "Geek Speak"!🤓
Seriously though Neal, that is one impressive set up which you have!👍
As for my "setup", a new HP ENVY 17" with an inexpensive HP5055 wireless printer, & that's "hi-tech" for me!💻
I'm still trying to figure out how to use all the dang remotes that came with this thing! But I can get the Dish Satellite up & running.....1 button to push!😎
And seriously, how do you keep up with the operation & interface of everything?
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
Messages
331
Location
Glendora, CA
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Dutch Star 4369
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor w/AF1 Braking
Yeah. I used to have that same setup and ended up replacing it all with just an iPhone11 Pro Max. :ROFLMAO::p

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Give us some nice pictures soon; I’m sure it’s an awesome setup.
 
Joined
Jan 28, 2020
Messages
316
Location
Cypress Inn, TN
RV Year
2011
RV Make
Thor
RV Model
Hurricane
RV Length
32ft
TOW/TOAD
2018 Nissan Rogue
Like you Neal I’m in Software, but not so much development but maintenance for the state of Oregon Highway department. Most of my work however is through VPN to a development machine in Oregon. Internet speed is not the best here however going through the VPN connection it’s not bad. For me it’s all windows 10. All there stuff are On windows operating systems so it just works out. The only thing I need are at least 2 32” high res curve monitors to help prevent eye strain. I put my cpu anywhere out of the way with plenty of cooling. My monitors are on an adjustable platform on my desk so I can stand or sit to work.
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
66
Location
Where ever we park - Myrtle Beach Currently
RV Year
2019
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40
TOW/TOAD
2018 JL Wrangler Sahara
As many here know 1) I'm am a software developer and owner of a small biz, 2) I removed my jack knife sofa in my Newmar Ventana and installed a 6ft UpDesk. I bought the coach 3 years ago as for me to do my work all I need is an Internet connection and I really missed the travels from my Air Force days. There is so much to see as ALL of us know here. As I'll always work, I hate an idle mind, I'm continuing to evolve my RV setup.

When I first started RVing I just used an iMac which can run both Mac and Windows. I dev for everything (Windows, Mac, Web, iOS, Android...). I prefer Windows 10 (yes, I said that) but also love macOS but much of my work is done on Windows including mobile development (iOS/Android) which can be done on either. The iMac is a great option for RVing, compact all in one desktop with 27 inch screen, powerful, great all around. I stored it on the bed during travel with one of these covers over it. I also own a recent Macbook Pro but I cannot stand working on a 15 inch display.

This past winter on my 7 month trip I used a different setup. I used two ergotron arms which clamp to the desk and the monitors (I use two) attach to these arms. This is great for a desk setup as it gives you all of your desk space with no monitor stands. I use a 32 inch LG primary with a 27 inch LG secondary for dual displays. I could swing the monitors out of the way to watch TV on the televator but it wasn't ideal. I typically watched TV on the front center TV. I use two machines for development, a Dell XPS 8930 running Windows and my MacBook Pro for the mac side of the house and also pair my dev tools in Windows to the mac (Xamarin).

I'm going for a new option going forward. I just ordered a Mac Mini max'd out except on RAM as it's recommended to add that aftermarket. If I need more graphics power I can add an eGPU. I will still bring along the MacBook Pro as a spare but it will be used for patio side computing and the Mac Mini mounted beneath the desktop with a mount (3D printed of course). The windows machine will continue to go along with me and I'll be using the same two monitors but on their stands so they can be moved when I want to watch TV. So in essence what is going to change from my winter trip is the new Mac Mini recently refreshed (March 2020), it will connect to the two displays via USB-C which are on stands now ditching the ergotron arms. Windows uses display port to connect to the monitors. I use a Logitech K780 keyboard which handles multiple devices, as well as a Logitech MX Master mouse which switches between systems also supporting 3 devices. I do use a APC UPS battery backup but it's more for surge protection and power strip for more outlets but I always wonder if it's really needed as the coach has a battery backup on board aka house batteries!

For those that work in their RV I'd love to hear your setup. My passion is all related to computing whether software development or 3D printing. I'm very lucky to have a job that I can RV while working and not be stuck in an office, although I do love my office too, helps me focus :)
I love Neil's setup and would love to be able to remove the couch, however, not being alone DW will have nothing of that. I set up my 1 or 2 27" 4K monitors on our Dinette (we have the dinette with roll top table option) when I need to get serious, but most of the time just have the monitor on the kitchen table. Internet wise I use Sky box that came with the Ventana, however, my main connection to the internet is a Sierra Wireless GX450 modem. While I have dabbled in IOS and Android code (a couple of apps for each), I leave that to the younger engineers (not a big fan of Java or Xcode). I design and develop embedded hardware for various usages, some monitoring, some actually are used for firing pyrotechnics to music (Pyrotechnics System). From my MH I develop everything from Windows Code (GUI and Server) to embedded Microchip PIC code (Non-geek translation - software that gets programed directly to CPU Integrated Circuits).

As it has been the last 40 years , my passion is related to my work developing systems for various things (Pyrotechnics, Vehicle Monitoring and Tracking and different communication systems (WIFI, IRIDIUM, CELLULAR).
 
Joined
Dec 25, 2019
Messages
502
When I saw Neal's setup, it was what I envisioned when I purchased the coach, but I kind of got used to semi laying on that caouch or sitting there when my back and butt require a firmer and more upright seat. I don't work remotely, but spend a fair amount of time on the computer. I end up sitting in the passenger seat and using the fold out table and a laptop.

Thanks Neal for the specifics. Setting up my wife's office, in the S&B, with two monitors is on my to do list.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Lakeside, CA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana LE
RV Length
40
TOW/TOAD
Ford F150 King Ranch
I run a Spartan setup. I have to use the bedroom as I get the privacy I need that way. In fact when we selected the coach, The floor plan with the mid bath and the four slide outs was attractive versus something with a full wall slide. I’ve read about your set up in the past Neil and how you created a desk area with office chair out front and I think that’s really cool, there’s just nothing in the cards for me to do that as my wife needs the front of the coach for sewing and other crafts and socializing. My set up is a Walmart folding TV tray thingy and my laptop on a stand, and I replaced the stock bedroom TV with a LG 34 inch wide screen monitor on the same mount. I’ll grab a dining room chair and I’m in business. When I’m done, the table goes back under the bed the laptop goes on the cabinet under the monitor and the chair goes back to the dining area. Easy set up easy tear down. I wish I could have a better workspace but I get by, and I can’t figure out how to better use the bedroom than this (for work ;-)
 

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Joined
Nov 17, 2019
Messages
988
Location
Prince William, VA
RV Year
2020
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4326
RV Length
43
TOW/TOAD
2020 Ford F-150
KISS. Sitting in the reversed drivers seat. Feet up. Pillows on legs to create height, stove cover on pillows to create little desk, MacBook on stove cover. Coffee on the slide table. I did consider taking over the half bath, removing and capping the toilet, removing the base cabinets and replacing the countertop to create a mini office but ultimately decided, why make lots work when no work do trick.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,902
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
Sometimes I'll use one of these when sitting on the couch or recliner which makes a lap desk.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013J7NI5Y/?tag=rvf01-20

lapdesk.png

I hate working on my 15" Macbook Pro, the screen is just too small for my liking. This year I got a Dell XPS 17 with touchscreen and I've never loved a laptop more. Keyboard is awesome, super fast laptop, display size is perfect!

 
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
175
Location
Lakeside, CA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana LE
RV Length
40
TOW/TOAD
Ford F150 King Ranch
Maybe I’ll go with a Bedouin set up next
1606412127628.png
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
3,902
Location
Midlothian, VA
RV Year
2017
RV Make
Newmar
RV Model
Ventana 4037
RV Length
40' 10"
TOW/TOAD
2017 Chevy Colorado
Fulltimer
No
Not a bad idea actually to have an outdoor office. If you can find room for a desk, chair, and tent you're in!
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
12
I have been supporting my son's business since late 2007. He asked me to design & create some software applications for his business as he found Quicken not to his taste. I created a back office application that provides for work requests, scheduling, reporting, receivables, payable along with a variety of other functions to include data analytics. All was created with a combination of EXCEL, ACCESS & SQL. This continues to be a work in progress.

As his business grew, his home/office data requirements grew, & the importance of disaster recovery due to hurricanes in coastal SE North Carolina. In order to provide the level of support he required, that meant my home/office network needed to grow. In particular, off site backups & timely restoration of data was important to us. We acquired two NAS devices to support our off site backup strategy. His data is backed up to his NAS every night, my data is backed up every night to my NAS. We then backup the NAS devices to each other. As these are incremental backups, data consumption is not too bad.

Fast forward to December, 2019. We went full time in our RV. The equipment I had in my home office would never reasonably fit in my RV & the question of reliable internet connectivity was foremost in my mind. My travels in our RV had demonstrated RV park WiFi was at best, questionable, so I would need some sort of cellular data plan in addition to the 15 gb's on my laptop PC (Sierra Wireless 4G) & the data I could use with my phone tethered to the USB port on the laptop.

COVID 19 was a mixed blessing for us. It significantly reduced the amount of work available due to lock downs & gave me an opportunity to evaluate what I needed to function & continue to support my son's business. I have never been a big fan of Laptops and always built my own desktops. However, with traveling in the RV, it was not practical to unplug one of my desktops to put on the RV for trips (ask me how I know that as I tried). Lenovo offers an employee discount to IBM retirees. I purchased a P71 ThinkPad with a Xeon processor, 16 gb of RAM, a 500 gb SSD & Win 10 Pro 64 bit OS. That would need to replace the desktops.

As a matter of practice, I segregate all my data on separate devices isolate for the disk with the OS & applications. With a little bit of rearranging of my data, I could easily accomplish the same thing via USB drives. My big issue was how to access the NAS in the RV & access my son's NAS & some of his clients servers.

Lot's of research led me to Cradlepoint & Peplink. I finally decided on a Peplink MAX Transit CAT-18 with an AT&T GUDP provided by a reseller & some grand fathered 30 gb data only plans from Verizon, my cellular provider. This equipment was installed late May of this year. I'm happy to say I am very pleased with the Peplink unit so far & I can accomplish most everything now from the RV that I could from my home network.

My present physical work station set up leaves a lot to be desired & I have yet to determine where I will permanently mount the Peplink & NAS (NAS requires Ethernet connection). The laptop sits in its docking station with a wireless KB & mouse and a 24" monitor. Permanent location of the Peplink device depends on the placement of the Poynting 7-1 external antenna. Progress is sometimes slow.

All in all, it's working & we are enjoying being full timers.
 
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