Is OnStar worth it?

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Joined
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Midlothian, VA
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Newmar
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Ventana 4037
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2017 Chevy Colorado
When I read @NWIP travel log to Alaska I was thinking I should upgrade OnStar to something better than the basic plan I have that just allows remote start and lock/unlock to something where I could get assistance if needed. A few months ago I paid to upgrade as I felt the security of being somewhere with no cellular to have the option for emergencies. However, in my travels along the southern US from VA to AZ I've been surprised how bad it's been. I was in southern NM near Benson then Deming and couldn't get through to them in a test. I'm in Mesa now and trying a remote engine start and it's having a problem finding me and starting. I realize a new location especially after battery disconnect while in tow status isn't helping.

What's your experience with OnStar and is it worth it?
 
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However, in my travels along the southern US from VA to AZ I've been surprised how bad it's been. I was in southern NM near Benson then Deming and couldn't get through to them in a test. I'm in Mesa now and trying a remote engine start and it's having a problem finding me and starting. I realize a new location especially after battery disconnect while in tow status.
I don't have OnStar but as I understand they switched from Verizon to ATT a few years ago. This may explain your reception problems in the West.

I use the Garmin InReach Mini for emergency communication. InReach Mini uses the Iridium satellites for communication so it works anywhere in the world. Mini works with iPhone IOS application allowing text messages to anyone. I have the Emergency plan which is $120 per year. So small I always carry it in my pocket. I originally got it for emergencies flying my airplane when I realized there were many instances moving around the West in the coach when I had no ability to communicate in case of an emergency.

 
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2017 Chevy Colorado
Is OnStar completely cellular based? If so then I’m severely misled.
 
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Yes it is fully cellular. I too carry a sat phone for true emergencies. I do a lot of off grid hiking, off roading, and feel better with a lifeline.

2019 DSDP 4369 * Active Air * NHSO
 
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Yep...cellular based.

Here's an overview that I found interesting.


TJ
 
Joined
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Well that's not what I had thought and figured in remote areas I would be covered where I had no cellular. They should be sued for their name and misrepresentation then. I'm done with them, no renewals!
 
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Well that's not what I had thought and figured in remote areas I would be covered where I had no cellular. They should be sued for their name and misrepresentation then. I'm done with them, no renewals!
For emergencies you want an Iridium based solution until StarLink goes operational.

Remember a device like an Iridium based InReach is a lifeboat for other situations when cell coverage is lost: hurricanes, earthquakes, firestorms and planned electrical grid shutdowns like we are seeing in California during high wind events. Some cell towers have back up generators while others have batteries that last 24 to 48 hours.
 
Joined
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No Where In Particular
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2016 Colorado
As others have posted OnStar is limited by cellular. We did have OnStar for the trip and knew the limitations but thought time without service would be limited. We did find that there where periods of 3-5 days without any cellular coverage and will purchase an alternative (iridium based) prior to next trip north.
 
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
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Location
Midlothian, VA
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Newmar
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2017 Chevy Colorado
I guess I'll be emailing them as I just paid around $500 for 3 years of their misleading system. Stupid me. I'm pretty good at opening the car window and letting the cash exit.
 
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2016 Colorado
Next time you open your window please send coordinates 5 min prior😎
 
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