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Thread: Buying Tracfone for long greyhound trip.....

  1. #1
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    Buying Tracfone for long greyhound trip.....

    I bought a 30 day Discovery pass on the greyhound BUS. Meaning I can travel anywhere in the country that greyhound travels for 30 days. I currently have Virgin Mobile pre paid and it's coverage is horrible. I plan on spending much of my trip travelling through Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota. It seems Tracfone is available in my zip code, but only with T-Mobile or AT&T as it's carrier coverage. I was hoping to pick one of the tracfones that had verizon as it's carrier since it gets the best national coverage. Does anyone have any advice on what I could do this? It seems even the "one click coverage" phones gets weak coverage in the area's along the major highways that greyhound travels. I would just feel much better getting a phone that has the National coverage verizon offers. Verizon is available in my zip "94580" but it seems tracfone prefers the other carriers here.

    I used to have Verizon pre paid but once they started charging 1$ a day for any use of your phone I had to give it up. It would be great to use them through tracfone without the extra charges.

    Any help would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7688
    I bought a 30 day Discovery pass on the greyhound BUS. Meaning I can travel anywhere in the country that greyhound travels for 30 days. I currently have Virgin Mobile pre paid and it's coverage is horrible. I plan on spending much of my trip travelling through Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota. It seems Tracfone is available in my zip code, but only with T-Mobile or AT&T as it's carrier coverage. I was hoping to pick one of the tracfones that had verizon as it's carrier since it gets the best national coverage. Does anyone have any advice on what I could do this? It seems even the "one click coverage" phones gets weak coverage in the area's along the major highways that greyhound travels. I would just feel much better getting a phone that has the National coverage verizon offers. Verizon is available in my zip "94580" but it seems tracfone prefers the other carriers here.

    I used to have Verizon pre paid but once they started charging 1$ a day for any use of your phone I had to give it up. It would be great to use them through tracfone without the extra charges.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Check this out: http://thejmart.com/difzip.htm

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    Lemme say first your trip sounds like fun. I did a lot of hitchhiking in my younger days. It was a different world then a bus trip is a great alternative.

    You can order a CDMA (Verizon) Tracfone from their web site by using a CDMA zip code such as 96127 (Susanville, Ca) after punching in "buy phone". As you check out with your real zip code they will ask you if a zip code change is OK - click yes.

    I've done a bit of traveling in the same states you're planning to visit with the exception of ND. I had good luck getting a signal in most places with my T-Mobile to Go phone. It roamed alot of a variety of providers but getting a usable signal was never a problem.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7688
    ... through Wyoming, South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota ... Does anyone have any advice on what I could do this?
    Any help would be appreciated.
    I see some good advice here ... why not one of each, a GSM Tracfone and a CDMA Tracfone? The purchase price isn't much and you'll have coverage. Add airtime to whichever phone you end up using.

    Interestingly, I can get a CDMA Kyocera 126c for $10 at the supermarket and the GSM LG100g for $10 next door at Radio Shack. (... and I'm not in Susanville....) Trac will active either phone in my zip code.
    Regards

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    Quote Originally Posted by 25jive1
    Lemme say first your trip sounds like fun. I did a lot of hitchhiking in my younger days. It was a different world then a bus trip is a great alternative.

    You can order a CDMA (Verizon) Tracfone from their web site by using a CDMA zip code such as 96127 (Susanville, Ca) after punching in "buy phone". As you check out with your real zip code they will ask you if a zip code change is OK - click yes.

    I've done a bit of traveling in the same states you're planning to visit with the exception of ND. I had good luck getting a signal in most places with my T-Mobile to Go phone. It roamed alot of a variety of providers but getting a usable signal was never a problem.
    I checked out a Susanville, Ca zip and found the phones you mention. I'm thinking about LG 290C, but I'm a little worried about having to use up 2 units when roaming using one of the CDMA phones. I looked up the service area for the GSM phones using my zip and they seem to still get coverage all along the main highways in the states I'll be travelling. All except northern Idaho. It's supposedly kind of weak but since you didn't really have problems I may just go with one of those.

    If I go with a GSM Tracfone I'll probably go with the 20$ Samsung T301G with Double minutes and a 60 minute card included. I even found a promo code that takes off a few bucks.

    I could even go with what @Frontierjustice suggests and buy one of each. They are pretty cheap but carrying around 2 Tracfones and my Virgin mobile would seem like a bit of overkill.

    Thanks for all the input everyone. I really look forward to this trip. I'm flying 1 way out to Virginia in mid may to visit relatives than I'm gonna start off my trip from there. I'll be going from Williamsburg - Johnson City TN - Huntsville AL - Montgomery AL- New Orleans - Wichita KS - Bismarck ND - Rapid City SD - Wyoming - Montana - Idaho - Washington - Oregon - Back to California - And on and on and on and on. With many stops in between. I just hope tracfone is the best choice for all my roaming needs. It's gotta be better than Virgin mobile. If anyones seen their roaming coverage it's the worst of all carriers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7688
    I'm thinking about LG 290C, but I'm a little worried about having to use up 2 units when roaming using one of the CDMA phones.
    All Tracfones sold these days are single rate meaning no extra charge to roam. "2 units when roaming" went away years ago.
    Because most Grayhounds travel major interstates and hiways coverage with any provider should be adequate for your needs.

    Because of their roaming agreements a CDMA and a GSM Tracfone should give you service anywhere in the US if there is service to be had.

    Have fun
    Last edited by 25jive1; 02-21-2010 at 07:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 25jive1
    All Tracfones sold these days are single rate meaning no extra charge to roam. "2 units when roaming" went away years ago.
    Because most Grayhounds travel major interstates and hiways coverage with any provider should be adequate for your needs.

    Because of their roaming agreements a CDMA and a GSM Tracfone should give you service anywhere in the US if there is service to be had.

    Have fun
    I didn't know that the 2 unit charges no longer applied to any of their phones now. Even thoe y any of the carriers probably will get service along all of the major interstates I'd still much rather have the Verizon, Alltell service. My worry is that I've read that tracfone favors AT&T over verizon and if your in an area that gets both Verizon and AT&T they will choose At&T as your carrier every time. IS it true the only way your going to get Verizon as your tracfone carrier is if they are the only available carrier in your area?

    This might sound crazy but I was thinking of possibly waiting to activate my tracfone until I'm in an area that my virgin Mobile phone doesn't work. For example once I get to Rapid City SD I could activate my tracfone and choose Rapid city as my main service area. IF roaming doesn't cost extra I really don't mind keeping an out of area phone number as my regular one. I don't plan on using it much. Only when I'm travelling. Which I do allot by the way.

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    Please note Tracfones wording when you are asked to enter a zip code:

    Please enter the ZIP Code of the area where you will
    be using your TRACFONE the most.
    NOTE: If you are purchasing a TRACFONE as a gift, please enter the ZIP Code where the TRACFONE will be used.

    You might use zipcode 59802 (Missoula, Montana) a Tracfone CO market (only CDMA phone are offered).

    Do not wait to activate as not all activations go quickly. You can activate anywhere you can get CDMA service. The 2 unit charge may still apply to phones built or purchased in the past. There are still some around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7688
    I didn't know that the 2 unit charges no longer applied to any of their phones now. Even thoe y any of the carriers probably will get service along all of the major interstates I'd still much rather have the Verizon, Alltell service. My worry is that I've read that tracfone favors AT&T over verizon and if your in an area that gets both Verizon and AT&T they will choose At&T as your carrier every time. IS it true the only way your going to get Verizon as your tracfone carrier is if they are the only available carrier in your area?

    This might sound crazy but I was thinking of possibly waiting to activate my tracfone until I'm in an area that my virgin Mobile phone doesn't work. For example once I get to Rapid City SD I could activate my tracfone and choose Rapid city as my main service area. IF roaming doesn't cost extra I really don't mind keeping an out of area phone number as my regular one. I don't plan on using it much. Only when I'm travelling. Which I do allot by the way.
    It sounds like you are totally confused here.
    Only GSM type phones can get ATT & T-mobile as their carrier.
    If you have a CDMA type phone, Tracfone will not, cannot make it use ATT as the carrier!
    A CDMA type phone will have Verizon (or one of their affiliates) as the carrier, and having ATT in the area has nothing to do with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannonball-II
    It sounds like you are totally confused here.
    Only GSM type phones can get ATT & T-mobile as their carrier.
    If you have a CDMA type phone, Tracfone will not, cannot make it use ATT as the carrier!
    A CDMA type phone will have Verizon (or one of their affiliates) as the carrier, and having ATT in the area has nothing to do with it.


    Ok, I understand now. Yes I'm a little slow at times. I'm gonna follow the directions on

    http://thejmart.com/difzip.htm

    I'm gonna choose a zip that sells the CDMA phones and buy one to have activated here where I live. Thanks for the help and the link. It made things much easier for me. I just wish Virgin Mobile had better coverage. I have almost 1500 minutes saved up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7688
    Thanks for all the input everyone. I really look forward to this trip. I'm flying 1 way out to Virginia in mid may to visit relatives than I'm gonna start off my trip from there. I'll be going from Williamsburg - Johnson City TN - Huntsville AL - Montgomery AL- New Orleans - Wichita KS - Bismarck ND - Rapid City SD - Wyoming - Montana - Idaho - Washington - Oregon - Back to California - And on and on and on and on. With many stops in between. I just hope tracfone is the best choice for all my roaming needs. It's gotta be better than Virgin mobile. If anyones seen their roaming coverage it's the worst of all carriers.
    If you get a chance to stop and eat somewhere while you're in 'The Gump':

    http://tinyurl.com/yj34jsb

    or

    http://tinyurl.com/ydvyest
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    So on a 30-day trip like that, would you sleep on the bus? Where would you take the occasional shower? I used to ride a lot of greyhounds from college back home, and I sat by a number of people who seemed to have the shower problem

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    Cool

    I live in zip 53511 on the Illinois -Wisconsin border. My TracFone uses U S Cellular. (Verizon must charge TF more for minutes than U S Cellular) I roam on Verizon and some small CDMA carriers I never heard of...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike7688
    Ok, I understand now. Yes I'm a little slow at times. I'm gonna follow the directions on

    http://thejmart.com/difzip.htm

    I'm gonna choose a zip that sells the CDMA phones and buy one to have activated here where I live. Thanks for the help and the link. It made things much easier for me. I just wish Virgin Mobile had better coverage. I have almost 1500 minutes saved up.
    Mike 7688: First, WHY would anyone have 1500 minutes saved up??(for gosh sakes ,man call yer mother, she'd love to hear from you!)
    And second,post back during/after your trip to let us know how coverage went in different locations.
    Third , have a good time, and dont forget to CYM!!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawnlg
    So on a 30-day trip like that, would you sleep on the bus? Where would you take the occasional shower? I used to ride a lot of greyhounds from college back home, and I sat by a number of people who seemed to have the shower problem
    Yes, thaT can be a problem. I just took greyound for the first time in over 10 years from Chicago to San Fransisco and forgot about all the bird baths I had to take in the bathrooms. On the 30 day trip I'm gonna be taking a little pop out portable 3-4 pound tent and a small mummy sleeping bag. While I'm only stopping in each town for a few days each. I'm going to choose Private and public campgrounds in each city. Most of them have showers. For example, the one in Montgomery AL has one right across the street from greyhound.

    I'll for sure check out the places you've mentioned to eat in Montgomery. Thanks @nwm4ever. I've only been through Alabama once and that was with a regular bus ticket, so I couldn't stop. This time I hope to spend some time up in Huntsville and Montgomery.

    I'll definitely report back on how my coverage fared on this trip. I'm gonna keep notes along the way. I really look forward to seeing all there is to see across the country.


    Quote Originally Posted by gmannix
    Mike 7688: First, WHY would anyone have 1500 minutes saved up??(for gosh sakes ,man call yer mother, she'd love to hear from you!)
    And second,post back during/after your trip to let us know how coverage went in different locations.
    Third , have a good time, and dont forget to CYM!!

    YEh, your right 1500 minutes is allot to save up. I really don't use my phone all that much and I've saved over 800 Minutes just through Bonus minutes for posting my Virgin Mobile Kick backs code on websites. When new people sign up for virgin mobile with my code they get 60 free minutes as do I. Then with the 20$ a month i have to pay to keep my phone active the minutes just accumulate. Hopefully if Tracfone is allot better maybe I'll sell my Virgin Mobile phone on E-bay with all the minutes. That is if they allow me to transfer the minutes to someone else.

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