If you’re used to hopping online for the answers to all your most pressing questions, going without internet connectivity can feel quite jarring. Unfortunately, without the right solution on tap, that’s the reality for many RV enthusiasts. To avoid that stark reality, you just have to track down your ideal RV internet solutions and get them set up before your next trip. To help you pinpoint the best option for your needs, here’s a look at all the different ways to stay connected while on the go.
If you regularly choose fully-serviced campgrounds as your perfect RV campsite, then you can likely just use their Wi-Fi as your connection of choice. These public hotspots let you connect all your devices to the internet, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
You will need to get the password from the site manager before you can connect, however, which could leave you without for the night if you arrive late in the evening hours. Furthermore, it’s important that you realize campground Wi-Fi is often spotty at best, and there’s no guarantee you’ll always get the highest speeds.
Without dedicated internet for your RV travels, you’ll have to track down other public Wi-Fi connections when you’re back on the road. If you’re lucky, you can find them at coffee shops, cafés, and restaurants along your route.
Many cellular service providers allow you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot as needed to stay connected while at home or on the go. Upon turning on the hotspot, you can simply tether your other devices to your phone and hop right online.
If you use opt for this option, you’ll have to pay close attention to your data usage to avoid going over. Depending on your plan, you may get bumped down to slower internet speeds after going over your data cap — or get a ton of surprise charges on your next bill. Most phones allow you to set an alert once you get close to the end of your data, so you can keep a close eye on your usage levels each month.
Instead of tethering your other devices to your phone, you can often get a mobile hotspot from your cellular carrier. The mobile hotspot acts as a secure connection point, so you can use cellular data to go online.
Major cellular service providers currently offering standalone hotspots include:
With this option, you don’t have to worry about running down your phone’s battery while browsing the internet on another device. Beyond that, you can often set them up with higher data caps than is usually available on the average cellphone plans.
Unlimited T-Mobile cellphone plans typically come with around 10gb of mobile hotspot data, for example. But if you buy a standalone hotspot, they bump up the cap to an impressive 50gb.
If you regularly end up in areas without public Wi-Fi or cell reception, like deep in the woods, then you might like satellite internet better. Although it’s easier to get a signal through satellite in rural areas, the connection speeds are dismal at around 2 megabits per second (Mbps).
Beyond that, they require a big upfront equipment investment to get your RV equipped with a mobile dish. In fact, just the dish alone is up to $15,995 from RVDataSat, and you still have to pay for service each month.
Thankfully, Starlink is poised to change all that and is currently in beta mode. A select number of users can sign up for their satellite internet service right now, which promises to provide data speeds in the 50 to 100 Mbps range. Unfortunately, until their satellite network is fully onboard, there will be times when you cannot go online at all in between the blazing fast connection speeds.
Choosing Between Your RV Internet Options
Unless you typically end up deep in the country where cell signals are few and far between, cellular-based internet connections are likely your best bet. But, in the end, you’ll simply have to reflect on your needs, preferences, and budget to find the option that leaves you fully satisfied with your online experience time and time again.
After getting your ideal internet connection set up in your RV, you’re ready to travel. If this is your first trip of the year, or you haven’t reviewed your coverage recently, don’t forget to check that your RV insurance is up to par. To do so, you can always give us a call at 1-844-929-4768 to check on your coverage and even add emergency roadside service to your plan. Our team at Wayfarer Insurance Group always looks forward to hearing from you, so feel free to give us a call today.