How to Get Internet In an RV
Last Updated on April 10, 2019
Are you looking for how to get internet in an RV? It use to be a luxury to have internet at all times while driving down the road. Then cell phones became popular. I remember asking a campground if they had wifi and they looked at me like I was talking a foreign language.
Times have changed and internet access has become a necessity for many people living full-time in their RV. Christina works remotely, as do many RVers that are pre-retirement. Even if you aren’t working remotely, having access to google maps or weather apps have made the internet a must.
Three main ways for RVers to connect to internet while traveling is:
- through their current cell phone service
- free wifi at campgrounds, coffee shops, etc.
- Satellite internet
The most popular option for RVers to receive internet is through their smart phone. Funny how something that has phone in the name is rarely used as an actual phone. I do everything else with it 90% of the time and actually talk on it only 10%.
Smart phones connect to the internet via cell-phone towers. The more towers there is in your area, the stronger the internet signal on your phone. For us, Verizon had the best coverage in all the areas that we traveled except a few remote places.
Due to Christina needing constant internet access, we didn’t venture to many remote places but we did have to buy a internet booster when we stayed in the Florida Keys for three months while I was volunteering.
Christina’s work not only required us to have internet access but she creates videos that requires large amounts of bandwidth to send those videos to her employer. We chose Wilson (now Weboost) previous version to this model.
It took our coverage from spotty 3G to 3-4 bars constant 4G on Verizon at our campsite in Bahia Honda.
Depending on your data plan, if you’re lucky to have unlimited, you can do everything online through your phone. Stream TV, use it as a hot-spot for other people to connect online through their phones or laptops. If you have a limited plan, then you have to get creative with accessing internet so you don’t pay overage charges.
That’s where the free wifi becomes necessary. If you camp mostly in campgrounds, most have some form of wifi. Make sure to ask where the antenna is located so you can park near as possible or get a booster like this one. Most problems at campgrounds is the lack of available bandwidth.
Many businesses now have some type of wifi such as coffee shops, restaurants, breweries or any business that offers a gathering spot for customers. Our home city, Gainesville, FL, offers free wifi in their downtown area to visitors and many more cities are doing the same. As long as you have a way to connect to the wifi wirelessly, it’s free. There are also paid wifi services such as boingo and ipass that you pay monthly, then have access to anywhere they offer wifi.
Satellite internet use to be the only way to get internet while traveling before cell phones became popular. They are still the only way to access internet in very remote places. If you like to camp far away from civilization then there are two choices for equipment. Roof mounted or stand alone tripod. Roof mounted satellites are very expensive but also the easiest to use. Tripods have to be set-up each time and manually pointed at the correct spot in the southern sky but are a fraction of the cost. The satellite data plans are also pricey but if you boondock in remote places, then it’s offsetting the cost of campground fees. This company has been providing satellite internet to RVers for many years
Being able to access internet while traveling in a RV is much easier these days and a must since more younger people are discovering the RV lifestyle and deciding to travel and work from their RV.
After talking briefly about the different options to get online, equipment we used in more remote places, I want to send you over to the experts who have literally written a book about it at https://www.rvmobileinternet.com/overview/