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Since you are going to spending a considerable amount of time in your RV, it is only logical that you find a way to get RV WiFi.
Well, on that front, there is good news, and there is bad news. The good news is that you can get RV Wi-Fi. The bad news is that it isn’t going to be as much of a cakewalk as you would probably like it to be.
Hooking your RV up with WiFi will depend on a lot of factors including:
- Where you will be going and staying
- What kind of surfing you intend to do
- How much you want to spend on this particular venture
Let’s take a quick look at how you can connect your RV to the internet so that you have RV WiFi wherever you go.
What RV Internet Options Do I Have?
As is the case with typical home internet, when it comes to RV WiFi, there are a variety of internet connection options available to you.
Just as your access to home internet varies depending on your location, your access to RV internet will also depend on where you go and how you camp. That being said, here are the main camper internet options available to you:
- Satellite internet: Satellite internet connections are often expensive but work best for the remotest of locations. You can get dedicated connections from satellite providers of your choice. You just need to call them up and tell them about your problem, and there is a good chance they will have a solution for you.
- Cable or DSL: If you don’t intend to take your RV on the road that much, then you can easily find an RV park that has DSL or cable connectivity for mobile internet. This option, however, is very limiting and not ideal for those who want to explore the open road and those who need a greater signal strength.
- Cellular data: This is always a welcome alternative since it’s something you probably already use daily. Another advantage of this kind of internet access is the fact that you can bundle the internet up with voice services. The biggest problem here is that it can get expensive depending on how much data you use, and if you intend to go off the beaten track, then you will find cell connectivity a bit of an issue in some places.
- Public WiFi: Another option that most people tend to use on a day to day basis. RV parks, coffee shops, and truck stops tend to offer public WiFi. The problem is that this can only be used as a temporary fix unless you intend to stay in that coffee shop’s parking lot for the duration of your trip.
As you can see, there are a few good options available for you here. Which one you choose to go with depends on the three factors that we laid out earlier.
Which is the Best RV WiFi Connection for Me?
As you can imagine, the answer to this question is highly subjective:
- How much do you rely on your RV internet?
- How much are you willing to spend on this?
- Where do you intend to take your RV?
- How much are you willing to compromise?
The best option is to employ a combination of options. Since there really isn’t like one particular RV internet provider who specializes in providing you with fast, reliable internet wherever you may go, your best bet is to try them all depending on where you are headed.
If you are into boondocking and heading out into the wild – off the grid, then you definitely need satellite internet connection. You can easily combine that with cellular data on your wireless device for when you resurface and want something that offers you continuous streaming options as opposed to packets of data at any one time.
If, however, you don’t intend to do much boondocking and think that you will spend most of your time at an RV park whiling the day away with other camper owners, then you can make do with the park’s internet connection or public WiFi.
What you need to remember is that, as much as these parks might want you to think that they have the most powerful internet connections for your RV, these connections often end up being anything but. This is mostly because that connection is shared out to numerous users who might hog the bandwidth at any given time, making it difficult for you to enjoy full-service internet.
In this case, you might want to either use your cellular data and wireless signal or use other options if there is an establishment that offers public WiFi nearby. The fewer people hooking up to that particular connection, the better.
The best internet connection for your RV will, therefore, change with the situation. This cannot be a one-time installation like you get at home. You will need to determine which kind of connection works best whenever you move locations.
How Much Will RV WiFi Cost Me?
Well, this will also depend on what kind of surfer you are and what WiFi connection you are using at any given time. However, you can find ways to limit this cost by juggling several connection options on any given trip.
The most reliable RV internet connection for those who intend to go off into the wild will be the satellite options. This often costs as little as $50 a month but comes with huge installation and equipment rental fees depending on the provider you choose.
So, as much as $50 every thirty days doesn’t sound like much, you could very well end up paying more than $500 on the initial installation fees.
Your second-best option is your cellular data, which will also depend on your carrier and what kind of internet packages they offer. Some carriers offer unlimited internet options, which can be quite affordable but might run you into some throttling issues if you use too much data.
However, if you can find a carrier with favorable terms and fees, and you can stay within connectivity, then you might spend as little as $60 a month.
Public WiFi options are often conditioned on buying something from the establishment. Maybe it’s a $5 cup of coffee from the nearest Starbucks or some gas at the truck stop.
RV parks also tend to have varying fees since the proprietor determines these. For the most part, you only have to pay for the duration of your stay, and that can be as little as $5 or as much as $100 plus.
RV WiFi is quickly becoming a necessity, but as you can see, it all depends on what kind of camping and surfing you intend to do.