RV Internet Access

RV internet access is of growing importance.

Many fulltimers want fulltime access and even part-time RVers want to be online and send email.

How to stay connected is another RV lifestyle choice

What kind of internet access is best? Which phone plans make the most sense for a full-time RVer?

These are some of the questions that RVers face, and there is a huge array of solutions for every need and lifestyle.

We enjoy remote camping and exploring the back roads but also have the need to stay connected.

For this reason, we installed a mobile signal booster in our RV. We decided to go with the weBoost Drive 4G-X mobile booster primarily because it claims to be the most effective in remote areas.

I was a little skeptical about their claims so I didn't just take their word for it. I took it on the road and put it to the test.

There are 3 main ways to access the internet while on the road

Internet access is almost as essential as water, power and sewer access for RVers, some would even say it's more essential. Internet is an amenity that is vital in keeping in touch with loved ones, networking with new friends, travel routing, remote banking, entertainment and even running businesses while being mobile.
  1. Public/Private Accessible WIFI Networks – McDonalds, RV Parks, Libraries, Rest Stops, Starbucks, etc
  2. Satellite Connection – Dish, Hughesnet, Starband, etc
  3. Wireless Service Provides (Cell Phone Networks) – Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Millenicom, etc

Dial-Up, DSL, Cable RV Internet Access

In the past, the most basic approach to RV internet access was to just plug in to a dial-up modem at a campground. Many campgrounds had at least one connection in their parks. The main disadvantages of this method are slow speeds, having to trek to the campground office or

wherever the connection is located, waiting your turn or having to limit your time to give another camper their turn. In the past, this was about the only way to get RV internet access, but in the current web-based world, it does not meet the needs of most RVers.

What is the Difference between WiFi and Cellular?


WiFi can generally only be reached a few hundred feet away. This is a short-range local wireless network technology.

The Wi-Fi “hotspot” is a wireless access point which shares its upstream internet connection (such as cable, DSL, satellite, or even cellular) via a wireless signal that can generally be received only a few hundred feet away.

By far the two most common ways that RVers and boaters will be able to get online is via either a cellular data connection or via campground/marina or public WiFi network

Cellular Data

Cellular data is received from a tower that might be up to 20 miles away. This is a longer range data connection using cellular towers.

Cellular data ses the same basic wireless network that cellphones use for voice and texting – with service provided by a cellular company over licensed airwaves.

Free WiFi Hotspots

Another option is to use internet access available at local libraries or other public places. This is a feasible solution for short RV trips, or as a back-up plan if you have no other means of getting connected.

Wireless (Cellular ) RV Internet Access

Fulltimers or “most-timers” are seeking a 24/7 internet access connection (or as close to 24/7 as they can get). They want RV connectivity at any park. They want access when they are boondocking or in remote locations.

One way to go is to use a cell phone and/or wireless provider for internet access. Wireless providers include companies like Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc.

  • In its simplest form, you can use a data-capable cell phone – aka smartphone. 
  • The cell phone may also be used as a modem for RV internet access. In this arrangement, the computer is connected to the cell phone via a USB cable, infrared or Bluetooth, and the cell phone then connects through the wireless provider to the internet.
  • Use a wireless networking device. We had been using a Verizon USB device (sometimes called an “air card”) which provides a connection to the wireless network for data use. We recently changed to Verizon’s Jetpack 4G Mobile Hotspot, which enables both of us to connect wirelessly to the 4G network.   So we don’t have any wires to deal with and the connection speed and performance has been excellent.

Satellite RV Internet Access

Global StarGlobalstar Sat-Fi™ Satellite Hotspot Marine , Boating EquipmentQuick Overview:

With Sat-Fi, Globalstar customers can use their existing Wi-Fi enabled devices to send and receive calls and email over the newest, most modern satellite network. Price: $999.95 .

Another way to have RV internet access is the use of a satellite system

Mounted roof top or as a separate auxiliary unit. These give you RV internet access when you are stopped. RV internet satellite systems are not cheap

Satellite systems used for data/internet access are not the same thing as the satellite units used by many RVers for TV (although once you buy one of the Data/Internet Satellite systems, you may be able to add hardware to accommodate TV).

  • Pros and Cons: The greatest advantage to satellite internet is that you can be highly mobile and have internet service even in remote areas where wired connections or wireless services are not available. 
  • There are some drawbacks to satellite internet service: high cost, decrease in download speed during peak hours, restrictive access policies, latency and weather related problems.  
  • Providers:   There are four primary satellite internet service providers: HughesNet/Direcway, Wildblue, Skyway and Starband.   RVers typically chose HughesNet as their provider of choice.
  • Hardware:   There are several components to an RV satellite internet system. First you must choose an internet service provider.
  • Second,  you need the outsideequipment or satellite dish (either roof or tripod mounted).
  • Third you will need the indoor equipment or satellite modem.
  • Lastly cables to connect it all together to your PC. 

Other gadgets and Devices
So many choices ...?

weBoost Vehicle Cellular Sleek Signal Booster – Single-User Cradle – Retail Packaging – BlackPrice: $106.00  

Smartphone’s signal strength with this cradle booster from weBoost! This signal booster comes with a mini magnet-mount antenna to enhance its functionality. The cradle can give you up to 32 times your cell phone’s current signal strength for enhanced call quality and superior data connectivity while on the road.

SLEEK AND COMPACT DESIGN - This single-cradle booster features an ergonomic design that maximizes its signal-boosting functionality. Its adjustable arms expand to fit your smartphone, and it has a built-in port for battery charging.

WORKS ON ALL CARRIERS - Designed to be used in cars, trucks, and RVs, this device works on all carriers – AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and U.S. Cellular. No matter what your carrier is, this cradle booster is guaranteed to increase your smartphone’s signal strength – giving you crystal clear call quality and uninterrupted data connectivity.

IDEAL FOR VEHICULAR USE - This cradle booster is specifically designed for installation and use in cars. It provides storage space for your smartphone while increasing your phone’s signal range and maximizing battery life for uninterrupted accessibility, especially on long car trips.

COMES WITH A 2-YEAR WARRANTY - This product comes with seven-day-a-week support and a two-year warranty. We are the trusted brand in cellular signal boosters, and our products provide the most powerful cellular signal available so you will always be within reach.

Radiolabs Wave XL With Repeater Performance Test ~ RV WiFi Booster Test & Results

THE Super Seed - High Power B/G/N High Speed Adapter

Super Seed USB Wifi Adapter

RadioLabs newly redesigned Super Seed USB Wifi Adapter is designed to be the best way to get long range wireless for your laptop with a simple USB connection.

The NEW Super Seed is everything you need to give your PC long range wireless connectivity built into a small easy to use package and machined from a solid block of aluminum! $89.95

Do you really need to buy a Wifi Ranger or similar devise? 

In todays vlog I pose the question should you really spend the money on a Wifi Ranger? Is the WifiRanger worth the money? Did you know they are just re-branding mid-grade consumer electronics? What if you could extend the range of your wifi signal and get better internet in your rv? What if that solution was 1/7th the price of the Wifi Ranger EliteAC pack

Wilson Booster – Getting More from any Internet Signal 

Wilson 800/1900 Magnet Mount AntennaPrice: $10.14

  • Designed as a vehicle exterior antenna. Multi-band versatility
  • Works with 50 Ohm amplifiers and accessories. Easy to install 12-inch Magnet Mount Antenna
  • High gain output omni-directional antenna. Removable - transfer from one vehicle to another
  • Up to +6.1. Omni-directional, Weatherproof. Made of stainless steel
  • Requires Metal Mount Plane (Minimum 3.5 in. Diameter)

BESTEK 75W Power Inverter DC 12V to 110V AC Car Inverter with 3.1A 2 USB Ports $17.99

  • Convert 12V DC to 120V AC power,ideal for powering laptops,mobile phones and other AC electrical devices
  • Charger: AC outlet and 3.1A dual USB ports charge up to 3 devices simultaneously. Ideal for iPhone, iPad, tablet, Samsung, HTC, GPS, DVD player and more
  • Ultra compact and direct plug-in design,convenient with no additional wires,easily adjust with its pivoting head
  • Full protection and auto-shutdown keep your appliance and car from overheating, overloading, low load, short circuit, low voltage and over voltage