Last Updated on December 12, 2020 by Ted Mosby
About ten years ago, the idea of getting internet connectivity anywhere other than in your home was unimaginable. But, since technology is getting advanced with each passing day, anything is possible now.
Traveling in your RV is all about enjoying the great outdoors and breathtaking views. However, it is also equally important to take advantage of modern conveniences, like a fully equipped kitchen, comfortable bed, etc. while on the road.
For some RVers, having access to Wifi is something that they cannot live without – even when they are on an open highway. It is something that lets you keep connected to your dear ones no matter where you are, as well as to finish the unfinished work remotely.
Now, getting Wifi in an RV or travel trailer is possible and not as hard as it was a decade ago. Regardless of whether you are considering installing an RV Wifi antenna or establishing a mobile hotspot, this post will help you discover the best solution.
WIFI For RV using Mobile Hotspot
The easiest way to get Wifi in a travel trailer or RV is to use your smartphone as an RV Wifi hotspot. Almost all modern smartphones come equipped with a hotspot option that allows you to use your phone as a hotspot. It means you can turn on the mobile data to create a mini-network to provide the internet to connect your laptop or tablet.
However, it is certainly not the best way if you are planning to stream videos on Netflix or other streaming services. Another way to use a Wifi hotspot is to purchasing a separate hotspot device, which works in the same way without consuming your smartphone battery. It will need you to pay a monthly bill, which will depend on the monthly internet usage.
While using your smartphone as a hotspot device, you may also want to buy an RV Wifi Booster, a superb tool to improve signal strength by boosting and expanding them from nearby network towers.
Here is how to find Hotspot settings on your phone,
For iPhone users,
- Open Settings,
- and then tap on the Personal Hotspot option.
For Android users,
- Open Settings
- Go to Network and Internet
- and then tap the Hotspot and Tethering option.
RV WIFI Installation
Besides using a smartphone hotspot for getting Wifi for an RV or travel trailer, the installation of satellite internet for RV is a permanent and a great way to make sure you have access to the internet regardless of where you are. That said, you should also know that it could be the most expensive type of internet for a travel trailer since it could cost thousands of dollars on its installation and its maintenance.
Moreover, also be clear about satellite TV and satellite internet since they both are entirely different beasts. If you are considering going with a satellite TV company because you have seen their advertisement showing a bundle of services with the internet, be cautious. The reason is most of the time, the internet provided by such companies is not satellite, which means you will not be able to access the intended when boondocking.
Furthermore, suppose you want to get Wifi for a travel trailer. In that case, you have to contact an ISP (internet service provider) company, such as Mobile Satellite Technologies or HughesNet, for the installation.
So, what are your options for setting up a Wifi for a travel trailer?
Do you work remotely? Do you stream videos on Netflix or other similar streaming platforms? Do you often download documents?
These and other similar factors are what that you have to consider to determine the best option before getting Wifi for a travel trailer. If you stream videos on Netflix, it means you will need up to 10 GB of data per hour (for high definition videos). Similarly, if you are an Instagrammer and often upload photos, you will need 2 to 4 MBs of data per upload.
You have three main options for RV Wifi while you spend most of your time on the roads. You can use your phone as a hotspot device, get a hotspot router, or install satellite internet.
Mobile Hotspot Routers for RV
Mobile hotspot routers are devices that are intended to retrieve mobile signals. They are similar to a mobile modem that brings Wifi into your recreational vehicle without any cords and cables. They are also like having a cell phone plan for a single modem. The device fetches the same signals as a cell phone does but without incoming/outgoing phone calls.
Remember that each mobile carrier has its hotspot version, and if you already have a cell phone plan, you may ask them to add the hotspot onto your existing plan. Moreover, you’ll also have to buy a hotspot device. However, be clear that a hotspot is only as good as your carrier coverage.
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Best Internet Carriers for WIFI in RV
Here are some major carriers that are a go-to option for many RVers to get Wifi for a travel trailer!
Verizon network tops the list when it comes to the best Wifi options for travel trailers or RV. It is also a popular choice of people living full-time in RVs and vans. The internet provider offers three different unlimited plans – Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Above Unlimited.
T-Mobile is the second-best option when it comes to getting Wifi for an RV. Recently, they have expanded their coverage wide across the United States. The best thing about T-Mobile is their international plan that beats every other carrier. It offers an excellent range in populated areas, so if you are staying at a campsite, there is a high chance that you will get outstanding network coverage.
AT&T is another good option if you are considering to get Wifi for an RV or travel trailer. It provides excellent coverage from California to Maine. The provider offers unlimited and Premium plans, including unlimited talk, live TV, text, and data along with a 15GB hotspot. However, if you are going to buy its basic unlimited plan, you will not use the tethering option.
AT&T and Sprint recently joined hands to stretch each other networks. Sprint offers three network plans – Basic, Plus, and Premium and all of them are unlimited. If you are going with its basic plan, you will get unlimited text, data, and talk. It also includes a subscription to Hulu, 480P streaming, and a 500 kbps hotspot.
Although Cricket is among the most widespread network coverage throughout the United States, it is not as popular as other network providers on this list. The network offers affordable unlimited plans and offers more discounts if you add more lines to it. Their $100 unlimited plan comes with four strings. The only drawback is speed, which is only 3 Mbps. It means it is significantly slower than 4G that delivers up to 12 Mbps of speed.
Campgrounds and Public Wifi Service
Nowadays, most of the campgrounds offer Wifi for RV and travel trailers for guests. However, it entirely depends on the campsite you are staying at. You may be able to connect through an Ethernet cable or Wifi network. This option is excellent and affordable for weekend warriors. Moreover, if you rely on public networks, you should buy a Wifi extender antenna to ensure you get good connectivity.
A Wifi extender antenna is a great device to pull signals from remote routers to provide you a more reliable connection. However, there is no guarantee of speed and security.
Regardless of whether you have a travel trailer, motorhome, or a fifth-wheel, having Wifi accessibility is as important as your access to water. Not every RVer wants to have a reliable and fast network since the whole point of being in a travel trailer is to enjoy the great outdoors.
However, if you work remotely and want to get a Wifi for your travel trailer, the easiest way is using a mobile hotspot. It is an excellent option for weekend warriors and casual travelers. But, for full-time RVers who need to stay connected to their dear ones or office, you should consider buying a mobile hotspot or installing satellite internet. Satellite internet is a permanent solution if you can afford it easily.
Can I use a mobile hotspot to get Wifi in a travel trailer for more extended periods?
Yes! You can use a mobile hotspot to get Wifi in a travel trailer, but it is not a good option if you stream videos on Netflix, Hulu, or any other streaming platform. In this regard, you should consider satellite internet if you can afford it.
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