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How to Stream TV and Movies in Your RV

How to Stream TV and Movies in Your RV

Sometimes you want to spend the weekend fishing, hiking, and exploring the great outdoors. You don’t want to look at your phone, so you throw it in a drawer. Other times, you can’t wait for Saturday night so you can enjoy streaming your favorite TV show in your RV.

People who want access to RV streaming may wonder if it’s possible in a remote location. Has technology evolved enough to chill out with the family and enjoy a movie while camping? Let’s look at how to stream TV and movies in your RV, and then you can decide what works best for you!

Can You Stream TV and Movies in Your RV Like You Do at Home?

When some go camping, they intentionally disconnect. They don’t care if they have internet service. Camping is a time to relax and enjoy nature. Other people want some of the amenities of home, including streaming TV and movies. It’s fun to cuddle together on the couch and watch a family movie on a Friday night. It’s also fun to gather a group of friends to watch a big game on your outdoor television screen from the RV.

Luckily, these scenarios aren’t impossible. If you want RV streaming, you’ll need reliable internet. As long as you have a stable connection, plenty of data and a streaming service, you won’t miss the latest episode of your favorite reality TV show.

How to Stream Video in an RV or Boat - Tips for YouTube, Netflix, Hulu over Mobile Internet

What Kind of Internet Works for RV Streaming?

If you need a reliable internet connection while traveling, you’ll need to carry an arsenal. You never know which service is going to work the best. You may find excellent Verizon service and speed at a campground one weekend and then travel a few miles down the road another weekend and get no Verizon bars. Having a couple of options is best.

Mortons on the Move watching a movie from in their RV
It is nice to occasionally take a break to relax and watch a movie or tv show while RVing.

Cell – 4G/5G

If you want to use your cell phone for streaming, you can log in to your streaming service and watch a TV show from your phone. You can also tether it to a TV in your RV if you prefer a larger screen or want to watch a movie with the whole family.

Another solution is turning on the hotspot data on your cell phone. RV streaming requires a lot of data, so if you have an older plan or phone, it might be difficult to watch an uninterrupted game. You may experience buffering or blurry images. However, you can connect your TV to your hotspot and open the streaming service app on the TV.

Cell can also be received by dedicated data cell plans that are usually used in a cellular router. These are designed specifically for picking up cell internet.

Satellite

Some RVers subscribe to Dish Network or another satellite service. You’ll see round domes outside campers at campgrounds. This is equipment for RV streaming through satellite technology. The downside to using a satellite service is the equipment you set up every time you move. As long as you have nothing blocking the communication, it’s reliable.

Satellite internet is also an option for RV streaming. Instead of using a cell phone hotspot, you can subscribe to a service like Starlink. Starlink will allow you to stream your favorite TV shows while providing an internet connection for video conferences, emailing, gaming, and other things you might want to do while camping. 

Pro Tip: We uncovered all you need to know about Satellite Internet for RVs to help you get connected quick!

Satellite set up in front of RV.
Satellites can ensure you get internet wherever you adventure to.

Campground/Public/Private Wifi

The third option for RV streaming is using WiFi. This is the least desirable option because it’s usually not very stable. Campgrounds often provide free WiFi with their amenities, but it’s frequently unreliable. With so many people connecting, it’s frequently impossible to stream a movie using campground WiFi. It would be best to use this as a last resort.

However, some campgrounds offer a paid subscription to additional internet. This is often through a local company. You can pay for it upon arrival, so check with the campground office staff if you need another internet option during your stay. Note that it’s usually expensive but might still be worth it.

Keep in Mind: Not all campgrounds come with free Wifi. We uncovered How to Find Campgrounds with WiFi.

How to Stream TV & Movies Into Your RV

Once you have strong internet or a stable satellite connection, you’re ready to stream TV shows and movies. You can use a Smart TV in your RV, bring your streaming consoles or game consoles, or use another gadget to watch your favorite show.

RV with satellite installed on top of it.
Stream TV or movies wherever you go from the comfort of your RV.

Smart TVs

Many newer RVs come with at least one Smart TV. If yours doesn’t, it might be worth buying one to replace the older unit. You can use your cell phone hotspot to connect your Smart TV to the internet. Then you’ll have access to your streaming services. You can also connect to Starlink or public WiFi.

Streaming Consoles

When you pack for the weekend, don’t forget your streaming consoles. Unplug your Amazon Fire Stick or grab your Roku remote. Add these technologies to your “What To Pack” list if you want access to RV streaming. Then you can operate the TV in your RV just like you do at home.

Smart TV installed inside RV.
Most newer RVs come equipped with Smart TVs so you can stream while on the road.

Game Consoles

Another solution is to bring your gaming console. When you sign in to your PlayStation or Xbox Live account, you can download streaming apps like Disney+ or Netflix. You can log into your streaming service account and watch the latest episodes of all of your favorite shows. With a gaming console, you also have access to your favorite games. If it’s raining one weekend, you can enjoy family fun inside playing video games.

Phones, Tablets, Computers

You can also stream TV shows and movies directly from your phone. This works well if you’re sitting by the campfire and want to watch the game, but it’s not as ideal for a family movie night. The kids can also stream a movie before bed on their tablets, or you can set up your laptop to watch a movie with your spouse. None of these are ideal options for more than one or two people.

Two little girls watching a movie in an RV
Have a movie night with the whole family while RVing!

The Best Streaming TV Services for RV Life

Almost any home streaming service can go with you on the road unless it’s location-dependent, like Hulu. As long as you have an internet connection and can log into your account from a device, you’re suitable for RV streaming. Services like YouTube TV with the live TV option, Netflix, Sling, and Apple TV are excellent for RV life. Disney+ is great for families, and Amazon Prime is free for Prime members. The biggest challenge for RV streaming isn’t the TV service but the internet connection.

How We Get Rock Solid RV Internet! - The Best Tech Solutions to Work Full Time From the Road

Keep Watching While On the Road

Especially when the weather isn’t the best, having a backup plan during your camping trip will keep everyone entertained. You don’t want to spend your entire weekend streaming, but it’s nice to have access when you want it. So appreciate the outdoors and roast marshmallows by the campfire, but also enjoy a movie before bed or cheer on your favorite team. Camping doesn’t mean you can’t stream TV or movies.

What has been your solution for RV streaming? Tell us in the comments!

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