High-speed reliable satellite internet for RVs is finally here! Many in the RVing community have been impatiently waiting for years for this very moment. This satellite internet service answers the prayers of those wanting to stay connected or work on the road. We have been using Starlink since its beta period and are very excited to see this offering.
But does Starlink for RVs live up to its hype? Let’s look and see!
What Is Starlink for RVs?
Starlink is a satellite internet service from Elon Musk’s company SpaceX. They began launching low-earth orbiting satellites in 2019 and started accepting residential customers a short time later. After many more launches and the service coming out of beta testing, Starlink has created a specific plan for RVers.
Unfortunately, Starlink was not allowed to be used while in motion until a recent FCC ruling changed to allow it. This is very exciting as satellite internet now should work anywhere anytime!
Previously, Starlink users required a home address to serve as their service address. Starlink divided the globe into cells and only allowed a certain number of users in each cell to maximize the user experience.
Because many RVers don’t stay put for very long, they found it very difficult to find open cells to use their service. However, the new plan from Starlink changes the game for RV internet.
While many residential customers must pay a deposit for the equipment and wait an unspecified amount of time, possibly months, Starlink for RVs is immediately available. However, RVers must pay a $25 premium fee each month for portability and are also subject to slower speeds in areas with network congestion.
Still, for those RVers who enjoy boondocking and getting away from it all, it’s the perfect internet solution.
You can signup for this internet option at Starlink’s website.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Starlink for RVs?
The installation of Starlink is so easy that most Starlink users install the equipment themselves for free. The equipment arrives with everything you need to get the service up and running. Since most Starlink for RVs users move from place to place, they’ll need to set up and install the equipment at each campsite.
Many opt to mount the dish on a flagpole or other mount to get it off the ground at their campsite. This can help avoid trees and other obstacles that might interfere with the service. You can have your service up and running in a matter of minutes.
How Fast Is Starlink for RVs?
Much like any other internet service, the speeds will vary. However, many Starlink for RV users experience download speeds between 50 Mbps and 250 Mbps, and 5 Mbps and 15 Mbps when uploading.
These broadband-like speeds are more than enough for streaming, online gaming, and video conferencing. However, speeds will vary based on network congestion and if obstructions interfere with the dish’s ability to connect to the satellites orbiting in space.
Pro Tip: There’s lots to learn about satellite internet for RVs. Uncover exactly What You Need to Know before you install your dish.
Benefits of Starlink for RVs
There’s a lot to love about Starlink for RVs. It’s changing the way many RVers travel. Let’s look at a handful of things users of Starlink for RVs love about the service.
Because the Starlink service connects to thousands of low-earth orbiting satellites in space, you can connect to the network practically anywhere.
This means those RVers who love to spend time boondocking on public lands no longer have to worry about finding spots near cell towers to stay connected. They can set up their Starlink service in extremely remote campsites in the desert or up in the mountains.
One of the biggest frustrations for RVers who need to stay connected is battling slow data speeds. However, Starlink’s 50 Mbps to 250 Mbps speeds are more than sufficient for most users.
These speeds make it very easy for multiple users to connect to the same connection without interruption. RVers can say goodbye to waiting for a video to buffer or choppy video conferences. Starlink can handle almost anything users need to do on the internet.
Managing data usage has been another challenge for those who need to stay connected while RVing. Most RVers used cellular data plans with data caps, and they’d have multiple accounts to get sufficient data. Even those who could secure “unlimited” data plans would experience reduced speeds during peak times or after using their allotted data.
Starlink is unlimited, and RVers can stream HD content without fear of blowing their data allowance. However, whether the service will continue to provide unlimited data forever is completely unknown.
Easy to Install
The installation of Starlink for RVs is incredibly easy. Simply connect the cable to the dish and router, plug it in, and power up the antenna. The dish can automatically adjust for the optimal angle to connect to the satellites in space. It really can’t get any easier!
Users love that there’s a tremendous amount of flexibility when installing the equipment. How users set up their equipment will vary based on their unique needs. However, many choose to mount their dish on a flagpole to help avoid obstructions and keep it out of the way.
Pro Tip: We took a closer look at the impacts the Starlink Beta program ending for RVers.
Negatives of Starlink for RVs
While there’s so much to love about Starlink for RVs, we’d be lying if we said it was perfect. You need to keep a handful of negatives in mind before signing up for service.
Not Available Everywhere (Yet)
Not all shipping addresses are available at this time to register for Starlink internet. You may be able to use a different address than your home address to ship the hardware for this service because it is mobile. However, for stationary applications, you may not be eligible to sign up until the program expands further with more satellite launches.
Along similar lines, while coverage is expansive, you may run into pockets that do not have coverage yet. Check their coverage map for the latest updates.
It’s Not Cheap
You can’t expect premium results without paying a premium price. Expect to pay $599 for the equipment and $135 per month for the service.
The Starlink for RV service requires users to pay a $25 premium fee for portability. This allows them to change their “service address” whenever they travel to a new destination.
However, the upfront cost is likely less than what you could pay for a new phone, and some unlimited cell phone plans can cost just as much.
While Starlink limits the number of users in a particular area to avoid congestion, users of Starlink for RVs can still get connected. While they can connect, they’re not likely going to receive the same speeds they’re used to getting.
Like cellular data providers, these users will receive deprioritized service to ensure other users receive a premium experience. This will most likely occur the closer users get to larger, more populated areas.
Can’t Use in Motion
One of the major disadvantages of Starlink for RVs is that it is not designed to be used while you’re in motion. Starlink has been cleared by the FCC for internet in motion, so Starlink is hopeful that its service will have complete mobility in the future.
But for now, it’s not designed for this. This means while RVers travel down the highway, they’ll still need to rely on their cellular data plans to stay connected. However, we expect to see this in a future product update.
Obstructions Are Everywhere
Starlink is fantastic for those who spend most of their time in wide-open spaces. However, trees, mountains, and buildings that obstruct the view of the sky will greatly interfere with the Starlink service.
While this might not be a problem for those out west, many campgrounds and the best camping spots on the eastern portion of the country often have thick tree coverage. These obstructions could render the Starlink service useless.
Pro Tip: Use your RV internet to have the perfect movie night in. Check out these tips on How to Stream TV and Movies in Your RV.
Stay Connected While on the Road
Starlink is a game-changing technology that we think will revolutionize the way RVers travel and use their RVs. However, it’s not right for everybody, and those who use it will likely still require some sort of backup plan for internet when on a campsite with obstructions.
The service will likely only improve as SpaceX launches more Starlink satellites into space. We look forward to being able to stay connected in remote places and watching how Starlink impacts the RV community.
Will you sign up for Starlink for RVs? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!
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