Can Starlink internet be used in an RV?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “Can Starlink internet be used in an RV?”  We will talk about the coverage area, cost, and available plans with Starlink. You will also learn what to expect during installation. We will also touch upon the speed and discuss a few disadvantages of Starlink.

Can Starlink internet be used in an RV?

Yes, you can use Starlink internet in an RV if you have a basic internet plan. You will need to install a few devices including an antenna. Many RV enthusiasts use Starlink while traveling and camping. However, there are a few challenges that come along with this internet service provider. That will need to pay for this service.

Pay-as-you-go plan

  • Using a Starlink pay-as-you-go plan while traveling in an RV can be a challenge. While the basic system works, you will need an antenna that connects to the Starlink satellites. These satellites orbit around the earth at a few hundred miles above us.
  • You will need an antenna that is tall enough to reach the sky. This device will only work in locations where the sky is clear. However, you can download the Starlink App and determine the best place to install it. 
  • When the installation is complete, your device will ship immediately. If you are not satisfied with the installation, you can return the hardware and get a full refund.
  • Starlink is currently testing the service at various locations to see if it can be used in RVs. Depending on the location, you can also download a test version of their software to check if the service works in your location. 
  • The only problem is that it’s not guaranteed to work in all areas. If you are going into the wilderness, you may need to conserve power for the internet all day.

If you do not have enough power to run the hardware, consider solar panels or bigger lithium batteries. However, keep in mind that your battery will use power when you stop your RV, so consider your solar panel options and larger capacity lithium batteries to store the extra energy.

Unlimited data

A Pay-as-you-go plan from Starlink will give you unlimited data, which is rare in the rural internet world. This service will also provide above-average broadband speeds. This is part of Elon Musk’s mission to improve internet access in rural areas. And it’s certainly a great way to get connected while traveling in an RV.

Disadvantages of Starlink

There are some disadvantages of using Starlink internet in your RV. You cannot change the address where you get service from Starlink. You may not be able to go back to your previous address if you leave and then move. If you leave and then return to the same place, your service will be disconnected and it will be available to new customers. 

You will need to commit to a 24-month contract, and that might be an issue for some people. Another disadvantage to using Starlink in an RV is the cost. The service is still not available everywhere in the U.S. However, many RVers have been using it for a year. Some of them purchased fixed location systems and then used the Starlink mobile app to change locations.

Coverage area

Some areas were closed due to being overcrowded or not serviced by satellites. However, as SpaceX continues to launch new satellites into orbit, these areas are being added as well. In recent months, SpaceX has launched between 60 and 120 Starlink satellites into orbit, bringing Starlink coverage to almost all of the U.S. and much of Canada.

Although this service is still experimental, there are several advantages. You will need to have a clear line of sight to the sky to receive high-speed internet. If you park your RV under a tree, you will not have a clear line of sight to the Starlink satellites, and you will need to pay an additional fee for a higher-quality WiFi router.

Cost

In addition, Starlink is now rolling out a service for RV owners that allows subscribers to move their satellite dish to another location. Starlink for RVs is not free and costs $135 per month. However, you must pay a one-time equipment fee of $599 to use the service. If you want to use Starlink internet service in an RV, you must be on the road for more than three hours a day.

Internet speed

Although the company advertises download speeds as high as 500 Mbps, sometimes the speed can drop. The good news is that the service is backed by a guarantee, and customers can file a report if they are not getting the right speed. You can use the service while your RV is in motion, but you will get less than half the speed of a fixed internet connection.

Mobile satellite internet

In addition to satellite internet, you can also use cellular data and a mobile hotspot to stay connected. If you plan to travel to remote areas, satellite internet is probably a better option. Cellular data is a good choice if you are going to need constant access to the internet. Most RVers stay in towns and cities, and most have cell service.

Installation

  • The installation of Starlink internet in an RV can be an exciting new option for RVers who love to travel. The new system is portable and allows you to experience low-latency internet service in locations outside your registered address. 
  • You must be aware that some locations do not offer good coverage and may not be usable at all. In these cases, you can mount a satellite dish on your rig and still have a solid connection.
  • Installation of Starlink internet in an RV can be an arduous task. However, the company’s latest system uses spot beam technology that sends narrow signals instead of broadcasting data. 
  • The result is a connection that can reach speeds of up to 25 Mbps. For those who rely on a reliable connection while on the road, the company has plans to launch all its satellites. The service is also available in 32 countries and is billed in one-month increments.
  • It will take a while for Starlink to spread fully across the country and provide uninterrupted access. While several RVers are starting to use this service, the company is continuing to grow to enhance customer experience. 

Is Starlink worth it?

  • Purchasing Starlink for an RV is not a bad idea, but it also depends on how often you travel. If you are traveling only on weekends or once a month, it is better not to opt for the service. 
  • It is worth the price for people who travel often and remember that you run the risk of not having access in some areas. 
  • Be sure to keep your preferences first and opt for an internet connection accordingly. Many travelers use their mobile internet while traveling and it seems to have worked well.
  • While many people have already started to use this service, it still seems unreliable. 
  • Starlink is still in the development stage and they are continuing to make progress with their service. 
  • It is just a matter of years for the company to get fully equipped and running. At the end of the day, it is a personal preference to opt for Starlink or not. The good news is that you can pause the service at any time, and you can also cancel it at any time.

Conclusion

In this blog post, we will answer the question: “Can Starlink internet be used in an RV?”  We will talk about the coverage area, cost, and available plans with Starlink. You will also learn what to expect during installation. We will also touch upon the speed and discuss a few disadvantages of Starlink.

Citations

https://www.starlink.com/rv
https://www.engadget.com/starlink-satellite-internet-rv-080542776.html
https://www.cnet.com/home/internet/spacexs-new-starlink-for-rvs-is-designed-for-travel-but-costs-more/
https://www.motortrend.com/news/elon-musk-starlink-for-rvs-satellite-internet/
https://interestingengineering.com/spacex-starlink-service-for-rvs

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