How can I get WiFi in my RV?
In this article, we will answer the following question: How can I get WiFi in my RV? We will review the different methods to get an internet connection in an RV. We will also give you advice on the best type of routers and antennas for a camper.
How can I get WiFi in my RV?
Sometimes, it can be complicated to get WiFi in your RV. One of the solutions, in order to have a permanent internet connection, is to have a 4G/5G router on board, associated with a subscription issued by one of our operators that you can choose according to your needs and your budget.
Internet access is increasingly important when travelling by RV. It allows you to locate yourself, use GPS, watch internet TV or work remotely. Some travellers prefer to take advantage of their vacation in a motorhome, van or converted van to disconnect. Others will be on the road for months on end and will need internet access to work. Whatever your choice, there are solutions to suit your needs.
So how do you get WiFi in a motorhome? The solution is quite simple:
- You can use your smartphone;
- A 4G or 5G key;
- A 4G or 5G router ;
- Or an antenna.
Let’s review each option below.
The different methods to have WiFi in an RV
Internet access is a key element when travelling in a motorhome, van or campervan, especially for people who spend a lot of time on the road in their vehicle. There are several ways to have WiFi in a motorhome: this can be done through connection sharing, a 3G / 4G / 5G key, a 4G modem router, an antenna or via a public network.
- Internet access via mobile: The easiest and most economical option to have WiFi in a motorhome is to share the connection with a mobile phone. Connection sharing allows you to connect a computer, tablet, iPad or any other electronic device to your phone’s mobile network.
To be able to use connection sharing, you must:
- Have a telephone which has this system: all recent telephones have this option
- have a network, whether your phone has 3G, 4G or 5G: the quality of the network will depend on the speed of your connection
- have enough data on your telephone subscription (regardless of the operator)
To activate the Connection Sharing option on your mobile phone, you must:
- Go to “Settings”
- Click on “Wireless & Networks” or “Internet networks” or other depending on your phone model and Android or iPhone operating system.
- Go to “Internet Connection Sharing”
- You can choose between “Connection sharing via WiFi” or “Connection sharing via Bluetooth”. Choose the most suitable option according to your use.
- Activate connection sharing. You can choose your network name and a security password. Your device is now visible to other electronic devices.
- Connect your computer or tablet to this new network. Enter the password you have chosen or the one preset by your phone.
You are now connected!
Connection sharing is easy to use, economical and practical. The only downside is that it only allows one device to be connected at a time. It is therefore impossible to connect a tablet and a computer at the same time, which is not ideal when living together or travelling with the family in a motorhome.
2. Connect to WiFi via a 3G/4G/5G Key: To have WiFi access in your RV, you can invest in a 3G / 4G or 5G key. These connection keys are most often in the form of a USB key to be plugged directly into your computer. They require a specific subscription that you can get from an operator and a SIM that fits inside the key.
Once connected to an electronic device, the key will capture and connect to the 3G, 4G or 5G network like a smartphone.
The 4G key is an economical solution that allows several devices to be connected to the Internet simultaneously (generally 10 to 20). In terms of the price, it takes between 20 and 60 $ for a fast and good quality 4G key.
The 4G LTE 4G key is a good compromise. Its price is very reasonable, it is light and compact, but above all, it offers a high connection speed of 100Mbits/s.
3. Connect to WiFi using a router or a modem: To have WiFi in an RV you can invest in a wireless and portable 4G modem. It is currently the best RV WiFi amplifier on the market. This device works with a SIM card inside that connects to the available mobile network. Unlike the 3G / 4G / 5G dongle, it does not need to be connected to a computer to function, but you will have to remember to recharge it because it works on battery. All you have to do is turn it on using the On / Off button and connect your iPhone, tablet or iPad. Up to 30 devices can be connected on some models!
Operators offer high performance 4G routers. Orange offers a functional modem called Airbox, which has an autonomy of 12 hours and an LCD screen. It works with a micro-SIM card and can connect up to 16 devices.
Boosting the WiFi connection in an RV
To boost the WiFi connection in an RV, you can install a WiFi antenna. This antenna will allow you to receive a WiFi signal in all circumstances. The WiFi antenna increases the sensitivity of the reception of the WiFi signal, which makes it possible to pick up a signal that comes from further away.
This equipment is ideal if you are travelling to natural areas far from big cities and base stations. The nomadic WiFi antenna is essential for people who cannot do without the internet such as digital nomads or people who need to be reachable at all times. This type of installation has a significant cost, from 200 to 1000 $ for the most efficient models.
The KUMA KU80 router is one of the cheapest models in its class and offers high performance. It is easily installed on the roof or inside your vehicle. It plugs in easily and adapts to 12V and 220V.
Connecting your RV to a public WiFi network
Last option, you can have WiFi in an RV by connecting to a public WiFi network. You can use WiFi networks in the following places:
- bars and restaurants by consuming
- campsites that offer a WiFi connection that you can connect to when you stay there
- some service areas.
What are the best WiFi routers for an RV?
The best WiFi routers for camping today are:
- The Huawei E577 router: reliable, compact, accessible
- Netgear’s Aircard 785 hotspot: secure, ultra-fast and long-lasting
- The WiFi van t400 kit: reliable, easy to install.
How to get free WiFi in an RV?
The best way to have free WiFi in an RV is to connect to the public network. You can log in at the campsites where you are staying, in the restaurants, in the bars or in the laundrettes. To do this, you need to stay close to cities and not isolate yourself too much in nature. You can also choose to have a night pass in a motorhome area with WiFi.
One of the best ways to get a good wifi signal in your RV is to use your smartphone (mobile) to connect to the Internet. Just go to “Settings” and choose the “Connection Sharing” option. Your smartphone will then share the Internet connection with your laptop or tablet.
If more than one person uses the Internet in your trailer, or if you notice that the signal is weak at times, you can purchase a cell phone booster.
As its name suggests, this tech accessory amplifies the cellular signal to improve its power. We especially like the cellular signal booster when camping, where trees can reduce the strength of the Wi-Fi signal in your trailer. You can find cell signal boosters in many electronics stores and big box stores.
Please let us know what are your tips for boosting the Wi-Fi connection in your RV!
FAQ on How can I get WiFi in my RV?
Can you make your own WiFi antenna?
Yes, you can make your own WiFi antenna. Here is a summary of the steps:
- Prepare the base of your WiFi antenna
- Drill the box
- Solder the copper wire and connector
- Install the connector of your wifi antenna
- Prepare the elements for the front sensor of the wifi antenna
- Assemble the front sensor
- Place the front sensor of your WiFi antenna.
Do all camping sites have Wi-Fi?
More and more camping sites offer their customers Wi-Fi Internet, to allow them to stay connected with their loved ones, to listen to films or simply to keep up to date with the news or to consult an Internet map to plan the rest of their journey.
How to boost the internet speed in my RV?
If more than one person uses the internet in your RV, or if you notice that the signal is weak at times, you can purchase a cell phone booster. As its name suggests, this tech accessory amplifies the cellular signal to improve its power.
- Staying Connected on the Road: A Guide to RV WiFi – Togo RV
- How to Install WiFi in your RV – A Quick and Easy Guide to RV WiFi
- Campervan & RV WiFi Guide: How to Get RV Internet in 2021