RV Internet – Staying Connected
RV internet is getting better each year. Campgrounds that once had only dial up from the office or rec room, now have Wi-Fi that is available throughout the campground. There is still a lot of variation in coverage and speeds, however it seems that campgrounds are starting to understand how important the internet is to their customers.
We stayed at a facility recently that had an excellent Wi-Fi network installed, when only a year ago the coverage was sub-par and only available to about half the sites. Now they have good coverage to even the most remote campsites, and the speed is excellent. A neighboring camper remarked that WoW (World of Warcraft) even played well over the Wi-Fi. Facilities with networks like this are still in the minority, however they do seem to be cropping up more and more. We encourage you to be respectful of others, and avoid excessive use of shared networks.
In some facilities there is a charge for Wi-Fi, however free Wi-Fi is becoming the norm.
But what do you do when Wi-Fi is not available or you are boon-docking? We carry a small mobile hot spot that we can use to Google, check emails, maintain this website, etc. As long as we have cell phone coverage we have Wi-Fi. If we are lucky enough to be where there is 4G coverage, we also have good speed. 3G is of course much slower, but it will let us check our email, or find a pizza place.
If you are considerably off the beaten path, your only RV Internet alternative might be a satellite internet system such as Hughes Net or Wild Blue. Speeds and rates are in the range of DSL and cable systems. The data is throttled when you use too much, but as long as you have a clear view to the satellite, it will keep you connected. Trees and buildings in your line of sight can interfere, as will heavy rains.
Rates start at about $40.00 with speeds estimated at 10 mbps down and 1 mbps up. As speed goes up, so do the monthly rates. Most RVers who choose this option purchase the mobile dish that elevates into position when parked.