Whether you need to check in with work, post photos of your latest adventure or just catch up on some emails, a good internet connection is key. And if you’re an RV enthusiast, then you know that having reliable internet access in a remote area can be a real game-changer.
Starlink for RV: What is Starlink?
Starlink is a satellite-based internet service that will provide low-latency, high bandwidth internet access to boondockers. This will be made possible through the deployment of thousands of Starlink satellites.
It’s always exciting when a new technology comes out that can potentially change the way we live our lives. That’s exactly what Starlink is doing for digital nomads everywhere—offering us a chance to have fast, reliable internet anywhere they go without worrying about data caps or cell reception no matter how remote we’re boondocking.
For those who have bought their dream RV and are boondocking with no central cell provider nearby, you might be stuck without options when it comes to internet accessibility. If you are a digital nomad, Starlink is the solution you are looking for.
Why Is Mobile Internet so Important for RVers?
RVers need mobile internet for a variety of reasons. For many, it’s essential for working remotely. If you’re not a digital nomad, and don’t rely on the internet for income, then an unreliable connection might be okay. But for the majority of RVers who work on the road, having a solid mobile internet connection is key to running a successful business.
For example, back in the day, an extended road trip to the Arctic Ocean with no internet connection would have been unthinkable. But now, with Starlink internet you can connect your RV to the internet while boondocking in remote areas. This will let you stay connected to the world and also keep your loved ones updated on your adventures.
Starlink Is Very Scalable, so Bandwidth Should Not Be an Issue as They Grow
One of the benefits of using a satellite system like Starlink is that it is very scalable. SpaceX has already deployed 1,469 Starlink satellites into orbit and is targeting a grand total of 30,000. This means that as the company grows, they will not have to worry about running out of bandwidth. Because their satellites are in low earth orbit, they will provide high-bandwidth service to any location on Earth. In addition, they do not have data caps, so you can use as much bandwidth as you need without having to worry about going over your limit.
What are the benefits of using Starlink?
The Pros Using Starlink for RV Are:
- Starlink is a great option for people who like to travel and want to be able to watch their favorite TV shows and movies while on the road.
- Starlink offers broadband download speeds of 200+ Mbps, which is more than enough bandwidth to support a full-time RV lifestyle.
- For digital nomads who work online, Starlink gives them the option to boondock without worrying if they will have a reliable internet connection.
- You can make and receive VOIP calls using the Wi-FI call option in your cell phone’s settings.
- The biggest pro for digital nomads is that you don’t need any cell towers or hard lines-you can just hook up your Starlink to the satellite. This makes it a great option for those who like to travel off-grid (i.e., boondocking).
The Cons of Using Starlink for RV Are:
- You must have a clear view to the Northern sky as trees, canyon walls, etc. can keep Starlink from getting a signal. For RVers, this means finding a campsite that has minimal or no trees around them.
- Hardware requires installation.
- Software app set-up is required.
- Requires AC electricity. (It has been reported that a 12 volt DC option is coming).
- Monthly payments of $110.00 is better suited to the full-time RVer as opposed to the to the RVer who camp 3 or 4 times a year.
Benefits for Full-Time RVers and Boondockers
There are many ways to get internet service in your RV, but not all of them are equal. Some RVers rely on their cell phone plans for internet service, but this can be unreliable, especially in rural or remote areas where there is little or no cell coverage. 5G, 4G, and 3G speeds can often be challenging to receive in these places. (See: Staying Connected to the Internet on the Road in a RV—The RV Digital Nomad Guide for more info).
Starlink’s fast speeds could make long journeys a breeze for full-time RVers and boondockers. However, because of the $109 monthly subscription fee, Starlink Internet will probably benefit full-time RVers and digital nomads more than “weekenders” who camp only a few times every year.
Roaming Is Now Available
In early February 2022, a firmware update added a line indicating “Roaming=true” to the Starlink app debug information. This was celebrated by RV boondockers, as roaming with Starlink is now available in remote areas without having to switch their “home base” service address each time they move to a new location. Hundreds of Starlink users have since confirmed that they are able to roam and access the internet through their RV’s Starlink dishy.
Since Starlink is now available in roaming mode, RVers can connect to the internet while boondocking in remote areas. However, it is important to note that as of this publication date that your signal may be degraded as Starlink states it is a “best effort” while roaming outside your service address.
Roaming has been a big deal for a long time because it used to be so much harder to get connected while on the go, since you could only change your service address if you were lucky enough to be one of the select people chosen by Starlink. However, as of April 7th, 2019, everyone now appears to have access to this service. In fact, if you order Starlink now, it has been reported by many new users that Starlink is now being shipped with roaming turned on.
Order Your Starlink Hardware Now, Get in 10 days or less!
One unique aspect to the nomadic lifestyle is that most full-time RVers generally don’t have a fixed address that they specifically need permanent Starlink service at—so technically anywhere in the US can be used as a service address. So, if your plan is to travel with Starlink, then it really doesn’t matter where your service address is when you order it—especially now that Starlink service seems to successfully roam when away from the set service address. You just need to find an empty cell that will accept orders and then enter your shipping address so your order will be shipped right to you. Detailed instructions are available here.
The Starlink Kit Shipped to You Contains:
- The Satellite Antenna (dish).
- A tripod-stand for satellite antenna.
- A router, power supply and connecting wires.
Dishy is delivered pre-assembled to your doorstep and all you have to do is plug it in. The setup process is quick, straightforward and worry-free. The Starlink app can be used to set up the router’s internet name and password, then you can log-in and start browsing on the Internet.
Installing Your Starlink Hardware
The process of setting up Starlink is as simple as it gets. It only takes about 20 minutes to set up the hardware and then you can immediately start surfing the web from anywhere in your RV.
- Find a place to set your Starlink dish on top of your RV or on a picnic table or even on the ground.
- Make sure you have a clear view of the Northern sky.
- Run the cord from the Starlink antenna into your RV. An easy method to do this is to run the cord through the rubber gaskets in your slide out.
- Connect the antenna cord to the Starlink router.
- Connect the power cord to the router.
You have a 30-day window in which you can return the Starlink equipment if you decide it’s not for you. After that, there is a one-year refund policy in place. If your Starlink kit is stolen, destroyed or otherwise removed from your premises without your authorization, you must provide notice via the Starlink Customer Portal immediately. The service has several restrictions, including no refunds after 30 days and a one-year warranty.
Starlink is the first ever satellite network that provides broadband internet service to RV campers and trailers. It’s a game-changing, life-changing service for those who want to cut the bonds to home or office and explore remote areas. With Starlink, there is no need for cell towers or Wi-Fi hotspots; you simply need an unobstructed view of the Northern sky.