How to Stream College Football in Your RV Camper
You want to camp on the weekends, or you’ve started traveling full-time. But college football season is here, so streaming the games is a must!
How will you watch the Crimson Tide or Buckeyes? Thankfully, there are a few options to stream Rece Davis and Kirk Herbstreit in your RV.
We’ll look at what you actually need to get yourself set up and ready to cheer on your favorite teams.
Geting Ready to Stream Football
Just like in a sticks-and-bricks house, you’ll need reliable internet, reliable power, perhaps a second TV, and a streaming service. Let’s take a closer look at each of these components.
1. You Need Reliable Internet
If you’re going to stream and not use an antenna, you must have reliable internet. No one wants to be watching a goal-line stand and then have the game pause to buffer. Streaming requires internet, and you want good, consistent internet to enjoy college football game days.
Pro Tip: To get good wifi on the go try out these 5 Easy RV Internet Hacks.
2. You Need Reliable Power
Whether it’s electricity or a battery, you need reliable power. Just like you don’t want to stop the game for buffering, you also don’t want to stop because your battery dies. If you’re boondocking and plan to watch games from morning until late evening, make sure you have enough power to do so.
3. You (Might) Need a Second TV
Do you have kids or another person traveling with you? In that case, you might need a second TV. It’s their camping trip, too, so don’t ruin their day by hogging the one TV in the camper.
A great option is setting up a second TV outside, maybe by a campfire, to watch college football. It’s like tailgating at your own campsite! If you have an outdoor kitchen, get all your snacks and beverages ready, connect the TV to the outside cable plug, and grab a comfy chair.
This is also a nice way to meet your neighbors if you’re looking for friends on the road. Especially for full-time RVers, creating community while traveling is really important. If you’re outside watching the Florida Gators play the Auburn Tigers, you might just get a couple of visitors to join you.
Pro Tip: Don’t get caught watching TV from a weird angle! This is How to Mount Your RV TV.
4. You Need a Football or Sports Streaming Service
The last component to streaming college football is a streaming service. Not all streaming services will offer the games you want to watch, though, so do your research to make sure you choose the best one for you.
Hulu may offer certain games, while YouTubeTV offers a different set of games. If you follow a specific team, make sure you’re not disappointed on game day because you can’t find the game on your streaming service.
How to Get Reliable Streaming Internet in an RV
This is the biggest challenge for RVers. How do you get reliable internet? You don’t want to chance it with a big game on the line. If the Sooners are playing the Longhorns in the Red River Showdown for number one in the Big 12 Conference, you need to know your internet is up to the task.
Cellular Data and Hotspotting
Cellular data and hotspotting are easy internet solutions because almost everyone has a cell phone with data nowadays. Depending on your plan, you can have limited data or unlimited data, although unlimited data really isn’t unlimited. This data allows you to connect to the internet without Wi-Fi.
Hotspotting is when you connect the data on your phone to another device. For example, if you need to work online one morning, you can turn on the hotspot feature on your cell phone. Then in your laptop’s network and internet settings, you can find your cell phone’s hotspot and connect to the internet. If you’re in an area with good cell phone service, this is an easy solution to stream college football games on your laptop or TV.
Pros: It’s easy to set up. You don’t need additional equipment. As long as you have good cell service, it’s reliable.
Cons: It’s not always reliable, depending on your location. Cell service will be limited if you’re in the middle of nowhere or in a deep canyon. Also, you can use a lot of data when streaming college football games. Depending on your plan, you’ll need to keep a watchful eye on how much you’re using. Even with unlimited data plans, you can face throttling eventually.
RV Satellite Internet
Have you seen campers with satellites sitting on tripods? Or maybe you’ve seen campers with satellites mounted on top of their rigs. These RVers have chosen a different route via satellite internet like Dish, HughesNet, or RVDataSat.
You’ll need additional equipment for satellite internet, such as a tripod stand with a satellite dish or a mounted satellite dish. New receivers don’t require a dish, but their speeds aren’t adequate yet for streaming.
Satellite internet isn’t satellite TV, so if you want to watch TV, you’ll need a second dish. If you want to use a streaming service, then one dish providing internet will suffice. Although Starlink has been in the news recently, it’s not quite ready for full-time RV use yet. Keep an eye on this service, however.
Pros: If you point your satellite in the right direction, you should have reliable internet. Dish and HughesNet offer pay-as-you-go options from month to month and allow users to pause service.
Cons: If you use a tripod for the dish, you’ll need to be on stable ground, which isn’t always possible, depending on your location. Also, the start-up cost is expensive compared to cellular data and hotspotting because you need additional equipment.
Public or Campground Wi-Fi
Public or campground Wi-Fi is another option for streaming college football games. Although not as reliable as cellular data or satellite internet, it’s an option if all else fails. In this instance, you would connect your streaming device to the public or campground Wi-Fi. Most campgrounds give guests the Wi-Fi password upon check-in.
Pros: You usually don’t have to pay for this service. It’s convenient since there’s no equipment to set up.
Cons: It’s not very reliable. Because so many campers connect to the campground Wi-Fi, speeds can be slow, which won’t be adequate for streaming. Campgrounds may advertise that they offer free Wi-Fi, but it shouldn’t be something you count on for service on game day.
Have a Backup Plan for Streaming Football Games
You may have all three options for reliable internet. Maybe you use your cell phone as a hotspot when your satellite internet isn’t fast enough. Maybe you try to connect to the public Wi-Fi at the campground on days when not as many campers are there. Hopefully, one of these options will work on game days.
But there will be Saturdays where you’ve tried everything and need a backup plan. This might be when you take a ride out to Buffalo Wild Wings or a local sports bar and watch a game or two there. If college football is really important to you, do your research before you reach the campground to make sure you know where you can go if none of your internet solutions work.
Streaming Football in an RV Is Possible with Proper Planning
You can absolutely watch your favorite team on Saturdays in the fall. As long as you have a plan in place, you don’t have to miss touchdown celebrations or spectacular catches. It might take some tweaking, and your solution might vary from location to location, but there are options.
So the next time you head out, make sure you have everything you need to make your Saturday enjoyable. Which team are you looking forward to watching?
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