If you have trouble getting online when you camp, Starlink internet may be the answer.
If you’re like us, you’ve spent time finding the highest rock to attempt a cell call. Or you traveled extra miles to reach a town with decent internet service.
Nothing is worse than trying to connect to the virtual world with no way to get through. Famous YouTuber Bob Wells may have the answer.
Let’s check it out!
Nomads Check Out These Starlink Issues
An essential part of RVing or nomadic travel is the ability to access the Internet. CheapRVliving host Bob Wells considered significant points before investing in Starlink Internet. They’re well worth a review.
Wells refers to technical stuff as having a “fuss factor.” The report from his experience is that there is zero trouble with Starlink. The internet antenna is easy to set up. You plug it into the router, wait five or ten minutes as it searches for a signal, and then it works.
Wells does note that the device takes up a little van space and needs to be secured outside in the event of wind.
Does your available power impact Starlink’s internet service? It depends on your reserves.
Wells has 700 watts of solar power and two lithium batteries. He does turn the unit off at night and has no issue turning it back on. He recommends nomads have 200 watts of solar for everyday needs (think fridge and lights) and then another 200 watts with an extra battery for the Internet.
One of Wells’ followers commented that their Starlink system draws between 45 and 55 watts, and another said their residential was about 2.0 amps.
Compared to Dish and a rain event, Starlink internet cruised right through a heavy downpour for Wells. Anyone that has ever dealt with Dish setup knows what a pain it is and how quickly you can lose a signal. Wells even experienced hail with Starlink set up and had no problems.
How fast is Starlink Internet in remote areas? Bob Wells finds the service as fast as he could want. He says he never has to wait to connect or access his online needs. While it’s not the speediest, he can manage his YouTube business and Zoom calls out in the wild with no trouble.
Traveling into mountains with narrow valleys or heavily wooded areas might be more of a challenge. Wells looks for suitable open spaces so that he can angle the Starlink antenna to receive a signal. Many remote locations like this wouldn’t have cellular service, so the ability to get some sort of reception is a plus for us.
What Is Starlink RV?
Starlink Internet is part of the rapidly evolving SpaceX satellite system. It’s a new mobile internet option for RV and boat connectivity. The initial public beta test was in October 2020, and the service continues to improve.
The company describes itself as low-latency and on an as-needed basis. This is contingent upon destinations where the service provides active coverage. Starlink has a worldwide map on its website that shows areas of no coverage, low capacity, and high capacity internet.
That’s right, worldwide. Starlink is available on four continents, with many locations planned for availability in 2023.
Pro Tip: Use these 5 Easy RV Internet Hacks to make sure you always have a great connection while on the go.
What’s the Difference Between Starlink and Starlink RV?
Starlink offers two different service plans. One is for RVers and folks on the go. The other option is residential and comes with an optional add-on called portability.
Both service plans use the same hardware – the Dishy McFlatface. Yes, that’s really what it’s called. There’s an initial investment fee to purchase the dish and Wi-Fi router kit. The monthly fee to access the service will depend on which option you choose. You can also pause the service when not in use.
At the time of this writing, Starlink RV costs $135 a month and allows for pausing. This is great for those who only need it for certain months of the year. Residential service is $110, and another $25 for portability. The plus for residential is that these services are prioritized for those in urban areas compared to visiting RVers.
Is There a Waiting List For Starlink RV?
While SpaceX is sending more satellites into low orbit, some areas have a waitlist for the residential Starlink until the capacity expands. A cool $99 deposit will reserve your spot in line.
Starlink Internet is global, with an early estimate of 400,000 customers and climbing daily. The company provides a handy map on its website where you can plug in locations and addresses to see current and future availability.
On the other hand, Starlink RV doesn’t have a waitlist, and anyone can sign up for Starlink RV. Just know that you’ll be deprioritized on the network if you use it in residential areas.
Another way to skip the residential waitlist is to buy a used Starlink kit. Often, sellers can transfer their dish to buyers by contacting the company.
Can You Switch Starlink RV to Residential?
Can you switch from residential to RV service? Yes. Can you change from RV service to residential? No, read on.
Starlink quickly saw the need to switch between services. You can easily change from residential to RV service right from your account page without changing equipment.
Here’s the catch, once you switch from residential to Starlink RV, you cannot switch back. So, you need to know what you’re getting before you make the big decision.
Starlink for RV allows you to pause and unpause your service. But it doesn’t have an assigned, prioritized address, so you get deprioritized in urban areas. Bob Wells found in-town cellular service and Wi-Fi availability enough for him.
Starlink Residential has an assigned service address that is portable, assuming service is available at the next destination. You’ve got it on the move for the extra portability charge, too. This is an excellent option for snowbirds, year-round travelers, and people that change residences a few times a year.
Why Is Starlink RV Important To Me?
Starlink Internet for RVers is indispensable under certain circumstances. Do you like to travel to remote places where your cell service just can’t cut it? Then yes, Starlink RV could be right for you.
Are your camping options in formal campgrounds that offer adequate Wi-Fi or local internet? Then maybe your answer is no.
Are you into heavy social like we are? Or perhaps you work a lot from the road and need internet flexibility. Then Starlink internet may be the answer to your problems.
Do you live in a small town with few internet options, and connecting daily is frustrating? Look into Starlink as an option.
Pro Tip: Find out How to Get Reliable RV Internet in 2022 so you can surf the web no matter where you camp.
The Future Is In the Stars
SpaceX intends to send more satellites into orbit and has even bigger plans to take Starlink to Mars someday. At a minimum, expect residential coverage to increase in 2023. More satellites will help the connectivity in remote areas as well.
Do you have Starlink RV yet? Tell us about your experience with it!
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