Van Life Satellite Internet – How to get Internet on your RV

Van life satellite internet must be among the most useful latest innovations as things just got way better than ever for Rvers. 

Before, it was hectic to access while on the moving making your outdoor expeditions quite a waste. 

But besides the highly reliable satellite internet, other options are way better today. So what are the possibilities for off-grid internet, and how can van life enthusiasts take advantage of them? Read on for more. 

Why is it Hard to get Reliable Internet as a Van Lifer?

While you’re always on the move, it can be hard to access the internet from conventional ISPs for several reasons. 

You’re Always on the Move

A moving recreational vehicle.

A moving recreational vehicle.

The Internet is an example of a radio wave; like others, it travels through the air. 

So when you’re constantly moving, what you’ll experience is akin to trying to connect to a stable car radio channel while driving. 

There will be instances when the signal will be too poor, and the obvious reason is that you’re not stationary. 

Similarly, there’s disruption of the internet waves when you’re moving in your RV. 

So unless you stop first and try picking a spot with a stable connection, it’ll be a hassle to use the internet on the move. 

Easy Disruption of Radio Waves

A tower is transmitting radio waves. 

A tower is transmitting radio waves. 

What exactly disrupts the radio waves? Your RV is a metallic and glass structure, so it’s challenging for the radio waves to pierce through the materials. 

Hence, while your device features an antenna, they are not profound enough to pick up weak signals because of the shield. 

You must move outside to a place without obstructions, which is impossible while driving. 

How to Get Internet for Van Life?

What are the surest ways to create an internet connection for van life aficionados?


USB Tethering. 

USB Tethering. 

Are you on a data plan that guarantees unlimited data use on the phone, such as Verizon and AT&T

Then you have the ultimate internet solution for van life right by your hands. You simply need to tether a connection from your mobile phone to your PC. 

The primary upside of tethering is that the internet signal from your phone will be the same as the signal quality on your tethered device.

 It’s also easy to set up. You simply need to plug in a cable connector, then switch on the tethering settings, and you’re ready to start using the internet.

But there are downsides to it. 

  • First, the unlimited data allowance only applies when using the internet from your phone. Hence, you must moderate your data use; otherwise, you’ll exhaust it quickly. 
  • Secondly, the dependence of the signal strength on your phone’s apparent signal is also challenging. If your ISP provides a weak signal, you’ll have to do with a weak connection. 
  • Finally, if you tether it extensively, you’ll end up exhausting your phone battery. It is quite a problem, as it’s handy to be as frugal as possible while on your travels as you’re on a limited power supply. 

But tethering remains an excellent option for those on low-data internet applications like checking out social media. 


A Personal Hotspot. 

A Personal Hotspot. 

A second option is to use a hotspot or set up one from your mobile device. A hotspot operates in the same mode as the typical internet-enabled mobile device. It obtains a cellular signal from the service provider and distributes it to the available device. 

  • Hence, if you choose a hotspot device, you must invest in one. Also, you must pay a monthly subscription from the Internet service supplier company. So what are some of the downsides of this option? 
  • First, it will not be effective in all scenarios, as a hotspot device relies on cellular signals that cannot penetrate the impermeable casing of your vehicle. 
  • It’s also no better than using your mobile phone for tethering. Therefore, it is an extra cost with no apparent additional benefits. 
  • Connecting various devices to the hotspot could be a significant problem as most have limits. You may have to invest in many hotspot devices. 

Despite these shortcomings, hotspots are a great option for lowkey in internet use. 

WiFi Signal Boosters

An Internet signal booster. 

An Internet signal booster. 

Here’s a caveat for your signal booster. Note that these devices do not create a signal; they are repeaters that boost what’s already there to have a further range. 

Therefore, you must only use the boosters only where they are needed.


Because if the signal is poor, trying to use a signal booster to get it further will weaken it more. 

Nonetheless, they are great because they consume very little power. Also, they can significantly boost your signal, especially if you want it to spread to an extensive area. 

A Starlink Satellite. 

A Starlink Satellite. 

Here’s the ultimate internet solution for travel enthusiasts who want a strong connection on their expeditions.

Starlink RV breaks the barriers that other options, such as cellular networks, cannot. 

For example, it is available even in the most isolated locations in the US.

 Starlink RV will supply you with a strong connection, whether in deserts, swampy zones, or everywhere you name it. 

The speeds are also top-notch; you’ll get between 5 and 50 Mbps.

It is also affordable internet for $150 per month, especially given its dependability and availability from almost everywhere. But it doesn’t come without undersides such as the following: 

  • Despite being available anywhere, there’s a connection to an overhead satellite; if there are obstructions to the sky, the signal will be poor. 
  • In addition, Starlink bars you from using the internet while you’re moving, meaning that even if you’re a passage, you cannot use the internet. If you do, the company will void your warranty. 
  • Setting it up takes time; you must do it every time you pack. It means you cannot use the internet outright. Also, you need to install it on your RV, and this involves making a wired connection which will require you to drill a hole in the side of your vehicle. 
  • Lastly, Starlink RV is not on the priority list. Therefore, you’ll receive lower internet speeds if you camp in an area with numerous Starlink Residential users. 

But the bottom line is that Starlink is undoubtedly the best for van life users despite these downsides. 

Using Free Public Internet

A free WiFi symbol. 

A free WiFi symbol. 

Lastly, are you camped near a city or an amenity that provides free public WiFi? Seize the opportunity to use the internet for free.

 It is one of the best options if you don’t have a better alternative or simply want a connection for simple browsing activities. 

But take caution when using the free public internet, as someone may hack into your device and access critical information.

 Using a VPN when using public WiFi will be helpful in such a scenario as it protects you from hackers. 

There are numerous locations to access public WiFi, such as the local Starbucks store, Truck spots, and libraries. 

So simply pick your spot and enjoy browsing without spending a dime. 

Tips for Reducing Your Data Usage

You should moderate your data use while on van life because every kilobyte matters. 

You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere without a connection, as it’ll drain the fun from your expedition. 

Here are a few data usage reduction hacks to be on the safe side. 

  • Turn off the background apps running feature. They are consuming data even when you’re not using them, and if they have regular updates, they could exhaust your bundle in no time. 
  • Similarly, ensure you choose the ‘Use Less Data’ option on apps like Instagram that use much data. 
  • Refrain from downloading videos and music on cellular data. The best way is to do it only when connected to a public WiFi because it doesn’t have a data cap. 


There are fewer ways to spice up your van life than settling on a quality internet service while moving. 

Think of it this way; an internet connection means you are not disconnected from the regular life you’d be experiencing if you were at home. 

If you can work at home, again, having quality internet means you’ll fulfill your job obligations from wherever you are. 

So choose the most appropriate options from those we have highlighted.