From vacationers trying to stream this weekend’s football game to full-timers roadschooling the kids, RV WiFi is essential for families on the go. In a constantly connected world, as much as we would like to use RVing as a way to unplug and recharge, having an RV internet connection often isn’t optional. It’s necessary for safety, from Googling the closest doctor to messaging a friend, and using RV WiFi to stream our favorite Netflix shows doesn’t hurt either.
At Juniata Valley RV, we want to make sure you’re well-connected in the best way possible. We’ll go over all the basics of RV WiFi and how you can get online ASAP.
Campground RV WiFi
Most campgrounds, especially private ones, offer WiFi. It’s often free to use, but consider yourself extremely lucky if the connection is good! You’ll usually spend more time waiting for pages to load and videos to buffer than you will actually enjoying your RV internet.
Campground WiFi is usually slower than other public WiFi networks, like a local coffee shop, because it’s often relying on slower sources. In rural areas like a campground, the WiFi is probably from a satellite internet, DSL or fixed wireless internet. With these sub-par sources, the metal of your RV blocking the signal, and the number of people connecting, it’s a perfect recipe for slow RV internet.
Additionally, connecting to any public WiFi can be risky without proper privacy precautions. When using free public WiFi, you risk your information being intercepted by a hacker. Hackers can abuse your personal information or distribute malware that can ruin your computer.
To protect yourself from hackers, consider using a VPN (virtual private network) to encrypt your data. You can also use SSL connections to encrypt your data, as well as turn off sharing on your devices.
If all this internet security talk sounds like a foreign language, check out this YouTube video. Cybersecurity brand Kaspersky uses clear visuals and language to cover the dangers of public WiFi.
RV WiFi Options
Campground WiFi may not be the best solution for your RV internet connection. Thankfully, there are plenty of other options for connecting to the internet on the road or at a rural campground.
One of the easiest ways to connect to the internet in your RV is using cellular data. Cell phone companies allow you to use data, like 5G connection, to create a WiFi hotspot. Once you hotspot from your phone, you can connect your devices and use it as a source of RV WiFi.
Cellular data and phone hotspots often aren’t very fast, and they’re not good for those spending a lot of time on the internet. Additionally, streaming movies and shows or gaming using cellular data will lead to a lot of buffering and lags. While it’s a good option for messaging or a quick Google search, cellular data often isn’t the best source of RV WiFi. Especially without an unlimited data plan with your cellphone company.
Outside of using your cell phone as a hotspot, most phone companies offer devices that can create a hotspot from cellular data. It’s the same concept, minus your cellphone. These devices cost upward of $100 and only work when cellular data is available. They’re a good option and work faster than tethering to your cell phone as a hotspot.
Also called a repeater or ranger, these devices extend existing WiFi signals. These can work to improve or speed up WiFi signals, like the campground WiFi. With the use of cybersecurity precautions, these can make campground connections a reasonable option for your RV WiFi.
Some RV manufacturers have begun installing their own extenders. High-end brands, like Winnebago, install them in some of their newest units.
Our last RV WiFi option is satellite. You can have a satellite dish installed on the roof of your RV. With an unobstructed view of the sky, these can be a great option to connect to the internet. It works beyond the range of cellular data. This makes satellite internet a great option for boondocking. Additionally, having your own satellite will be faster and safer than sharing with the campground’s public satellite network.
Once your RV WiFi is connected, you’re ready for any trip! If you need a new RV, or new RV parts and supplies, stop by Juniata Valley RV! Our sales professionals can help you get started with a brand new or new to you unit.