What Are The Best RV Hotspot Plans?
Gone are the days of RVing to disconnect. Now more than ever, families are choosing the RV lifestyle and need to stay connected. RV hotspot plans do just that. We break down the best plans to keep you online.
Living in an RV isn’t just for retirees and snowbirds anymore! These days, you can find all sorts of different family styles living the nomadic life in their rig. Retired couples, young couples, families with kids, and even solo travelers have created lives for themselves in a tiny home on wheels. And not everyone is looking to get off the grid.
No matter what your living arrangements are, it’s likely that you’ll want some internet connection. What once seemed impossible is now possible, affordable, and accessible. A mobile hotspot router and plan is the easiest way to get internet access in your RV without relying on park Wi-Fi or your cell service.
A hotspot allows you to take wireless data from cell phone carriers and turn it into wireless internet for your RV. Your hotspot setup will include a hotspot router, the piece of equipment that allows you to connect multiple devices to the internet simultaneously, and the hotspot plan.
The hotspot plan is similar to your mobile plan and uses a SIM card to connect to the internet. Typically you’ll pay a monthly fee for a specific amount of data, but prepaid plans are also available. There are many plans to choose from, so when shopping around, you’ll want to consider four things:
- The cellular network
- Device limits
- Router price
- 5G compatibility
While you may be thinking that your cellphone already has hotspot capability, this is not the best solution for an RV internet connection. For starters, you can only connect one device at a time to your phone. Using your mobile hotspot also drains your battery. Plus, many carriers limit the amount of data you can share.
There are RV hotspot plans for everyone
Any full or part-time RV dweller may need a hotspot. It depends on how often you like to be connected to the internet and where you plan to spend most of your time. RV parks often offer Wi-Fi, and when it’s weak, you can use a Wi-Fi extender to improve the speed. But if you plan on spending most of your time boondocking or need internet while you’re on the road too, a hotspot is the best bet.
You can use mobile hotspots for tons of things.
Working from home
Many people can afford the nomad lifestyle by working online from their RV. When your job is at stake, you need to make sure you can always stay connected, no matter where you’ve parked for the night.
If you’re out on the road away from family and friends, you probably want to be able to communicate with them from time to time. Share your plans, location, and plenty of pictures with the people you care about.
Entertaining on rainy days
Unfortunately, rainy days are unavoidable. If you’re not a fan of getting drenched, you may decide to spend a lazy day in your RV now and then when the weather is less than desirable.
University students or families traveling with kids may need the internet to handle the coursework. Stay up-to-date with assignments while you travel by staying connected to the internet across the country.
Planning your adventures
Whether you want to reserve a time slot at a national park, buy tickets to an attraction, or book a spot at the next RV park, having an internet connection in your RV will make your life much easier.
Using hotspots while traveling
While hotspots are probably the most reliable source of internet for your RV, there are limits to their usage. Even if you’ve opted for an “unlimited” plan, the connection can become extremely slow once you reach a certain cap. In addition, streaming videos and gaming can eat through your data quickly, so it’s essential to keep an eye on usage, especially if you need the internet for work.
Since the internet connection comes through phone networks, if there is no cell service, there is no internet. While networks in the US have come a long way, there are still plenty of parts of the country that don’t get service. This is especially likely if you prefer to boondock or spend most of your time in secluded areas. You can improve your chances of connection by using different providers for your cell phone and your mobile hotspot.
Top RV hotspot plans
For reliable Wi-Fi on the go, your best bet is to stick with one of the big four mobile providers in the US (they have the most reliable coverage across the country). When deciding which one is best for you, don’t forget to consider:
- Where you’ll spend most of your time
- How much data you’ll need
- If you have speed requirements
As the largest network provider, many people looking for internet in their RV turn to Verizon. Its network spans 70% of the country. Plus, its Ultra Wideband channels offer some of the fastest speeds out there.
- Router: Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L Hotspot – $199.99
- Plan Features: 5G ultra wideband access, premium streaming quality
- Data: Four plans ranging from 15 GB – 150 GB of premium mobile hotspot data
- Price: $20 – $110 per month
With the second most extensive coverage in the country, AT&T comes in at a close second behind Verizon. With access to their 5G network and the possibility to add an international data plan, this makes an excellent option for campers who may head to Canada or Mexico.
- Router: Global Modem USB 800 – $179.99
- Plan Features: 5G at no extra charge, international package options
- Data: Two monthly plans at 25 GB – 40 GB; prepaid packages of 15 GB – 100 GB
- Price: $50 – $75 per month; $35 – $90 prepaid
The T-Mobile network has grown significantly in the past few years, offering some of the best international options available. According to them, they have the most extensive 5G network in the country.
- Router: T10 Mobile Hotspot – $90.00
- Plan Features: no annual contracts, data pass
- Data: 2 GB with the option to add more throughout the month
- Price: $10 per month with the option to add data throughout the month
For Canadians, Telus provides reliable coverage for mobile hotspots that can connect to up to 20 devices.
- Router: Inseego 5G MiFi M2000 – $480 CA
- Plan Features: access to 5G network, advanced encryption, guest wifi
- Data: 5 GB – 50 GB
- Price: $60 – $ 135 CA per month
The low-down on RV hotspot plans
It has become much easier and more affordable to stay connected as you adventure around North America in your RV. Still, even mobile hotspots are not a guarantee that you’ll always stay connected. There is always a chance that you may find an area that isn’t reached by your provider, or cell towers can go down.
If your internet connection is critical, be sure to plan ahead and have backup options like different plans with multiple carriers or nearby cafes with Wi-Fi. Be sure to read campground reviews to see what other RVers are saying about the internet and cell service in the areas you’re visiting, and plan your travels accordingly.
Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.