The Joys of Mobile Hotspots for RVers

As we increasingly rely on the internet for everything from business needs to entertainment, a weak or unreliable connection can be incredibly frustrating. That’s where mobile hotspots come in! These handy little devices allow RVers to bring reliable, high-speed internet with them wherever they roam.

The Joy of Always-On Internet

As an RVer, you never know where the road may take you. One day you’re camping along the shore of a secluded lake. The next you’ve rolled into a bustling city. With a mobile hotspot, you’ll have access to speedy internet no matter how remote your location.

I’ll never forget the time I found myself in the wilds of Montana with nary a coffee shop or public library in sight. My mobile hotspot allowed me to upload photos of the gorgeous mountain views and video call my family back home. It was such a relief knowing I could connect anywhere!

Mobile hotspots tap into the power of cellular networks to provide an internet connection. As long as you have cellular service, your hotspot will pull in a signal. That means you can get online from places where public WiFi just doesn’t exist. Even if you do find a cafe with a connection, it’s often unreliable. With your own personal hotspot, you don’t have to depend on the kindness of strangers or hope the weather doesn’t interfere with satellite access. You are your own master of the internet domain!

This ability to get online whenever and wherever is an absolute game changer. You can finally work remotely and stick to your deadlines no matter how far off the beaten path your travels take you. Stream your favorite movies and TV shows during downtime in the RV park. Video chat with family over breakfast before heading out for the day. The possibilities are endless when you bring the power of the internet along for the ride.

Choosing the Right Plan

Connecting an RV full of devices can chew through data quickly. That’s why it’s important to choose a mobile hotspot plan that provides sufficient high-speed data for your needs. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a plan:

Data Amount

Mobile hotspot plans provide a certain amount of high-speed data per month. Once you hit that limit, your speeds may be throttled to 2G or 3G for the remainder of the billing cycle. Carefully consider how much data you’re likely to use based on factors like:

  • Number of connected devices
  • Frequency of video streaming
  • Needs for VOIP calls or video conferencing
  • Web surfing and social media habits

If you’ll be relying heavily on your hotspot, look for plans with unlimited data or at least 10-30GB per month. Light users may be able to get by on 1-5GB.

Network Coverage

Make sure to choose a carrier with strong LTE coverage in the areas where you travel. Verizon and AT&T tend to have the most widespread networks. T-Mobile has greatly expanded their reach in recent years. Compare coverage maps to determine the best fit.

Shared Data Plans

Some carriers allow you to add a hotspot to your existing smartphone plan for just $10 extra per month. You’ll draw from the same shared data pool as your phone. This can be a cost-effective solution, but make sure your plan has enough data to cover both devices.

Unlimited Plans

Unlimited data plans grant you endless high-speed access without worrying about hitting a cap. This freedom comes at a price, though, with unlimited plans typically starting around $50/month. Still, the peace of mind can be worth it for RVers who rely heavily on connectivity.

Affordable Alternatives

For light internet users, pay-as-you-go and prepaid plans can provide hotspot data on the cheap. You won’t get access to the latest 5G networks, but plans start around $10/month for a few GB of data from 4G networks. These budget options work well for RVers who just need occasional internet access.

By selecting the right plan for your usage needs, you can enjoy month after month of glorious, uninterrupted internet access on the go. Let’s look at some ways to put that connection to work!

Enhancing Life on the Road

A reliable mobile hotspot unlocks a wealth of possibilities that can make life on the road more pleasant:

Work Remotely

For many folks, the dream of RVing full time is only possible if they can bring their work along for the ride. With a mobile hotspot, you can send emails, access cloud documents, and jump on video calls just like you would in a stationary office. Say goodbye to the cubicle and hello to working from breathtaking backdrops!

I’ll never forget pulling over at a mountain vista in Banff, setting up my portable office, and taking a video conference against the most incredible scene. Those kinds of moments just aren’t possible without mobile internet access.

Stream Movies and TV

After long days of adventure, it’s nice to kick back and unwind with a good show or movie. A mobile hotspot lets you stream to your heart’s content through services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, and more. No more stressing about paying for spotty campground WiFi or running out of DVDs and books!

I love ending the day watching sitcoms on my laptop. Our hotspot makes it possible to enjoy streaming sites as much as we did back home. It really removes the feeling of being disconnected out on the open roads.

Stay in Touch

One downside of RV living can be feeling isolated from friends and family back home. But mobile hotspots make it easy to stay in touch no matter where you roam. Video chat over breakfast to get your daily dose of grandkids and pets. Send your latest vacation photos via email and social media. Host virtual game nights!

On chilly evenings when I’m missing my book club friends, it’s nice to join a video call with a glass of wine and catch up for hours just like old times. Those online face-to-face connections really warm the soul.

Learn on the Go

The journey itself can be a chance for growth when you have an internet connection along for the trip. Download eBooks from the public library to keep your mind engaged. Brush up on a foreign language with self-paced online lessons. Watch DIY videos to pick up new skills. The possibilities for self-improvement are endless when the internet is your traveling companion.

I’ve managed to read over 50 books this year through my library’s eBook selection – that never would have been possible without my trusty mobile hotspot! It makes every winding road or scenic overlook an opportunity to pick up new knowledge.

Research Local Activities

One of the best parts about RVing is taking in all the sights and experiences each new destination has to offer. A mobile hotspot allows you to easily research local activities, reviews, and directions to plan your days. Discover those hidden gems that rarely make the tourist guides!

I can’t tell you how often we’ve stumbled on the perfect out-of-the-way hiking trail or hole-in-the-wall restaurant thanks to a quick Google search over breakfast in the RV. Our hotspot helps uncover the real magic of each place we visit.

Update Maps and GPS

Don’t spend your journey lost and frustrated thanks to outdated maps! A mobile hotspot makes it easy to download the latest map data and traffic information to keep your GPS navigation on track. No more unexpected construction detours or road closures when you’ve got an internet connected co-pilot.

I’ll never forget the time old maps steered me down a “road” that turned into little more than a goat trail through the New Mexico backcountry! Now I make sure to update my maps anytime we hit the road to avoid those kinds of misadventures.

Voice Control Smart Devices

Your mobile hotspot isn’t just for computers – it can also connect smart home devices! Link up a Google Home or Amazon Echo Dot to control things like lights, temperature, and appliances around the RV via voice commands. Listen to music or set timers for cooking while your hands are occupied. Feel like the Jetsons with your fully voice automated trailer!

I never realized how handy it would be to say “Alexa, dim the lights!” while cozying down to read after dark. It’s amazing all the futuristic tech you can bring from home by connecting devices to your trusty hotspot. The RV truly becomes an extension of your smart home.

Home Security Monitoring

Keep tabs on things back home with your hotspot enabled home security system. View live feeds from cameras, receive alerts of any activity, and control features like locks and lights. Peace of mind is priceless when RVing far from your unoccupied house.

Pet Monitoring

Don’t just bring the comforts of home on the road for humans – keep an eye on your furry friends too! Pet monitoring cameras let you look in on your pets and even toss them a treat from anywhere with an internet connection. Make sure they’re happy and behaving while you’re off on new adventures.

Seeing my dogs napping in their favorite spots back home always brings a smile during long days on the road. And it gives me a chance to check that the pet sitter is stopping by! I love having that window into their world.

Vehicle Monitoring

Keep tabs on critical systems in your RV or tow vehicle when you’re away from camp with mobile apps and monitoring devices. Get alerts for issues like drops in tire pressure or tank levels, high engine temps, unauthorized movement and more. There’s nothing worse than coming back to a nonfunctional rig!

Your smartphone and GPS aren’t the only devices that need occasional internet access to function properly. Many onboard RV systems also rely on connectivity for mapping and navigation. With a mobile hotspot, your fridge panel knows where to find the nearest propane and your campsite navigation keeps you on track.

We mainly got a mobile hotspot for entertainment purposes but quickly realized how invaluable it is for basic RV functions. With the latest maps and traffic data, all our devices work together seamlessly to get us where we need to go!

Choosing a Mobile Hotspot

There are many mobile hotspot options on the market with a range of features and price points. Here are some things to look for when selecting a device:

Reliable Cellular Bands

Make sure your hotspot supports the major cellular bands needed to tap into LTE data on the road. Most hotspots support AT&T and T-Mobile at minimum. Verizon-specific devices are also available. Avoid hotspots locked to providers like Sprint with limited rural coverage.

Battery Life

Look for a hotspot with a long battery life – at least 8 to 24 hours. This allows you to stay connected off the grid. Devices like the Skyroam Solis can last upwards of three days between charges!

Storage Space

Hotspots contain storage space for hosting media like movies and TV shows. Opt for at least 32GB if you plan to load up your device with entertainment. Some hotspots like the Netgear Nighthawk allow you to insert and swap MicroSD cards.

WiFi Range

Check the WiFi range which determines how far you can roam from the device while maintaining a connection. Long range routers like the TP-Link M7200 can provide WiFi up to 300 feet away – perfect for large RVs and campsites.


Consider how many devices you’ll want to connect. Some hotspots allow 5 to 15+ simultaneous connections which is ideal for families or groups traveling together. Also look for Ethernet ports to provide wired connections where needed.


If you plan to use your hotspot away from the RV, consider compact and lightweight designs like the Skyroam Solis or NETGEAR M1. These are easy to drop in your pocket or bag for internet on the go!

Top Mobile Hotspot Picks

Based on the criteria above, here are my top recommendations to enhance RV internet access:

Overall: LINKZONE 2 by Inseego

With excellent LTE coverage, 10 hour battery life, 30 device connections and fast speeds, the Inseego LINKZONE 2 is a top choice for most RVers’ needs. The compact design is easily portable.

Unlimited Data: Calyx Hotspot

For unlimited high-speed data, the Calyx Hotspot paired with their Liberty Plan can’t be beat. $500 up front gets you access to Sprint’s LTE network without data caps or throttling. Great for data hungry RVers!

Budget: Unite Explore by Netgear

The Unite Explore provides solid connectivity at only $100 up front, plus affordable data plans starting at $10/month. An excellent affordable option for light internet users.

International: Skyroam Solis

For RVers that roam across borders, the Skyroam Solis offers affordable data packages in over 130 countries. The long battery life and small size make it easy to explore with internet in hand.

Verizon Network: Jetpack MiFi 8800L

Verizon has the most robust overall coverage across the US. For RVers who require an LTE signal in remote areas, the 8800L Jetpack taps into premium Verizon speeds.

Tips for Maximizing Your Mobile Hotspot

Here are some final tips for making the most of your mobile hotspot on RV trips:

  • Turn it off when not in use to extend battery life.
  • Enable WiFi passkey and firewall for added security.
  • Use a range extender in large RVs for complete coverage.
  • Position near a window for best signal when indoors.
  • Connect TVs through HDMI instead of WiFi for faster streaming.
  • Use public WiFi when available to conserve mobile data.
  • Monitor data usage to avoid throttling towards month end.
  • Consider an amplified antenna for boosting signals in remote areas.
  • Charge via RV outlets for power while driving.

About Author