For many RVers—especially those of us who RV fulltime—having a decent internet connection while camping is a must. Unfortunately, campground WiFi is rarely reliable, meaning those who truly need internet will have to bring their own along.
Luckily there are options when it comes to staying connected on the road. Most fulltime RVers find that a hotspot or two will serve them quite nicely throughout their travels. That said, there are some other quick tips and tricks that are helpful to know.
Have multiple carriers
For starters, you may want to have more than one internet option. For example, you might have a hotspot with Verizon and a phone with AT&T. Some people even go so far as to have devices with 3 or 4 different carriers. This helps to ensure you have service no matter where you roam.
Assign services to specific tasks
Because very few people are able to get truly unlimited data plans, saving data is of the utmost importance. For this reason, many choose to assign certain carriers to certain tasks. For instance, T-Mobile’s “Binge On” feature allows users to stream unlimited video. Therefore, using this service for all Netflix binging is a great idea.
Another example of this is Sprint Global Roaming, a service that gives users free data in over 200 foreign countries. Obviously, this is a great option to have if you plan to take your RV out of the country.
Choose dry camping spots well
If you tend to dry camp rather than stay in campgrounds, you have more say in where you stay. While staying out in the boonies and doing some true boondocking is fun, you aren’t likely to get good service while doing so.
On those days when you absolutely must be connected to the internet, its best to park close to town. If you’re super lucky, you may even find a spot near a library, coffee shop, or box store with a decent internet connection. If this is the case, take advantage of that free Wi-Fi and save your data for later.
Stay near the office
Of course, if for some reason your multiple cell carriers aren’t working in a certain campground, it does help to be able to use the campground Wi-Fi even if it is slow.
In these instances, we recommend parking your rig as close to the office, lounge, or activity center as possible. Doing this might allow you to use the campground connection in your rig, but even if it doesn’t, at least you’ll have a short walk to a place that does have internet service.
Do double duty
As mentioned above, many public spaces offer free WiFi. This means it’s often possible to kill two birds with one stone.
For instance, you might head to the local laundromat to wash clothes and use their connection to get some work done. Likewise, a restaurant with a play area would allow you to take the kids out for a fun afternoon while you work.
Get creative if you have to, and take advantage of the free Wi-Fi all around us.
Boost your signals
No matter where you happen to be, a little boost never hurts anything. Cell signal boosters are amazing for boosting your cell signal, helping to ensure you have the best connection possible. Meanwhile, a WiFiRanger will seek out any nearby internet connections and amplify them for your use. Both are an excellent investment.
Read campground reviews
It’s always frustrating to arrive at a campground only to find you have absolutely no signal on any of your devices. Fortunately, this can usually be avoided. Before booking any campground, read the reviews.
Look specifically for mention of your cell carrier(s), as many people will note whether or not they had service with a particular cell company. Doing this can help you avoid those parks with poor service.
Batch your work
Of course, if you do end up in a park without cell service, you’ll need to get your work done somehow. Our recommendation is to drive into town, take advantage of some of that sweet public Wi-Fi, and get your work done in batches so you don’t have to drive in every single day. This will ensure you get your work done without wasting too much gas. It’ll also leave you plenty of time for playing and exploring the area.
These are our best tips for the traveling employee, business owner, or freelancer who needs an internet connection to make a living. Of course, these aren’t the only tricks out there. We encourage you to keep an open mind, seek out solutions of your own, and share your discoveries in the comment section below in order to help fellow RVers who are looking to get some work done.