How To Get Wifi At Campground

Staying Connected With Mobile Hotspots And Wimax

Reliable Internet In Your RV Without Data Charges

Today, many smartphones including iPhone and Android devices can legally be used as mobile hotspots. Look at your phone’s manual to see if it has the capability to provide WiFi access to your laptop and other devices. For smartphones that don’t come with the wireless hotspot feature, apps like MyWi try to fill in the gaps. Be careful with these they generally require that you jailbreak your phone, and data charges can be costly.

Another great way to stay connected when you are away from a standard wireless network is to use WiMAX devices. Companies like Clear, Sprint, Comcast and others now offer hardware that will enable you to take your broadband Internet service with you wherever you go. These devices usually take the form of small hubs for wirelessly powering multiple devices or USB modems, designed to power a single device to which they are connected.

Mobile hotspots and WiMAX devices definitely provide Internet on the go, but coverage areas vary. If you plan to camp in a remote location, you may need to find a way to boost your WiFi signal. From Pringles cans to professionally crafted WiFi antennas, find out how to amplify your WiFi signal in the next section.

How To Find More Campgrounds With Wifi

In my research, I found that AllStays is an incredible resource where you can search an entire state and all campgrounds for particular amenities. The search includes all types of parks, both public and private. I get a small commission if you use this link and sign up for their comprehensive pro plan. In this case, I saw that you could find all the campgrounds with WiFi really easily for each state. If you want to filter it more you have to get the Pro plan.

Colorado Campgrounds WiFi: here

Making Your Own Antenna

If you can stand the music, this video shows you how to make your own cell phone antenna booster. This is not exactly boosting the signal, because it is not amplifying the signal, but it is rather just allowing you to take the better signal in one location and redirecting some of that signal to another location.

In other words, if you have great signal on top of your RV, or on a tree branch nearby, but terrible signal down low, then you put one end of this antenna where the good signal is to transmit it to the other end.

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The Best Cell Service For Use As Camping Wifi

Every cell service provider has its strengths and weaknesses when it comes to network coverage, cost, and tethering options.

Weve tried nearly every option out there and after traveling all over the U.S., weve found that Google Fi offers the best value for those that want reasonably priced service, wide network coverage , tethering, and versatility as a camping wifi option.

You can see both their flexible and unlimited data plan options here. We use the flexible plan because when were at home we use very little data. And wifi tethering is built in – which is a must for using your phone for portable wifi for camping.

Google Fi leverages multiple cellular networks including T-mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular, and dynamically switches between them to provide the greatest service depending on how close the nearest cell tower is and how strong the signal is.

However, in our experience, the automatic switching from one network to another is not perfect and can sometimes kick you off a fairly decent signal & wifi connection in favor of another that ends up being less usable or that may not have data service – leaving you abruptly without camping wifi.

This is where the app FiSwitch comes in. This app allows you to manually switch the Google Fi service between T-mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular networks and its worth its weight in gold to those traveling while working remotely and camping.

The Four Major Carriers For Rv Internet Service

FULL GUIDE: Best way to get RV WIFI

The four biggest internet service providers for nationwide coverage are:

  • AT& T
  • T-Mobile

Sprint and T-Mobile merged in 2020 to create the new T-Mobile.

All four use the same 4G LTE cellular technology which supports fast speeds, but still run some 2G and 3G networks, even while moving toward 5G expansion.

I will give you an overview of each to help you select the right carrier for your needs.

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How To Find Campgrounds With Wifi

Mortons on the Move/

Remote working and learning are quickly gaining popularity, including among RVers making staying connected while camping more important than ever. Whether youre binge-watching a Netflix series or turning your RV into a temporary workspace, finding campgrounds with WiFi can help with connectivity.

Today well share a bit about campground WiFi and what you should expect.

What Is The Best Wifi For An Rv

The best WiFi for an RV depends on where you plan to take the RV. If youll stay near towns or in campgrounds with WiFi, you wont need much of a connection. However, you may want to use satellite WiFi or a strong cellular plan in more rural areas.

Think about where you want to camp and what youll need to do online. Then, you can make sure you have plenty of speed to handle your internet needs. And if one option doesnt work, you can experiment until you find one that does.

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How To Provide Your Own Rv Wifi When There Is None

Some of the best RV trips often include long drives through the mountains, along the ocean, or across remote plains and as beautiful and relaxing as these stretches can be, it also means theres no complimentary WiFi signal coming from anywhere. On top of that, there are still quite a few RV campgrounds, especially the more remote ones that dont offer WiFi as an amenity. If youre an avid RVer, youve likely run into this situation before.

In these cases, it can be helpful to have your own RV WiFi hotspot via your smartphone. This allows you to use your phone as an internet source for all your needs. As a quick disclaimer, if you arent familiar with hotspot, it will very quickly drain your battery as well as your data, unless you have an unlimited plan.

Of course, there will still be areas in this wild world that are too rural or have a high tree density for a hotspot to work well. If youre concerned about this or know that you will be in these kinds of areas on your trip, we suggest you pick up a signal booster specifically built for your phone.

Use A Cell Signal Booster

RV Internet: How to Get RV WiFi So You Can Stream and Work Remote

When camping in rural locations, a cell signal booster can be a gamechanger. These boosters can significantly amplify a weak signal and result in better quality and a stable connection.

These cell signal boosters often arent cheap, but theyre known for doing a great job. If youre relying on a cell signal, youll be able to expand your camping locations while staying connected. They often work across multiple cell phone carriers and enhance voice and data signals.

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Signal Boosters And Satellite Internet

Campers in the Facebook Campfire and those Ive met on the road all agree that remote working from an RV or van requires a signal booster. While the signal booster wont give you access to RV WiFi, which can only come from a cell phone, WiFi network, or satellite plan, it will amplify the signal to your phone service for increased WiFi speed.

Essentially, boosters like Weboost amplify cell phone signal up to 32x. The antenna bounces off other cell phone towers to bring your service closer to home. WiFi boosters are pretty pricey , but if youre working on the road and need reliable RV WiFi, its the best way to ensure youll have service in remote places.

Amazon has a mix of cheaper options, some with good reviews. These boosters generally amplify the service by about half of what Weboost does depending on how far you are from a signal, that might be all you need.

Another RV WiFi option is satellite WiFi, which offers internet in the far reaches of the desert or remote alpine locations. The benefit, obviously, is having the internet wherever you go. The downside? Exorbitant cost.

Using Your Cell Phone As A Hotspot

If you have one of the newer cell phones on the market you may have a built-in hotspot on your phone. This allows other users to access your Internet connection using a variety of different devices. If the campground offers Internet access you can connect to the Internet using your smartphone with a built-in hotspot and then allow other users to access your connection.

In the event other devices you or your family members are using are Bluetooth enabled you can tether your smartphone to other devices to establish Internet access at the campground. If you plan on a 3G or 4G connection, it is important to check with your mobile phone carrier for availability in the campground location.

These are a few of the different ways you can get Internet access at a campground. If you plan ahead you can save a lot of time during trying to stay connected during your road trip.

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Use A Wifi Signal Booster

If youre regularly camping at a campground with WiFi, but you get a weak signal, a WiFi Signal Booster may help. These boosters will capture a weak WiFi signal and amplify it in your RV to increase the connection quality.

A WiFi booster is often helpful if your campsite is large or obstacles are blocking the internet source. Improving the quality of your connection can provide a better experience and faster speeds.

A WiFi signal booster can only boost the WiFi signal itself. It doesnt create a signal of its own, and it also does nothing to help with overloaded internet connections. Campgrounds located in rural environments are likely utilizing an already slow internet source. Increasing the number of users on the system will only make this connection worse.

How Do You Get Internet On Boondocking

How To Get Wifi While Camping

To get internet when Boondocking, you will need a cellphone service provider and a signal booster or antenna. You can then set up the hotspot on your phone, and youll use the booster or antenna to access an internet signal.

When choosing your service provider, check out their coverage map. Not all providers have coverage everywhere. Consider where you want to go boondocking and select a provider with coverage in the area.

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How To Get Wifi For Your Park

Step 1: Where are the Internet and Power Locations Currently?

On this same map, mark where your ISP equipment is or will be located and make sure it has access to power.

Step 2: How Much Bandwidth Do I Need?

This bandwidth calculator is a quick and easy way to give you a ballpark number of how much bandwidth you will need for your campground.

This would be a good starting number to talk with your ISP to see if it is possible.

Step 3: Create a Map of Your Campground

Having a map of your campground will help you to see where your needs around the park are. Some sections may be for heavy using seasonal tenants, and others just for overnight campers who can use community wifi hotspots if needed.

On your map, make notes of barriers like dense trees, buildings, and hills that can greatly decrease thewifi signal around your campground.

Step 4: How Much Internet is Coming From Your ISP?

Important: The amount of bandwidth you are currently receiving from your internet provider will determine the maximum speed you can offer your camping and RV guests.

Check with your ISP to see what the bandwidth options are in your area. If your network is running slow, perhaps you can increase your bandwidth which would enable more users to connect and use the internet at the same time.

Your campgrounds internet capacity is limited to what your ISP can provide in your area.

Step 5: Decide Where You Want Your Wireless Access Points

  • Laundry facilities
  • Community buildings
  • Bathroom facilities

Do You Really Need The Internet

Now that we have discussed different ways to obtain internet access while away from home, one question remains. Do you really need internet access while on your camping trip?

If you are a constant traveler, frequent camper, or live fulltime out of your RV, then you likely need some form of reliable internet. However, if you are going away for the weekend or even a week, you should consider unplugging.

In this day and age, it can be hard to be disconnected from our phones, laptops, and devices. We are always engaged with email, social media, and keeping up on the latest news. However, sometimes, it can be quite beneficial to leave it all behind.

That is not to say that you should forgo carrying a phone entirely, or not have any way to contact another person or emergency services. When camping, especially in a rustic or unpopulated area, it is very important to be able to contact the appropriate emergency personnel. But, devices have a time and a place at campsites.

Taking a break from the internet can help you reconnect with your friends, family, and nature. Everyone is so tethered to their phones, but constantly carrying it and being on it can detract from special moments.

Additionally, your use of your device can impact those around you. Other campers might not want to hear the sounds of your movies or music interrupting the peaceful solitude of nature. If you have to have your shows or tunes, consider using headphones, so your internet usage doesnt impose on anyone else.

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Cellular Hotspotting Using Your Phone

Using a mobile phone to access the internet or hotspotting from a phone to a laptop are the most popular ways that people get online while camping. The only catch is you have to be camping in an area with cell phone service. The internet activities youll be able to use your phone for will depend a lot on how strong your signal is.

Most mobile phone plans allow you to share your internet connection from your phone with another device, such as a laptop or tablet. This is called hotspotting. Be sure to first check with your cell provider to find out if hotspotting data is part of your plan.

  • To hotspot on an iPhone, go to Settings > Personal Hotspot. Switch the button to on.
  • To hotspot on an Android, go to Settings > Network & Internet > Hotspot & Tethering. Toggle the button to on.

Data restrictions will applyplans give you somewhere between 3 GB and 30 GB of full-speed data per month while hotspotting. After you reach the data limit, youll have really slow speedseven if you have unlimited data. You can learn more in our guide to mobile phone hotspotting.

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