The prices for satellite TV and internet antennas, dishes, and hotspots have been adjusted.

The ISatHub has also been deleted from our list of satellite internet hotspots.

Unfortunately, Inmarsat’s service for this hotspot will be discontinued on June 1, 2021.

Climbing inside your RV and making the open road your home sounds like a dream come true, at least until you need to check your email or watch TV.

The good news is that you have a few alternatives for receiving internet and TV service on your RV, including DISH, DIRECTV, satellite internet, and mobile hotspots.

Let’s take a short look at your choices before getting into the specifics.

Which Satellite Antenna Should You Get For Your RV?

You may select between a fixed antenna and a portable antenna if you want satellite TV in your camper.

When it comes to the internet, you can acquire mounted or portable antennas, but you’ll also have access to cellular hotspots and Wi-Fi extenders.

All of these alternatives have different pricing and capabilities, but here’s what we recommend:

  • If your RV will be your permanent residence, invest in a mounted antenna and a backup cellular hotspot for internet access.
  • If you travel in an RV but mostly live in a fixed home: Grab a portable antenna and, if you’re going to be in a lot of crowded places, a Wi-Fi extender to connect to public Wi-Fi.

Is It Possible To Utilize My Home Satellite Internet Or Television Service In My RV?

But what if you already have a satellite internet or satellite TV subscription with a company like DISH, DIRECTV, or Viasat? Isn’t it possible to obtain TV and internet on your RV with your existing satellite plan?

“You won’t be able to utilize your home satellite plan in your RV, but a mobile satellite package may be available.”

Unfortunately, no.

Your home’s satellite internet or TV service, on the other hand, employs a dish that searches the sky for a satellite to connect to.

And since your house doesn’t move, that’s an easy setup for you.

However, a portable satellite dish put on your RV must continually scan the sky, and in order to do so, it need your geographical coordinates.

Those coordinates are continually shifting if you’re in an RV!

Some satellite service providers, on the other hand, provide add-ons to your home service package that allow you to take your satellite internet and television with you.

However, you’ll still need to buy a satellite dish for your RV.

Will your RV or boat be able to connect to the internet through Starlink satellite?

Although SpaceX Starlink is currently in beta testing, a company spokesman recently revealed that mobile Starlink connections may soon be obsolete:

“Once we are able to enhance our coverage by launching additional satellites and bringing out new software, mobility options—including relocating your Starlink to various service addresses (or locations that don’t even have addresses!—will be available.”

Your RV Can Have Satellite TV.

DISH is likely to be less expensive and simpler to set up than DIRECTV, but you’ll be missing out on valuable programming like NFL SUNDAY TICKET.

Do vast open spaces and catching up on Better Call Saul seem like rest and relaxation to you? We’re right with you.

In terms of satellite TV, you have two options for your RV: DISH or DIRECTV.

DISH is less expensive, but it can’t compete with DIRECTV when it comes to sports coverage.

The good news is that no matter which satellite TV provider you pick, you have a variety of delivery alternatives.

How To Install DISH Satellite Television In Your RV

If you like DISH satellite TV, you’ll be pleased to learn that DISH makes it simple to take your TV programs with you in your RV.

DISH Outdoors is a satellite TV service that lets you choose from four different DISH satellite antennas and Wally HD receiver packages.

Then you choose your DISH TV package—or add DISH Outdoors to an existing account—and dial the activation number.

All-in-one DISH satellite antenna and Wally receiver packages start at $379, although DISH asks you to call for a specific pricing.

Here are some of the distinctions between each bundle.

Bundles Of DISH Outdoors Satellite Antennas And Wally Receivers

BundleNumber of TVsSignal acquisitionMounted or portable
DISH Playmaker and Wally HD Receiver1ManualPortable
DISH Playmaker Dual and Wally HD Receiver2ManualPortable
DISH Tailgater and Wally HD Receiver1AutomaticMounted or portable
DISH Tailgater Pro and Wally HD Receiver2AutomaticMounted or portable

Although your home satellite TV subscription will not work in your RV, you may add a specific RV package to your residential plan.

DISH Outdoors allows you to upgrade your existing package.

If you don’t currently have a DISH Outdoors package, you can get one now.

But we’ll be completely honest with you.

When compared to a domestic DISH plan, your DISH Outdoors package will cost extra per month.

(For an extra $5 per month, you may add it to your current home subscription.) However, bear in mind that the additional expense covers your connection to satellites in different areas while you travel across the American Southwest for months.

Packages From DISH Outdoors

PackagePriceChannels
DISH Outdoors add-on to existing plan$5.00/mo. extraDepends on your residential plan
DISH Flex Pack$52.99/mo.70+
America’s Top 120$94.99/mo.190
America’s Top 120 Plus$99.99/mo.190+
America’s Top 200$109.99/mo.240+

How To Install DIRECTV Satellite Television In Your RV

When it comes to selecting a suitable satellite antenna and receiver, DIRECTV, unlike DISH, refers you to third-party vendors.

In our perspective, this is an added effort, but if you need your NFL SUNDAY TICKET on DIRECTV fix while RVing across the nation, it could just be worth it.

RV satellite TV bundles from DIRECTV

  • KING
  • KVH Industries
  • Signals Connecting
  • Winegard

Depending on whatever satellite dish provider you contact, pricing and features may vary.

However, we pulled some information from the Winegard website to give you a sense of the pricing and possible DIRECTV bundles.

DIRECTV satellite antennae for RVs by Winegard

ProductPriceSignal acquisitionMounted or portable
TR-6018 antenna$179.00ManualPortable
Carryout G3 antenna$499.00AutomaticMounted or portable
Roadtrip T4 antenna$1,699.00AutomaticMounted
Trav’ler Slimline$1,999.00AutomaticMounted

The cost of RV-ready DIRECTV programming is more than the cost of DIRECTV programming at home, similar to DISH.

This is most likely due to the fact that you’re paying more for access to satellites all across the nation rather than just in one spot.

For DIRECTV bundles, Winegard provides a free season pass for NFL SUNDAY TICKET when you acquire a CHOICE subscription or above.

Score!

Winegard’s DIRECTV RV Programming Bundles

PackagePrice*Channels
ENTERTAINMENT$64.99/mo.160+
CHOICE$69.99/mo.185+
ULTIMATE$84.99/mo.250+
PREMIER$134.99/mo.330+

How To Connect Your RV To The Internet

We always suggest that you have a main and backup internet connection in your camper.

When it comes to acquiring internet in your RV, one of the first things seasoned RVers will tell you is that redundancy is crucial.

Even if a wayward tree limb twisted your satellite antenna during a storm and you can’t get a signal, a combination of two or more internet providers will assure you can go online to check your bank account.

Here are a few methods other RVers connect to the internet while working or browsing the web in the middle of nowhere.

RVs With Satellite Internet

If you’re camping in no man’s land, satellite internet is likely your best bet since it relies on satellites that can shoot an internet signal practically anywhere.

(Of course, if you’re going near the Earth’s poles, such as Alaska, you could find it more difficult to connect to the satellite signal.)

In most distant locations, however, satellite dishes that link you to broadband global area networks (BGANs) operate well.

However, certain satellite dish-plus-BGAN combinations may be rather expensive, so we only advocate spending that much money if you’re a full-time RVer.

Here are some of the most common satellite internet solutions used by seasoned RVers.

Antennas And Hotspots For Satellite Internet In Rvs

ProductPriceNetworkSignal acquisition
Iridium Go! 9560 Satellite Terminal$789.00*

InmarsatAutomatic
Hughes 9450TW BGAN$9,332.00–$10,351.00InmarsatAutomatic
RVDataSat 845$12,000.00iDirect Internet AccessAutomatic
RVDataSat 960$15,995.00iDirect Internet AccessAutomatic

The Inmarsat ISatHub hotspot was initially listed in this roundup, however the service will be discontinued on June 1, 2021.

You won’t be able to sign up for service if you wanted to utilize an ISatHub on your RV.

But, hey, how are you going to obtain those BGANs? You will, however, need a SIM card.

A SIM card will inform your satellite antenna which satellite network to connect to, similar to how your phone connects to a cellular network.

The price of a SIM card varies depending on the BGAN you use and how much data you use.

Here are some Inmarsat alternatives to give you a sense of what you may anticipate, including information on how much data you receive with each kind of SIM card and how long that data is valid for.

(Yes, it has an expiration date! Womp, womp, womp, womp, womp, womp, wo

Prices For Inmarsat Bgan Sim Cards

BGANPriceInternet speedsData/days valid
Inmarsat$390.00*Up to 492 Kbps (0.492 Mbps)54 MB/180 days
Inmarsat$525.00Up to 492 Kbps (0.492 Mbps)100 MB/90 days
Inmarsat$1,660.00Up to 492 Kbps (0.492 Mbps)1 GB/mo.
Inmarsat$4,555.00 for 1 mo.Up to 492 Kbps (0.492 Mbps)Unlimited

For RVs, Cellular Hotspots And Wi-Fi Extenders Are Available.

We said that you should back up your primary internet connection, but the expense of doubling up on a BGAN service and a satellite antenna is probably too much to contemplate.

Cellular hotspots and Wi-Fi extenders are two additional cost-effective solutions to expand your internet connection possibilities.

Both are excellent for both part-time and full-time RVers, so don’t neglect them.

For RVs, Cellular Hotspots And Wi-fi Extenders Are Available.

ProductPriceNetwork
ZTE Velocity$99.90*AT&T or T-Mobile
Verizon Wireless Jetpack 8800L$199.99Verizon
NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 Mobile Hotspot$339.99*Unlocked (best on AT&T or T-Mobile)
Winegard Connect 2.0 4G2 Hotspot and Wi-Fi Extender$389.00AT&T or Verizon

The disadvantage of utilizing a cellular hotspot is that you are restricted to the service region of the provider from where you purchased your SIM card.

Verizon is now the business with the greatest mobile phone coverage.

So, if you’re in the middle of nowhere, that’s your best hope for receiving a signal.

You’ll also need a suitable SIM card for your hotspot device, as well as a data plan to connect your devices to the internet.

You may be able to add it to an existing plan, or you can look into the best prepaid mobile phone plans and compare prices.

Remember that if you use your Wi-Fi extender to connect to a free public Wi-Fi network, you must ensure that your connection is safe.

When Purchasing Satellite For Your RV, There Are A Few Things To Keep In Mind.

Automatic signal acquisition, for example, may make or break your RVing TV and internet experience.

Are you unsure where to begin when it comes to purchasing an internet or television satellite dish for your RV? We completely understand.

Satellite terminology, in addition to having a heavy price tag, may be perplexing.

We broke down each word to help you figure out which features are essential—and which you can ignore with your money.

Portable Or Mounted

We’re not going to sugarcoat it: roof-mounted satellite dishes aren’t cheap.

We’ve seen them cost anywhere from $700 to $5,000.

If you live in your RV, however, the upfront expense of a satellite dish put on the roof might be a sensible investment.

Many satellite dishes that are placed automatically acquire a satellite signal, making it much simpler to connect to a satellite whenever you relocate.

You may move portable satellite dishes around to attempt to obtain the greatest satellite signal since they aren’t permanently connected to your RV.

They are supported by a tripod identical to that used by professional photographers.

These are often less expensive—the Winegard PL-7000 costs $299.

Portable satellite dishes are a more cost-effective solution for your pocketbook, particularly if you don’t use your RV too frequently.

Viewing May Be Either Stationary Or In Motion.

Do you want to take a break from driving for a change? You may catch up on the newest episodes of Outlander while driving to your next destination if your satellite TV antenna supports in-motion watching.

Isn’t it fantastic?

In-motion watching is more costly than stationary viewing, which allows you to watch satellite TV when your RV is parked.

We noticed pricing disparities of up to $500 only for the ability to watch videos in motion.

Yowza.

Acquisition Of Satellite Signals May Be Automated Or Done Manually.

Automatic satellite signal acquisition is a must-have feature in our opinion.

If you’re stuck with manual acquisition, you can wind up messing with your antenna for hours trying to obtain a strong signal.

That does not strike us as a restful vacation.

The Number Of Satellites Being Monitored At Any One Moment.

An antenna that can monitor more than one satellite at a time could be right for you if you’re big on keeping up on the news back home or simply want additional channel selections.

This means your antenna can monitor numerous satellites at the same time, enabling you to see content from multiple satellites at the same time.

Supported Number Of Receivers

If RVing is a family habit, getting a satellite TV antenna that supports multiple receivers can help your kids or relatives adjust to life on the road.

This implies that your adolescent daughter may record her favorite program in her room while her parents watch the news in the living room.

Internet, Cellphone, And Television Companies Were All On Board.

Make sure the satellite dish you choose is compatible with the service provider you’ve chosen.

Most dishes are multi-provider compatible, such as the Winegard Roadtrip T4, which can be used with both DISH and DIRECTV.

However, we’ve encountered several that only work with one supplier in the past, so it’s worth investigating.

Similarly, cellular hotspot devices will almost certainly be restricted to a few carriers.

The ZTE Velocity, for example, is limited to GSM networks such as AT&T and T-Mobile.

So, if you have a CDMA carrier like Sprint or Verizon, you won’t be able to use the internet on your Velocity.

Published on

Written by Bob Matsuoka
Bob Matsuoka is a blogger and founder of RVing Beginner blog. He has been blogging for over five years, writing about his own family’s RV adventures, tips for people who are interested in buying an RV or taking their family on an adventure by RV.