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Do RV Cell Phone Boosters Really Work?

| Updated Jun 20, 2023

Are RV cell phone boosters too good to be true or are they worth the investment? Here's what you need to know.

Most of us want good cellular reception even when we are off the grid. That is especially true for those that work from the road. Or for those folks that want to keep in touch with friends and family that are back home. 

A cell phone booster is a great way to enhance your cellular service from the road. However, they are not perfect, and there are things that you will want to consider before running out and buying one. 

Do RV Cell Phone Boosters Really Work?

While cell phone boosters can work wonders, they are not all created equal. Nor do not work equally in certain areas. 

Before getting a cell phone booster, read the following about whether RV cell phone boosters really work. 

What is an RV Cellular Booster? 

An RV cellular booster is a useful device that boosts the cellular signal of your mobile device. Whether it is your tablet, smartphone, mobile hotspot, or a cellular embedded router. 

It works by utilizing an antenna that is more powerful and more well-placed than the one inside your cellular devices. 

Using a booster can help magnify the signal inside your RV. A stronger signal can give you a more reliable internet connection and a better battery life for your device. It can also decrease your dropped calls, and provide faster data speeds. 

With all that being said, RV cellular boosters are not perfect. There are things to consider before making your purchase. Things that are both in and out of your control can affect the performance of your cellular booster. 

If you work from your RV, you will most definitely want to look into purchasing an RV cellular booster. In that case, here are the 7 Best RV Cell Phone Boosters. But you'll still want to know the tips below.

Things That Can Affect a Cell Booster

cell phone boosters
Check your location.

From location and time of day to antenna length, there are several things that can affect your RV cellular phone booster. While they can be lifesavers on the road, you will want to consider your upcoming trips before making your purchase. 


One of the most important factors in your RV cellular booster strength is location. That is because many different terrain factors can inhibit the booster’s strength. 

Things like atmospheric conditions, trees, or other obstructions, can affect the booster’s ability to grab those signals. 

Even small changes, such as different campsites can make a difference. 

But this is not all bad news. If it is imperative that you have good booster strength, test it out when you arrive at your destination. 

You can try to change the location of your campsite if necessary. 

Or if you are boondocking, try out the signal and then move your RV a ways to see if it changes. 

Another thing to consider is where you mount your booster. If one location does not boast great results, you may want to consider mounting it somewhere else for better future use. 

Time of Day

cell phone boosters
What time of day is it?

Another factor that can influence how well your RV cellular booster works is the time of day. That is because your booster is connecting to a cellular tower and network provider. And they have limited capacity. 

During the times of day when lots of users are trying to connect, there is high competition for bandwidth. The towers can get overly used, and still produce a strong, but unstable, signal. Just because you have lots of bars does not necessarily mean you will have excellent service. 

Fringe Areas Provide the Best Booster Coverage

it will be harder to find great boondocking spots in your RV - best cell phone boosters
Find great boondocking spots.

Boondocking, dispersed camping, or remote camping goes by many different names. No matter what you want to call it, this is where an RV cellular booster will provide the best service. 

This happens to work very well for Jennifer and me since this is exactly the camping that we enjoy most!

These locations are oftentimes right on the edge of cell service. You may find that your phone begins to waffle or jump between different signal strengths. This is where a booster can really enhance your coverage. 

Of course, the further you get away from any cellular towers, the harder it will become for your booster to work properly. But locations that are in this fringe area can do wonders for your connectivity. 

The great thing is that if you are boondocking, you can move around a little to find the “sweet spot” of coverage. Then set up camp there for a while. Working from a gorgeous, off-the-grid location can be fantastic if you have the coverage you need.

Cell Phone Boosters Antenna Height

This may seem logical, but taller antennas can work better than shorter ones. 

That is because obstructions can be an issue for your connectivity. The taller the antenna, the less those obstructions can get in the way. 

You may want to consider using an external antenna pole to get a stronger signal. 

Properly Place Your Internal Antenna

When installing the internal booster antenna, think about the right spot to place it.

You will want to be able to have the antenna near your mobile device for the best results. It is a good idea to place your mobile hotspot device closest to the booster, which can then be connected to your other devices. That way it provides a hotspot throughout your RV site. 

Camping Near Major Highways or Cities

Populated areas usually provide very good and reliable cellular strength. If you are staying in campgrounds around major cities or routes, then a cellular booster may not provide much benefit to you. 

Using Cell Phone Boosters to Help with Navigation

While there are many offline navigation services out there, some people prefer to use Google maps. Or GPS coordinates to locate remote campsites. 

Having a booster can help you keep your mobile signal strong while navigating places off the beaten path. Instead of losing all service as you drive down that forest road, use the booster to help guide you safely to your location. 

Finding a Cell-Tower Location

Finding a cellular tower is not always easy to do, especially in areas where there is a lot of terrain or trees that can obstruct your view. 

An easy way to locate cell towers is by using an app, such as:

Most provide a map of the area you are in, which allows you to find the closest cell towers. You can then point your antenna toward that tower to get the strongest signal. 

What are Your Solution for cell phone boosters?

Let us know in the comments.

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Do RV Cell Phone Boosters Really Work? 1

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Mike Wendland

Published on 2022-01-02

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

7 Responses to “Do RV Cell Phone Boosters Really Work?”

January 06, 2022at7:45 am, Riley OCallaghan said:

I just bought the weboost drive from best buy, since it was the only one available, and I believe it’s a generation or two old already, but it does seem to be doing its job and what I was initially disappointed by has turned out to be a boon. I initially was trying to install it all, booster, interior antenna, and exterior antenna, permanently, but I ran into problems with wire length, but believe that was actually fortuitous, because now I’m using it as needed and flexibly, placing the antenna on one side in one circumstance and another in another. I have a tent pole that I intend to use, when needed, but so far, just moving the antennas around is getting me enough to be workable.


January 03, 2022at8:03 am, 7 Best RV Cellular Boosters for 2022 said:

[…] Do you need to read through a little more of a How-To post about the best RV cellular boosters? Here you go. […]


January 02, 2022at1:16 pm, Skip McHardy said:

A good article but I’ve found so much more important info to understand before purchasing. There are differences in the ohms of the devices which affect the performance, different antennas (directional perform much better but have to be dialed in to the tower) and the cable, cable length and connectors are unique and affect dB loss. Installation is not like running cable tv coax at all. The good thing is the boosters and antennas keep getting better and the big companies that sell them have great technical service and support.


January 02, 2022at12:52 pm, Bill Azzarello said:

Good article but do you have any recommendations on which one is better than the other?


January 04, 2022at1:20 pm, Jim Langley said:

Hi Bill,
I’m not an all knowing cellphone booster expert, but I do have a fair bit of experience using them. I worked out of my RV while driving and camping across the USA and relied on them. I use a Verizon JetPack wifi device and an iPhone to get online. In most of the USA if you’re on highways I found you’ll have a cell signal and not need a booster. But, when you’re in the country or away from cities you can have such a weak signal, you can’t get online. For these times, I bought a Wilson Sleek booster in 2013. Even though it was only about $100, it worked quite well for me when I desperately needed to get online for work – even on Antelope Island outside Salt Lake City where I had barely a half a bar signal. But in November of 2021, after seeing RV with Tito’s review on YouTube, I upgraded to the WeBoost Drive RV booster. I believe WeBoost is Wilson’s new name. Their newest booster is now $500 so a lot more than the old one I had. The biggest difference is the improved antenna and the fact that you don’t have to put your iPhone or the JetPack into a booster cradle like you did with the old one. The cradle just keeps the iPhone or JetPack touching the signal amplifier. With the Drive RV booster there’s a separate interior antenna and you just need to put your iPhone or JetPack near that antenna. I have now used this new booster in several places where I could not get any internet before, and it has worked nicely convincing me that it was worth the money. I hope this is helpful.
Jim Langley


January 02, 2022at8:36 am, Dan Loyd said:

Re: cell phone boosters ‘TIME OF DAY’ section. We have not run into many problems at all in the day time hours, most of the problems happen after 5pm-6pm when people are streaming TV, video or using apps like Zoom and eat up tons of band width. Just our observation, very good article, thank you.


September 18, 2023at2:52 pm, Barbara Wiborg said:

I agree! Evenings after 4pm up til midnight are the worst times to get online.


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