Starlink for RV use is now available and taking Internet connectivity to new levels for those who work from the road. But not always.
- 1 Starlink for RV use is now available and taking Internet connectivity to new levels for those who work from the road. But not always.
- 2 Starlink for RV travel is rapidly growing
- 3 Mobile Roaming for Starlink is THE potential gamechanger
- 4 What do we know about Mobile Roaming for Starlink?
- 5 Is it time to order Starlink?
- 6 Even without Starlink mobile roaming it will be helpful
- 7 What is Starlink Premium?
- 8 What do you think about Starlink?
- 9 Mike and Jennifer’s Official Summer T-Shirts for you to explore
****IMPORTANT UPDATE: Starlink no longer offers Residential Portability. This big change is one of Starlink’s broken promises and other disappointments with Starlink.**
The massive constellation of low orbiting satellites being launched by Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) each month has been recently been switched on for RV mobile use for several months now.
Alas, the result of several months of use is a mixed bag. Good to have for many. Awesome for some. It appears location is the differentiating factor.
In a March 3, 2022 tweet, Musk himself announced, saying: “Mobile roaming enabled, so phased array antenna can maintain signal while on moving vehicle.”
The tweet came at about the same time Musk announced that he had sent Starlink communications gear to help Ukraine stay connected to the Internet as Russia continued to attack its infrastructure. So the mobile roaming tweet didn’t get noticed much by mainstream media.
But RVers sure noticed it and have been quick to see if that upgrade was working. And as we report in RV Podcast 387 this week, some RVers are discovering that it is!
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Starlink for RV travel is rapidly growing
As we noted in the podcast, a handful of very visible RVers have been experimenting with Starlink for the better part of a year now. Many bought residential – fixed location systems – and then used the Starlink app to change their locations as they traveled across the country.
Sometimes, the area they tried to activate was closed because it was either oversubscribed or it just wasn’t serviced by the satellites yet. Those areas are constantly changing, though, as SpaceX continues putting new satellites into orbit with rocket launches. Those launches have been putting from 60 to 120 new Starling satellites into service almost monthly and pretty much all of the U.S. and much of Canada is now covered.
Here’s an excellent report about Starlink for RV travelers from Mark Quido of Grand Adventure that shows the often painstaking task nomadic RVers have in of finding open areas as they travel:
As you can see, changing your location and finding an open Starlink cell is often a hit or miss proposition. Doable. But annoying.
Then came the March 3 announcement from Elon Musk that mobile roaming is available.
Mobile Roaming for Starlink is THE potential gamechanger
Shortly after that tweet. Marcus Tuck, a UK overlander touring North America in an Iveco Daily 4 x 4 and an early Starlink user, went to his Starling app and, sure enough, found that it now read that roaming was true, or enabled. On his Tuck’s Trucks blog, he detailed his efforts to see if his Starlink dish antenna could be made to work on the roof of his 4 x 4 while in motion
Read his blog post for the details on the DIY adjustments he had to make but the answer was… yes.
With Tuck’s post, another Starlink user and the creator of the MikeOnSpace YouTube Channel, also saw his roaming feature had been switched on. He quickly fashioned a custom mount for the antenna – which Starlink calls Dishy- and affixed it to the roof of his car. Then he took off with Starlink connected…at speeds up to 80 mph.
Here’s his video:
Since then, there have been numerous other reports from Starlink customers who noticed, they too, had roaming on.
What do we know about Mobile Roaming for Starlink?
Alas, not every Starlink customer has that feature enabled.
It appears Starlink is rolling it out on a limited basis.
Some users who checked after seeing the reports above, initially found roaming still listed as false on their app. But then, a few days later, they found it listed as true.
Starlink is not releasing a lot of information about this. Just as certain parts of the country are not available for new subscribers, Starlink is being very selective in turning it on for everyone at the same time.
Is it time to order Starlink?
It is for me. I ordered my system a couple of days ago. My Michigan home cell is oversubscribed and will only take reservations on a waiting list (for a $99 deposit). Starlink displayed a note when I tried to order for that location advising me that it could take until 2023 for me to get service there.
I got the same note for our Tennessee property.
The area around my Florida condo, where we are now, was open and I immediately ordered a system ($500), which will be delivered less than a week after my order (see my shipping notice below).
I can’t wait.
Even without Starlink mobile roaming it will be helpful
As noted above, Starlink service can be activated for different parts of North America as we travel. If mobile roaming is not yet enabled for me, we can plan out our travels to visit areas where open Starlink cells are available. It’s perfectly fine to change my service address to such areas.
But I am reasonably confident that mobile roaming is soon coming.
Meantime, with its massively fast download speeds (250 Mbps) and routine upload speeds often exceeding 20 Mbps), Starlink will be the Internet service I have long dreamed of, especially when doing our frequent live Internet broadcasts from our travels.
I just need to be a little patient for full implementation.
What is Starlink Premium?
Recently on the Starlink website, a premium service has been featured. Said to start shipping in the second quarter of 2022, it will offer more than double the antenna capability of Starlink and faster Internet speeds than the current basic service.
Premium service will cost $500 a month, though, compared to the $99 service for regular users.
The premium service will certainly appeal to commercial users, i.e. think trucking fleets.
Many speculate that the upgraded antenna will specifically be capable for in-motion use.
Those experimenters whose videos we show above did some tweaking and adjusting of the standard dishy antenna to make it work for them. Without those adjustments, the standard antennas would have had difficulty in motion.
Personally, I can’t justify $500 a month for service.
But if I can get mobile roaming so that, wherever I go my system will connect, I will truly be a happy camper.
What do you think about Starlink?
As I said, the system has now been used by enough RVers to convince me that it’s time to order.
How about you? Use the comments below to share your thoughts.
Meantime, stay tuned. I’ll document our experience when my system arrives.
May 28, 2022at1:39 pm, Marco V said:
Does Starlink work with 12 volts?
May 09, 2022at4:50 pm, Peggy Daniels said:
What would cost be to have starlink in my motorhome? Traveling Canada and US. Mainly usage for the wifi
May 11, 2022at10:08 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Hi Peggy – That would be a better question for Starlink directly. Mike and Jen don’t work for the company, rather are sharing their experiences, and wouldn’t want to quote you wrong. Happy Trails! Team RV Lifestyle
May 01, 2022at6:11 pm, Dale Beaty said:
SO how is it working? Have you traveled more than a couple miles away from your home address? Have you used any where outside of the state of Florida?
How do you overcome the 100 degrees of unobstructed view of the sky?
May 01, 2022at6:12 pm, Dale Beaty said:
Couple HUNDRED miles
May 03, 2022at10:36 am, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Hi Dale – Mike is using it as he camps around Michigan right now – more than 1,000 miles from where he tried it in Florida. He will be reporting more soon. Thanks for checking – Team RV Lifestyle
April 23, 2022at12:26 pm, RORY PRYOR said:
I live in northern Alberta, would a Starlink RV system work at the following GPS coordinates
54 degrees 39′ 11″ N 113 degrees 47′ 40″ W Thanks
April 23, 2022at12:29 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Hi Rory – Mike doesn’t work for the company so couldn’t properly answer that. Reach out to Starlink and see what they say – Mike is still experimenting with his as he travels around camping. Team RV Lifestyle
May 01, 2022at6:13 pm, Dale Beaty said:
You would need to go to the Starlink website enter an address to see if you can get it.
April 22, 2022at5:16 pm, Ron Havasubart said:
We ordered ours in March after the announcement and had it 2 weeks later. We have used it at 3 different locations without any issues. We use it mostly for steaming and browsing. We also have our Ring alarm/cams running on it. It has been much better than park Wi-Fi or cellular.
April 23, 2022at12:28 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Thanks for sharing! It is helpful to hear how it is working for other RVers out there — Team RV Lifestyle
May 01, 2022at6:07 pm, Dale Beaty said:
Where was the 3 different locations? 100 miles from home? 200 miles? 500 miles?
April 09, 2022at6:46 pm, Jessica Rankin said:
How do we get it.
April 12, 2022at2:06 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
You would need to contact Starlink. (Mike and Jen do not have any relationship with the company.) Team RV Lifestyle
April 08, 2022at5:01 pm, Adam Cain said:
So how did you setup go? I just received mine and am away from the service address..haven’t been able to connect/ finalize setup. So I wonder for those of you that HAVE setup at home, have you successfully connected to a fresh link OUTSIDE your service area?
April 09, 2022at12:19 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Hi Adam – Mike and Jen will have more soon. They have been busy with some other things but are planning to travel farther and experiment more with it soon. So far they have been impressed, and did a Facebook live shot not too long ago showing people how it worked. But there will be more coming. Team RV Lifestyle
May 02, 2022at11:08 am, E Skinner said:
Has to be initially set up where you said the service would be then can change
March 20, 2022at2:30 pm, Erik Ernst said:
When you ordered the Starlink, could you use one address as a service address and have it shipped elsewhere or does it have to ship to service address? Thanks.
March 22, 2022at2:56 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Good question, but probably best to ask Starlink directly. Since Mike was in Florida and could get it to the Florida address, went that route. Thanks for asking – Team RV Lifestyle
April 20, 2022at1:23 am, Tom Hart said:
You can order for the service address, then have it shipped to another address.
March 20, 2022at11:15 am, Rosemary Yull said:
Is there a home version too so we can eliminate current telecommunications providers like AT&T or xfinity ? Great report thanks for update.
March 22, 2022at2:53 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Hi Rosemary – that is probably a better question for Starlink – wouldn’t want to steer you wrong. Thanks for the note! Team RV Lifestyle
March 17, 2022at2:46 am, M Marie Mcvey said:
I think that the equipment is $500 up front, and then $99mo. [Link deleted]
March 16, 2022at10:03 am, Alice Sabatini said:
I’ve been in the waiting list for a while. I’m very interested and can’t wait for delivery!
March 17, 2022at1:46 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Mike is excited, too! Hope yours arrives soon – Team RV Lifestyle
March 16, 2022at9:43 am, Steve Dodd said:
We’ve had our Starlink system for a few days now, after waiting almost a year. Our current Internet is through a Centurylink 8MB DSL connection. That is the only option we have. When the Starlink system arrived, it took me about 10 minutes to physically set it up but it took about 30 minutes for it to connect to the satellites. Not a problem, because the system did all the work. Starlink connection is about 10x faster and WiFi signal seems to be stronger in the house. So far very pleased.
March 17, 2022at1:45 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
Hi Steve – thanks for sharing your experience! Very interesting and helpful to hear — Team RV Lifestyle
March 16, 2022at8:56 am, Douglas Murdock said:
Thinking seriously about it.
March 17, 2022at1:44 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:
It is interesting. Mike will have more to say after his arrived. Team RV Lifestyle
March 16, 2022at7:43 am, John Gahn said:
Highly interested if cost isn’t too high.
Please send info on what we would need to connect
March 16, 2022at8:38 am, Mike Wendland said:
The link to order Starlink is https://starlink.com. I ordered Sunday night. On Wednesday I got a notice that it had shipped and would be delivered the following Monday.