Starlink, the satellite internet service from SpaceX, is now available for RVs and other large vehicles that frequently change location.
According to Elon Musk, this service will not work with cars as the antenna is too large. The Starlink website does, however, show a camper van as part of the marketing material.
Unlike previous satellite internet options, Starlink utilizes low-orbit satellites that, coupled with other technological wizardry, result in low-latency performance.
Starlink is also blazingly fast and is offered without data caps.
Starlink for RV service is being offered with “as needed” plans that users can start and stop on a monthly basis. Hardware costs $599 upfront while monthly service costs $135. Some people will no doubt complain about the costs, but it is an absolute bargain for those who are digital nomads and accustomed to paying hefty fees for wireless internet that is required for their jobs or businesses.
According to the Starlink website:
“Starlink for RVs is ideal for customers traveling to locations where connectivity has been unreliable or completely unavailable.
“Users can expect high speed, low latency internet in areas marked ‘Available’, and notably slower speeds during hours of peak usage in areas marked as ‘Waitlist’ or during events with many collocated users.
“Starlink for RVs is not designed for use while in motion.”
This service potentially opens up many opportunities for digital nomads who have previously been tethered to cell towers.
Starlink is still launching satellites and building out its network. As a result there are places where it will work better and places where it will not work as well if at all.
The western US where I spend most of my time has very good coverage, but other areas are still much more limited.
Starlink for RVs is NOT designed for use while in motion. This is intended to be a system that you can deploy while parked as you move around the world to different locations. This system should work with any larger vehicle (land or water) - not just RVs.
Starlink is already working with at least one airline to provide satellite internet service aboard planes. This suggests that the technology to provide satellite internet to moving vehicles is possible, but it is not clear from this anecdote whether Starlink may eventually make this option available to RVers, truckers, or boaters as well.
Starlink for RVs reportedly ships immediately and includes everything you need to get connected. You will need a clear view of the sky - trying to connect from a forest or city with nearby tall buildings may present challenges.
Website: Starlink for RVs