What Will RVers Pay for Reliable Internet? 

Online Survey Offers Insights into Internet Usage at the Campsite

Image Caption: Image Courtesy of Barish Baur/Getty

A recent online survey provides interesting insights into how RVers use their internet connections while on the road. RV-centric website Outdoor Miles asked readers about their internet usage, including how they connect and what services they use while traveling. The results were somewhat surprising, including the fact that most were willing to pay extra for their own service rather than rely on Wi-Fi provided by the RV park.

More than 80 percent of those who responded to the survey indicated that a reliable internet connection was very important to them while RVing.

When asked if they would be willing to pay extra for such a service, 86 percent said yes. However, the survey-takers disagreed somewhat on how much they would spend, with 32.6 percent saying they would pay $30/month, while 37.2 percent would go as high as $50/month. Some (9.3 percent) were willing to shell out as much as $75/month, while 7 percent said they would pay over $100/month for fast and reliable internet.

rv internet

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The respondents also had different expectations of what defined adequate internet speeds while camping. Nearly 33 percent felt that 10-25 megabits per second (Mbps) was plenty fast for their needs, while 22.4 percent were holding out for 25-50 Mbps. Over 16 percent were satisfied with just 5-10 Mbps, while 14.3 percent wanted 50 Mbps or faster.

Meanwhile, 14.3 percent of those who took the Outdoor Miles survey were just happy to have an internet connection at all.

Despite free wireless internet growing in popularity as an RV Park amenity, just 9.1 percent of those who took the survey relied on the campground for a Wi-Fi connection. Most indicated that they paid extra for a dedicated mobile hotspot (47.7 percent) or used their smartphone as a hotspot (40.9 percent) instead. Over half of respondents said they had a dedicated cellular plan they used mainly while camping.

One respondent subscribes to satellite internet through Starlink.

rv internet

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Jose Prieto/Getty

The survey results indicated that RVers have a wide range of uses for their internet connections. Streaming video (29.2 percent), email and communication (18 percent), and surfing the web (16.9 percent) were all common activities. Twenty-six percent indicated working remotely was their primary use—a number that has likely risen during the pandemic.

Uploading photos and videos, playing online games, and connecting smart devices were also cited as top needs for a reliable internet connection.

Most of those who responded to the survey are very experienced RVers, with 65.3 percent saying that they live in their RV full-time or take several extended—defined as a week or longer—trips each year. The rest fell into three categories; those who go camping once per month (18.4 percent), on most weekends (12.2 percent), or just once or twice per year (4.1 percent).

Outside Miles also asked what type of RV the respondents used, with most (51 percent) camping in a travel trailer.

For further insights into RV internet usage, check out the rest of the survey on the Outdoor Miles website.

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