Starlink

Over the last few years I have chosen campsites that meet certain criteria. I like a level, quiet spot, close to town for supplies, and plenty of sun to run my solar system. Sometimes I have to compromise on these things. I can’t always find a level campsite, and parking in forests, though beautiful, can block out solar.   I have camped in very rugged, isolated places over the years, but there is one thing I now look for in a new camp more than any other, and that’s cell signal. 

Cell signal is my entertainment, my communication with family, and my safety if something goes wrong. I use it to navigate, bank, check what’s going on in the world, and get the latest weather. I’m sure parts of it are an addiction, but it provides a lot of positive good in my life, too. 

When I changed my cellular service to Visible, it improved my lifestyle greatly. Visible offers unlimited data and unlimited hotspot all on the Verizon network. When I’m in a strong cell area I was happy with the way it performed. Even though the hotspot was limited I was still able to stream video in many locations. I thought it would be the answer to all my data needs, and at only $25 a month, a bargain to boot. 

After a year with Visible I realize it has several limitations for me. I camp in Quartzsite a lot in the winter and so do thousand or other people. With that many people hitting the Verizon tower, the service is spotty at best and nothing most of the time. Many of my favorites summer camps up on the Mongolian Rim are out of cell range and so are other places along the way north. When Donna and I tried to get a campsite around Payson, we explored many spots and couldn’t find a good signal anywhere near there. 

When I started reading about RVers switching to Starlink satellite internet, I couldn’t resist pulling the trigger and jumping on board. I’m hoping I didn’t shoot myself in the foot or jump on a sinking ship!  The reason RVers are turning to Starlink is because they opened up roaming connections. Before this you had to have a service address to activate the satellite. If you changed your location it was a hassle to find another open area and move your address to it.  Now the satellite antenna finds where you are and automatically moves you there. The one drawback is if the area is full of people that have already bought service in that area, you are put below them in priority and may get slower speeds. 

Router

It’s expensive. The system you have to purchase up front is $600 and the monthly service is $110. The only way I can justify the expense is that I don’t travel as much now and I save way more than that filling this motorhome with gas. The other drawback is that you have to have an open sky to find satellites. I traveled with a Directv satellite dish for a few years but that connected to geostationary satellites and as long as you had a hole through the trees it would lock on to the signal. Starlink uses low earth orbit satellites that are always moving across the sky. The antenna has to find them as they pass overhead and lock on to the signal.

The Starlink antenna and router arrived at Daryl’s on Sunday and the whole family met there on Monday to see it set up. Even though we were in an area that is not open to new customers, we were still seeing speeds over 100 Mbps downloads. That’s enough to do anything I ever want to do. 

Today I traveled north from Tempe in search of cooler weather. It is 86° here in Rye where I’m camped and the Phoenix area is 100°.   I’ll move even high in the coming days because it will get hot here too. The satellite antenna was easy to set up and I’m getting very good speeds. I’ll post an update later after I have used the system and become more familiar with it. 

5 Responses to “Starlink”

  1. Don says:

    IRI, and it was good.

  2. Daryl says:

    Your little home is so cool with all of its tech!

  3. Richard says:

    IRI

  4. Donna says:

    This is a game changer for you. You have all the comforts of a stationary home now.

  5. RV John says:

    Hey, you are the first person I know that has gotten Starlink, I’m looking forward to seeing how it does for you!

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