Getting Better Cell Phone Signal in Your RV

Getting Better Cell Phone Signal in Your RV

Written By Alejandra Jasso
10th Jun 2021
Getting Better Cell Phone Signal in Your RV

Enhance Cellular Coverage Inside Your RV

Many people dream about owning an RV, and if you’re here then you’re one of the lucky ones who was able to fulfill that dream. You have the ability to travel anywhere you want whenever you have time, camp in the most beautiful locations without needing to stay in expensive cabins or hotels, or even live in your RV full-time (which can be cheaper than living in a house).

While there are so many benefits to owning an RV, reliable cellular signal is not one of them. More often than not, you’ll find yourself camping or driving through areas with poor cellular reception. This leads to dropped calls from family, friends, clients, and co-workers, unsent text messages, and excruciatingly slow internet that will make working from your RV seem impossible.

Fortunately, there are ways to enhance your cellular service on the road AND rural campgrounds!

We offer complete cell phone signal booster kits for any situation:
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Take advantage of our system design and installation services. Learn more or call us for a free consultation: 1-800-969-8189.

Why do RVers Face Cell Phone Signal Challenges?

Three simple reasons:

  1. Cell Tower Distance – The farther cell signal has to travel to reach your mobile devices, the weaker the signal becomes.
  2. Outside Interferences – Things like trees, hills, mountains, and tall buildings reflect or block cellular signal waves, preventing your devices from receiving adequate reception.
  3. RVs Building Material – Insulation, energy-efficient barriers, glass, and metal can prevent cellular signal waves from penetrating your RV, leading to poor cell service inside.

One or a combination of the three will negatively impact cell service inside your RV, making it difficult to stay connected while on vacation or working.

Improve Your Cellular Reception Anywhere with an RV Cell Phone Booster

Investing in a cell phone signal booster (also known as a cell phone repeater, amplifier, or extender) for your RV is the most reliable way of enhancing cellular reception inside your recreational vehicle while stationary or on the go. They are FCC-approved radio frequency (RF) enhancing devices designed to amplify 5G (with select models), 4G, LTE, and 3G signals for AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, and more. Some can amplify multiple carriers simultaneously, while others can only boost one carrier at a time. Not to mention, they will work with all mobile devices, including iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, mobile hotspots, etc.

As a result, you and your passengers will experience:

  • Superior coverage on multiple devices
  • Crystal-clear voice quality
  • Significantly less or zero dropped calls
  • Longer battery life
  • Faster data speeds to stream videos, browse the internet, use the GPS, video chat, and send/receive time-critical work emails

RV cell amplifiers are extremely versatile. They can be used with RVs of any class, campers, trailers, motorhomes, and even mobile homes.

How Do RV Signal Boosters Work?

First things first, RV signal amplifiers need existing cellular signal to work, even if it’s just one bar – they will NOT work in areas without an ounce of signal, also known as dead zones. Why? Signal boosters are designed to enhance existing 5G/4G/LTE/3G signals, not magically create them out of thin air.

To amplify your existing outside signal for superior talk, text, and data, they utilize:

  1. A Powerful Outdoor Antenna – Captures your existing weak outside signal and sends it to the amplifier via coaxial cables.
  2. An Amplifier – Significantly boosts the weak signal and directs it to the indoor antenna via more coaxial cables.
  3. An Indoor Antenna – Broadcasts the boosted signal inside your RV, camper, trailer, or motorhome.

The signal strength and coverage you receive from the repeater are directly correlated to the strength of your outside signal and the amplifier's gain.

What does this mean?

All cellular boosters have a maximum amount of amplification, known as gain, due to FCC regulations, which help prevent cell boosters from being too powerful and potentially damaging the network.

Cell phone signal strength ranges from -50 dBm (full bars) to -120 dBm (dead zone) -- dBm (decibel milliwatts) is a unit of measurement used to accurately define cell phone signal strength.

The gain of the booster system helps get your cell phone signal strength closer to -50 dBm. Depending on the type of RV signal booster, maximum gain is usually +50 dB for mobile RV boosters or +65 dB for stationary RV boosters.

In a not so perfect but perfect world, your cell phone signal strength would improve by the booster's maximum amplification capabilities. So, if the signal strength of your outside signal is -100 dBm (about 2 bars of service) and your RV signal booster’s maximum gain is +50 dB, you'd be in the -50 dBm range (-100 + 50 = -50) with 5 bars of services and maximum coverage.

However, that is not the case in the real world. If the signal outside your RV is extremely weak, gain levels will naturally be lower than +50 dB because your existing cellular signal is not strong enough for the booster to reach its maximum potential. For that reason, you’ll likely experience reduced coverage inside your RV and only see an increase of 1-2 bars. The opposite is true in areas with decent to strong cell reception – stronger outside signal leads to stronger boosted signal and wider coverage.

What Types of RV Cell Phone Boosters are There?

As mentioned earlier there are two types of cellular boosters for RVs. Some can ONLY be used while stationary, and others can be used while driving AND stationary (known as mobile RV boosters). The main difference between the two, aside from gain, is the type of antennas they use.

Stationary Boosters for RVs

Stationary RV signal amplifiers are basically home cell phone signal boosters modified for recreational vehicles. They utilize powerful Yagi directional antennas and panel antennas (also directional) for maximum signal boost and coverage.

Directional antennas are designed to send and receive radio frequency waves in one direction. This allows outdoor antennas to reach faraway cell towers and indoor antennas to cover a larger area. Paring the two together makes stationary RV systems perfect for vacationing and camping in rural areas where cell signal is extremely weak due to tower distance.

Yagi directional antennas can only be used while stationary because the antenna has to constantly point in the direction of the nearest cell tower. It can’t be any cell tower though; it has to be a cell tower that is powered by your carrier. Panel antennas, on the other hand, are the standard antennas used with stationary RV units, but if purchased separately, they can also be used with mobile RV units.

In addition, stationary booster kits include a 25-foot telescoping pole and mounting brackets that can easily be attached to the side of your RV. You’d mount the outdoor Yagi antenna to the pole and extend the pole as high as needed to capture the strongest cellular signal available. The 25-foot telescoping pole helps mitigate outdoor interferences and maximize the antenna's line of sight with the closest cell tower.

Here are our top 2 stationary RV cellular amplifiers:

weBoost Destination RV

The weBoost Destination RV is the most powerful cell signal extender for RVs, campers, trailers, mobile homes, and motorhomes. It features up to +65 dB gain (the maximum allowed by the FCC for stationary vehicle boosters), with up to +21 dBm uplink and +12 dBm downlink. Its high gain and output powers allow for superior cellular signal boost anywhere for up to 4 cellular devices at a time. No more dropped calls or sluggish internet while traveling or working. The Destination RV will work best in large RVs since adequate antenna separation is needed for optimal performance, but will work with any size RV.

weBoost Connect RV 65

The weBoost Connect RV 65 is the Destination RV’s predecessor; it’s not as powerful but is still extremely reliable. Like the Destination RV, it also features up to +65 dB of gain and is capable of communicating with faraway cell towers. Under perfect conditions, it's strong enough to blanket your entire RV with reliable signal. As long as both antennas are adequately separated and facing away from each other, the Connect RV 65 will work with RVs of any size, campers, trailers, as well as homes were installing an antenna on the roof is frowned upon.

Mobile Boosters for RVs

Unlike stationary ONLY units, mobile RV units utilize outdoor and indoor omni-directional antennas. These antennas are designed to send and receive radio frequency waves from every direction.

With an omni outdoor antenna, you don’t have to take the time to find your carrier's closest tower and aim the antenna every time you change locations – just set it and forget it. Because the antenna doesn’t have to constantly point at a cell tower, you and your passengers will experience significantly fewer dropped calls and faster data while driving through rural roads AND while camping.

Keep in mind, though, that since omni antennas don’t focus all of their power in one direction, they are not as powerful as directional antennas. However, they are still great performers in remote and urban locations. In areas with poor cell reception, you and your passengers may need to be closer to the indoor antenna for better service.

Here are our top 5 mobile RV cellular amplifiers:

Cel-Fi GO M

The Cel-Fi GO M is by far the most powerful mobile RV signal booster. Unlike all other RV boosters mentioned here, the GO M is a carrier-specific amplifier, meaning it can only amplify one carrier at a time. This allows it to feature gains up to +65 dBm – the same as a stationary RV booster. As a result, regardless of your location, you’ll receive superior in-door coverage with this unit. The kit includes a magnet mount outdoor antenna and a low-profile indoor antenna rather than a hard mount outdoor omni antenna and an indoor desktop antenna. The included components make it 10x easier to install. In addition, you can register the booster, change the carrier that’s being boosted, monitor performance, switch from mobile use to stationary use for more power (up to 100 dB gain), and so much more through the Cel-Fi WAVE App. It’s ideal for large RVs, but will work with all RV classes, cars, trucks, and other vehicles.

weBoost Drive Reach RV

The weBoost Drive Reach RV is the most powerful multi-carrier RV booster yet. It offers the maximum gain allowed by the FCC for units in its class, up to +50 dB, as well as increased output powers of up to +28.7 dBm uplink and +5.1 dBm downlink. When compared to other in its class, it could reach cell towers located twice as far and deliver twice the signal strength due to its powerful amplification abilities. It’s definitely a no brainer for those who want better coverage while driving through the most rural of roads or parked in the most rural of campsites.

weBoost Drive X RV

The weBoost Drive X RV is an exceptional performer in urban, suburban, and some rural roads and campgrounds. It showcases up to +50 dB gain with an average of +23.7 dBm uplink and +2.43 dBm downlink. This allows the unit to communicate with relatively faraway towers to deliver the strongest cell signal possible throughout most of your RV for better talk, text, and data. It's great for those who have a Class B camper as it should cover most of the interior space, but can be used for Class A, Class C, and towable trailers as well.

HiBoost Travel 4G 2.0 RV

The HiBoost Travel 4G 2.0 is a relatively inexpensive yet powerful recreational vehicle repeater. With gains up to +50 dB and powerful output powers (up to +22 uplink and +10 downlink), it will definitely enhance 4G/LTE/3G signals on rural, suburban, and urban roads or campsites. In addition, it features the Signal Supervisor App. Through the app, you’re able to monitor performance, optimize your antennas, troubleshoot, and more.

SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 RV

The SureCall Fusion2Go 3.0 is guaranteed to deliver reliable voice and data – no more dropped client calls or sluggish video calls. It offers up to +50 dB with self-optimizing technology for the constant uptime of dependable signal. This unit is slightly different than others as it includes an inside omni whip antenna rather than a desktop omni antenna. The whip antenna attaches directly to the amplifier for a faster and easier installation.

Which RV Cellular Booster is Best for You?

If you tend to stay in one location numerous days and don’t mind having spotty service on the road, then a stationary RV unit might be the best option for you. They take about 30 minutes to install and about 10 minutes to re-mount and unmount the necessary equipment every time you change locations. Even though you are guaranteed better signal while stationary, it can get quite annoying for those who constantly change locations.

On the other hand, if you want better coverage while driving and while parked, a mobile RV booster is the best option.

Need Help Choosing an RV Cell Phone Booster?

Signal Boosters is a leading provider of home, commercial, and mobile signal boosters. We specialize in consumer-friendly kits as well as customized RF systems for cellular, public safety two-way radio, DAS, and WiFi.

We’re here to assist with any issues you might be experiencing with poor cell phone reception at home, work, or on the go. Contact us today, or call us at 18004706777.

Interested in Learning More? Check Out Our Cellular Info Hub / WiFi Info Hub

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