Starlink for RVs: A Complete Starlink Mobile Review

Gregory Basham
Jan 24, 2024
Icon Time To Read14 min read

Starlink Roam recently changed its name to Starlink Mobile, its second name change since it was originally called Starlink RV. But whatever name Starlink gives this product, it’s a portable internet option that shouldn’t be ignored.

Whether you’re an RV user who can’t miss streaming the big game, or you’re checking in on family via video call, Starlink Mobile offers satellite internet connectivity for when you’re out on the road.

Starlink Mobile’s Regional and Global Roaming plans do come with some drawbacks, though. Its mobile service plan won’t connect you while you’re in motion (unless you invest in the expensive plans of Starlink Mobile Priority; more on that below), and the monthly subscription plans and required hardware purchases are more costly than mobile hotspots. But we’ve got you covered in weighing the pros and cons to help you determine what’s right for you.

Starlink Roam plans

Like we mentioned earlier, Starlink Roam is technically a service under the umbrella of Starlink Mobile now, along with its related but more expensive sister service, Starlink Mobile Priority. Starlink still talks about these services with their old names, Starlink Roam and Starlink Mobility respectively, so be aware.

We’ve selected Starlink Roam’s portion of those service plans and broken them down for easy reference. Read on to all Starlink plans to learn more about Starlink Mobile Priority and its in-motion options.

Plan name
In-motion or stop to set up?
Mobile regional$150.00/mo.5–50MbpsUnlimited data, but lowest data priorityMust stop to setup
Mobile global$200/mo.25–100 MbpsUnlimited data, but lowest data priorityMust stop to setup

For the first 30 days, you’re given the option to test the service and see whether or not it’s worth the cost. After purchasing the set-up kit and first month’s subscription, a fixed satellite is shipped to you. You can cancel within 30 days, and so long as you send the set-up kit back undamaged, you’re reimbursed for it. There’s a retail fee penalty for damaged goods, so be sure to be extra careful with your borrowed hardware if you decide to go that route.

Where does Starlink Roam fit in with Starlink’s other plans?

SpaceX developed Starlink as an internet provider alternative to cable, fiber optic, and 5G internet. To offer home internet to out-of-the-way places, it uses low-earth orbit satellites to send a satellite beam down to a home receiver. Boom. Solid home internet that we ourselves have tested - and found could hold up to all our online work-from-home activities.

Starlink Roam works in a similar fashion to Starlink Standard, its residential home internet plan, except you can tap into Starlink’s network on the go. That’ll require a more expensive monthly fee, of course.

All Starlink plans and pricing

Fixed or mobile
Equipment fee
Starlink Standard$120.00/mo.25–100MbpsFixed$599.00
Starlink Priority$140.00–$500.00/mo.40–220MbpsFixed$2,500.00
Starlink Mobile (regional and global)$150.00–$200.00/mo.5–50MbpsMobile (stop to set up)$599.00–$2,500.00
Starlink Mobile Priority (50GB, 1TB, 5TB)$250.00–$5,000.00/mo.40–220MbpsMobile, in-motion use$2,500.00

Data as of 11/27/23. Plus hardware, shipping & handling fees, and tax. Fully refundable. Depending on location, some orders may take 6 months or more to fulfill.

As you can see, there’s lots of different Starlink service plans. Starlink Roam (you know, the RV one) belongs under the umbrella of Starlink Mobile. The difference between Mobile and Standard is that every Mobile plan allows you to beam internet to a changing location, whereas all Standard plans will only send a signal to a fixed location. It’s easiest to think of Standard as Starlink’s residential Wi-Fi service, if your residence isn’t on wheels, that is. 

Each service plan also falls into four separate Starlink data tiers. Starlink Mobility sits at the highest tier because it's got the fastest speed rating. After that, Starlink Priority has the second highest speeds, followed by Starlink Standard, and finally, Starlink Mobile Roam.

Roam’s the portable, stop-to-set-up, satellite internet service. It requires the least expensive monthly fee, but offers the lowest average internet speeds promised. Still, in our testing, we found it could surprise us by exceeding promised speeds at times.

screenshot of Starlink Roam speed test results

Screenshot of our Starlink Roam speed test, where we got only 21Mbps. Image credit: TJ Kolanko.

screenshot of Starlink Roam speed test with 80Mbps result

Screenshot of our next Starlink Roam speed test, where we got almost 80Mbps. Image credit: TJ Kolanko.

Starlink does offer unlimited mobile data inland with Mobile Regional, but we’ve discovered that they also implement data deprioritization, which means some its customers can experience weaker coverage and even slower speeds as the higher value customers, those paying for the larger, more expensive data packages (like Starlink Mobility 1TB) are prioritized. It doesn’t guarantee you will experience those slowed speeds, but it means you easily could.

You can consider investing in the more expensive tiers of Starlink Mobile for higher speeds (and/or global coverage) if your needs merit that, but keep in mind these expensive alternatives come with monthly data caps, so you’ll have to monitor your usage.

Starlink Roam customers have been complaining that their internet is now far too slow for the cost. That’s down to being deprioritized over higher data tiers. However, SpaceX is continuously working to minimize data deprioritization. As of October 2023, SpaceX was successful in launching 22 new satellites into their constellation with dozens more scheduled in the following months. The more Starlink satellites orbiting our earth, the better the internet speeds will be for all its users.

Starlink Standard (Residential) vs. Starlink Roam (Mobile)

Starlink Standard

sideways view of Starlink kit unpacked

Image credit: Mikayla Rivera

Starlink Mobile Regional

above shot of starlink mobile regional

Image credit: TJ Kolanko

Starlink Standard and Starlink Roam both require the same hardware kit, but they have different monthly subscription prices. Roam’s slightly more expensive monthly fee is down to requesting on-again-off-again service from alternating locations.

Also, both Standard and Roam users don’t have access to the more expensive in-motion hardware, as that’s now exclusive to Mobile Priority users. RV users won’t be able to use Roam for Wi-Fi when driving. Instead, you’ll have to power on your Starlink portable kit and get a connection whenever you decide to take a break from your travels. 

What does Starlink Roam cost?

Starlink Roam costs $150 a month. That’s $30 more than Starlink Residence every 30 days. But that’s not the only cost to get Starlink Roam up and running. You’ll also pay a one-time fee of $599 for the hardware that’s required to connect to the SpaceX satellites which beam down Starlink’s internet.

One big perk of Starlink Roam is the ability to pause your subscription. It’s pretty convenient, given how expensive Starlink for RVs is in comparison to some alternative mobile Wi-Fi options. Based on how many months out of the year you plan to use your RV, you can determine if Starlink for RVs will be cost efficient or not.

Starlink Mobile vs. Starlink Mobile Priority

Starlink Roam’s lowest subscription tier is titled Starlink Mobile. With Mobile, you get all the coverage of Starlink’s satellite constellation, including unlimited standard inland data, portability, and the ability to pause service. However, your speeds can be lower on average, and you won’t be able to use your Wi-Fi in motion.

Starlink Mobile Priority offers the potential for faster internet speeds than Mobile, but doesn’t come with unlimited standard data. Instead, you’ll get high-priority data with monthly limits. By investing in the high-priority data packages, which can range anywhere from $250-$5,000 per month depending how much monthly data you request, you’ll be entitled to the highest quality of internet Starlink has to offer. At the cap of whichever data limit you invest in, you’ll still get unlimited standard data service for the duration of that month.

Starlink Mobile is also less expensive than Starlink Mobile Priority because of the lower hardware costs. To get Starlink Mobile Priority up and running, you’ll need to purchase the $2,500 Flat High Performance Receiver. This is the satellite that’s capable of receiving a continuous signal while you’re in motion.

We recommend Mobile Priority only for maritime customers, emergency responders, and big business owners (think fleet of limousines) because of the plan’s expensive equipment and even more expensive monthly subscription packages.

Starlink Roam, on the other hand, is great for RV users who want to connect when they stop for the night (or, you know, lunch). That makes it well-positioned for full-time RVers and digital nomads who want a steady connection. But for the average vacationer, mobile hotspot options are less expensive per month, so we’d recommend looking into that before committing to the up-front equipment fee, even if you can pause the actual service.

Starlink Residential vs. Starlink Roam

Starlink Residential and Starlink Roam differ not only in cost, but also in the internet service offered.

Starlink Residential, or Starlink Standard as it’s now called, is only available for people who’re using their Wi-Fi in one fixed spot, like a lakehouse, or a cabin up in the mountains. Roam allows you to move with your internet and get connected at a new location every day. That’s why we like it for RV living.

There are several tiers of Starlink Roam to compare to, but we’ve broken down the variations so you can know what to expect.

Starlink Roam Internet Plan
Who it’s best for
View plans
Starlink Roam Regional$150.00/mo., $599.00 for equipmentUnlimited data


Service within the U.S. (depending on coverage map)
Campers, weekend RVers, retirees—
Starlink Roam Global$200.00/mo. plus equipment ($599.00 or $2,500.00)Unlimited data; opt-in to Mobile Priority data for $2/GB


Service in other countries and regions outside your continent (depending on coverage map)
International explorers—anyone who needs connectivity across multiple countries and regions.
Starlink Mobile Priority$250–$5,000/mo.
$2,500.00 for in-motion equipment (recommended)
50GB of Mobile Priority data, then unlimited standard data

220 Mbps

Service in other countries around the world (same as Starlink Roam: Global) depending on coverage map
Digital nomads, entrepreneurs and mobile businesses—anyone who needs high data bandwidth for constant productivity and connectivity while traveling.

For the ability to wander regionally or globally with internet coverage, Starlink Roam costs $30 to $80 more per month than Starlink Residential.

Every time you connect to Starlink, the company has to assign you access to a specific area of Starlink’s LEO constellation. Think of it this way: Being an RV internet customer is kind of like being a new customer every time you connect to the internet. Starlink has to cover the costs and complexity of all those little adjustments.

With more people drawing on Starlink satellites than ever before, and because Starlink has been prioritizing their Residential members, Starlink Roam users are dealing with the worst of the consequences.

Starlink Residential in its earlier stages used to be waitlisted to the general public. Now it’s opened up coverage throughout the US and seen an influx of usership. All these new users have placed a ton of demand on the network’s bandwidth, and that can really tax a network. That’s why as more Starlink Residential users request service, Starlink Roam users are getting the short end of the stick. So many new Residential accounts are occupying the bandwidth, slowing service to those who have Roam.

That’s not the optimal scenario for RV users based on how expensive Starlink Roam is. We still think it’s one of the best satellite options for RV users available, but not necessarily the best internet option point blank. For example, T-Mobile’s 5G network is very strong and more widely available than Starlink Mobile, and it’s also more affordable.

That being said, Roam has a lot more room to develop, and we’re excited by the advancements Starlink is making in the realm of satellite internet specialized for RV users.

Starlink Roam equipment

above shot of starlink mobile regional

The Starlink Mobile Regional kit laid out on our floor. It includes just about everything you’ll need to get internet on the go, including a router, satellite dish, dish base, cable, router, and handy instructions. Image credit: TJ Kolanko.

The Starlink Mobile Roam kit includes two cables, a router, the Starlink dish itself, and a base for the dish, which can be put together and situated in a position to receive a satellite internet signal in a matter of minutes. All you need to do is get your Starlink plugged in and powered on, and then make sure it has an unobstructed view of the sky.

Yes, the hardware is an expensive investment to make for satellite internet connectivity, but Starlink publicizes their products as being able to receive a transmission in all matters of weather. Still, we know weather affects wireless internet signals.

There are a few Starlink Roam accessories outside of the base setup kit which allow for customization. These are all available to order once you download the Starlink app and get your account online.

We’ve listed of some of the accessories we think make the most sense for RV users:

  1. Starlink Travel Case
  2. Ethernet Adapter
  3. Mesh Wi-Fi Router

The Starlink Travel Case comes in at around $250, but it’s a tough, durable place to store your hardware when not in use. Starlink also offers various mounts for your satellite, but those are all meant to be fixed to a home or sealed in-ground with concrete, so we don’t see how they could be of any use to someone who’s only using Starlink for RVs.

Starlink Roam installation

Starlink Residential doesn’t take long to set up, but it does require about 6–12 hours after being powered on for the first time to calibrate with the satellite constellation and get a stable connection. We know because we tested it. Fortunately, despite Starlink Roam using mostly the same equipment, it has a speedier set up process. We’re pointing out our Standard Residential experience because the set-up kits are basically identical.

You can expect Starlink Roam’s dish to take 20 minutes or less to calibrate and get connected. It does depend on where you are and the time of day, but for Starlink Roam to work efficiently for people on the go, like RV users, it’s essential that getting linked up happens in a matter of minutes, not hours.

Here’s a step-by-step guide for setting up your Starlink Roam fresh out of the box:

  1. Unbox your Starlink, complete with base, Starlink power cable, router, and AC cable.
  2. Attach Starlink to base, plug-in power wires, and attach AC cable to router.
  3. Position your Starlink satellite outside to achieve an unobstructed view of the sky.
  4. Download the Starlink app and create an account.
  5. Select your Starlink hardware type (you’ll select your Roam dish) and follow the set-up prompts.
  6. Create a Starlink network, naming your Wi-Fi and creating your password.
  7. Join the Starlink network when it becomes available on your W-Fi capable device.
  8. Starlink will calibrate connection, after which your Starlink will connect to its satellite internet network.
  9. Connection will stabilize and your device will now be connected to the Wi-Fi via Starlink’s satellite internet network.
Starlink roam dish set up behind RV

Our Starlink roam dish set up behind our RV. Image credit: TJ Kolanko.

If you’re at an RV park, other RVs and trees can prove to be a nuisance in getting your satellite dish linked up appropriately, and because the kit is hard wired, guiding it from your power source to an open area might run the risk of damaging the cable or invading a neighboring RV’s personal space. You’re also going to need the proper power in your RV/camper/trailer to keep the satellite dish running, so be sure you can reach an average of 50-75W for the standard specifications.

starlink roam router hooked up to camper battery

Our Starlink Roam router hooked up to our EcoFlow 800W camper battery. Our battery said it could run the Starlink dish for 20–29 hours. Image credit: TJ Kolanko.

Here’s a step-by-step set up guide to setting up your Starlink whenever you make a stop on the road:

  1. Plug in and position your Starlink outside to get an unobstructed view of the sky.
  2. Make sure your wireless router is accessible.
  3. Wait for Starlink to calibrate and establish a signal from the satellite internet network.
  4. Connect to your Starlink Roam Wi-Fi service soon as it comes online.

The final few steps from your first use and your hundredth won’t vary too much, but after you unbox your Starlink Roam and go through the initial set-up process, you won’t need to select your hardware, create an account, or name your Starlink Wi-Fi network, which will save time.

How do I switch Starlink plans?

You can switch to other Starlink service plans at any time using your Starlink account. You’ll find instructions on how to upgrade or subscribe to your desired plan in the Starlink app.

Just follow the steps below to find out how to switch to a different Starlink plan.

  1. From the starlink app homepage, scroll down and select Support
  2. Under Frequently Asked Questions, select Service Plans
  3. From here, click on the plan type you’re most interested in. You’ll find individual answers on upgrading from there.

Here’s the specific advice you’ll see if you want to switch from Starlink Standard (residential) to either Starlink Roam, Starlink Priority (Starlink Business), or Starlink Mobile Priority (Starlink Maritime). And yes, the naming of the plans are weird. Even Starlink’s FAQ content hasn’t totally caught up with the name changes.

screenshot of Starlink's app support center entry on switching to Roam

Screenshot of Starlink app’s support center entry on switching to Starlink Roam. Image credit: Mikayla Rivera.

screenshot of Starlink's app support center on upgrading to Roam

Screenshot of Starlink app’s support center on upgrading to Starlink Roam. Image credit: Mikayla Rivera.

Screenshot of Starlink app’s support center on switching to Starlink Mobile Priority

Screenshot of Starlink app’s support center on switching to Starlink Mobile Priority (Starlink Maritime). Image credit Mikayla Rivera.

The Starlink app makes it really easy to access your account, and of all the tools Starlink has to offer, we find its app to be perhaps the best. It’s extremely functional and truly necessary if you’re going to get the most of what Starlink has to offer.

No matter what Starlink service you subscribe to initially, doing so sets you up with a Starlink account automatically. Your account will allow you access to the app through your login credentials. Every Starlink service includes access to the Starlink app, which will help you manage your Starlink from your mobile device as well as order accessories. You can also monitor your Starlink’s connection strength.

How do you pause Starlink Roam?

  1. Login to the Starlink app or with your account info.
  2. Go to “Manage” under the “Your Starlinks” menu
  3. Select “Pause Service”

We do like the option to pause your service for part time RV adventurers, and the app’s easy and convenient to use from anywhere you can establish a Wi-Fi or cellular signal. Just be aware that if you pause your service mid-month, you’ll still have to pay for the month that you received service, so be sure to plan accordingly in order to take proper advantage of the potential savings.

How to get your Starlink Roam Global kit overseas

If you’re expecting to travel overseas and want your Starlink service when you arrive in a country on the other side of the world, you’ll only need to request that service change through your account portal.

Also be sure to ship your hardware to an address where you can pick it up if you’re going overseas, like a FedEx mailing depot. It’s one thing to change service plans, but you’ll need your Starlink dish in order to connect.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to requesting alternate Starlink plans:

  1. Login to your account via your mobile app or on the Starlink website.
  2. Once you've opened your account, head to “Your Starlinks”.
  3. Select the Pencil Icon that’s next to “Service Type”.
  4. Change your subscription and accept the new terms and conditions.

Just remember your form of payment for previous Starlink purchases will be charged accordingly, so be sure you’re ready for an increase in costs if changing from Residential to Roam, as although you won’t need to invest in new hardware, your monthly subscription fee will go up.

Starlink for RVs vs. other RV internet options

Starlink Roam draws upon a constellation of satellites engineered to provide internet service across the world, but there are other internet options if you’re RV bound.

Mobile hotspots through cellular carriers have been around a little longer, have the coverage of large carriers, and are less expensive than Starlink Roam. But these hotspots do offer lower speeds and less data.

Check out a list of some other options for RV internet and how they compare to Starlink for RVs:

View Plans
StarlinkStarlink Roam
$150.00/mo., plus $599.00 one-time equipment feeUnlimited data (speeds range from 5–50Mbps and vary on location and network demand)
$85.00/mo. plus cost of hotspot deviceMagenta® Max offers unlimited premium data and 40GB high-speed mobile hotspot
$80.00/mo. plus cost of Verizon Jetpack or other hotspot devicePremium plan provides 150GB of premium mobile hotspot data

It’s nice to know there are different options available to mobile internet users depending on your data needs and how much time you expect to use your Wi-Fi.

We think that if you’re hitting the road full time in an RV, getting Starlink Roam is your best bet. Vacationers and weekenders may find they’re not getting the most usage out of Roam to justify the cost, which is why a mobile hotspot might make the most sense. Alternatively, data plans are great for people who only expect to use Wi-Fi for a short vacation.

Starlink Roam vs. T-Mobile and Verizon wireless home internet

Download speed
U.S. availability**
See more
$150.00–$200.00/mo.Unlimited standard (prioritized behind other tiers)5–50Mbps99% of households
$40.00–$50.00/mo.* Unlimited72–220Mbps average download40 million households
$35.00–$70.00/mo.*Unlimited85–1,000Mbps theoretical download40 million households

Data as of November 17, 2023. *With Autopay and qualifying mobile plan. **Starlink 99% availability according to its website, T-Mobile 5G Home Internet availability according to its website, Verizon Home Internet availability according to its customer agents when we chatted in.

T-Mobile and Verizon are two leading home wireless providers that stack up to Starlink for RV. Both offer faster download speeds than Starlink, require no annual contracts, and offer cheaper monthly rates, especially for pre-existing cellular customers. All three services come with unlimited data, but Verizon and T-Mobile 5G will only connect where their network coverage is available. Starlink’s network covers 99% of the US.

But—here’s the sad part—home internet gateways are not meant to be portable Wi-Fi hotspots. For example, the terms of service for T-Mobile 5G home internet requires you share the address where you’ll be activating your home Wi-Fi. If you use a 5G gateway device outside that address, like in your RV when you cross country, you’re technically breaking the rules of your agreement, and we advise against that.

That makes Starlink Roam a superior portable internet choice to either T-Mobile 5G Home Internet or Verizon 5G Home Internet. But, you can still take advantage of T-Mobile 5G from your RV using a hotspot if Starlink Roam’s prices aren’t up your street. Verizon for RV has similar service options at competitive pricing, so we think you should weigh your options and compare them to Starlink Roam before signing up for the service.

The verdict: Is Starlink Roam worth it?

Although Starlink Roam comes with some considerable up-front hardware expenses and a larger monthly fee, we recommend it for full-time RVers or digital nomads working on the road.

However, T-Mobile’s hotspot Magenta MAX is more suitable for people on short vacations, weekend travel, or the occasional road trip because it doesn’t frontload consumers with expensive hardware costs. For RV users in the United States, a T-Mobile hotspot promises faster Wi-Fi on average and a light-weight mobile hotspot device instead of having to set up your Starlink receiver in a perfect, uncovered location every time you stop.

Starlink Roam FAQ

Is Starlink Roam too slow?

Starlink Roam has a speed range of 5-50Mbps. That means it can handle 1-2 video streams at once, slow to medium speed downloading, and decent internet surfing speeds. We don’t think you should consider Starlink Roam if you predict needing upload speeds past 10Mpbs, but with what Starlink offers, you should have no issue browsing, streaming, or using a couple of devices.

Is Starlink’s constellation expanding?

Starlink is an evolving satellite internet technology that continues to grow. While it may not provide the absolute best internet service for RV users today, with continued investment from SpaceX, Starlink’s parent company, it’s possible that the constellation will get bigger and the mobile internet service in turn better.

Does Starlink really work across the globe?

Starlink is available around the world and even in some super remote areas like Antarctica. It’s available in international waters, but the coverage in territorial areas of the world, both in land or on sea, are dependent upon government approval. You can check out where Starlink is available using our guide.