Starlink for RVs: A Complete Starlink Mobile Review

Andreas Rivera
Jun 04, 2024
Icon Time To Read8 min read

Starlink Mobile is the go-to solution for travelers to connect to internet satellite—in fact, it’s currently the only way. Originally called Starlink RV, it’s gone through multiple rebrands, but all the plans remain under the Starlink Roam umbrella. It’s a portable internet option that allows you to get online nearly anywhere.

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

Starlink Mobile’s monthly subscription plans and required hardware purchases are more costly than mobile hotspots, but it provides a fast, reliable connection and is just as easy to set up. We’ll discuss Starlink Mobile’s plans and which will work best for you.

Starlink Mobile plans

We’ve selected Starlink Mobile’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.

Starlink Mobile Plan
Pricing per month
Download speed
Who it’s best for
View plans
Starlink Mobile-Regional$150.00/mo.5–50Mbps Campers, weekend RVers, retirees—
Starlink Mobile-Global$400.005–50Mbps International explorers—anyone who needs connectivity across multiple countries and regions.
Starlink Mobile Priority$250–$5,000 40–220Mbps Sailor and mobile businesses. Can be used in the ocean and while moving.
Enter your zip code to see what internet providers are available in your area.

Starlink uses low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites to communicate with ground terminals to connect its dishes to the internet. We have tested and found Starlink holds up most home internet speeds that allow you to watch, play, learn, and work. 

While Starlink’s Standard plan requires it to be stationary and attached to a valid address, Starlink Mobile lets you access high-speed internet on the go. Of course, that’ll require a more expensive monthly fee and tends to be slower than the Standard plan.

There are several flavors of the Mobile plan, starting with the Regional and Global. The Mobile-Regional plan allows you to travel and use your Starlink within certain regions, currently separated by continents. For globetrotters who want to take their Starlink overseas, it will require the Mobile-Global plan, which is more than double the price of Regional.

Be warned that Mobile is meant to be used while traveling and not replace the Standard plan. If traveling with your Regional or Global activated Starlink, you can’t use it for more than two months outside the country you bought and activated it in. 

starlink device outside on the ground

How much does Starlink Mobile cost?

Starlink Mobile starts at $150 per month. That’s $30 more than Starlink Standard every 30 days. But that’s not the only cost to get Starlink Mobile up and running. You’ll also pay a one-time fee of $599 for the hardware required to connect to SpaceX’s satellites.

One big perk of Starlink Mobile is the ability to pause your subscription. It’s pretty convenient, given how expensive Starlink Mobile compares to some alternative mobile Wi-Fi options. Fortunately, depending on how long your RV adventure lasts, you can determine if the $150 price tag is worth it. Plus, since Starlink is month-to-month, you can pause your service when you return. 

Starlink offers a “trial” period of its equipment and services. After receiving your kit and activating the first month’s subscription, you can cancel within 30 days for a full refund, so long as you send the set-up kit back undamaged. There’s a retail fee penalty for damaged goods, so be extra careful with your borrowed hardware if you decide to go that route.

How fast is Starlink Mobile?

According to Starlink’s official specifications, the Mobile plans provide download speeds of 5–50Mbps with about 99ms of latency. However, in our testing, Starlink Mobile surprised 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 at a lower data deprioritization rate than its fixed, residential plan. Customers will 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.

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

Starlink Mobile 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. 

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 Standard vs. Starlink Mobile

For the ability to wander regionally or globally with internet coverage, Starlink Mobile-Regional costs $30 more per month than Starlink Standard. The Mobile-Global plan needs to be activated in your account and costs $250 more.

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 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 Mobile users are dealing with the worst of the consequences.

Based on Starlink Mobile’s cost, that’s not the optimal scenario for RV users. We still think it’s one of the best satellite options for RV users, but it's not necessarily the best internet option, point blank. For example, T-Mobile’s 5G network is powerful and also more affordable.

The Starlink app makes it really easy to access your account. Of all the tools Starlink offers, 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.

Starlink for RVs vs. other RV internet options

Starlink Mobile draws upon a constellation of satellites engineered to provide internet service worldwide, but there are other internet options if you’re RV-bound.

Mobile hotspots through cellular carriers have been around a little longer. They have the coverage of large carriers and are less expensive than Starlink Mobile. However, 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:

Price per month
View Plans
$150.00–$400.00Unlimited data (speeds range from 5–50Mbps and vary on location and network demand)
$85.00 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 different options are available to mobile internet users depending on your data needs and how much time you expect to use your Wi-Fi.

If you’re hitting the road full-time in an RV, getting Starlink Mobile 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 Mobile vs. T-Mobile and Verizon wireless home internet

Price per month
Download speed
U.S. availability**
See more
$150.00–$200.00Unlimited standard (prioritized behind other tiers)5–50Mbps99% of households
$40.00–$50.00Unlimited72–220Mbps average download40 million households
$35.00–$70.00Unlimited85–1,000Mbps 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 compete with Starlink Mobile. 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 have 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.

However, home internet gateways are not meant to be portable Wi-Fi hotspots. You run the risk of breaking both provider’s terms of service. However, both do offer wireless hotspot add-ons to your mobile phone plan. These plans work, but are limited by data caps and the amount of devices you can connect. Plus, you effectively turn your mobile phone into a Wi-Fi router unless you have a standalone hotspot device.

That makes Starlink Mobile a superior portable internet choice to 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 Mobile’s prices aren’t up your street. Verizon for RV has similar service options at competitive pricing, so you should weigh your options and compare them to Starlink Mobile before signing up for the service.

The verdict: Is Starlink Mobile worth it?

Although Starlink Mobile has considerable upfront hardware expenses and a larger monthly fee, we recommend it for full-time RVers or digital nomads who work 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. 

Its main advantage over 5G, fixed-wireless, and mobile hotspots is that it’s made to work anywhere. The alternatives require you to be in the range of a cellular tower and with a clear line of sight—you’ll run into difficulties getting a strong connection in heavily wooded areas, in the mountains, and in very remote locations.

For RV users in the United States, a T-Mobile hotspot promises faster Wi-Fi on average and a lightweight mobile hotspot device instead of setting up your Starlink receiver in a perfect, uncovered location every time you stop.

Starlink Mobile FAQ

Is Starlink Mobile too slow?

Starlink Mobile has a speed range of 5-50Mbps. That means it can simultaneously handle 1-2 video streams, downloads at slow to medium speed, and has decent internet surfing speeds. We don’t think you should consider Starlink Mobile 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, the constellation may get bigger, and the mobile internet service will, in turn, get better.

Does Starlink really work across the globe?

Starlink is available worldwide, including in some super remote areas like Antarctica. It’s available in international waters, but coverage in territorial areas of the world, both on land and at sea, is dependent upon government approval. Our guide will help you find where Starlink is available.