You are out on the road and you want to stay in touch with your family members who are at home, but you are having trouble getting good reception on your cell, how do you handle that? We wondered the same and set out to research the issue.
There are a number of workarounds that you can try out that are going to boost your cell phone signal in your RV, but these are temporary. The real surefire way to boost that signal is to buy a cell phone booster.
We are going to look at some of those other possible solutions to help boost your signal, and then we are going to look at some great cell phone signal boosters that are going to give you a more stable and powerful solution. We are also going to look at some of the things you should consider when you are looking to install a cell signal booster.
5 Tips To Boost that Signal
You can try and boost your cell signal in several different ways. Some are super easy, while others require some investment. Let's review them now.
When you are driving around in your RV you are going to be going through various zones and some of them are not going to have cell phone coverage that is as good. As you pass through these places your phone is constantly having to adjust because of the changing location, and if you stop it is not going to have to do this, and you might be able to secure a stronger signal.
Try Connection Further Down The Road
It may sound like a very simple fix, but you can hang up and try again when you are in a different spot. This is not a problem unique to traveling in RVs, but you may just be bumping into it more often because you are moving through so many different service areas. Rural areas are more likely to have service drops, and the signal is going to improve when you move through more densely populated areas.
Get To Higher Ground
This solution can work both on the road, and also when you are looking for somewhere to park up with your RV. Elevation reduces the chances of your signal from the nearest tower being blocked. It is not a permanent solution, and if you can’t find a spot of higher elevation, which if you are in flat terrain is going to be an issue, it isn’t even an option.
One thing that is a very real problem is that the metal skin of your RV can interfere with your signal, so stepping outside removes that barrier, and you should be able to make your call. If the weather is bad, this is not the best solution, and again, is not a permanent fix.
Get A Cell Phone Booster
This is the most practical and long term solution and is actually going to handle the issue rather than being a temporary workaround. You don’t want to have to keep stopping or driving around just to be able to use your phone, and with one of these devices, you won’t have to.
How Does A Cell Phone Booster Work
The principle by which a cell phone booster is pretty easy to understand. Your RV shell can make it hard to get a good signal so you are going to be mounting an antenna on the outside of the RV that receives the cell signals, and then those signals are amplified and transmitted through your RV, so your cell phone and any other cellular devices that you have can use them.
That same device then boosts the signals that come from your device and transmits them, via the antenna, back to the cell tower, so you aren’t going to have to drive around or find strange solutions to be able to use your phone.
Directional Vs Omnidirectional Antenna
Whether you are looking at getting a directional or omnidirectional antenna is going to depend on whether you are looking to use your cell phone when you are on the move, or whether you are only interested in using it when you are stationary.
Directional antennas cannot be used while you are on the road. It is a great choice because it gives you a greater signal boost - you are going to have to reposition it whenever you move so that it is pointing at the cell tower, but this minor inconvenience aside, you are going to find it very useful.
The omnidirectional antenna is usable while driving or parked. It receives signals from 360 degrees, so you can use it everywhere, and you aren’t going to have to adjust it at all, though the signal may, of course, be weaker.
5 Products To Boost Your Signal
Verizon 4G Cell Phone Signal Booster
This 4G signal booster works with all carriers, and it will work to boost your voice and data signal.
It has both fast upload and download speeds, though not for GSM calls and texts.
This booster detects how strong the signal is and adjusts itself for the best performance. You get a maximum gain of 45dB, so you are always going to get the best available signal for your cellular devices.
It’s easy to set up and is going to make it easy for multiple users to get a great signal in your RV. It automatically sleeps when you aren’t using it, so it also saves you on energy consumption.
SolidRF RVForce Cell Phone Signal Booster
This cell phone signal booster is going to work for you whether you are on the road or stationary. It is compatible with all US carriers.
You can have multiple users using it, whether it is a phone, a tablet or even a data modem.
This booster boosts your voice, your texts, and your data all at the same time and can enhance the signal up to 100x or 20dB.
It has an automatic adjustment system that detects the signal coming in and adjusts accordingly. It can all be set up within about half an hour. It comes with an omnidirectional antenna.
weBoost Drive Reach (470154) Cell Phone Signal Booster
Like the majority of devices, this booster works with all of the major US carriers.
It boosts that signal to 29.5 dB so you are not going to get dropped calls, the voice quality is going to be better, and you are going to get mobile internet, and great audio and video streaming, and also great as a hotspot.
You can use multiple devices and have multiple users on the booster, so you are going to get great coverage for your RV.
The installation is super easy and is even tool-free. You get 2x the range from the towers, and you can also use it to charge phones.
weBoost Basic Home Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit
This booster is well-named - it definitely means you can be sure those calls will get through. It boosts voice, text, and 4G LTE signals for all carriers, and reduces the chance of missed or dropped calls.
It is designed to increase your signal strength and extend the battery life for all your cellular devices.
You can have multiple devices and multiple users, and you are not going to have any problems.
It is simple to set up, and has plug and play install.
HiBoost Travel 4G Cell Phone
This great booster will boost 3G and 4G signals and is compatible with any phones, and all carriers.
The HiBoost supports multiple users and multiple devices.
You get a maximum boost of 50dB, so you are not going to get any dropped calls, lost connection, or slow internet. This makes this a really powerful booster and one that also competes well on price.
How Do I Install A Cell Phone Booster?
The first thing you need to do is find the right place to attach the antenna on the top of your RV, outside.
Most people choose to place it somewhere such as on an existing vent pipe, an antenna pole, or the RV ladder. It needs to be above the roofline of the RV if you want to get the best signal.
You are most likely going to have an L bracket or a U-bolt if you are going to attach it to a pole. You are going to need a wrench. Once you have it in place, you then need to attach the cable.
This is obviously going to be different if you have a directional antenna, but any equipment that is directional is going to come with an appropriate bracket. Placement, as with an omnidirectional antenna also requires that you think with where the line is going to be run into the RV.
The booster then needs to be installed closest to where you use your phone the most and between 15 and 25 ft away.
How Can I Improve My LTE Signal?
A lot of cell phone signal boosters work across different types of signals and work to amplify off all of them, so if you have a lot of attention on your LTE signal, you want to make sure that this is something your booster covers.
How Do I Get Cell Phone Service While Camping?
Some of the places that you are going to stay at can give you coverage information. Getting a booster is going to help. There are also a lot of places that offer free wi-fi, so you can use the wi-fi signal to call out with.
As you can see there are some really easy solutions to handle this problem. With signal boosters, one thing to bear in mind is that if there is absolutely no signal, and you are in a total deadzone, there is not a signal to boost.
Most places where you stay are going to have some cell coverage, but if you really are going out into the middle of nowhere, it may be worth contacting the park you are staying at and finding out what the challenges are in that area, and what other RVers use to handle it.