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Campground Internet Report 1

We’re about 1/3 of the way through our West Coast trip. I thought it was a good time to summarize our experiences with campground Internet, a service we depend on in our travels.

At a campground, we can get Internet services through one or more of the following:

  • Campground WiFi – if, and only if, it’s available.
  • Verizon – we have an old New Verizon 40 GB Plan and use a USB730L modem plugged into a Cradlepoint 1200B router.
  • AT&T – we have an Unlimited Data plan using an AT&T Mobley.
  • HughesNet Gen 5 – we currently have a 50 GB/month plan using a .98M HughesNet Gen 5 dish.

So how did each of these work out in the last 16 campgrounds we stayed?

Here are the results . . .

Click on graph to enlarge



First, and foremost, any conclusions are tentative as 16 campgrounds is just not enough data. That said . . .

  • “Satellite Internet isn’t necessary because cellular reception is available at the vast majority of campgrounds” – this is a common statement found on web RV forums. Well, I had to use my HughesNet Gen 5 dish in almost 1/3 (5 of 16) of the RV parks we stayed because there was no Verizon or AT&T cell service available.
  • “Campground WiFi is crappy” – another popular web forum notion. Though I wasn’t expecting much, I found campground WiFi to be much better than I thought it would be. For example, half (8 of 16) the campgrounds we visited had at least “usable” WiFi, that is, you could use it for web browsing. Also, 4 of those 8 campgrounds had WiFi fast enough for streaming video on a regular basis.
  • “Verizon is better than AT&T” – I’m not finding that to be true. Based on these 16 campgrounds, I’d drop my Verizon data plan. However, I’ll postpone that decision until the end of our trip.