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For the avid traveller, the internet has gone from “something nice to have while we’re away” to an absolute necessity today! Some people like the idea of being off-grid for a few days, it’s true, but for the vast majority of travellers, going without the internet is a very distinct pain, even if they want to travel to more remote areas.
Fortunate then that the four major UK networks boast a UK super fast 4G coverage for over 90% of the country.
Can You Buy Wifi for a Camper?
Getting WiFi in campervans, caravans, or motorhomes is a simple affair. The most straightforward and quickest is turning your smartphone into a hotspot, something you’ve probably done back home on several occasions.
However, this isn’t the most practical option if you need the internet for more robust and longer-term use. You’ll quickly exhaust your phone data and can’t use your phone while you’re online. Most smartphone SIMs cater for call and text minutes with a reasonable amount of data, but typically not enough for daily streaming movies and TV shows.
There are several ways you can buy internet for your camper.
- Smartphone Hotspot
- Use the campsite WiFi
- Mobile Travel Routers
First up is the smartphone hotspot, but we just covered that, and there’s not much more to say. If you’re staying on a campsite offering free WiFi, you could request the login details from the campsite owner and you’re off to the races. However, anyone staying on a busy campsite will know just how patchy and often slow campsite WiFi can be. Most of the time, you can forget streaming movies because you’ll spend more time dealing with buffering.
By far, the best option is buying a mobile Travel Router.
What You Need
Because a travel router can accept a SIM card, you can connect to the internet wherever there is a 3G or 4G signal. Travel routers are more powerful, provide faster download speeds, and can include a VPN (a virtual private network). Their range is substantially more significant, with some models reaching up to 50 metres. In addition, you can connect numerous devices to the router, such as laptops, tablets, gaming consoles, etc.
Some travel routers geared towards the campervan market, such as the Maxview Roam and its latest iteration, the Maxview Roam X, include a roof-mounted antenna with download rates of up to 300 Mbps.
What you need to get internet in your campervan, motorhome or Caravan:
- Travel Router
- Unlocked data-only SIM Card
- A 3G/4G network signal
- a SIM monthly/rolling contract
- MiFi device
- Smartphone Hotspot
- Campsite WiFi
Campervan Travel Router Cost
As you would expect, there’s a wide range of costs between various mobile router (MiFi) devices and travel routers. This will depend on different attributes such as reliability, download speeds, accessibility to networks, etc.
To compare different travel routers, we can compare a MiFi device with several travel routers.
MiFi: TP-Link M7350 is a plug-n-play MiFi device that supports 4G LTE with up to 150 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds. Prices range from £74.99 to £99.99 for an unlocked version.
Oyster Connect – travel router – the Oyster® Connect utilises a mobile router and a special antenna and is a much more robust and reliable system. £1,025.00 supplied and fitted.
Maxview Roam – offers a reliable and secure WiFi hotspot for any vehicle and can switch between a local WiFi source or 3G/4G networks. The price is £349.99
Maxview Roam X is the latest version of the Roam with download speeds up to 300 Mbps – price £565.48
Campervan Wifi Installation Cost
The cost of campervan WiFi installation varies depending on the equipment you choose. Using your smartphone as a hotspot will cost you nothing more than the data you consume. If you select campsite WiFi, you might find some owners happy to offer a free service; otherwise, it’s down to the owners what they consider it’s worth.
If you purchase a MiFi device such as the TP-Link M7350, you will pay the initial cost plus your network SIM based on your chosen contract. In the next section, I will provide more details on the cost of data-only SIMs.
With the Roam, Roam X, and Oyster® Connect, you pay more, but you get a much more reliable and robust system.
Campervan Wifi Data Costs
As you would expect, there’s a massive range of available data-only SIM deals around at the moment.
Currently available plans include:
How Much Does it Cost to Put Wifi in a Camper?
As we talked about earlier in the article, prices vary considerably. Depending on the download speeds, reliability and robustness of the system you would like, you can expect to pay from £50.00 plus a data-only SIM contract up to £1,000.00 for the most expensive option, the Oyster® Connect with the Maxview Roam and the Maxview Roam X being somewhere in the mid-price range.