Improving the cell signal inside an RV presents a unique challenge. If the RV is functional only as shelter, like a fifth-wheel trailer for example, then those inside need better cell signal only when the RV is parked.
But if an RV also functions as a vehicle, as with a motorhome, then the owners may need to improve cell signal when the RV is moving AND when it’s parked.
Regardless, the causes of poor cell signal inside an RV are the same as everywhere else. The only two causes are (a) distance from the cell source, which weakens the signal, and (b) obstructions between the cell source and the phone user which also block and weaken the signal.
Overcoming bad cell signal
We’ve posted about these causes of bad cell signal several times previously in the posts below:
If you took a look at those posts, you’d notice some suggested solutions to help you get a better cell signal. Some of them are listed again below.
5 Tips to better cell reception in an RV
1. If you’re driving, stop. When the RV is stationary, your phone and the network don’t have to constantly adjust for your changing location. That makes it easier for you to get and hold a signal.
2. Or, conversely, keep driving and try the connection again a few miles down the road.
3. Find higher ground. This works if you’re driving and if you’re looking for a spot to park the RV for a stay. If driving, pull off the road just over the crest of a grade summit. If parking for a stay, find the highest safe space in the area. This works because increasing your elevation reduces the chance of obstructions blocking the cell signal from the nearest tower, as described above.
4. Step outside. Weather permitting, exiting the RV should improve your chances of getting a signal. Many RVs have a metal ‘skin’ that does an excellent job of blocking cell signals from getting inside.
5. Get a cell phone signal booster for your RV. This is the only solution that’s designed and engineered to solve the distant-tower problem as well as overcome signal blockers between you and the tower.
How a cell booster works
Cell signal boosters work by using an antenna mounted on the RV exterior to collect weak cell signals outside. Those signals are amplified, and then the amplified signals are redistributed inside the mobile home so your phone and any other cellular enabled devices receive them.
When your devices transmit signals back to the cell tower, the same process is repeated in reverse order.
With a booster, cell signals weakened by distance and/or obstacles are amplified, and your RV’s signal-blocking exterior is bypassed. That’s how a cell signal booster delivers strong, reliable reception inside an RV.
Boost signal while parked, or also while driving?
Now a word about the complications mentioned at the top of this post. If you only need enhanced cell signal in your RV when parked, a signal booster with a directional antenna is the best choice.
Why? Because a directional antenna provides greater range from the cell tower than does the other choice, an omni-directional antenna. As the name suggests, a directional antenna must be pointed directly at the nearest cell tower for best performance.
The tradeoff for the directional antenna’s greater range is that each time you park the RV in a new space, you would need to re-orient the antenna to point it at the nearest cell tower. A directional antenna does NOT work to boost cell signal in a moving vehicle.
If you need enhanced cell coverage in your RV while driving, then a cell booster with an omni-directional antenna is the right choice. The omni antenna does not need to be pointed at the tower, because it receives signals in a 360-degree pattern. And that’s what you need for cell coverage when driving.
Need a signal boost in your RV? Click below to view the weBoost lineup of RV cell signal boosters.