Starlink for Caravans (Satellite Internet)

📲 FULL GUIDE to Starlink for Caravans (Satellite Internet)

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As we move forward with caravanning in this modern world, having good internet access on the road is more essential than ever. Starlink for caravans is fast becoming travellers’ most favoured satellite internet provider.

With more people hitting the road each year, it’s imperative that people can still work remotely and that education can continue (whether roadschooling the kids or completing tertiary courses and up-skilling for adults).

Many travellers like to be able to stream entertainment services and keep in touch with friends and family at home while on the road. Plus, having high-speed internet available, even if mobile reception is absent, can be a lifesaver in case of emergency.

Why do people need high-speed broadband while travelling?

  • Work – to continue working while travelling
  • Education – roadschooling the kids + adult study
  • Entertainment – movies, music, TV series, games etc.
  • Keeping in Touch – with family & friends
  • Emergency – especially if no phone reception

Here’s the full guide to Starlink for caravanners, campers, road trippers and travellers.

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Starlink for Caravans

BBQARM Starlink Telescopic RV Pole
Source: BBQARM Starlink Pole & Mount

What is Starlink Internet?

Elon Musk is the mastermind behind Starlink, which has been created in order to provide good internet to every corner of the planet, no matter how far away the nearest town is.

In essence, Starlink internet runs via thousands of satellites orbiting the Earth (with more being added to the system). This means that even in remote locations around Australia, which don’t even have mobile phone reception, you can still have high-speed internet access at your fingertips.

“Starlink is a constellation of thousands of satellites that orbit the planet much closer to Earth (than other satellite internet providers) at about 550km and cover the entire globe.”

– Starlink
Starlink for Caravans (satellite internet)

How does the Starlink Dish Work?

The Starlink dish is self-orienting and connects in minutes as long as it has a clear view of the sky. It will be constantly trying to connect with the nearest satellite in order to either find or keep a secure internet connection.

Why does the dish need a clear “field of view”?

The Starlink dish needs a clear view of the sky so it can stay connected with satellites as they move overhead. Objects that obstruct the connection between Starlink and the satellite (e.g. a tree branch or caravan), will cause service drop-outs.


How does Starlink Hold Up in the Weather?

Starlink claim that the satellite dish can withstand extreme cold, heat, hail, sleet, heavy rain, gale-force winds and even rocket engines. Although, I’m not sure rocket engines crashing into your Starlink on the road should be an issue!

The most important factor for travellers using Starlink is in keeping the device safe and stable so that no accidental damage occurs.

If you’ve got your Starlink sitting in its stand on the roof of the caravan to get the best reception when a big gust of wind comes along, the Starlink can easily be blown over or fall off the roof.

Another scenario is having your Starlink sitting out 3 metres away from the van, catching those open skies, and then someone accidentally running over the dish because they didn’t see it.

You can see where I’m going here. As long as you can keep your dish safe and secure, then the rain, wind, heat and cold shouldn’t affect it.

Starlink for Caravans (satellite internet)

How Much Does Starlink Cost?

There are currently 6 different Starlink services available:

  • Residential – household use
  • Business – business use
  • Roam – for travellers ⬅️ this is the one for caravanners
  • Mobility – use in moving vehicles
  • Maritime – use while at sea
  • Aviation – use while in flight

The best Starlink for caravans is ‘Roam,’ which provides immediate access to high-speed, low-latency internet in any destination where Starlink coverage is available.

A benefit of using Roam is that it’s billed on a month-by-month basis. This allows travellers to pause and unpause the service as needed, meaning that you only need to pay for it when you really need it.

STARLINK ROAM AUSTRALIA
Set-up CostsHardware – $924
Monthly Costs$174/ mth – unlimited data
• Pay as you go
• Pause & unpause the service as needed

How Much Power Does Starlink Use?

Battery Management System (monitor)
Always keep an eye on your Battery Management System

The standard rectangular Starlink (for residential and roam) uses 50 – 75 Watts of power when the antenna, power supply, router and cables are all in use.

Expect it to use more power when booting up and looking for satellites to connect with, before dropping back down to the 50 – 75W range.

When the Starlink is not in service (i.e. no satellite connections or WiFi activity) but powered up, it can still draw 20 – 30W.

Always switch off and unplug the satellite dish, power supply and router when not in use to conserve battery power.

Starlink Power Requirements:

  • Runs off 240v
  • Draws 50 – 75 Watts once connected
  • Will draw more while booting up & connecting
  • Inverter required

Some set-ups may require additional solar panels and batteries before investing in Starlink for the caravan. As the Starlink Roam kit requires 240v power, you will need to plug it into an inverter when off-grid.

According to the Starlink Nomads Australia FB group, some people are using as little as 150kW – 220kW inverters to run their Starlink, so it seems even a small (good quality) inverter will do the trick. However, if using a smaller inverter, be aware that you will not be able to plug anything else into it simultaneously. For example, if you’re wanting to charge the laptop at the same time as using Starlink, a bigger inverter will be required.

As yet, there is no official 12-volt Starlink version available, however, there are plenty of aftermarket products (and hacks) going around.

Much like when using the washing machine or charging the laptop with the caravan’s solar, it’s important to always keep an eye on the battery charge. Make the most of topping up the batteries during the sunlight hours and make sure you’re not draining them at night.

Starlink for Caravans (satellite internet)

Tips for Using Starlink in Caravans

The Starlink satellite dish needs to have a clear view of the open sky so that it can connect with the orbiting satellites above. Because of this, the dish will continuously keep readjusting in order to keep the connection.

It’s important to get the dish up above, or away from, the surrounding obstacles (trees, campers, hills etc.) to have the best internet connection possible.

Interruptions can occur if there are obstacles in the way, which is most likely to affect online gaming and calls (both voice and video). For streaming services (like Stan, Netflix and YouTube) that are constantly pre-loading sections, it won’t be as much of an issue. The same goes for internet browsing and catching up on emails.

The Starlink dish can be susceptible to being blown over and getting damaged in the wind if it’s not mounted securely. Be careful when placing the Starlink on top of the car or caravan in windy conditions.

Starlink for Caravans – TIPS:

  • Dish needs a clear view of the open sky
  • Set it up away from obstacles that obstruct the connection to orbiting satellites
  • Interruptions for gaming and calls may occur if obstacles are in the way
  • Streaming services, internet browsing & emails can usually absorb the drop-outs
  • Don’t sit the mounting stand on top of things during high winds

Starlink Coverage Map for Australia

As at July 2023, the entire continent of Australia (and New Zealand) has Starlink available.

Starlink Coverage Map
Source: Starlink

How Location Can Affect the Internet Speed

The Starlink constellation of satellites is evenly spread throughout the sky around the world. So, when travelling through areas with a higher population of Starlink users, the Roam speeds may get deprioritised over the residential users in the area.

However, with more satellites being added to the crew as we speak, hopefully this will not be an ongoing issue forever. Time will tell.


Can You Use Your Starlink Roam at Home?

Starlink Roam can be used at home, although Starlink Residential is better designed for the house due to a higher prioritisation of speeds.

In addition, with the Residential kit, you would permanently mount the satellite in the best location on the roof, rather than having a portable dish.

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Setting up Starlink for Caravans

Starlink Internet Kit
Source: Get Me Digital

What Comes in the Starlink Kit?

The Starlink Kit comes with everything you need to get going in minutes.

Starlink Roam Kit:

  • Starlink (satellite dish)
  • WiFi router
  • Cables
  • Base/ stand

How to Get Starlink Set Up

Setting up Starlink for Caravans

Plug Starlink In

  1. Slot Starlink dish into base and plug it power.
  2. Starlink will automatically level itself to search for satellites overhead. Do NOT attempt to manually adjust your Starlink.
  3. After a few minutes, Starlink will make an initial connection to the Starlink constellation and tilt to the optimum angle for satellite coverage.

Find a Clear View of the Sky

  1. Download the Starlink App (iOS or Android).
  2. Use the “Check for Obstructions” tool to find an install location that will deliver the best service.
  3. For best results, Starlink should be installed as close to vertical as possible.

Connect to WiFi

  1. On your device, find and connect to the STARLINK network in your WiFi settings.
  2. Once connected, a browser window will open prompting you to enter a new SSID (Network name) and password.
  3. You are now connected! Open the Starlink App to customise additional settings & check your connection.

Telescopic RV Starlink Pole Mount

BBQARM Starlink RV Pole Mount + Universal Draw Bar Mount
BBQARM Starlink Pole + Universal Draw Bar Mount

One of the best gadgets I’ve seen so far for solidly securing Starlink for caravans high above obstacles with a clear view of the sky (where possible) is a telescopic pole mount.

Benefits of using a Telescopic Pole Mount:

  • More chance of getting a clear, unobstructed view of the sky
  • A properly designed pole will hold the satellite dish securely in place
  • Reduces the chance of theft
  • Reduces the chance of accidental damage on the ground
  • Eliminates trip hazards (from cords on the ground)

BBQARM have come up with a solid solution, which can work in many (but not all) situations. Keep in mind that sometimes the best field of view can still be found when putting the Starlink in its mount on the ground somewhere. It’s handy to have both the telescopic pole, plus the standard base on hand.

With the BBQARM Starlink RV Pole Mount, you will have three different placement options to choose from, depending on your mount attachment. The benefit is being able to move around to where the clearest view of the sky is at the time.

BBQARM Pole Mount Placement Options:

  1. Draw Bar (of the caravan or trailer)
  2. Rear Bar (of the caravan or trailer)
  3. Tow Vehicle Hitch (of the car)

With a simple Universal Mount, you’re able to move the telescopic pole between the caravan draw bar and rear bar. With the additional Vehicle Tow-Hitch Mount, you’re also able to attach the telescopic pole to the car’s tow hitch and easily chase the open skies.

You can see the full run-down on the BBQARM Telescopic Starlink Pole below or use the checkout code MYRIG at www.bbqarm.com for 5% Off your order.

How the BBQARM Starlink Pole Mount Works (+ 5% OFF Code) →
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What Do Others Think of Starlink for Travelling Australia?

I put a poll up on Facebook in the Everything Caravan & Camping group asking the following question…

“If you’ve used Starlink on the road, what did you think of it?”

Starlink FB Poll (ECC)

Out of 51 respondents, here are the results:

  • 33 people – Game Changer, wouldn’t travel without it!
  • 5 people – Used too much power
  • 5 people – Just want good quality butter (who am I to argue 🤷‍♀️)
  • 4 people – Would rather go fishing
  • 2 people – Too expensive
  • 1 person – Reception too patchy
  • 1 person – Reception pretty good

Whether or not that’s helpful, you be the judge!

The decision on whether or not to travel Australia with Starlink Internet is ultimately up to you. Hopefully, this guide has helped to answer some of your questions.

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2 thoughts on “📲 FULL GUIDE to Starlink for Caravans (Satellite Internet)”

  1. Thanks. Very useful info.
    Should I stick to the original Starlink kit, 240 volts, and get a small inverter so as to not have the main 3kw inverter running all the time, or get a modified off-market, 12 volt system?
    I’ll be glad of anyone’s thoughts on this

    1. You could do that so that when you do need to plug something else into the inverter, you don’t need to unplug the Starlink (provided you’ve got enough battery storage to cover the usage). I can’t speak to the aftermarket 12v systems, however, if you google it and have a read through the forums, they get a pretty good rap. It might be worth putting the question to a dedicated 12-volt Starlink Facebook group.

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