Summer is officially over this weekend and although I’m all about living in the now, I can’t contain my giddiness when I think about our coming snowbird season. That’s because we just put the final touch on our new Arctic Fox fifth wheel – there’s a new RV DataSat 840 mobile satellite Internet system sitting on top.
Go Anywhere with the DataSat 840
We bought our first satellite Internet for RVs when we hit the road in our previous rig, back in 2007. But like any electronics, the last seven years have brought amazing changes to this technology. The new RV DataSat 840 is light years ahead of our first system and we’re so happy to make the switch.
With this new system we can literally roam anywhere between the Arctic Circle and Tierra Del Fuego while conducting business as usual. Now although we don’t have any plans to fly that far south for winter, I know that our new system will keep us connected to the business matters that help us stay on the road.
The system was just launched by Mobil Satellite Technologies in Virginia, one of the first providers of mobile satellite for RVs. The RV DataSat 840 is the only consumer level automatic satellite internet antenna currently available. It differs from older mobile satellite technology in several ways including:
Ease of installation. MobilSat’s RV DataSat 840 includes all required networking hardware—iDirect modem, dish controller, wireless router, and cabling. Anyone can install it, but we hired our old friends at Oregon Satellite RV. They also gave us credit for our old system, saving us the time and hassle of trying to get rid of the old equipment.
Within minutes of parking our rig, we’re online. The RV DataSat 840 never takes longer than one or two minutes to connect to the Internet. The calibration routine, satellite signal identification and optimization by the DataSAT controller is unbelievably fast.
Connectivity speeds compare to 4G networks. This is where the system really shines. The new RV DataSat 840 speeds can get up to 4 Mbps download X 512 Kbps upload, putting it in line with any 4G WiFi network.
No daily data caps and monthly service contracts. You can buy as much or as little bandwidth as you need. This is a totally different arrangement than the old days of mobile satellite Internet for RVs.
MobilSat’s InstaSat service plans allow you to tailor your bandwidth needs to your travels. You can buy a lot when you’re off-grid, then use it up before heading back to the city where you can use free park WiFi or cell tower broadband.
Some RVers have looked at the service plans and commented on the prices, but they’re not seeing the big picture. Because although the cost-per-gig is a bit higher than what wireless providers charge, in the long run the InstaSat service saves money by allowing adventurous users like us to avoid paying rent. We’ll camp free all winter and enjoy great scenery well beyond the reach of cell towers. Another way we’ll save money is by temporarily de-activitating our smart phone and forwarding all of our voice calls to Skype when we’re away from cell coverage.
Any full-time RVers who prefer to stay in off-grid areas should seriously consider the new RVDataSat 840. For those of us who run businesses on the road and want reliable Internet access, it’s a no-brainer tax-write off that’s well worth the $5995 price tag.
- RVDataSat 840 System Specs
- DataSAT ACU-1 Controller Specs
- MobilSat Product Brochure
- InstaSat Service Plans
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Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.