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If you love going out on adventures, discovering new places, or enjoy camping out in the wilderness, you might find yourself missing out on the news. And you might also miss being connected to the world. So, a cell phone signal booster can be installed to assure that you still have the conveniences of home whenever you may go.
Off-grid water systems. Off-grid electricity systems. Notice that even though water supply and power supply are made even more convenient and stable by the advancement of technology to match that of a house, cell phone receptions are still behind. There are still some places with weak network coverage may be because they are too far out or because of the presence of obstructions.
You cannot always be totally sure to have access to a reliable and stable mobile service when you travel; you may go to a place that has low signal coverage. Fortunately, cell phone reception boosters are now available on the market. These devices are designed to make signal ready for use while you are away from civilization. It’s no longer a dream to have cell phone reception while camping in a far place.
Cell phone signal boosters used to work only when your car or recreational vehicle is stationary, but thanks to innovation in technology there are now types of this device that can be used while you are moving from one place to another. That means you don’t have to pull over just to send a text message or make a phone call. And more importantly, you can check your location on a map application real time.
Signal boosters are mostly a three-part system connected by a high-quality cable. The external antenna is usually mounted on your vehicle’s roof or back ladder so that it can collect the signal. It receives even a weak signal and sends it to an amp via low-loss cable. The amp bracket that boosts the signal is placed inside a vehicle, and the interior antenna broadcasts the amplified signal inside your vehicle.
This gives you access to your wireless service provider signal. Access to good signal means text message exchange, voice calls, and even an internet connection.
If you are planning on investing in a cell phone and wi-fi signal booster for your motor home or recreational vehicle, you will find this review on reliable RV mobile signal boosters very handy. Here are the top 10 of the best on the market.
Everything You Need to Know About RV Cell Phone Boosters
To find which cell phone booster is the best for your circumstances and your needs you will need a little help and a gentle push. Here, I have included some of the guidelines and list of contributing factors you have to be aware of before taking your wallet out.
Types of Cell Phone Signal Boosters
When looking into buying a cell phone signal booster, one thing that you should be familiar with is the classifications. There are only two types of cell phone signal boosters designed to be used in recreational vehicles and motor homes. And you make your choice between them after you have made a list of your specifications. One type might offer more features and conveniences than the other type.
The first type is the cradle type. They are designed to amplify the mobile signal for use of only one cell phone at a time. That cell phone must be placed inside the cradle to receive an amplified cell signal. They can also be used outside of your motor home but you will need the help of the optional building accessory kit to make it happen.
Cradle type of mobile signal boosters is easier to install and has cheaper cost. You can also easily bring it with you if you need to switch your vehicle. On the other hand, it has less power or gain.
The second is the wireless type, which cost more a little but has excellent features like plug-and-play, and they don’t use external antennae. Most importantly, it allows multiple cell phones to be connected to the amplified signal all at the same time. This is a better choice for a group who is traveling together.
The negative thing about using a wireless mobile signal booster is that you are at risk of losing valuable signal strength during the transmission.
Both of the types are very effective and perform well. However, your decision is also affected by your needs. So only you can make the final call.
RV Cell Phone Booster Performance
In choosing the best cell phone signal booster, it’s a requirement to check how well it provides signal boosts. You should know that cell phone signal boosters that are designed especially for vehicles gain a maximum of 50 decibels.
This limit has been imposed by the industry in order to reduce the chances of signal that are over-amplified from obtruding cell tower processes. The cradle amplifier type only emits low amplification which still has perfect serviceability for the connected cell phone.
You should also consider that the frequency range of the cell phone signal booster you chose is one of the factors that can affect your signal boost. The most dependable mobile signal boosters can cover up to five bands and support 4G signal as well.
The antennae’s features
Bear in mind that cell phone signal boosters have a pair of internal and external antennae. You really have to scrutinize them because they will be affecting the signal boosts.
The external antenna, or the input antenna, is responsible for absorbing the signal which is from the most proximate cellular base station while the internal antenna has the responsibility to transmit the boosted signal for your phone to use inside a limited area. There are antennae with higher gains than others. They have longer ranges and often work at a base of 5 decibels relative to isotropic and can go higher than that.
You should also look for antennae that have satisfactory performance even in remote locations. Remember that the proximity greatly affects the potency of the signal. You might also consider buying a cell phone signal booster that has a low-gain antenna. Cell phone signal boosters of these kinds have better performance in the mountains. They are reliable even in cases where physical objects obstruct most of the signal.
There are two classifications of the external antenna. The first one is omnidirectional that encompasses 360 degrees. It is designed to be able to collect signals from many cellular base stations or cell sites. And it is the best for amplifying signals on almost all mobile service provider. It is suitable if you have a strong or moderate input signal.
The second one is called the yagi antenna. It is directional, so you have to install it facing the direction of a cell site, or else you won’t get any boosts. This type is the one to go with if you’re at the edge of your service provider’s coverage.
How to Install an RV Cell Phone Booster
Assess the level of difficulty of the installation, too. Again, you have to remember that the cable’s length cannot be disregarded as you have to figure out the placement of the components of the cell phone signal booster kit. Make sure that the coaxial cable has enough length to connect the external antenna to the internal antenna and is sufficient for your needs.
It would be best to go for longer cables because it can come handy during the setup process. If you have a motor home, consider the wide space that the cable has to travel around to reach each component.
You may have noticed that as for the cradle booster type, it already houses the amp and the internal antenna. For this instance, you only have to consider the length of the cable that connects to the external antenna.
Cell phone signal kits have several components and there are some that are do-it-yourself, so you can trust yourself to set them up without needing help. Others may have a more difficult setup that may also take more time. You can always have someone else to do it for you if you want to preserve the aesthetic of your motor home. Some people don’t want the wirings to be visible.
Strength of input signal
This is another important factor that you should consider. You have to pay attention to this one because the signal strength from your mobile service provider is sure to affect which type of cell phone signal booster is worth your money.
If you’re subscribed to a weak input signal, it would be best to buy a cell phone signal booster that has more power. Nevertheless, if you’re lucky to have a strong and stable outer signal, then invest in a pocket-friendly or budget-wise cell phone signal booster. It’s totally okay because those kinds are capable of sufficing low gain supply.
If you’re buying a cell phone signal booster that has a yagi antenna, you can collect more input signal if you know where exactly the cell towers are. It would be best to have a map of the locations of the cell sites to know where to face your mobile signal booster’s external antenna.
Area of Coverage
Of course, this goes without saying. You should have an estimate of the measurement of the space that you would like to have the boosted signal coverage. You also have to consult the layout and the floor area of your motor home.
The coverage extent and the level of the input signal strength from your mobile network carrier may dictate the power level that you have to look for in a cell phone signal booster that can cater to your needs. If you want your cell phone signal booster to cover a wider area, you can look into buying additional internal antennae on top of the one that is provided when you buy a cell phone signal amplifier kit.
What Else To Look For In A Cell Phone Booster
A booster also goes by the name amplifier and repeater. A mobile signal booster that is designed for use in recreational vehicles is bidirectional amplifiers by kind. They are mainly used to improve the cell phone signal or reception. A kit of these devices includes one donor antenna that is responsible for collecting signal that is from any nearby cellular base stations, also called cell towers.
A cell phone signal booster has also an interior type antenna, an external antenna, and the amplifier. Actually, these three are also the components of a wireless type of booster. A cell phone signal booster is also called a cell phone signal repeater or a cell phone signal amplifier because it works by using an amplifier to add gain or power on top of the captured input signal from different directions.
Not all cell phone signal boosters are made the same. Those of cheaper price is expected to have cheaper materials, but they also differ from each other in maximum gain terms. Not only the materials used, but they also have been equipped with different features.
The donor antenna, also known as an exterior type antenna, collects the scattered signal outside. Usually, the decibel gain should be between 7dB and 10dB. It should not go below or higher than those.
And then, a cell phone signal booster has a wire that connects all of its components. It is called a coaxial cable, and this is where a potential loss of signal during transmission might occur. This cable feeds the collected input signal to the booster part.
The amp is the part of the device where the reception is increased a few times fold. The boosted signal is rebroadcast by the internal antenna within its range.
So in total, there are three integral parts tied together by a coaxial cable, also simply called coax. There’s an antenna that is mounted outside the vehicle for signal collection. An amp device in which the amplifying of the signal takes place. And an antenna inside the vehicle that gives the now-usable signal.
Those are the parts that make up a cell phone signal booster. They work as a single unit, although other times they are detached. Some cell phone signal boosters have optional accessories like a tap, an attenuator, a protector in case of a lightning surge and a splitter.
How a Cell Phone Booster Works
A cell phone signal booster for a recreational vehicle is expected to be of use whenever you go into an area where cell phone reception is weak. They are various obstructions that can potentially weaken your phone reception. These obstructions can be natural like trees, hills, and distance, or they can be manmade like buildings.
In cases of obstructed phone reception, having a cell phone signal booster with you can be of big help. Bear in mind that your phone’s signal strength is measured in decibel milliwatts or dBm for short. dBm is what a cell carrier transmits to cell phones. That’s exactly what the external antenna of the kit is collecting.
The cell phone signal amplifier of your choosing will boost it and then rebroadcast it inside the walls of your vehicle through the internal antenna. Simply said, that’s how a mobile signal booster does its work. The result is an amplified signal that can be reflected by the number of signal bars on your cell phone. This is the solution technology has come up with to allow good reception for clear calls even in remote areas.
Mobile signal boosters allow you to send messages quickly from your remote location. You can also receive the replies without waiting for a long time.
It’s not just the improvement in the quality of voice calls. A good cell phone signal booster is also expected to amplify the speed of data download and upload on your phone. I would advise you to buy a cell phone signal booster that also has that capability.
And make the most of your experience by choosing a cell phone signal booster that is equipped with an internal antenna that allows multiple cell phones to share the amplified signal among them.
Cell Phone Signal Booster Types
Here is some relevant information that may give you a hand in choosing which mobile signal booster is worth furnishing your motor home or recreational vehicle with:
Analog Cell Phone Signal Booster – This type is regarded as the most basic amp that is currently available on the market. Sometimes, it also goes by the names bidirectional booster. It has the ability to amplify all cell network frequencies using the traditional way.
This type of signal booster comes in a kit that includes an external antenna. It requires the user to assemble it. As for the gain, it is expected to give around 63 decibels to 70 decibels.
Smart Cell Phone Signal Booster – This type is set apart from the other boosters because it is fully digital; thus, it is also called a digital cell phone signal booster. It has an additional step that is the cleansing of the coverage before it is broadcasted again. That means there will be lesser interference. You should be aware that this signal booster type is has a locked contract with specific mobile network providers. And anticipate it to carry on its work at specific frequencies.
To emphasize its difference from that of an analog cell phone signal booster, this smart signal booster comes with around 100 decibels in gain. One of its prominent advantages is that smart cell phone boosters are not installed. No installation takes place mainly because all the parts are inside the kit. That means you don’t have to mount an external antenna on your recreational vehicle’s roof. Smart cell phone signal booster comes as a dainty package.
Consumer Cell Phone Signal Booster – This is another option when choosing a cell phone signal booster. It gives you the power to improve your coverage within limited areas like at home, your car, and your recreational vehicle. The good thing about it is that this type of booster can be installed easily.
You simply follow the instructions which are already pleasantly simple. It will take you no time to install it. It also has the convenience of just being connected without needing reconfiguration. It doesn’t need technical expertise and knowledge to install it.
Cradle Cell Phone Signal Booster – This is probably the most popular type thanks to its ease of use. This cell phone signal booster type holds your cell phone in its cradle; thus, the name.
It has an external antenna that is magnetic. And it is mounted to boost the signal. It means you will have to stick the external antenna outside your recreational vehicle or motor home. Other worth mentioning features are its portability and compact size. It is very manageable if you choose to use it in your recreational vehicle or motor home.
Fourth Generation (4G) and Long-Term Evolution (LTE) Cell Phone Signal Booster – This type is the latest addition to the types of cell phone signal boosters for your recreational vehicle use. It is a good time to be alive because all of our network carriers these days offer 4G connectivity. And most carriers have also started their conversion to LTE.
This can immediately find itself as the latest addition furniture in your recreational vehicle if you decide on this type. If your recreational vehicle is long, you have the option to include relay units in your purchase.
3G Cell Phone Signal Booster Kit – This type is the most ideal cell phone signal booster to use with older phone models and small 3G network use. It is permanently installed in your recreational vehicle. It works effectively almost all of the time in recreational vehicles that are smaller, but it provides an amplified signal from wall to wall.
Advantages of a Cell Phone Signal Booster
For recreational vehicle enthusiasts, spending money on a cell phone signal booster could be the best decisions that you’ll ever make. Frequent travelers in recreational vehicles already know how advantageous it is to have a cell phone that has good reception. Some people may want to be disconnected from the world once in a while during their excursions, but it will never a bad thing to have a mobile signal booster as a safety net.
It’s impossible to guess accurately when and where you might lose your phone reception while you’re traveling in your recreational vehicle. Recognizing that as a threat, you always have to be prepared and have a backup plan just in case. Readily having a solution is as easy as bringing a cell phone signal booster with you wherever you go.
But before giving you some of the benefits of a cell phone signal booster, I should go ahead and discuss the possible reasons why you lose your phone reception.
The top reason for having a bad reception is your location. You might have driven away and parked somewhere that is outside your network’s coverage area, which is somewhere extremely distant from a cell site.
Another reason could be something that is obstructing the signal from reaching your cell phone. It may be the trees or the mountain itself. Even your motor home itself could be the obstruction. This happens because some recreational vehicles are built with materials that could possibly block the signal.
It really doesn’t matter what is causing the problem. The solution for all of them: cell phone signal booster. You don’t have to miss out and enjoy its benefits.
Cell phone signal boosters can measure up to your standards.
There is no shortage of options in signal carriers or network. Mobile signal boosters can support networks between 2G and 4G and even the 4G LTE.
There are varied styles and types of boosters, so you’ll surely find one to your liking. Mobile signal boosters are available for recreational vehicle use, but you might also find a match for your home. They are meant to be used where a network signal is difficult to come by. Use them in buildings, boats, trucks, and anywhere else where someone needs to use an amplified signal.
There’s little room for regret, and you can even lessen it further if you spend some time to research and weigh your options before lying your money on the table.
Cell phone signal boosters can enhance voice call quality.
Seamless connection in remote areas is made possible by cell phone signal boosters. It cleanses the amplified signal from signal feedback and strengthens your connectivity to ensure a quality voice call without the usual disturbances and interference caused by obstructions.
You may be in a place that is remote and desolate, but you don’t have to suffer from weak cell phone signal coverage. You can stop climbing to higher places or staying by the window in hopes of a better cell phone signal. Uninterrupted calls are now at hand’s reach, literally if you make your purchase.
Cell phone signal booster is affordable.
Price used to be a deal breaker, but not anymore. There are plenty of choices on the market, so you are sure to come across a cell phone signal booster that is of high quality but doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. You can also make your purchase from online shops at your convenience. It will be delivered at your doorsteps in no time.
Cell phone signal boosters are also available for single installments. There are no additional fees that you have to pay. Furthermore, you now have the choice to afford the service of the network provider. You will have a lot of decisions to make to be sure it perfectly suits your needs.
Cell phone signal boosters are good investments. If you choose to splurge on one, it means you are paying for the excellent performance.
Cell phone signal boosters let you stream faster.
Most people are now using smartphones and can’t go without social network sites. A number of cell phone signal boosters have wide compatibility with different carriers.
Cell phone signal boosters improve your browsing experience. You can now be updated with the news, live stream your activities, upload pictures and videos you have taken, and a lot more. It doesn’t have to wait until you get back to the city.
Cell phone signal booster allows you to hear that message notification alarm.
No more delayed messages and stuck unsent messages. Having a cell phone signal booster means the world is just a text away, and vice versa. Sending and receiving messages used to be a troublesome concern, but that’s now history.
You don’t need to stare at your message status to check if it has already been sent. Text messages, iMessages, multimedia messages, and voice messages are now delivered in a speed of light compared to before.
Cell phone signal booster can provide a wider scope.
Cell phone signal boosters for recreational vehicle use are devised to provide users with wider coverage. There are boosters that are integrated with a unidirectional external antenna, a dome or maybe a panel inner antenna.
A cell phone signal booster combined with one of those things has better inclusion in the network coverage enabling you to experience reliable phone signal even when you travel to a very remote area.
Cell phone signal boosters prolong your battery life.
Indoor antennae are proximate to your cell phone or smartphone, which means your battery can run for more hours. Your battery level will not be spent away too quickly.
This is very advantageous because receiving a signal from an extremely distant cellular base station is battery draining.
Making a wise decision to invest in the ideal cell phone signal booster for your recreational vehicle use hypes your lifestyle while traveling. It offers the conveniences and comfort of a home. And you will never have to be disconnected from the world unwillingly.
RV Cell Phone Signal Booster FAQs
What does a mobile signal booster for RV do?
A cellphone signal booster, also called mobile signal booster, is an important innovation in communication technology. It is a very helpful device when you get to places that are almost out of the coverage area of your network provider for being too far from one of their cell towers or for having something that obstructs the signal transmission. It is devised to amplify the weak signal from your carrier, which may be 3G or 4G LTE, to a usable level.
There are many signal booster models. Some of them can rebroadcast the signal to a very limited area like only around your desktop computer, while some of them can cover an entire recreational vehicle. The result is crystal clear swift short message service (SMS) and multi-media service (MMS) exchanges, high-quality voice calls, fast data connection, and stable connectivity.
The good thing about most signal boosters for recreational-vehicle use is that these devices can be used on your smartphone, tablets, and all most anything that connects to the signal of your mobile network carrier.
There are two types of cell phone signal boosters for vehicle use. One allows connection to amplified signal only while parked or stationary. And the other type is ideal even when your vehicle is being driven.
If you go with the first choice, you will be saving some money. However, you might encounter connection problems while you are driving from one place to another. Its use will be limited to only when you’re parked.
If you want to have access even when you’re at the wheels, you’d better go for the latter. It has a versatile external antenna which doesn’t need to be kept still at one place to efficiently collect weak signal for amplification.
It costs more than the first one, but it ensures better connectivity at all times on the road like for consulting your map app.
Can a cell phone signal booster support more than one phone?
Well, the answer to that question can be based on the type of cell phone signal booster that you have.
Most cell phone signal boosters are now designed to allow multiple connections to the internal antenna.
Even if there are no restrictions on how many cell phones are simultaneously connected to the amplified signal, its strength is dependent on the outer signal. That means that a stronger outside signal supports more connections at the same time.
Is it possible to use the cell phone signal booster to amplify wi-fi signal for laptop and tablet use?
Yes, that is possible thanks to the fact that cell phone signal boosters are devised to collect existing signals such as 3G and 4G and boost them to become usable and stable.
If you have wifi, which uses 3G or 4G, sitting inside your recreational vehicle, then the cell phone signal booster can improve the existing signal to provide you with much better internet access. That, in turn, means faster upload and download.
Will using a portable hotspot affect the performance and signal strength of my cell phone signal booster?
No, most cell phone signal boosters that are designed for recreational vehicle use amplify even the signal that your phone shares with others. Switching on your portable hotspot will not affect the power of the signal being rebroadcast for your phone use.
Furnishing your motor home or recreational vehicle with a cell phone signal booster can greatly improve your lifestyle while on the road. This kit will make a notable improvement in your phone’s ability to receive and send text messages. It will significantly enhance voice call quality, and greatly reduce the possibility of dropped calls. You no longer have to be notified of missed calls.
And it will allow you to have access to the internet better than before. You map applications will no longer crash when you most need them.
You will have stable access to your mobile service provider, and that in itself opens a lot of doors.
Make sure to cover all bases and weigh your options before you make your purchase.
We’d like to express our gratitude for reading until the end of this article. Check out more information about the best of this year’s backup cameras, wifi boosters, and Global Positioning System devices for recreational vehicles and motor homes by redirecting to our ratings and reviews. Likewise, we also made reviews on the top performing tire pressure checker, television antenna, television sets in search of the perfect electronics to take inside your recreational vehicle or motor home.