The solar power guide for Starlink in your RV
Starlink, SpaceX’s Global Satellite Constellation, might be the remote worker and RVers’ dream connection. With a global connection footprint, you could really travel in your RV just about anywhere.
Numerous times on the road, we were near national parks like Yellowstone and Glacier and had no internet services. This lack of service required long drives sometimes to complete only short tasks online.
There are some important considerations to consider with how Starlink accounts operate and where you can use them. Let’s get started.
First, let’s discuss Starlink.
Starlink is an offering from SpaceX that allows users high speed internet connectivity almost anywhere. SpaceX defines their service as such:
“Immediately access unlimited high-speed, low-latency internet on an as-needed basis at any destination where Starlink provides active coverage. $135/mo with a one-time cost of $599 for portable hardware or $2,500 for in-motion hardware.”
Let’s now break down SpaceX’s offering:
Immediately - This means there is a good chance that when you order your kit it will be available to purchase. When I ordered Starlink, I had to wait for over a year for service. It seems like this wait time is over for most users.
Unlimited - This means that Starlink will allow you to use as much bandwidth as required. They may change this if their system begins to be abused by super high users. But for now it lists as unlimited.
High speed - Having used Starlink for over a year, my connection speed was aroung 250 Megabit
Low-latency - This is how long it takes to make a connection across the network. I found our latency to be pretty low and consistent.
As-nededed basis - This is perfect for RV users that only use their fifth wheel or motorhome for part of the year. SpaceX claims no contract required on their service.
At any destination where Starlink provides active coverage - Look at their coverage map, it is pretty impressive already. RVing in remote areas was always hard for remote work and connectivity. Their increased satellite coverage solves this problem.
$135/mo - This is their new mobile service for RVs that allow travel in a specific region. To me, this price seems very reasonable to have internet just about anywhere you go.
$599 for portable hardware - This is the hardware we have personally used for over a year now. Reliable and solid; just put the dish out whenever you stop to then acquire a connection.
$2,500 for in-motion hardware - The new Flat High Performance Starlink allows users to enjoy high-speed, low-latency internet while in-motion. This is game changing. While it is a chunk of change, mobile RVers and remote workers will most likely consider this a must.
That is a lot to break down for a service, but there is a lot of features and details to consider in their offering.
Now let’s talk equipment:
Portable Starlink Equipment (Standard)
Average Power Usage: 50-75 Watts
InMotion Starlink Equipment
Average Power Usage: 110-150 Watts to run the equipment
Wow, this thing is rated to 174 MPH
Designed for mobile applications, like on top of your RV
Power requirements for Starlink in your RV
Depending on the equipment you could be using between 50 to 150 watts 24 hours a day, unless you shut the system off when it is not going to be used for a while.
The calculations for Rv solar and power inverter system would work out as follows:
150 Watts / 12 volts = 12.5 Amps
Starlink in 24 hours will drain the following amount of your RV battery bank:
12.5 Amps (@ 12 Volts) X 24 hours = 300 Amp hours
If you are using solar panels to power your RV and recharge your battery bank, you will need to make sure your system can handle the load from Starlink. Double checking on sizing your solar array for the Starlink portion in addition to your other loads would be time well spent before hitting the road.
300 Amp hours is not trivial, but it is reasonable since a 190 watt panel produces a little over nine amps in full sun.
A sample solar and lithium battery system to run Starlink full time in your RV
- 600 Watts of solar panels
- 60 Amp MPPT solar controller
- 500 to 1000 Amp Hours of lithium batteries
- An inverter rated at above 400 watts of true sine wave power should be plenty
If you are off-grid camping, you probably have a pretty beefy solar system with lots of panels installed on your roof already. You could add another 200 Watt portable solar panel to help offset increased loads.
Tip for reducing Starlink energy consumption and RV Solar requirements
This one tip can keep you from adding more solar panels and lithium batteries in your RV. Place a switch to turn off the system completely when not needed. This simple switch will cut off all the power to the equipment when not needed. The power savings can be pretty impressive. For example, if you turn off the Starlink system during the 8 hours of average sleep, the power requirements will drop by at least one third. That is a one hundred amp hour lithium battery and we all know how much those cost. Check out RV lithiums, are they worth the cost? During the day, Starlink is mostly using the power produced by your solar panels. Running during mainly during the day should be a real win as often a fully charged solar system can actually dump the excess power in an off-grid system.
Our conclusions on adding Starlink to your RV:
After using Starlink for over a year, we find it reliable and fast. No more are the common internet outages caused by telephone poles being knocked down or wires caught by large trucks. Just add a clear view of the sky and voila, there is my Starlink Internet! If you are active online and want to be anywhere, Starlink RV is most likely for you. Portable kits are geared more toward travel trailers, teardrops, truck campers and budget users. In Motion kits are geared toward Class A, Class B, Class C, and Motorhomes.
It is an exciting time to be an RVer with all the internet choices available nearly everywhere. Head out to Yellowstone, Moab, Glacier or Great Smoky Mountains and have internet wherever you are. Add Starlink to your RV to get internet on the go!
A selection of inverters capable of power the Starlink internet.
3 top power inverters from Go Power may be right for you too!Go Power! makes high quality Sine Inverter Chargers and regular sine wave models as well. Som,etimes all you need is the inverter, please check out the wattage for the right size for you.
3000 Watt Go Power Sine Inverter
This Go Power Sine Wave power inverter is ready to power most of your 30 amp loads. It is ready to turn 12 volt DC into 120 VAC. Hard Wire Only.
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2000 Watt Go Power Sine Inverter
2000 Watt sine wave power inverter with a GFCI outlet on the front made by Go Power!
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1500 Watt Go Power Inverter
1500 Watts of clean pur power that has a GFCI and a great manufacturer, Go Power!
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