Everything You Need to Know About Cell Signal Boosters

Contributor

Tucker Ballister

Favorite Trip

5 Months Solo on the Road

Home Base

Hendersonville, NC

Favorite RV

2008 Fleetwood Bounder

About Contributor

Tucker Ballister is our Technical Content Writer. He’s a lover of the open road and the proud owner of a 2021 Sunlite Classic travel trailer (his 3rd RV to date). Check out more of his RV adventures, gear reviews, and outdoor advice at thebackpackguide.com.

With new towable campers like the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK hitting the market, off-grid camping is more accessible than ever. While there are benefits of disconnecting every now and then, having cell service in a remote destination can be a lifesaver if the need arises. 

You may also rely on your cellular hotspot to make money if you work from your RV. Cellular signal boosters can provide much-needed service in an emergency situation or simply ensure reliable service for your next work video conference. 

Let’s discuss everything you need to know about cell signal boosters as an RV traveler.

What is a Cell Phone Signal Booster?

A cellphone signal booster is a device that boosts your cellphone’s existing signal. It is NOT a device that can create cellphone reception if none exists. 

Cell signal boosters are also known as amplifiers or repeaters. Most are comprised of an external antenna, an amplifier, and an interior antenna. 

Cell signal boosters are great for boondocking situations and campgrounds with natural obstructions that impact cell service. You’ll find them useful anywhere you’ll have 1-2 bars of service and desire a faster, more reliable connection. 

How Do Cell Phone Signal Boosters Work?

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Photo by Camping World

Most cell signal boosters add gain, or power, to an existing signal in various directions. The external antenna receives the cellular signal. That signal is then “boosted” by the amplifier and rebroadcast in your RV by the interior antenna. 

This gives you more bars of cellphone service inside your RV so you can enjoy fewer dropped calls, faster web browsing, and improved download and upload speeds. A cell signal booster can also improve your cellphone’s battery life when camping in remote locations. 

How to Use Cell Signal Boosters

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Photo by Camping World

The process for setting up a cell signal booster differs by manufacturer. Consult your manufacturer’s installation instructions for proper setup and use. 

That said, popular models follow these basic setup instructions: 

  1. Set up the external antenna. Many cell boosters recommend running the wire for the external antenna through your RV window and placing it in an elevated location. Placing it higher will reduce signal disruption from nearby trees or mountains.  
  2. Set up the internal antenna. Place the internal antenna in a secure location inside your RV. The further you can place it from the external antenna’s location, the better service you’ll enjoy. 
  3. Plug the amplifier into a reliable power source. Ensure the internal and external antennas are connected to the amplifier, and then plug the amplifier into a reliable AC or DC power source. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for the preferred power source for their booster. 

Pro Tip: If you run the wire for your external antenna out an RV window, be careful not to shut the window with too much force to avoid damaging the antenna’s cable. 

You should notice stronger service on your phone – more “bars” – when connected properly. You can also conduct a speed test on your phone’s web browser before setting it up and conduct another test after setup to compare speed improvement. 

Certain models are designed for permanent installation, making them ideal for full-time RVers or digital nomads. Others are designed to be set up when you reach camp and stored when it’s time to travel. 

The Best Cell Signal Boosters from Camping World

These cell signal boosters work with most cellphone providers to deliver better service for your next off-grid RV trip

KING KX2000 Extend Pro Cell Signal Booster

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Photo by Camping World

Includes: Booster, Outside Antenna, Inside Antenna, 20’ Cable, Mounting Bracket, Ladder/Pole Mounting Hardware, AC/DC Power Supply, and Instruction Manual

The KING KX2000 is KING’s most powerful signal booster and can reach cell towers up to 74% farther away than other models. It also provides up to 32x signal amplification and works with all US cellphone carriers. 

It works with AC or DC power and can be mounted to your RV’s roof or ladder. It can also simultaneously support multiple devices without additional contracts or monthly fees. 

Check the price of this cell signal booster.

KING KX3000 Extend Go Cell Signal Booster

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Photo by Camping World

Includes: Booster, Outside Antenna, Inside Antenna, Foldable Tripod, 20’ Cable, AC/DC Power Supply, Carry Bag, and Instruction Manual

The KING KX3000 Extend Go offers the same 32x amplification and signal acquisition capabilities as the Extend Pro. This model also provides a portable tripod for easier setup and the ability to quickly relocate the booster until it acquires the best signal possible for your campsite. 

As its name suggests, it’s designed for on-the-go RVers and comes with a carry bag for safer, organized transport. It simultaneously supports multiple users and doesn’t require additional fees or service contracts. 

Learn more about this cellphone signal booster.

Winegard RangePro Cell Signal Booster

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Photo by Camping World

Includes: Booster, Outside Antenna, Inside Antenna, 40’ Cable, Exterior Mounting Hardware, and AC/DC Power Supply.

Winegard’s RangePro allows you to boost the signal on multiple devices simultaneously. Multiple mounting options allow you to secure the exterior antenna on your RV ladder or directly on the roof. 

The RangePro boosts voice, text, and 4G LTE cell signals and is compatible with all North American carriers. It can be powered by AC or DC power and comes with 40 feet of low-loss coaxial cable for easier installation on larger RVs.

Discover the full list of specs and features for this cell signal booster.


Whether you need service for phone calls to friends or to support your full-time RV lifestyle, here are a couple more resources you may find helpful: 

Do you have questions about or experience with cell signal boosters? Share in the comments below.

  • Comment (19)
  • Debbe says:

    With the RangePro…. 1. Does it have to be permanently mounted on a RV? Or, can you used it on a cabin or vehicle as well?

    I have the Winegard 360 for our RV. Works pretty well for internet. We also have a small, metal roofed cabin in northern WI where I could use help with the signal. I used to have a Weboost that worked well up there but it only went to 3G. Then I got a HiBoost (in trying to upgrade) and I am not happy with it at all. Thinking of selling it – but looking for other options.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Debbe,

      The RangePro is indeed designed for permanent mounting, but you certainly have freedom to choose that mounting location. I’d recommend reaching out to Winegard’s support team directly to tell them more about your preferred use case. They’ll be your best resource to recommend their ideal product for your cabin.

      Hope that helps!

  • Art Pirozzi says:

    we’ve been going to a campground in the NY Adirondacks and there is no cell signal. If you begin to walk about 1,000 feet, text messages begin to come in. Are these signal boosters able to sniff out a signal and then amplify enough for you to use your cell phone for calling, text, etc.?

  • John Billings says:

    I just bought the king pro Wi-Fi extender and router. It reaches the campground Wi-Fi but no internet. Have you tried this?

    • Hi John,

      The King Pro WiFi Extender allows the user to connect to the nearby WiFi if it is available. The actual connection to the internet is a function of the WiFi provider. I’d check with the campground or their internet provider in this case.

      Hope that’s helpful!

  • Gary W. Taylor says:

    It would be interesting to know if this KING KX2000 Extend Pro Cell Signal Booster would work with T-Mobil’s Internet Service.

  • Richard Johnson says:

    Remember that the FCC restricts the amount of boosting which is allowed for boosters while traveling on the road, however the amount of boosting allowed when at a campsite (not moving) is much greater. I use a home/office booster when camping because I have a trailer and wouldn’t be using it while traveling, only when stopped. If you have don’t need to use your booster while moving, get a home/office model instead of one of the “mobile” models and you will get a greater signal boost.

    Also, if you put the outside antenna on the top of a large extendable pole (mine is 25′), then you can pick up the signal better in many places.

  • Can you do an article about the TravlFi unit and system?

  • Mike Eastman says:

    Is there boosters for our tv that will bring reception in. The nearest tv station is 65 -70 miles away. I’ve tried a couple that didn’t work.

  • David says:

    What are your thoughts about smoothtalker cell booster.

    • Hi David!

      I don’t have any personal experience with Smoothtalker, but I’m adding your comment here in hopes that some of our community members might be able to chime in.

      My apologies that I couldn’t be of more assistance!

  • Parker says:

    How do these work with 5G?

    • Hi Parker!

      5G currently comes in 3 flavors, depending on location. In remote spaces where distance is an issue, the low band is used, but it doesn’t have the benefits that 5G is touted for.

      In rural or suburban areas, mid band is the best compromise between distance and features. Both piggyback on the old 4G equipment and so the 4G boosters should still work…just don’t expect the speed or quality of urban 5G. Urban 5g utilizes all new equipment in the high band. It shares nothing in common with 4G LTE so there is no way the old booster will help.

      The drawback of the high bands is that the signals don’t go far and we have to have a lot more towers. This is why it only makes sense in the city. If the carrier still supports 4G LTE, the new 5G phone can be set to 4G LTE and it will work, but without the 5G benefits. You may have to do this if you don’t have good 5G reception where you are at.

      Hope this helps, but let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Parker says:

    How do these work with the growing popularity of 5G?

    • 5G currently comes in 3 flavors, depending on location. In remote spaces where distance is an issue, the low band is used, but it doesn’t have the benefits that 5G is touted for.

      In rural or suburban areas, mid band is the best compromise between distance and features. Both piggyback on the old 4G equipment and so the 4G boosters should still work…just don’t expect the speed or quality of urban 5G. Urban 5g utilizes all new equipment in the high band. It shares nothing in common with 4G LTE so there is no way the old booster will help. The drawback of the high bands is that the signals don’t go far and we have to have a lot more towers. This is why it only makes sense in the city. If the carrier still supports 4G LTE, the new 5G phone can be set to 4G LTE and it will work, but without the 5G benefits. You may have to do this if you don’t have good 5G reception where you are at.

      Hope this helps, but let us know if you have any other questions!

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