Getting up on the roof before and after every travel day to set up Starlink was getting old! So, we have been considering an upgrade for a while. But, we had a couple of concerns holding us back.

Will it work well enough when traveling to supplement spotty cell service?

Will it work well enough under trees being fix-mounted to our RV?

The Catalyst

We'd pondered those questions since we hit the road a few months ago, and then nature decided to give us a little nudge. While in New Mexico, a strong wind blew our GEN2 antenna OFF THE ROOF!

That, by itself, would have been bad. What made it worse was that we had the excess antenna cable wrapped around our junction box with only a few feet of slack to the antenna. This causes the antenna to stop its progress toward the ground and swing directly into our RV window, shattering it!

Upgrade Time!

Installing the Flat High-Performance Antenna was very easy since we already had a junction box, making the cable runs into the RV super simple. Some lap sealant and a few screws and the majority of the job was done!

Disclaimer: Our partner, MobileMustHave, sent us the HP antenna free of charge to make this review. Please take a look at our Product Review Policy for more details.

Testing!

Our primary objectives with this antenna were no more setup and breakdown, usable in-motion, and usable under trees.

Objective one is a no-brainer. It's been very ncie to not get on the roof when setting up and breaking down camp.

Objective two was also a success. After we worked out a wifi issue (having our access point in our AC duct), we were seeing 100Mbps+ while driving 65MPG in remote areas. Awesome!

Objective three was a mixed result. Our minor tree coverage in test location one produced almost no interference with no complete signal loss. However, test location two had a lot more tree coverage, and we had noticeable signal dropouts consistently. While these dropouts were barely noticeable for streaming and general internet use (web, email, etc), they would pose a problem for bandwidth-sensitive applications like Zoom calls or remote desktops.

Mitigating Signal Loss

There are two ways we can mitigate Starlink signal loss under trees:

Move the antenna. Yes, it's “mounted”, but it's only 2 screws and we have excess cable in the junction box. We could fairly easily unmount the antenna and move it to a better sky view. This would be a great option if we were in a location with bad cell coverage for all three carriers.

Supplement with Cellular. We have three cellular carriers, but even if we had only one, it would be enough to fill in the gaps when the Starlink signal drops out and supplement when it's strong. You can see this in action in the video.

Since day one on the road, we've always maintained that diversity of connection options is critical for having internet everywhere we travel. Not every cellular carrier is everywhere, and even though Starlink does work everywhere, it has trouble under trees.

Better Cellular Option?

As we mentioned, we currently have three separate data plans. That gets EXPENSIVE! But, having only a single carrier opens us up to a situation where neither Starlink nor cellular will work. Cellular data diversity is an integral part of our overall Provider diversity.

But, there are some new data plans from our partner Mobile Must Have that can move between carriers based on what works in a given area. These are called M-Series (Multi-Carrier) Data Plans. We have not tested these ourselves, but we will very soon!

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