After 12 months of Caravanning and travelling Australia with Starlink, we feel we are qualified and experienced to give another update.
As more and more satellites are being launched, the better the service is getting. Trees can still be a major headache if you need constant uptime for things like phone/video calls, or online games, however streaming services like Netflix, YouTube (to some extent), emails and web browsing can all handle the small dropouts that minor tree obstructions will create. You’ll still be searching for clear southern sky views at camps for the best internet though.
Still an issue for people with smaller battery and solar systems, and there is no 12V system in sight, however Starlink have surprised us with new products occasionally, so who knows! There are some aftermarket solutions available, however without having used them ourselves, we are hesitant to recommend them. From all reports they can result in up to 40% lower power usage though. (In my opinion, spend that money upgrading battery or solar systems instead!) Starlink have also recently introduced a Sleep mode, which is excellent for those of us off-grid! It lets the system automatically sleep at a certain time of day, reducing power usage overnight, or during the day while you are away.
Speed continues to be, for the most part, excellent. The RV plan has lower priority than residential services, however in our experience in Australia, we have yet to experience enough congestion to cause any noticeable issues, and I’ve never run a speed-test and received less than 120mbps, (that’s very fast) however if you are travelling through areas with high congestion (Sunshine Coast, Sydney) you can expect lower speeds.
In the US they have initiated a data cap of 1tb for residential services, however the only thing that happens when you reach that cap is that your speeds become un-prioritised (the same as the RV plan always is).
We had an unfortunate incident in Albany, WA, Our Dishy fell off our caravan and snapped the “leg”. Luckily the dish itself still worked perfectly, with a small notice in the app that the motors were stuck. We think we had Dishy right on the edge of the roof, and as a storm came through it generated a very high wind gust, it was already strong enough wind that the awning was packed away, and it wasn’t having any issues staying up there until that gust.
Would we mount it permanently?
No, absolutely not! However a Starlink pivot mount, or something similar DIY’ed that you can put Dishy into on the roof of your van or car without needing the tripod would be beneficial. However, even then, when you are in trees, limiting the position it can be in on your roof can make the difference between receiving good internet and not. For this reason we always recommend not to permanently mount your Starlink on your roof with one of the aftermarket kits, I can guarantee you will suffer from significant dropouts regularly, unless you only ever camp in areas without many trees, which isn’t really possible when you are travelling all areas of Australia. The full length of cable and the ground mount tripod are often needed in our experience. We have also sometimes used our mast from our Overland Exposure Internet Kit to get it up higher, to help with tree obstructions, it helps but isn’t ideal.
Keeping Your Cable Free From Damage
We have found the perfect solution to keep your Starlink Cable free from tangling, damage and being a trip hazard (which trust us, the cable is quite delicate, another statement from experience) – the Flat Out International Multi-Reel! We keep enough cable at one end for the reel to sit flat on the ground near our tyre, and the cable go up to the modem which is kept in our outdoor entertainment hatch and then unwind the required length of cable from the other end for dishy to sit where it needs, whether that be on top of the caravan, on the ground in our site, or run 10m+ away for a clear view of the sky. We have protected the cable with some small conduit where it bends to begin the winding process. This is a precaution to prevent the bend getting too tight and possibly damaging the cable.
We have the Compact Multi-Reel and it is the perfect size for the cable in our opinion. And Zoe has made it even easier and created a Starlink package for you!: https://flatoutmultireel.com.au/collections/starlink-rv-cable-reel?ref=overland
We have a $15 Coupon code too, which is a fab little bonus for you! Make sure to include the code: OOVERLAND23N when checking out.
p.s. Yes we receive a small commission if you use our link. We don’t think this is a bad thing as we did the research and investigating, bought and tested the product and worked with Zoe from Flat Out to make it a flawless solution. We also have a 2nd Flat Out Package for all of your cable storage – the Overland Exposure Essentials Pack with a HUGE $40 Coupon – Code OVERLAND23P
Here’s a video to help explain it a bit more!