In today’s age of free public WiFi and unlimited phone data plans, paying for WiFi at a campground at any price is too costly. If you’re a weekend warrior, you might even feel appalled at the notion that anyone would want WiFi at a campground. However, for those of us on the road full-time, we need to work and it’s virtually impossible to do that remotely without reliable high-speed internet.
Such was the case at Valley of Fire when wind storms and beautiful views forced me to stay put. I was pretty excited that I could get WiFi inside the park through Viasat. So, when we had a break in the storm for a few hours, I went outside and walked around to see which spot had a stronger signal. I then moved from dry camp spot number 10 to RV spot number 29.
During my week at the park, I tried Viasat’s two main services: unlimited for one device and limited data for up to three devices. I think it’s way too pricey. But, if you’re inside Valley of Fire State Park and need to work, it’s a pretty good option to have in your back pocket.
Is There Phone Service at Valley of Fire State Park?
There are some spots inside Valley of Fire where you can pick up cell service, but they are few and far between. Service can also come and go. Every so often the wind might blow you a few bars of signal and all your messages come through. In some cases, your phone might even ring. But, I was never able to accept a phone call or browse the net.
I did try using my booster to resolve this problem. The booster got me service bars up to full bars of 4G on both my Verizon and my Mint Mobile. However, the booster bars are not as they appear. It might say 4G, but it really just amounted to receiving dinosaur text messages and the occasional social media notification.
If you absolutely need cell service, my Verizon phone picked up a bar or two at the turn off from the main road into the campground area. However, this was also deceptive because it could never load my map, so I could get directions. Your best is to drive out to the entrance of the park that comes in from Lake Mead or up to Poverty Flats. Overton, which is the closest town, also has excellent phone service.
What Are the WiFi Data Plans Viasat Offers at Valley of Fire?
Why tell you when I can just show you? This is a screenshot of the WiFi rates page that was current at the time of writing this.
Is the Viasat WiFi at Valley of Fire State Park Fast?
I’ve used a lot of public WiFi and hotspots when traveling, including connections at hotels, airports, and RV parks. So far, the Viasat WiFi is one of the fastest. I didn’t check the internet speed, but I had no trouble viewing, loading or watching anything. There was no buffering of pages or videos. While using the service, I worked, made WiFi phone calls, watched two movies with my mom, watched a few Reels on Instagram, and spent some time browsing social media.
That said, in some areas of the park, random disconnections can happen. This is why I moved from spot 10 to 29. You might need to walk around with your phone and see what available spots you get the best WiFi at. I also noticed that uploading and downloading anything via Viasat WiFi didn’t work very well. Finally, the WiFi service was incompatible with both my VPN services.
Are the Limited or Unlimited Viasat WiFi Plans Better?
If you only have one WiFi-enabled device and only plan to connect that device to the internet, the unlimited plan is a good buy. It says you’re able to switch devices, but this is not always true. You can log out or remove one device, log in with another and still get an error message saying you have more than one device logged in.
In fact, I had three devices and, on my last day, when I checked, it somehow had about six logged. I think it sometimes doesn’t recognize the device logging back in as the same device. Consequently, unless you really plan to spend all day on the internet, I recommend choosing one of its limited plans. These plans provide a predetermined amount of data that you can connect up to three devices to. It expires after 30 days.
One thing I can note about both plans is that you might not get your full money’s worth. When I had the unlimited plan, it expired ahead of the scheduled time, so I didn’t get the full 72 hours I paid for. The same thing happened with the data when I bought 5 GB. I signed in one day and suddenly it was all gone. There were no emails or texts providing a heads-up that I was running low and, honestly, I don’t really think I used it all.
I enjoyed my stay at the Valley of Fire State Park and stayed long enough that the park rangers knew both Samson and me on sight. When I left, it was bittersweet. At the time of writing this, I am at Sand Hallow in Southern Utah, which I love even more. I definitely plan to come back here, even though it is a little pricey! By the time you read this article, though, I’ll be in Colorado.
If you are a long-term or full-time traveler looking for more permanent solutions to your internet needs, check out my article on the seven hotspots and unlimited data phone plans I’ve tested. I keep it updated, so I’m sure you’ll find it helpful. Happy travels!
6 thoughts on “Is the Viasat WiFi at Valley of Fire Worth the Money for RVers?”
It’s almost expected that in the wilderness parks there would be little phone and Internet service. What surprises me is that there are parts of the country, even not too far from major hubs like Raleigh, NC where cell service is spotty and Internet service is limited. Our recent need for many more people to work from home has identified many of these areas with weak infrastructure for getting along in this connected world.
That’s a very good point! Sometimes I think companies are too focused on the next best thing at the expense of failing to resolve existing problems.
My son is moving to a very remote area in Missouri. He has a satellite or some such that gives him full phone and internet at all times. I have no other remembrance off is setup.
If I was staying in one location long-term or had a tiny home on a permanent foundation, I might consider Viasat. It’s a satellite service. But, they don’t cater to moving houses. 😂
My son put the satellite on his vehicle when traveling !! 🙂
There are satellites for RVs. I see them all the time. But Viasat says it doesn’t serve nomads. It’s set up for being in one location.