Phone

Making phone calls from the remotest location is easy with today's technologies. On this page we cover phone services that should satisfy all of your RV travel needs: Cell Phones, Calling Cards, and Satellite Phones.

Cell Phones

The obvious choice for staying in voice contact with loved ones is the cell phone. Review your existing plan or select a new one to fit your RV travel needs, with the following considerations:

  • Determine as many travel destinations as possible and check to see which major carrier covers the most.
  • Consider buying multi-function cell phones so they work outside the home area. These may be called "tri-band" or "analog/digital".
  • Look for plans that include roaming and long distance calls within the US.
  • If you will be relying on free evening calls to minimize cost, keep the time zone difference in mind. (If the evening minutes start at 9 PM local time, it will be difficult for you to call form the West Coast to the East Coast without waking up friends.)

Coverage and service plans change constantly, so be sure to visit the web site of all major carriers to determine which one is best for you.

Calling Cards

A good calling card plan is an ideal supplement to your cell phone. At times it may be the most convenient and least expensive way to call. It also provides an alternative when you are outside cell coverage.

Some calling cards have all kinds of hidden fees! Lower the advertised per-minute rate, more chances of fee stuffing in the background; be very suspicious of low rates until you have read all the conditions. Fees to watch out for:

  • Per call surcharge or connection fee
  • Per day/week/month usage or non-usage fee
  • Service fees in various forms
  • Billing increment or rounding longer than one minute
  • Pay phone or hotel surcharge
  • Expiration of minutes
  • Higher rates when calling international cell phones

Calling cards can be bought at most retail outlets and from your own telephone company. If you have access to the Internet, we recommend calling cards that you can buy and re-fill online.

A quick way to find the best calling card is to take advantage of an online consolidator service, such as these:

Satellite Phones

For complete coverage no matter which part of the globe you are standing on, your only choice is satellite phone. Global coverage is provided by the Iridium and Globalstar satellite networks.

The cost of satellite phone service has decreased into the affordable range. Equipment costs can also be reasonable when rented from companies like these: