Can I Use My Fire Stick While RV Camping?

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People enjoy RVing in an assortment of ways these days.  From boondocking to glamping, the RV lifestyle is here to stay.  Being on the road, however, could hinder you from staying informed on local and world news, at a minimum.  Have you ever wondered – Can I Use My Fire Stick While RV Camping?

Well, as long as you’re in a location with Wi-Fi, you definitely can stoke up that Fire Stick and connect yourself to the outside world.

So, What Exactly is a Fire Stick?

Technology changes so rapidly these days that often times it’s hard to keep up.  Fire Stick is a streaming device that connects to your TV.  Using Wi-Fi, you can then stream content from the TV.  You’ll enjoy HD streaming in a compact HDMI stick the size of a USB flash drive.  Fire Stick is officially branded “Amazon Fire TV Stick,” however, the general population simply knows it as Fire Stick.

The Fire Stick plugs into your TV’s HDMI port.  It has the capability of streaming access to TV shows, movies, music, photos, and games.  It’s easily transportable to other media devices and houses all your media content. 

fire stick for RV Camping

It’s available from Amazon and you’ll receive everything you need including your new Fire Stick, the remote, a USB cable, power adapter, HDMI extender, 2 AAA batteries, and an instructional guide.  It also includes the Alexa Voice Remote which makes the Fire Stick a great bargain!

fire stick for rv camping components

How to Install Fire Stick

Once the Fire Stick is received, here are a few things you’ll need to do:

  • Insert the batteries in the remote.
  • Plug the Fire Stick into the HDMI port of your TV.  An HDMI extender may also be used which will come shipped with the device.
  • Turn ON your TV and choose the HDMI port in which you plugged in your Fire Stick as the “source.”
  • Connect Fire Stick to the power source.
  • Wait for Fire Stick to power up.
  • Be sure you have a Wi-Fi connection and it is within reach of the Fire Stick.

Once your TV is on and Fire Stick is plugged into the HDMI port, it will direct you to a setup process and walk you through the necessary steps.

To Prime or Not to Prime

Being an Amazon Prime member allows you free access to its streaming library of movies, games, TV shows, and Amazon Originals.  In addition, you’ll be able to view any pictures uploaded to your Amazon Cloud service.  If not a Prime member, a charge will most likely be incurred for watching a movie or show from the Prime library. 

However, you do not need to be an Amazon Prime member in order to use Fire Stick.  It costs you nothing to create an Amazon account which will be necessary to install Fire Stick.  You’ll need to register the Fire Stick using your Amazon account.  Fire Stick allows you to stream many different TV apps for free, such as Roku, Swift Streamz or LiveNet TV. 

There are other apps such as Hulu, Sling TV, Pureflix or Netflix to name a few that will charge you a minimal monthly fee to download their app to your TV.  Hulu starts at $5.99/month, while Netflix standard is $12.99/month.  Each one offers a wide variety of movies, shows, documentaries and more to keep you satisfied with exciting and interesting entertainment. 

Will It Work in My RV?

Private RV parks generally have cable and/or Wi-Fi available for those reserving a site.   With Wi-Fi available to you, it’s easy to use your Fire Stick and tune into Amazon Prime, Roku, Hulu or one of the many programming packages available to keep yourself amused in the evenings or on a rainy day. 

In the case of RVing where Wi-Fi is not available, such as boondocking, national parks, state parks and the like, where there’s a will, there might still be a way.  Many cell phone service providers offer something called a “Hot Spot” through your phone which acts as a Wi-Fi locator.  Many Hot Spots will pick up a nearby signal, allowing you Wi-Fi access via your cell phone.

Depending on if you’re an Apple or Android person, check into getting an appropriate TV Converter for your cell phone.  With your Hot Spot on, it will project whatever’s on your phone to your TV screen.  The quality and streaming have proven to be impressive for many folks by allowing them to project programs from apps such as YouTube, Hulu or Netflix from their phone to their TV.

Perhaps the Hot Spot isn’t quite cutting it in some areas you’ve visited.  A Signal Booster Antenna can help.  This is not the same antenna you use (and most RVs are equipped with) to watch TV.  The Signal Booster is a specific antenna mounted outside the RV that searches for cell signals in your area.   There are several makes and models.  Techno RVs WiFi Camp Pro Kit 2 is a great WiFi booster that we highly recommend.


PRO TIP

Techno RV has the best information I have found about cell signal and signal Boosters. If you are interested in learning how to get the best signal strength so your Fire Stick and other electronics in your RV perform their best check out their article called Staying Connected on the Road Using WiFi and Cellular. This is the most informative article I have ever seen on the subject.

Another option is to use Google’s Chromecast.  It’s a cheap alternative if you don’t have a Micro HDMI port on your device (IOS or Android), you can use something called a Chromecast Dongle.  The Dongle is a wireless adapter that takes the signal from your IOS or Android device and projects it onto your TV.   Any apps, such as Amazon Prime, that are housed on your device can be projected using the Dongle.

Fire Stick Reviews from RVers

Two things seemed to be brought up time and time again when it comes to living on the road with Fire Stick.

First, it makes sense to have a plan with unlimited Wi-Fi.  A lot of data can be eaten up when streaming videos, movies and the like on your TV.  If you are staying in a private campground, this may not be an issue, but when using your cell phone, it’s best to completely understand your data plan with your provider. 

Another featured comment in reviews has to do with the strength of the Wi-Fi you are using in order to get a quality picture on your TV.  Any networks using less than a 3G signal experienced interference and buffering.  This may mean that even some private parks that have sketchy Wi-Fi, may not produce the best signal for your Fire Stick.

Conclusion

Technology is a beautiful thing.  OK, it can be a bit confusing at times, but nonetheless, where would we be in the wonderful world of television now without it?  If you wish to keep up with the news or relax in front of the tube after a busy day in the great outdoors, Fire Stick may just be the answer. 

Fire Stick is inexpensive to purchase and the fact that it is portable makes it a great option for your TV at home or on the road.

As with all technology or newfound information on your radar, it’s best to talk with other RVers along the way, google reviews and search to your heart’s content on what form of media package will work best for the RV lifestyle you lead.


RELATED READING

If you have a Fire Stick and TV onboard your RV you might want to protect all your electronic devices. Click Here to check out our article called 10 Best RV Surge Protectors – 2020 Reviews for the latest info on the very best surge protectors for your RV!

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