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Published Sep. 19, 2019

Being able to take off at a moment’s notice and travel around the country at a drop of a hat is one of the best parts of owning a motorhome. However, it’s no secret that the lack of space can sometimes become a little suffocating at times – especially if you’ve chosen to bring along the family.

Enter the RV awning. Created to provide you with an outdoor area that is sheltered from blistering heat and cold wind, the best RV awnings provide a comfortable space for you, your friends and your loved ones to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing comfort.

Below, we discuss the best camper awning options on the market today as well as provide the all-important information on what makes a good campervan awning. We also answer frequently asked questions. Read on to find out everything there is to know about RV awnings.

The Best RV Awning

Our first option is available in a huge array of sizes, so that this RV slide out awning from Solera fits every campervan slider from 5 to 16 feet. Made with a touch of extra fabric to cover your entire slide box, with a little room to space on each side, this topper awning is perfect for those who are looking for a very specific camper awning. It comes with everything you need to get your new campervan kitted out, and this high-quality piece extends over eight inches longer than their nearest competitor.

The hole pattern is universal and designed to fit almost all types and sizes of campervan. This, along with the full set of accessories, means you won’t have to worry about buying an awning that won’t fit your slider. A great choice for anyone looking for additional space.

Key Features
  • Solid black, sleek look
  • Extends up to 50”
  • Attaches to slide room
Specification
  • Brand Solera
  • Model V000182037
  • Weight 35.5 pounds
PROS

Comes with everything you need to attach the RV awning

A highly rated option that customers love

Fits a wide range of room sizes

CONS

Not suitable for motorhomes without slide room

Instructions can be hard to read

From the complete set to a simple side blocker, this drop awning from CareFree is a fantastic way to give yourself some added privacy and sunblock without breaking the bank. The universal add-on can fit to any awning to create a quick and simple wall for your campervan. Simply add the upper side block and then zip the lower side wall on, as and when you feel you need it.

This is a great way or giving your campervan a little extra space and it can be combined with a number of side-wall options to create a full room, instead of fitting a slider to your RV. Once fitted, it even rolls up alongside your awning, so you don’t need to worry about storage, when not in use.

Key Features
  • Side wall for awnings
  • Designed to keep you shaded from the sun
  • Fits most awnings
  • 5-year warranty included
Specification
  • Brand CareFree
  • Model 701509
  • Weight 9.85 pounds
PROS

Easy to fit, with a simple zipper

Can block up to 85% of sunlight

The upper insert stays put, allowing for easy removal of the side panel once installed

CONS

Will need suitable tie-downs, as the ones provided are quite weak

The insert can remain outside of your awning attachment

With an ability to fit most major brands of RV awnings, this awning replacement fabric does an incredible job of giving your campervan a new lease on life. Whether your fabric is older and is exhibiting wear and tear, or you’re simply looking for additional pop of color. This is a high-quality replacement for your RV awning that gives you a cost-effective solution to older, simpler fabric.

Coming with a three-year warranty, this option uses welded Weatherguard to protect against the elements and makes your awning suitable for use in all climates. Customers also note that this is a very easy to install option, with many having their new awning fabric up and running within the hour.

Key Features
  • High quality fabric
  • Cost-effective solution
  • 3-year warranty included
Specification
  • Brand Shade Pro
  • Model 121632
  • Weight 121632
PROS

One of the most budget-friendly options with good quality materials

Welded Weatherguard provides additional protection against rust

Very easy to install

CONS

Provides the fabric only

A hugely popular option among the campervan community, SunWave built a reputation on providing high-quality fabrics at great prices. This particular fabric comes in a wide range of different colors and designs – but we’re a big fan of the Blue Fade. Colored on both sides, this is a visually appealing option that covers both the inside and outside in an eye-catching design.

Including everything from eight feet of projected fabric to a new pull strap, you’ll find that this RV awning comes as one of the most popular choices online. The only real drawback is that it may be a little awkward to fit with instructions that are hard to follow.  However, checking videos online or asking customer service usually comes up with speedy replies.

Key Features
  • 8ft projection
  • Colored on both sides
  • Affordable option
Specification
  • Brand SunWave
  • Model 62418
PROS

Another budget friendly option that works as a cost-effective solution

A bright, visually appealing option that customers love

CONS

Installation instructions can be hard to follow

Designed to work in conjunction with your awning and drop walls, these side screen kits are ideal for creating additional room for your family. Simply attach these mesh sunshades along the side of your trailer awning to block out any harmful UV rays and blinding sunshine without paying over-the-odds.

You can slip these on, alongside your drop screen and awning to create an entirely new room that holds a little extra privacy. All the while, you can still enjoy people-watching and the gentle breeze on a hot summer’s day. You’ll also get added peace of mind, as each shade comes with three year limited warranty included in the price.

Key Features
  • Side shade
  • Blocks out 86% UV and sun rays
  • 3 years limited warranty included
Specification
  • Brand Tentproic
  • Model TPS030101
  • Weight 3.41 pounds
PROS

Provides a great shelter from harsh sun rays and wind

Comes with everything you need to fit and hold the trailer awning side

CONS

The angle of the upper hem can create an awkward fit with some brands

Available in a range of sizes to meet the dimensions of almost any size trailer, this fully screened room is perfect for creating secure space for the family. With all three sides catered for, you’ll find that this room fits all of your traditional and 12v awnings to give you all the added privacy and space you could want in a side room – without paying for a custom-made slide out room.

Storage has been made easy too, with a convenient storage bag supplied and clear, simple to use instructions. Just be aware that you’ll need to be light-handed when working with this screen room for your RV, as you’ll find the materials can be a little fragile to work with, at first. However, once you have the pressure figured out, you’ll find that this item springs up and comes down, easily.

Key Features
  • 3-sided RV awning
  • Fits all traditional and 12-volt patio awnings
  • Tough and lightweight
Specification
  • Brand Carefree
  • Model 291800
  • Weight 291800
PROS

Complete screen rooms provides protection from all sides

Creates additional space for your holiday

CONS

Customers note that the installation is awkward, while instructions are hard to follow

Materials can tear easily during use

Made with eco-friendly material, this awning shade sits as a drop-down kit. Designed to block out harmful UV rays and protect you from excessive sun exposure, this shade blocks up to 95-percent of sun rays. The extremely lightweight materials makes for an easy-to-carry option that many customers love, with them noting their surprise at the strength of the shade.

You’ll also find that everything you need is included in this selection to help make installation easier. Simply slide your new kit into your awning and affix using the materials provided – just be aware that this kit is much smaller than many others. Thus, you might find it preferable to purchase a pair that you can cut down to size when required.

Key Features
  • Includes all accessories and parts required
  • Lightweight material
  • Blocks 95% of sunrays
Specification
  • Brand Stone Shade and Tarps
  • Model 5568456546
  • Weight 4.55 pounds
PROS

Very light and easy to carry

Easy to install

CONS

Let’s both heat and air through, so does not protect from the sun

Smaller than many other options

Our final choice comes in three sizes – 8 x 12, 8 x 16 or 8 x 20 feet – and therefore fits a wide range of different sized campervans. This is one of the cheapest options available and therefore you’ll find there will naturally be a few negatives to this – although the overall value for the money is still excellent.

This drop-down screen does block up to 80 percent of UV rays; however, you’ll find that many customers note that the screen does not provide as much privacy as other options. If, however, you’re seeking an item that gives you more protection from the sun’s rays than added privacy, it’s absolutely worth choosing this cheaper option.

Key Features
  • Blocks up to 80% of sunrays
  • All accessories and parts included
  • Very affordable
Specification
  • Brand EZ Travel Collection
  • Model EZ-6006
  • Weight 10.2 pounds
PROS

One of the cheapest options available

Available in a range of sizes to best suit your campervan

CONS

Not ideal for privacy

Initial mounting can be quite hard

Best RV Awnings Buying Guide & FAQ

What to Consider When Buying an RV Awning

  • Budget

Your budget is naturally going to have the largest effect on what the overall quality and style of your RV awning will be. Even if one of our Top Picks has the best RV awning available on the market, it will be no use to you if it is out of your price range. Thus, we have attempted to cover all bases with our selection, in an attempt to bring you the best value for money – instead of those campervan awnings with the most features, for example.

  • Material

The material of your trailer awning will make a huge difference in the overall effectiveness of your item. For example, if you’re looking for something to block out the sun and give you a cool, shaded area to spend time in (without the need to head inside), then it’s important to get a screen that blocks out UV and sun rays. Similarly, you’ll need to be sure that your material is woven tightly enough to protect you from sunburn when outside your campervan.

If you’re looking for a complete side room kit made with RV awnings and screens, then you’ll need to be sure that your kit is made from high-quality materials than handle a little wear and tear. Since these will be up against the elements, it’s vital to keep everything running smoothly with good quality fabrics.

If your RV awning replacement comes with accessories and parts, you should also be sure that the frame is made of tougher materials, as these will be handling the weight of your awning material. In all cases, you should also be sure that your materials are lightweight and easier to carry.

They lighter they are, the easier they will be to adjust when setting up, too. Just be aware that lighter materials are frequently the same material types that are easier to tear – so aim for a good middle ground between materials and weight.

  • Size

The size of your awning for campervans will rely on two things; how big would you like your outdoor space to be and what are the current dimensions of your RV and awning. All of our Top Picks come with the dimensions included, so you should always try to suit your new awning replacement with one that comes as close to the current size as possible.

The current size of your awning and any restrictions should be available in your manufacturer’s guidebook. Be sure to check this either in paper or online before purchasing your new items. This is the best way to ensure a good fit when it comes to buying the best RV awning replacement.

  • Use and Design

Each buyer will have their own preference, when it comes to the use of their new trailer awning. For some, they will simply seek a small area of shade. For others, it can be as meaningful as providing your furry friends with a good outdoor area to play in, while you sleep. As you can imagine, each of these needs will require a different set up with their campervan awnings and will therefore need to buy different types.

The former example might just need a simply drop-down screen across the front of their motorhome awnings, while the latter will need a fully screened room that requires an entrance/exit, so as to avoid any escapees. Whatever your needs, think about the convenience of your new item before purchasing.

  • Installation

The installation of your new RV awning will easily be the most awkward part about your purchase. Luckily, you can negate this by opting for an awning fabric and awning kit that allows for a simpler or easier installation. The best way to check for this is to look into the reviews, as they will be the most honest secret-spillers when it comes to how difficult an item is to use.

Ideally, getting an RV awning with universal fittings should make your installation easier. However, plenty of other options can help, from simple instructions to excellent customer service that will talk you through the set-up. Where one is lacking, be sure to check there is ample other ways to get your new awning fabric up and installed.

Motorhome at a campsite

Benefits of Motorhome Awnings

  • Privacy

One of the biggest benefits to your motorhome awning is the simple fact that you can provide yourself and your family with a touch of privacy, when outside your campervan. Whether you prefer to eat without the eyes of neighbors watching every mouthful or want to sit and chat to others without feeling exposed, the right RV awning can help shield you from the prying eyes of others.

For maximum privacy, you should always opt for a complete 3-sided RV awning, however even a simple side screen can give you a little extra peace of mind. Just be sure that your awning is made from a good quality, tightly woven fabric that is harder to see into than out of.

  • Additional Room

There are many reasons as to why you might seek additional room for your campervan. For example, if you have kids and want to give them a shaded area to play in, or if you have animals that need the additional space for roaming and to work off the extra energy. It might simply be a case of wanting the additional space for yourselves to relax in.

Whatever the reason, having the right trailer awning around can make your holidays seem all the more tranquil. Investing in a campervan awning gives you plenty of storage space, lets you sit outside and bask in the gentle breeze or even creates an additional playroom for the little loved ones in your family.

  • Protection from the Elements

The right RV awning fabric provides plenty of protection from the elements. Whether it’s strong winds that threaten to blow away your cutlery during dinner, or harsh sun rays that can easily create burns, your new camper awnings should be able to provide you with a touch of shelter on the more extreme days.

Many of the options given above have over an 80% protection rate, which is ideal for being able to hang around outside of your trailer without becoming concerned over sun exposure. This is also the best way to provide you with a shelter from the rain and even stop harsh winds from spoiling your fun. Just be sure to pick up the right awning material with a tight weave, to ensure you’re getting the best quality out there.

Types of RV Awnings

  • Fixed Awnings

These are generally the smallest option. They offer a little protection from the sun and run, by adding a little extra shelter over the doors and windows of your RV.

  • Slide Out Awnings

These are usually rolled up or stored under your roof when not in use – and head out only when you want them to offer you the added shade or protection. They can be pulled out manually or using a mechanical contraption (which is much easier to bring out). Made of canvas, these are the most common option and are extremely easy to care for.

  • Patio Awnings

Patio awnings are ideal for creating an extra living space outside of your RV. These campervan awnings are three-sided and are tied down to form a brand-new room. They are more complex to set up and put together, but the additional space is very worth it – especially on longer trips.

You can also find automatic awnings, as well as different material varieties for all of the above. Each of these come with their own pros and cons, which we have discussed above, under the factors to consider.

How to Use Camper Awning

Each choice will be slightly different depending on your type, design and style. However, regardless of the design chosen, you should always consult your manufacturer’s guidelines before setting up and installing your camper awning.

Generally, however, the steps required to use your trailer awning consist of the same, main points. Be aware that you may need two or more people to help you use your camper awning:

  • Unclip any fastenings, holding your awning in place. Also known as the rafter knobs, your RV awning won’t be able to move until these have been adjusted.
  • You might also find some travel locks on the support arms. Again, you’ll need to release these before beginning.
  • Roll out your awning to the length you prefer for your needs.
  • Slide the rafters up the awning arms and set them to a locked position.
  • Tighten your rafter knobs until they are firmly held in place. Be sure to do this on both sides of your awning.
  • If required, raise the fabric by lifting the bars on each side of the trailer awning.

You can find more precise instructions via your product manufacturer’s customer service, or online.

Best RV Awnings FAQ:

Q: What is an RV awning and how does it work?

An RV awning is simply a mechanical set up that creates a shaded area around your campervan. By using an extending awning, such as a slide out, retractable or automatic selection, you can create a greater sense of space in your outdoor area. They are usually made of excellent fabrics, which are tightly woven and therefore they provide excellent protection from the elements. Others, meanwhile, are made with a mesh fabric, which allows for a pleasant breeze, while providing you with a little extra privacy when in use. Caravan on a camping site

Q: How do I choose to correct awning size?

Getting a new RV awning replacement is no mean feat – especially when taking into account the factors you need to consider. The main thing is to check the dimensions of your current awning, as this will give you the most accurate measurements. If, however, your previous awning has already been thrown away, or you are looking for a new trailer awning, you can always check with the manufacturer. They will have a full list of compatibility and be able to give you the precise inches and feet required.

Q: Are all of these trailer awnings waterproof?

Most of the trailer awnings you can find in our Top Picks are, indeed, weather proof. However, you should be aware that this is based on accurate fitting. You’ll also need to be conscious of the fact that many of our Top Picks are made from mesh screens, which are not waterproof by their very nature.

Q: How do I clean an RV awning?

There are plenty of ways to clean your campervan awning – and the best part is that you don’t even have to take down your awning to get started! Instead of wasting your time and energy bringing your trailer awning down for a hearty scrub, utilize the space you’re already using by opening up your awning to its full extent and following these steps:

  1. Be sure to clear out any items beneath your awning before beginning
  2. Hose down both sides of your awning to shift the easier dirt and debris from the surface.
  3. Allow your awning to dry naturally
  4. For acrylic awnings, you can use a stiffer brush. Meanwhile, vinyl will require a soft brush for this next step.
  5. Gently scrub the underside of your awning. For the top side, you may need a step ladder and a brush to reach all the areas.
  6. Use a simple dish soap and warm water mixture to create a pleasant cleaning solution that shouldn’t damage your campervan awning.
  7. Spray this solution onto both sides of your awning.
  8. Allow this solution to soak into any mildew-stained areas – remembering not to scrub too hard at the stained sections.
  9. Using your hose, spray water over the entire upper side and lower side of your awning.
  10. Any remaining dirt, debris and mildew should easily be removed at this point.
  11. Allow to dry.
  12. Once completely dried, simply retract your awning.

Our Top Pick

We love the universal aspect of this Slide Topper Awning from Solera. Built to easily fit a range of room sizes and coming with all the accessories and parts you could possibly need for your new RV awning; this is the best campervan awning on the market for any option with a slide out room.

Customers love the easy to follow instructions and quick installation, as well as the cheaper costs when compared to bespoke designs. You’ll find that this reasonably priced, quick, easy and effective option is perfect for almost any user. Not to mention that the customer service is said to be excellent. Thus, in the unlikely event that you’ll require a little additional help, Solera will be on hand to help you out with fitting your new RV awning.

Source:

  1. How to Open an RV Awning – Wiki How

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