The Best RV Awnings: Enjoy The Shade

Being able to take off at a moment’s notice and travel around the country is arguably the best part of…

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The Best RV Awnings: Enjoy The Shade ©The Best RV Awnings: Enjoy The Shade
Best Overall Solera Black RV Slide Topper Awning Solera Black RV Slide Topper Awning
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This RV awning provides plenty of outdoor coverage, giving you a shaded and protected space to sit outdoors – and it doesn’t take up much space at all.

Pros
  • Extends up to 50 feet long
  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Includes everything you need for assembly
Cons
  • Instructions can be difficult to understand
  • Will only fit RVs with a slide room option
Best Value Hitorhike RV Awning Hitorhike RV Awning Fabric
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An affordable RV awning replacement that offers an easy way to upgrade worn, torn, or otherwise outdated awning fabric

Pros
  • Fits many popular RV awning setups
  • Thick vinyl material
  • Weather-protected, UV-resistant, and waterproof
Cons
  • May not truly offer a universal fit
  • Instructions are confusing and unclear
Honorable Mention ARB Aluminum Retractable Awning ARB Aluminum Retractable Awning
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A heavy-duty, premium RV awning that includes everything you need in one nicely packaged container with a somewhat higher price.

Pros
  • Heavy-duty housing, awning, and overall construction
  • Offers 8.2 by 8.2 feet of cover
  • Works on RVs, campers, and vehicles
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Can be difficult to retract, especially if short

Being able to take off at a moment’s notice and travel around the country is arguably the best part 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. An RV awning extends your camper’s available space, provides an outdoor area sheltered from blistering heat and cold wind, and allows you to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing comfort. Available in a variety of different styles to suit all different makes and models of RVs, you can find an awning that gives you as much or as little outdoor coverage as you need. To help you choose the best fit for your camper, we’ve rounded up some of the best RV awnings below.

The Best RV Awning

The Solera Black RV Slide Topper Awning fits just about any RV, as it’s available in sizes that range 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 includes everything you need to get your new camper fitted with a high-quality piece that extends over 8 inches longer than most similar products. The hole pattern is universal and designed to fit almost all types and sizes of RVs. This, along with the full set of accessories that’s included with the awning, means you won’t have to worry about buying an awning that won’t fit your slider.

Just make sure to take your time when you’re installing this awning, as the included instructions can be a challenge to read. Additionally, this awning can only be used with RVs that have a slide.

Specification
  • Brand: Solera
  • Weight: 35.5 pounds
  • Extension: 50 feet
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

Attaches to slide room

CONS

Not suitable for motorhomes without slide room

Instructions can be hard to read

While the Hitorhike RV Awning Fabric isn’t a complete RV awning assembly, it does offer the most critical item you need: the awning itself. This product, which has an affordable price, allows you to swap out a worn, tired, or boring old RV awning material with an upgraded, premium vinyl one without blowing your entire budget. Made to fit 12-foot awnings, this material is vinyl and covered in a protective coating that shields you and the awning itself from all types of weather. It’s waterproof, tear-proof, and able to survive high and low temperatures. It’s also protected against UV rays. Unsure this affordable option is really reliable? It’s also backed by a warranty.

While this awning fabric will fit most popular awning brands, including Dometic, Lippert, and Carefree, it may not offer a truly universal fit – so make sure to measure carefully. Additionally, the included installation instructions aren’t comprehensive and can lead to confusion.

Specification
  • Brand: Hitorhike
  • Weight: 12.62 pounds
  • Extension: 12 feet
PROS

Affordable

Weather-protected and waterproof

Warranty backed

Works with most existing RV awnings

CONS

May not offer a truly universal fit for all RVs

Instructions are unclear

If you don’t mind paying more for a premium product, the ARB Aluminum Retractable Awning is a great choice. This is an impressively designed retractable awning for your RV, and it’s also able to be used on campers large and small or even vehicles if so desired. It’s an all-in-one product, featuring the awning itself and the retractable mechanism in a glossy black powder-coated aluminum case. The entire assembly is waterproof and UV-protected, with anti-wear points that stay sturdy for a long time. And all of the components are metal, not plastic. As a bonus, this awning includes dual-color lighting and dimming control so you can illuminate the space under its cover.

However, it can be a challenge to roll up and retract the RV awning in some outdoor settings, especially if you’re on the shorter side. And the entire assembly itself is somewhat heavy.

Specification
  • Brand: ARB
  • Weight: 41.9 pounds
  • Extension: 8.2 feet
PROS

Once installed, awning takes just 30 seconds to deploy

Adjustable legs allow you to adjust height

Waterproof and UV-protected

Made with durable, non-plastic components

CONS

Heavy

Can be difficult to roll up and retract

Best Easy Replacement

If you already have awning hardware installed but your fabric is looking worse for the wear, the Shade Pro RV Vinyl Awning is a good option. This replacement awning fits most major brands of RV awning manufacturers, and it gives your campervan a new lease on life. Whether your old fabric is older and worn or you’re simply looking for additional color, this is a high-quality replacement that gives you a cost-effective solution. The awning comes with a three-year warranty, and it’s durable due to welded Weatherguard, a detail that protects against the elements and makes your awning suitable for use in all climates. It’s also easy to install, and you can have your new awning fabric up and running within the hour.

However, there is a potential drawback. If you’re looking for a complete awning, including hardware and all of the mechanical components, this only provides the awning fabric.

Specification:
  • Brand: Shade Pro
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Extension: 15 feet
PROS

Very easy to install

Durable, weather-tested fabric

Heavyweight material protects against sun, rain, and more

CONS

Fabric only

The SunWave RV Awning Fabric is another great option if you’re just looking for fabric replacement and already have the components of an awning in place. While there are plenty of fabrics to choose from, this RV awning is made out of vinyl, which is thick and nicely protective from all kinds of outdoor elements. It’s constructed with 15-ounce vinyl that’s covered with a 16-ounce vinyl weather shield, so it’ll withstand harsh UV rays, cold and hot temperatures, and all of the other outdoor challenges. And it comes with everything from 8 feet of projected fabric to a new pull strap, so you’ll find that this RV awning basically has all you need.

The only real drawbacks are that it’s been found to be a little awkward to fit, and it comes with hard-to-follow instructions.

Specification
  • Brand: SunWave
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Extension: 18 feet
PROS

Thick vinyl that offers shade and weather coverage

Protected with a weather-ready coating

Includes everything needed to replace existing fabric

CONS

Installation instructions can be hard to follow

Doesn’t work on all RVs or all awnings

If you aren’t looking for an automatic or mechanical RV awning, then the Aleko Manual Retractable RV Awning is a good product. This 21 x 8-foot awning can be opened and closed with its included pull strap right at the center of the awning. Featuring a 100-percent PVC fabric that’s UV-, water-, fade-, and stain-resistant and a lightweight frame, this awning is designed to survive all kinds of outdoor challenges. It’s easy to manage and control, and you’ll get shaded coverage in addition to protection overhead from sunlight, rain, and other elements. Plus, it’s a reasonably priced RV awning that won’t cost you a whole lot.

Just note that this isn’t one of the Aleo awnings that offers a motor; it’s manual. Additionally, the instructions included with the awning aren’t very helpful.

Specification
  • Brand: Aleko
  • Material: Polyvinyl chloride
  • Extension: 8 feet
PROS

Durable awning that can resist all types of weather

Fade- and stain-resistant

Pulls up and down easily

Available in multiple sizes for different RVs

CONS

Doesn’t include a motor

Instructions are unclear and unhelpful

If you’ve ever tried to replace the fabric on your existing awning and discovered most replacement products require cutting to size, you’ll be quite happy with the RecPro RV Awning Fabric. This fabric is designed to slip into place on existing RV awning frames without you needing to cut material or fuss with inaccurate placement. It offers a channel fit to make your work easier. Made out of vinyl, the awning has a 140 PSI tensile strength and is resistant to water. It’s tough enough to survive even strong winds and significant tension. With this 1/16-inch thick vinyl awning material, you’ll have coverage even when the unexpected happens.

However, do note that this fabric is a two-person job to install. You’ll need some help to get it in place. And the instructions don’t have any diagrams, so you may need to search online for clearer step-by-step installation instructions.

Specification:
  • Brand: RecPro
  • Material: Vinyl
  • Extension: 8 feet
PROS

Channel fit design doesn’t require material cutting

Works with a lot of common RV awning frames

Water-resistant

Handles winds well

CONS

Requires two people to install

Instructions lack diagrams

Best Lightweight

Don’t weigh your RV down with extra pounds; if you install the Vevor RV Awning, you’ll get lightweight fabric that offers the durability and strength of a thicker, heavier fabric without the extra weight. The fabric stretches works with most 18-foot RV awning frames already installed on your camper. It’s constructed out of 15-ounce vinyl and topped with a 16-ounce vinyl weather shield that can fend off the damage-causing effects of UV rays, rain, and temperature changes. Once installed, the material will offer you a shaded, cool spot to enjoy outside your RV. It comes with everything you need to get it onto your existing roller bar channel, including a replacement pull strap.

Although the instructions are unclear, this RV awning replacement fabric is pretty easy to install. You may want to have someone else available to help – but either way, it’s a relatively quick process.

Specification:
  • Brand: Vevor
  • Weight: 16.52 pounds
  • Extension: 18 feet
PROS

Sun- and water-resistant

Easy to install, even with included instructions

Works on existing RV awning frames

Able to withstand strong winds

CONS

Instructions are unclear

May need two people to install quickly

How We Selected the Products

In order to choose the best RV awnings available, we took a close look at the variety of different options. We considered complete RV awning assemblies, both manual and motorized, as well as awning fabric that can be used on existing assemblies. We compared the features of each product, looking at the awning size and extension (or coverage area), the material, weatherproofing or other protective benefits, and the installation method. To help guide our assessment of how well these awnings could stand up to UV light, heat, cold, wind, and all kinds of weather, we also looked at users feedback to get a sense of the performance in real-life settings.

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 if it is out of your price range. We’ve 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 its 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 your material is woven tightly enough to protect you from sunburns.

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.

The 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 RV awning will rely on two things: how big you’d like your outdoor space to be and the current dimensions of your RV and awning. You should always try to suit your new awning replacement with one that comes as close to the current size as possible. How can you tell what size awning you have right now? That should be available in your manufacturer’s guidebook. Be sure to check this either in paper or online before purchasing your new items.

Use and Design

Everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to an RV awning, and you can use your awning for different purposes. Some campers might want just a small area of shade, while others may want a larger awning that can be turned into a screen room. As you can imagine, each of these needs will require a different set up and different types. 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.

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, opt for an RV awning that can support a screen room kit; however even a simple side screen can give you a little extra peace of mind. Just be sure your awning and the accompanying side shade screens are made from a good quality, tightly woven fabric that’s 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.

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.

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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