LAST UPDATED: October 7, 2019
Best RV Awning: Extend Your Recreational Space
Protect your family from the elements with these RV awnings
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON October 7, 2019
Are you looking to accessorize your recreational vehicle or travel trailer with a shade or awning? Then you need a reliable product that will offer a great protective canopy for your family during camping trips. Read our buying guide for some of the best RV awning structures currently on the market.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of an RV Awning
- Provides shade. The best RV awning provides plenty of shade to keep you protected in all weather conditions. You can park in spots you like and enjoy the outdoors without worrying about strong winds or rain. You’ll be protected from UV rays as you relax outside your RV.
- Privacy. An RV awning enhances your privacy by shielding you from prying eyes when you’re out camping. Some awnings have walls that can boost privacy as you sleep, eat, or simply relax outdoors. If you want more privacy, get a three-sided RV awning or a side screen. Also, ensure the material is opaque.
- Extra room. An RV awning creates extra room for your children to play. The space is also ideal for exercising and burning some calories. The awning creates a great place to relax without feeling cramped.
Types of RV Awnings
These are simple RV awnings typically made from canvas. They are usually affordable and easy to maintain. They are installed under an RV’s roof and can be rolled out manually or mechanically when shade is needed. You have to unroll them regularly to prevent mold from growing.
These are permanently fixed above an RV’s doors or windows and provide coverage from the sun and rain. The awning’s position cannot be changed since it is permanently installed. However, these awnings have a tendency to fall, so check yours from time to time to ensure it is properly fixed.
Patio awnings are also known as sheltered awnings. They usually have frames made of metal. Some awnings are three-sided and can be tied down to create an extra room. You can use the extra room for relaxation by day and storage by night. However, patio awnings are more difficult to install and may have poor ventilation, especially if they have no windows.
These are easily adjustable and can be controlled remotely, saving you time. They are expensive but easy to use and maintain. Some come with a sensor that causes them to retract in extremely windy conditions. It’s worth mentioning that repairing them can be costly.
Best known for its tagline “Mobile Living Made Easy,” Dometic was launched in 1919 by two Swedish engineering students: Carl Munters and Baltzar von Platen. They are famous for inventing the Einstein and the Absorption refrigerators. In 1923, a Swedish company named Arctic acquired manufacturing rights to the refrigerators. The Arctic company was also acquired by Electrolux in 1925. The name Dometic was created in the 1960s when Electrolux renamed its leisure appliances division. Get the Dometic Sunchaser Awning for the next time you go camping.
Carefree of Colorado
Carefree of Colorado was founded in 1971 when the company launched the first automatic roll-up RV awning. The company solely focuses on designing and developing RV awnings and their accessories. Carefree creates innovative awnings for personal and professional use. It takes pride in creating great features like Bluetooth® wireless awning control, self-leveling retraction, motion-based wind protection, and One-Touch™ operation. The Carefree Black RV Awning EZ ZipBlocker attests to the company’s expertise.
This company was established in May 1956 by Larry Lippert and Don Baldwin, who later sold his shares to Lippert. It was called B&L back then and its first product was galvanized roofing for RVs. In 1958, Larry Lippert acquired Riverdale Steel Works, a company that manufactured RV structures and their components. The two companies merged to form Lippert Components Inc. in 1969. In 1997, the company began a travel trailer chassis line and was acquired by Drew Industries. The Solera awning line was introduced in 2011. If you’re an avid camper, get the Solera V000163285 White Slide Topper Awning for your RV.
RV Awning Pricing
- Under $200: These RV awnings are generally inexpensive and most are manually operated. Awning replacement fabrics with no arms or roller assemblies are also found in this category.
- $200-$800: In this price range, there are higher-quality RV awnings with more accessories. Some come with all the accessories while others come without rollers and arms.
- $800 and up: These are high-end RV awnings—like electric and automated ones. Electric RV awnings use electric motors to extend and retract.
The fabric of your RV awning determines how long it will last. Choose it based on how much time you spend outdoors. Awnings can be made from acrylic, polyester, or vinyl. Polyester is a lightweight fabric that’s easy to maintain and dries up quickly. Vinyl is a tougher fabric that’s ideal for harsh winter weather. But the best RV awnings are made from acrylic because it’s breathable, highly durable, and resistant to UV rays. However, it’s more expensive.
The size of your RV awning is influenced by the RV’s dimensions and how much space you need outdoors. To avoid buying an awning that’s too large or too small, measure your RV. The awning should be ½ or ⅓ of your RV’s length. You can check the manufacturer’s manual for awning measurements. This will ensure you get the best fit. Some RVs come with awnings while others don’t.
Ease of Installation
The best RV awning is user-friendly and comes with simple instructions for easy installation. Get an awning with universal fittings to make the installation process easier. You can also read user reviews to find out how easy the awning is to install. Some companies provide video tutorials showing how to assemble and use their awnings.
- Awning Crank. RV awnings can have manual or motorized cranks. Manual awnings use pull outs or cranks to extend and retract. The crank is usually stored in the RV when not in use. It extends and retracts the awning in less than a minute. Motorized cranks open and close the awnings at the push of a button. Some have remote controls so you can open them from a short distance away.
- Intended Use. The best RV awning for you will depend on when you camp outdoors, how long you do it, and where you do it. Your traveling needs and preferences should also determine the RV awning you choose. If you like to go into the wild for days or weeks, an electric awning may not be the best because it needs power to work.
- Appearance. RV awnings come in a variety of colors and designs. The arms and roller assemblies may be colored white or black. Some awnings create entire rooms while others just offer protection from the sun. Do a little research and pick an awning that complements your RV.
Best RV Awning Reviews & Recommendations 2020
If you're thinking of replacing your patio awning’s fabric, consider getting this one. You will love its beautiful ocean blue fade hue that reflects the color of the sky. It’s made from 15-ounce vinyl and is durable and resistant to pooling. It also features a 16-ounce vinyl weather shield that allows it to withstand any weather. It will protect you from sunlight, wind, and rain.
The awning replacement fabric can fit manually-operated awnings without metal covers such as Carefree, Dometic, and Carter awnings. It is visually appealing and is colored on both sides. It also comes ready to install. The kit includes a standard ¼-inch poly cord and a 3/16-inch poly cord for the rail and roller tube respectively. The fabric is ideal for a 16-foot awning.
SunWave offers a three-year limited warranty on shipping and material for this awning replacement fabric. You can also return it within 14 days if you’re unhappy with it. However, some users have complained that the installation instructions are unclear. You also have to be very careful during installation as the fabric can get damaged.
If your RV’s awning fabric has seen better days, get the Aleko retractable awning replacement fabric. It is built to last and will protect you from outdoor elements on your next road trip. The vinyl fabric is resistant to water, UV rays, and mildew. It is tightly woven and will make your awning canopy strong and durable.
The RV awning replacement fabric is a perfect fit for retractable awnings measuring 13 x 8 feet. Its dimensions are 12 feet 2 inches x 8 feet. It is big enough to offer sufficient shade without making you feel cramped. The awning replacement fabric is available in various sizes and colors to complement different RVs and campers. You can install it on RV awnings made by other brands—not just Aleko awnings.
However, we’re disappointed by the fact that the replacement fabric doesn’t come with any installation hardware. You only get thin awning fabric. Also, it does not fit all RV awnings, so you may have to consult your RV’s manufacturer for compatibility details.
Carefree makes awesome awnings and this screen room for 18- to 19-foot awnings is one of the company’s brilliant creations. It features an innovative design and closes up to form a complete room. It’s ideal for those who want more privacy than what an awning offers. The screen room fits both traditional and 12V patio awnings with an 8-foot extension. It is very spacious and can accommodate large families or a small group of people.
The screen room is designed for convenience and is portable. It connects directly to your awning, expanding your RV’s living space while giving you complete privacy. Setup is quick and easy as you don’t need poles, rafters, or permanent fasteners. The unit fits awnings measuring 10 to 21 feet with rail-to-ground measurements of 86 to 138 inches. It can be installed on both manual and motorized awnings. It creates a tight seal around the awning fabric and is resistant to water and UV rays.
The screen room’s mesh windows and privacy screen will enhance your privacy. It also has a rain dump feature which ensures there’s no water pooling.
However, its mesh windows don’t close from the inside. Also, the installation process is too complex for one person.
Lippert Components has been manufacturing awnings for decades, and their products have only gotten better with time. This black slide topper awning is one of the best on the market. It has a universal fit and comes with black hardware. It is designed to fit structures measuring 56 to 188 inches that extend up to 50 inches. The strong and durable 13.5-ounce vinyl used to make it can withstand winter temperatures of -25 degrees Fahrenheit.
The kit comes with mounting brackets for easy installation. The manufacturer also provides a topper and an awning rail. The topper protects your slide-out awning from debris, leaves, bird droppings, and other outdoor components. The awning’s seams are heat-welded to prevent water leaks and water pooling.
The awning attaches to the slide room and the RV’s outer wall permanently. It automatically extends and retracts with the slide-out, offering hassle-free coverage. It’s available in multiple sizes and colors to complement different RVs.
However, some users have complained of complicated installation instructions—you may need a helping hand to install it. Other users have said their awning fabrics had holes in them.
Carefree of Colorado has been designing and manufacturing RV awnings since 1971. If you already have a good RV awning, get this EZ Zip Blocker to enhance your comfort and privacy. It's made from vinyl-coated polyester fabric to last longer. Its two-piece design works well with both automatic and manual crank awnings. The zippered insert panel slides into the awning’s roller and retracts with the awning. The next time you want to use the blocker, simply zip the 6-inch main panel to the insert.
The EZ ZipBlocker is available in three different drops and five different lengths. Its open-weave fabric is weather-resistant and keeps you cool without blocking your view. The blocker is ideal for most awnings and offers protection from the early morning sun. It will also shield you from the evening sun when the awning doesn’t provide sufficient shade. Carefree offers a five-year warranty for the RV awning blocker.
The ZipBlocker is easy to install because it simply slides into your awning’s empty slot. The top part stays in your awning and the lower part can be unzipped for easy storage.
But it is not without shortcomings. It doesn’t fit some older RV awnings like the 15-foot Carefree awning. It also doesn’t block out as much sunlight as the manufacturer claims. When the sun gets very hot, you may squint.
Made from high-density mesh, the Tentproinc RV awning sun shade is lightweight and UV-resistant. It is compatible with many awnings, like those made by Carefree, Solera, Dometic, Lippert, and Fiamma. You can easily mount it by sliding the poly-cord into the RV awning rail. It comes with bungee balls, four sets of plastic stakes, and a storage bag.
Many RVers use this sun shade as a front RV awning. It blocks 86 percent of UV light, lowering the temperature and protecting your skin. It’s available in a variety of drop sizes and width sizes. It can also be customized on request. If your unit has manufacturing-related defects, Tentproinc can offer a replacement. But you have to request for the replacement within three years from the order date.
The Tentproinc RV awning sun shade extends your RV’s living space. It efficiently reduces wind by minimizing crosswind forces. It prevents your RV awning from being blown about by the wind and protects you from extreme weather.
However, it can be difficult to install. Also, it doesn’t significantly improve privacy, as it has a see-through design.
If your RV is your home away from home, you need an RV awning that can make you relax like you’re at home—like this one. It is easy to install and to use and will make you linger outdoors. When you want to use it, simply open it via the manually-operated pull strap. Its frame measures 16 x 8 feet, while its fabric measures 11 feet 2 inches x 8 feet. It is made from rust-free, powder-coated aluminum, so you don’t have to worry about corrosion. You can also install it on your home’s front or backyard patio.
The awning’s PVC fabric can withstand extreme temperatures and different weather conditions. It’s resistant to mildew, water, and UV rays. It comes in different colors, so you can easily choose a color that complements your RV. Heavy-duty mounting hardware and step-by-step instructions make the installation process easier.
However, you may require professional help to set it up because the instructions are unclear. There have also been complaints of missing hardware pieces. Also, the fasteners provided are not of high quality.
Enjoy some privacy without hindering your view with this lightweight RV awning shade by Camco. It comes in a stunning black color and has a universal fit. It can fit most standard RV awnings. It is made from vinyl-coated, woven polyester mesh fabric that’s flame-retardant and measures 54 x 120 inches. The corners of the shade are reinforced with rust-resistant grommets for enhanced durability.
The awning shade comes with installation hardware: two bungee cords, five awning support straps, and two tent stakes. It is easy to install; simply use the tent stakes to secure the bungee cords to the ground. The shade’s mesh fabric keeps you cool by allowing air to pass through easily.
The awning shade is resistant to UV rays and will protect you against the harmful rays of the sun. When it's not in use, it retracts like a curtain.
However, its plastic clips which glide into the RV awning channel are not durable and tend to break easily. Additionally, its fabric is not opaque and doesn’t block out the sun completely.
You’ll be surprised by the Eclipse’s instant pitch adjustments. Its six adjustments make it easier to use. Simply push the button and it will extend to a full 8 feet. It is equipped with a billow-proof, worm-gear motor to prevent billowing. It also has the highest head clearance for any vertical awning.
The automatic, user-friendly, 12-volt awning will make your road trip more enjoyable. It features the innovative Truss Support system for superior strength. You don’t need latches or locks to set it up, simply press the button. And when you're done using it, press and hold the button for it to retract and roll up tight. Even when it extends partially, the Eclipse stays secure.
However, its arms don’t work with older steel roller awnings (18 to 21 feet). You have to use a Carefree aluminum roller for these. Also, the canopy may come into contact with the awning slideout when you lower the pitch.
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to clean your RV shade to avoid damaging the fabric. Alternatively, you could use soap and water to clean the fabric and then air dry it. Never use a scrubber as you may remove the waterproof coating.
- Use a de-flapper clamp to keep your awning from flipping and tearing off in windy weather. You can also use stabilizer kits to pull the tension straps and spiral stakes to keep the awning anchored to the ground.
- Regularly inspect the awning for any signs of wear or tear. Repair tears immediately to prevent further damage. Ensure that the bracket support and lag screws are securely mounted, and lubricate all the metal parts to prevent rust.
Q: How long do RV awnings last?
A: It depends on the quality of the fabric and how often you use the material. With the right annual maintenance, an awning can last up to 10 years if it's not a permanent structure on your RV. Leaving your awning unattended, especially in windy or hot regions, will drastically reduce the unit's lifespan.
Q: How do you keep mildew from permeating the awning fabric?
A: You need to hose down your awning regularly to remove mildew. Also, ensure that the fabric is dry before folding it for storage. If you don't plan on using the awning for a few months, consider airing it outside in the sun for a few hours before putting it in storage. Never leave the awning unattended since it can increase the chance of mildew formation.
Q: How do I stop my awning from pooling?
A: Pooling happens when water accumulates on the awning and forces a depression on the fabric to accumulate more water. The only way to stop the depression from forming is to slant the awning in one direction to allow water droplets to roll off. You can do that by lowering the arms of the awning on one side to create a slope.
Our top pick is the Sunwave Awning Fabric Ocean Blue Fade. It can attach to the existing awning frame on your RV and will protect you from harsh weather.
If you are looking for an affordable awning to replace your worn out awning, then consider the Aleko Vinyl RV Awning Replacement Fabric. It can attach on both retractable and manual awning frames.