Newbie RV owners probably do not know how important it is to have the best RV awning shade on their camper trailer. Some of them only learn just how important it is once they experience a hot day on the campground without any shade at all outside of their vehicles.
If you want to get the most out of every camping trip, you will need a good window awning. In architectural terms, an awning is like a small roof section primarily designed to provide shade to a window or a doorway. In RV camping terms, an awning is an extendable roof, usually made of thick vinyl material, like a tarp.
It is used to provide shade and sun protection for an entire side of the RV. If you want to get yourself one of these awnings, you need to know what to look for. Keep in mind that RV awnings are not cheap, so you need to be careful about where you spend your money.
In this article, you will be learning about what makes a good RV sunscreen and awning shade. You will also get an idea of how you can get a good deal. Aside from that, this article will provide a couple of product recommendations. You can also access short reviews of some of the famous brands today.
With all the info here, you can get a feel of what you need to keep an eye out on while you are out shopping for one. Let us start with the most highly recommended products in this article.
Best RV Awning Shade Reviews
1. Tentproinc 9’X17’3” RV Awning Sun Shade
For me, the best benefit of this awning shade is the ease of installation. The top of the shade slides effortlessly into the vacant slot in the edge of the awning and holds it in place securely. It means that the entire setup process will take no more than five minutes for one person to finish.
This shade blocks more than 85% of the sun’s harmful UV rays. While it means that it still lets in quite a bit of natural light, you have an assurance that it will be without all the nasty heat that comes with it. This awning shade blocks the sun effectively without blocking your view.
This RV awning screen shade also reduces the force of the wind that gets inside your RV patio. I usually have a hard time reading the newspaper in the patio most days, so having it installed was quite a relief. Although it does make for a good windbreaker, because of the mesh construction, it still provides proper ventilation.
Another benefit of this RV awning sunshade that I genuinely like is that it provides a lot of daytime privacy. When you are outside looking in, you will not see anything inside the awning patio. However, when you are the inside looking out, you will have a clear and unobstructed view.
2. Carefree 701508 Black Drop RV Awning
I am impressed with this awning shade mainly because it is divided into two – one upper part that inserts inside the awning’s utility slot and the bottom part that zips up with the upper part. The upper part stays installed so that you can install the shade later without a ladder.
The open-weave fabric of the RV sunscreens allows them to block almost 85% of sunlight. This capacity just lets enough to light up the inside of the patio. It also keeps the heat from the sunlight out while providing ample ventilation to keep the inside cool.
It can also add another room to your RV. This awning shade effectively turns the side of your RV into a makeshift patio. You can plop out some lawn chairs, and a cooler of beer, and you are all set. If you want a space where you can stretch your legs and relax after hours of being behind the wheel, you should get this product.
Another cool thing about this product is not a feature. It is the warranty that comes with it. This awning shade comes with a one-year warranty on factory defects, so if ever your awning shade fails for some reason (like the zipper failing), you can get your money back or replace it with a brand-new one.
3. EZ Travel Collection RV Awning Shade
This product will essentially turn your RV awning sunscreen into an additional room. Although it is not technically a wall, it provides you with some privacy. It even lets you lounge around with your family underneath the shade without anyone else snooping around unnoticeably.
Another nice thing I noticed about this awning shade is that it blocks a lot of the sun’s glaring rays. However, it does not obstruct your view of the outside. Although it will obviously be a bit blurred due to the shade being made out of mesh, you can still appreciate the view.
The shade is very well-made. It is constructed to last for many years. First of all, the fabric used in its construction is durable, vinyl-coated, woven polyester guaranteed to last many years. The seams are also double-stitched, and the grommets are made out of rustproof copper.
This entire sun blocker RV awning shade also sets up and dismantles in just mere minutes. Just slide the hooks into the utility slot, insert the hooks in the grommets in the screen, then secure the bottoms using the provided stakes and bungee cords. You can do the task in mere minutes, allowing you to relax almost immediately after an entire day of driving.
4. Shadeidea RV Sun Shade
The best thing about this sun shade for camper awning is not technically a feature. It is the three-year warranty that comes with it. It is a clear testament by the manufacturer on how durable and high-quality this product is.
This shade provides shelter against the harsh rays of the sun and protects against the prying gazes of the other people who are sharing the same campground. The privacy it offers is also quite important when in crowded campsites during the holidays.
In terms of sun-blocking capabilities, expect this shade to block more than 85% of the sun’s rays, including the heat and harmful UV rays that come with it. It will make your makeshift patio a lot cooler than the ambient temperature outside.
Installation and removal are also quite easy and quick procedures. You just need to slide the top of the mesh shade through the utility slot in the awning and then secure the bottom using stakes to prevent it from flapping in the wind. The whole process takes no more than ten minutes in total for one person to finish.
5. Tentproinc 8′ X 13’3” RV Awning Sun Shade
One incredible thing about this awning sunshade is that it comes in a light color, making it useful in providing a lot of daylight privacy. No one from the outside can get even a small peek inside the patio when you have this shade unfurled. However, you can still get a good view of the outside from within the awning.
I am also pleased to say that this RV awning shade can considerably lower the temperature inside. This shade does not just block a lot of the sun’s rays but also reflects almost 90% of the UV light. It is the thing that makes sunlight hot.
With the shades set up, you can nap right in the middle of the day without worrying about getting sunburned at all. This awning sunshade is also easy to install. If you are experienced in using awning accessories, you can thread this shade through the vacant slot in your awning roller tube in just a couple of minutes.
Staking down the corners will not be a problem at all. If you are the type who does not stay in one place for more than a couple of days, then you will be glad to know that this awning shade is easy to disassemble. It even has its vinyl carrying bag.
It is a pretty great feature if you ever need to pack up the awning in a hurry. For example, if there is a huge rainstorm coming, and you already feel the strong breeze coming.
6. Stone Shade & Tarps RV Awning Shade
My most favorite thing about this particular RV awning shade is the fact that it is made of polypropylene instead of the usual PVC coated synthetic fabrics. This material gives this awning shade more durability while also ensuring that it is a lot lighter than the others.
I also liked that this awning shade can block more than 95% of UV rays from the sun. It is important to me because I want to take naps in my RV patio, and I do not like waking up with my face sunburned.
It is also pretty easy to install and set up. You just insert the reinforced top edge through the vacant utility slot of the awning. Using the included stakes and ball bungees, you should then secure the corners to the ground.
This product is also very eco-friendly. The polypropylene material is not toxic and entirely recyclable. It is not like PVC products that take a millennium or longer to decompose. If it is important to you that you only use environmentally-friendly products, then get this awning shade.
7. INNOVA 17’x8′ Charcoal Vista Shade
I am genuinely impressed with this awning shade’s two-piece construction because it makes successive set-ups of the shade much easier than before. It is the perfect set-up for me because I rarely stay in one place for more than a couple of days during my RV trips.
I find this awning shade easy to install. It is especially true if you install the top 2-feet portion as it is lighter and easier to manipulate. You just need to insert the reinforced edge into the utility slot of the awning and pull it all the way to the other edge. After that, you just have to attach the bottom part using a zipper.
You do not need to remove the 2-feet portion as it will roll up with the rest of the awning. With the 2-feet awning shade part installed, you can install the bottom part without using a ladder. The entire process will also be so easy that even one person can do the job without hassle.
This awning shade is made of a mesh material that effectively bounces back the glare of the sunlight, including the harmful UV rays and heat that accompanies it. However, it does not entirely block the light. It still lets enough light through, so that your patio is adequately lit
8. Tentproinc RV Awning Side Shade
With two of these side shades installed, along with a front shade, you will mostly be adding an entire room to your RV. You can use it as a patio, or even a dining room. The mesh material used in this shade will block bugs and mosquitoes from getting inside.
It also blocks more than 85% of the UV rays coming from the sun, so you do not have to worry about sunburns and glaucoma. With these shades in place, this extra room will remain cool even on blistering hot days.
Although you can see outside from behind these shades, people from the outside will not be able to see through it. You can lounge under your awning and do whatever it is that you want, and the people walking outside will be none the wiser.
This side shade can fit various brands of RV awnings, which, of course, includes the more popular brands. You do not have to worry too much about the fit. However, just to be doubly sure, measure the sides of your awnings, including the slope of the awning.
9. CAMWINGS RV Awning Privacy Shade
This product is one of the best awning shades that I have ever had the pleasure of using. It is hassle-free and easy to set up. You just need to thread the seven hangers through the utility slot of the awning. It is quite easy as they have metal reinforcements. You should then use the hooks to connect the hangers to the grommets that are in the shade.
The shade itself is quite impressive as it is made of very dense polyethylene fabric. It is a lot more durable compared to other synthetic fabrics. It is guaranteed to last for many years without suffering any tear or puncture. Even though it is quite strong, you can easily see through it so you can enjoy the view.
It also blocks almost 90% of the sun’s bright light. It only lets enough light to illuminate the space under the awning properly. Aside from that, this shade blocks the harmful UV rays of the sun, so you do not have to worry about putting on sunscreen because you will not get sunburned.
Although you can see through the shade when you are inside the awning, it is a different story when you are outside. This shade can adequately provide privacy during the day. No one will be able to see through the shade when they are on the wrong side.
10. Shade Pro Vista Shade
This product is yet another very convenient to use two-piece awning shade. The only remotely tricky part of the installation process is the threading of the 2-foot long and 17-feet wide piece through the awning’s utility slot. Once this is done, the bottom part simply zips up to connect to the upper section.
You no longer need to remove the upper section. You can just leave it installed, and it will not interfere with the function of the awning. Once the top section of the shade is installed, it will take a couple of minutes to install the bottom section and have it secured in the ground using the included stakes and bungee cords.
It also makes it easier to remove the shade whenever the wind starts to pick up, and you need to retract your awning to prevent it from getting damaged. This shade is made of solid open-weave fabric, which allows the cool breeze to come through. However, it will effectively break apart significantly strong gusts of wind.
It is also the perfect shade in case you are camping in the desert as it can block the coarse sand. Aside from the sand and wind, this shade can also efficiently block the sun. It can even prevent around 85% of sunlight from getting through.
11. Shatex RV Awning Shade
One thing that left a positive impression on me regarding this awning shade is the amount of privacy it provides. This shade is still very much a mesh construction and lets the breeze pass through it, but it is so dense that it effectively blocks anyone’s view from the outside.
Even if you are just a couple of feet away, you will not see anything through this shade. This awning shade is also made of very durable and lightweight High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). This material is highly resistant to mold and mildew. It also has a knitted construction that makes it impossible to tear.
Another feature of this awning shade that I love is that it is easy to install. You just need to insert the awning hooks through the utility slot of your RV awning and then insert the hooks into the rustproof grommets on the upper side of the shade. Once the shade is hung, secure the bottom using the ground stakes.
You can also use the bungee balls included in the kit if you want to give your shade a bit more of a slope to prevent it from getting blown over. I also liked how it can block up to 90% of the sun’s light and the harmful UV rays that accompany it. Aside from making the space underneath your awning darker, it will also be significantly cooler and dryer.
12. Carefree 292000 Vacation’r Screen Room
This product is not just an ordinary awning screen. It is basically an entire room. This kit is composed of panels consisting of solid vinyl material and mesh windows. It even has a door, giving your RV a sort of receiving area if you have guests.
Although it looks complicated, thanks to the custom camper awnings, it is pretty easy to assemble. The front panel connects just like your traditional awning screen. It means that the top part slides through the utility slot, and the base is secured to the ground using stakes. The sides are also installed the same way you would install side shades.
The windows, or in this case, portholes, are covered with a mesh-like fabric that prevents bugs and other campers’ prying eyes from seeing what is inside. If you need even more privacy, just drop down and secure the shades over the windows.
This screen room can fit almost all awnings that have 8-foot extensions. It means that regardless of the brand of awning you have, it is very likely that this product will fit perfectly.
Best RV Awning Shades Buying Guide
If you are on a quest to find the absolute best RV awning, but you have no idea what to look for, then there is a high chance that you will end up buying something that you will regret later. To avoid that, you have to be a more informed and knowledgeable buyer.
Here are some factors that are worth keeping in mind to help make your search for the right awning a bit easier:
The material of the awning – The fabric material used for making the awning is one of the most important things you must think of and assess carefully. To choose the right kinds of awning for your particular needs, pick the right material for when you go out camping.
If your family camping trips usually fall during the summer months, you need a highly breathable awning material. It should also block the harmful UV rays of the sun. Acrylic is one such fabric that will suit your needs.
On the other hand, if you like to take camping trips during the colder parts of the year, go for a more robust awning material. It should also be waterproof in case it starts to rain.
Awnings can come in many different fabrics – with each one having its own set of pros and cons. Polyester is one of the most popular awning materials because it is lightweight and tends to dry relatively quickly after it rains. These qualities make it easier to handle polyester awnings.
There is also acrylic, which is much sturdier compared to polyester. Although polyester is already quite lightweight, it has been proven that acrylic, pound for pound, weighs much less than the former. Moreover, acrylic is quite rigid. It can also prevent the harmful UV rays of the sun while allowing some of the light to pass through.
However, acrylic is also quite expensive and might set you back a couple of hundred dollars. You should set a budget and stick to it. With a budget already set, it will be much easier to quickly decide what to buy.
Ease of Installation and Operation – The ease of installing and operating the awning is another essential factor that you need to consider, especially if you value your sanity and the health and well-being of your lower back. Ideally, awning installation should not take you more than an hour to finish.
It should also be easy to deploy and retract. If you have trouble installing the awning on your RV, most manufacturers provide their customers with online instructional videos on how to install their product correctly.
The second point is crucial, as there will be times when you will need to open and retract your RV awning a couple of times every day to prevent it from getting damaged by the weather. The awning that you get should not take more than fifteen minutes to set up and another fifteen minutes to retract.
Moreover, a single person should be able to set up and stow away the awning without much difficulty.
The Size of your RV – Another thing that you should never forget to consider when shopping for an awning to use is the size. There are very few awnings that are “one-size-fits-all” deals. When you find one, you should be cautious about it as it might be too small or too big for your RV.
Now, if your RV already has an awning, and you need to get it replaced, you can use the old one as a measurement guide when shopping for a new one. According to most RV owners, if it is the first time you will be purchasing an awning, it should be around 1/3 to ½ of the length of your RV.
If you need more information, you can ask online RV forums and user groups for their advice and opinions. Also, you can directly ask the manufacturer of your RV (or their customer service representatives) regarding the size of awning that is compatible with their product.
Your Particular Travel Needs – The awning shade that you buy should fit in with your traveling needs and schedule. If you are thinking of going on a secluded mountainside retreat that might last a couple of weeks, you might not want to get an electric awning.
It is because you might need to limit your use of electricity to a minimum to none at all. A manual awning will be more up to your speed. On the other hand, if you often go to campgrounds where there are plenty of available electrical outlets nearby, then get a convenient electric awning.
Also, as mentioned earlier, if you often travel during the summer months, you will need something that can block the heat of the sun and the dangerous UV rays that come with it. If you like hitting the trails during the colder days of the year, get an awning with a waterproof tarp.
Style – After carefully considering the factors mentioned earlier, you can then pick out what suits your style the best. It is easier said than done as these RV accessories come in many different colors and styles.
Take your time browsing all the available colors and designs and picking out what you like the most. Also, make a decision based on what you think will look the best on your RV.
How Many Types of Awning Shade for RV Are There?
There are different types of RV awnings. Each one of them has their own sets of benefits. Research about each type so you can decide which one is the most appropriate choice.
Fixed Awnings – These types are just like the awnings used in houses. However, they are smaller than the ones in households so they can fit on RV windows. These items serve the same purpose, which is to protect against the heat of the sun and as a cover for rain.
Slide-out Awnings – These simple awnings are installed under the RV roof to protect it against the elements. Whenever needed, you just need to pull it out from under the roof and propped up to prevent it from collapsing.
This type of awning is usually made of canvas material. It also uses a system of springs and gears to keep it rolled up, promoting ease in unfurling or putting it back when not in use. The slide-out awnings are also known as the cheapest and most common types of RV awning today.
Roller Awnings – This type of awning is made of a somewhat flexible awning material that is soft yet strong. When not in use, the awning material is always rolled tightly in a large spool tucked underneath the RV roofline.
It is one of the most popular awning types because it is often bigger than a slide-out awning. Because these awnings are bigger than the slide-out, these items are the preferred choice of families or groups. However, take note that this type of awning also has more moving parts, requiring more preventative maintenance after a while.
Automatic Electric Retractable Awnings – These awnings are probably the most convenient types that you can buy right now. This type of awning will automatically deploy at the touch of the button. The high-end units also come with high-tech wind sensors that know when the wind is starting to pick up.
It will also automatically fold the awning back up to prevent it from getting damaged. However, electric retractable awnings are also very expensive to buy and have installed. When damaged, repairing these electric awnings is also pricey. It is mainly because of the complicated pieces of technology that form part of it.
Moreover, these awnings also tend to drain the batteries of your RV quite fast. Fortunately, you can also plug them into any available power outlet to lighten the batteries.
Patio Awnings – This type of RV awning is similar to the slide-out and roller awnings in appearance, but the difference is that there are extra drop-down panels on all sides. You can tie all these items to the ground and fix them to the outer wall of the RV. It is essentially a temporary room.
The downside to this type of awning is that it will take quite a long time to set it up. With that in mind, you should only consider getting this type of awning if you plan on staying on the campsite for a couple of days to make the set up worth it.
The good news is that this awning will necessarily give you a lot more floor space. It would be like having a small bungalow on the campground.
How Does an RV Awning Shade Work?
An RV awning is just an additional roof connected to the RV. If you want to have some shade when you just want to sit outside of your RV, then you just need to slide out or roll out the awning from where you store it in your vehicle.
An awning shade, on the other hand, is an extra bit of material that attaches to the outer edge of the awning. You can then secure it to the ground using stakes to prevent it from blowing in the wind.
One primary purpose of this awning shade is to provide additional protection against the sun, but without blocking the sunlight completely. It usually works like a screen, which means you can still see outside.
How to Choose the Right Size?
If you are thinking of getting a new awning to replace the old one that came with your RV, go for one that has precisely the same size. It will most likely ensure a perfect fit. It means that you do not need to drill additional holes for screws.
On the other hand, if your RV did not come with an outside awning, the rule of thumb is to get an awning that is a third of the length of the RV. If you want to go bigger, get one that is half as long as your vehicle.
When choosing awning shades, the vital thing to consider is that it should be the same width as the existing awning. You can probably get away with getting a shade that is a bit wider than the awning. Anything smaller will not look right, though.
How to Set Up an RV Awning Shade?
Here are the common steps on how to set up your RV awning shade:
First, you need to open up the RV awning according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It does not matter what kind of awning you have. You just have to open it.
If you are installing a front RV awning shade, align the shade with the edge of the awning. Start with one corner. Align the steel eye grommet with the corner of the roller pull bar. You should thread the bungee connector through the grommet, around the pull bar, and then secure using the locking mechanism.
Do the same thing on the other corner. If there is a considerable sag in the middle, thread another bungee connector through the middle to pick up the slack. Use as many of these bungee cords as you wish.
You can find many modern awning shades that are much easier to install. You just need to insert them into the awning’s utility slot and pull them through the other side. These items will only take a couple of minutes to install and are a lot more convenient to use.
The anchor points will be at the base of the RV awning and the outer corner if you will be attaching side awning shades. If your awning does not have a high pitch, you can use the next grommet from the corner to make adjustments and ensure that the bottom of the shade is parallel to the ground.
Care and Maintenance
An RV awning is not cheap. Even the most affordable ones that are available at present will run you up to hundreds of dollars. With that said, you have to take good care of it. To make sure that you get the most out of your RV awning, follow these tips:
Just hose down your awning if it is dirty – Regardless if your awning is made of acrylic or vinyl, you just need to point your garden hose on it to clean it. If some spots still look dirty after you hose down the awning, give it a spot treatment using a detergent made explicitly for awnings.
Use a soft brush and very little pressure, too. Scrubbing too hard will rub away the waterproofing on the material and possibly damage the material underneath.
Prevent water from collecting on the awning – If you often camp out in a place that gets a lot of rain, you can rest assured that it is possible to prevent water from collecting on top of the awning. All it takes is to keep one corner at least three inches lower than the other. It will provide a way for rainwater to run off of the awning.
It is essential as too much water will weigh down the awning too much. If it gets too heavy, it can damage the supports. It might even cause the entire awning assembly to snap off their mounting points simply.
Wait until the awning is dry before retracting it – If you roll up your awning while it is still wet, it will only encourage the growth of mold. It might also trigger the rise of all the other different problems that come with it, like, dry rot, foul smells, and a ruined fabric. If the sun is out, then your awning will get dry in an hour or so.
Minimize the RV awning’s exposure to the sun’s UV rays – It might seem counterintuitive as it is the awning’s job to protect you and your family from the sun. However, if you expose it unnecessarily to sun’s UV rays, it will significantly shorten its service life.
For instance, if you will be spending most of the day hiking or swimming near a lake, or hunting or fishing, you should put the awning away. Moreover, you should seriously consider getting an aluminum cover to protect your awning while it is rolled up, and the RV is parked until the next camping trip.
Protect the awning against strong winds – Once you already have your preferred awning, you need to get yourself a couple of de-flapper clamps. These nifty little devices will not only eliminate the annoying flapping noises whenever a breeze blows through your campsite, but also prevent strong gusts of wind from ripping your awning to shreds.
Aside from these clips, you can also invest in a good awning stabilizing kit. It usually consists of some tension ropes and a couple of stakes. It will prevent your awning from getting blown over by a rogue gust of wind.
Use an awning lock – Lastly, to make sure that your awning does not accidentally fly open while you are cruising down the highway, use an awning lock or a clamp to make it stay securely in place. Although most awnings come with safety locks, having another layer of security is always a good thing.
Other RV Awning Shades We Reviewed
EZ Travel Collection RV Awning Shade
Turn your RV awning into a makeshift patio where you can enjoy the view regardless of the time of day. All you have to do is to invest in this shade.
- Provides ample daytime privacy to your RV patio
- Made of high-quality, heavy-duty polyester
- Blocks up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays
Tentproinc RV Awning Sunshade
Unlike other awning shades, this one installs in less than five minutes total. With that, you will surely have more time to enjoy your trip.
- Slides right into the awning slot and holds securely
- Installed in less than five minutes
- Built to last as it features double-stitched seams and rustproof brass grommets
Shadeidea RV Sun Shade
This sunshade provides additional sun protection and privacy for your RV patio. It allows you to enjoy your trip without any prying eyes.
- Provides one-way visibility
- Constructed with durability in mind
- Blocks more than 80% of UV rays while preventing wind and rain from getting inside
EZ Awning Shades RV Awning Shade
This awning shade kit contains all of the things that you will need to create a true RV patio.
- Comes with all of the extra accessories that you will need to secure the awning shade
- Protects against the sun, wind, and rain
- Provides ample privacy
Carefree 88008802 Black Sideblocker
If you want to completely enclose your awning patio to give yourself complete privacy and protect yourself from the elements, this product is the right choice.
- Can fit on all 8-feet projection awnings
- Provides a one-way privacy screen around your patio
- Cuts the amount of heat and UV-rays inside the patio
Awnlux RV Awning Privacy Sunshade
This sunshade blocks not only the glare of the sun but also the curious gazes of passersby.
- Easy to install – It only takes less than five minutes for one person.
- Blocks almost all UV rays from the sun
- Lowers the temperature inside the patio considerably
CAMWINGS 8x14ft RV Awning Privacy Screen
Once you are done with the initial install, setting up and taking down this awning shade will be a piece of cake.
- Very easy to install and remove
- Blocks almost 90% of the glare from the sun
- Provides great daytime privacy and blocks the UV rays of the sun
CAMWINGS 8x8ft RV Awning Privacy Screen
This product blocks the glare and the heat, but not your view. With that capability, this awning privacy screen will surely be one of your wisest investments.
- Slips into the utility slot of the awning
- Comes in a convenient carrying bag
- Blocks the harmful rays of the sun, but will not block your view
The great thing about having the best RV awning shade is that it allows you to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the weather. It means that you will have fun regardless if it is bright and sunny or gloomy and raining.
If you are thinking of getting your first RV awning shade, you should be careful not to get overwhelmed with the many choices that you have. Consider your personal preferences and needs to ensure that you will not be regretting your purchase later. With the help of this buying guide, you are sure that you can get your money’s worth.