When you buy an RV, you might have noticed a retractable awning attached to it. This hanging fabric provides you with enough shelter from various weather conditions and is supported by metal attachments which allow it to hang on the side of your vehicle.
The problem is, RV awnings have a tendency to get damaged easily due to their design and function, thereby causing them to be unusable in the long run. If you tried repairing your damaged awning only to find out it’s beyond repair, perhaps it’s time to get yourself one of the best RV awnings out there.
In this article, we’re going to review some of the top-rated RV awnings you can find on the market. We’ll also discuss a few tips that will help you decide which product to purchase.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best RV Awning Reviews 2018
- 1. SunWave Awning Fabric Ocean Blue Fade
- 2. Lippert Components RV Solera Awning
- 3. Shade Pro RV Vinyl Awning Replacement Fabric
- 4. ALEKO Retractable RV Awning
- 5. Lippert Components Solera Universal Fit Awning
- 6. Dometic Camping Trailer Awning
- 7. Carefree Vacation’r Screen Room
- 8. Tentproinc RV Awning Sun Shade
- 9. Carefree Black Drop RV Awning
- 10. Camco Durable RV Awning Mat
- What to Look for When Buying an RV Awning
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
10 Best RV Awning Reviews 2018
1. SunWave Awning Fabric Ocean Blue Fade
A high quality product from SunWave, the Ocean Blue Fade is an excellent choice as far as an RV awning is concerned. It comes in a faded ocean blue tone and is made of a hard wearing vinyl to provide you with reliable protection from sunlight and rain.
If you’re looking for an awning that can be easily installed in your RV, then I’d recommend getting this one. The fabric is made for manually operated awnings. You can do the installation by yourself. However, you might want someone to help you attach the fabric onto your trailer. I was able to properly install in within minutes with no problems at all.
One of the things I like about the SunWave awning is its top-notch quality. In fact, a lot of fellow RV owners vouch for the SunWave mainly due to its sturdiness and partially due to its visually appealing design. With this combination present, you can get a reliable shelter from the elements while making your RV look a lot more appealing.
Unfortunately, there’s one particular department that the SunWave is lacking. I’m talking about the lack of clear instructions on how to install it. While it can be quickly installed within minutes, referring to the manual tends to make installation harder than it should be.
2. Lippert Components RV Solera Awning
The Solera awning is yet another quality choice if you’re looking for a reliable protection on your RV. It features a solid black fabric along with a black hardware. Sturdy and durable, the Solera offers you an affordable yet visually appealing protection for your slide rooms.
It can easily attach to the outside wall of your RV and its slide room. It can also effectively block any dust, debris, dust, and smoke even with the slide room retracted. One of the things I love about the Solera is the fact that it can permanently attach to your RV’s slide room and will automatically retract along with the slide out.
You can also extend it up to 50 inches which is around 8 times longer than most brands. This makes the Solera a really affordable alternative to slide-out awnings. Also, it’s available in a number of sizes to suit your RV’s dimensions. I also like the fact that the instructions specified in the manual are very easy to understand and follow.
3. Shade Pro RV Vinyl Awning Replacement Fabric
If the awning fabric on your RV is torn or damaged beyond repair, then this awning replacement fabric from Shade Pro is what you need. This replacement fabric is as the name implies: it replaces your RV’s torn or worn out awning fabric, thereby giving you the much-needed protection from external elements.
As an RV awning replacement fabric, you can easily fit and install it into your vehicle within minutes. It can fit various awning types including CareFree, A&E, and Faulkner. Additionally, the product comes with easy to follow instructions which allow you to do the installation yourself. With this, you can easily replace your old and worn out awning in no time at all.
One of the things I like about this is its 3-year limited warranty on the freight and parts. This means that you can easily ask for a replacement in the event that some of its parts got damaged or broken. Appearance-wise, it sports a blue-white gradient which can perfectly suit the appearance of your vehicle.
4. ALEKO Retractable RV Awning
This easy to use awning provides you with a perfect protection against harsh weather conditions. If you’re planning to go on a road trip on your RV, then you shouldn’t forget bringing this along with you.
It comes with a hand crank that lets you open and close the awning with ease in just less than a minute. It also keeps the front of your RV protected just like a standard canopy awning. With this, you can get the best RV awning shade where you can relax while out there camping. It’s also made of a material that’s resistant to mold, mildew, water, and UV rays. Therefore, you can rely on it to last for a longer period of time.
Aside from its durability and reliability when it comes to providing you with a reliable protection, I also like the beautiful colors that come with the fabric. They also won’t fade easily and can even complement the overall look of your vehicle. This allows you to enjoy a touch of sophistication on your vehicle as you go driving on the road.
As it’s an electricity-free awning, it simply means you no longer have to deal with that annoying electric retractable awning in your vehicle.
5. Lippert Components Solera Universal Fit Awning
If you’re looking for an awning replacement fabric that can fit just about any RV size, then I’d recommend this Solera Universal Fit Awning from Lipperts Components. It comes in a variety of sizes as well as colors for you to choose from.
It’s made of heavy-duty vinyl which is designed to provide you with a reliable protection from strong winds, heavy rains, and harmful UV rays. It’s also very easy to install. In fact, it only took me a few minutes to properly fit one on my RV. Without a doubt, this is one of the easiest awnings to fit on an RV.
One of the things I love about the Solera Universal awning is that I didn’t have a hard time choosing the right fit for your RV since I can simply choose from one of the many size options available. There’s also a variety of colors available including blue fade, burgundy fade, green fade, sand fade, silver fade, solid black, and white fade.
6. Dometic Camping Trailer Awning
This is one of the many Dometic RV awnings which is compact and lightweight. As such, it can provide you with a comfortable shade to relax under while camping on your RV. It has a dimension of 11ft, making it ideal for use on a camping trailer.
It comes with all of the hardware you need to install it properly. The installation process only takes a few minutes, not to mention that it’s very easy to do as well. As one of the quality awnings on the market, you can surely rely on its quality and durability.
One thing I like about this Dometic trailer awning is that it is very easy to install. Due to its compact design, I didn’t have to rely on someone else’s help to attach it to my RV trailer. Also, since it comes with all the hardware I need, installation was a breeze.
As of now, it’s only available in one color: sandstone. In spite of that, the design is aesthetically appealing enough and can easily complement your trailer. So far, I really like its quality, durability, ease of use, and simplistic yet appealing design.
7. Carefree Vacation’r Screen Room
If you want to add some room for your recreational vehicle, then this product from Carefree is an excellent choice. This is ideal for those who want to stay outside of their RV without having to worry about being exposed to sunlight or rain.
What you need to do is simply attach it to your awning. After that, it will then create an extra room which you can use for hanging out or to keep yourself safe from bad weathers. As it’s made of a lightweight yet durable material, you can rely on its durability and longevity. It also features mesh windows along with privacy screens for added privacy and shade.
One of the things I like is its easy installation and removal. It only took me a few minutes to completely install it on my RV. Assembly is quick and easy as well. You don’t have to drill any hole just to set it up completely.
Lastly, it comes in a variety of sizes to cater to various recreational vehicles. With this, you can surely find the perfect fit for your RV.
8. Tentproinc RV Awning Sun Shade
I think no one wants to go RVing during the summer while having to deal with the scorching heat of the sun or the drenching drizzle of the rain. Whenever possible, we’d like to enjoy our RVing adventures to the max. This RV awning from Tentproinc does just that.
As the name implies, it provides you with a refreshing and comfortable shade which allows you to relax outside of your RV without having to worry about rain or sunlight. It also comes with plastic stakes along with bungee balls so you can easily install it without any worries.
Among the features include a breathable mesh screen which is capable of blocking up to 86% sunlight while keeping your view unobstructed. As a result, you can enjoy a cooler temperature while under it which can translate to a really relaxing and comfortable stay. It can also reduce the force of strong wind efficiently, allowing you to chill comfortably under its shade.
Due to its lightweight yet durable construction, you can easily install and dismount it any time you want. It also protects you from a number of elements other than sunlight and rain. These include bugs, strong winds, and more.
So far, there are three different colors available for you to choose from. You can also add a side shade if you want all-around protection. Just make sure you properly measure your RV to ensure a perfect fit.
9. Carefree Black Drop RV Awning
Made of a high quality material, this RV awning from Carefree can fit into any awning brand with ease. Ideally, you want to get this product if you’re looking for an awning that can protect you from UV rays as you relax outside of your RV.
The fabric is capable of blocking up to 85% of sunlight to keep you cool and comfortable while you relax. It’s also covered in vinyl with a one-year warranty. Although it’s easy to install, you’ll need someone to assist you, especially when it comes to its top-most section. Once you have attached the top part, you can then zip it up easily.
Of the things I found about this awning fabric, what I like was the fact that it provided me with a comfortable shade even when the spot I parked my RV has no shade and is directly facing the sun. It’s also affordable, making it a budget-friendly awning that can get you through the season. It’s made of a thick material that can last for a really long time even when regularly exposed to UV rays.
Another excellent feature of the Carefree awning is its heavy-duty zipper. With this product, you can fit a majority of awning brands on the market. It can also slide into your awning with ease, while the top section remains in your awning. This makes using the awning a lot easier, and its open-weave fabric can block a majority of the UV rays from penetrating.
10. Camco Durable RV Awning Mat
This one is a lot different than the ones we’ve mentioned above. Specifically, this is an awning mat that can be placed under your awning so you can enjoy lying on the ground without having to worry about the terrain. Basically, it’s a simple, no frills mat that can give you a comfortable space outside of your RV.
The Camco awning mat is made of a high quality material that is resistant to both mold and mildew. Aside from that, it’s really easy to clean, so I didn’t have any issues with the cleaning and maintenance at all. All I did was wash it using a hose to remove any dirt and debris that got stuck. After that, I just left it to dry in a few hours and it’s good to use again.
What I like about the Camco RV awning mat is that it features a reversible design. This simply means that once the other side got full of dirt and dust, you can simply flip it on the other side. Although unlike other RV mats on the market, it only has a single and simple design, so you can’t really benefit from its aesthetic value.
Another amazing benefit you can get from this awning mat is that you can unfold it on the ground regardless of where you are. It’s perfect for keeping your feet clean while camping outdoors on your RV. This way, you won’t have to bring dirt or debris with you when you enter your vehicle. Also, its breathable material won’t suffocate grass beneath it.
Included in the package are ground stakes that will help keep it in place and grommets that are rust-resistant.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Awning
Now that you know what an RV awning is and why it’s important to get one for your RV, it’s about time we talk about the factors you have to consider when shopping for one. Due to the number of choices on the market, it might be overwhelming to choose the right RV awning.
Without further ado, here are the things to watch out for when buying an awning for your recreational vehicle:
Fabric or material used
An awning’s fabric will play an important role in your choice of an awning. Also, you have to pick the best RV awning material that corresponds to the time of year you plan to go on a road trip on your vehicle.
If you prefer summer trips, then you’d want to go for a breathable acrylic awning. Meanwhile, if you plan to go on winter trips, you’ll need an awning that’s made of a tougher material, particularly vinyl.
Keep in mind that awning fabrics are available in a variety of appearance, durability, and weight. Lightweight polyester tends to dry up quickly right after a rain, allowing you to handle it easily due to its extremely lightweight construction.
Acrylic, on the other hand, is a more expensive option, although it is no doubt of a higher quality and can last for several years. It’s also rigid and a bit lighter. Also, it has better resistance against UV rays compared to other types of fabric. Most of the best RV awning fabric reviews would recommend this option, but you should only consider it if you can afford to invest more for an awning.
Ease of installation and use
You don’t want an awning that’ll take you an hour, perhaps even more, just to install on your vehicle. Additionally, you don’t want an awning that comes with complicated instructions on how to use and install.
Ideally, you have to pick an awning that’s easy to use and install. Some manufacturers even come with online videos which can provide you with a comprehensive tutorial on how to use and set up their awning.
Your RV’s measurement
One thing you should never forget to consider when you buy an RV awning is the size of your vehicle. Due to the various types of RVs on the market, you’ll also be met with a variety of RV awnings for sale. You don’t want to purchase an awning that’s either too small or too large to fit in your vehicle.
If you already have an awning that you want to be replaced, you can use it as a guide during your next purchase. However, if you don’t own any awning before, you can get the appropriate measurement by measuring 1/3 to 1/2 of your vehicle’s length. Also, don’t hesitate to ask the manufacturers regarding this matter.
Your travel needs
You also have to pick an awning that will correspond to your traveling needs. If you plan to head out into the wilderness and boondock for a few days or even weeks, then an electric awning might not be the best option. You don’t want to experience the hassle of not being able to operate your awning due to the lack of electric power.
Meanwhile, if you plan to camp in camping sites that have nearby outlets, then the best electric RV awning is a good choice. Just keep in mind that different awning types are available to accommodate certain situations. As such, you need to pick the one that will suit your needs and your destination.
Once you’re able to carefully consider the previous factors, the last thing you’d want to keep in mind is the awning’s appearance. There are a variety of colors and designs available out there. Take the time to pick the one that will complement the looks of your vehicle.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an RV Awning?
An RV awning is basically a supplemental roof or cover that regulates exposure to outdoor elements like sun and rain. It can either be retractable or stationary depending on your preferences. Most of the time, it’s made of vinyl, aluminum, or cloth.
With an awning on your RV, you can make your RV adventures a lot easier, more enjoyable, and more comfortable. It can provide you with a shade where you can eat, chill out, relax, and take refuge from harsh weather conditions. It mainly provides a place where you can find shade anytime you want.
As mentioned earlier, most recreational vehicles have their own RV awning attached upon purchase. It can cover windows as well as the entire side of your vehicle. Unfortunately, most of these built-in awnings are of substandard quality. Therefore, they most likely won’t last long, and you’ll have to purchase a replacement if you want to enjoy using an awning on your RV.
Types of RV Awning
While there are different materials used for creating an awning, you should also keep in mind that it comes in a variety of types as well. The following are the different awning types to help you choose which awning is perfect for your RV:
A retractable awning is ideal if you enjoy traveling on your RV most of the time. The simple reason is because awnings that belong to this category are collapsible and very easy to fold and store in your vehicle. The installation process can also take a few minutes to finish.
The best part about a retractable awning is that it comes with supportive metal arms that allow you to fold it when not using. As such, it makes a perfect choice if you want to move from one camping site to another while on your adventure.
RV retractable awnings are also available in electric and manual variants. Electric variants operate with just a touch of a button. Some even have a remote control to let you operate it conveniently. Manual variants, on the other hand, use a crank for opening and closing whenever you want.
Perhaps the advantage between a manual and electric awning is that the former comes with fewer parts while the latter is way more convenient.
A shade awning provides you with a cool space where you can relax even under the scorching heat of the sun. This is the ideal option if you prefer going on RV adventures during the summer season.
Shade awnings are generally easy to use and install, not to mention they’re also perfect for enjoying a relaxing moment under a protective shade. Most awnings that belong to this category can perfectly suit dropdown mesh sunshade panels to offer added shade and protection from the harmful effects of the sun.
Canopies come in a variety of colors and fabrics to choose from. They’re a perfect addition to your lightweight fabric which is meant to protect you from the harmful UV rays but isn’t durable enough to withstand heavy rains and wind.
Shelter awnings are designed to provide you with a reliable shelter which can shield you from various external elements. Most of them feature a fiberglass or plastic framework compared to the other awning types which are made of fabric.
Due to their sturdy and durable construction, they make an excellent option for protecting yourself and your RV from the elements. The downside, however, is that they’re quite heavy and might take a long time to disassemble.
Screen room awnings are ideal if you want to add more footprint on your RV without the need to buy a larger vehicle. With a screen room, you can enjoy more fabric coverage, thus giving you an extra room where you can relax and hang out.
Additionally, a screen room is perfect for keeping bugs out as well as offering protection from rain, heat, and winds. If you’re looking for more privacy while relaxing, screen rooms are perfect as well.
Benefits of RV Awnings
If you love going on a road trip on your RV, then you have to purchase an RV awning. The question is, why? What are the benefits you can get from using an awning? These are the following:
It offers you an enjoyable and comfortable outdoor moment
With an awning, you can enjoy a relaxing time outside of your RV once you decided to camp on a certain spot. This way, you can relax, hang out, or even take a nap without having to worry about getting exposed to the sun.
It protects you from the outdoor elements
Perhaps the main reason why you should purchase an awning is that it keeps you protected from the harsh outdoor elements each time you go camping outdoors. With an awning, you can seek shelter from strong winds, heavy rains, harmful UV rays, and even insects.
It can provide you with extra privacy
Screen rooms, for example, allow you to get an extra layer of privacy while relaxing under its shade outside of your RV. This is an excellent option if you prefer to hide from the prying eyes outside.
Generally, awnings provide you with protection from elements, extra privacy, and an enjoyable and comfortable camping experience. However, due to the various types of awnings available on the market, each of them can give you different benefits depending on your preferred type.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to choose the right awning size?
In order to find the right size for an awning to fit in your RV, you need to know the exact measurements of your existing awning. Don’t pick a new product that’s smaller or larger by just an inch as it won’t properly fit.
Also, if your RV doesn’t come with a built-in awning, you can get the right measurement by getting 1/3 to 1/2 of your RV’s length. The standard sizes range from 2 to 5 meters.
Is the fabric waterproof?
This will depend on the fabric of your preferred awning. Acrylic tends to repel water effectively; however, it is not waterproof. This only means that you shouldn’t touch your awning’s underside while wet, else water will be able to seep through.
Vinyl, on the other hand, is basically a laminated fabric. Therefore, water won’t be able to seep through it, making it waterproof. Hence, if you prefer a waterproof awning, you might want to go for one that’s made of vinyl. Keep in mind, however, that there are benefits for each type of fabric.
How to open an RV awning?
To open an RV awning, you simply have to follow these steps:
- Unfasten the locks by squeezing the release mechanisms which are found on the side of each arm.
- After that, loosen the rafter knobs then set the ratchet mechanism to roll-down position to release the awning. In some models, you can find a sliding mechanism that has a remote release.
- Once you’re done, extend the awning by gripping the pull-down strap loop along with the pull rod. Simply slide the RV awning arms upward then snap them in place.
- Make sure to secure the awning. To do so, simply position yourself in the front then draw the awning tube while moving it slightly downward at the same time to create tension.
- Tighten the knob which is found on the tension arm. Do the same on the other arm.
- To fully extend the awning, grip the lift handle and disengage the catch pin. After that, simply move it upward. Pull the awning until it can reach its full height. Don’t forget to secure the catch pin afterward.
- Make sure that water won’t gather on the top. You can do this by positioning one corner of your awning 3 inches lower compared to the others so there will be an exit for water.
How to close an RV awning?
To close your awning, simply follow these steps:
- Use the pull-down strap to lower the arms of the awning.
- Next, find the rafter knobs on the back of the arms and loosen them. Do the same for the rafter catches.
- Set the rafters to rest position while keeping the awning from rolling up on its own. Make sure you hold the awning rod and strap so that you can properly handle the awning while loosening the rafters.
- After that, set the ratchet mechanism to roll-up mode. You can do this by using the switch located near the top.
- Connect the hook to the pull strap and wind up the awning. Don’t forget to remove the hook after that.
- Make sure you secure the travel locks as well as keep the handle releases locked.
- Lastly, secure the rafter knobs so your awning won’t automatically open.
How to repair an RV awning fabric?
Tears and holes in an RV awning aren’t that uncommon. This is mainly because most campers won’t even bother checking their awnings for damage. Fortunately, there are a few tips to repair a damaged awning. Simply follow these steps:
- Carefully clean the top and bottom area of the damaged part on your awning. Use a non-abrasive cleaner to accomplish this task.
- After the area is clean, dry it using an absorbent towel. Make sure not to leave any moisture.
- Place the awning on a flat surface, then using a clear repair tape, carefully patch the damaged area. Remove any bubbles that are seen under the tape. Make sure to apply it carefully. If you’ve applied it the wrong angle, simply apply a second layer.
- Do the same on the bottom area of the tear.
By choosing the best RV awning, you can have an enjoyable camping experience while on your vehicle. It can provide you with a comfortable area to relax and hang out, not to mention provide you with protection from harsh weather conditions.
The next time you go shopping for an awning, make sure you check the abovementioned products and read the buying guide as well.
I would like to thank you for reading this article. Find out more about how to find the best RV awning lights with our guides and reviews. Furthermore, please take a look at the best RV patio mats and best RV mattresses to pick the right one for your RV bedroom, awnings and accessories.