Best RV Awnings for Optimal Shade: Stay Cool and Protected

It’s not all fun in the sun, sometime’s is about relaxing in the shade after a long day of chopping wood and setting up your campsite.

If you like to plant your RV for a week or two at a time, having a good RV awning can still allow you to enjoy the outdoors without frying in the sunshine.

Take a look at the best RV awnings that cover the most amount of space, and are fairly easy to install.

Here’s Our Top Pick

SunWave RV Awning

SunWave RV Awning
  • Replace your old and worn-out awning with SunWave brand awning fabric!...
  • We've selected the best quality vinyl for our awnings. Vinyl is the...
  • Our vinyl material is resistant to UV radiation and color won't fade...

Why is it better?

  • Suitable for installation on A&E (Dometic), Carefree and Carter Awnings
  • 14-day return policy
  • Comes ready to install with 1/4” poly cord suitable for rails, and 3/16” poly cord for the roller tub

5 Best Awning For Your Rv

With that in mind, let’s now take a closer look at our top picks.

SunWave- RV Awning Fabric Replacement | RV Electric Awning Fabric Replacement | Premium Vinyl RV Canopy | Awning Replacement (18', Ocean Blue Fade)
More Information
Tentproinc RV Awning Sun Shade Screen Sunshade 8' X 15' 3'' (Fit for 16' Awning)- Mesh Sunscreen Motorhome Camper Trailer Awning Shade Screen UV Blocker Completed Kits - 3 Year Warranty (Black)
More Information
Carefree 291600 Vacation'r Screen Room for 16' to 17' Awning
More Information
EZ Travel Collection Black RV Awning Shade Complete Kit 10' X 16' Sun Shade Canopy Shelter
More Information
Tentproinc RV Awning Shade Screen 7' X 15' 3'' Black Mesh Screen Sunshade Camping Trailer UV Sun Blocker Complete Kits - 3 Year Warranty
More Information

Let’s dive into the specifics and review each awning individually. You can use the list below to jump and review specific models, or you can read along and go through all the information.

Best Overall: SunWave RV Awning

SunWave RV Awning
  • Replace your old and worn-out awning with SunWave brand awning fabric!...
  • We've selected the best quality vinyl for our awnings. Vinyl is the...
  • Our vinyl material is resistant to UV radiation and color won't fade...

This SunWave awning fabric with a beautiful blue ombre design is our top pick.

This awning fabric is designed for manually operated awnings. Made of a hard wearing 15oz vinyl with 16oz weather shield vinyl heat welded on top, this awning will protect you come rain or shine.

SunWave RV awnings come ready to install, complete with a poly cord for both the rail and roller.

One thing to note is that some reviewers commented on the lack of clear instructions making installation somewhat harder than it should be.

Whilst that shouldn’t put you off this great awning, we definitely recommend taking the time to watch some YouTube tutorials on how to complete installation before you attempt it yourself.


  • Suitable for installation on A&E (Dometic), Carefree and Carter Awnings
  • Comes ready to install with 1/4” poly cord suitable for rails, and 3/16” poly cord for the roller tube
  • 14-day return policy (minus shipping and a 20% restocking fee)


  • Installation can be a little tricky, so make sure you have a few extra hands to help
  • Take care not to damage the fabric when installing


  • Attractive ocean blue fade design is visible on both sides
  • Lightweight yet durable fabric is perfect for all weather conditions


  • We recommend watching a few of the YouTube video tutorials available on how to install this awning
  • If you’re planning on using this awning fabric with a Carter awning, make a note of this on your order

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 17’ 2-3” to fit 18’ awning
  • Material: 15oz vinyl with 16oz vinyl weather shield heat welded onto the main vinyl
  • Type of installation: Attaches to existing awning frame
  • UV protection: Yes
  • Color: Ocean Blue Fade
  • Warranty: Three years

Tentproinc Black Mesh RV Awning

Tentproinc Black Mesh RV Awning
3,928 Reviews
Tentproinc Black Mesh RV Awning
  • UV BLOCK & OPEN VIEW - Used as front RV awning, blocks about 86% of UV...
  • LOWER TEMPERATURE - provides you a roomy and cozy shade place. Enjoy...
  • REDUCE WIND EFFICIENTLY - breaks especially the force of cross-wind....

This mesh sun shade by Tentproinc takes our runner-up position. This sunshade is designed to complement your existing awning by providing additional protection against UV rays, high temperatures, and wind.

This is achieved using a fine yet durable mesh which drops down from the edge of your existing awning and can be secured to the ground using the included plastic stakes.

A high percentage of positive reviews mean that if you’re looking for a mesh sun shade, this is the one for you!


  • Blocks approximately 86% of harmful UV rays whilst not restricting visibility
  • Fits most RV awnings, including Dometic, Carefree, Lippert and Fiamma
  • Can be used in conjunction with mesh sides (available to purchase separately) to create an enclosed, bug-free zone


  • Plastic stakes can dislodge in wind
  • Difficult to install for one person


  • Also available in brown, blue, beige and other colors on request
  • Additional widths available
  • Includes carry case, plastic stakes, and bungee balls


  • Ensure you carefully measure the length of your existing awning before purchase
  • Bear in mind this will not increase privacy – the mesh is fairly see-through

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 8’ by 15’
  • Material: Mesh
  • Type of installation: Attaches to awning frame
  • UV protection: Yes
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: Three years

Carefree 291800 RV Awning

Carefree 291800 RV Awning
  • Fits awning rail to ground measurements of 86 inch to 150 inch
  • This high quality, lightweight room is specifically designed to fit...
  • Made of tough, lightweight material

If you’re looking for a way to extend the footprint of your RV, then this Carefree RV awning screen room is just the thing for you.

By attaching to your existing awning, it creates an extra room, perfect for pets to hang out in, or for use in bad weather.

Made of lightweight yet tough material, the majority of reviewers have been very happy with the quality of the Carefree RV awning fabric.

Mesh windows are combined with drop-down privacy screens which can be used to provide both extra shade or additional privacy.

This room appears relatively easy to set up and take down.

Carefree has been praised for their excellent customer service which means you can be confident in your purchase of this screen room.


  • Fits on a wide variety of both manual and motorized awnings
  • Provides an additional room to extend the footprint of your RV
  • Quick and easy to install


  • Some users found the door difficult to use
  • Window privacy screens are on outside, meaning to need to exit the room to close them


  • Comes complete with additional extension panel to ensure a perfect fit
  • Keeps out bugs and weather


  • Refer to YouTube tutorials when installing for the first time, as the instructions can be confusing
  • Checklist of compatible awnings before purchase

Product Information

  • Dimensions: Fits awning size 18’ to 19’
  • Material: Polyester and vinyl
  • Type of installation: Attaches to existing awning
  • UV protection: Yes
  • Color: Grey
  • Warranty: One year

EZ Travel RV Awning

If you’re heading out with your RV over summer and are looking for some additional shade – then EZ Travel RV awning shades are a great choice.

Many reviewers were impressed with the way this sun shade easily attaches to your awning – by using the awning hooks rather than sliding into the awning channel itself.

This means it’s very quick and easy to install.

The combination of woven polyester and a vinyl coating means that this sun shade is durable.

This is definitely a cost-effective option for those summer trips.


  • Attaches to awning hooks for easy installation and removal
  • Comes with straight stakes, spiral stakes, bungee balls and universal awning hooks
  • Provides additional shade and privacy


  • Some reviewers found it was more see-through than desired
  • Only comes with seven awning hooks. More hooks are necessary for a precise fit
  • Difficult to obtain warranty information


  • Blocks up to 80% of UV rays
  • Combination of woven polyester and vinyl coating for added durability


  • Available in a range of other sizes
  • Consider ordering additional awning hooks for a perfect fit

Product Information

  • Dimensions:10’ by 16’
  • Material: Polyester and vinyl mesh
  • Type of installation: Attaches to existing awning frame
  • UV protection: Yes
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: Not stated

Tentproinc RV Awning

Tentproinc RV Awning
  • UV BLOCK & OPEN VIEW - Used as front RV awning, blocks about 86% of UV...
  • LOWER TEMPERATURE - provides you a roomy and cozy shade place. Enjoy...
  • REDUCE WIND EFFICIENTLY - breaks especially the force of cross-wind....

When RVing over summer – many of us want to reduce our exposure to harmful UV rays without compromising on visibility and those refreshing breezes.

If that sounds like you, then this sun shade by Tentproinc is a perfect choice.

This sun shade comes complete with plastic stakes and bungee balls so you’ll have everything you need for easy installation.

The shade slides into the pipeline of your awning and reduces high temperatures in the area it shades.

This Tentproinc has a great number of positive reviews which should help you feel confident when buying this product.


  • Blocks up to 86% of UV rays
  • Fits most awnings including Carefree, Lippert, Fiamma and Dometic
  • Heavy duty but lightweight fabric


  • Plastic stakes can be too flimsy for some ground or weather conditions
  • Some buyers sun shades appeared ‘streaky’


  • Also available in brown and blue
  • If you want protection from the wind, side shades are easy to add


  • Take careful measurements to ensure a good fit
  • Bear in mind this will not increase privacy as the mesh is fairly see-through

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 7’ by 15’
  • Material: Mesh
  • Type of installation: Attaches to existing awning frame
  • UV protection: Yes
  • Color: Black
  • Warranty: Three years

Introduction To RV Awnings

Whether you enjoy sitting outside with a cup of hot coffee and planning your day, or want to provide a safe space for your pets to relax out of the sunshine, we’re sure there’s an awning to suit you.

If you want to find out more about RV awnings, including the different types available, popular fabric choices and how to replace your own awning, read on as we answer all those questions and more.

Benefits Of RV Awnings

Some advantages of RV awnings include adding extra space to your RV, whether this is a shady spot, shelter from wind and rain or somewhere to cook outside.

If you’re feeling slightly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choice out there, read on as we introduce you to the different types of awnings and take a look at which ones might suit you best.

Types Of RV Awnings


RV Shades

The main purpose of shade awnings is to provide a cool space during the heat of the day.

If you love RVing during summer, you’ll be familiar with the fact that your RV can quickly heat up and become uncomfortably hot.

Whilst you can usually cool down by stepping outside your RV, if you’re looking for respite during the heat of the day, it’s likely that it’ll be just as hot outside.

Easy to install and use, shade awnings are perfect for relaxing under, in your favorite chair with a delicious cold drink.

Many of these awnings are compatible with drop down mesh sunshade panels, which can attach to the awning and the ground, providing additional shade and protection from harmful UV rays.


RV Shelters

These awnings are primarily designed to provide you with some shelter from the elements. They will often be found on stationary RVs which are parked up either permanently.

Many of these awnings are based on a framework of plastic or fiberglass, as opposed to fabric awnings which are designed to be put up and down on a more regular basis.

These awnings have the advantage of providing a great deal of protection against the elements, but a disadvantage is that they can be heavy and cumbersome to disassemble.


RV Screen Room

These are a great option if you want to extend the footprint of your RV without having to invest in a larger class of RV.

Screen rooms provide fabric coverage across the entire area of your pre-installed awning, which basically gives you an extra room. This is great for providing protection from bugs, heat, rain and cold weather.

They also add extra privacy, which is great if you’re parked up in a busy RV park and would like more peace and quiet. They also provide a great additional room for pets you may have with you on your trip.


Retractable awning on RV

Retractable awnings and their supportive metal arms are designed to fold nearly flat against the side of your RV when not in use.

These awnings are perfect if you like to move from camping ground to camping ground throughout the season. This is because once installed, they are easy to put up and take down.

Retractable awnings come in electric or manual options. Electric retractable awnings are powered by either 12 volts or 110 volts and can be closed and opened simply with the touch of a button.

Some of these even have remote controls so you can simply press the button as you return to the camping ground and your awning will be ready for you when you reach your RV!

Manual retractable awnings use either a crank handle or pull out option, which you can use to open and close your awning when you like.

The advantage of manual awnings is that there are less mechanical parts to break, but the disadvantage, of course, is that they require a little more work on your part.

The supporting legs of these awnings sit either on the ground or more commonly, on the side of your RV.


Awlings Canopy

Many RV awnings, of course, include a canopy – the top material section of the awning.

This is available in a very wide range of both fabrics and color options. It certainly pays to take a little bit of time to choose the correct fabric for your awning.

If you enjoy heading out in your RV over autumn and winter, a lightweight fabric designed for protection from UV radiation will likely not be tough enough to stand up to more than a few seasons of rain and wind.

Likewise, those of you who love RVing over the summer will probably not be satisfied with a dark and heavy duty canopy.

How To Attach An Awning To Your RV

If your RV didn’t come with an awning pre-installed, it’s a great idea to add one yourself.

Take careful measurements of the side of your RV, and refer to individual manufacturer’s guidelines before placing your order.

You’ll need another pair of hands and two step ladders, so the awning can be supported at either end during installation.

Our instructions are for installing a manual awning. If you decide to go for a mechanical awning, we recommend you have this fitted by a professional.

Once you have your awning, here’s what to do:

  • Using the screws or bolts that came with the awning, attach the awning rail to the appropriate spot on your RV
  • Unroll the awning fabric by gently pulling the awning tube towards you in a downwards direction
  • Once fully unrolled, slide the upper awning arms into position
  • Whilst the fabric is tight, use the tension knobs on each awning arm to adjust the tension of the fabric
  • Now the awning is fully unrolled, place the support arms either on the side of your RV or on the ground, depending on the make of your awning

How To Replace Your Existing RV Awning

If the metal framework of your awning is still in good condition, then you can simply replace the fabric awning and you’ll have your RV looking as good as new.


Here’s our step by step guide to replacing the fabric awning. Bear in mind you will need at least two people to complete this.

You’ll also need two stepladders, and we recommend laying a tarp on the ground under the area of your awning to protect the new awning fabric.

Be aware that the springs can pose dangers as they are under extreme pressure.

  1. Roll your existing awning out to approximately one foot.
  2. Lock in place by rotating the shaft until holes are lined up and insert a cotter pin
  3. Bend cotter pin to secure
  4. Using a small vice grip, apply pressure to both sides of the assembly attachment plate. This will disconnect the arms.
  5. Take a wrench and remove the lag bolts attaching the awning rafters to your RV
  6. Hold the awning at both ends and pull away from the RV.
  7. Remove cotter pins and unwind the springs on each side. Take a note of how many times you need to turn each pin. This is important for tensioning the new awning fabric correctly
  8. Use a marker to note the position of the cam handle on the awning tube
  9. Lift the tube out of place and unroll awning fabric
  10. Take your new fabric and thread onto the tube. Take care to avoid tearing
  11. Using the mark you made in Step 8, reconnect the torsion assembly. Rivet into place if necessary
  12. Re-tension the springs on each side, turning the same number of times as in Step 7. Once correctly tensioned, insert a cotter pin
  13. Screw the arms back into place
  14. Reconnect the rail by feeding the awning cord into it slowly
  15. Reconnect the awning arms using a wrench to attach the lag bolts
  16. Take vice grips off assembly plate
  17. Test awning rolls in and out with ease

Of course, because this is a general guide, we highly suggest reading the instructions that come with your awning fabric and if you’re in any doubt, ask a professional to install your new awning for you instead.

Rooftop Awnings

Whilst the majority of awnings are mounted on the wall of your RV, it’s also possible to buy awnings which attach to the roof instead.

Rooftop awnings are usually used when there isn’t enough space above the doors and windows of the RV for a wall-mounted awning. Also, if the side of your RV is curved, a roof-mounted awning will be your only option.


Heating Winter Awling

If you’re heading off in your RV over the winter, then adding a screen room awning to your packing list is a great idea.

By not only adding some additional space for wet weather gear, you can use a small heater to keep this area warm.

The advantage of this is that you create a buffer zone between the cold weather and the interior of your RV. This will drop the temperature inside your RV from dropping every time you open the door.

Low Power Consumption Awnings

If you plan on boondocking, you’ll want to prioritize a manual awning to save on power consumption.

If your RV came pre-installed with a mechanical awning, you could even consider installing a manual version instead.

RV Awning Fabric

RV awnings are made from a range of different materials. These are most commonly clothcanvasfiberglass, and plastic.

The cloth fabrics tend to be either an acrylic fabric or vinyl.

Depending on your needs, you may find one fabric has distinct advantages.

Let’s take a look at those options in a little more detail.

What Is The Best Material For Awning Fabric?

Of course, the answer depends on what you want to use your awning for. With acrylic and vinyl awnings being the most popular, we’ll limit ourselves to these materials.


Acrylic Fabric Awling

Acrylic fabric is made up of individual threads woven together.

This means that it’s breathable, which allows a breeze to circulate under the awning, keeping you cool in hot weather.

Acrylic awnings use colored threads which means they won’t fade and are available in a wide range of colors and patterns.

An important thing to note is that whilst acrylic awnings are water repellent they are NOT waterproof.

That means that any water that falls on the top of the awning will bead and eventually roll off or evaporate but if you touch the underside of the awning when wet, the water will seep through.

Acrylic fabric can provide protection from sun, rain, snow, wind, dust, and bugs – basically whatever you can throw at it!


Vinyl Fabric RV

Vinyl awnings are thicker than your acrylic options due to the way they’re manufactured. This also makes them more hardwearing as a result.

The majority of vinyl awnings consist of four layers, including:

  • A clear top layer of vinyl to protect against fading and scratching
  • Vinyl layer with a painted pattern or color
  • A polyester layer for additional strength
  • Base vinyl layer, with or without a pattern

Due to these layers, vinyl awnings are waterproof, making them a great choice for awnings to be used more in rainy weather.

Take care that your vinyl awning is not stored when wet as this can cause the development of unsightly mildew spots.

For this reason, vinyl awnings are not a good choice for humid climates either, as the high level of moisture in the air also means the development of mildew on your vinyl awning is quite likely.

RV Awning Accessories

Once you’re the proud owner of an RV awning, you might be looking for ways to add some fun accessories to make using your awning even more enjoyable.

One of our favorite accessories is awning lights.

These come in a huge range of option and colors, including energy saving LED lighting strips and solar powered LED string lights.

Attaching lights to your RV awning means you can sit outside for longer on warm evenings.

What Do You Need To Think About When Buying An RV Awning?

So, you know you want an RV awning, but before you rush off to buy one that won’t suit your needs, let’s finish up by taking a look at some questions to ask yourself before you make that purchase.


Your choice of material is very much going to depend on what time of year you plan on making most of your trips, and what weather you’ll encounter whilst you’re there.

If summer trips are your thing, then a breathable acrylic awning will be best.

Combine this with mesh sun shades for additional shade and UV protection and you’ll enjoy your purchase all summer long.

RV trips in colder and wetter weather call for a tougher awning, in which case you should look at vinyl awnings.

These are waterproof and provide better protection against the elements.

For both cases, screen rooms have great advantages depending on the material they’re made from.

Whether you want protection from sun or rain, screen rooms of various fabric options are well worth looking at.


Small RV Awling

Before you rush out and buy the first awning with a pattern you like the look of, take the time to carefully measure your RV.

The style and class of your RV will determine the size of your awning.

Given the wide range of types of RV available, it should come as no surprise that there’s an equally dazzling array of awnings on the market.

If you have an existing awning, use that as a guide and if in doubt, speak to individual manufacturers to ask for guidance.

Many RV awning manufacturers have great customer service records so they should be happy to help advise you.


Make sure you understand how to install your new RV awning.

If you’ve selected a simple mesh sunshade, then you should be able to install this on your own. If you’re planning on replacing the entire fabric of your awning, then you’re going to need at least one other pair of hands to help achieve this task.

Whilst many RV awnings come with detailed instruction manuals, these can at times be difficult to understand.

More and more RV owners are turning to blogs and YouTube to help them with the installation.


Another thing to take into consideration is where you like to take your RV.

If you enjoy heading out into the wilderness and plan on boondocking for a significant amount of time, a mechanical RV awning might not be the best choice for you.

There’s nothing worse than running low on power and realizing you need to retract your awning to stop it being damaged by high winds.

On the other hand, if you only plan on visiting camping grounds with electric hook-ups and enjoy the ease of having an awning which is quick and easy to roll up and down, then you’ll prefer a mechanical awning.


Waranty on Awlings

Not all RV awnings are created equally. Some come backed up by warranties of up to three years, with great reviews of customer service and helpful staff.

Unfortunately for others, it can be hard to find out what length warranty they come with.

Taking the time to establish the length of the warranty and the level of customer service of a particular manufacturer before you make the decision to buy their product can be a very wise move.

Look at online reviews, read the comments sections of blogs and videos and ask your friends with RVs what brand they recommend.

Enjoying Your Awning

Now you know a little more about RV awnings, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.

A cost-effective way to add extra space to your RV sounds like a winner to us.

If you have a favorite brand we haven’t mentioned, or any tips for installation, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

If you liked the article, please share:

7 thoughts on “Best RV Awnings for Optimal Shade: Stay Cool and Protected”

  1. Samantha Nichols

    I think Dometic Camping Trailer Awning is also can become one of the best RV awnings because it has many pros such as it comes with a compact yet lightweight build, can be stored quickly and easily and Very easy to use and install. I think you should put it on your list.

  2. I purchased carefree 291800. it would not fit my awning was about a foot short even though I measured it per listing description instructions are a joke and the way it zips together at the top zippers supporting all the weight of it and the wind looked like a recipe for disaster to me. I returned it and Amazon was none too happy about it.

  3. EZ Travel Collection Awning is made of superior material. The awning came with all the options to secure it to the RV awning and anchoring it to the ground. Not only did the shade block the sun it also blocked the wind. The awning made living under the RV awning a lot more enjoyable.

  4. Thanks for your information! I am also using SunWave Awning Fabric. One thing I want to highlight about the SunWave replacement awning for travel trailer is the way it looks. It has a lovely color on top, which is ocean blue that fades to white at the base. It is also visible at the bottom. The only issue that I have that I noticed other Sunwave awning reviews also touch up on is the somewhat stretchy vinyl fabric. We will need to lower one corner by quite a bit, or else water will pool in the middle.

  5. I have just bought Shade Pro RV Vinyl. My husband really likes this new awning fabric that we got to replace the old one. He found it really easy to install. He even had our 13 yr old granddaughter and 15 year old grandson help him. He had it installed in less that 2 hours. It looks awesome. We would highly recommend this to others.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *