Best RV Awnings of 2019 – Top Models Reviewed

RV awnings are a great way to relax outside in any weather—rain, snow, or sun—you’ll be protected from anything pouring from the heavens.

However, sometimes they can easily break, especially when your RV comes with a pretty standard model.

If you’re looking to upgrade to something a bit more durable and long-lasting, you’ve come to the right place. The following article will show you what to look too.

Comparison Chart of the Best RV Awnings

PRODUCT DETAILS
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Carefree Drop EZ ZipBlocker

  • Blocks out the bright sunlight
  • Five-year warranty
  • Easy to use
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Dometic 8ft Camping Trailer Awning

  • Pop-up trailer awning
  • Compact for easy storage
  • Offers a great shelter
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EZ Travel Collection Shade

  • Blocks out the sun
  • Heavy duty durability
  • Feels like an added room
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Tentproinc RV Awning Sunshade

  • Full kit provided
  • Blocks up to 86% of the sun
  • Fits most awning brands
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Lippert RV Solera

  • Protects against dust, smoke, bugs, and more
  • 10.5-foot height and 126 inches wide
  • Can be attached permanently
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Solera Smart Arm RV Awning

  • Electric extension
  • Angle adjustment feature
  • Auto-rain dump
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Tentproinc RV Awning Sun Screen Shade

  • Blocks out the majority of sunlight
  • Carrying bag provided
  • Compatible with other brands
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Carefree Canopy Extension

  • Provides you more space
  • Includes a storage bag
  • Easy installation
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Carefree Vacation'r Screen Room

  • Offers all-around protection against the elements
  • Works out as an extra room for your RV
  • Made from lightweight, durable material
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Cajun Tie Down Kit

  • Heavy-duty tie downs
  • Polypropylene material
  • Can withstand 1,500 lbs of force
View Latest Price

Types of RV Awnings 

Just like every market, there will be products that belong to different variations, and some variations will have features or qualities that are unique to them. The following section will discuss these different types in more detail.

Retractable

These can be easily set up and easily stored away without any hassle. They come with metal frames that can be simply folded up when not in use. They can be purchased in both electric and standard versions with the electric version being as simple as pushing a button; the manual is extended using a crank.

Retractable models are neat and hassle-free to use and store. (Source)

Shelter

This type is designed to shield you from all the elements with the help of a fiberglass or plastic frame. They act perfectly as an RV equivalent of a conservatory. However, the downside with these is that they’re a lot more work to assemble and the whole process is time-consuming; they’re only useful when you plan on staying in one place for a few weeks or more.

Screen Room

A screen room is more or less an extra room, quite similar to a shelter style. However, they’re mainly made from fabric without solid material like fiberglass. They’re great at keeping bugs out as they’re made from mesh to offer plenty of ventilation.

How to Choose a New Awning

Choosing your next investment is important and the task shouldn’t be taken lightly as you can easily mess it up. However, in the following section, we will guide you in choosing the right model by highlighting the best features to look for and qualities to keep an eye out for before buying.

Material

It’s important that you find one that uses a durable material that will survive environmental pressures like rain, wind, snow, and sun. For people who travel throughout spring and summer, a breathable acrylic style would be best. If you’re traveling through the winter, a more heavy-duty vinyl would work best against the elements.

A damaged setup while camping isn't what you want. (Source)

Easy Installation

A huge aspect that people often don’t think about is the part where you have to install and set up; depending on which type it is, you could be there for a few minutes or up to half an hour. Choose something that’s practical yet comfortable.

Does It Match?

This part isn’t as necessary, but no one wants one that doesn’t match their RV color scheme. Choose something that matches the exterior of your RV or just get a plain color that won’t clash.

Quick Take - The Best RV Awnings

Before you go any further, here are our top picks: 


  1. Carefree Drop EZ ZipBlocker
  2. Dometic 8ft 
  3. EZ Travel Collection Shade

Review of the Best RV Awnings

This is the most important part of the article as this will help you choose from some of the best on the market. The following section will include details on the features, pros, and cons of each product.

Carefree 701508 Black 15' x 8' Drop RV Awning EZ ZipBlocker

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Doesn’t need to be taken down
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Blocks out the majority of the sun

Cons

  • Doesn’t protect you from the sides

This ZipBlocker is used to provide shade for when the sun is too high or too low for your standard model to provide cover; the bright light can be blinding, but with this accessory you’ll be able to enjoy every time of the day. You simply attach the top half into the awning and the lower portion uses a zip.

The open weave fabric will cut out 85% of the sun’s light to keep your family cool and happy. You’ll have a fairly simple set up as it only comes in two pieces. When you’re finished, you won’t need to take it down; just fold it back up back into the RV for next time. With your purchase, you’ll get a storage bag, spikes, and some zip ties; everything you need to get started.

Bottom Line

This is more of an added accessory to your current set up. However, it offers many benefits like added comfort from blocking out the blinding sun. Other benefits include the fact that it’s easy to use and doesn’t require you to uninstall it; just fold it up with the current model.

Your purchase also comes with everything that you need for installation and storage. The only downside to this is that it won’t protect you from the sun’s glare at the sides, meaning you’ll need to move your RV around slightly.

Dometic 944NS08.FJ1 8ft Camping Trailer Awning

Pros

  • Decent shelter
  • Can be stored fairly easily
  • Protects you from the elements

Cons

  • Almost zero information on this product

This model will simply be installed into your pop-up RV. It offers plenty of space for anyone that’s looking to do some camping for a few days. It’s designed to be hand-rolled and placed into storage.

Offering some great shade for anyone that’s trying to get out of the sun, this is quick and simple to set up. It’s also compatible with most trailers so you won’t need to worry about the installation process.

Bottom Line

One of the biggest problems with this product is that there aren’t any significant pieces of information to properly evaluate its effectiveness. 

There are some basic advantages such as being able to offer a decent shelter, it protects you from the elements and is easy to store away. Another downside is that it will take two people to roll this up by hand.

Best for the Money:
EZ Travel Collection Shade

EZ Travel Collection Black RV Awning Shade Complete Kit 10' X 16' Sun Shade Canopy Shelter

Pros

  • Durable material
  • Comfortable and secure
  • Protects against the elements

Cons

  • Doesn’t protect the sides

This is currently the best budget product in market. You’ll get all of the same benefits and features of a normal model; it effectively blocks out the sun by 80%, which is almost as effective as the best overall.

The option slopes down diagonally, which makes it feel as though you’ve added an extra room to your RV. The material used is a 100% woven polyester with a durable vinyl finish that protects from the elements and adds strength. You’ll receive a few products with your purchase, including various ground pegs for different types of ground.

Bottom Line

This budget pick offers the same features as the previous models by blocking out the sun and protecting you from the elements. However, the other benefits of this include a durable material that’s protected against any falling debris because of the vinyl finish.

You’ll also feel a lot more comfortable and secure with the help from those various pegs and the way it angles down into the ground. The only downside with this product is that it doesn’t offer any protection from the side; this could be catastrophic if the rain changes course because of heavy wind.

Tentproinc RV Awning Shade Screen 7'X15' Black Sunshade Camping Trailer UV Sun Blocker Complete Kits - 3 Years Limited Warranty

Pros

  • Great against wind
  • Blocks majority of the light
  • Comes with a storage bag
  • Compatible with other brands

Cons

  • Pegs aren’t the best
  • You’ll need two people to take this down

This is a great addition to any RV as it can effectively block out 86% of all UV light and successfully protect from the glare. While it might block out the majority of sunlight, you’ll still benefit from a great view. The comfortable feeling of this is undeniable as it offers a spacious yet cozy shaded area on hot days.

You’ll also be able to break any gusts of wind with help from the four sets of plastic stakes. This is also compatible with most other brands, meaning that it can be successfully paired up with another models for more shaded cover. You’ll also receive a storage bag with your purchase.

Bottom Line

This option will effectively provide shade from 86% of the sun’s light while also providing adequate cover from gusts of wind; you’ll be protected from the sides by attaching it to the side parts as well. A big advantage is that it’s compatible with most other brands, so no worrying about the installation process.

You’ll also have a helpful storage bag to use that will always come in handy. The only downside to this is that it’ll take two people to take down and fold away. Another downside is that the pegs aren’t the best for staying in the group. However, this depends on if the floor is hard or soft.

Best Slide Out Awning:
Lippert RV Solera

Lippert RV Solera Awning 10.5' Slider Black V000182037

Pros

  • Protects against debris and fine dust
  • Black material is great for blocking out the light
  • Large room for space but still has a cozy feeling

Cons

  • Material tears easily
  • Customer service is poor

This 10.5-foot awning has a width of 126 inches, which creates a decent space for you and your family to relax during the hot summer day. The solid black material will help block out any sunlight without risking your gorgeous view.

The full layout can be permanently attached and automatically retract and extend. It will protect you and your family from more than just the bright sun, it can protect against even the finest of dust, smoke, leaves, bugs, and debris.

Bottom Line

This is designed to protect you from some of the environment’s finest of problems such as dust and small bugs; this is a great benefit for you and your family. The large space offers plenty of ground to relax but still has a cozy feeling because of the perimeter around you. The pure black material blocks the sunlight so much and is a blessing to anyone that owns it.

The downside with this is that after a while the material may begin to tear and rip quite easily. Another downside is the overall delivery and customer service of the product, many times the product hasn’t been properly packaged.

Best Electric Awning:
Solera Smart Arm RV Awning

Pros

  • Simple process
  • Durable material
  • Tons of helpful features
  • Controlled from inside your RV

Cons

  • Might take a while to install

This electric awning is the future and currently the best on the market. The smart unit will protect from the standard rain and bright sun. However, this can all be taken down with the push of a button. The touchpad is waterproof and fairly easy to control; it can even be mounted inside your RV.

Other features include angle adjustment so you can adjust to suit what time of day it is for the perfect shade. If you find that rain has started to collect on the canopy the automatic rain dump feature will release this water and return to its previous position.

The material itself is quite durable as its made from premium vinyl, this material will even survive the freezing temperatures that usually causes damage. Everything you need will be included in your purchase.

Bottom Line

This electric awning offers an extremely convenient way to enjoy the sun without being blinded. Being able to place the control panel inside your RV is a great advantage as you’ll not need to leave the comfort of your RV if it’s raining or cold. The cutting-edge features are really helpful, particularly the auto rain dump feature and the adjustable canopy height to accommodate for the time of day.

Another great benefit of buying this is that it uses high-quality material that you can count on to retain its strength even in the most horrible environments. The only downside to using this product is that the whole installation can be confusing and also can take a while before it’s ready to use.

Tentproinc RV Awning Sun Screen Shade 8' X 16'3'' Black Mesh Sunshade Complete Kits Motorhome Camping Trailer UV SunBlocker Canopy Shelter - 3 Years Limited Warranty

Pros

  • Blocks majority of sunlight
  • Has a convenient carry bag
  • Protects against most elements
  • Can be matched with other brands

Cons

  • Pegs snap easily
  • Takes two people to pack away

By effectively blocking out 86% of sunlight, you’ll still be able to enjoy your view and benefit from the warmth the sun provides, just without the nasty glare. You’ll get a comfortable enclosed feeling from this as it can be opened out diagonally, which closes you off from the outside environment; this is done using the pegs provided.

It doesn’t just block out sunlight, it’s great protection against any high-winds or other environmental factors. You can also pair this with most other brands as they’re made to be compatible with one another.

Bottom Line

This is amazing at blocking out any sunlight or other elements from entering your own declared space. Other benefits are a lot smaller; regardless, the carrying bag that’s provided is a great advantage to anyone needing somewhere to store it.

You’ll also benefit from the compatibility quality. The only downsides of this are that the pegs aren’t as strong as you might hope and that it takes two people to pack away, which is just more wasted time if you’re traveling alone.

Best Awning Extension:
Carefree Canopy Extension

Carefree 242000 20' Canopy Extension

Pros

  • Easily stored
  • Simple to install
  • Durable material
  • Provides plenty of space

Cons

  • Poles can fall when it’s windy
  • Don’t offer any protection from the side

This extension is the best currently on the market for good reason. The white vinyl extension is durable enough to survive anything the elements can throw at it, including, rain, heat, and snow.

The way it works is by sliding the extension into the 3/16’ free slot that’s at the end; this extension offers you an additional 8’ of canopy to utilize.

The whole installation is simple, you just need to slide it into the roller tube, set the legs, install the straps and stakes, then you’re good to go. The simple carry bag is a great way to store your canopy extension.

Bottom Line

This extension is great for when you want some extra space for your family to enjoy in the shade. When you’re finished with the extension, it’s easily stored in the carrying bag that’s provided. Taking it down is just as easy as putting it up as everything is already provided to you.

You’ll never need to worry about durability either, as it's made from high-quality vinyl. There are a few downsides to using this extension, the first being that the poles will fall down when the wind hits them; the second is that it doesn’t provide any protection for the sides.

Carefree 291800 Vacation'r Screen Room for 18' to 19' Awning

Pros

  • Simple storage
  • Easy setup and takedown
  • Creates more living space
  • Will protect against the elements

Cons

  • Becomes humid fast
  • Can’t survive small storms

This tent provides your family with an extra room to work or play inside, this extra room will be open and will offer protection from any elements, including rain, wind, snow, or bright sunlight.

The way it works is by connecting to your current awning, it will also add an eight-foot extension to your setup. The whole setup process is simple just like it is for taking it down, you’ll even have a place to store it as a carry bag is provided with your purchase.

Bottom Line

This full tent awning is an amazing benefit for anyone with a young family that wants to create more space in their RV. The benefits to your family are that it’s protected from the outside climate and is quickly set up.

You’ll also greatly benefit from the simple storage method using the carry bag that’s included. The only downsides to this product are that it won’t last through a storm as heavier or more solid structures would and that there’s no decent ventilation within the tent; after a while, it’ll begin to become more humid.

Best Awning Tie Downs:
Cajun Tie Down Kit

Awning Tie Down Kit - RV's - Campers - with Screw in Anchors - Made in USA

Pros

  • Won’t weaken
  • Extremely strong
  • Multiple tie-down methods

Cons

  • No noticeable problems

If you’re tying down your extension or sun blocker, you’ll want it to be secured to something that you can trust. This tie down kit is currently the best on the market for many reasons. The first of those reasons being that it’s made from polypropylene, which will ensure the material doesn’t rot, become moldy, or retain water, which ultimately weakens the material.

These heavy-duty tie downs will be able to withstand up to 1,500 lbs of force, you’ll also receive to screw-in auger anchors with rings which will bury themselves deep into the ground so they can’t be ripped out.

Bottom Line

This tie down kit is the best currently on offer as you’ll greatly benefit in times of storms from the heavy-duty tie downs and screw-in anchors that will be buried a few inches into the ground; this is so they can’t be ripped out.

The polypropylene material that’s used is also great for limiting any damage caused by continuous use while outdoors; you’ll greatly benefit from no mold, water retention, or rot on your sturdy straps. There weren’t any noticeable disadvantages to using this product, so this product really can be voted the best of its kind.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

There are certain considerations that you need to keep in mind before buying. The following section will discuss these considerations in more detail.

Types

The various types will be able to offer different benefits. However, many times they also hold the same value in terms of downsides. You need to make sure that you are ready for the long installation and set up times that some awnings require.

Weather

The weather can make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your setup, if you’re traveling somewhere during the winter months or the weather just isn’t great, you need to be prepared for it and understand if your layout can handle it; the same goes for the summer months.

Travel-Friendly

Another consideration to make is how often you’ll be traveling, there would be no point in buying a shelter if you’ll be constantly on the road. These types are made for people that will be settled for a week at a time or longer. If you’re staying in a campsite for a day or two, you should go for a retractable model.

Replacing Your RV Awning

Whether you're replacing your current one either due to damage or because of how old and dirty it has gotten, with some friends, it can be done in three easy steps. To do so, you need:

  • Cotter pin
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Needle nose vice grip
  • New awning

Step 1: Find the Right Fit

It is imperative to get the model and make of the awning for your RV. Of course, the appearance is important, but if it doesn’t fit, it will just be a waste of money.

Step 2: Release

Roll down the awning by one foot and keep it locked in place by putting a cotter pin into the holes on each of the end caps. Now, keep rotating the inner shift until all the holes line up. Next, bend the ends of the pins to lock it in place.

Next, using the needle-nose vice grip, reach through the arm of the awning and use it to clamp onto the assembly attachment plate. Have a friend complete the same process on the other side. Doing so disconnects the arm.

Now, disconnect the lag bolts that hold the rafters up to your vehicle. You’ll need a wrench for this. After this, take out the screws holding the fabric to the rail with a screwdriver. If you see some additional rivets, then you’ll have to drill them.

You’ll now be able to raise it and take the fabric, tube, and arms away from the RV. With the help of a friend, unwind the fabric as you continue to go.

Now, remove the cotter pins and unwind the springs present on each side. Make sure to remember the number of turns you make to relieve the tension. During reinstallation, you’ll have to set it to the exact point.

On the tube, mark the placement of the cam handle before removing the torsion assembly. Now the tube is completely released, you can raise it out of its place and unroll the fabric.

Step 3: Install the New Fabric

Carefully put the new fabric onto the tube. After you center the fabric, make sure to tuck the cords of the fabric into the tubing ends.

Reconnect the torsion assembly, making sure to align it with the marks you previously made. Now make sure to rivet it into its place.

Now, to each end of the torsion assembly, return the tension using vice grips to hold on to the springs as you wind it to the number of turns you noted earlier. After that, insert the cotter pin. Repeat these steps on the other side too. Finally, screw the arms into place to reconnect them.

For reconnecting the rail, feed the cord into it. Now reattach the arms to your RV and reassemble the bolts. You can now take the vice grips off of the assembling plate and then test it out to make sure it is easy to move.

If all of these steps sounded confusing, here’s a video that practically shows all the steps being followed.

Conclusion

There are plenty of variations that you can choose from and they’ve all got their own set of benefits and equal disadvantages. This article has hopefully helped you choose which best suits your traveling style. 

People Also Ask

People often have more questions regarding these, which we have tried our best to address here. Following you’ll find the answers to questions people mostly have before they are fully sure of their investment.

What is an Awning?

An awning, also known as an overhang, is a secondary covering that is attached to the RV’s exterior. It is mostly made of polyester yarn, vinyl, or cotton. Its primary purpose is to provide shade from various weather conditions.

How to Open RV Awning?

Opening one involves the following steps:

  1. Squeeze the release mechanisms found on the side of the arm to unfasten the lock.
  2. Loosen the rafter knobs and set down the ratchet mechanism such that it is in the roll down position to release it.
  3. Grip the pull-down strap loop and the pull rod to extend it. Now slide the arms upwards and snap them in their place.
  4. Now secure it by drawing the tube while simultaneously moving it downward to create tension.
  5. Tighten the knob on the tension arm, repeating the same on the other too.
  6. Now, for extending it fully, hold the lift handle and remove the catch pin. Now just move it upward and pull it until it reaches its full height. Finally, secure the catch pin.

How to Close an Awning?

Closing it involves these simple steps:

  1. Lower the arms using the pull-down strap
  2. Loosen the rafter knobs present on the back of the arms. Do the same thing for the rafter catches.
  3. Set the rafters at a rest position. Simultaneously, prevent it from rolling up by itself.
  4. Now, set the ratchet mechanism to the roll-up mode. This can be done by the switch present near the top.
  5. Next, connect the hook and the pull strap to wind it up. Once done, remove the hook.
  6. Keep the handle releases locked and secure the travel locks too
  7. Lastly, make sure the rafter knobs are secured so that it doesn’t open up automatically.

How to Clean an RV Awning?

To get rid of the mildew as well as the stains, you have to do the following:

  • Use a high-quality cleaner for washing it. Ensure that the cleaner you choose is suitable for outdoor vinyl and fabrics.
  • Once it is cleaned thoroughly, use a surface protectant on it. For fabric models, it is best to use commercial grade fabric guards. Meanwhile, for vinyl ones, high-quality surface protectants are adequate. Note that your spray should be soil-resistant, long-lasting, and stain and water repellent.
  • Reapply the protectant spray periodically to not only help it stay cleaner for longer but also to dry out much faster.

How to Replace RV Awning Fabric?

Replacing the fabric involves taking down the awning and then installing it again after putting the new fabric in place. All these steps have been outlined above, and the video above will also help to clear out any confusion.

How to Install RV Awning Rail?

The first thing to do is to take measurements since this will make your task easy. Next, make sure to use the bolts and screws that come with the awning. Now, place the railing in accordance with the measurements you made previously and attach the screws. Note that you shouldn’t use a power drill to tighten the screws as you’ll just over-torque them, reducing the structural integrity of the railing.