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RV awnings provide much needed shade on hot summer days and help keep the RV cool. However, they also tear and break easily when left open in the wind. Below are 13 practical RV awning alternatives for campers who have lost their built-in awning.
- 1 Small RV Awning Alternatives
- 2 Large RV Awning Alternatives
- 3 Other Shade Solutions for RVers
Small RV Awning Alternatives
The following RV awning alternatives are compact and easy to store for travel.
Alion Sun Sail Shade
Sun sail shades are one of the most compact RV awning alternatives. These shades are essentially a glorified tarp. Alion’s Sun Sail Shade is waterproof and made from 160GSM high density UV treated polyester that blocks 100% of the sun’s UV rays.
The shades have stainless steel D rings on each corner and can be hung with the included ropes from your RV or nearby trees. The Alion Sun Sail Shade is available in a variety of sizes and colors, so it will work with any RV and can be matched to your patio décor. Sun sails are easily removed and folded for compact storage during travel.
Slumberjack Roadhouse Tarp
The Slumberjack Roadhouse Tarp is another great, lightweight RV awning alternative for campers traveling with a Jeep, SUV or truck. The unique attachment system connects to the backend of your vehicle and uses steel poles to hold up the other end of the awning.
The Roadhouse Tarp can also be set up as an A-frame style tent without using a vehicle for support. The fabric is a durable 68D polyester that is able to withstand the elements. It easily folds up for storage during travel.
Unigear Camping Tarp
The Unigear Camping Tarp is a great way for campers with limited storage to create shade at their campsite. Six ground nails and six wind ropes are included, so the tarp can easily be strung on the RV or trees and staked into the ground.
A total of twelve polyester webbings enhance the stability of the edges and create more possibilities for setting up. Unigear’s camping tarp weighs just over two pounds and comes with a storage bag for easy transport.
Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent
For campers who don’t want to have to tie up their shade, the Sun Ninja Pop Up Beach Tent is an awesome solution. Their beach tent is set up easily and comes with stability poles and anchors that let you use it over sandy beaches, thick grassy areas or even in rocky camping spots.
A travel bag is also included for easy storage and transport. The Sun Ninja tent is crafted with water-resistant fabric and offers UPF 50+ sun coverage. The tent is available in two sizes and several different shades of blue.
WhiteFang Beach Tent
More traditional looking beach tents also make great RV awning alternatives. The WhiteFang Beach Tent is a three-sided tent that provides quick and easy shade at any location. The tent is set up with standard tent poles and stakes.
Both plastic and metal stakes are included, so the tent can be used on hard or soft ground. The tent is easily returned to its compact carrying bag after use. Keep in mind, the WhiteFang Beach Tent is under four feet tall, so it is best used for children or sitting adults.
Large RV Awning Alternatives
The following RV awning alternatives may be a bit bulkier than the above options, but they provide a large shade area.
Crowns Shades Pop Up Canopy Tent
If you’ve ever tailgated at a sporting event, you have probably set up a canopy tent. These classic shade shelters are bulkier than tarps, but provide a comfortable shaded space and still fold down for storage during travel.
Crown Shade’s Canopy Tent has several unique features, including a patented one push center lock technology that locks out all four legs with a single push. This canopy tent also includes a roller storage bag with heavy duty wheels for easy transport.
Yescom Rooftop Pull Out Awning
Yescom’s Rooftop Pull Out Awning is designed to sit on top of a tow vehicle or small RV camper. The RV awning alternative is installed on a vehicle’s rooftop rail and comes with telescoping poles that hold up the other end.
The adjustable height reaches a maximum of 85 inches, so this awning is only a good alternative to use with small campers or connected to a tow vehicle.
However, for RVs that are short enough, the rooftop awning is the perfect shade solution because it is connected directly to the camper and can be retracted when not in use. For more tiny RV gear, see our must have teardrop trailer accessories.
Alvantor Screen House Room
If outdoor luxury is what your seeking, the Alvantor Screen House Room is one of the best RV awning alternatives. While this shade structure provides ample space for multiple adults, it is lightweight and easily folds down for storage.
Alvantor Screen Rooms are available in multiple sizes to accommodate between three and fifteen adults. The screen provides protection from bugs and the fabric top provides 50+ UV protection from the sun, but the room is not waterproof.
ShelterLogic Quick Clamp Canopy
Not all campsites have shade, but many of them have a picnic table, which makes ShelterLogic Quick Clamp Canopy the perfect RV awning alternative. The Quick Clamp Canopy snaps easily to many surfaces and fits most tables up to 10 feet long.
Shade can be created no matter where the sun is as the canopy shifts left to right, adjusts vertically up and down, and tilts to 20 degrees in either direction. Its decorative dessert bronze polyester fabric cover is UV treated, mildew-resistant, and water repellent.
JoeShade Outdoor Umbrella
The final option on our list of RV awning alternatives is a simple outdoor umbrella. The Original JoeShade is the perfect umbrella for RV campers. It is light, weighing only eight pounds, and comes with its own tripod stand for easy set up at any campsite.
Stakes and wind vents are also included for added stability on breezy days. This compact outdoor umbrella is the perfect solution to provide shade for a solo camper.
Other Shade Solutions for RVers
The following shade solutions are not exactly RV awning alternatives, but they still provide protection from the sun while camping.
MacSports Shaded Hammock
Every camper loves lounging in a hammock, but the trees don’t always provide enough protection from the sun.
The solution is the MacSports Collapsible Portable Hammock. MacSport’s hammock comes with a full cover providing shade to the person relaxing below. Although the hammock is strong and durable, it also folds down into a carrying bag for easy storage and transport.
SwimWays Kelsyus Canopy Chair
For campers who need a minimalist shade solution, the SwimWays Kelsyus Original Foldable Canopy Chair is a great option.
The camping chair comes with its own personal canopy to provide shade and protect your face from the sun. The canopy also doubles as a carrying case when campers are ready to pack up and hit the road.
Best Choice Products Outdoor Pet Bed
Human campers are not the only ones who need protection from the sun. Our furry travelers also appreciate shade on hot days.
The Best Choice Products Outdoor Raised Pet Cot provides a safe, shaded place for dogs (or cats) to relax outside. The 36-inch bed’s cool mesh base is raised off the ground and a canopy is raised above. The pet bed can be taken down and stored in the included bag on travel days.
We hope our list of RV awning alternatives helps to keep you cool and protected at the campground. For more campsite patio ideas, see our list of the best outdoor RV décor and accessories.
Which RV shade solution is your favorite? Share your pick with us in the comments section below.
Christina Pate is a seasoned full-time RVer who, along with her husband Justin, has journeyed across the US, Canada, and Mexico. Drawing from her extensive travels, RV repairs and RV renovations, she founded Travels with Ted to guide and inspire fellow RV enthusiasts. Christina is also the co-author of The Owner’s Guide to RV Maintenance and the creator of My RV Log Book.