11 Great RV Awning Ideas

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After a long day of adventure, relaxing by your RV is one of the best parts of owning a second home on wheels. Adding an awning to your vehicle is an excellent way to upgrade your exterior RV. Whether you want to get a brand new awning or enhance the one you have, we are here to provide you with all the information you need. 

Once you start shopping for an RV awning, you will see how many options there are. Here are some top-choice RV awning design ideas to make your awning unique:

  1. Add some lighting 
  2. Add some color 
  3. Double awnings
  4. Go Vintage  
  5. DIY tarp awning
  6. Add a wall  
  7. Upgrade to a screen room 
  8. Mini window awnings
  9. DIY PVC awning 
  10. Add curtains 
  11. Use solar panels as an awning 

As you can see, there are a lot of RV awning options out there. Keep reading for more information about awnings and these different design ideas. 

Two motorhome parked next to each other with its awning deployed and chairs set up outside, 11 Great RV Awning Ideas

Our Top RV Awning Design Recommendations 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the greatest RV awning design ideas for your motorhome. You can incorporate these ideas into your existing awning. 

1. Add Unique Lighting 

A Halloween inspired RV with pumpkins hanged on the awning

Nothing brightens up your exterior RV space more than fun lights. Hanging lights along the edge of your RV awning creates the perfect evening atmosphere. This is a great idea for every kind of motorhome. 

Brightown Outdoor String Lights

These energy-saving globe lights are the perfect design addition to your RV awning. You will have the most stylish awning at the campsite.

Click here to view them on Amazon.

2. Add Some Color

A huge trailer parked on the camping ground with a light purple colored awning

A simple way to change up your RV awning design is to replace the material with something more lively. Many RV awnings are boring neutral colors. You can easily find fabric with colorful patterns to use for your awning. This is an excellent design option for all classes of RV. 

If you want even more color for your RV exterior space, check out this blog post: 15 Amazing RV Exterior Paint Ideas.

3. Double Awnings

A long white colored RV with its awning deployed

Why settle for one awning when you could have two. Opting for two separate awnings is an excellent choice for RVs with expandable sides. If each section has its own awning, then there is more shade coverage. 

4. Go Vintage

A camper van all dressed up for Halloween

Replace your worn-out awning with a classic striped pattern. This vintage-inspired material looks excellent on teardrop trailers and travel trailers. 

ALEKO Awning Fabric 

This classic fabric comes in multiple colors so that you can choose your favorite.

Click here to view it on Amazon. 

5. DIY Tarp Awning 

Save some money and make your awning from a tarp. You can custom design this kind of awning to kit any motorhome. 

6. Add A Wall

For even more sun and wind protection, you can add an extra “wall” to your RV. Whether you have a large class A RV or a small campervan, a wall is a great design for all. 

7. Upgrade To A Screen Room 

Adding a screen room is a functional design option for all motorhomes. They keep pesky bugs away and cool down your exterior RV space. 

8. Mini Window Awnings 

If you don’t want a large awning for the side of your RV, you can opt for multiple window awnings instead. This is a great design choice for smaller motorhomes like class B and truck campers. 

9. DIY PVC Awning 

Using PVC to create an RV awning is a great way to customize your RV design. It is an affordable option for all classes of motorhomes. 

10. Add Curtains 

Instead of a special sunshade or mesh wall, you could add curtains to your RV awning instead. This stylish option adds some personality to your RV and works on every type of awning. 

11. Use Solar Panels As An Awning 

For those looking for efficient design ideas, solar panels can double as a small, fixed awning. This is a smart way to save money on power and cool down the side of your RV at the same time. 

What To Consider For An RV Awning

Choosing an RV awning doesn’t have to be overwhelming. There are many options out there, and it can be hard to make a final decision. However, finding the perfect RV awning is easy if you know the key features to look for. The main features you should consider when shopping for an RV awning are:

  • Material
  • Size
  • Fixed vs. Retractable 
  • Automatic vs. Manual 

Material

RV awnings come in a wide variety of fabrics. Acrylic and vinyl are the most popular awning materials. However, you can also find awnings made from canvas and aluminum. 

What Is The Best Material For A Camper Awning?

The best material for a camper awning varies based on your needs. Many people prefer acrylic awnings because they are breathable, dry quickly, and can handle all types of weather. However, they are not waterproof, so relaxing outside during a gentle rain shower will not be enjoyable with an acrylic awning. 

Vinyl awnings are another favorite. They are waterproof and UV proof. You are protected from precipitation and harmful sunrays. However, they are harder to clean and more likely to get mildew. All materials have their pros and cons, so you have to find the one that works best for you. 

If you want new RV curtains, too, check out this blog post: 17+ RV Curtain Ideas You Should Check Out.

Can You Replace Just The Fabric On An RV Awning?

Yes, you can replace only the fabric on an RV awning. This means you don’t need to throw your awning away if it has a small tear. It can be fixed easily. You have to remove the material from the frame, patch the tear, or completely change the awning material. 

Size

The size of the RV awning is another important factor to consider. The size of the RV awning will vary based on the type of RV you own. A class A motorhome awning will be too big for a campervan, so make sure to pay attention to the awning dimensions. 

What Size Awning Do I Need For A Camper?

To determine the awning size, you need to take measurements. First, make sure your motorhome is parked on a flat surface. It is helpful to open windows and doors, too, so you can see where there might be potential obstacles. Measure the height, starting from the ground to the top of where the awning rail will go. Then measure the length from one end of the awning rail cap to the other. 

Keep in mind; awnings are sold by the length of the awning rail, not the awning fabric. The length of the awning fabric will always be less than the advertised awning length. 

How Far Out Do RV Awnings Go?

There is not a universal measurement for RV awning extension length. How far out they go varies. Many extend to 14 feet or more. While others only have an extension range of 5 to 10 feet. It all depends on the specific awning you purchase. Typically, the larger your motor home is, the farther out your awning can extend. 

Fixed Vs. Retractable 

Most RV awnings are retractable, but there are fixed options too. Fixed awnings are typically smaller and made of sturdier material. They are not as common as retractable awnings because they can be a driving hazard. Retractable awnings are the more popular choice between the two. 

Are Retractable Awnings Worth It?

Retractable awnings can make a great addition to your motorhome. Read the following pros and cons so that you can make an informed decision.

Pros

  • Longer lifespan than fixed awnings
  • Wide variety of styles and sizes
  • Larger shade area than fixed awnings
  • More likely to survive inclement weather 

Cons

  • More expensive than fixed awnings
  • Difficult to clean

Can Retractable Awnings Be Used In The Rain?

In a light rain, you could keep your RV awning out. However, in heavy rain or high winds, you should retract your awning immediately. Large amounts of rain may pool in the center of your awning. This standing water leads to damage over time. Strong winds can also cause severe damage to an extended awning. 

Do Retractable Awnings Have To Be Fully Extended?

No, most retractable awnings do not have to be fully extended. You can control the stopping point. This gives you the ability to determine how much shade your RV exterior space receives. 

Automatic Vs. Manual 

If you choose a retractable RV awning, you decide between automatic and manual control settings. Automatic awnings are more expensive but much more convenient. They expand at the touch of a button and save you set up time. Manual awnings use a pulley system you physically control. They are much more affordable but take more time to set up. 

Upgrade Your RV Awning

Whether you need to buy a new motorhome awning or want to add a special touch to your existing awning, you now have plenty of stylish and functional options to choose from. 

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