The best campervan awning will have you covered for all kinds of travel funIt’s one of those counter intuitive things, how an awning for your van can transform your campsite from a van on a patch of dirt to a totally cozy and personalized space, even for the short time you’ll be there.
Also counter intuitive are the wide range of awnings available for campervans.
But a wide selection becomes quite logical when you realize just how much sense the idea makes.
Why get an awning for your van?
Below are a few of the advantages to traveling with a quality awning for your camper.
- Efficient, effective air conditioning continues to be the unicorn of campervan life. We tend to overlook how valuable basic shade can be in fighting the heat. Since most of us do our traveling in the hotter months, shade alone can be reason enough to find the best awning for your vehicle.
- Living in the Pacific Northwest, I spend a lot of time on the coast. I’m always surprised how fog and mist can permeate clothing and dampen things when enjoying my morning coffee or evening meal.
- Awnings substantially reduce exposure to mist, light rain and fog while still allowing you to be in the open air. Some allow for protection from heavier weather.
- Young (and old) kids love to sleep outdoors and the cover provided by an awning keeps the dew off, and ensures they’re close by during the nigh.
- The covered space attached to the van provides a feeling of extended floor space, openness and freedom at meal time, while enjoying a novel or chatting with neighbors.
What’s the best awning for your van?
There are a variety of types of awnings available, each designed for a variety of needs and types of campervans.
- Basic sun shades: Light, easy to handle, tend to be lower in price and pack away in a bag. It’s a section of nylon or polyester that slides into and attaches to a rail to the roof of the van.Sun shades are held up with poles, cord and pegs and they’ll fit almost any van type. Shapes and features vary widely and you’ll find many types to fit your needs.The simpler sun shade awnings for vans will not withstand any serious weather. Keep this in mind when planning your routes.
- Slide out awnings: These are more substantial for greater weather protection and permanently mounted on your van. They come in a range of features from light and basic to super deluxe.These include integrated supporting arms and poles. Slide out awnings tend to have durability features like rot resistance, wash-ability and rip/weather proof fabric.Adjustable length, walls for sides and front are options. There’s lots of sizing and mounting variability for a wide range of van types.
- Tent style campervan awning tents: We wrote about these at length. If you need more sleeping space, you’ll want to click here to read all about them. You might consider getting one of these and a simple bag type for flexibility. Or go all out and get the deluxe shade, too.
Some carefully chosen awning suggestions
As per usual, I’ve dug into the nitty-gritty details and reviews of a multitude of these versatile (some would even say, crucial) accessories.
Of course you’ll want to do your own reading of features and reviews on Amazon, but my suggested products are a great place to start.
Here’s a tip from the Sage: The more features and fanciness, the more expensive, heavy and complex to mount your awning will be.
Unless you’re spending a LOT of time in one place, or opening and closing your awning frequently, you might find the mid-range versions to be sufficient for your campervan.
One nice thing about the higher-end campervan awnings is that they are often operable by one person, so if you’re solo or just want easy function, you might take the plunge and get a full featured awning
Eurow Tail Gator Sunshade
★ VanSage Top Pick
- Provides protection from rain, mist and sun
- No-scratch magnetic strip attaches to vehicle
- Fiberglass frame design
- Shade your van in the back, side or front
- Shade large area to cover all your stuff
ARB 814301 Brown 4′ Awning
- Easy to mount and operate
- Easy deployment for quick use
- Designed for harsh conditions
- PVC lined polyester construction
- Waterproof, UV protection
- Height can be adjusted with telescoping supports
- Includes all hardware and complete directions
KingCamp COMPASS Awning
★ VanSage Top Pick
- Large shade area of 60 sf to 76 sf
- Durable 210 T polyester
- Air vents on top and side mesh provide great ventilation
- Multi-Use: tie the awning to the van or assemble with steel poles for stand alone shelter
- 9.7 lbs, carry bag for easy storage with extra mesh pockets
Smittybilt Coyote Awning
- Heavy weight UV protective 600GSM 500D PVC with zipper
- Store in tough, heavy duty, waterproof travel bag
- Light weight, aluminum, telescoping, twist lock legs
- Comes with stakes and rope for anchoring awning in harsh weather
ARB Awning 2000 x 2000
★ VanSage Top Pick
- Fits multiple makes and models. Contact store owner for vehicle fit and compatibility
- Optional awning mounting brackets may be required and sold separately
- 98.4″ x 98.4″ coverage
- 35 pounds