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 awnings: 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
Tail Gator Sunshade Portable Shade
★ VanSage Top Pick
- Canopy protects from the sun and from the rain
- Protected magnetic strip to attach to the car. Sturdy fiberglass frame design
- Extend the shade beyond your car in the back, the side or the front
- Large enough to cover table, chairs, coolers, kids and pets alike
- Patented product
ARB 814301 Brown 4′ Awning
- Easy to mount and operate
- Conveniently stored for immediate use on arrival
- Specifically designed for harsh outback conditions
- Shade cover made from PVC lined polyester – waterproof and UV protected –
- Takes 30 seconds to deploy – awning is secured in a heavy duty nylon reinforced PVC bag
- Awning height adjustable with telescopic legs
- Comes with pegs and guy ropes for securing legs, mounting nuts and bolts, spanner and comprehensive instructions.
KingCamp COMPASS Awning
★ VanSage Top Pick For Versatility
- LARGE SHADE. Different shade area for different use (60+ square ft. to 76+ square ft.). Large enough to cover table, chairs, coolers, kids and pets alike to shield from sun, rain, and wind
- DURABLE. Rip stop 210T polyester fabric. Air vents in the peak allowed upward breezes to flow through. Large side mesh window provides ample ventilation
- WATERPOOF Anti-UV. 210T polyester fly with 1500mm PU coating for abrasion prevention and best Anti-UV and water-resistance, and seams with waterproof adhesive strip against water effectively
- MULTIPURPOSE. Roping the shelter to the vehicle, SUV, MPV, truck, hatchback and sedan, and used as a gazebo. You can also use it with steel poles as a ground shelter
- EASY TO CARRY. Only 9.7lbs. Portable zipper carry bag with handles for easy transport and storage, and side mesh pockets for personal items storage
Smittybilt 2787 Coyote Tan Tent Awning
- Warranty: One Year (at time of posting)
- Material: Heavy-duty, UV-stabilized cover, 600GSM, 500D PVC with zipper
- Storage: Heavy duty travel bag, waterproof storage bag
- Legs and rails: Light weight extruded aluminum, self-contained telescopic legs/arms and twist-lock poles
- Also includes: Includes stakes and ropes for securing legs harsh conditions
ARB 4×4 Accessories Awning 2000
★ VanSage Top Pick
- Fits multiple makes and models (contact seller with your vehicle for fitment compatibility information)
- Optional set of awning mounting brackets may be needed, sold separately
- 98.43″ (2500mm) wide x 98.43″ (2500mm) extended