Note: Not to be confused with roll out Awnings for Campervan travel, which we wrote about at length in another post.
I love my van, but sometimes I need a bit more space
Just about everyone who travels in a camper van has felt this way. It’s an issue that often has us thinking “I need a bigger van!”. Well, let’s not get carried away.
There’s a great way to add more space without going to the expense of upgrading to a larger vehicle: Campervan Awning Tents.
It’s the perfect choice if you find yourself camping a lot, especially, if you’re more than one person. I think there are some great reasons to add a tent attachment to your van travel kit.
Your added tent space will provide more precious sleeping space for you and your travel partner, kids or friends while keeping them close by. It’s also nice to have some space to stand up and move around. Make sure the Campervan Awning Tents you consider is tall enough for that.
Feeling Stuffy? A van tent may be the answer!
One of the great joys of camping is being outdoors, breathing fresh air. A van tent gets you out of the van at night and allows the fresh air experience of tent camping, while still giving you direct access to the stuff in your vehicle when you need it.
Drive away and leave it standing
If you tend to camp in areas where you’re comfortable leaving your stuff at the campground while you go hike or ride bikes, go out to dinner or go play at the beach, some models can be left standing. Consider a drive away tent.
Bugs, rain and heat, oh my!
If you’re sleeping outside, it’s important to have protection from bugs.Good campervan tents have mosquito netting, which is often lacking on van windows and doors.
Your tent is also going to keep you safe from rain and direct sunlight. Get out of the weather, play a game of cards, prettty soon it will be time to go play outside!
Hey! No looking!
Whether you need to change out of those wet swim trunks, take a daytime nap, or use your portable campervan toilet, the tent attachment will give you the quick, stand up privacy you need now and then.
Campervan awning tents are not perfect. Here are some disadvantages you should be aware of.
Setting up and breaking down your tent does take time.
It could be a problem if you’re skipping through camping locations and never staying long.
If you do a lot of stealth camping, you probably won’t want to set up a tent as it will totally blow your cover.
Okay to use it on government access approved camping land, but not in downtown San Francisco ;^)
While storing equipment in your attached tent is a good idea, there is one problem. the tent is definitely not Fort Knox.
It would be easy for anyone to enter and steal from it when you’re not around. The locking doors of your van offer better security.
My mantra for packing is, if I’m not going to use it pretty much every day, I don’t bring it. If an awning tent isn’t going to get daily use, it might be a waste of space (even though they pack down pretty small). So I’ll leave it behind when I’m not traveling with friends, kids…
Some models leave a space around the bottom. This misses the point of a tent: It needs to offer full protection from bugs, wind and weather.
Avoid models that don’t fully enclose and don’t include a floor that’s attached to the walls of the tent.
Now, all that being said, I still think that a vehicle attached campervan awning tent is a great choice.
Which campervan do you have?
You will find that the tents in on the market are made for specific SUVs or vans. For example, if you have a Toyota Sienna, a Napier Sportz minivan tent attachment could be perfect since it’s made specifically for such a car model.
Here’s another example that’s very highly rated for the Honda Odyssey.
You might have to search on Amazon for your make and model, but you can be sure there is an awning tent which is suitable for your van.
If you can’t find one for your specific van, no worries, there are many universal styles and shapes that will fit. Again, read those Amazon reviews!
Quality is crucial in a Van Tent
Cheaper brands are mostly poor quality. There are many knock-offs on the market and it does not pay to take chances on a tent that’s meant to keep you safe and comfortable.
It’s definitely worth extra money for the better quality options that are available.
What do the reviews say? You can read about people’s direct experience using the tent you want to buy.
The VanSage Top Picks for Campervan Awning Tents
The Ozark Trail Campervan Tent can accommodate 5 or more people and it’s perfect for family camping, group adventures, and more.
The Ozark Trail 5-Person Camping SUV Tent is quick and simple to set up for any outdoor adventure.
This tent has a seam-taped rainfly that significantly increases the waterproofing of your van tent and keeps campers dry when you encounter any rain on your campervan trip.
The roll-back rainfly feature is also great for improved ventilation during hot summer months.
It also comes with a hanging media sleeve that’s compatible with most tablets and a power port for electrical cord access.
Compared to other campervan tents on the market, Ozark Trail offers a lot more space and headroom for a more comfortable camping experience.
★ VanSage Top Pick Highest Rated
The Sportz 84000 van tent with screen room is a spacious tent that’s perfect for the whole family on every adventure.
This unit can turn your campervan into a fun and functional vanlife home for 5 to 6 people while using the cargo area as an extra space for two adults.
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a more enhanced campervan tent because it’s pleasant to sit in and it comes with a 7×6 screen room that protects you from bugs.
Napier also offers a custom-sized footprint accessory for extra shade for the screen room.
It will only take 15 minutes to install this camper van tent.
The sturdy steel and fiberglass pole structure with polyester sides and waterproof floor make everything so easy to set up.
This campervan awning tent measures 10x10x7.25 feet and weighs 53 pounds, it comes with an expandable carrying bag for storage and it’s conveniently portable.
The Sportz Campervan Tent also provides privacy and protection because of its bold design storm flaps feature.
★ VanSage Top Pick
The portable Add-A-Cabana SUV tent is designed to fit most camper vans for the ultimate outdoor adventure machine.
It’s made of strong and durable nylon that’s one of the most reliable on the market.
Add-A-Cabana is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and beach goers because it’s easy to set up or install.
It’s great for surfing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing… in case you need a quick change into your wetsuit or other gear.
Simply close with Velcro strips on the entry flap and you’re good to go.
This campervan awning tent quickly transforms your vehicle into a comfortable home away from home by providing a quiet shelter when sleeping inside the vehicle.
It’s extremely lightweight, about 3.7 lbs and it doesn’t take up so much space in your tote bag or vehicle when packed.
The Sportz 82000 is a reliable camper van tent that can sleep 4 to 5 people comfortably and which features over 7.25 feet of headroom.
You can simply attach this tent to your campervan by using the sleeves to transform your cargo for storage or as an extra sleeping space for two.
The best thing about this campervan awning tent is that it’s so easy to assemble that even first-time campers can handle it.
There’s no need for another person’s help since it features new steel and fiberglass pole structure for quick installation.
The overall dimension of this van tent is 9’ Length x 9’ Width x 7.25’ Height, and it comes with a carry bag for secure transportation storage.
It’s built with polyester taffeta that’s waterproof and durable to handle the worst weather conditions.
Transform your campervan awning into an additional room for your van with the ARB Deluxe Awning Room.
This van tent was manufactured to provide privacy, weather protection, and was designed to operate as a mosquito net.
This camper van tent accessory is quick and easy to set up and is adjustable for privacy when needed.
To create an open area, you can easily roll up the mesh doors for easy access without any obstacles to the rest of the campsite.
For dusty or windy conditions, simply lower the exterior walls to create a fully enclosed space.
This heavy-duty, waterproof van tent also includes a power cord guide in the roof corners to keep cables safe and mesh pocket panel to store your other personal belongings.
The Backroadz Campervan Awning Tent is perfect for that ultimate camping adventure.
It seamlessly connects all mid to full-size campervans. The universal vehicle sleeve provides easy access to your cargo area that can be used as storage or additional sleeping space.
This spacious camper van tent is 10’ x 10’ x 7’ and can accommodate up to 5 adults.
It features a wide door with storm flap to secure the van tent down for privacy and superb weather protection.
Napier Backroadz van tents have three mesh windows to repel bugs and provides enhanced ventilation.
The large door with storm flaps is also convenient for easy entry and exit of the campervan tent.
This unit also comes with an internal gear pocket and lantern holder to keep your area well lit, neat and tidy.
Recap for Van Tents
- Campervan awning tents are a great way to add space
- Fresh air, outdoor sleeping without leaving the van
- Drive away simplicity
- Keep the bugs, rain and heat away
- Private space
- Set up/break down can be a pain
- Not too secure
- Only take it if you’re going to use it
- Get the full floor model!
- Get one that fits your van
- Don’t go cheap
- Read Amazon reviews
Thanks for reading!
Tell us about your Van Tent experiences.
Please leave a comment below.