How to Choose the Best RV Side Awning

Moon Unit RV on Sprinter Van

When it comes to enhancing your RV experience, an often overlooked but incredibly valuable accessory is the RV side awning. Whether you're planning a short weekend getaway or an extended road trip, a well-chosen side awning can transform your outdoor living space, providing comfort, protection, and versatility. This guide will walk you through the essentials of selecting the best RV side awning, from understanding the different types available to considering the key features that will best suit your needs. Let’s explore how the right awning can elevate your RV adventures and of course how Let's Go Aero RV Side Rooms create shaded retreat from the sun and shelter from the rain, all while creating a cozy, extended living area just outside your door.

Sprinter RV Sideroom on Beach

What is an RV Side Awning?

An RV side awning is an extension that attaches or sits to the side of your RV that provides shelter and an expanded living space. These canopies are essential for enhancing outdoor living space, offering protection from the sun and rain, and creating a comfortable area for relaxation or outdoor activities. Unlike traditional tents, RV side awnings are designed to pair with your RV, making them an integral part of your mobile home setup.

ArcHaus RV Sideroom on Eurovan

What are the Different Types of RV Side Awnings?

Fixed Awnings

Fixed Awnings are mounted directly to the RV and can be manually or automatically extended and retracted for use. These are popular for their convenience and ease of use, allowing you to quickly adjust the awning based on weather conditions. They typically only cover the space over your head and do not include full side walls. 

Generic Fixed RV Awning

Free-Standing Awnings

Free-standing awnings like Let's Go Aero's Moon Unit are not permanently attached to the RV but can be set up adjacent to it and connected for seamless fit. They offer flexibility in placement and can be used independently of the RV.  Free-standing Awnings come in a variety of styles ranging from simply overhead canopies to full RV side rooms.

 Moon Unit - RV Edition

The ultimate accessory for outdoor enthusiasts, the Moon Unit is a private, roomy shelter that integrates perfectly with your RV or van. Built for durability, it offers a comfortable space for camping, tailgating, and other activities, ensuring you stay protected from the elements.

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How to Choose the Right Side Awning for Your RV

Features to Consider

Choosing the right side awning for your RV can significantly enhance your outdoor living experience, providing essential protection and expanding your usable space. To make an informed decision, it's crucial to consider various features that impact functionality, durability, and convenience. These features will guide you in selecting an awning that best fits your needs, lifestyle, and RV setup, ensuring you get the most value and enjoyment from your investment. Here are the key aspects to evaluate when choosing the perfect RV side awning:

  • Material: Look for durable, weather-resistant, UV Rated materials that can withstand sun, wind, and rain.
  • Size: Ensure the awning covers a sufficient area to meet your needs without overwhelming your RV.
  • Coverage: Determine the level of coverage and privacy your are looking for:
    • Simple Sun Shade: Provides basic protection from the sun and light rain. Ideal for quick stops and minimal setup.
    • Full Side-Room: Offers more comprehensive coverage with side walls and a door, providing privacy and better protection from the elements. Great for longer stays and creating an extra living space.
  • Use: Consider how you plan to use the awning.
    • Retractable Awnings: Best for quick set-ups and take-downs. These are convenient for frequent travelers who need flexibility and ease of use.
    • Full Side-Rooms: Take longer to set up but offer more coverage and comfort. Ideal for extended stays or when you need a more protected and private space.
  • Installation and Compatibility: Check that the awning is compatible with your RV model and can be installed without significant modifications. 
  • Budget: RV side awnings range in price based on size, material, and additional features. Determine your budget and find an awning that offers the best value for your money.

Compare Standard Awnings to Full Side Rooms:

Feature Standard Awning Side Room
Coverage Simple overhead canopy Full coverage with side walls and a door
Setup Time Quick to set up and take down Longer setup time
Protection Basic protection from sun and light rain Enhanced protection from elements, including wind and heavy rain
Privacy Minimal privacy High privacy with enclosed space
Ideal Use Quick stops and minimal setup Extended stays and additional living space
Flexibility Fixed to RV Free-standing, can be used independently

Maintenance and Care Tips

Proper maintenance and care are essential to extend the life of your RV side awning and ensure it remains in good condition for many adventures to come. By following a few simple maintenance tips, you can keep your awning looking great and functioning optimally, preventing damage and wear over time. Here are some essential care tips to help you maintain your RV side awning:

  • Clean Regularly: Remove dirt, debris, and mildew from the awning fabric before storing. Leaving your awning uncleaned after use increases the chance for tears or rotting to occur.
  • Inspect for Damage: Check for tears, loose fittings, and other damage that may need repair. Use tent patches or a hire a professional to fix any abrasions before they can get worse.
  • Proper Storage: Retract or un-assemble the awning during travel and store it properly when not in use to avoid any accident damage.
Close-up on tent

The Benefits of RV Side Awnings

Investing in an RV side awning offers a multitude of benefits that can greatly enhance your RV lifestyle. These versatile additions not only improve the comfort and usability of your outdoor space but also provide practical advantages that make your travels more enjoyable and efficient. Here are some of the key benefits you can expect from incorporating an RV side awning into your setup:

  • Increased Living Space: Create an outdoor area for dining, relaxing, or entertaining.
  • Weather Protection: Shield yourself from the sun, rain, and wind, making outdoor activities more enjoyable.
  • Energy Efficiency: Reduce the need for air conditioning by providing shade and keeping your RV cooler.
  • Versatility: Use the awning for various purposes, from outdoor kitchens to sheltered play areas for children.
Moon Unit RV on Sprinter Van

Are You Set for Epic RV Adventures?

Choosing the right RV side awning can significantly enhance your RV experience, providing comfort, protection, and additional living space. By considering the different types of awnings, key features, installation compatibility, budget, and maintenance, you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Whether you're a seasoned RV enthusiast or new to the world of RVing, investing in a high-quality RV side awning is a step towards more enjoyable and memorable adventures on the road. By following this comprehensive guide, you'll be well-equipped to select the best RV side awning for your travels, ensuring that your outdoor experiences are as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.


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