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Motorhomes are arguably the ultimate outdoor exploration vehicle, with the amenities found in larger RVs or camping trailers, but with maneuverability closer to that of a passenger car. One drawback is that they can get a little cramped on the inside. Buying an RV awning can be a great way to expand your living space without spending a lot of money (at least in terms of RVs). And you can find one for just about any price point, from a simple sunshade to a fully mobile habitat.
What should you pay attention to when buying a motorhome awning?
Mate: Manufacturers offer motorhome awnings in various sizes. You want to make sure it’s compatible with your vehicle and sticks out long enough to provide plenty of room for what you want to do outside. Campers can be long. So adjustable, telescoping poles are an excellent feature to have.
Mounting difficulty: How you plan to assemble the tent is critical. Some awnings are attached to the roof rack. Some are portable. You may be mounted on a different type of roof rack or on the load bars of the vehicle and need a special adapter. Some awnings are designed to be easily compatible. Some even have tool-less setups. Others may require you to purchase an adapter.
Installation difficulty: Just like with a tent, you want to set up your awning with as little effort and time as possible and with as few people as possible. Ideally, you’ll have an awning that can be set up in a matter of minutes and is best done by one person.
Weather protection: The more expensive awnings offer better quality material and water resistance. If you are camping somewhere quiet, a simple sunshade may suffice. But if you’re camping in areas with more wind and precipitation, you may want a heavier build to withstand the elements.
Accessories: Some motorhome awnings offer a range of accessories to customize your experience with features such as opaque walls, wind and water protection, or mosquito nets.
The best motorhome awnings to buy in 2022
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The best motorhome awning to get
Thule Hideaway Canopy
- Hand crank for one person setup
- Spring loaded arms for tough weather resistance
- Lightweight and corrosion resistant aluminum construction
- Can add Thule accessories
- Mounting adapters available separately
- Expensive with costs around $1,000
The Thule Hideaway is a roof-mounted awning designed specifically for motorhomes such as the Mercedes Sprinter. It’s tough enough to withstand bad weather with sprung arms, waterproof materials and welded seams.
Best Affordable Motorhome Awning
Front Runner Easy Out awning
- Easily compatible with Front Runner racks and accessories
- Extendable support posts for use with larger vehicles
- More difficult to set up with one person
As the name suggests, Front Runner’s Easy Out awning installs for two people in less than 60 seconds. The support posts are extendable for use with higher vehicles. You can also add a range of useful Front Runner accessories, such as a mosquito net.
Rhino Rack Batwing Canopy
- 270 degree coverage
- Water-resistant and UV-protective material
- Compatible with other racks.
- Offers both left and right-handed models
- Weighs almost 50 pounds
- Do you need to know in advance whether you need a left or right-handed model
No more stuffing everything under a small awning. Rhino Rack’s Batwing Canopy extends to a 270-degree radius and provides up to 118 square feet of sun protection. It is available with both left and right hand models depending on which side of the car you want to use.
- Installation system without tools
- Can be used with a roof tent
- PU coating offers some water resistance
- Not resistant to heavy rainfall
With the Yakima SlimShady you can save your energy for your outdoor adventure. It offers easy installation with a tool-less system and is designed to be easy to deploy and support once installed.
The best awning for motorhomes
Dometic Rally Air Pro
- Inflation at one point
- Set up in seconds with Quickpitch Guying System
- Wind and weather protection with Weathershield Pro double coated polyester material
- Costs almost $2,000
- You may need accessories that are not included
The Dometic Rally Air Pro awning is an inflatable awning that drastically increases the living space of your motorhome. It’s also freestanding, so you can leave it on the campsite and still use your vehicle to explore.
Do you want to buy a motorhome? These are the brands you should know
Europeans and Aussies get many of the best motorhomes. But there are still some great options you can buy in the United States.
ARB awning with light well
- Pre-installed light sleeve
- Waterproof and UV protected
- Telescopic legs for adjustable height
- Brackets not included for mounting
The ARB awning is designed for a 4×4 adventure with a pre-installed light sleeve. It can extend 8 feet from the side of the vehicle to provide ample shade and the legs are telescopic to provide adjustable height.
Big Agnes Sand Wash Car Tarp
- Reflective guylines for low-light setup
- Extra fabric panel to block the wind
- Loops for hanging third party lamps
- Not permanently mounted on the roof rack
- Lighting options sold separately
The Big Agnes Sand Wash awning is designed to set up quickly and provide instant shade on the go. And it comes in at a very reasonable price. It comes with a durable carrying case, but is not intended to be stored permanently on the roof.
- Can be mounted directly on loading beams
- Lockable hoods to prevent theft
- Two-year manufacturer’s warranty included
- Not optimal for wet weather
The Overcast is a basic lightweight offering from Thule that protrudes 6.5 meters and offers a respite from the sun. It is compatible with most roof racks, but you can also mount it directly on load bars.
Hasika Versatility Teardrop Canopy
- Very affordable
- Can be used on a wide variety of vehicles, even boats
- Vents allow upward drafts
- Weighs less than 10 pounds
- Maybe not optimal for bad weather
Hasika’s Versatility Teardrop Canopy is, as you would expect, versatile and teardrop shaped. It is a sunshade that is suitable for a wide variety of vehicles and can be used for different purposes. And it’s not a big investment, coming in at just over $100.
The best rooftop tents you can buy
If you’ve always loved the top bunk, you should invest in a rooftop tent.
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