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Best Awnings For Camper Vans To Extend Your Outdoor Living Space

This guide to the best awnings for campervans shares great options from top-of-the-line permanent awnings to portable budget-friendly options and many in between.

The best way to enjoy vanlife is to make use of the space outside your van, and the best way to do that is by having a camper van awning to extend your outdoor living space.

That way the elements won’t stop you from enjoying the outdoors. Whether to protect you from the sun beating down or a light rainfall in the afternoon. Plus, you can’t forget about the wind, you want to have an awning that can withstand some hefty gusts! 

MoonShade Legs Up On Side Of Van showing one of the best awnings for camper vans

An awning provides adequate shade during the day and protects you from the elements. And awnings can also keep your van cooler by shading it from the sun in the later afternoon.

I think having a camper van awning is one of the best accessories you must add to your camper van set up. Whether you are looking for a permanent awning that sits on the roof of your van, or you want a portable awning; this ultimate guide for best camper van awnings will help you find the perfect awning for your needs!

In this ultimate guide, we are going to go over some of the best camper van awning options to help choose which one is best for your vanlife setup.

There are a few factors to consider when making the purchase for the best awnings for camper vans. Such as durability, portability, size, stealthiness, cost, and more. So let’s dive into the best awnings for camper vans!

This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure policy.


Best Portable Awning For Camper Vans

Aerial View Of Our MoonShade which is one of the best awnings for camper vans
Moonshade Awning

Moonshade is personally the awning we have for our camper van. And while the price was definitely a huge selling factor for us, it is also portable, which we really wanted for stealthiness. We feel having a large awning on the side of your camper van is a sure sign, this is a camper van.

The awning material is made with 420D ripstop polyester with UV protective treatment. The underside has a reflective coating, and heavy-duty polyester webbing trim.

Moonshade has a couple of different attachment methods. The easiest way is if you have a roof rack, you can attach the carabiners to the roof rack. If your camper van has metal/steel siding or roof, then they have Super-strong neodymium magnets that can be attached to the side.

If you have a fiberglass high top or similar, there are suction cup attachments to connect the carabiners. Lastly, if you want a more “permanent” attachment, you can adhere super-sticky 3M VHB backed anchors to the roof or side of your camper van.

Another thing we love about the Moonshade is that is can be tilted or lifted to protect you from the different angles of the sun. You can either extend the poles to a maximum 8 ft, or lower them to 6.5 ft. But with the runner along the bottom of our van, we can also wedge the legs to the side of our van, to get an even lower angle.

Overall, we just love Moonshade because it’s portable, inexpensive, durable and compact. If you want to learn even more about this awning, consider checking out our full Moonshade Review.

  • Shade Provided When Set-Up: 63 sq ft
  • Weight: 8 lbs
  • Set-Up Method: Manual
  • Attachment: Suction Cups or Magnets

Pros For Moonshade

  • Portable
  • Less expensive
  • Poles can be extended to different angles
  • No roof rack attachment required
  • Can work with all vehicles, campers, vans, RV’s

Cons For Moonshade

  • Not Permanent/ Needs to be set up every time
  • Doesn’t provide tons of shade (compared to other awnings)

To learn more about the Moonshade Awning or to purchase one:

Use Code: tworoamingsouls for $30 off!

Thule Hideaway

Best Hand-Crank Awning For Camper Vans

The Thule Hideaway is a great lightweight, aluminum constructed and easy to use on your own. The setup is done by a hand crank, so it’s one of the easiest to deploy and can be done within seconds.

The Thule Hideaway is a permanently attached awning, so it can be mounted to most roof racks with this adapter. Otherwise, the awning comes with mounting brackets and hardware to attach to a flat vertical surface.

The awnings legs can extend up to 10ft high making this a great awning for camper vans with high roofs.

  • Shade Provided: 80 sq ft
  • Weight: 44 lbs
  • Set-Up Method: Hand-Crank
  • Attachment: Wall mount or roof rack

Pros For Thule Hideaway

  • Permanently mounted
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Fabric is water and mold resistant
  • Can be set up to most roof racks with adapter
  • Legs extend up to 10 ft tall

Cons For Thule Hideaway

  • Expensive
  • Not portable

To learn more about the Thule Hideaway Awning or to purchase one:

OVS Nomadic 180 or 270

Best Awning For Camper Vans For Ultimate Shade & Rain Coverage

Overland Vehicle Systems (OVS) Nomadic has a couple great awning options to pair with your camper van to extend your outdoor living space. We recommend the Nomadic 180 and Nomadic 270. These two models both provide adequate amounts of shade which can be great for large groups, families, or for always having a nice shaded spot no matter where the sun is in the sky.

The material is made of 600D Poly Cotton Rip-Stop material and has heat-sealed seams. Making this one of the better options if you are also looking for an awning that will protect you from a heavy rainstorm. This awning can be free-standing, so no poles necessary. Although, if you think there will be some wind in the forecast, they provide poles that extend up to 9.85ft to help secure the awning down.

The main difference between the Nomadic 180 and the Nomadic 270 is the awning extends to add extra coverage behind the vehicle too. Both awnings not only batwing, meaning extending further than the general square or rectangle other awnings provide. But the Nomadic 270 extends to provide a total of 129 sq ft of total shade.

  • Shade Provided: 88 sq ft (OVS-180), 129 sq ft (OVS-270)
  • Weight: 57 lbs (OVS-180), 80 lbs (OVS-270)
  • Set-Up Method: Manual
  • Attachment: Roof Rack

Pros For OVS Nomadic Awnings

  • Provides tons of shade
  • Free-standing/ No poles needed (although we suggest setting them up if there is any wind)
  • Permanently mounted
  • Fabric is water and mold resistant
  • 4-year limited warranty
  • The fabric can withstand heavy rain

Cons For OVS Nomadic Awnings

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Not portable

To learn more about the OVS Nomadic 180 Awning or to purchase one:

To learn more about the OVS Nomadic 270 Awning or to purchase one:

Rhino Rack Batwing Awning

Best Awning For Low-Roof Camper Vans That Want TONS of Shade

If you are looking for shade to protect the whole group, then the Rhino Rack Batwing Awning is one of the best awnings for Camper Vans who love to group camp. The Rhino Rack Batwing Awning permanently mounts to the left or ride side of your vehicle. The awning provides 270 degrees of shade covering 11 meters around the vehicle which is definitely a bonus when camping.

Something to note is that the awning’s max height is 91in or 7.6ft which could be a bit short for some van models with a high roof (unless you mount it to the side wall of your camper van. This awning easily attaches to a Rhino Rack Pioneer Platform Roof Rack. But like most van builds, there isn’t enough space for a large roof rack. Therefore, if you do decide this is the right awning for your camper van, you might have to DIY a way to attach this awning to the side of your camper van versus the roof.

  • Shade Provided: 118 sq ft
  • Weight: 47.4 lbs
  • Set-Up: Manual
  • Attachment: Roof Rack

Pros For Rhino Rack Batwing Awning

  • Provides tons of shade (270 degrees)
  • Permanently mounted
  • Can be stowed away w/ poles fully extended
  • Good customer service
  • Fabric is water and mold resistant

Cons For Rhino Rack Batwing Awning

  • Expensive
  • People have complained about it breaking in windy conditions
  • Not very suitable for camper vans with high roofs
  • Not portable

To learn more about the Rhino Rack Batwing Awning or to purchase one:

Fiamma f45S or F80S

Best Awning For Sprinter, Transit, and Promaster Camper Vans

Fiamma makes durable camper van awnings specifically for camper vans or RV’s. If you are looking for an easy to assemble awning that is permanently attached to the roof then this might be the best campervan awning for you. The awning works by hand-crank or winch. Simply crank out a third or so of the awning roof, then detach the legs from the front of the awning which is where they are stowed. Continue to roll out the awning and adjust the legs to the appropriate height. You can stake down the legs for durability.

The fabric for the awning is made of UV Resistant, Waterproof, and Washable material. Plus, Fiamma developed a system that makes sure the awning is stored the right way every single time.

One major difference between the F45S and the F80S is that the F80S legs can attach to your van wall. For those sunsets or times when the sun is low in the sky, you can tilt the shade to a steeper angle. The Fiamma F80S can provide that major angle so you are protected all day long.

Flatline Van Co. works with Fiamma to provide the necessary attachment to fit most Sprinters, Transits, and Promasters.

  • Shade Provided: 80 sq ft+
  • Weight: 51 lbs+
  • Set-Up: manual hand-crank or winch
  • Attachment: Wall mount or Roof Rack

Pros For Fiamma F45S & F80S Awning

  • Permanently mounted
  • Can be stowed away w/ legs extended
  • Easy to assemble
  • Fabric is UV resistant, waterproof and washable

Cons For Fiamma F45S & F80S Awning

  • Very Expensive
  • Not portable

To learn more about the Fiamma F45S or to purchase one:

To learn more about the Fiamma F80S or to purchase one:

Hasika Teardrop Awning

Best Budget Awning For Camper Vans

 Versatility Camping Tent for Truck Bed,SUV RVing, Van,Trailer and Overlanding Portable Teardrop Awning Canopy Tear Resistant Tarp with 2 Sandbag

If you are looking to save a few bucks when choosing your camper van awning, then the Hasika Teardrop Awning might be a great option. But the attachment for this awning is at the trunk or tailgate, rather than the side of your camper van. Which could be helpful for people who have an outdoor kitchen set up at the back of their van. I think this awning can be a great choice if you want a way to hang outdoors and get some shade, but not picky where the sunshade is placed.

This awning works by draping the awning over the roof of your camper van and attaching guy lines to the ground. Once this attachment is secure, you can extend the outer poles and attach the other two corners of the awning to the poles. You will need to secure the poles down with guy lines to keep the awning in place and prevent it from becoming a sail.

This awning is one of the more unique sun shades that can work with nearly any vehicle and can fit almost anyone’s budget. I will note, that this probably isn’t the most durable materials and won’t last nearly as long as some of the other makes and models on this list of best awnings for camper vans. But it will definitely provide you the adequate shelter you need, it might just not last the duration of your camper vans life, like some of the other models.

Do note, the poles only extend to 7.8ft, therefore, if you have a hightop roof, the end will be slanted. But this shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and you should still be able to stand/walk under the awning.

  • Shade Provided: 40 sq ft
  • Weight: 10 lbs
  • Set-Up: manual
  • Attachment: Guy lines (no attachment to vehicle at all)

Pros For Hasika Teardrop Awning

  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to assemble
  • Quality guaranteed warranty
  • Portable
  • Fits most vehicles & camper vans

Cons For Hasika Teardrop Awning

  • Not made of high-quality material
  • Manual set-up (although relatively easy set-up)
  • Doesn’t provide tons of shade
  • Can only be attached to the back of your camper van (or side door of smaller RV’s)

To learn more about the Hasika Teardrop Awning or to purchase one:

Don’t forget the other essentials for sprucing up your campervans outdoor living space

Our camper van outdoor living space, showing one of the best awnings for camper vans with our Moonshade

To really top off your outdoor living space, you can spruce it up even more. Add in a few string lights for ambiance, a floor mat to protect you from the dirt & sand, and a couple of chairs! And while you’re at it, you might as well have a camp table! This will allow for a great camper van set up to make your van feel like a luxury home on wheels!

Tips On How To Protect Your Camper Van Awning From Mold, Mildew & Damage

Although many companies claim their awnings are mold and mildew resistant, it’s still important to properly dry them if they do get wet. You can either do this by hand drying it with a towel, or setting the awning back up in the sun at your next convenience. 

Also, these awnings are meant to protect you from the sun, meaning they are sitting in direct sunlight. Therefore, they might get sun damaged the more you use them and the longer they sit out in the sun.

Our best advice is to only set up the awnings when you will be using it to protect yourself from the sun. If you keep the shade up all summer long and expose it to endless sun exposure, it will eventually become sun damaged and potentially disintegrate or tear.

So if you want your awning to last for years, limit its sun exposure to the times you are actually using it.

Lastly, if there is heavy wind in the forecast, the best way to protect your camper van awning is to pack it away. Chances that you sit outside in heavy wind are not likely, so you may as well store or pack away the awning.

Because if an awning consistently gets whipped from constant wind, it might eventually tear, and the repair could be costly or not possible. Or the joints very easily could break, and then you might not have an awning at all.

Takeaway | Best Awnings For Camper Vans

While it might seem like you can buy any ol’ awning and attach it to your camper van, the legs to most awnings don’t extend to the height of some camper van roofs. If you have a low roof van, then you have a few more options, because many “car-camping” awnings can work for you. But if you have a high roof van, you probably want to find an awning that extends to the height of your van so it can sit flat. Otherwise, you will always have an angled awning, and it can put tension on the awning attachments. 

Overall, Jake and I love our Moonshade, because it is durable, affordable, portable, and easy to set up. So if you are looking for a high-quality product at a fraction of the price of other permanent awnings, then the Moonshade is for you. (Plus we can give you $30 off your purchase with code: tworoamingsouls.)

But if you want to spend up for a more permanent setup that’s easier to deploy, then the Thule Hideaway or OVS Nomadic are awesome awning options. There is convenience gained when all you have to do is either press a button or hand crank for 30 seconds.

While an awning isn’t the most essential item for your camper van, it is one of the easiest ways to extend your outdoor living space. And let’s be real, if you live in a camper van, then you most likely enjoy the outdoors, and the best way to protect yourself from the dangers of too much sun is with an awning. 

We hope you find this post on best awnings for camper vans to extend your outdoor living space useful, and you find the perfect camper van awning for your van build. Enjoy!

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