On hot days, some shade is nice so you can get out of the rig and away from the droning air conditioners and breathe some fresh air. But as the sun moves, or depending on how you park, the sun can beat down on you and make it less than comfortable. A great way to set up a small courtyard area that blocks the sun under the RV awning, or even to help keep the sunny side of the RV cooler so the A/C can keep up, is a sun screen or sun shade. Plus, they add a bit of additional privacy to your temporary space.
There are a few tricks to the best value on a sun screen. First, the ideal sun screen will reach from your awning side to the ground for a good amount of the length of your RV. Secondly, you should not only look for a “sun screen” but also under “mesh tarps,” “sun shade,” or “shade cloth” — which are exactly the same material as those items sold as “RV sun screens,” but are often much cheaper.
Sun screens often have a percentage rating for how much sun they block. Typically this is from 40% to 80%. Which one you want will depend on your tolerance and how sunny it is in the area. We found a great deal on a 70% sun screen/mesh tarp on Amazon that is 10′ x 20′. This would work well for many applications.
Below are the links to various sun screen choices, as well as clips to hold the topside to your awning. The lower side is typically staked down or weighted down by heavy objects. Most RV parks will allow solid colors, but some may not allow tarps with images on them. If you are boondocking, that doesn’t matter.
How do you attach the sun screen?
There are two main clip types that most people use to attach their sun shade or screen. LOCOLO makes a great set that clamps on your awning fringe with rubber clips, and also the ball bungees and carabiners you may need to fasten it. The clamps are held by pressure, squeezing the awning fringe between soft rubber sides, so they won’t damage the edge of your awning. Be certain to use enough clips to not put too much pressure on one part of your awning fabric.
Another method is to use the Camco awning party-light and screen clips that slide into most awning slots directly in the crossbar of the awning. This makes them extra sturdy as they are not connected to the awning fabric at all. The hooks can be removed and the soft rubber clips can remain on the awning for a quick roll-up. However, we recommend you don’t leave the clips in the slot for an extended period of time because you may risk stretching the awning fabric in those places. Both are quick and easy to attach and remove.
Where can I find sun screens and sun shade cloths?
- e.share 40% screen shade – for less sun blockage
- YGS Perfect Sunblock 70% sun shade cloth – for greater sun blockage
- Full listing of options for screen shades available on Amazon
- LOCOLO awning clips and straps set for securing the top of the screen shade
- Camco awning slot clips for securing the top of the screen shade
- Full listing of awning clips available on Amazon
- EZ Travel Collection awning shade kit — An “official” RV sun shade kit with various clips and stakes.
Also check out…
RV Awning Cleaning with 1 Simple “Magic” Trick
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