x

9 Best Retractable Awning For Camper Van | Reviews + Guide

Retractable Awning For Camper Van

Retractable awnings are structures that provide protection from sun, wind, and rain. They come in various types and are usually made with aluminum frames that offer durability to the product. These awnings can be attached to your camper van and can be used wherever you need them. 

Why should one opt for the best retractable awnings? Camper vans are the most ideal outdoor space exploration vehicles out there, perfect for a van life. But their only drawback is a lack of space. 

This is where a retractable awning for a camper van comes into play. It is a great way for providing outdoor space with a “roof” shielding you from the elements. So, dive in to know about the 9 best van awnings right now. 

9 Best Retractable Awning For Camper Van

1. Best Quality Fabric Camper Van Awning: Yescom Car Side Awning

Yescom 6.6'x8.2' Car Side Awning Rooftop Pull Out Tent...
  • Installed on the vehicle rooftop rail to provide 54 sq.ft...
  • Made of 420D oxford fabric with 2000mm PU coating, UV50+...

The Yescom car side awning is an all-rounder product for van life. Its rooftop assembly provides 54 square feet of shade and protection from the sun, wind, and rain. 

Besides, it is made with high-quality 420D Oxford fabric and has 2000mm PU coating and UV 50+ protection to prevent sun damage. This water-resistant awning is made with a stable aluminum alloy structure, which also makes it rust-resistant and sturdy enough to stand on any ground. 

Furthermore, the aluminum stands are telescoping legs with a twist lock design that can be extended or contracted easily. And I had no trouble when setting it up and taking it down. The height of the awnings is adjustable from 59 inches to 85 inches (150 cm to 216 cm) 

All installation hardware that comes with the package is made from high-quality 304 stainless steel. 

An added bonus was the waterproof carry bag that I got along with the retractable campervan awning that allowed me to carry it on the vehicle rooftop without any hassle. However, the corner joints are easily bendable, which can be a problem in inclement weather conditions.

Material: Aluminum Alloy | Size: 6.6’ x 8.2’ | Weight: 19.8 pounds | Fabric type: 420D Oxford fabric | Assembly Required: Yes

2. Best For Smaller Camper Vans: Danchel Outdoor Car Tent Awning

DANCHEL OUTDOOR Car Tent Awning 4.9x6.5ft for...
  • 🔸𝐕𝐄𝐇𝐈𝐂𝐋𝐄 𝐀𝐖𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆...
  • 🔸𝐃𝐔𝐑𝐀𝐁𝐋𝐄...

The Danchel Outdoor car tent awning is one of the most affordable awning for a smaller campervan, providing 32.5 square feet of shade. 

Moreover, this camper van awning comes in various sizes that fit different camping vehicle roof rails. All of them are made of waterproof 420D Oxford fabric and are extremely portable, thanks to their sleek design. The frame is made of aluminum and has telescoping poles with a twist lock mechanism that locks the poles in place at a height ranging from 5.2 feet to 6.88 feet (160 cm to 210 cm). 

These poles are rust-resistant and are designed in a way that allows for the saving of living space. With two setup mechanisms, a taller setup for well-ventilated areas, and an angled setup for rain, these affordable awnings can be used for any camping trip.

 Another thing worth mentioning is the Danchel retractable awning was its extension properties. The front slot and the side hooks of the camper van awning helped me attach an exterior canopy side wall for more shade and also protected me from the harsh winter winds.

Apart from that, the mounting process of this awning is fairly easy. It requires two people, and the awning comes with the required mounting parts such as stakes, guy lines or guy ropes, and a waterproof PVC carry bag. However, my roof rack needed more than the provided mounting tools, so I had to spend extra to purchase additional mounting tools.  

Material: Aluminum | Size: 4.9 x 6.5 ft | Weight: 17.06 pounds | Fabric type: Polyester | Assembly Required: Yes

3. Best Camper Van Awning Made With High-Quality Materials: All Top Vehicle Awning

ALL-TOP Vehicle Awning 6.6'x8.2' Rooftop Pull-Out...
  • FEATURES: Provide 54 sq.ft shade to shield from sun and...
  • RUGGED: Made of 280GSM Polyester Ripstop Fabric with 10000mm...

The All-Top vehicle awning is made with various high-quality materials such as polyester, aluminum, polyurethane, and polyvinyl chloride. It provides an astounding 54 square feet of shade to shield from sun and rain. The awning  is also extremely versatile, with various size options that fit most standard roof racks. Its entire assembly can be packaged into a heavy-duty PVC bag and stored away. 

This canopy awning is made up of 280 GSM polyester ripstop fabric with 10,000 mm PU coating and UV50+ protection, and water resistant materials. This retractable camper van awning offers aluminum poles that are coated with rust-preventive materials, which help the frame last longer and give it more operational life. 

The installation is fairly simple, with the anodized metal telescoping legs that allow easy installation and take down. This can largely be credited to the twist lock mechanism that provides a quick and easy setup. 

Furthermore, this retractable awning has an adjustable height ranging from 4 feet to 7 feet. It comes with all the necessary mounting tools from brackets, nails, nuts/bolts, winding or guy ropes, wrenches, a manual, and a storage bag. And the installation process typically only takes a few minutes to be completed. 

A noticeable downside is that the tighteners for the poles did not function optimally. Trying to tighten them only resulted in me keeping on spinning the tightener over and over. 

Material: Aluminum, Polyester, Polyurethane, Polyvinyl Chloride | Size: 6.6’ x 8.2 ft | Weight: 22 pounds | Fabric type: Polyester | Assembly Required: Yes

4. Best For Large Shade: Danchel Outdoor Retractable Vehicle Awning

DANCHEL OUTDOOR Pull-Out Vehicle Awning Overland Camping,...
  • 🔸𝐕𝐄𝐇𝐈𝐂𝐋𝐄 𝐀𝐖𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆...
  • 🔸𝐃𝐔𝐑𝐀𝐁𝐋𝐄...

The best campervan awning that is a pretty good alternative to the ARB retractable awnings is the Danchel awning. This larger awning provides more shade (around 82 square feet) and comes in different sizes for multiple types of vehicles. The awning is very portable and is made with 420D Oxford waterproof fabric. 

Plus, the frame consists of aluminum telescopic legs with a twist lock mechanism and a height range from 5.2 feet to 6.8 feet (160 cm to 210 cm). Thanks to its sleek horizontal and vertical poles, the product takes up minimal space to add extra floor space on the outside. The awning can be made taller or angled in a certain way, allowing rainwater to flow down rather than be collected on the roof campervan canopy. 

As for the installation process, it’s pretty easy and can be done in less than 60 seconds, although it’s not really a one-person job. With a waterproof PVC bag, this can be the perfect awning to store and carry around. If spending quite a lot on an awning is not feasible for you, this particular awning can come to your rescue. 

A noticeable con of this awning is that the twist lock mechanism appears flimsy. I noticed that the legs would not lock in place properly, which adds to the installation time and effort. 

Material: Aluminum | Size: 8.2 x 9.8 feet | Weight: 24.3 pounds | Fabric type: 420D Oxford fabric | Assembly Required: Yes

5. Best For Night-time Camping: ARB Retractable Awning

ARB 814412A BLACK ALUMINIUM Retractable AWNING With Dimmable...
  • Glossy Black powder-coated Aluminum case, with gel coat ARB...
  • Waterproof and UV protected. Durable Protection and Anti...

The ARB retractable campervan awnings fall under the category of “more expensive yet worth the splurge” products. These well-built, high-quality awnings come in different sizes and types, providing ample shade. Besides, the ARB awning has a LED light strip with 1200 lumens that run across its perimeter and comes with a digital dimmer switch that makes it the perfect option for night-time use.

This switch allowed me to control the color and lighting mode. The dimmer switch is also waterproof, and the led strip avoided attracting bugs or other pests, so I could enjoy a peaceful time while camping. 

The ARB awning is also waterproof and UV-protected, with durable and anti-wear points that set these campervan awnings above their competitors. It attaches to almost all vehicles and can be stored conveniently for easy use on arrival. 

Moreover, it has a tough PU-coated 300 mm polycotton ripstop canvas that makes the roof fully waterproof. Likewise, the aluminum poles come with nylon cuff joints and have included pegs and guide ropes. With adjustable height, this ARB awning took only 30 seconds to deploy fully, which is perfect for a hectic day or a busy night.

The only downside I faced with this product was very similar to the Rhino Rack awnings. No mounting tools or materials were included, which resulted in me having to spend extra bucks to purchase them separately. It is also quite heavy when compared to other camper awnings. Considering this camper awning is quite expensive, mounting tools and materials could have been included.

Material: Aluminum, Plastic | Size: 2500 x 2500 | Weight: 41.9 pounds | Fabric type: Nylon | Assembly Required: Yes

6. Best For Frequent Camping: Rhino Rack Batwing Awning For Trucks, SUVs, Vans

Sale
Rhino Rack Sunseeker 8'2" (2.5m) Awning for Cars Trucks SUVs...
  • SAVOR THE GREAT OUTDOORS - The Sunseeker 2.0m Awning is a...
  • EASY INSTALLATION - Simply mount the Sunseeker Awning to...

The Rhino Rack batwing awning is by far the most durable one on our list. Since it is made with 210D ripstop polycotton canvas and 2000 mm PU coating, the water-resistant cover ensures optimum protection from direct sunlight and rain. And this makes it a great option for frequent campers who camp in areas with dynamic weather conditions. 

It provides 55.4 square feet of shade and can be installed in just a couple of minutes. With UV50+ protection and water resistant roof, this camper van awning can be a great addition to a camper van.

This product is one of the few best retractable awnings for windy areas, thanks to its durability. The pole frames of Rhino Rack’s batwing awning are also lightweight and are made with rust-proof aluminum that can last a long time. Furthermore, a heavy-duty PVC aluminum bag is provided with the product so as to store it away securely after use. 

The highlight of the product was that it’s a one-person setup. I was able to set it up without any outside help or further instructions due to its relatively simple setup mechanism. But it doesn’t come with any mounting hardware.

Since this product lies on the steeper side of the price, it was a drawback that mounting tools were missing, and that I had to spend extra to purchase them separately.

Material: Aluminum | Size: 8.2’ | Weight: 22 pounds | Fabric type: Polycotton canvas | Assembly Required: No 

7. Best For Easy Installation: Timber Ridge Retractable Vehicle Awning

Sale
TIMBER RIDGE 6.5x8.2ft Retractable Vehicle Awning Overland...
  • Oversized Car Side Awning: Provide 53 sq. ft shade to shield...
  • Robust and Durable: Ultra-durable ripstop combed cotton...

The Timber Ridge Retractable awning is one of the easiest awnings in terms of installation. In fact, it took me less than half an hour to finish setting up the awning and taking it down. Plus, it came with all the mounting parts that were necessary for the installation, along with detailed instructions. 

It provides 53 square feet of instant shade and protects from sun and rain. Like the other awnings, the Timber Ridge awning also comes in a waterproof PVC bag. Its shade cloth is made with robust fabric that is ripstop combed cotton canvas. 

The aluminum frame is quite durable, with a waterproof silver coating that keeps rust at bay and extends its lifespan. 

An added feature is the adjustable height of 4 feet to 7 feet. It was also quite affordable and did not drain my pockets. However, a drawback is that the U-bolts accompanying the awning cannot be used to attach it to a round roof rack. Moreover, the awning is pretty heavy when compared to other vehicle awnings on the market. 

Material: Aluminum | Size: 6.5ft x 8.2ft | Weight: 26.4 pounds | Fabric type: Ripstop Combed Cotton | Assembly Required: No

8. Best For All Roof Racks: TangMiGe Vehicle Awning

TangMiGe Vehicle Awning 6.6'x8.2' Rooftop Pull Out...
  • 【VEHICLE AWNING SIZE】— Installed on the vehicle...
  • 【DURABLE OVERLAND AWNING】— Made of waterproof 600D...

The TangMiGe retractable vehicle awning is among the most versatile options on my list. This self-standing van awning fits most roof racks and roof bars, even a high roof van. So, I did not have to worry about it fitting on my car roof rack. 

These TangMiGe retractable awnings are made with 600D Oxford fabric with 10000 mm PU coating and UV50+ protection. They provide 54 square feet of shade and shields from sun and rain. The whole structure comes packed in a strong and durable PVC bag that is waterproof, ideal for the van life. 

Besides, their aluminum alloy frames are coated with a rust-preventing material that elongates the product’s life. These campervan awnings come with telescoping legs with a twist lock design that allows easy extension and contraction of the unit. With an adjustable height of 4 feet to 7 feet, these poles are specifically designed to provide extra room. 

The taller setups allow more air ventilation, while the angled panels allow the rainwater to fall down rather than be collected on the fabric.

This product comes with all the necessary mounting tools, including brackets, nails, nuts/bolts, winding ropes, wrenches, a manual, and a storage bag. However, I had to keep bringing down the awning as it couldn’t stand stronger winds.

Material: Aluminum | Size: 6.6’ x 8.2’ | Weight: 22 pounds | Fabric type: 600D Oxford fabric | Assembly Required: Yes

9. Best Affordable Awning: Vevor Car Side Awning

VEVOR Car Side Awning, 8.2'x6.5', Pull-Out Retractable...
  • Multifunction: Installed on the vehicle rooftop rail to...
  • UV-Proof Material: Made of lightweight 420D oxford fabric...

The Vevor side door awning is a pretty good choice when it comes to retractable camper van awnings. This multifunction unit can easily be installed on most campervans, giving 53 square feet of shade. And the good news is it doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket, especially if you’ve budget constraints.

This sturdy water-resistant vehicle campervan awning offers considerable shade and sun protection. It is made with lightweight Oxford 420D fabric with a 2000 mm PU coating. Additionally, it has a UV-stabilized cover that offers sun protection of UV50+. 

The Vevor awning rooftop support frame is made with durable aluminum alloy telescopic poles that can be extended and contracted quite quickly through a twist lock design. It is also convenient to be carried around and can be stored in a heavy-duty waterproof carry bag that is provided with the package.

Besides, this awning comes with mounting brackets, covers, nuts/bolts, tie-down guy ropes, and ground nails. So, setting it up on my van’s roof racks didn’t take me a lot of time. 

However, I noticed that the awning can be quite shaky after installation, especially on uneven grounds or during heavy rain. 

Material: Aluminum | Size: 8.2’ x 6.5’ | Weight: 18.3 pounds | Fabric type: Oxford fabric | Assembly Required: Yes

Retractable Awning For Camper Van Buying Guide

A. Size Of The Awning 

Manufacturers make retractable camping van awnings in various sizes, so make sure you pick one that’s suitable for the roof rack of your vehicle. Apart from fitting right, consider the floor space it would account for in the outdoor space. 

Camper vans have various heights, so purchasing a non-adjustable retractable camper van awning was out of the question. Awnings with adjustable telescopic legs are the preferred type considering they can be adjusted to multiple heights depending on the van and the terrain on which they will be placed. 

Aside from that, there are drive-away awnings, which have a tent-like structure that is attached to the side doors of a camper van. They have an opening on one side, allowing easy passage from the van to the awning tents. 

Though these drive-away awnings are quite similar to a tent, they are more expensive but will add extra space, flexibility, and storage space to the vehicle. Moreover, they offer considerable protection from natural elements and are pretty sturdy in design. 

B. Mounting Process

Retractable awnings can be mounted in various ways, which is why the way I planned on mounting it was an important thing to consider. Certain camper van awnings can be permanently roof mounted on the roof rack of the van, whereas others are portable awnings and can be moved around. 

The retractable awnings that cannot be moved around need special adapters that can mount them onto the roof rack. However, most retractable awnings are made for convenient usage and are compatible with most roof racks with a no-tool setup. 

Since there are various types of vans and camper van awnings available on the market, each of them have unique installation properties. Generally, camper van awnings are mounted to the side of your vehicle on the roof racks on top of the roof rail system.

In the case of a van without a roof rack or roof rail, these attachments are easily available on the market and can be purchased and attached before installing a retractable awning. 

The attachment style will depend on what you need from the awnings. A more permanently mounted awning can be attached to the side of the vehicle if you don’t want the hassle of installing one for every trip. 

However, for people who prefer a temporary fitting, installing the retractable awnings on the roof rack or roof rail is a better idea as they can be removed or detached easily. 

An important thing to keep in mind is the use of space in the vehicle. Installing a retractable awning on the roof rack or roof rail often means that other things cannot be kept on these attachments. But fixing it to the side of the car allows the roof rack or roof rail to accommodate more items, such as solar panels, sporting equipment, and cargo boxes. 

C. Set Up Time

Camping can be an extremely fun activity but spending a great amount of time just fixing the camper van awning is often frustrating. I generally prefer awnings that take little to no effort to set up with minimal manual labor.

Ideally, you should opt for awnings that have an easy setup process and require just one person rather than two to three people to set it up efficiently. But again, you may choose a heavier design if you can spare the time and effort to get that extra space of shade.

D. Weather Protection 

I noticed that most high-quality retractable camper van awnings offer better weather protection properties, which is a crucial element in camper van awnings. UV protection and waterproofing were on top of my list. 

However, this feature is subjective. To camp in placid areas with fewer chances of weather problems, basic sun protection is all that is needed. For windy areas, on the other hand, I resorted to a more well-built, heavy-duty material that could withstand all the elements without an issue. Based on my weather protection requirements, I picked the right camper van awning for me. 

E. Budget

Camper van awnings can be quite expensive, with certain models costing up to thousands of dollars. However, you may well find a retractable awning that fits your camping vehicle without draining your pockets.

Most manufacturers have recently come up with various camper van awnings that are priced reasonably and still offer the same features as an expensive retractable camper van awning. 

F. Compatible Accessories With The Awning 

Though not a significant matter to consider, it still helps to elevate the awning. Some manufacturers enable the use of extra accessories like opaque walls, wind and water protection, and mosquito nets. Depending on the place I used the campervan awning at, I got the necessary accessories to elevate my experience with the retractable camper van awning. 

Top Retractable Awning For Camper Van Verdict 

It should come as no surprise that the ARB retractable awning is one of my top recommendations. Made with high quality, durable fabric, this camper van awning is an ideal choice for various campsites. 

Another product that I’d recommend is the Vevor car side awning. It is a more budget-friendly option that is easy to install and convenient to carry around. This awning also has long-lasting aluminum poles that are coated with rust-resistant materials. 

And with that, it’s time for me to wrap up this extensive guide. See you next time!

Ann Hutchinson

Ann Hutchinson

Ann Hutchinson is the heart of the team, senior editor and our Head of Product Reviews which means she sets the testing parameters of each group review ensuring that tests resemble everyday use.

Read next

Best Retractable Awnings For Windy Areas

12 Best Retractable Awnings For Windy Areas | Reviews + Guide

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *