How To Make Your Own RV Awning Room For Extended Outdoor Living By Using A 90% Sun Shade Tarp

by Curtis

Awnings, Camping Tips, Fulltime RVing, RV Accessories, Sun And Heat Issues

Want more RV awning shade?

In my case, having 400 watts of solar on the roof of the RV gives you plenty of electricity. But the downside is you need to park in full sunlight to make the best use of your solar power.

The RV awning will help some. But as the sun shifts throughout the day, you have to constantly move your chairs to keep within the confines of that small patch of shade from the awning.

My RV awning before adding the sun shade tarp.

Adding a shade tarp to expand your awning will:

  • Greatly improve the livability of your outdoor space.
  • Reinforce the awning a bit, should modest amounts of wind or rain suddenly appear.

By using a 90% sun blocking shade tarp, a few spring clamps, a handful of tent stakes, and some rope, you can create a private living space much greater in size than your awning!

Supplies to make your own rv awning room

Here’s how to do it…


Choose The Right Shade Tarp

Sun shade tarps come in a number of sizes and qualities.

Always choose 90% sun blocking tarps. Anything less will not create the desired shade space. Sunlight will go through a 60% to 70% shade tarp like it isn’t even there!

TIP: If you don’t have access to a 90% sun shade tarp, you can use an inexpensive canvas tarp. However, I don’t recommend a canvas tarp — because the weight of the tarp may be too much for the awning, in the event of wind.

You also want a shade tarp with reinforced grommets along one side, for the reasons below.


How To Make Your Own RV Awning Room

Sun shade clamped to the RV awning rail.

  1. Use spring clamps to secure the tarp to the RV awning.
  2. Use rope down to tent stakes to secure the corners of the awning.
  3. Use additional tent stakes to secure the shade tarp to the ground.
  4. Once you have the shade tarp in place and staked down, run a length of rope across the RV awning — attaching it so that it crosses the awning twice.
  5. Secure the rope — just snug enough to prevent the awning fabric from whipping in the wind. Too much tension may damage the fabric or distort the awning framework (so it won’t store properly when retracted).

The sun shade rope reinforces the RV awning fabric.

After you’ve set up your RV awning room for additional shade once or twice, you will be able to do it with ease in about 10 minutes.

In the event of sudden bad weather, removing the shade tarp from the awning takes only about 3 minutes.

In this video, I’m showing the steps involved to make your own RV awning room using a 90% sun blocking shade tarp:


The Bottom Line

Outdoor living is all about comfort.

The additional shaded space that a sun shade tarp creates will almost double the shade provided by your awning alone.

The end result: more RV awning shade  Additional outdoor living space while you're RVing

And usually there’s a nice cross-breeze, keeping the space comfortable when sitting out in the direct sunlight just isn’t an option.

TIP: Any time you use your RV awning, caution is the rule — because an awning is a rather fragile apparatus. You should never leave an extended awning unattended. Why not? That surprise hail storm that passes by while you’re in town could have you in the same fix that a good friend of mine experienced earlier this summer in Oregon. He was only gone for an hour or so. When he arrived back at his trailer, he found the weight of the hail collapsed and destroyed his RV awning!

My friend's damaged RV awning after he left it unattended.

Remember to err on the side of safety and never leave your extended awning unattended.

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DIY RV Shade Canopy