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UPDATED June 18, 2020  
by Sandy Maccane

How To Create Shade For RV: To Buy Or DIY?

How To Create Shade For RV- To Buy Or DIY

Do you know how to create shade for RV?

Well, if you regularly use your RV for camping or other outdoor activities, you should know to create shade for two important reasons.

First, you should know how to protect your RV from exposure to the elements and extreme weather conditions. You probably drive your RV through different weather conditions such as baking hot sun and heavy rain, and these conditions will wear away at your RV's exterior. Sunlight damage and water exposure are the two leading causes of RV weather damage. If you live somewhere with extreme weather conditions such as heavy snowfall, your RV can deteriorate even more quickly if you don't provide shade for it.

Second, most RVs have limited space. Unless you’re driving around a class A motorhome, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to extend the space around your RV when you camp out. Providing shade for your RV is a quick and easy way to extend your RV’s usable space.

Commercial RV Shades

If you don’t want to go through the hassle of creating your own RV shade, there are several options available on the market. While going for commercial options is certainly more convenient, it is also pricier, and you’ll need to find dimensions that will fit your RV exactly.

Here are some of the commercial options that you have if you want to purchase shade for your RV:

  • Awnings - An awning is an attachable overhang that you place to the side of your RV. It is typically made from a piece of fabric (usually canvas, cotton, or vinyl) that is stretched tightly over a thin panel made from aluminum, steel, or other durable materials. There are two types of awnings: manual and electric. Manual awning can either be pull-type or hand-crank. Electric awnings can be wired into the electrical system of the RV, or it can come with a separate battery for power.
  • RV Umbrellas - RV umbrellas look like oversized picnic umbrellas. While some models come with a built-in base, others need to be attached to existing structures such as picnic tables. These umbrellas have a thick canvas and metal poles to increase strength and durability, and some even have swivel poles so that the head can be turned around.
  • RV Covers - RV covers are made from waterproof and UV-resistant material to protect your RV from water and sunlight damage. Make sure that the RV cover you purchase has the same dimensions as your RV to fully cover your whole camper.

Use Natural Sources

If you’re looking for how to create shade for RV, there are times when you won’t need to look further than your surroundings! Nature can provide great ways to provide shade for your RV, such as under large trees or thick canopies.

Whenever you are camping, try to park your RV underneath trees as much as possible. Thick canopies are great when it comes to blocking sunlight and rain, and provides maximum shade for your RV.

Another thing that you can consider is to not park near water, especially during the day. Water reflects sunlight and can heat up your RV when the heat bounces off the surface.

​Covering Your RV’s Windows

Now that you know how to create shade for RV externally, you should also consider the inside of your RV. Most of the heat that gets trapped inside your RV comes in through the windows, so reducing the amount of light that can enter can greatly reduce the temperatures inside.

Window shades are a good option for keeping out sunlight. They look and function similar to blinds, so you can open them if you want. You can also choose to use reflective insulation to help reflect sunlight away from your windows.

​Pros of Creating Shade for Your RVs

Here are two major advantages to creating shade for your RVs:

  • Additional Space - When you attach an awning or tent to the side of your RV, you’re creating a space where you can relax, sit with your friends, or even have a small cook-out! If your RV is small and has limited space, you won’t need to worry about where to hang out if you have an awning attachment on the side of your RV.
  • Lowering Operating Costs - When you create shade for your RV, you also make the air conditioning inside more efficient. Thus, you won’t need to spend as much fuel to cool the inside of your vehicle.


When you know how to create shade for RV, you can essentially enjoy more space and less operating costs, thus having a more enjoyable time when you’re on the road! Whether you choose commercial options such as RV covers or awnings, or you want to make your own, having an RV shade is an essential and practical aspect of owning an RV. What’s more, an RV shade helps keep your RV is the best condition and appearance for as long as possible.

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