8 Reasons You Need To Have The Best RV Awning Shade - The Roving Foley's
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8 Reasons You Need To Have The Best RV Awning Shade

The Vista Shade Awning Screen is Our Absolute Favorite RV Accessory

Moving from RV park to RV park, there are certain things you start to love and certain things you start to hate. For us facing west was one of the latter. I don’t know why but for months and months, no matter where we stayed, we always seemed to end up with a site that had us facing west. 

Now there is nothing particular that we dislike about the direction west. In fact, it is one of our 4 favorite directions. But when you spend endless hot afternoons facing into the hottest sun of the day, you start to wish for a bit of additional sun protection- especially when staying in places like The Mighty 5 Utah National Parks where temps soar in the summer. 

We started looking into screen rooms for the awning, but the only ones that were available had really bad reviews. Plus we had already gotten a separate screen room, so we didn’t really want to enclose the awning space.

That is when we came across the Vista Shade Sun Shades made specifically for 12v electric awnings or manual awnings.  These things are brilliant. Not only do they provide a nice shady area blocking out a great deal of the sunlight, they cool the side of the rig saving AC use. They ALSO serve to anchor the awning so that it can stay deployed on much windier days that it can un-anchored.

How Do You Attach An RV Awning Extension?

This RV awning sunscreen is very easy to install. The shade comes with 2 pieces- the body and the insert. The body is always going to be 6 feet tall (by whatever the length of your awning.) The insert will be 1, 2 or 4 feet tall. The 2 pieces connect via a heavy duty zipper.

The reason for the different lengths is that awnings on different RVs are at different heights and are adjustable so they can be set at a height that you like or need. 

For instance, our awning came out over one of our slide outs so it needed to be kept high. Other awnings may be kept lower to the ground. 

The insert section installs into the awning’s utility slot which is standard on most awnings. It is an open groove on your awning roll. You just start feeding it into one end and slide all the way to the other. The body section then zippers onto the insert section to give you your full height shade. This will work on either electric or manual RV awnings. 

Depending on the length, there are 3- 4 grommets across the bottom for you to secure the shade to the ground using the included ground stakes. I upgraded my stakes to 12″ spikes at a local Home Depot so I can really tie this baby down.

To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.

Why Do RV Patio Awnings Need A Screen Shade?

1) Stay Cool

Being outdoors is a big part of the reason we choose to live on the road, right? But it can be difficult trying to figure out how to stay cool while camping in the summer. The shade encloses your outdoor space providing a barrier from the afternoon sun, but there are no side shades, so you are creating a wind tunnel to catch the cool breeze and bring it right to you.

2) Shade In The Sun

Even on the brightest day, you can stay cool in the shade provided by this awesome RV accessory. The electric RV awning only goes so far and when you are facing west, it can get pretty warm. The Vista Shades RV Awning Shade will make all the difference.

3) Creates a Barrier With Neighbors

Even with the nicest neighbors, you want some privacy. RV outdoor shades provide that barrier by blocking most of the visibility from the outside and darkening the space within.

vista shade rv awning screen
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4) Provides an Extra Room

One thing about RV living- space is always at a premium. The RV retractable awning does provide some extra space but adding the RV awning extender encloses that space and creates real additional living space. Just add some rugs and furniture and you have a new living room just outside your camper or motorhome. 

5) Hold Your Awning Securely in the Wind

One of our biggest fears with extending the RV awning is that sudden wind gusts are a real danger. The awning material can act like a sail and before you know it, can flip the awning right over the roof. This RV shade cover connects firmly to the awning near the led light strip (ours is on the roller) and ties securely to the ground. It will considerably raise the wind speed at which you need to roll up your awning leaving you  more time to stay cool in the summer heat.

That being said- never wait too long to bring in the awning. When the elements are turning bad- get it put away. 

More RV “How To”

6) Keeps the RV Cool

Another big concern  for campers is how to manage the summer heat and keep the rv cool inside. Camping in the summer heat can be difficult indoors. Even with A/C, you want to be cooler so that the AC does not run as much. 

Smaller units may have a hard time keeping up on extreme days. The rv shade cloth will help immensely as the shade it provides will keep the sun off the entire side of your rig which will keep the room cool in the summer naturally.

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7) Stay Outside in the Rain

It is unfortunate but rain often drives campers indoors- no one wants to sit out and get wet. Since we got our rv awning sunshade, we run from the rain a whole lot less. Yes, it is a screen, but the mesh is very tight and stops a great deal of rainfall from coming through, so only the heaviest rains chase us inside now.

8) It’s A Conversation Starter

When you DO like to meet your neighbors, this canopy shade is a perfect conversation starter. I can’t tell you how many times we have met folks who approached us to ask about the screen shade, where we got it, etc. Some of those people have gone on to become good friends. 

So Why Is Vista Shade The Best RV Awning Screen Shade?

Yes, there are many other RV canopy shades out there. But what is brilliant about THIS one is the zipper feature. Once installed on your existing awning, you can take down the shade by simply undoing the zipper. The insert section just rolls up into the shade. 

This makes set up and take down a snap. So if a bad storm pops up, or the wind suddenly gets gusty, you can just unzip the zipper, let the body section fall, and roll up your awning. You can then untie or pull up the stakes and quickly fold up the shade and store it in the included storage bag. 

Vista shade installed on 5th wheel awning
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To be very honest, I rarely put the sun shade body away for bad weather. I just leave it on the ground, tied to the stakes and then sweep or hose it down once I put it back up.  

Once in place, the mesh material blocks out 85% of the sun’s UV rays, providing a cool shady space even on the hottest days. It is made of an extremely durable material and holds up to a beating (often administered by my children playing swords with sticks or some other game that requires them to try to beat the bejesus out of each other.) All of the durable materials have held up really well.

It is mildew resistant and can be washed easily while installed with just a garden hose and brush.  After years of near constant use, we noticed very little wear of sun damage. 

It is easily see thru, so it does not block your view but does add a good bit of privacy to your set up. There are others out there, but for our money, Vista Shade is the best RV awning screen on the market. 

This was one of the best purchases we ever made.  It ensures that we can still enjoy the outdoors despite the hot sun.  We are able to do homeschool outside, work and just relax and read a book outside the trailer.  We are asked constantly about our awning by other campers, so here is the information  you need  in case you want to buy one for your rv before your next camping trip. 

If you’re interested in following us along on our travels, you can follow us on Instagram, or on facebook here or come join our facebook group

frank foley the roving foleys
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Frank Foley

Frank is the Head Hubby, Daddy, and Fix-It Guy of the Roving Foleys clan. He ia an avid traveler and has spent over 5 years traveling full time with his family. he loves helping others learn about the RV life. He has also traveled in Europe, Asia, and Australia with his wife Grainne.

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15 thoughts on “8 Reasons You Need To Have The Best RV Awning Shade”

  1. Malinda Watkins

    Hello, I love your articles! We have a 2019 Open range 376fbh. It sits up very high. I’m trying to find an awning shade that will be long enough to come down to our deck below it. (We stay on the same camp spot year round). I’m a bit confused on what size to get the awning itself is 19 or 20 feet. But also the owning rolls up at the top in the sort of a plastic sleeve that keeps the awning material protected I’m not sure exactly what that’s called. just wondering what size to get and if it would work with the way our awning rolls into that plastic sleeve. Any input appreciated! Thanks

    1. The Roving Foleys

      Hi Malinda,

      Just try to get a measurement from the shade down to the deck. I believe the longest drop is 10′. It is ok though if it does not come all the way down. Ours regularly ends 2-3 feet off the ground. It will still give a ton of shade. The 19′ x 10′ shade can be found HERE:

      As for the roll up- you should not have any problem. The bit that rolls up rolls in at the beginning of retraction so will be well inside the awning by the time it gets to the cover. Hope that helps.

  2. Hi, can you give me some suggestions about the good awning shade? I consulted a few but I don’t like them because they have few anchor points and does not provide enough daytime privacy

    1. The Roving Foleys

      Our favorite is the Vista Shade – should have a size for about any need. Ours has lasted years.

      1. The Roving Foleys

        Sorry to hear that- maybe just a bad one. Coleman units still have a VERY goog reputation. I would definitely contact the retailer (first) and then Coleman. I would be surprised if you couldn’t get a replacement or refund.

  3. Useful article! I am a single female who loves to camp and loves simple! My awning is 15 feet long. I also ordered 15×8 and it fit perfectly!

    1. I bought charcoal vista shade, greatly cut down on the sun’s heat and is convenient to take down the part with the zipper and roll the rest up with the awning. Couldn’t be more pleased.

  4. We have a Sunsetter awning on our back deck. (Mobile Home) It has the same slot as on the TT awning has on it. I was thinking about getting something like this to use in both places.

  5. Samantha Nichols

    We wanted to create additional shade and privacy on the side of our RV, so we bought a Tentproinc awning sunshade. Installation took about 10 minutes and was easiest to do standing on a short ladder with one person feeding it into the track and the other person sliding it along the track at the same time. It dramatically dropped the heat coming in our large garden room windows. The quality is great and works as described.

  6. Carefree is very easy to set up, just slide the top part of the carefree awning into the track. Also, I separated the two pieces so I had less to hold in my hands. Slides in easy. Adding this to our RV is like adding a sunroom to our site and provides some privacy as well. Blocks just enough sun without blocking the view.

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