Camping in an RV blends indoor and outdoor living elements with designs to make the transition seamless. Most RV’s will have a retractable awning, which provides both light rain and shade protection when you want to spend time outside the RV. However, while an awning is great for these few things, some RVers want greater protection from the elements and choose to add an RV awning enclosure. RV awning screen rooms are a great choice if you want to add some extra living space to your RV park site.
All about RV Awning Screen Rooms
The extra room provided by the RV awning enclosure uses the durable awning material as the room and adds sides to create the feeling of a separate room. There are various styles of RV awning screen rooms. Also, don’t confuse room enclosures with screen shades, which only have one side. Some are better suited for privacy, while others use lightweight fabric and mesh sides to create a more indoor/outdoor feeling. We’re going to cover all of the information you need to know to decide if an RV awning enclosure is right for you. We’ll also share some of the best reviews on RV awning enclosures and screen rooms so you can make an informed decision if you choose to purchase one.
Determining the size of an RV awning Screen Room
While RV awning screen rooms come in different sizes, you’ll need to use one that is made to fit your RV. Selecting a size is relatively easy. To determine if the style of awning enclosure or screen room fits your setup, you need to measure your existing awning from the center of the arm to the center of the opposite arm and find the right length. RV awnings are typically between 10 ft. and 21 ft. Most RV awning screen room manufacturers offer enclosures designed for the most common awning lengths. Since every awning has a specific length, there isn’t a universal fit.
The height of the screen room is also important. All RV awning screen rooms should list the drop of the sides. You measure this from the top of the awning arm closest to the RV to the ground, giving you the vertical distance. While this will differ from RV to RV and is impacted by the actual campsite setup, you want to have enough drop to reach fully to the ground. For most RVs, the drop length is usually sufficient, but it’s always important to take measurements and confirm with the manufacturer that the dimensions will work for your setup.
Types of RV awning enclosures
There are many different models of RV awning enclosures to choose from. What you decide on should be guided by your particular needs, RV type, and dimensions. For example, you can purchase enclosures made entirely of screen mesh, designed primarily for shade and to keep the bugs out. Conversely, some vinyl enclosures serve more as a separate room than an outdoor living space. Finally, you have the hybrid and most common style that combines the ruggedness of solid walls with windows and closable openings to provide both an outdoor feeling with the ability to close it up for better protection from the elements and adds more privacy.
The materials used to construct the RV awning enclosure also vary. The material will be a fine mesh panel with screen rooms, offering you lighter weight and making for easier storage. Some enclosures will use a heavier vinyl material, similar to what you have on your awning, providing the greatest protection from the elements. However, these are usually bulkier and harder to store. The other common material used from RV awning enclosures is lightweight ripstop fabric, the same material used for most tents. This material tends to provide a good middle ground between weight and durability. However, many enclosures will use a combination of materials in their designs.
Some RV awning enclosures and screen rooms will utilize a frame structure that provides rigidity but adds to the complexity of setting it up. However, most will use the awning as the structural component and hang from the awning frame. For enclosures that utilize a frame component, many will be similar to flexible tent poles. These are often found in rooms with curved tops and may not use the awning as the rood. Others may have single poles on the front corners to stiffen up the walls. There are also some innovative solutions on the market, although more expensive, that use air supports for easy installation and utmost rigidity. Almost all enclosures will be staked to the ground to create a firm fit and prevent wind and rain from blowing in underneath the walls.
Installing an RV awning screen room
While the installation will be a little different for each manufacturer and model, the most common method involves connecting the room walls to the sides and front of the awning. In addition, many rooms will create a sealed fit by using Velcro to connect the RV exterior walls and enclosure. Velcro or snaps are also typically used to seal up the room’s corners. Some will also use it (or zipper panels) to bring the pieces together.
Installing an RV awning screen room is typically a two-person task, especially if the material is heavy and difficult to handle. It’s a good idea to thoroughly research the installation instructions for any product that you’re considering purchasing, ensuring that it’s not too time-consuming for you to install. Also, some enclosures will be much more involved when setting up for the first time, especially if there are custom alterations that you need to make for installing Velcro strips to the RV and cutting an opening for RV steps. I also suggest looking for installation videos on YouTube so you can watch someone do it.
Most RV awning rooms are designed to be set up fairly quickly. Once you’re familiar with it, you should be able to get it out of the bag and livable in 15-20 minutes. Of course, some will be easier than others, and it’s a good idea to factor set up time into your purchase decision. Also, if you have a hard time lifting things above your head, you may not want the hassle of installing the awning room. A free standing separate screen room may be a better solution for you.
Features to look for in RV awning Screen Rooms
While there are similarities between various enclosures, there are also different features that you may want to factor into your decision when purchasing one. Below are some of the common features to consider when shopping for an enclosure:
- Floor covering: Some rooms will include floor awning mats in addition to the sides. Others will require you to use your own, such as an outdoor carpet that you may typically use anyway. For many models, this may be an optional purchase choice (and an added expense).
- Skirting: Some models will include material to provide skirting for your RV. This space is the area between the bottom of the RV and the ground. The benefit of skirting is that it creates a whole room feel and prevents having an opening underneath your RV. This option is a feature that many people seek out if they plan to have unleashed pets in the room.
- Storage Bags: Most RV awning rooms will supply a storage bag for the materials when not in use. While this is a common feature, some bags are better than others and provide an easier system to organize loose parts, have stronger carry handles, and even have wheels to move it around easily.
- Door latch attachment: Since you’ll be using the door of the awning every time you leave the RV, you’ll want to be thinking about how the door closes and stays shut. Some doors will use Velcro, zippers, or even magnets, providing easy access to the room.. When determining your particular needs and what option will work best for you, keep this in mind.
- Rain Dump: Many awnings will have a rain dump feature, meaning that when rain collects on the roof, the awning will drop to allow the rainwater to flow off, preventing damage to the awning. Some awning rooms will accommodate this feature. However, check your awning to see if you have to fully retract it to reset it to it’s full extended size. If so, you may need to disconnect the awning walls to do this.
Advantages of RV Awning Screen Rooms
RV awning screen rooms pose several benefits to the RV community. Below are a few of the top benefits:
- The best benefit that you’ll get from an RV awning screen room is extra space. A room will make your RV feel much bigger, and when keeping the RV door open, the cramped area inside the RV will feel much more open.
- Rooms are great for cooking, eating, and just relaxing. Many families with young kids love them as it creates a nice place for kids to play and keeps the RV floor toy-free. Likewise, RVers with small pets can provide them with more space and keep them cool in the summer. Their also a great space for placing picnic tables and keeping them out of the rain.
- RV awning rooms keep weather and insects away. While an awning is great for shade and light rain, a room enclosure will take it to the next level and allow you to spend more time outside, no matter the weather conditions.
- It increases your privacy when you want to be outside.
- It helps keep your RV cleaner. It will help reduce dirt off your freshly mopped floor. Outdoor rooms are also great because they provide a dry and secure place to remove shoes before entering the RV. I’m sure some folks have purchased one for just this reason.
Disadvantages of RV Awning Screen Rooms
While a screen for your RV awning offers many benefits, it may not be for everyone. To help you weigh up the pros and cons, we’ve also included the disadvantages below:
- Unless you have a heavily meshed screen model, it can get hot and humid in the room. Keeping the windows open o allow air to flow in and out is helpful for proper ventilation. The room isn’t air-conditioned, and on hot summer days, you may find it too uncomfortable to spend a lot of time in it. However, you can combat this by choosing models with extra windows and fans.
- The installation will take time. While you’ll get quicker at setting it up each time, you still need to factor this into your camping needs and time. You don’t want to make an investment and never use it because it’s simply too time-consuming to install.
- RV awning screen rooms can be expensive. The more features they offer, and the larger the size, the more they’ll cost. So you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to over $1,000 for a room for your RV.
- Every time you want to retract your awning, you must remove the room. While this may not be a huge issue if you plan to keep it up, you will need to remove it if a strong storm with heavy winds is approaching. Very windy days and awnings don’t get along.
RV Awning Screen Room Reviews
Now that we covered the basics let’s look at the best RV awning screen room reviews.
Below are my top picks for RV Awning Screen Room for 2023:
CAREFREE Buena Vista+ RV Awning Room
The Carefree Buena Vista + Awning Room is a great option for increasing your living space in your RV. It has a traditional awning room design with large closable windows on all three sides. The awning room DOES NOT include a floor, so be aware of that if you are looking for a model that includes one. It’s also relatively easy to install and can be done in under 15 minutes after the first setup. The awning room fits standard 8-foot extension manual and electric 12-volt awnings with vertical arms It also comes in multiple lengths for most RV setups.
- Fits awnings with an awning rail to ground measurements between 86″ To 138″.
- Quick setup (under 15 minutes after first install) with adjustable door mount. The door can be mounted on the left or right side.
- Fits awnings with an awning rail to ground measurements between 86″ To 138″.
- Quick setup (under 15 minutes after first install) with adjustable door mount. The door can be mounted on the left or right side.
- Utilizes and an easy to use wall seal.
- Includes ground stakes.
- Features clear weather-view zippered panels on the outside keep rain out
- Zippered panels on the inside are for privacy.
- Includes a one-piece Skirt for under the RV.
- Support rafters keeps both a taught canopy and the room fitted against your existing awning.
- The ends of the Buena Vista+ lock up tight against the RV and the awning roller without drilling or permanent mounts.
Carefree of Colorado Awning Vacation’r 292000
The Vacation'r fits a traditional and electric awning (12 volts) with vertical arms. It also fits new truss-style awnings. The vertical drop range is between 86″ to 150″. It does not use any poles or rafters like the Buena Visa+ model. The Vacation’r’s innovative design works seamlessly on awnings with a rain-dump feature. The door can be installed on the left or right. It DOES NOT include a floor. The side panels attach to the awning rail slot and to the awning roller with straps. The front panel slides easily into the extra slot of the awning roller tube. It also features privacy panels on the outside to keep the rain out and has a tight seal all around to help keep out weather and bugs.
- Convenient and lightweight storage bag included.
- There are no poles, rafters, or permanent fasteners to attach to your coach.
- Rain dump works with room attached.
- It doesn’t require any drilling to install.
- Simple and easy to set up in under 15 minutes after the first install.
- It comes with stakes, skirting, and wheel well filler.
Solera Screen Room
If you’re just looking for a screen room with no extra frills or features, the Solera Screen Room is for you. The Screen room simply includes three sides made out of the same mesh screen materials. It doesn’t include a floor or skirting panel. Instead, it has one opening for a door and no windows because the entire room is a large window. This screened canopy may just be the right fit for many RV owners. Solera awnings are popular models with many RVers. The light weight will also provide easy folding when it’s time to move it to its storage space.
- Protects you from the sun, wind, bugs.
- Allows plenty of fresh air, helping to keep the room cool.
- Fits most electric and manual awnings ranging in size from 10 feet to 21 feet.
- Attaches directly to the awning (no extra parts)
- Neutral khaki mesh material looks good on any RV
Dometic Rally Air Pro 390 Drive Away Awning
If you have a smaller RV or even a class B or C motorhome, the Dometic Rally Air Pro 390 is an innovative solution. It isn’t like any other awning room as it doesn’t use an awning for the roof but rather uses a complete shell, almost like a tent, to provide the walls and roof. The best part about it is its innovative setup process and supports, using airframes to keep it in place and solid. The room may not work for RVs with taller heights as it has a limited, fixed height. It really seems to be designed for camper vans and Class B RVs. If you have one, it may be the right choice for you. The great thing about the room is that you can keep it in place if you need to move your vehicle. However, you will likely want to take it down if strong winds are in the forecast. The air system also provides for a much easier setup than traditional models and can be done without much effort.
- Made from Weathershield™ Pro: The iconic Dometic fabric used extensively throughout the awning range has proven quality in diverse environments. It has the look and feel of traditional fabric but weighs far less and is high quality.
- Heavy-duty straps can be pegged out in seconds- peg the bottom strap taut and adjust the top buckle to apply tension.
- The Dual-pitch™ Roof System effectively deflect wind and shed rainwater efficiently to prevent puddling on the roof and enhance performance.
- Airframe™ technology allows for single point Inflation AIR Frame awnings inflate entirely from just one external inflation point, creating an exceptionally strong structure
- Attach up to three lights on the front and center AIR Poles. Switch the lights on/off and adjust the brightness remotely. It also suits poled awnings.
- Adjustable Awning Tunnel: Adjustable height rear tunnel to suit a wide range of vehicles. Webbing straps take up material slack to ensure a tight fit to your vehicle.
Lippert Solera Family Room
The Solera Family Room is a simple but solid awning room choice. Like other brands listed here, it works with manual and electric (12-volt) awnings and can accommodate awnings up to 130 inches high. In addition, the room opens up as a screen room since most of the wall area has large wraparound windows that closes up, providing you the best of both worlds. To close the windows, you do this from the inside, so if it’s raining, you can seal everything up without needing to go outside.
The Solera Family Room is a simple but solid awning room choice. Like other brands listed here, it works with manual and electric (12-volt) awnings and can accommodate awnings up to 130 inches high. In addition, the room opens up ok a screen room since most of the wall area is a large window that closes up, providing you the best of both worlds. To close the windows, you do this from the inside, so if it’s raining, you can seal everything up without needing to go outside.
- The Solera Family Room comes complete with weatherproof polyester panels and privacy panels
- Attaches directly to your RV’s awning for quick, easy installation and dismantling
- Fits most manual and power awnings between 10 feet and 21 feet wide.
- Accommodates RVs with awning rail-to-ground measurement up to 130 inches
- Includes a carrying bag and stakes.
- Includes skirting.
- Zippered entrance door
Shade Pro Villa Room Enclosure
The Villa Room Enclosure is a great all-around option and has a great fit. However, you need to order from Shade Pro and provide your measurements to get that fit. To install it, you will need to drill some holes on the side of the RV to secure the brackets, but don’t let this scare you. You can order some snapless side panels if you really don’t want to drill, but it may be a little less sealed.
- Reversible front awning to put door on left or right.
- Fits most straight-sided RVs with awning rail to ground dimension of 100 inches to 141 inches with side panels made to best match the pitch of your awning
- Heavy-duty marine-grade fabric, privacy panels that zip together
- Heavy-duty YKK zippers and custom made side panels with snapless upgrade
- Includes 35″ tall skirting with sliding eyelets for flexibility in attachment points
- Sturdy side panel support rafters with brackets providing better, stronger seal
It can seem a little overwhelming about what RV awning screen room you should buy. It can be a big investment, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that you won’t use or get frustrated every time you install it. Reach a lot of reviews, including the bad reviews. You’ll have a much better time using your room if you know that you have a good quality product that you thoroughly researched. Unfortunately, there is no one best solution or product that can meet all of your needs. However, the above options are solid choices and work well. If you want a less expensive and easier solution, you can also purchase a separate screen house that sits separate from the RV. However, if go this route, you lose the greatest feature, in my opinion, of having extra livable space in your RV. If this is your highest priority, then opt for an awning room over a stand-alone enclosure. If you don’t move around a lot and camp for longer periods at a time, an RV awning screen room may be a great accessory to add to your RV. However, if you camp for a couple of days at a time, it may not be worth the cost, and the time it takes to install it.
4 thoughts on “6 Best RV Awning Screen Rooms and Enclosures: 2023”
We bought a Coleman screen room last summer to safeguard us from mosquitoes and bees in our trailer in northern Wisconsin. Excellent quality, very durable, and extremely easy to assemble, my kids can literally hump on their own. We use it all the time, from swimming competitions to beach vacations. it’s withstood Hurricane Irma and everything else Mother Nature throws at us.
My husband and I just bought an RV and have also been thinking about getting a screen room for it. It would be really nice to have that extra living space that we could use. Glad it can give us a little more privacy too! I think we could get one. Thank you for listing the pros and cons of a purchase!
I want to enlarge my motorhome, I am thinking of awning covers. I don’t like things that are too fancy, I will like things that are simple, and easy to install and maintain. I am interested in the Solera family room from Lippert Components. I like the simplicity and it’s just a coincidence that there is only one shade of grey. I think it’s very beautiful.
Works with both manual and auxiliary equipment and accommodates awnings up to 130 inches high. Lets the wind in and provides good lighting. I think I can enjoy and feel nature outside the house without being bothered by insects and mosquitoes.
Your article helps me learn more about types of RV screen rooms. I will let my friends know when they need to learn, really very useful information. Thank you for this article. I hope to see more articles like this in the future.