RVs are generally roomy vehicles that allow for plenty living space — especially when put against a car or van — but things can feel confined after some time. Purchasing a screen room to attach that attaches to your awning allows you to create a great deal of extra living space, but there are several things to consider before running out and buying your RV awning screen room.
For those who don’t know, RV awning screen rooms are essentially room enclosures that easily attach to an RVs pre-existing awning to insulate the space against bugs, inhospitable heat and rain to make the space more livable. They are also sometimes called awning rooms, or extend-a-rooms.
Why do you need to buy an RV awning screen? Do you really need one? There are more than a few advantages to owning one of these screen shades, but they might not be worth it for every RV owner.
- They keep insects out of your sitting area and increase your living area exponentially.
- The space could potentially be used for grilling or other types of cooking, as it’s more well-ventilated than an indoor kitchen and may be easier to clean.
- It adds a layer of privacy if you’re in an RV park or other public area where you’d prefer not to feel as exposed to prying eyes.
- It offers some basic weather protection, so you don’t get any direct sunlight or rainfall while you’re sitting outside; a good screen will withstand wind quite well too.
There are a few disadvantages, so let’s get out with them so you know.
- The screen room might not have as much air circulation as you’d like, trapping humidity and making cooking difficult when the smoke has nowhere to go.
- The set-up can prove difficult, particularly upon your first purchase. Most RVers get used to attaching and detaching their RV screen rooms for awnings so it goes by quicker after some practice, but that all depends on the specific person and model.
- They can be somewhat pricey. RV awning screens will almost always cost more than $200 new, with prices for certain models exceeding $500.
Will you get enough use out of a screen on your RV to justify such a purchase?
The price depends heavily on the durability and quality of the screen room. Those priced closer to $500 generally offer more insulation and adaptability, as these RV awning shade screens may have zippered compartments to let air in or trap it outside, or zippers that let you detach walls to have even more openness. This adaptability will make the screen room more suited to a wider range of temperatures, so you can use it in hotter or cooler temperatures comfortably.
The most important consideration, however, is in size. Measure the length and “drop” (distance from the top of the awning to the ground) of your awning to know the dimensions you’ll need. There should be an RV awning screen shade that corresponds to your specific needs in online stores or at a local retailer.
Other distinctions between screen rooms include the color of the design and the quality of the support beams and tension mechanisms that hold the room in place — you want something that will hold up to the wind, if the need arises. There are also other kinds of screen shades on the market that offer different features. Without going into too much detail, you might look at something like this cabana dome.
Beyond that, there isn’t too much to consider. A screen room is a large purchase, but provided you look for the right size and the best value among screen rooms that include all these features, it should be a relatively easy decision based on your RVing needs.