rvupgradestore.com Composet Products Fridge Defend
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: what do folks with no awning use  (Read 5498 times)


  • ---
  • Posts: 479
what do folks with no awning use
« on: November 15, 2011, 11:15:10 AM »
We have a new to us 1977 GMC motorhome. it has never had an awning on it. I REALLY don't want to drill holes in the fiberglass sides to install the typical awning. We bought a cheap (on sale for 59 dollars) dinning shelter but I am not happy with it. the design is more of a dome tent and top top is not large enough to provide shelter from rain. would be OK for keeping bugs out. we only got to use it twice before the end of season and at neither campground was the a bug problem.

did I just buy the wrong kind of shelter?
the Motorhome is only 8 feet tall and has the old style rain gutter on the side. was kind of thinking of attaching a "tarp" to the gutter but don't want to "redneck" it up too bad. I know I can buy poles and other hardware to DIY but not sure what to build.

What do you do?
1977 GMC 26 foot Palm Beach
1976 Austin Mini


  • ---
  • Posts: 596
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 11:21:40 AM »
My first used MH 1977 Dodge mini I used a walmart tarp and rope. tyed over the top and attached to the back side of the MH. I used PVC pipe with caps and bolts for the two upright posts and rope to hold to the ground. My tarp was the full lengh of the MH. Worked great for several years. Cost was very little.
Terry & Kathy Weller
Direct Sales Jewelry
It goes where you are.

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 64486
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 11:35:55 AM »
Guess what - RV awnings don't keep the rain out either. Many are too high to be useful, and few are of much use if the rain is slanting at all.
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


  • ---
  • Posts: 5059
  • Bill & Jolene/USA 00 Winnebago Adventurer 37G
    • WorKamping in ????
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 11:49:12 AM »
Busdepot.com has a nice one I use on my Westy.  Essentially a tensioned rain cover for a tent, mine is 8x8, but there is a bigger one.  It will clamp to the rain gutter, then has poles at outside end.  Real nice.  Would work great on the GMC.
Bill & Jolene W & Koda

Old Faithful, Yellowstone Association Bookstore
2000 Winnebago Adventurer 37G
2000 Suzuki Grand Vitara.
2012 Dodge Grand Caravan
FMCA F-401354
1995 OMI Dobro F-60


  • ---
  • Posts: 479
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 12:19:04 PM »
Bill I like the bus depot one, can you get a close up photo for me of the rain gutter mount? just so I can see how it clamps. not sure if 11 feet will be long enough.

Gary - the center of the roof on mine is only 8' 2" and rounds down like an airstream trailer. it should keep the rain out if I find water tight material. the older RV we had would keep the rain off if it was not blowing...then again we always rolled it in if the wind was blowing.

mnmnutswer- I am trying not to use the brand new walmart tarp that I have as an awning. :) I know they work just looking for something prettier
1977 GMC 26 foot Palm Beach
1976 Austin Mini

Rancher Will

  • ---
  • Posts: 611
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 12:47:51 PM »
We now own and use our 5th RV owned over the past 50+years.

Only our last two RV's had an awning. And even though we have an awning, there are weeks at a time when we never use it. We camp every month of the year on a regular basis, often one night to 10 days at a time. In fact, thinking over the past year, I can remember only about 4 times when I even extended the awning although it is electric and all I would need to do is push the switch. Perhaps how you use your RV and what you do while camping will decide how you use and awning even if you have one

I suggest that you use your RV for a while and then decide if an awning is worthwhile for you the way you would use it.


  • ---
  • Posts: 139
  • Bearly aware!
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 01:02:10 PM »
We use 4 x 7'6" poles, an 8 x 10 tarp (brown on one side, silver on the other), 4 x guy ropes, and 2 x Suction handles.

The suction handles ( http://www.ss4seniors.com/catablog-items/suction-support-shower-tub-handle/ ), get put on the side of the bus, about 12 feet apart, the poles have a screw on the top, that goes through the grommets on the tarp, the ropes tie the corners of the tarps securely to the bus, then the outer two poles and guy ropes peg out the other corners.

In hot weather it's silver side up, in cooler weather it's brown side up, for camouflage, (it distracts the eye from the yellow and black RV, or at least that's what I tell myself)!  ;)
1993 Gulf Stream Friendship 38' DP, Cummins 8.3 with an Allison 6 spead.


  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 12513
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 01:25:30 PM »
Our last motorhome was a Class C with no awning. We always thought we'd get one "someday" but we never missed not having one, so we never bought one. Hardly ever use the one we have on our Class A. I do wish we had window awnings, tho.
Wendy, Mike, and Gordon
~We can't be lost because we don't care where we're going~
Here's where we are http://map.datastormusers.com/user2.cfm?user=2276
2015 Allegro Ooen Road
1973 Sunshine Yellow VW Bug

Larry N.

  • ---
  • Posts: 5204
  • Westminster, CO
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 03:53:10 PM »
We have a nice awning on our Bounder, but it's rarely been used, either because of strong winds or because of sun angle, or because of obstructions (trees, etc.) in the deployment path where we were parked. But on rare occasions it's been nice for an hour or two.
Larry and Mary Ann N.
2016 Newmar Ventana 3709 -ISB6.7 XT 360HP
2015 Wrangler Sahara Unlimited toad
Formerly: Trailmanor 2720SL, Bounder, Beaver
  de N8GGG


  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 5801
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 04:46:29 PM »
It is amazing how infrequently our awning is used.  If parked in such a way that it is impossible to set out without getting sunburned we use it.  Other that that we don't.  I think that you will find many other RVers doing like wise.
George Drake


  • ---
  • Posts: 384
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 05:00:16 PM »
   Actually everything that needs to be said has been said but I'll throw my 2 cents in.  We use the awning quite often on our class A.  I like to spend time outdoors, having a cold one and pretty much watching the grass grow.  In the sun, it provides shade and in the rain it keeps things relatively dry.  I always put it up at night and whenever we leave and am  ever mindful of the wind.  I use a small Smokey Joe bar-b-que as a fire pit and have a small fire just on the outside edge while I sit under the awning.  Quite cozy! 
1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit     2008 Ford Focus
P-30 / 454 Chevy w/ Stan's Headers, ceramic plug wires, cold air intake and K-N Air cleaner
Home Port Whidbey Island Washington
U.S. Navy 1970 - 1990
"Truth is the hardest thing you'll find, because you can't change it in the slightest way. " J. Paycheck


  • ---
  • Posts: 1557
  • Jim
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 05:03:04 PM »
When our awning was damaged (beyond use) this past summer.... we felt "naked"... I went down to Walmart in Bristol and bought one of the First up portable shelters.  Awesome shelter, easy to put up, provides shade and rain shelter.  Will always have it in the storage compartment now.
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX


  • Guest
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 07:21:44 PM »
We replaced the awning on this one when we bought it and the 2 over the slidouts.

I rarely use the front awning as its generally to windy when I stop.  I did manage to use it when I was working on the rental but that was about it.  Seems like everywhere I go the wind is blowing to hard.


  • ---
  • Posts: 347
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 11:29:57 PM »
A trailer that I had I "customized" the awning (because a tree jumped out in front of me)  Wife picked up from Costco something called "exz-up" or something like that.  The cheap alum frame with a canvas cover type .  I was surprised it worked out OK because we could move it to lets say over the picnic table or where we wanted it.  We went about 1 season without one.  Used spring bars for weight at one end and lawn chairs at other end with bungee cords tied to the corner supports worked out fine in the wind.
Also come in handy for other things like family reunion, or cover at beach for baby grandkids etc...  I think it was about $100. several years ago.  I still don't think we got our money use out of it when I tossed it out due to a bracket got bent and never worked the same after that.
2004 Class C
35ft 5th wheel
33ft trailer
Washington State mostly


  • ---
  • Posts: 279
Re: what do folks with no awning use
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2011, 08:49:46 AM »
I love the awning out but learned we could live just fine with it rolled up on our trip to Utah.  Some places just weren't awning friendly, some locations had too much wind and for just the overnights, we didn't bother with it.  I think we had it out at 2 places for a total of 5 nights on a month long trip!  Of course we weren't sitting around the camp all day on this trip but when camping locally, we do spend quite a bit of time hanging out around camp and that's when the awning is really nice.

It keeps the dew off of chairs & stuff so you aren't sitting in a wet chair with the first cup of coffee and poking last night's fire to find that one last ember to light a morning fire.  It also provides shade so the beer cooler doesn't need as much ice.  Both very important, IMO.   ;)  My sis has one of the Wallyworld tent/awning things that she puts up over the picnic table and it seems to be well made and has survived some strong winds.  I think some of those are made so you can attach sidewall screens to them.

I think it depends on how you camp.  If you're at one location for several days/nights then an awning or shelter of some sort is really nice to have especially if someone is hanging out at camp during the day.  I hope you can figure out something that works for you! 
"Traveling" with 1 DH and 2 boxers
2011 Georgetown 280DS