RVs are large, spacious vehicles that will give you comfort as you go on your outdoor adventure. However, no matter how large, there will be times that the living space in your motorhome is simply not enough. To attend to this need, RV screen rooms have been made.
An RV screen room is an extension of your vehicle. It attaches to the built-in awning or porch and extends onto the ground to give you a sense of privacy and protect you from the elements. Some models even come with doors and windows to give you a complete indoor-feel for your expanded space.
- Installation: You can either drill the RV awning tent for a more secure installation or use fasteners to leave no marks in your vehicle. Some models in this list attach to the awning to make a quicker setup for pop up camper. If you have no idea how to install a screen room, ask a professional to do it.
- Material: RV screen rooms are typically made of lightweight materials like vinyl to make them easy to take down and store. For heavy-duty protection, choose a hard top screen room for RV. Many of the screen rooms below are built with a mesh to let the air in a while blocking bugs from outside.
- Extra Features: Most RV tent attachment models use zippers for the entryway. Since you’ll be using the zippers constantly, make sure that they’re heavy-duty. For ground protection, some RV rooms offer a waterproof floor.
If you are excited to enlarge your RV, this is the way to go! There are many makes and models available in the market but if you read below, we will review 7 top-rated products so you can buy the best RV screen room out there.
|Lippert Solera Room
|Carefree RV Room
Table of Contents
Most Trusted RV Screen Room Reviews
1. Carefree 291800 RV Screen Room
If you’re looking for an easy-to-install and maintain RV awning enclosure, then the Vacation’r Screen Room is for you! This will fit most awnings from 18 up to 19 feet. You do not need to drill holes in your motorhome or go to a dealer to have this installed.
When I first got this, the instructions that came in the box were a bit confusing. Good thing that I checked online and saw a couple of videos explaining how it is done. After watching that, the installation was a breeze!
One more thing that I appreciate about this is that I do not need to fully disassemble the product when I’m stowing it. The zipper inserts that are at the awning can remain in their place even when I retract it, meaning subsequent setups are way faster and more convenient.
And though the entire room is lightweight and easy to carry, I find that the material they used to make it is very strong. Every time that I set up and disassemble this room, I do not fear that it will tear.
What I love most about this screen room is that they include panels that you could easily connect for privacy and to keep the rain out. I also have the option to choose what position to place them at – fully-open, half-opened, fully-closed, or a quarter-open; I can set them just right so that I can ventilate my RV extension perfectly. Oh, I just wish they placed it inside though.
2. Lippert Components Solera Family Room
The Solera Family Room made by Lippert Components is a good RV screen porch. It will give you up to 160 square feet of space to your RV by installing it under the awning. It works with both manual and powered devices and can accommodate awnings up to 130 inches high.
You will not have any color choices when you order this product, but the standard gray color suits most RVs. When it arrives, you will notice that the package is not as heavy as you would expect.
Now, what I like best about this RV awning room are the huge windows. It lets the breeze in and provides good lighting. You can enjoy yourself and feel nature outside of your motorhome without bugs and mosquitoes bothering you.
The included privacy panels are easy to use – they are inside so you do not need to go out and set them. This is most convenient when it rains: no more getting wet just to secure your awning room.
3. Carefree RV Awning Room
The Buena Vista+ Screened Room for RVs is a good option if you want something for use in most weather environments. It takes less than 15 minutes to set up once installed and doesn’t even require drilling on to your RV.
Aside from the included instructions, Carefree made a detailed video on setting this up the first time. Both the written directions and the video demo are clear, so much so that even first-time owners will not have a hard time putting it up.
The most interesting feature of this product is the dual-window panels. It has clear exterior panels to protect you from inclement weather without blocking the view and interior blacked-out interior panels for privacy.
I also like that you have the option to place the door where you want. If properly installed, the room will give you full protection, not just from rain and snow, but also from bugs. The included Velcro corner panels will secure the room completely.
Several innovations of this room are the Velcro straps that secure it to the RV side and the support rafters that keep the room tensioned for a taut fit. These ingenious solutions keep the room tightly sealed and help retain its rigidity.
4. Shade Pro Villa Room Enclosure
The Villa Room Enclosure is one of the top-rated fitting RV screen room enclosures out there – this is because Shade Pro customizes their product precisely to fit your RV. If you order from them, they will ask you the measurement size of your RV awning so that you are guaranteed a well-fitted one.
Installing this does require drilling a couple of holes on the side of your vehicle to secure those brackets that will hold it in place. Otherwise, you could order the optional snapless side panels to avoid putting holes in your motorhome. The installation of the room takes around 30 to 45 minutes the first few times. Hence, assistance from another person is recommended, but once you understand the process, you can do it alone in half an hour or less.
Like some of the more premium RV screen room kits, you could reverse the panels to have the privacy flaps either inside or outside. I would suggest that you keep it outside though, for maximum rain protection. The door is also customizable – you can place it either towards the front or the rear of your vehicle.
What I love about Shade Pro is its customer service. The people who handle their orders are proactive will ensure that you get the right-sized room for your electric awning. They would go as far as to recommend that you call your awning provider to make sure that you will not have any problem installing and using their product.
5. Alvantor Screen House Outdoor Canopy
If you’ve been looking at screen enclosers for RVs and found them to be a bit cumbersome to install, you should consider the Alvantor Screen House Outdoor Canopy. It opens up in seconds, and the smallest version only weighs in at 15 lbs.
This screen house will fit between 4 to 15 people, depending on the model that you choose. But whatever the case, setup always takes less than a minute. All you need to do is to take it out of the bag, and it will automatically open. Once it has deployed, you only need to push the sides open and lift it into place. It is that easy.
The smallest model is 10 x 10 x 7 feet in dimensions – giving ample space for at least 4 adults. It has a fabric top to protect against the sun, but it is not waterproof. Its all-mesh sides will give 360 degrees of ventilation but will not protect against weather. There is also no option to add privacy panels, so it is used more for lounging. But you cannot use it to extend your living or sleeping space.
The room itself will easily fold down, especially in strong winds. But this is designed so that the room will not lift off during those situations and damage itself or other properties. You can secure this tent with the included sandbags, guylines, and mounting stakes. If properly done, the room will stand up to reasonably strong winds.
6. ARB 813108A Awning Room
If you do not have an RV awning but still want to enjoy the great outdoors in comfort, you don’t need to build a DIY RV screen room. Instead, you can opt for the ARB Awning Room. It will attach to the ARB 2500 x 2500 Awning, designed to work with off-road 4×4 vehicles.
Its exterior mesh walls can be rolled-up so you can enjoy nature while under the shade of your awning. When the insects start bothering you, all you need to do is to zip up the panels then you are secured from the outside. In case of rain or when you need some privacy, lowering the exterior walls will make a fully enclosed space just for you.
Additionally, the ARB Awning Room comes with a floor. The part is waterproof so even when it rains; you will not be soaked by flowing water from outside. It comes with 2 guys ropes and 6 pegs, making sure that you can keep it secured to the ground, even in high winds.
The ceiling of the room is separate from the awning – giving you extra insulation from the heat of the sun or the cold weather outside. Besides, for ease of access, the rear wall can be opened so that you no longer need to crawl out to get items from your vehicle.
To keep things organized, there is a mesh pocket inside where you can place personal items. It also has a couple of ports for cable access, perfect for lighting the interior of your room and for charging up your gadgets.
7. Leader Accessories Screen House
If you want a mesh room without having to attach it to your motorhome every time, purchasing the Leader Accessories Mesh Screen Zippered Wall Panels makes excellent sense. It is a set of screen wall panels designed to fit over a 10-ft x 10-ft canopy.
The Mesh Screen will quickly attach to any canopy utilizing Velcro loops. You only need to secure those loops to the canopy legs and trusses; then you are good to go. Furthermore, the top portion of the screen also uses buckles and hooks for a more secure fit over the canopy.
Best of all, it is pretty easy to install and does not require any special tool. It also has zippers on two sides so people can easily access the interior. The doors would open wide like curtains, where you can secure the lower part to the canopy legs for a clean look.
What You Should Know Before Buying An RV Screen Room
Reading RV awning screen room reviews is not enough before making any purchase decision. You should know what exactly you need, where you intend to use them, and what your plans are for your RV.
- Installation Requirements
There are two main kinds of screen rooms when it comes to installation. One is where you are required to drill on the side of your motorhome to install brackets to secure your room onto the side of your motorhome. And another is where you use tension to seal it.
Those that come with brackets are typically sturdier and would offer better protection against rain and insects but at the cost of damaging the bodywork of the RV. There are options out there that do not require any drilling. But if you do not properly set up the system, it tends to be not as secure as the other option.
Some manufacturers have made innovations that anchor the side panels of the room to the RV securely without the need to punch holes into the vehicle body. Still, it tends to be available only on the higher-range models.
Not all screen rooms will fit all awnings, even if their size seems to be correct. For example, a 12-foot awning screen room requires a slightly larger awning. If you do not coordinate with the supplier before buying, you might end up with an unusable room.
Consider also the type of awning that you have. If your awning is a 12V automatic awning, it might not handle the heavier models. You should always consult your awning’s user manual or the manufacturer to ensure that it will support the room you purchase.
Most screen rooms are made from plastic or polyurethane. The mesh for the screens is also created from nylon, which makes it more durable and pliable. Unfortunately, if you are looking for RV aluminum screen rooms, these are no longer available in the market as they are not as suitable for use with motorhomes.
- Suggested Accessories
Most, if not all, of the screen rooms available in the market, only offer zippers for opening and closing the door. It will surely keep insects out, but it is a bother to operate. It does take some time to open and close and requires two hands to operate. If you are carrying something, there is no way that you can enter without assistance.
I would recommend that you buy magnetic door flaps attached to the screen room via Velcro or double-sided tape. With that, you can easily go through the door just by pushing through it. It will automatically close after you, so insects will only have a very limited time to fly through the gap.
Also, consider installing a lamp on your RV side or getting LED strips that you can hang on the RV awning to light up your room. I prefer the LED strips as they provide a more diffused light that is easier on the eyes. They also tend to consume less electricity, which is better for the environment.
Room floors are also a good option, especially if you like to stay over unpaved surfaces. That way, you can enjoy your room like it is an actual interior part of your RV. Polyester would be a good choice as it will resist water and is easy to clean.
- Different Types of RV Screen Rooms for Awnings
There are two main types of the best RV Screen Rooms. The first one is the all-screen mesh panel and the other one where the panels are made of thick materials and come with built-in mesh windows.
The all-screen mesh panel option will give you a good clear view of your surroundings. It also tends to be lighter and easier to install. However, it is also easier to damage because of its mesh material. It does not have any strong panels that surround the material and might easily catch sharp objects.
Also, when the weather suddenly turns bad, you will have to deploy large weather panels that will block your room’s view.
The other option of solid panels with mesh windows does not offer as much of an expansive view as the latter. On the other hand, it is sturdier and will probably last longer. It gives more privacy, and the smaller windows mean that you can easily deploy covers if it rains.
Some models have clear weather panels so that you can still see outside even if it rains. Others even offer you the option of where you want to place the privacy panels and the weather panels – inside or outside.
It all depends on you on which you value more – good views of your surroundings from inside the RV screen room or privacy and weather protection when you are inside and resting from the day’s adventure.
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Screened Rooms for RVs
The main benefit of having a screen room is that you will have extra space that you can enjoy. Even the biggest motorhome can become cramped, especially if you are traveling with kids and pets. You can use the screen room as a sort of porch dining area where you can enjoy eating outdoors without dealing with insects and other critters. You can also use it as extra living and playing space that your kids and pets can safely enjoy without close supervision.
If you have the privacy panels installed, you can even use this room as an extra sleeping or berthing space for your companions – where they can rest comfortably while still enjoying nature.
When you get a screen room, the main drawback is that it does take effort to install – especially if you are new to it. Once you get used to it, it still takes about half an hour or more to set up. Also, the costs involved might hold you back. Aside from the initial purchase cost, you would also have to consider the effort you will have to maintain the room.
- RV Screen Room Alternatives
If you want to have a screen room but do not have an awning or do not wish to install one, there are options. You can get outdoor canopies that will easily be set up near your RV. The main benefit of this room is that it provides a 360-degree view of the outdoors. Depending on the model, they are typically secure and easy to use. If you have this, you can use it even if you do not have a motorhome.
You can also opt to get mesh screens instead if you already have an existing canopy. It is easy to install, requiring no special tools. It is also more economical than purchasing an entirely new canopy room.
The advantage of these alternatives is that if you want to enjoy an open space that your vehicle cannot access, you can still do so like a beach or lakeshore. You will still be protected from mosquitoes and other insects, but these will not protect you from weather and do not have privacy options.
For those who like going to places that RVs cannot access, like trails that require 4×4 offroad vehicles, you could get an awning room that would secure on the roof of your truck or SUV. It is like a travel trailer screen room – you would need to buy an awning specifically designed for your vehicle, and then the awning room will attach to that as an accessory.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do RV screen rooms work?
RV screen rooms grant extra space by the side of your RV by enclosing the area under its awning. Your vehicle must have an awning installed, as this will serve as the roof of the room. You must fully extend it to get the most space from it and make sure that it will not fold in on itself.
Depending on the model, some rooms require additional drilling to secure brackets on your motorhome side for mounting the side panels. Others have snapless side panels that do not need additional bodywork on your vehicle.
To set up all screen rooms, you will hang the top portion of the room on the awning sides regardless of the model. You will then need to secure the lower part with stakes and ropes typically included in the package.
On the RV side, you need to place skirts to shroud the lower part of the motorhome. And a wheel-well cover will then be placed over the wheel, enclosing the room completely.
These are just basic instructions for most rooms – you will still have to consult the manufacturer for specific directions because each model will vary, depending on their features.
Who makes the most trusted RV screen room?
Carefree of Colorado is one of the major manufacturers of screen rooms in the US. They are known for their products, and many people have tried out their different models. However, some say that their offerings are a mixed bag – they have some pretty good options, but some rooms have completely missed the mark.
I would consider the Shade Pro Villa Enclosure for Electric Awnings as one of the most trusted in the market. Although I have not seen their other offerings, the features of this product and the feedback I have seen during my research for my purchase are stellar.
Are RV slideouts worth it?
RV Slideouts are more expensive and complicated alternatives to screen rooms. However, once set up, they are easy to deploy – you get more room just by a button press. What they do is they extend your motorhome by expanding a section. The only problem here is that if it is packed, your motorhome interior space will decrease.
The complicated mechanism of RV slideouts also tends to be problematic in the future. The bumpy nature of traveling on highways and roads could lead to failures in the slideout moving parts. The worst part is if you deploy the room and then it gets stuck. Hence, you will have to find someone who will go out to your location and repair it before you can travel again.
If you are going to install this, make sure that you are also diligent in maintaining this, especially if you are about to embark on a long journey. You do not want to get stuck in a campground, miles away from the nearest service center because of slide out problems.
For me, RV slideouts look nice, but there are a lot of potential problems in the future.
Are slide toppers necessary?
Slide toppers are installed on top of RV slideouts to reduce the risk of getting debris stuck on top of the room, especially when retracting it. While this does help keep the top clean, you would still need to visually inspect the room. If something does happen to slip under the slide topper, you would have a big problem if the room gets jammed.
The slide topper does help a bit with the insulation, so you could consider that. It is a mighty helpful accessory for your slide out, but definitely not necessary.
How do you set up and use your RV screen room?
Setting up RV screen rooms vary from maker to maker, but it has one general concept – you open your awning, you have the panels on it. Then, you secure the panels together, and the side panels to the wall of your RV.
If you are going to install the room for the first time, it is a good idea to search the internet and watch videos of people putting it on their RV. That way, you will know what problems they encountered and what you should be prepared for. You would also know what tools you need and if you would require assistance from somebody else.
Make sure that you read through the instructions and have prepared the room before embarking on the installation so that you would know what you are doing.
How do you clean and care for your RV screen room?
To keep your RV screen room clean, you only need to wash it down with clean and fresh water every season. If you have to pack it up while still wet, make sure that you set it out to dry as soon as possible to prevent mildew from spoiling your tent.
Avoid placing sharp objects near it, especially for mesh screen rooms – while they do stand up to some abuse, you would not want to risk damaging it, especially when your are outside.
When camping outside, do not make campfires inside or near the screen room. The heat and smoke might damage it, and if you are too close, you might inadvertently set it on fire.
If you are packing up the room, make sure that you fold it nicely – do not crumple it and place it in a bag. That way, you will extend its service life and prevent accidental damage on the panel surfaces.
How are RV screen rooms measured?
You can determine the dimensions of the RV screen room depending on your existing awning.
First, measure the length from the left arm’s center to the right arm’s center or vice versa. The length usually doesn’t go more than 21 feet.
Next, get the height or the drop for the screen room on both sides. Measure this from the awning arm to the ground. If you get 15 feet on one side and 16 on the other, choose the higher number.
Now that you have the length and height dimensions, match the screen room to that.
Is it better to leave RV screen room in or out?
When the sun is scorching hot, it’s better to leave the RV outdoor room out for shade. You can also extend a room to add extra space for additional guests during special occasions. Sometimes, the night can also be filled with bugs and insects, so it’s best to keep the screen room out.
If you intend to use the RV screen room during rain, make sure that the roof isn’t level to let the water roll down easily. Don’t forget to put anchors and straps on the ground to keep the room steady. But when there’s an impending storm or high winds coming, it’s better to leave the screen room in for safety.
How do you keep bugs out of my screen room?
A natural way to keep the bugs out on your RV awning bug screen is to apply citronella oil all over it. Citronella has a strong scent that helps mask the scents loved by insects. Simply, add a bit of water to the citronella in a bottle, then spray or dampen it in a rag for application.
Make sure that you seal all open parts, especially the doors and gaps near the ground. Also, look for any standing water near your RV. Most of the time, mosquitoes and other insects use the standing water as a breeding ground.
How to make a RV screen room?
Making an extra RV room outside makes RVing more enjoyable. Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own RV awning room.
First, determine the desired size of your RV screen room. Next, cut some pipes to make the frame. Add poles in the corner for support.
Finally, fit a piece of fabric for the sides and top all over the frame. Use clampers or hooks to secure the fabric. If you like some ground protection, add a room with a floor.
Can you add a screen to the RV awning?
Yes, you can add screen to the RV awning, especially if you have a small travel trailer like the Jayco Jay Flight. It’s simpler to make a camper awning with screen room than to install a freestanding one. Simply, attach the screen room panels to your existing awning and anchor the ends to the ground.
You must get the top-tier RV awning screen for your purposes to enjoy the great outdoors. Consider several factors such as your awning type, your vehicle size, how many people do you expect to use the room with you, and what locations you usually visit. You must also know what you desire – do you want privacy or value clean, unobstructed views?
I have talked about the most popular RV awning screen brands here and some alternatives to help you make a good investment decision. You can take note of the pros and cons of each item and see which one will fit your requirement best.
Lastly, we have examined the most important things you should know about buying the best RV screen room. Armed with knowledge, you can now confidently make that purchase decision to expand your RV’s usable space.
Okay, so I’m Philip Lopez. I join Riverside Trailer as an editor, where I will be doing research for both content and reviews. I contribute to studies aimed at understanding the most typical problems encountered by RVers on the road. I also keep up with the newest RVing gadget innovations so that I can promptly evaluate and recommend the best options.