The 7 Best Sprinter Van Awnings

After a few summers on the road, some with an awning for a sprinter van, and some without, I can tell you that an awning will drastically change your van life experience.

A sprinter van awning is a great way to extend your “living space”, and it also provides a great deal of shade, which means your van won’t get nearly as warm. Awnings come in various sizes, materials, and attachment types, and can be easily installed onto the side of a van.

In this article, I’ll cover the 7 best van awnings available on the market, as well as what to consider when deciding which one is best for you!

Types of Sprinter Awnings

There are several types of awnings for sprinter vans, each with its unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types:

Roof-Mounted Van Awnings

Roof-mounted awnings are attached to the roof of the van and can be easily deployed to provide shade and cover. They are typically made of lightweight materials and are ideal for those who want to maximize their roof space. Keep in mind that you’ll need to consider any additional roof-mounted items, like solar panels and your vent fans.

Roof mounted sprinter van awning on SUV


✅ Easy to use
✅ Easy to store
✅ Maximizes roof space
✅ Easy to install


❌ Requires a roof rack
❌ Requires special mounting hardware
❌ Expensive

Side-Mounted Van Awnings

Side-mounted awnings are attached to the side of the van and extend outwards to provide shade and protection from the sun and rain. They’re typically bolted through the sheet metal of your van. Once installed, they are easy to set up and are great for those who want a quick and easy solution.

side mounted Sprinter Van Awnings on RV


✅ Easy to use
✅ Easy to store
✅ Maximizes roof space


❌ More difficult installation
❌ Expensive

Retractable Sprinter Van Awnings

Retractable awnings can be easily opened and closed, allowing you to adjust the amount of shade you want. They are usually made of durable, waterproof materials and come in various sizes. Retractable awnings come in various sizes and can be motorized or manually operated. These types of awnings for sprinter vans can be roof-mounted or side-mounted.

retractable Sprinter Awning


✅ Easy to set up and take down
✅ Some are electric and can be deployed with the touch of a button


❌ Can be damaged by sudden wind
❌ Expensive

Pop-up Awnings For Campervans

Pop-up awnings are portable and can be easily set up and taken down. They are typically made of lightweight materials and are ideal for those who want a portable solution that they can take with them on their outdoor adventures.

While portable van awnings can take more time to set up, they can often be set up in various ways, or even standalone, which gives them greater versatility.

pop-up awning for sprinter van


✅ Inexpensive
✅ Easy to store


❌ More difficult to set up
❌ Must be stored inside van

Overall, the type of awning you choose will depend on your specific needs, budget and preferences. Consider the size of your van, the activities you plan on doing, and the weather conditions in your area before selecting an awning for your sprinter van.

The 7 Best Van Awnings

ARB 2500

Operation: Manual
Mounting: Roof rack
Coverage: 8’ 2” x 8’ 2” (66.75 square feet)
Fits: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ford Transit Connect, Ram ProMaster, SUVs, Minivans
Available Add-ons: Wall panels
Price: $-$$

Sprinter Van Awning ARB 2500

The ARB 2500 awning is a popular choice for sprinter van owners who are looking for a durable and high-quality awning. 

One of the key features of the ARB 2500 awning is its strong and durable construction. It is made from high-quality materials, including anodized aluminum poles, UV-protected PVC fabric, and waterproof material. This ensures that the awning is able to withstand harsh weather conditions and regular use. Best of all, it is easy to install!

The ARB 2500 van awning is available in different exterior case options. The most cost effective, but least durable, is the heavy duty nylon reinforced pvc bag. If you’re looking for more durability try the upgraded aluminum case, available in white or black

Another popular feature of the ARB 2500 awning is its easy and quick set-up. The awning can be set up in minutes, and it comes with pegs, and guy ropes. However, mounting brackets must be purchased separately.

In terms of size, the ARB 2500 awning is 8.2 feet in length and extends out to 8.2 feet, providing a large and comfortable space for your outdoor activities. It also comes with adjustable telescoping poles, allowing you to customize the awning’s height to suit your needs. This is particularly handy for pitching the awning to prevent rainwater from pooling during a storm.

High-quality materials are used for the ARB 2500 awning, including waterproof ripstop fabric that provides a UVP of over 50.

My favorite feature is the LED lightbar that is included, and can be rolled up with the awning when stored. The lightbar plugs into a 12v cigarette lighter and runs off your vans battery power.

An optional wind break side wall can be purchased.


✅ Easy to install
✅ Easy manual setup
✅ High quality design and materials
✅ Telescoping poles allow for height adjustments
✅ Light bar included
✅ Waterproof 
✅ UVP 50+ rating


❌ Mounting brackets sold separately
❌ No power option

Fiamma F80S

Operation: Manual crank 
Mounting: Roof (try Fiamma F45S if you’re looking to wall mount your awning)
Coverage: Extends 8’2” with length options of 10’ 6”, 12’ 2” and 13’1”
Fits: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster
Available Add-ons: Screened rooms, sun blockers, privacy blockers, rain guard
Price: $$$

best fiamma Sprinter Van Awning

The Fiamma F80S is another great choice for van owners who are looking for a quality and durable awning. They’re a top manufacturer in the sprinter awning space and have been around since 1945.

Fiamma awnings are extremely high quality, and that also lands them on the higher end of the price range.

Similar to the ARB, the Fiamma F80S uses legs for support. It’s available in 10’ 6”, 12’ 2” and 13’1” lengths – all of which extend 8’2”.

The Fiamma F80S is available in Polar White, Titanium and Deep Black case colors. It uses a manual hand crank which makes setting it up easy and quick. 

The Fiamma F80S model attaches to the roof but a wall mount option is available with Fiamma F45S.

With plenty of available add-ons, like screen and privacy walls, the Fiamma van awning system is extremely versatile.


✅ Well-known high-quality manufacturer
✅ UV Resistant
✅ Waterproof


❌ Mounting brackets not included
❌ Expensive

Fiamma F65 Eagle

Operation: Power
Mounting: Roof 
Coverage: Extends 8’2” with length options of 10′ 6″, 12′ 2″, 13′ 2″ and 13′ 9″
Fits: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster
Available Add-ons: Screened rooms, sun blockers, privacy blockers, rain guard
Price: $$$

Best Sprinter Awning

Fiamma F65 Eagle comes with all the bells and whistles! Similar to the Fiamma F80S, the F65 Eagle also extends 8’ 2” and has similar length and color options. 

The primary difference is that the F65 Eagle is a powered awning and even includes a wind sensor which automatically retracts the awning to prevent damage.

Fiamma awnings come with plenty of additional add-ons, including screens and privacy walls. My personal favorite is the rain guard which covers the gap between your van and the awning so raindrops don’t drip down your back!


✅ Well-known high-quality manufacturer
✅ UV Resistant
✅ Waterproof
✅ Self-supported, no legs
✅ Automatically close in wind
✅ Powered setup


❌ Expensive

Thule Hideaway Awning

Operation: Manual hand crank
Mounting: Rack, roof or wall (based on model)
Coverage: Extends 6’ 5” or 8’ (based on model) and length options 8’ 6”, 10”, 10’ 8” or 12’ 4” (based on model)
Fits: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster, SUV’s, Minivans
Available Add-ons: Rain blocker, sun blocker, awning tent
Price: $$$

Thule awning for van

Thule is a Swedish brand, established in 1942 and has earned a spot as a highly respected brand in the van and campervan awning space.

The Thule Hideaway awning line comes in a variety of options. Models for roof, roof rack or wall mounting are available as well as a variety of lengths and extensions.

Extensions come in 6’ 5” and 8’ based on model.

Lengths come in 8’ 6”, 10”, 10’ 8” or 12’ 4”, also based on model.

The versatility doesn’t stop there! Thule Hideaway legs can be set up on the ground or against the sidewall of the van (with added wall brackets). Be sure to triple check the length of the poles before purchasing to ensure they’ll work with your setup – especially if you have a high-roof van.


✅ Easy one-person setup
✅ Telescoping legs
✅ Easy to install
✅ Wind resistant design
✅ Less expensive than Fiamma
✅ Lighter weight than Fiamma


❌ Mounting bracket sold separately
❌ Water repellent but not completely resistant
❌ Expensive
❌ Manual setup


Operation: Manual 
Mounting: Roof, Wall
Coverage: 9 ft x 7 ft (63 square feet)
Fits: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ford Transit Connect, Ram ProMaster, SUV’s, Minivans
Available Add-ons: Walls
Price: $

MoonShade Sprinter Van Awning

MoonShade is quickly becoming a fan favorite in the van community. There’s a lot of versatility in these portable awnings!

This is the awning I have on my van and I love it. I can’t believe I spent a full year without an awning and wish I’d gotten it sooner.

MoonShade has graciously given me a coupon code so you can get $30 off your purchase!

To get $30 off your order just click the link above, or use code EVERYWHEREWITHCLAIRE at checkout

MoonShade awning for van life

When compared to installed alternatives which weigh 50+ pounds, the MoonShade is a super lightweight option at only 8 lbs. Even better, it packs down to the size of a yoga mat for easy storage! Namaste.

Additionally, MoonShade has a unique reflective coating on the underside of the shade that bounces back light for better visibility at night.

Best awning for van is MoonShade

Because it’s not permanently installed it’s a bit more work to set up and tear down each time you use it. Alternatively, it’s portable, so it can be set up anywhere- not just adjacent to your van- which greatly expands the possibilities for how you can use this neat awning!


✅ Portable
✅ Light weight
✅ Affordable
✅ Variety of anchoring systems for versatility
✅ Durable construction with 420D ripstop polyester
✅ UV Protection
✅ Includes suction cup anchors, stakes, and guy lines


❌ Can’t be permanently installed, must be set up and taken down with each use

Dragon Fly Tarp Haku Awning

Operation: Manual
Mounting: Rack, roof
Coverage: 18’ x 10’ (140-160 square feet)
Fits: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster
Available Add-ons: Wall panels
Price: $$

Sprinter Van Awning

Dragon Fly Tarp’s Haku awning is an excellent option if you’re looking for versatility and don’t want to DIY your van awning.

The hexagon tarp shape lets you adjust the tarp depending on sun angle or rainshed. It’s lightweight, weighing less than 15 pounds, and can be set up in under 5 minutes.

If you’re open to a little DIY, you could accomplish something similar for a fraction of the price with a tarp and some adjustable telescoping tent poles.


✅ Highly adjustable
✅ Lightweight
✅ Constructed with quality 300D polyester ripstop


❌ Must be set up each time
❌ Expensive for a portable awning

OVS Nomadic 180 Batwing

Operation: Manual
Mounting: Roof rack
Coverage: 88 sf
Fits: Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, Ram ProMaster
Available Add-ons: 
Price: $$

180 Sprinter Van Awning

The Overland Vehicle System Nomadic Awning 180 is one of the best batwing awnings on the market. It covers 88 square feet of space and is easily deployed by one person in under 5 minutes.

When it’s not deployed, the nomadic 180 awning is neatly contained in a 1000g PVC cover. It is self-standing, but comes with two telescoping legs to help with stability in adverse weather conditions.


✅ Waterproof
✅ Durable construction with 420D poly cotton ripstop fabric
✅ Can be set up by one person
✅ Self supporting, no legs required
✅ UV protection


❌ Manual setup

Benefits of Having an Awning on Your Sprinter Van

Having an awning on your sprinter van offers several benefits! The primary benefit is having more shade on your van in the summer, which significantly cuts down on the heat.

Here are a few other benefits:

Protection from the Elements

One of the primary benefits of having an awning on your sprinter van is protection from the sun, rain, and wind.

Awnings provide a shaded area for you to relax and enjoy the outdoors, even in harsh weather conditions. Having your awning out can also drastically limit the sun on your van which will keep the interior temperature cooler.

Personally, the difference in my van during the heat of the summer when my awning is up, or not up, is significant. I find myself putting up the awning on hot days just for the relief inside the van.

Additional Living Space

Awnings add an extra living space to your van, providing you with more room to cook, eat, and relax outside. Literally, an awning can double your space!

This is especially useful if you’re traveling with a group or family and need additional space.

I have found this to be most beneficial for working remotely – a shaded spot to work means I’m not stuck inside of the van and I don’t have to worry about sun glare preventing me from seeing my laptop screen.


If you’re camping or parked in a public area, an awning can provide privacy and seclusion from passersby.

Some sprinter van awnings come with removable walls, which help with both privacy and protection from wind and rain. For example, MoonShade offers awning walls so you can keep big secrets under your awning!


Awnings are versatile and can be used for various activities, such as working remotely, cooking, playing board games, exercising, etc. 

Increased Resale Value

Having an awning installed on your sprinter van can increase its resale value, as it adds an extra feature and enhances the van’s overall functionality and versatility.

What To Consider Before Choosing a Sprinter Van Awning

When choosing the right awning for your sprinter van, there are several factors you should consider, like how big it is, how it’ll attach to your vehicle, what materials you want and your budget.


Awnings for vans come in different length and widths. If you have a shorter van (like a 144 wheelbase Sprinter) you want to pay attention to the length of the awning so that it doesn’t end up being longer than the roof of your van.

Awnings also come in different extensions – or how far away from your van they extend, and how much area they’ll cover. You may not need a super extendable awning if you’re simply looking to get something to throw a little bit of shade to sit under.

Keep in mind that the farther the awning extends away from the van, the more likely it is that you’ll incur damage from wind or hail.


The material of the awning should be durable, waterproof, and able to withstand harsh weather conditions. Polyester or vinyl fabrics are common materials used for awnings.

A van awning made from poor materials won’t hold up well to wind or hail. The last thing you want is an awning that won’t retract because a surprise gust of wind broke it.

Pay attention to the material of the awning fabric, and also to the support structure. Fabric that has waterproof and mold resistant qualities is ideal. It’s also possible to find fabrics that have SPF characteristics to help prevent skin damage from the sun.

When it comes to evaluating the metal structure, you want to prioritize materials that are strong and durable, while also being lightweight.


Choose the type of awning that best suits your needs and preferences. Consider factors such as ease of use, portability, and the amount of shade or privacy provided.

If you’re flying solo, like me, then you’ll want to consider options that can be set up without requiring a second person.


Consider the installation process and the tools required. Some van awnings may require professional installation, but most can be installed by you (maybe with the help of YouTube university – my favorite DIY educational space).

Sprinter van awnings that install on the roof rack are the easiest to install and don’t require drilling through your van. They’ll also give you the most versatility to change things out down the line, if needed.


The cost of the awning is an essential factor to consider. Awnings can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the type, material, and size.

If you’re looking for an easy install, and lower cost option then consider the MoonShade awning. Don’t forget to use code CLAIRE50 at checkout to save $30!

Brand and Warranty

Research different brands and read reviews before making a purchase. Look for brands with a good reputation (like Fiamma or Thule) and a warranty to ensure that you are getting a high-quality product.

Tips for Installing a Sprinter Van Awning

Depending on which type of mount you’ve selected for your awning, you’ll have varying degrees of ease when installing your sprinter van awning.

A roof mounted awning is the simplest awning to permanently install. If you’re looking for something super easy – the MoonShade is the simplest to install.

If you’ve opted for a side-mount awning make sure you have a flat, level surface to mount against. Most vans have a slight curve on their side wall, so you may need to be extra diligent in finding the perfect flat surface for your van awning.

Maintaining Your Sprinter Van Awning

Maintaining your sprinter van awning is essential to ensure that it operates smoothly and lasts for a long time. Here are some tips to help you maintain your awning:

Clean the awning regularly

Dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate on the awning and cause damage over time. Clean the awning regularly using a soft brush or sponge, mild soap, and water.
This step is especially important if you have a retractable awning, as debris can get rolled up with the awning and damage the gears and mechanical operation.

Keep it dry

After cleaning the awning, allow it to dry completely before retracting it. Moisture can cause mold, mildew, and damage to the fabric.

Lubricate moving parts

If your awning has moving parts, such as the arms or hinges, lubricate them with a silicone-based lubricant to ensure smooth operation.

Check for damage

Inspect your awning regularly for signs of damage, such as tears, holes, or bent parts.

If you notice any damage, address it immediately to prevent further damage and ensure the awning operates safely.

Even if this means duct tape until you can get something more permanent – it’s better than doing nothing.

Store the awning properly

When not in use, retract the awning and store it properly in a protective cover or storage bag. This will protect it from the elements and prevent damage during transportation.

Final Thoughts On Sprinter Van Awnings

Installing an awning on your sprinter van can provide numerous benefits, such as additional shade and privacy, making outdoor activities more enjoyable. There are different types of awnings available, each with its own unique features and benefits. 

When choosing an awning, it’s important to consider factors such as size, material, type, installation, budget, and brand. 

Installing an awning can be a bit challenging, but by following the instructions carefully, it can be done in a few simple steps.

Maintaining your awning is also essential to ensure it lasts for a long time, and regular cleaning, lubrication, and inspection can help keep it in good condition. 

Overall, a van awning can greatly enhance your outdoor experience with your sprinter van!

Benefits Of Traveling Alone

Written by Claire Fleming

I’m a travel enthusiast who spends half the year in my self-built camper van with my dog, Oscar, and the other half at my home in Raleigh, North Carolina or on international adventures.

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