About Travel Trailer

How to Make a Cheap Canopy For Trailer RV

Canopy For Trailer RV
Written by Mira

Once you’re an RV owner, you’ll always be an RV owner. Joke aside, people owning RVs know that it’s impossible to stop making efforts to increase your comfort when you’re driving or camping with your RV.

Why use a canopy for your trailer RV?

When you’re traveling with your RV, it’s essential to address all sorts of issues so that you can get the comfort you have in your home. From installing a tankless water heater for endless hot water to creating some shade with a canopy, there are so many things to do for the best comfort in your RV.

Canopies are high for RV because you can take them apart when not in use. They’re highly portable and let you turn any camping experience into a fun experience.

Apart from that, canopies can also give some shade, reducing the temperatures inside your RV. When placed near the windows of your RV, the canopy can minimize the sun damage on the flooring, furniture you have in the RV.

Canopies can be free-standing, or you can have them installed on your RV, taking them apart when you’re ready to move.

What materials are typically used for canopies?

The size of your wallet definitely has a say on the material you choose for your canopy. However, it’s better that you check the most common materials before making the measurements and placing your order:


It’s the most popular material for instant canopies since it’s long-lasting and water-resistant. However, you should check the denier of the fabric. The thicker the content, the more durable and more robust it is going to be.

There’s a difference between water resistance and waterproofness, so remember the note when buying. Water-Resistant material will take water only for some time, but water will seep in after some time.

Even if polyester does offer UV protection, it has its limitations.

   2. Vinyl

Vinyl canopy top is actually a polyester fabric that presents vinyl coating. The coating gives the material UV resistance, waterproofness, and even resistance to fire. The main downside is that it’s heavyweight, which is why it may not be the best choice for your RV.

   3. Polyethylene

It’s probably the most appropriate option for semi-permanent structures and carports. It presents UV resistance and it’s treated for waterproofness. You can use it for frames that are put and left up, as it may wear out fast when taken up/down on a regular basis.

How to make a canopy for your trailer RV?

It’s going to cost you $100-$125 to make this canopy for your RV. You can buy EMT pipes for the structures online or from hardware stores.

Use 3/4in in diameter pipes and 1/2in pipes to put inside the EMT pipes. Having telescoping pipes is excellent for an RV as you can customize the length according to the places you go to.

You need to drill a hole in the 3/4in pipes which are the bottom, and three holes in the top pipe (the 1/2in pipe). Use cutter pins and put them throughout the three holes to hold them in.

In order to provide stability to the bottom pipes, you can use square-shaped plates that fit the ducts. You don’t need to use any screws, just push the tubes into the plates. Don’t forget to protect the pipes and plates with some paint so that they don’t rust any time soon.

Look for three-way tent corner brackets and screw them in the 1/2in pipes.

What kind of material works best?

We suggest using an outdoor waterproof canvas. Make all the measurements, adding a couple of inches. You want to have a flap over the main pipe. You can ask someone professional to sew it or ask a friend (if you’re lucky that way!).

Side note: Here’s what to look for when selecting the material for your canopy:

  • 600×600 denier, 100% polyester is a solid choice for canopy. It should have waterproof features such as plastic PVC backing with waterproof coating for better resilience and durability.
  • The fabric has to present UV and mold resistance
  • The thickness has to be 2in or so. Don’t forget to make all the measurements you need
  • You want the material to be sturdy, yet flexible so that it handles the constant folding without losing its properties.
  • The canvas should resist creasing, without sacrificing other abilities
  • It has to provide comfortable handling on the sewing machine
  • It’s versatile and dependable for other projects
  • You can go with any color you like. However, be aware that some colors (khaki, beige, and ivory) will take fading a lot better than bright colors.
  • Clean and wash the fabric according to the instruction so that you don’t compromise any of its properties.

The material has to have some sort of a pocket so that you can feed the main pipe through it and into the corner pocket for holding it in. No need for anything else, since the pressure will maintain the fabric in place.

You also need something to feed the material through the channel. Coax cable is a reliable option, and you may use it for feeding through your canopy channel. The fabric has to be sewn to it.

It’s going to take two people to put it together, no matter how great you are at handling things.

On a windy day, it’s better that you take the canopy down to avoid any accidents. You can always take it down and store it before you leave. Buy a piece of PVC pipe and attach it to your RV’s bumper. Put the pipes inside the PVC pipe until the next time. You simply fold the canopy material and store it in a safe place in your RV.

The conclusion

Even if bright colors don’t handle the sun very well, you can be as creative as you want. The light-colored tops are the most common option since they don’t absorb heat, providing you fresh air underneath. The downside for light colors is that they show most stains and dirt, unlike the dark-colored canopies. On the other hand, dark colors will make you feel even hot, so you need to give it a good thought before placing your order.