During our campervan build, we always envisioned incorporating an awning. As the build went on, an awning got pushed further and further on the back burner. When it was time to hit the road, the awning we had our eye on had no stock. We ended up starting our journey figuring we could get by without one. We went 6 months at many campsites cooking in the sun cursing the fact that we didn’t have shade. Cue us meeting the guys of MoonShade in the Joshua Tree desert. We were so impressed with this company and their passion for the vanlife and overlanding community. We tried out a MoonShade and it is now a part of our Campervan Gear that we couldn’t live without! Read on to find out why. This post contains affiliate links, we earn at no extra cost to you, all opinions are our own.
Why We Love Our MoonShade for a Campervan Awning
At $325, MoonShade is one of the more budget friendly options for awnings on the market. Use our code ROADSHOW to get $30 off, bringing your cost down to $295. Thule, RhinoRack, and Fiamma awnings can cost you upwards of $500-$1500!
Ease of Install/Setup
Since we added our MoonShade to our gear while we were on the road, minimal install was a huge pro. Our MoonShade easily integrates into our existing roof rack and attaches using gear ties. If you don’t have a roof rack, that’s not a problem, there are several anchor options with the most extensive install being adding an adhesive mounting point. The ease of setup of the awning is another reason we love our MoonShade. It takes us less than five minutes to deploy and is no more difficult than a traditional tent.
Our MoonShade is not permanently mounted to our vehicle making it incredibly versatile. We are able to mount it on both sides of our vehicle and even off the back of our vehicle. A traditional awning will only allow you to have shade on one side of your vehicle. We have also used it as a privacy shield when showering outdoors, the possibilities are endless! We can also easily use it on any other vehicle and will be able to take it with us should we ever decide to get another rig. MoonShade provides a variety of different anchor solutions including magnets, suction cups, adhesive, gear ties, and specific anchors for Sprinter and Airstream BaseCamp. We mount ours but sliding the eyelets of the MoonShade into our roof rack and securing them using gear ties.
Performance in the Wind and Rain
No awning will be perfect in the wind and rain. An awning is basically a wind sail so it’s always a good idea to bring your awning in when winds will be high. That being said, we have been incredibly impressed with our MoonShades performance during inclement weather. We spent a day in Sedona with winds up to 40 MPH, we didn’t want to take our shade down because it was warm and sunny so we decided to test the limits of the shade. With the wind gusts throughout the day, our awning didn’t blink an eye. MoonShade is unique in that it has a tent like structure so it doesn’t flap in the wind. Using the guylines properly gives the MoonShade more stability in the wind than a traditional awning. MoonShade’s tent like structure is also beneficial in the rain as it allows rain to fall off the shade rather than pool. If you choose magnets as your mounting points, you will notice decreased performance in heavy wind as the magnets can be ripped off the roof of your van. For day to day use in normal conditions however, the magnets work great.
An awning on the side of your van is a dead giveaway that you are using your van as a recreational vehicle. Moonshade Awnings are not permanently mounted on your vehicle making them easily the most stealth awning option.
Things We Don’t Love About Our MoonShade Campervan Awning
Must Be Stored
Having a low roof van means space is at a premium. One down side of the MoonShade is that because it’s not permanently mounted, we have to store it in our van. That being said, it packs down to 28 in x 6 in and only weighs eight pounds making it compact enough for us to justify.
Flimsy Tent Stakes
We have been impressed by the construction of the MoonShade itself however the tent stakes that came with the awning were not very durable. This was easily remedied by purchasing other tent stakes on Amazon.
How to Purchase Your MoonShade Awning
You can purchase your MoonShade Campervan Awning here. Be sure to use our code ROADSHOW for $30 off!
Overall we have been very happy with our Moonshade and consider it part of our essential gear. For more Vanlife Essentials check out this post. Now get out there and Create Your Own Roadshow!