Pros and cons to adding a screen room to your RV


Screen Rooms for RVs

screen room for an RV

Having a screen room (add-a-room) added to the side of an RV can have some huge advantages but there are definitely negatives as well.  First let’s talk about the advantages to having a screen room. They are sometimes called awning rooms or extend a room.  Whatever they are called I want one!

The obvious advantages to having a screen room are:

  1. Keeps the bugs out – those pesky little bugs that make you uncomfortable when sitting around outside can’t get in.
  2. Extra living space – spending on the size of the screen room it’s possible to have quite a few people seated here
  3. Added privacy – even though we are all a friendly bunch it’s sometimes nice to have a little bit of privacy and the screen room does that.
  4. Protected from the direct sun and rain. The side walls can be rolled up or snapped off and the screens are still kept in place so you can adjust where you need the protection from the sun or rain and add or remove side walls as needed.
  5. Outdoor kitchen – with proper ventilation it’s nice to have the kitchen outdoors and keep the trailer from cooking odours as well as a lot of traffic.
  6. Keeps the RV extra clean – especially if there’s an RV mat placed on the ground of the screen room. You can leave your shoes safely outdoors and none of the sand or dirt enters the RV.
  7. Wind – with a proper set up they can handle strong winds. I spoke with the people who own the RV in the photo and their fifth wheel was parked here for 5 months and there is a lot of heavy wind here.  They had absolutely no problem, which did surprise me.  I had been concerned but they assured me the screen room was completely secure.

To be fair we have to list the negatives to screen rooms as well.

    1. If all the walls are left down the room can become quite humid unless there’s some circulation of some type
    2. When cooking outdoors – make sure their air circulation
    3. May require an installation kit to assemble
    4. May require practice to set up.  I have been told that once RVers get familiar with their screen room it doesn’t take long to set up but I would have to suggest that it’s no something you would set up unless you will be staying in a place longer than a day or so.  But’s that’s up to the individual.
    5. If your stove exhaust is on the side of the screen room or storage compartments as well make sure they will open once the room is assembled.
    6. They aren’t cheap.  No they are not cheap with by keeping your eyes open, checking online and shopping around it’s possible to buy a quality screen room reasonably.  I have listed a link below the photo (below) to Amazon and they have a variety of products to choose from depending on your RV.

17′ Limited Add-A-Room

U.S. Amazon 18′ Limited Add-A-Room  and Amazon in Canada RV Awning Screen Room Motorhome Shade Room Trailer Kit Add-A-Room 21′ Steep Pitch

Screen rooms or add-a-room or even shade screens  all help to keep some of the elements away from you as you’re enjoying the outdoors.

Shop around because there’s a huge price discrepancy and different quality of products. Don’t go too cheap but I don’t think there is any need to purchase the most expensive either.

I’ve been asked about tire covers as well so here’s a link to some posted on Amazon that look good.

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Happy travels,

Carol Ann

20 thoughts on “Pros and cons to adding a screen room to your RV”

  1. Brennen Thomas

    I want to enlarge my motorhome, I am thinking of awning covers. I don’t like things that are too fancy, I will like things that are simple, and easy to install and maintain. I am intrigued by Carefree RV Awning Room. As far as I know, it’s a good option if you want to use something in most weather environments. Setup after installation takes less than 15 minutes and doesn’t even require drilling into the RV, which I love.
    The most interesting feature of this product is the double crystals. It has see-through outer panels to protect you from bad weather without blocking your vision and inner panels that are painted black on the inside for privacy.

  2. Samantha Nichols

    We bought a Coleman screen room last summer to safeguard us from mosquitoes and bees in our trailer in northern Wisconsin. Excellent quality, very durable, and extremely easy to assemble, my kids can literally hump on their own. We use it all the time, from swimming competitions to beach vacations. it’s withstood Hurricane Irma and everything else Mother Nature throws at us.

  3. Sherrie Johnson

    Hi! Thank you for all the information but we really would like to know if there is an awning total inclosed room that we can use on our class c motorhome to be able to let our cats out in? Its really been hard to find any info for total inclosed rooms and with a floor would even be nice..

    1. Hi Sherrie,
      I just checked on Amazon and a couple of the awnings have panels that are for alongside the RV – this should keep your cats in. Click on the link on this page and then do a search – there should be something that will work for you. Good luck. Pls let me know how you make out. Thanks

  4. Good article. I can think of a few more potential negatives:
    For us the biggest negative might be the storage space it takes up when not in use. Not sure how compact it would be.
    We never leave our awning extended fully if we leave – in case the wind comes up. So I guess the screened in room would have to come down every time.
    On the same topic, if the wind picks up suddenly (as it often does in the southwest where we often travel), we can usually retract that awning pretty quickly – maybe not if we have to first detach a screened in room.

    1. Thanks Marianne,
      You’re right on the storage but it depends on how much you want to use it and how long you’re parked in one place. Spending the winter overlooking a beautiful beach might make it important to have the extra space. If a person moves around continuously it probably isn’t worth it.

      Friends of mine put up their screen room and tie everything securely and leave it up for a couple of months at a time. They swear that it’s secure even through some pretty wild wind storms. I’ve gone to see them right after a storm and all is good.

      Thanks your reaching out.
      By the way everyone Marianne is from Boondockers Welcome

  5. Angela Horne

    Hello Carol,my utl. Vents do happens to be on the same side as my canopy,unfortunately and the propain can be quit strong smelling. Not to mention proable toxic! Do you have any sujestions to releave this upcomming problem for me? My heart is set on getting the extra room I so desperately need.

  6. Frances Hebert

    Does it come with a wall to cover the under part of the motor home and the tires?

  7. Frances Hebert

    Do they have some sort of cover for the underside and tires of the camper also? Does this come with the screen patio?

    1. Hi Frances,
      Thanks for your questions. The screen room has a roof and 3 sides to it with a door and windows with screens. You will need to put a carpet or something similar for the ground cover. I’ve added a link on this blog post to some tire covers that may help.

  8. Dave Kasprzyk

    What is the best add a room with screens & curtains thanks Dave

    1. hi Dave, I wish I could tell you but it comes down to personal preference and prices. I would recommend that you check the reviews of anything you are considering. That’s the best place to start. If you are in an RV park or campground and see someone with one – go and speak with them. Most RVers are really good about sharing information.

  9. Collette Mosher

    Hi Carol. We are considering maybe doing this on our RV. Do you know if a lot of campgrounds or state parks even allow those?

    1. Hi Collette, I have not encountered any problems with this from anyone I know. As long as it’s neat and tidy it shouldn’t be a problem.

  10. My husband and I just got an RV and we were thinking of getting a screen room for it as well. It would be really nice to have that extra living space we could use. I’m happy that it can provide us with some more privacy as well! I think we might get one. Thank you for listing the pros and cons of getting one!

    1. Your welcome Deb! I think it would be awesome – although we don’t have one. I just picture it as additional space out of the elements but will outside. Thanks for your message.

  11. Joceline BAZINET

    Is there a catalogue available by mail to shop the add a room for RVS ?
    Thank you

    1. Hi Joceline – thanks for your email and I apologise for not responding sooner. We don’t actually sell the screen rooms – we just provide information for RVers. I know a couple of our readers have purchased them through our link on this post with Amazon and so far I have not heard any complaints. They seem to be good quality and no issues have been brought to my attention. Let me know if you learn anything else and wish to share the info with others – we would appreciate it. Thanks and take care.
      Carol Ann

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