How to Mount Awning without Roof Rack

How to Mount Awning without Roof Rack : 6 Steps to Do It

Last Updated on July 19, 2022

If you have an awning that needs to be mounted on your vehicle but doesn’t have a roof rack, there are still ways to do it. You can either use a frame that mounts on the side of your vehicle or create a frame yourself.

The factor you must double check to ensure that the frame is secure and make sure that your awning can withhold the strong winds. To minimize the mounting cost, you also must know what are the required tools you should carry.

Unaware installation might lower the lifetime of your awning too. You should also understand how the direction or pressure of the wind can heavily damage your precious awning.

So, let’s take a closer look at the main steps of how to mount awning without roof rack?

How to Mount Awning without Roof Rack for An RV in Easy Steps?

Rooftop tent mounting point

Traveling in an RV can be a great way to see the country and spend time with family and friends. However, one of the challenges of RV life is finding a safe and secure way to mount an awning. Traditional roof racks can be expensive and difficult to install, and they often require special adapters in order to fit an RV.

Fortunately, there is an alternative method for mounting an awning that does not require a roof rack. With a few simple supplies, you can easily and securely install an awning on your RV without any special adapters or expensive equipment. The following steps will assist you:

Step 01: Select the Appropriate Supplies

To mount an awning, you’ll need the following supplies:

  • Tape measure
  • Awning
  • Mounting hardware (screws, bolts, etc.)
  • Power drill
  • Drill bit (the size will depend on the mounting hardware you are using)
  • Small piece of tape
  • Water and mild soap (for cleaning the roof)

Once you have all of the necessary supplies, you’re ready to begin mounting the awning. Be sure to read all instructions that come with your awning and hardware before beginning the installation process.

Step 02: Measure the Length and Width of Your Awning

When mounting an awning on your RV, you must accurately measure its length and width. For this, simply extend the shade out fully and use a tape measure to determine the distance from one end to the other. Once you have the length, repeat the process for the width.

Keep in mind that many awnings are not perfectly rectangular, so it is important to take multiple measurements to get an accurate idea of the size. With these numbers in hand, you can then begin shopping for an awning mount that will fit your RV.

Step 03: Clean and Prep the Areas for Mounting

The first thing you need to do is to clean the roof of your RV. This will help to ensure that the awning mounts properly and doesn’t cause any damage to your RV.

You can use a mild soap and water solution to clean the roof. Once you’ve cleaned the roof, you need to prep the area where you’ll be mounting the awning.

This involves measuring the area and marking where you’ll be drilling holes for the mounting hardware. It’s important to take your time and make sure that the holes are properly marked so that you protect your RV. Once you’ve prepped the area, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

Step 04: Drill Holes in the RV for the Screws

Now that the area is prepped, you can begin putting in screws. Start by making a small pilot hole in the center of each mark. Then, use a power drill to enlarge the holes so that they are big enough for the screws to fit through.

Be careful not to make the holes too big, as this could cause the screws to loosen over time. You can use a small piece of tape to mark the depth of the hole so that you don’t drill too deeply.

Step 05: Attach the Awning to the RV

Next, hold the awning in place again and insert screws into the holes. Tighten the screws or bolts until they are snug, but be careful not to over-tighten them as this could strip the threads or damage the cover.

Here, it is helpful to have another person hold the tent in place while you insert the bolts. With the bolt in place, your awning should be securely mounted on your RV. During this time, take a step back to verify that the structure is level and even. If it is not, you can adjust the screws until it is level.

Step 06: Test the Awning Before Use

The shade structure is now ready to be used. Before using it, start by opening the awning all the way. Then, apply gentle pressure to the panel to see if it moves or feels loose. If everything appears to be secure, then you can enjoy your awning worry-free.

If the shade does feel loose, then you will need to double-check all of the connections to make sure they are snug. With a little care and attention, you can enjoy a lot of use from your RV awning.

Check Out: What Should You Do If Your Awning Tears?

Some Other Ways to Mount an Awning without Roof Racks

Roof rack awning mount

There are a few methods for mounting an RV awning, but the method described above is the most common. The following are a few other options that you may want to consider.

Method 01: Apply Adhesive to the Mounting Brackets

Most adhesive brackets will come with detailed instructions, but generally speaking, the process is fairly straightforward. First, clean the area where the bracket will be mounted with isopropyl alcohol to ensure that there is no dust particles that could interfere with the adhesive.

Next, apply a generous amount of adhesive to the mounting bracket and press it firmly into place. Once the adhesive has had a chance to set, the awning can be mounted to the awning bracket.

Method 02: Use Zip Ties, Bungee Cords, or Guy Ropes

These are all great alternatives to roof racks. Simply attach the ropes, zip ties, or bungee cords to the awning’s mounting brackets and then to the side of your vehicle. Ensure that the cover is securely fastened before driving off.

When you reach your destination, simply remove the gadgets and store them away for next time. This method is quick, easy, and requires no permanent alteration to your Sprinter van or RV.

Method 03: Install Awning Tracks on the RV Roof

Taking this approach is similar to the first one, except that you will be attaching the awning tracks directly to the RV roof instead of the roof rack. You will need to purchase canopy tracks and have them installed by a professional.

Once the tracks are in place, you can then attach the awning to the tracks using the provided hardware. The third option is more expensive than the first two, but it offers a more permanent and secure solution.

Method 04: Use Suction Cups to Mount the Awning

This technique is relatively easy and does not require any drilling or permanent installation. Simply attach the suction cups to the awning and then affix them to the side of the RV. Make sure that the suction cups are firmly attached before extending the shade.

While it is not as secure as the others, but it is convenient. If you are only going to use the cover for a short period of time, then this option may be sufficient.

These all are possible steps and methods for mounting an awning without using roof bars. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully and always double-check all connections before driving off.

While most awnings are designed to be durable, they can still be damaged if not installed properly. So, take your time and be sure to do it right the first time.

Check out: What Are The Safety Concerns When Cooking Under Awnings?

What Kind of Awning Can You Use Without a Roof Rack?

Awning without rack system

There are many different types of awnings that can be used on RVs. The most popular type is the retractable awning, which can be easily extended and retracted as needed. These covers are available in a variety of sizes and colors, making it easy to find one that will complement the look of your RV.

Another type of awning that is popular among RV owners is the fixed type. Fixed awnings are permanently mounted on the RV side, and they provide shading and protection from the elements year-round. If you are looking for a solution that is both stylish and functional, a fixed shade is a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions

RVing can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are new to the world of RVs. Here are a few frequently asked questions that may help you get started with your RVing awning:

1. Is My Vehicle Compatible with an Awning without a Roof Rack?

A roof rack is not always necessary to install an awning on your vehicle. Many awnings can work with vehicles that do not have a roof rack, and the cover can be mounted directly to the roof of the vehicle.

In most cases, the shade will come with all of the necessary hardware for installation, and there are usually no special requirements for mounting it without a roof rack.

2. Is It Worth Mounting an Awning without Having a Roof Rack?

While roof rack awning can certainly be useful when mounted on a vehicle, there are a few advantages to mounting it without one. First, it can save you money on the cost of installation, as you will not need to purchase a roof rack.

It can be easier to install awnings without a roof rack. And finally, it can provide a more streamlined look for your RV, as there will be no roof rack to obstruct the view.

3. Are There Any Risks to Mounting an Awning with No Roof Rack?

No matter how carefully you install an awning, there is always the potential for error. Despite the risks, there is no need to panic. It is possible that damage to the RV can result, as well as voiding any warranty you may have.

Without a roof rack, the tent will be more likely to blow away in high winds. It’s advisable to be sure to use heavy-duty straps and bolts to secure the cover like ARB awning firmly to the RV’s body.

4. Do You Need a Roof Rack for an Awning?

A roof rack is an excellent option for attaching an awning. It provides a sturdy platform that can hold the weight of the roof top tent, and it keeps the shade away from the roof of your vehicle, which can help to prevent damage. Roof racks are also easy to install and use, and they come in a variety of sizes to fit nearly any vehicle.

5. Can You Mount an Awning to Roof Rails?

The answer is yes, you can. First, make sure that the awning you select is designed for use with roof rails. Second, depending on the size and weight of the shade, you may need to use additional support brackets to secure it to the roof rails. Finally, read and follow product manufacturer instructions carefully when installing the awning.


Now that you know how to mount awning without roof rack, you can enjoy all the benefits of an attachment without having to worry about damaging your vehicle. Be sure to follow our tips and advice to ensure a safe and successful installation.

Just remember, when in doubt, you should check the owner’s manual for your RV or cover to get specific instructions on installing awnings.

And, as always, be sure to practice safe RVing. We hope you have enjoyed this article and that it has helped you learn more about RV awnings. Thanks for reading.


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