Do it Yourself: RV Canopy

Do it Yourself: RV Canopy
A canopy shelter will keep your RV out of all kinds of weather when it is not in use, requiring less maintenance, as well as adding years to the RV's life. Building your own RV canopy may seem daunting, but it can be quite simple. With some preparation and assistance, as well as some tools and know-how, you can build your own RV shelter in one day. The basic design is 24 feet long, but this can be expanded to fit larger models.


Difficulty: Moderate

Build the Shelter Sides

Things You’ll Need:
  • 6 14-foot 4-by-4s
  • 5-inch, 1/2 diameter carriage bolts with washers and nuts
  • Corrugated plastic roofing
  • Steel stud brackets
  • Hammer
  • 1-inch roofing nails
  • 3-inch nails
  • Tape measure
  • 6 pier blocks
  • Ladder
  • 8-foot 2-by-4s
  • 12-foot 2-by-4s
  • Metal braces
Step 1
Determine the height of your RV, including any assemblies on the roof. Add 1 foot to this for the maximum height of your RV shelter.
Step 2
Trim the 4-by-4s. Cut three to the height determined above, minus 8 inches. Cut three more 4-by-4s to the same height minus 6 inches.
Step 3
Determine the width of your RV. To this measurement add 18 inches for the entire width of the shelter. These instructions will follow for a canopy that is 12 feet wide.
Step 4
Build the sides of the shelter. Lay out the three 4-by-4s of the same height. Join them with the 8-foot 2-by-4s. Connect these at one end and at the middle, reinforcing the joins with the metal braces. Repeat this with the other three 4-by-4s. The finished sides should look like very large sections of fencing.
Step 5
Attach the pier blocks to the 4-by-4s. Place the open ends of each 4-by-4 into a pier block and drill a hole to match that of the steel connector on the block. Use this new hole to secure the block and the 4-by-4 with a carriage bolt.

Complete the Shelter

Step 1
Attach the connecting supports. Attach two 12-foot 2-by-4s to one side of the rear of the shelter at heights of 6 feet and 10 feet.
Step 2
Connect the sides. Prop the shelter side without rare struts up so it is vertical. Stand the opposite side up and use the rare 2-by-4s to attach the two sides. Attach a 12-foot 2-by-4 at the top of both ends to further secure the structure. This will sit at a slight angle, due to the 2-inch height discrepancy between the sides.
Step 3
Connect the roofing supports. Use the steel stud braces to place a 12-foot 2-by-4 between the two sides of the canopy every 2 feet.
Step 4
Attach the corrugated plastic roofing to the roofing struts using 1-inch nails. Start from the front and move to the rear, overlapping by at least one corrugation at each join.
Step 5
Stain the lumber. This will make your canopy more resistant to weather and moisture.

Tips & Warnings

Always use protective equipment when using power tools.
Assemble your canopy on a level surface.

Article Written By Beau Prichard

Beau Prichard has been a freelance writer and editor since 1999. He specializes in fiction, travel and writing coaching. He has traveled in the United Kingdom, Europe, Mexico and Australia. Prichard grew up in New Zealand and holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from George Fox University.

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