Need a Low Cost Solution for Some Shade when Camping?

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As of December 31, 2023, we are no longer camping much and I an no longer updating this website. I have left it online for the time being, knowing that people still find their way to my articles and find them helpful. Please note, however, that as time goes by, some of the information presented here (particularly on specific products) may become outdated and links may no longer work.
I've enjoyed eight great years of interaction with thousands of other small travel trailer owners. Thanks for all your support, and hopefully a few of us will meet again somewhere in the woods or on the road! - Denny

We do not have an awning, but have found a good solution to getting some shade when camping.

We purchased our travel trailer used and it did not have an awning. As I shopped for one, they were all too expensive for our budget. I looked into the light weight shade tarps, but they looked like too much hassle to setup and take down. I was particularly concerned about leaving one setup when it gets windy, so would prefer to have it down when we're not using it, especially if we leave our campsite for the day.

After a lot of looking and thinking, I found something that has been a great solution for us. It's called Joe umbrella for shade that's just plain easy and inexpensive. It has been a great low-cost alternative to getting an awning.

JoeShade closed up until we sit out again

JoeShade closed up until we sit out again

It comes ready for quick and easy setup

It comes ready for quick and easy setup

Here are the key features we like

This is one of my favorite products we take camping. Here are some of the main reasons:

  • Provides enough shade to cover the two of us sitting in our chairs beside the trailer
  • Allows us to easily adjust the height and tilt so that it can be aimed whereever we need it
  • Has a stand that is quite stable. It also includes metal stakes to be used if needed when placed on dirt or grass
  • Takes only about 30 seconds to set it up or take in down
  • Is light weight and doesn't take up much room in our tow vehicle
  • Easily fit into our budget

JoeShade is very light weight and includes a convenient storage bag with shoulder strap

JoeShade is very light weight and includes a convenient storage bag with shoulder strap

And it's not just great for camping

JoeShade includes a carrying case with an over the shoulder strap. This makes it very portable for taking with us to the beach or to our grandkids' sporting events.

If you're wishing you had an awning, or just wanting some shade when camping (or any other time), you should take a look at Joe Shade.

As always, drop me a note on my contact page if you have any questions.

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Joe Shade
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Denny Johnson

Denny Johnson

After having spent most of our adult life in Orlando, my wife Fay and I moved to Knoxville, TN in 2020. We are loving the change of seasons and being near the mountains. Plus, this part of the country is loaded with great places to camp. 
We camped years ago with a pop-up camper, but got serious about it when we purchased our Casita in 2014. There was a lot to learn as we started traveling with it, and a lot of conflicting opinions on line. That's when I decided that creating a website would be a good retirement project. I started to share things we've learned along the way that have worked well for us in hopes that the information would be of help to others.
However, since moving to Tennessee, I've gotten involved with new hobbies (you can check some out on my personal website at and we haven't camped very much. So, at the end of 2023, I made the tough decision to stop updating this website.
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This article has been revamped and updated since it was originally posted.