We camped in a location on a very hot weekend and didn't have a tree in sight for shade. It was miserable.
If you are looking for a vintage style awning, this site has some good information on the old style rope awnings and their awnings have a very vintage style look. http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VTS-400 (This is also a wonderful site for many of your trailer needs)
The most reasonably priced rope-style awning I've seen is here: http://www.interwestsports.com/rope%20and%20pole%20awnings.html
We chose to put together our own affordable lightweight awning. Priorities: Easy setup, lightweight and minimal storage. If it gives shade and rain relief, good enough. We have about 8' to 10' of original awning rail on our trailer:
Here is our plan for building an awning:
8'x8' Tarp - 50' of 3/16" nylon rope - 2 large washers - 2 retractable tent poles - tent stakes - Hardware for trailer awning attachment. I really wanted to steer clear of a "rope" style attachment. I didn't want anything that required sewing and just felt that I could find something that would work just as well. March, 2006: The picture below shows the channel and finished tarp awning in place.
I decided to purchase some trailer tarp awning hardware I found on Ebay. I would recommend it. The hardware is very simple, yet works great. Good idea and just what I was looking for. You can buy this hardware from this Ebay Seller at: Awning Tarp Hardware If they don't have any on auction, write them and ask for a set. Very easy to install. All you have to do is slide these hook fastners on your awning channel and place your tarp gromments over the hooks at the campsite. ALWAYS REMOVE THEM AFTER USE. WE LOST OUR FIRST SET. THE VIBRATION OF THE ROAD WILL LOOSEN THEM UP AND YOU'LL LOSE THEM. In the end we went with a 6' x 8' tarp, silver colored on top to reflect heat. Plenty large enough for at least 4 people to sit underneath and still not so large as to be a hassle to store/work with. For more room, an 8' x 8' would also be a good size, but I wouldn't want anything larger. With the retractable tent poles, the entire awning gear fits easily inside a bag stored under a bench. We have about $25.00 total into our affordable awning!