Tab Trailer Window Awning Tutorial

 

If you're looking for a tutorial to make your own window awnings for a T@b 320, 400 or T@g ... this is the right place!

After four incredible years traveling the US in our 2016 T@b Trailer, we sold her to a lovely couple in the fall of 2020.  A short time later, we packed our bags and moved to the United Kingdom. There is still a great deal of travel in our future (coved willing), but with significantly more compact countries over here, we will be using hotels instead of our beloved Tab. 

Over those four years, I had the privilege of getting to know so many lovely T@bbers as I made awnings for those who weren't quite up to it themselves. But with our move, I am unable to continue to make them for sale in the US and, at this time, don't see the demand for them in the smaller EU market.

T@b 320 Window Awnings
T@g Window Awnings

 

I had planned to develop tutorials for the three sets I'd been offering, and at the encouragement of a client, I have finally gotten around to it!  I am starting with the T@b 400, but will be adding the 320 and T@g over the coming weeks.

These awnings are based on the window awning design by Sharon B Sigmon with a few modifications. The 320 tutorial includes dimensions for both Dutchman, Little Guy and NuCamp versions.  The T@g and T@b 400 awnings were developed by me, based on the principles that Sharon had used for the 320.

Please feel free to share this link and these tutorials to other T@bbers. They are free and can be used by anyone, a T@b owner or anyone making awnings for fellow T@b owners. 

I made over 200 sets of awnings over the past 4 years and learned a few things along the way:

Fabric:

  • The tutorial published here have dimensions that are designed for the heavier weight outdoor fabrics.
  • Outdoor, polyester fabric is recommended for both the outside patterned and inside lining.
    • While it may not shed water it certainly dries faster than cotton fabric which helps reduce the incidence of mildew.
    • Further, most outdoor fabrics have been treated to help delay (note I don't say stop) fading.
    • All fabrics will wrinkle at folds, but polyester will let the wrinkles go easier in the hot sun than a cotton fabric will.
  • I do not recommend using solids for the outside. If you really want a solid, try to do with with a bit of texture or minor pattern. There will be wrinkles and dust picked up (this is an outdoor product), a patterned fabric distracts the eye from these imperfections.  Adding a slight texture will help make any blemishes less obvious as well.
  • For beginners, a floral or non-obvious pattern will be easier to work with as centering the awning within the pattern, or on scallops will be less challenging.

Straps:

    • The original tutorial used self straps with velcro. I adopted a polypropylene webbing strap with a buckle instead and that is included in these tutorials.
    • Highly recommend a polypropylene strap instead of a nylon.  Nylon stretches when wet and doesn't dry as quickly.

    Hem:

    • Scallops were the favorite, they are the most difficult for non-sewers. Angle and straight hems made up about 30% of my volume, with scallops the remaining 70%. 
    • I have created a tutorial specifically addressing awning hems.

    Care:

    • Don't leave the awnings on the trailer when they are being stored. They will age quickly due to the elements.
    • I was making a storage bag for the awnings, which I shipped with each awning order to store them in when they were not on the trailer.  This helps protect them, keeps them folded nicely instead of all wrinkled up, and keeps the straps from getting caught on things. You may want to source a small bag to keep them in.
    • For the most part, they should wipe down.  I did place mine in a front loading washer on gentle once after our dog picked one up and used it to make a bed in the dirt at a campsite. I let it air dry and it came out fine.

    What do you need to make awnings:

    • Fabric—patterned for outside + solid for lining,
    • Polypropylene webbing for straps (3/4") and corners (1/2")
    • Buckles & tri-glide (3/4") for straps
    • Elastic (3/4")
    • Outdoor thread
    • Erasable marking pen
    • Straight pins
    • Measuring tape (tailors measuring tape is best)
    • Straight edge (like a yard stick)
    • Iron
    • Sewing machine
    • Fabric scissors (or just a new pair, fabric can be difficult to cut with a dull pair)

    Quantities needed are listed on the tutorial for each set of awnings. 

    It's been a year since I have made any awnings. I have written the instructions based on my memory, sketches and notes from the past 4 years. If something seems confusing for doesn't make sense, please feel free to reach out to me directly using the Contact page on my website. 

    Happy camping!

    Best,

    Lisa

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