awning fabric - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-06-2014, 09:55 PM   #1
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Name: Hazel
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awning fabric

We have had several discussions centred around awnings and canopies already - but here is a question for you all. What sort of fabric is your awning made of. Many of the ones I've seen on stick built trailers look as if they are made of some sort of synthetic canvas like material - a bit like the fabric used on camp chairs, but 'prettier'. I have seen them leaking..

The one that came with our Trillium is made of a material rather like my raincoat - fairly heavy rubbery/plastic like stuff. It would need to be ripped in order to leak. It probably isn't 'original' as it is longer than the rail the rope goes through.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:11 AM   #2
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You'll find that most of your quality awnings are made of sunbrella (or should be).
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:29 PM   #3
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Most awnings are made from acrylic or vinyl or a combination of both. Sunbrella is a trade name for sun resistant acrylic fabric. The awning on my Bigfoot is made of vinyl.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:55 PM   #4
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Hazel, My awning on 45-1101043 sounds like it is made of the same material as yours. Mine is in the Trillium brochure, so I think it is original.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:36 PM   #5
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You need to be careful as to how your awning is made in order to perform well in the rain. Our portable sun shade collects water on top as it is not made like an umbrella. It is very tricky to remove the water without getting soaked.
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Old 07-11-2014, 09:47 PM   #6
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...............Our portable sun shade collects water on top as it is not made like an umbrella. It is very tricky to remove the water without getting soaked.
Problem solved.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:08 PM   #7
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I checked with a fabric store who said they didn't carry Sunbrella - it would have been interesting to have seen some. I'm not planning on sewing a new awning anyway.

Our awning extends past the end of the channel for the rope so we have a foot of 'spare stuff' on each end. Not sure what that is about! We bought some flexible tent poles and are trying to think of ways to use them like in your photo Gage.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:34 PM   #8
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Most stock trailer awnings are made of a heavy vinyl. Custom awnings made by people such as Marti's Trailer Awnings who does hundreds of custom awnings for the vintage trailer crowd as well as a number of fiberglass trailer owners here uses Sunbrella and Dickson fabrics.
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Old 07-11-2014, 11:39 PM   #9
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It would be nice to have a water catchment system built into an awning. On boats I've used awnings for this. Let a little run off to clean things and then open the fill valve.


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Old 07-11-2014, 11:50 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Night Sailor View Post
It would be nice to have a water catchment system built into an awning. On boats I've used awnings for this. Let a little run off to clean things and then open the fill valve.


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Just dropping one side down lower than the other does the trick on mine, no water build up on it even in your typical west coast down pour.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:14 AM   #11
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We bought some flexible tent poles and are trying to think of ways to use them like in your photo Gage.
Sew a pocket at each corner and then a velcro strap in the middle to hold the fiberglass polls together.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:38 PM   #12
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Gage - you are full of helpful hints! We are heading out tomorrow for a few days in the northern woods so will try out what we have and see what we need to do to make any improvements.

Another thing I wondered aboutis - if you sew an awning with Sunbrella material how do you seal the seams? It seems to me that everywhere the needle went through the fabric there would be a wee hole that could allow water through.
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Old 07-14-2014, 09:11 AM   #13
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I bought fabric at Joann's yesterday because they were having 50% off outdoor fabrics. They don't have Sunbrella, but Solarium is similar. Sunbrella is acrylic and Solarium is polyester. Both are more resistant to UV deterioration than nylon (most commonly used for tents), and are additionally treated to resist UV. I got the Solarium for $10/yd. The best price I found (online) for Sunbrella was $21/yd. I need a minimum of 5 yards for the 7ft square awning I plan to make.
The most common seams are french or flat fell seams (think of the double seam on the outside of your jeans). Sailrite recommends a kind of basting tape to hold the fabric together that you also sew through which helps to seal the holes made by the needle. That is also the function of the seam sealer liquid that we treat our tents with.
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Old 07-14-2014, 10:24 AM   #14
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I have done a fair amount of sewing of outdoor fabrics. Use outdoor thread such as the Coats brand. Its a pretty thick and not so flexible thread so you need to use a big needle at last a 16 but 18 or 20 is even better if you have one of them. Also make the stitches as long as you can 6 stitches per inch is good. Some home machines will only do 8 but that will work as well. You may need to increase your top stitch tension a little bit and go *slow*!!
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