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Thursday, February 16, 2012

An Awning for Your Vintage Trailer


Many vintage trailers, like this one, were designed to accommodate what's known as a pole-and-rope awning made of fabric. It attaches to the trailer by means of what's called an awning rail; this is usually a narrow strip of metal with a channel in it to hold the awning's edge.


In order to go through the awning rail channel, that edge will need some kind of tubular-shaped welting affixed to the fabric. You feed the welting through the channel, by hand.

Besides providing much-needed shade, such an awning also adds an attractive finishing touch to your little home on wheels.

But, because few of the original awnings still exist, you will either have buy one from a vendor who makes them, or make one (unless you get lucky with your vintage-item shopping and find a preserved old awning lurking somewhere.)


The striped awning above is a new one that I purchased on eBay, from Marti's Awnings in California. Marti's work is very popular with vintage trailer enthusiasts, and she does custom work as well as the occasional eBay offering. She carries a wide array of Sunbrella fabric, plus telescoping awning poles.




The trailer above is shown with a homemade awning that was fairly inexpensive to make. The main fabric is heavy-duty painter's canvas. A quilt-type design was created on the top side from large samples of upholstery fabric, applied with fabric adhesive. The entire surface was then treated with Camp Dry, a spray-on waterproofing product.

The welting that slides through the awning rail was made from a long section of surgical tubing, inserted through a narrow seam stitched at one end of the awning. The grommets that hold the poles were from a sailmaking supply company. (The company also sells ready-made welting, various outdoor fabrics, and other supplies for making your own awning.)

If your trailer doesn't have an awning rail, it's possible to have one added. Vintage Trailer Supply is one place that carries awning rail for this purpose. (They sell awnings, too.)

24 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. nice thanks for sharing...
    i may just have to try and make my own.

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  3. Perfect timing! Hoping to have an awning made by the time I see you all again :) Thanks for the info~

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  4. I made my 1st awning out of a drop cloth. My daughter painted it and sealed. It worked great, until, the hubby decided it made good packing cloth when we moved to a different house!?! So I bought Sunbrella fabric and made a nicer one. I prefer having an awing as to not having one.

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  5. check out the videos on how to put up your vintage camper's awning yourself. It works on a pulley system, very ingenious and easy. There are several posted on the internet, one on vintageawning.com

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  6. This blog is very informative , I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog .


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  7. This is just perfect! I’ll definitely recommend this to my mom. She’s been busy renovating her camper van, and I think she’ll love this awning. It’s very retro and I love its simple pattern. Thanks! =)

    - Tobias Thrash

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  9. I finished my new awning just in time for our maiden voyage with our pop up. Thanks for all of the helpful information. Luckily I live very close to two sailmaking shops. They supplied the welting and Joann's had their outdoor fabric on sale 50% off. I saved about $75.00 making my own and it matches the pups fabric. It's perfect and adds that special touch.

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  10. Thanks for sharing the information along with these vintage trailer awning designs.

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  11. Has anyone tried oilcloth? I wonder how it would hold up?

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  12. It would depend a lot on how much wind it had to withstand. "Airlift" is pretty hard on fabrics at the grommet points.

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  13. Awesome timing! I see sewing in my future!

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  14. Those awnings look great! I love when you are out camping and can set up a nice little spot to relax. It is great when you can sit down and enjoy some good time outdoors with those you love in comfort.
    http://www.alumflo.com/aluminum-awnings/

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  15. I didn't know that it was pretty common to make or buy a vintage-looking awning for your vintage trailer. I love all the different colors. It looks fairly easy to put your own awning up your trailer. Awnings are incredibly nice to have on your trailer when it starts raining! http://www.deancustomawnings.com/awnings-in-farfield-westchester-county

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  16. Be it Business or residential, Fabric Awning give a better face to the buildings. The experts may have lot to suggest to make them look more effective. It is important to run a thorough background check before hiring someone to do the job.

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  17. This is great information to fix the awning. I have been looking into different things to fix the awning that I have. I really want to keep the originality of it. I really hope that I will be able to find something soon that will work with what I am looking for. http://www.deancustomawnings.com/awnings-in-rockland-county-ny

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  19. Thank you for the information. You were talking about
    Some kind of welting is it? Where can I buy it. My little trailer has the rails for the awing I just ordered my material to make one.

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  20. The welting is called Keder welt. One place to buy it is from sailrite.com, and you also can buy pre-cut lengths from amazon.

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  21. B&H Upholstery in Eugene, Oregon sells it by the foot. They call it beading.
    I used a size 14/90 needle and had no problem attaching my awning fabric to it.

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  22. Very nice article, I enjoyed reading your post, very nice share, I want to twit this to my followers. Thanks!.
    סוככים

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  23. I have a1970 Layton. What size vinyl welt pipping do I need for my awning?

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