Hello Michael Schreiber,
If you are not planning to Bind the TabControl, but use it with static xaml created RadTabItems - I will go with UserControls and add them as content to the TabItems. This will separate the things and won't allow you to mess with the elements between the tabs.
Hope this will help you.
All the best,
the Telerik team
Do you want to have your say when we set our development plans?
Do you want to know when a feature you care about is added or when a bug fixed?
Telerik Public Issue Tracking
system and vote to affect the priority of the items