Rhino Rack SunSeeker 2.5m Awning: Step By Step Install & Review

Rhino Rack SunSeeker 2.5m Awning

Install & Overview of the Rhino Rack SunSeeker 2.5m Awning with Frontrunner Slimline II Roof Rack

Awnings have long enhanced the camping and off-roading experience.

There’s nothing like escaping the hot sun or taking shelter from rain underneath a roof rack mounted awning…, particularly when there are not many other shelters available.

The Setup

Sunseeker 2.5m Specs & Overview

  • Creates approx 55 sq ft of shelter
  • Made from 210D R/S water-resistant canvas
  • Water-resistant rating of PU 2000mm
  • Easy Deployment and Tear Down
  • Driver side or Passenger side mountable
  • UV50+ Rating
  • Rust Proof
  • Anodized Aluminum Support Poles
  • Plastic Capped hardware for reduced wear/tear
  • Reinforced Corners for increased strength, durability, and lifespan
  • Black 540gsm protective carrying bag
  • Ideal for Rhino Racks, but compatible with many roof rack systems
  • Sidewalls, Extensions, and Privacy room accessories readily available

What’s Included w/ the SunSeeker Awning:

Rhino Rack SunSeeker 2.5m Awning: What's Included

Tools & Time Required

  • 13mm Wrench
  • 2 Person Install Suggested
  • Install Time between 30-60 Minutes

Before You Begin Installation…

PRO TIP 1:  Although Rhino Rack’s website lists the product at only 10lbs, I found that the Awning weighs probably closer to 20lbs.  But at  7.5’ long, its an awkward beast to handle at times.  You will save yourself some hassle and frustration by having a helping hand once it comes time to hoist up the awning and actually slip it onto the mounting bolts.

PRO TIP 2:  Take a few minutes to pre-plot what installation configuration will work best for your roof rack.  The RhinoRack included brackets and hardware provides probably a dozen different types of installation configurations.

The Sunseeker should be able to mount onto just about any channel/slot style of roof rack with the included hardware.

However, a little bit of pre-planning will save you from unnecessarily re-configuring your install if what you first thought works didn’t actually work.

LET’S GET TO INSTALLING!

STEP 1: Pick your Mounting Location

Rhino Rack SunSeeker Awning: STEP 1:  Pick your Mounting Location

Once you’ve figured out exactly how you want to mount the awning, check to see if the Crossbar Brackets will conflict with any of your other roof-top accessories.

This may seem rather casual, but if you are in the habit of loading and unloading your roof rack with accessories, you may need to plan the mount locations around what space you want available at a future time.

STEP 2: Place your Mounting Bolts

Rhino Rack SunSeeker STEP 2: Place your Mounting Bolts

Remove Frontrunner end-caps and slide in the 13mm Bolts into place at pre-planned locations.

STEP 3: Attach Crossbar Brackets to the Awning

Rhino Rack SunSeeker Awning: STEP 3:  Attach Crossbar Brackets to the Awning

Set the T-Channel Bolts into the Awning’s T-slots and move to to the approximate mounting location that matches your replaced 13mm bolts.

Tighten in both Crossbar Brackets about 90% tight.

TIP: Do not fully tighten the Crossbar Brackets to the Awning at this point, because you will need to slide the awning around at a later step.

STEP 4: Attach Awning to Mounting Bolts

Rhino Rack SunSeeker Awning: STEP 4:  Attach Awning to Mounting Bolts

TIP: Get a friend to more easily and safely lift the awning.

Lift up the entire awning and carefully place the Crossbar Brackets onto the 13mm Bolts and secure the Crossbar Brackets down 100%.

On one Bolt, I used the included locking washer and nylon nut, on the other bolt, I used the included locking washer and a Frontrunner Tie Down ring to secure.

STEP 5:  Check for Lift Gate Clearance

Rhino Rack SunSeeker Awning: STEP 5:  Check for Lift Gate Clearance

Since the T-Bolts weren’t 100% tightened on the awning’s T-channel, you should be able to slide the awning frontwards towards the hood and backward towards the liftgate.

Raise up your lift gate and make sure the awning clears your lift gate.

STEP 6:  Tighten it all Down

Rhino Rack SunSeeker Awning: Step 6: Tighten

Once you have the awning positioned exactly where you want it, use a 13mm wrench to reach under the awning and tighten down the T-Channel bolts.

Tighten up that last 10% so that the awning is fully locked into position.

Step 7: Deploy the Awning!

Rhino Rack SunSeeker Awning: Step 7: Deploy the Awning!

Deploying the awning is very easy and is doable by yourself.

It takes maybe 5 minutes and I deployed it for the first time with occasional wind gusts of 20mph. 

Rhino Rack has a great 90-second video showing you how to deploy the awning…but even without the help of their video, deployment is pretty self-intuitive.

Unzip the bag, undo the velcro, unroll the awning, extend and lock the vertical legs, clip in the canopy bars, velcro the canvas to the bars…boom you’re all set up!

The Sunseeker does come with two bright orange nylon guy lines and ground stakes that can be used to provide extra stability during windier conditions.

Final Thoughts on the SunSeeker 2.5m Awning

Rhino Rack SunSeeker 2.5m Awning

My initial impression of the SunSeeker 2.5m awning is that it is impressive.

This awning does feel nice and study.

The cover bag is reinforced on each end and the zippers are oversized and sturdy. 

All awnings function about the same but there are subtle differences between them.

I have only ever owned this Rhino Rack awning so I cannot really provide an honest comparison between other brands.

However, I really like that the SunSeeker ripstop canvas velcros onto the canopy poles and the vertical legs are various height adjustable.

Although it may not matter to some, I do also like that the SunSeeker’s protective bag is black.  It feels low profile and blends into my roof rack keeping a slim and clean look to the truck.

Two thumbs up for the Rhino Rack SunSeeker 2.5m Awning… I plan to have this on my truck for a long time to come!

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Sandy
Sandy
3 months ago

Is there a way to mount this on the back of the rack?

Mick
Mick
2 years ago

How does it fair in the rain? Looks like it may catch water an collapse?

steve
steve
2 years ago
Reply to  Mick

Hi there, in heavy rains, you can shorten the two poles/legs furthest from the truck and that creates a downslope away from the vehicle that will prevent rain sag or collapse. the rain will just flow off the downslope. Tks!

felipe
felipe
3 years ago

What’s the height of the awning when closed, please ? I saw somewhere 3.5 inches but it looks bigger to me. Thanks

steve
steve
3 years ago
Reply to  felipe

Hi there, when the awning is in the bag zipped up, the bag itself is about 5″ or 6″ tall.

Felipe
Felipe
3 years ago

Are the top of the awning and the bracket perfectly aligned? I wanted to build one under my roof bars but the bag/cover seems to stand out. Thanks!

steve
steve
3 years ago
Reply to  Felipe

This awning (and most awnings that I know of) are not designed to fit under a roof rack. The way I have mine mounted is that the awning bag is almost the same height as the top of my roof rack. The awning bag is maybe 5mm taller than the rail of my roof rack. You can see this in a few of the pictures.

steve
steve
3 years ago
Reply to  Felipe

Hey there, I’m not sure I perfectly understand your question or how you’re trying to mount the awning. I can say, im pretty certain that the mounting brackets would be able to be under-mount on the frontrunner rail. im not sure how the awning would sit afterwards, it may be little too close to your doors. im not sure. The Rhino Rack awning and its mounting brackets allow for multiple mounting options.

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