Rhino Rack Sunseeker Awning Review – is it the best option available and is it worth the investment?
We purchased the Rhino Rack Sunseeker awning at the beginning of the summer 2021, it has been bolted onto the Shogun ever since and is used regularly, do we think it is worth the price tag? Yes, there are of course more economical alternatives out there but when it comes to gear like this we prefer to opt for the brand name and search for a good deal instead of settling for something ‘cheap’.
Why we needed an awning
If we’d been back in the UK then we wouldn’t have considered an awning, in Spain however the weather is a bit different. An awning isn’t just for the sake of bolting something else onto your rig either, it has a purpose and for us it was cover from the strength of the sun in southern Spain.
Camped up for the day by the lakeside can in some instances offer no shade at all especially if you want to be down by the waters edge. Having an awning offers the obvious shade with added UV protection.
Besides from the primary purpose of an awning there is also the night time setup. Camped up it’s nice to have a something extra, something to sit under and eat, to hang your lights from and create a bit of atmosphere.
What we like
The Sunseeker lll feels like a premium product, the canvas is heavy and the pole frame reassuringly locks into place. The awning is well designed and offers [for our needs] enough coverage for our overlanding adventures.
The awning is deployed pretty much every time we go out, sure, sometimes we use it when we don’t have to ie, if there is shade already but if we are staying for any length of time it’s good to have it up, create that ‘camp’ feel and relax. The pegs are also heavy duty unlike cheaper models which have pegs that bend as soon as you look at them.
What we don’t like
Weight is unavoidable and if you insist on quality gear it is more than likely going to be heavier when it comes to high grade fabrics, the awning weighs just under 10kg which no matter how you mix it up is more weight up top.
The bag that the awning rolls up into is heavy duty but the fit is tight, it can take some effort to close the zips around each end before fully zipping up, if the bag or zip is going to fail it will more than likely be at these points, a bit more room may have been better in our opinion.
- Height: 87″ / 221cm
- Length: 85″ / 216cm
- Width: 83″ / 211cm
- Weight: 22lb / 9.8kg
- Made from 210D water resistant canvas
- UV50+ protection rating
- Mould resistant
- Rust Proof frame
- Water resistant rating of PU 2000mm
- Coverage 4sqm / 43sq ft
- Velcro tensioning tabs to aid water runoff
- Heavy duty PVC 540gsm carry bag [black with logo]
- Reinforced patched corners
Installing the Sunseeker
Installation of the awning is simple and straight forward, the awning fits all Rhino Rack roof bars, most Thule bars and also other brands, the awning comes with universal fitting brackets. You will need two people to line up the awning onto the rack or bars before tightening everything up.
Deploying the Sunseeker
Deploying the Sunseeker is where the fun starts especially the first time you do it! In reality the process is very intuitive and you can have the awning up in just a couple of minutes.
- Unzip the bag and undo the velcro straps
- Unroll the fabric about two feet
- Pull out the side bars and leave them to hang
- Unroll the rest of the fabric and deploy the legs
- Connect the cross bars to the legs
- Tie down and peg if required, stick velcro straps to cross bars
Other buying options
Unless you are opting for a 180 or 270 degree awning there are a handful of manufacturers offering simple straight forward side awnings, these are some of the brand names in the €250 – €300 euro price bracket.
- Rhino Rack
270 degree awnings are without doubt very impressive but we are overlanding on a budget here, some prices are approaching four figures which, for some sun shade no matter how impressive is slightly over the top for a budget rig. There is also the issue of vehicles like the Shogun/Montero Sport and also 4runners not being able to accommodate many of the 270 awnings due to the tailgate opening upwards although there is one design out there that does.
For slightly under €240 euros the Rhino Rack Sunseeker awning is a tremendous piece of kit that fits it’s purpose well, you get a brand name in the business, quality build and fabrics with enough coverage to suit most situations.
While we do not have anything to compare this awning to as it is the first we have owned we are confident that it is money well spent, sometimes you just have to go with a recognised brand, we wouldn’t feel confident with a Chinese knock off for half the price. At the end of the day you get what you pay for.