Rhino-Rack Sunseeker Mounting
Rhino-Rack Sunseeker mounting – will it fit Thule square bars? The quick answer is yes and it’s an easy fit.
Spain has over 300 days of sunshine each year so buying a 4×4 awning was always going to be a good idea for our style of overlanding. Initially we’d looked at the Rhino Rack vortex bars as the Sunseeker mounts directly on to them, same brand, no compatibility issues. However budget dictated some basic bars from Thule at half the price, not quite as fancy but functionality was top of the list, in any case by the time you get your gear up there you can’t see the bars anyway and aerodynamics goes out the window.
We looked at other brands such as Ironman, ARB and Frontrunner but found a deal on the Rhino-Rack Sunseeker III from 4x4Virtual in Barcelona. At 2m x2m it’s not the biggest but it does us just fine.
Once you’ve opened the box and familiarized yourself with all the components and fixings the actual fitting should take no longer than 25 – 30 minutes. [it’s a good idea to have a helper to hold the awning in place]
Depending on your vehicle and mounting preference you can have the awning higher or lower – this is dictated by which way you mount the bracket on the back of the awning runner. The brackets are bolted on using 13mm lock nuts and you also have the ‘T-bolts’, it is these that fit into the inside the Thule [or similar] square bars.
Once you have the brackets mounted onto the awning runner place the T bolts into bracket as well – leave them loose so you can easily get them into the Thule bar.
Place the T bolts into the roof bar and then tighten everything up.
One thing to note is that you will lose the end caps off your Thule square bars – the nut that attaches onto the bracket on the back of the awning stands proud and in order to tighten the nut the plastic end cap on the bar needs to be removed.
All in all the process is self explanatory, the main thing is to have your roof bars the same width apart with the awning centered for mounting as much as possible. We also tested our fixings and brackets after a short drive offroad to check if any had come loose, it’s good practice to check all roof mounted items regularly anyway and the awning is no different.
A word on T bolts: In the fixings packet you receive with the Rhino-Rack Sunseeker awning you get 4 x T-bolts and also 2 x heavy duty fixings + bolts. After reading the instructions it appears make little difference which goes where, in the instructions there are only ever two bolts used, we used three on each bracket as the ‘L’ brackets are quite small so any added strength attachment won’t do any harm.
We’ll be running the Rhino-Rack Sunseeker III for a few months before writing a full review.