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Thule Roof Rack Mount HideAway Awning Review and Installation

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Review and How to Install the Thule Roof Rack Mount HideAway Awning

Hey guys, it's Colin here at etrailer. Today, I want to take a little bit of time and show you guys this Thule HideAway Awning. This awning is going to mount to your vehicle, whether you want it permanently mounted there, or you can even mount it to the roof rack of your vehicle. And it's going to give you a nice and easy solution to get some shade from the sun or protection from the rain, whether you're tailgating, off-roading or even living that van life. Now, this awning's going to be 10 feet long by eight feet wide, which is going to provide us with 80 square feet of coverage. Now, with it mounted to the side of our vehicle, we're still not losing the ability to open up our doors.Now, when it comes to setting up your awning, personally, I think you should always angle it where it's sloped away from the vehicle.

That way, if you experience any rain, it's going to prevent it from pulling up on top of your canvas and that could possibly leak over into your vehicle. Now, if you'd rather have it more level with your vehicle, all we have to do is come to the other side of this leg, we'll loosen up that knob and now you can just raise or lower it to your desired height and once you have it at that height, you can go ahead and just tighten up that hand knob.Our support legs and our spring-loaded arms are going to be constructed out of aluminum. That's going to be both durable and lightweight and it's also going to help resist rust and corrosion. Now, our spring-loaded arms are going to help take out any slack in our cover. It's going to make it very taut.

That tension is going to help prevent it from billowing in the wind. Now with our current application, we did make sure to scoot it up enough to where we still have access to our trunk. Now, as it opens, it will come into contact right at the top, just barely, but there's still more than enough space to grab anything we need out of our trunk. The front shell of your awning is going to have a slot so you can insert any type of add-on accessory such as if you want some more shade from the sun or even a rain blocker.What's also great is that we have these lockable end caps on the back of our mounting brackets. That's going to help make sure to deter theft.

We're just unlock it, show you the inside. Insert your included key, unlock it and then we can pull the end cap off. Now, if you're using a platform rack like the one we have right here, it may be a little bit difficult to get the end cap on and off, just because it slides under the bracket and because the bracket's making contact with our platform rack, just kind of wedged in there. There's nothing to worry about, it just might provide a little bit more of a hassle for you. So when we get it off, you can see our bracket's on the other side, our bolts holding the awning to our bracket and our T-bolts right here in the slots.

You also do want to keep in mind that these brackets are sold separately. If you want to mount this to your roof rack, this is something you're going to have to pick up as well.Now, an awning we got here at etrailer that is pretty comparable to the Thule HideAway is going to be the Rhino-Rack Sunseeker Awning. There's going to be pros and cons to both of them. One of the things I think the HideAway does a great job of is it has more square footage of coverage so that's more protection from the elements. However, personally, I like the way the Sunseeker operates a little bit more. There's not as many moving parts and we don't have to worry about the handle, necessarily, because we just roll it up ourselves. That's just my personal opinion, though. However, the Thule HideAway does look really good on my vehicle right now. That's something that I think it does a little bit better a job of and the housing for it is going to be more durable to protect our cover whereas this is aluminum. Our Rhino-Rack Sunseeker is just going to have a zippered cover that goes over it.Now, both are going to be really high quality awnings. What's really cool is that they both are going to have a ton of attachments you can put, whether you want sidewalls or even to extend your cover for more coverage. Now, they're both also going to be very user-friendly and easy to operate. It's just going to be a personal preference on which one you think is easier.With our HideAway, we'll go ahead and collapse it for you to show you how easy that is. First, we need to remove our anchors. All I'm going to do is just pull up on my leg to get the anchors out since they are kind of hard to grip. And I'll just pull the anchors out, you probably do want to make sure you clean up all the dirt before you pack it up completely. Just pull the anchors out and store them in your vehicle. We'll just set it back down. Now, we'll just turn it the opposite way to get it to collapse on itself. You can see it will just pull the legs in with it. We're going to keep going. And so we're about two feet away from having it completely stored.Now, we're going to stop here and fold our legs back in. You want to make sure you collapse them back to their original size. Again, make sure you clean off that leg before you store it completely. Doesn't have to be perfect, just want to get all that loose dirt off. We'll just fold it up and get it stored. We'll do the same for the other side. You can see that it fits right into these brackets right here to help them stay secure for storage. And now, we'll just crank it back up all the way. And I'll just get our handle out, we're going to push it all the way up, turn it 90 degrees, then bring it back out.Set-up's going to be very easy. All we're going to do is take our included handle and put it up into the slot and then we can start rolling it out. We're going to go till it's about two or three feet out. Now we're going to stop, set our tool down, then we're going to come in and unfold our legs. Going to loosen them up and extend them down. And now, we'll just roll it out all the way. Now, when we get to the point where you can see there's not a lot of tension in our cover, we're just going to go back a little bit. That lets us know that our spring-tensioning arms are extended all the way. We're just going to go back a little bit, get some tension back in there. From there, you can leave it be.Now we're just going to adjust our legs so that they're perfectly up and down. What we're going to do is loosen it back up, bring it up here. You want to make sure that foot gets flat on the ground and like we said, you do want to make sure you adjust it so that it is slightly sloped so that water doesn't pool on top. And do this for both legs. Now, we can stake down both of our feet. Just take our included stakes and push them as far down as you can get it. If you can't quite get it with your hands, you can either use your foot or you can even just take a small hammer and lightly hit it down the rest of the way. I'm just going to use my foot, press down.Now, it is going to be a quick and easy assembly and installation. Keep in mind, we are using the Roof Rack Adapter Kit for this awning. We're going to use a T-slot option, but it also does come with that clamp-on option for any roof rack where you don't have a T-slot. So with our bracket, we've already got the T-bolts installed with flat washers and lock nuts on both sides. So what we're going to do is take all four of these, inside them into the T-slot of our awning.Now, at this point, we need to make sure we have the correct spread between our brackets. This is going to come in handy for when you're dealing with your Thule crossbar roof racks but because we're using the T-slot of our platform rack up there, the spread doesn't necessarily matter as much. You do want to make sure that it is over 36 inches. So we're just going to measure center-on-center, just get a nice round number, again, make sure it's at least 36. Now, it is going to come with this small tool to be able to tighten down these lock nuts. However, it would take a little bit of time given the size of it so we're just going to switch to our 10-millimeter socket and tighten down all four lock nuts.And now, we're just going to get these T-bolts installed. This is what's going to hold our brackets into the T-track of our platform rack. Now, usually, if you're using crossbars, you're going to want to put them in the holes right here so it's vertical, but because our T-slot runs the length of the vehicle instead of the width, we're going to install them right here so that it's running the width. So now, we'll just grab flat washer and the lock nut and get that on there. We'll do that for both sides. Now we just have an extra set of hands to help us get this up on our roof rack. So we're just going to pick it up and then we're going to take those T-bolts and get them into that T-slot.Now, with that same extra set of hands, we're going to have them hold it up so that it's flat on our rack and we're just going to tighten down our lock nuts. They are going to be used for a 10-millimeter socket or you can just use the tool that comes in your kit. Now it doesn't have to be too tight, just get it kind of snug and then move on to the next one. And you don't want to forget to put your end caps on either. And like I said earlier, if you have a platform-style rack like this one, you may need to wheel it around a little bit to get the end cap on.And that's all there is to it. Now you can just enjoy your shade. Well, thank you all for watching. That's going to do it for our look at the Thule HideAway Awning.

Info for this part was:

Employee Andrew K
Video by:
Andrew K
Employee Joshua S
Video Edited:
Joshua S
Employee Colin H
Installed by:
Colin H

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