put a rooftop tent on a rental car

Can You Use A Rooftop Tent On A Rental Car? Here’s The Answer!

Desire for an exciting outdoor experience? When considering going on an adventure, the type of car matters. Above all, when renting a car, you must be attentive to the different kinds of vehicles and if they can be convenient for you in outdoor adventures. Car renting has always been a suitable option for maintaining affordability for outdoor activities. Therefore, if you plan to mount a rooftop tent, you must take note of the various factors that may affect your plans.

Need a quick answer to rental companies that allow rooftop tents to be mounted on their cars?

Yes, most car rental companies allow their customers to install a rooftop tent on the roof of the vehicle. However, you should discuss this with the rental company before renting a car, as there are many different car rental companies, and each car rental company has its own regulations.

Most and largest car rental companies such as Sixt, Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, etc allow the installation of a roof rack tent on their vehicles.

However, you should be very careful when assembling and using the car and roof tent so that you do not damage or scratch the rental car.

Rooftop tents are an excellent option for outdoor camping because of the comfort and ease to use while having fewer interruptions. In opting to use the rooftop tent on your car, you must ensure that you have the right vehicle to support the rooftop tent. Unlike conventional tents and RVs, rooftop tents do not demand much other than a level surface to give you the comfort you need.

Rental cars are one of the most efficient choices and, without a doubt, give you the best services. However, while considering renting the car, you have to ensure that you have the right type of car that will provide you with minimal trouble. Some of the things to look out for in this process include the following:

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Ensure the vehicle has roof cross bars

Crossbars are vital for rooftop tents as they are mainly used to support the hard shell of the tent. Some of the crossbars may also be not fit to carry much weight, and therefore you have to consider if you will have to replace them or opt for another car. Crossbars play a significant role in ensuring that they can efficiently support the rooftop tent’s weight and hold your weight when you use it. Therefore, before officially hiring the car, check to see if the crossbars can have the weight and if there can be any damage due to changing the crossbars. Some car crossbars can also be used but support lighter weight, so you must ensure that if you have a heavier tent, you avoid it. Strong cross bars or rails are advantageous as they can support the weight without causing any damage.


Roof rack fit

These are installed at the cross bars and usually where the rooftop tents are installed. The rack is responsible for holding the weight of the tent. Therefore, you have to note the compatibility of the roof rack with the car’s cross bars. These are essential components that contribute to your comfort on the rooftop tent. Check with the rented vehicle if you will need to look for alternative crossbars or roof racks before leaving with the car. Ensure that you fit it in a convenient position to maximize the space of the vehicle, but that is also highly determined by the type of car you use. Always ensure they can handle the weight with minimal interruptions or fixing issues, and always communicate with the renting company for the best options.


Type of car to use

This is a vital part to consider before using rooftop tents and, most importantly, hiring one. Generally, any vehicle with a load limit under 165lbs may not be convenient to use. Weight capacity is determined by the amount of weight your car can handle while driving. Therefore, this is one of the essential components you have to check on the vehicle and compare it with the rooftop tent you will install. SUVs and trucks can be a better option, and most of the time, they come with raised crossbars and are thus easily compatible with rooftop tents. While people may think that any car can be used for a rooftop tent, some vehicles, like trucks, are best suited because of their reliability. Again, in outdoor settings, you may want to take a car that will give you less trouble on the way; thus, always opt for reliability. When checking into car hire, ensure that your vehicle can handle a good amount of weight which should be safe for you to sleep in.

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Cover mounting spots on the car rails

When dealing with a rented car, you have to ensure that you cause minimal damage to avoid different charges that may happen to you. While mounting your roof tent, ensure that you have a good manual for fixing the tent and that the installation process will not cause any scratches to the car. You could also opt to cover the rails or spots where they get into contact with the vehicle. This way, you minimize any instances of scratching and other damage to the car, which automatically incur additional costs to the company. When fitting the rooftop tent, you must ensure you are doing it correctly and utilize the accessories like ladders or rails conveniently that will cause any damage, especially to the car.

When installing the rooftop tent, make sure that you do not scratch or damage the roof rails or the roof cross bars of the rental car. The rooftop tent’s mounting brackets must be tightened very firmly in order to guarantee a secure hold.
Therefore you should protect the crossbars of the rental car from scratches. For example, you can use duct tape to protect the rails.
Likewise, when installing the rooftop tent, you must ensure that you do not damage the roof of the vehicle.

Consult with the owner or hiring company

Some companies or owners may have different reasons for avoiding rooftop mounting. Therefore, if you have to mount while on the adventure, it is best, you alert them so that you can fully utilize it. Usually, there may be an issue with the car or the crossbars, among other reasons that owners may have a problem with. Still, it is essential to inform them of such decisions you may be considering with your vehicle.

This also prepares them to be cautious of any damage to the car. Thus, upon returning, they have to check for any damages you may be liable for. It is also essential for you to be responsible in taking care of the car like it was yours; thus, inform the owner of any activity you intend to do or engage in, like rooftop installation. Most hiring companies or owners will have no issue unless there are other reasons not to, for example, due to the nature or type of the car.

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However, various companies have specific vehicles that offer rooftop installation. Thus, considering a rooftop installation instead of conventional camping, you could opt for such a company. This will be more efficient than having much back and forth between companies and owners on different terms for their cars. It is also a convenient option because of the flexibility in your adventure, and also, most importantly, you will not have to buy your rooftop tent. Being a suitable alternative, you could ensure that other factors like the rails, crossbars, and rooftop tents are in good condition.

Closing thoughts

These are some of the essential things you should consider before renting a car. Considering affordability and flexibility, rental vehicles have, over time, been a very efficient rescue for many campers and adventurers. Therefore, it may be an efficient decision when you need an escape or adventure. Thus, it is vital to understand the different factors you may have to consider. Inform the rental company or confirm if you could mount your rooftop and check on the type of car. This mistake can be easily ignored but is essential at all times before deciding whether you will take it or take other options. Lastly, take good care of the car as if it were yours. Keep a good eye, especially when you are installing the rooftop tent. Protect the vehicle and also yourself. These will help you have greater comfort and relaxation in your adventure.