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Roof rack and roof tent checklist
Are you wondering whether a roof tent will fit on your car? And if so, which one? This little roof tent checklist should help you with the first steps and the decision for the right roof rack and the right roof tent.
- Determine the permissible roof load
Look in the manual for your vehicle or on the website of your vehicle manufacturer on the Internet to see what roof load the car has. If you can’t find any information there, contact your vehicle manufacturer.
Don’t panic if you find information about 110 or 165 lbs there. That is enough for the use of most roof tents!
- Find the roof rack
See if there are roof racks for your vehicle model. Roof racks are available in different designs. Some vehicles already have a railing or fixed points where cross members can be attached. But you can also provide the roof tent with a transport surface using clamp brackets that are attached to the edge of the roof or in the “rain gutter”. You can find a wide variety of roof racks both from your vehicle manufacturer and from us. Take a look at our practical roof rack search.
- Consider the maximum load of the roof rack
Check the maximum load your roof rack has. If possible, it should be in the range of the permissible roof load of your vehicle.
- Check the permissible total mass
Check the maximum permissible weight of your car. You should also pay attention to this, especially with small cars and full loads.
- Find a roof tent
Now you can choose a tent from the now gigantic variety of brands. However, you should pay attention to the following things:
The tent weight should be less than the maximum load on the roof rack.
The tent + dead weight of the roof rack should be less than or equal to the permissible roof load.
The tent + roof rack + luggage + occupants must be smaller than the total weight of your vehicle.
If you are looking for particularly light tents, you will find extra light roof tents in the flyweight class here.
The roof racks should be at least 27-32 inches apart for a hard shell roof tent, otherwise the overhang to the front over the first and to the rear over the second carrier is too big.
For narrow cars, tents over 52 inches wide not only look visually unfavorable, but also affect the driving dynamics of the car, depending on their weight.
There are basically two basic types of roof tents. You have to weigh up for yourself whether you choose a hard-shell roof tent or a collapsible tent. Both variants have big differences in their functionality.
Some roof tent nomads with a wide variety of vehicles have a roof tent despite a panoramic roof – so it works!
However, many manufacturers exclude roof racks from a panorama roof. The roof load, which you may find in the manual, then mostly applies to the models without a glass and panorama roof.
If there are roof racks as standard for your vehicle with a panoramic roof, then it is possible to mount a roof tent – provided that the maximum roof load is adhered to, of course.
If in doubt, however, you should reinsure yourself with your vehicle manufacturer or dealer.
You should like the tent both when it is open and when it is closed. On our website you can find information about all roof tents that are currently on the market. Take a look at the different roof top tents.
Download Our Roof Top Tent Overview (PDF)
In this pdf file, we give you an overview of the most popular rooftop tents. You can download this PDF file for free and use it freely!