Roof Rack Tent FAQ

Your Questions Answered

If you’re considering buying a roof rack tent you’ve probably got lots of questions – how do I clean it? Where will I store it? Which box is best for long trips?

Well you’re in the right place. You’ll find all the answered below!

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Roof Rack Tent Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the best roof rack tent?

It depends on your needs. How much storage do you need? What’s your budget? What vehicle do you have?
We’ve put together a number of buyers guides to help you decide on the best roof rack tent for you.

Should I buy a roof rack tent or is it better to rent one?

It depends on a number of personal factors including how often you think you’ll use a roof rack tent and if you’ve got room to store your roof tent when you’re not using it.
We’ve put together a guide to help you decide.

Can I fit a roof rack tent to a rental car?

You’ll need to check with your rental company. Some do allow it and others will supply a roof rack tent with the car on request.
We’ve put together a guide on this.

Are roof tents waterproof?

Most roof rack tents will keep your stuff dry, however they are not all completely waterproof. If you want to ensure that you don’t end up with wet gear, double check when you make your purchase that you choose one that states it’s waterproof credentials. 

Do I need roof bars for a roof tent?

Generally, yes. Usually, the best bet is to go for the ones the manufacturer of your vehicle makes. Alternatively, you can choose some that match the roof box if they’re available for your car.

How long does it take to fit a roof rack tent?

Usually, it’s pretty quick once you’ve fitted the roof rack tent once. Most tents come with a simple system that clips the tent in place easily. The first time you fit your tent you will need a bit more time to adjust the fixtures so they line up with your roof bars. We’ve put together a guide on this.

Does it cost extra to take a roof rack tent on a ferry?

Usually, it doesn’t, however, most ferries will have a height restriction. We suggest you ask your ferry company for clarification on their policy on roof rack tents. Be sure to check out our guide on this.

Does a roof rack tent affect your insurance?

It can do, so it’s best to let your insurance company know that you will sometimes be using a roof rack tent on your vehicle.

Are roof rack tents secure?

Roof tents are generally more secure than the cargo boxes as they have integrated locking system. However, we wouldn’t recommend leaving anything too valuable in a roof rack tent for too long. Read more about roof box security here.

Are roof rack tents noisy?

A roof rack tent will create a bit of extra wind noise, especially when travelling at high speeds. There are a few things you can do to reduce roof box noise.

How can I store my roof rack tent when i’m not using it?

You’ve got a few options when it comes to storing your roof rack tent including using a storage system to hoist your tent above your car in your garage. Check out our guide to storing your roof rack tent here.

Are roof rack tents safe?

Yes, providing the roof rack tent is mounted to the vehicle correctly and not overloaded with too much stuff. Find out more about roof rack tent safety here.

How do you clean a roof rack tent?

You can clean your roof rack tent using warm soapy water and towel. You can also protect your roof rack tent by using a product like Polytrol to protect it from sun fading. Read our roof box cleaning guide.

Can I leave my roof rack tent on my car?

You can, but it’s not ideal as it will have a negative effect on your fuel consumption. Ideally, you’ll want to remove your tent and store it when you’re not using it.
If you need help storing your roof rack tent, check out our roof rack tent storage guide.

Are roof rack tents worth it?

Yes, if you’re going to use it more than a few times a year. Investing in a good quality roof rack tent will make camping with so much easier and free up trunk space for other things, like pets.

How much weight can a roof rack tent take?

Some roof rack tents can take up to 500lbs if you choose the biggest version. You do need to check also check the weight limit of your car, which you’ll be able to get from the manufacturer of your vehicle. Read our full guide on this here.

Do roof rack tents have a light?

No, they don’t, which can make camping in the dark quite difficult. There is however a solution.

Do roof rack tents increase fuel consumption?

Yes, they do. You can, however, reduce the effect a roof rack tent has on your MPG by choosing a tent that has been designed with aerodynamics as a priority. 

How fast can you drive with a roof rack tent?

Most roof rack tents will be ok up to the speed limit, and most will be able to handle 70mph. The maximum speed most manufacturers state is 90mph, but check the user guide before putting your foot down too far. Other factors will also affect the maximum speed.

Can you put a roof rack tent on a panoramic roof?

Yes, generally it’s ok to attach a roof rack tent to a car with a panoramic roof, however, it’s always best to check with the manufacturer of your vehicle. 
Find out more about roof tents and panoramic roofs here.

Does a roof rack tent need to be central?

It’s not essential that your roof rack tent is mounted in the center of your roof bars. For more info, take a look at this article.

Can you go through a car wash with a roof rack tent?

No! This is likely to cause damage to your car, roof rack tent and the car wash. Find out more here.

Can a roof rack tent overhang?

A little overhang is fine as long it doesn’t interfere with access to your trunk or obstruct your view when driving. Find out more here.

How do you fit a roof rack tent?

It’s actually pretty easy to mount a roof rack tent on the roof of your vehicle. Most roof rack tents are attached to your vehicle at four points. Here you can read exactly how the tents are attached.