What Type of Racks Needed to Carry a Rooftop Car Tent?
By far the most common question about a rooftop tent is “Can my car carry one?” While it’s possible to get a tent on most vehicles, there are a few things to know before moving on.
Dynamic Weight: This is the amount of weight your roof rack can carry while the vehicle is moving. Rooftop tents typically weigh between 100-200lbs. If your car came with a roof rack factory installed you’re going to want to check the manual and verify what weight your rack is rated for. Most factory roof racks are not capable of carrying this much weight.
3rd party roof racks, such as Thule and Yakima, almost always support higher weight capacities than a factory rack. That being said; both companies agree that clip-style racks (the ones that fit into your door jams) are not suitable for carrying tents.
Static Weight: All roof racks can carry significantly more static weight than they can dynamic. If your rack can hold a tent while your vehicle is moving, then your rack should be just fine to hold the tent, with people in it, while stationary. Just be sure not to over-fill your tent and pack a 2 person with 6 adults and you should be just fine.
When tents list people they are considering 1 person to be 200lbs.
What if Your Car Doesn’t Have a Suitable Rack Listed?
If your vehicle only has options for a clip style rack, you’re not out of luck quite yet. Rack Attack has a variety of custom roof rack options for nearly any vehicle. By installing mounting points (similar to what manufactures will do at the factory) we can give your roof the ability to carry a roof rack able to carry a tent, and best of all the rack will look more factory and is guaranteed for as long as you own your vehicle.
What Rooftop Tent is the Best?
This question is about as easy to answer as “How long is a piece of string?”
We have a wide variety of tents available from both Tepui and Yakima, as we feel they are the two brands with the best quality tents on the market. But which model to choose from these two brands is another story entirely.
It comes down to what size you need, and how you plan on using your tent.
Do you plan on removing and installing the tent frequently? If so the Yakima SkyRise tents come with tool-free hardware for very easy installation and removal. But this hardware raises the base of the tent a few inches over the tepui, so if you plan on leaving it in place more often than not, a tighter and lower fit can be a benefit.
Are you a city person who occasionally camps, or a back-country fanatic who knows how to creep through cross-ditches? Tepui sells “Ruggedized” versions of their most popular tents, and if you plan on spending a lot of time in the hills, it is absolutely worth the extra cost.
These ruggedized tents use thicker fabric, diamond plate under-base, stringer hinges… heck, everything about the tent is made beefy and strong. For the serious adventurer this is the only choice. For the rest of us, the extra cost probably won’t give you much benefit and both tents come with a 2-year manufacturer warranty.
Can I get a Car Tent Installed by Rack Attack?
Heck yes you can! Our expert rack installers will get your roof rack and roof tent installed in no time. Just be sure to call ahead to make sure we have the parts you want in stock. If not we can always get them in and have you on the road in often just a day or two!
Can I order Car Tent Online?
Yes! But with one big caveat: Rooftop car tents ship on a full pallet skid, meaning we can have it delivered right to your door, but the shipping companies will only deliver to a commercial address. As long as you can find a commercial address to have the tent dropped off at, we can have your order processed and started today.
Are Car Tents Really that Awesome?