How Much Weight Can A Roof Top Tent Hold

A roof-top tent allows you to set out on any type of adventure you’d like. These incredible tents have become one of the most popular forms of tenting as they can allow you to camp in some of the harshest conditions. The roof-top tent has a lot of benefits, but how much weight can they hold?

What is the Roof-Top Tent Weight Capacity?

The RTT or roof-top tent, weight capacity, is generally around 200 pounds per camper. This capacity breaks down as a 2-person roof-top tent with two people sleeping in it, can handle 400 pounds.

If you have a 3-person tent with three people sleeping inside, it will handle up to 600 pounds. The ladders used to access these tents are generally about 320 pounds. 

When you are considering the purchase of a roof-top tent, you need to know more than just how much weight the tent can hold. These are other considerations you have to weigh in when selecting your tent. 

*This article may contain affiliate links. Please take that into account.

👉 If you like to go camping with your car then I recommend Tepui Explorer RTT and Front Runner RTT (click on those links to check today’s price on Amazon).

Will Your Roof Support the Roof-Top Tent?

When you put anything on the roof of your vehicle, its center of gravity changes, this change will affect how the vehicle is going to handle when you’re driving.

Driving with a load on the roof means your car can sway sideways more when you make a corner, or are driving across a slope, as well as when you drive on uneven surfaces.

Be aware this change in gravity impairs your ability to handle the car the same as you would with nothing on top. It does increase your risk of a rollover under certain conditions, which is why vehicle manufacturers recommend a maximum roof load.

When you stay within the manufacturer’s recommended roof load maximums, you reduce your risk of rollovers and are better able to maintain control of your vehicle. 

Another factor connected to the manufacturer’s roof load maximum is the dynamic loading. The dynamic loading refers to how much force your roof can support when you drive over rough road surfaces or bumps.

If you exceed your vehicle’s specified maximum roof loading, you will not only increase your chances of a rollover, but also increase the risk of damaging your roof, and experience decreased control of the vehicle. 

Car-top tents typically weigh in at an acceptable weight for your vehicle’s roof to handle. These maximums are a precaution for you to check to verify you are within the reasonable weight limits. 

Generally, roof-top tents weigh more than a hundred pounds, so your roof rack will have to be able to handle that much weight. If your vehicle doesn’t have a roof rack, purchase one you know will support the tent.

Know how much the roof-top tent weighs to ensure the rack can support it. If you already have a rack, check the manufacturer’s specs to learn how much it can hold. 

To know if your car can support your roof-top tent, you will need to look up the following:

  • Your rack and car dynamic weight capacity – This capacity is what your vehicle will be able to support in terms of your tent’s weight while your vehicle is in motion. You need to know both the spec of your roof rack and your vehicle. If you are starting out also having to attach a roof rack, you need to look at your vehicle’s owner manual and find the roof’s dynamic weight capacity. 
  • If your roof rack compatible with your choice of roof-top tent – Not all roof racks will adequately support a tent.
  • Check your roof rack and your vehicle’s roof to know they can handle the static weight capacity. This weight is the combination of the tent, the sleepers in the tent, and any camping gear taken into the tent. Typically roofs on a vehicle are engineered to withstand a lot of weight, and when you add that with the load distribution from the sturdy tent-floor platform and the ladder, you have a very sturdy structure. You will, however, need to confirm the static weight capacity of your specific vehicle and roof rack. 

Other Considerations to Know If Your Roof-Top Tent Will Work With For Your Load Capacity

Once you have determined the tent model that will work with the load capacity of your vehicle, there are options to having a roof-top tent you might want to consider:

  • Awnings and annexes– There are models of car-top tents that allow for an extended space or covered area, or you can also buy one that will enable you to add the extra space later.
  • Levels of durability– Car-tops tents are constructed to be durable and extra sturdy. Still, some models are built with a more rugged design and intended for those extended trips into extreme climates. There are even models that offer all-mesh canopies as an optional purchase. 
  • Hardtop models– The fabric models are much more affordable, but a hardtop roof-top tent will keep your things better protected as you drive. 

So, thinking about or having become a roof-top tenter opens a lot of opportunities and options for your outdoor adventures.

You are now going to enjoy your outings with less setup time as the roof-top tents are engineered for quick setup.

When you reach your destination, you simply undo a few straps, pop it up, and place a few poles and the ladder. You are now set to relax and enjoy your camping experience. 

The floors and tent material in these tents are reliable and durable and will allow for most any type of weather condition. The roof-top tents also come with foam mattresses that are super plush.

You will sleep well in a comfortable bed and up off the ground, which can sometimes become damp or have creepy, crawly guests invading your space. The roof-top tent is also going to open up your options on where you camp.

You will not have to find a level place for a pad, and can even choose a site outside of a campground as these tents allow you to just pull over and camp.