Roof Top Tents: Can you put them on any car you want?

We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Thanks for the support! 👍

Do you like to put a rooftop tent on your or any car? If yes, it is possible if you strictly follow the guidelines, technical features, and specifications To start with, you shall have to be technically compatible to reach the goals.

First, you must consider two important factors, such as measurements and the weight of the tent. Check if the size of the rooftop tent and roof of the car match. If the tent is bigger than your car roof, you shall not proceed with the idea. You have to be careful when you try to put a roof tent on your car by not going over the maximum weight limit of your car, which is not advisable.

So can you put a roof top tent on any car? You really can put a roof top tent on any car, but you can’t put any tent on any car, you have to make sure you are buying the right one for your vehicle to make sure you aren’t going over weight, or size required for your personal vehicle. A truck can handle a much larger and nicer tent than a small sedan will be able to.

What Vehicles Can Have Rooftop Tents?

The key factor in deciding if your car is made for a rooftop tent is the weight capacity specified for the roof. You should check to see that your roof should have a weight-bearing rating of at least 165 pounds before installing a rooftop tent. Anything under that amount is more likely to cave in and not provide adequate support. Placing too much weight on the roof of your car can cause dents to form.

Trucks, vans, and SUVs are the best candidates for being rated to handle the added weight of a single person in a tent. These types of vehicles are built with thick and sturdy materials. Oftentimes, they are manufactured with the intent of being workhorses and are given strong frames that can withstand more than other commuter vehicles.

Smaller vehicles such as sedans, hatchbacks, and compact cars are not good qualifiers for rooftop tents. They have weaker structures that may not be able to support the 165 pounds as suggested. Some cars may not show signs of damage after a single use, but it will happen relatively soon.

To use a rooftop tent, your vehicle will have to have a roof rack installed. Most raised rail and some fixed point systems will house a rooftop tent. Before making your purchase, you should check the fit guide provided by the retailer. Most companies and websites provide a detailed list that covers which vehicles can use each kind of rooftop tent that they sell.

Technical measurement

Picking the right rooftop tent is a must and mandatory to your feasibility. A car’s length and weight are measured to know the compatibility. Your driving performance would not be fair enough if your car is smaller than the selected rooftop tent.

If your rooftop tent is bigger than your car, safety becomes a problem. Be sure about the roof of the car to match the rooftop tent.

Weight limit

Car’s weight differs from one to another in common. Check the weight of the car when you drive the vehicle. You have to calculate the moving car weight, which is known as dynamic weight.

If you are thorough with the dynamic weight of the car, the chances of selecting the right rooftop tent are more. For your information, the rooftop tent’s weight should be lower than the car’s dynamic weight.

For your understanding, calculate the weight of all materials that you put on the car, which is called total weight.

Based on the above discussion, the total weight should not be higher than the car’s dynamic weight.

How To Mount A Roof Top Tent?

Using crossbars to mount a rooftop tent is best and easily feasible. Using roof racks or crossbars is the best for holding the rooftop tent’s weight to the maximum. However, you shall have to choose the exact crossbar and roof racks for your task.

However, you shall have to match with the type of car when you choose the crossbar and roof racks.

How do you choose the best rooftop tent?

Choosing the best rooftop tent is not a childish play for your travel adventures. The task of choosing the right tent is overwhelming to you.

Be aware of all technical requirements so you shall choose the best rooftop tent for your use. Experts have given a list of things that are required to choose the best rooftop tent.

Let us see the list that you need

Weight limits

Know the weight that is fine to put on your car first as we discussed above. If you do not calculate, your dream does not come true. Make measurements keeping the driving feature in your mind.

Hard Top or Soft Shell

Decide whether you require hardtop or softshell when you choose the rooftop tent. If you want to set up the tent easily without much effort and quickly, choose a hardtop.

However, a hardtop is not a good option while driving. When you choose a soft shell, it takes a lot of time to set up, but a good option for car mounting. You shall get different sizes in the market which you shall choose.

Fit for your demand

Depending upon how many people sleep in the tent, you shall go with the type. You don’t want to be cramped in your tent, so keep an eye on this.

Mattress type

Go for a thicker and comfortable mattress for your long travel option even though it is an expensive option. This is what you will actually be sleeping on, and no one wants to be sleeping on a hard surface! This is also one of the big upsides of a roof top tent, so use it to your advantage.

Folding convenience

When you choose the rooftop tent, select the tent that has easy folding and setup features. This will allow you to quickly put up, and tear down your tent quickly, meaning you can get back on the road!

Additional features

Check if your tent can hold additional luggage inside during your travel. The last thing that you want is to leave your luggage outside in the cold, or even in your vehicle, as you want to make sure you can get dressed before leaving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do rooftop tents ruin your car?

If done correctly, rooftop tents will not damage your car! However you need to make sure that you are buying the right one for your purpose, and that you are not leaving it on the vehicle permanently.

Do you need a roof rack for a roof top tent?

You do need a roof rack to install a roof top tent! Unless of course you are installing your tent on a bed cover of some sort. A roof rack is what the tent will be attaching to, and keep it in place. Thankfully, you can easily buy aftermarket roof racks for your vehicle if your vehicle doesn’t have any stock.

What’s the point of rooftop tents?

Roof top tents are awesome for overlanding, and allows you to be able to quickly set up camp and enjoy the outdoors without the pain of setting up a tent. It is just a quick flip up and sleep


How about your decision to buy a new rooftop tent now? Yes, consider the above features before choosing the tent for your exemplary road trip and camping. Have a wonderful trip!