Exploring the great outdoors with the comfort and convenience of a rooftop tent has become a hallmark of modern adventurers. But as you contemplate transforming your vehicle into a mobile campsite, a fundamental question arises: “Can I fit a rooftop tent to my vehicle?” The answer lies in the specifications of your vehicle and the requirements for the rooftop tent.

In this guide, we delve into the critical factors you need to consider before embarking on your next journey. From weight limitations to compatibility concerns, this guide has it all.

What Vehicle Are We Working With?

This might be less important than you think. Most people believe that you need a big truck or a large SUV to even consider a rooftop tent. But, is this even true?

No, of course not! You can put a rooftop tent on almost every car you can think of when it can be fitted with a roof rack or carrying system of some kind.

You need to know that cars are designed for safety, when they flip they should be able to support their own weight. So, if the problem doesn’t lie within the structural strength of the roof, what does?

Dynamic weight. Most vehicles can easily carry a rooftop tent with multiple people when standing still, however, cars aren’t designed to carry a lot of weight on top of them while driving. This increases the center of gravity and can cause the vehicle to flip.

This also applies to taller vehicles. The center of gravity of vehicles that are taller and have more ground clearance is also higher. This often means they won’t be able to carry a lot of weight on top of them. This is mostly canceled out by the weight of the vehicles though.

Also, some tires aren’t designed to carry a large amount of weight. This usually is the case with smaller vehicles.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get a rooftop tent if you have a smaller vehicle. I mean, there is even a company that makes rooftop tents for a Volkswagen Up!, a small European car.

Fjordsen Light 140

What Tent Are You Looking For?

So, if it’s not the vehicle, is the tent the limiting factor? Well, yes and no. The answer lies in the combination of the two. Should you have a smaller car that can carry less weight, you should get a lighter rooftop tent.

With a larger vehicle that can carry more weight, you obviously have a wider range of tents to choose from.

The first thing you have to consider is, how many people should my tent fit? This often will determine the type of tent you can buy. Most hardshell wedge tents for example, only fit up to two people. In comparison, a folding rooftop tent can fit up to 6 people including an annex.

The second thing you want to look out for is how much your vehicle can carry. This can be found in the manual of the car. If not, the internet probably has an answer to your question.

Now that you know how much the dynamic weight limit of your vehicle is, and how many people your tent should fit, we can go looking for a tent. Here are a few options for you.

Rooftop Tent for Small Vehicles

The rooftop tent for small vehicles will be the Fjordsen Light 140. This tent is advertised to fit any vehicle, fits 1-2 people, and weighs in at a mere 50 kg or 111 lbs.

Fjordsen Light 140

Rooftop Tent for Medium Vehicles

For medium vehicles, we’re looking at something like a Toyota 4Runner, Ford F150, or a Jeep Wrangler. The first option is a tent that fits around three people. A great option for this would be the Thule Tepui Explorer Autana 3. This tent can fit up to three people comfortably and weighs in at 152 lbs. This tent can be bought for two persons all the way up to four persons.

Thule Tepui

Rooftop Tent for Big Vehicles

These vehicles will be your Toyota Sequoia or the Tundra. For these types of vehicles and a higher number of people, this tent would be a great option. This is the GentleTent GT Sky Loft. A rooftop tent that can fit up to six people. This tent only weighs around 110 lbs because it’s an inflatable tent.

GT Sky Loft

Conclusion

Now that you know what to look for when thinking if a rooftop tent can fit your vehicle, I hope you can enjoy it for a long time. Whether going out on big adventures or just the occasional weekend trip. Enjoy!

You should also consider if you actually need a rooftop tent. In most cases, a traditional ground tent will do the job for a tenth of the price. Read my blog post ‘Do you need a rooftop tent?here.

Remember to take care of your tent. If you want any tips, please visit my blog post about rooftop tent maintenance.

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