Should you have decided that you want to purchase a roof tent for your vehicle, it can be difficult choosing one as there are many from which you can choose.
However, keep in mind that one of the most important things to consider before you buy your new rooftop tent is how much it weighs.
Importantly your vehicle might not be able to handle the additional weight that a rooftop tent places on it.
How much a rooftop tent weighs and whether or not your car will be able to handle it depends on many factors:
Here’s How Much Rooftop Tents Weigh:
A rooftop tent’s average weight is roughly 100 lbs, but most rooftop tents can and often do weigh more than that. Most roof racks on vehicles can handle between 100-200 lbs, so make sure that you know the requirements of your equipment before buying.
|1.||Go Fast Campers (SuperLite )||80 LB|
|2.||Thule (x Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam 3)||159 LB|
|3.||Ikamper (Skycamp Mini)||125 LB|
|4.||Roofnest (Sparrow Eye)||130 LB|
What Is The Lightest Rooftop Tent?
The lightest hardshell rooftop tent is currently made by the brand Go Fast Campers, who aptly named it SuperLite.
This tent weighs roughly 80 pounds and has a length of 90 inches with a width of 50 inches.
Although on the smaller side, the SuperLite can sleep two people comfortably. Made to be extremely durable and long-lasting, the SuperLite is perfect for adventures and campers alike.
The SuperLite rooftop tent is incredibly easy to install and takes approximately three minutes. This tent is easily manageable at only 6 inches thick and doesn’t take up too much space.
With how light this rooftop tent is, you won’t even notice it while driving as it has a lower center of gravity, which will save you money on gas and allow you to get to where you need to be faster.
What Are Some Rooftop Tents And How Much Do They Weigh?
There are many rooftop tents available on the market today, and with so much variety, it can be challenging to choose the one best suited to you.
Fortunately, there is a rooftop tent to suit most budgets, and luckily, their weight and dimensions are readily available.
Below we will look at three rooftop tents and how much they weigh so you can determine which rooftop tent the roof of your car can handle:
1. Thule x Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam 3 Rooftop Tent
The Thule x Tepui Ruggedized Kukenam 3 weighs in at 130 pounds and has an interior length of 83 inches with a width of 49 inches. This rooftop tent can sleep three people and can be used during all four seasons.
Not only is this tent moderately spacious, but it also comes with mesh panels to promote airflow, and the construction is UV and mold resistant, so you know it’s durable. There is a high-density foam mattress for added comfort, and the insulated fiberglass base adds warmth and reduces weight.
Additionally, when purchasing this rooftop tent, you will also receive a two-year warranty.
2. Skycamp Mini Rooftop Tent
Even if you have a smaller car, you can still enjoy a camping trip whenever you want!
This rooftop tent weighs 125 pounds and has a width of 54.82 inches by a length of 57.28 inches.
If you’re looking for a speedy setup time, then this rooftop tent could be perfect for you. The tent takes only a minute to set up, and it can sleep two people.
The tent features insulating poly-cotton canvassing, which makes it breathable, and the rainfly is made from polyester 150D, making it waterproof.
Additionally, you can get the shell of this rooftop tent in different colors.
3. Sparrow Eye Rooftop Tent
The Sparrow Eye weighs 130 pounds, and the interior is quite spacious. With a length of 83 inches and a width of 49 inches, you and your partner will have more than enough space to nest for the night.
When purchasing this rooftop tent, you will receive an uber comfortable built-in mattress that is custom designed and 7cm high. With how easy it is to install, you will be ready to camp in no time.
Its simplicity is a big drawing card for those who want a no-fuss roof tent.
How Durable Are Roof Racks?
How durable a roof rack ultimately is will depend on a few factors.
Not all roof racks are made equal, and the brand you choose will likely affect the quality you receive.
Of course, it’s often best to go with well-known brands or do your research and check reviews before purchasing roof racks.
Quality & Price:
Poor-quality roof racks won’t be as durable or last as long, while high-quality roof racks are likely to last you many years.
Sometimes it’s worth it to invest in a more expensive set of roof racks as you will know you are likely to receive value for your money.
Another consideration is what material was used to create the roof racks.
Depending on whether your roof racks are made from aluminum or steel will affect the durability of them:
- Aluminum is more lightweight but still offers versatility and strength.
- Steel is heavier, but its durability is better as it’s unlikely to bend or deform and overall steel roof racks tend to be cheaper.
Frequency of Use:
How often you will be utilizing your roof racks and how much weight you will be continuously placing on them is another factor you should consider when determining your roof rack’s durability.
Constantly overloading your roof racks will cause them to suffer wear and tear at a faster rate and become less durable quicker.
Can Smaller Cars Hold The Weight Of Rooftop Tents With People Inside?
Rooftop tents are a great option for those who prefer camping in numerous places all the time.
However, not every car can handle the weight of a rooftop tent. The majority of small cars, such as sedans, often don’t have the structural capacity to support a rooftop tent.
In fact, many small cars cannot support the roof rack system, rooftop tent, or campers themselves.
Whether or not your car will handle holding a rooftop tent while people are inside will depend on the car’s specific weight class and roof holding capacity.
You can find that this information is usually readily available online.
How Much Weight Can A Car Roof Hold?
As a general rule, most cars have a permissible moving roof weight capacity of roughly 165 pounds in total, including roof racks.
Most large cars like SUVs and trucks can handle this weight.
Depending on the car you have, the roof could hold approximately 100 lbs to 200 lbs without a roof rack. However, cars able to hold 200 lbs are in the minority, with the average vehicle capable of holding a maximum of 150 lbs without roof racks.
Definitely use a roof rack with your rooftop tent, though, as you need to make sure it is secure to the roof of your vehicle during transit.
There is a handy way to work out whether or not your car can handle a rooftop tent, roof racks, and passengers.
You will need to determine the unladen weight of your car, the weight of the rooftop tent, the weight of your luggage, and the passengers’ weight.
Once you have this, you will add the weights and see the total weight and total permissible weight.
Does It Impact The Gas Mileage?
Admittedly how much your gas mileage will be affected is dependent on the type of car you have and whether or not it uses diesel or petrol.
With a rooftop tent installed on your vehicle, you can expect your gas mileage usage to increase as the tent’s added weight makes the car have to work harder, which means it uses more fuel.
It would be beneficial if you only used a rooftop tent when you plan to camp or travel, as keeping one on your vehicle all day every day will cost you more money in fuel expenses.
Morten is the founder of GoDownsize. He has filmed and interviewed people living in tiny houses and RVs since 2011. He grew up on the coast where his dad took him boating from a young age. He has completely rebuilt two RVs in which he travels with his family for months at the time. Read more about Morten here.