Do You Need A Roof Rack For A Roof Top Tent? (5 Best Ones To Pick From)

Do You Need a Roof Rack for a Roof Top Tent?

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When it comes to camping, there are a lot of different options to choose from. One popular choice is using a rooftop tent. These tents attach to the roof of your vehicle and provide a comfortable place to sleep while camping. But do you need a roof rack for a rooftop tent?

Yes, a roof rack is necessary for a rooftop tent. The roof rack provides added strength and stability for the tent, ensuring it will remain secure even in windy conditions. The roof rack can be as simple as aftermarket crossbars or as elaborate as a heavy-duty permanently mounted custom rack.

In this blog post, I will discuss today’s five best roof racks on the market. I’ll also provide tips on choosing the right one for your needs.

What Is a Roof Rack and What Is It Used for?

A roof rack is an aftermarket accessory that attaches to the roof of a vehicle. It usually consists of two or more crossbars, which serve as mounting points for various items such as bike racks, kayak carriers, cargo baskets, etc.

A roof rack also provides added stability for your rooftop tent. The tent’s weight is distributed across the roof rack, which can help minimize wind noise and keep your tent firmly in place.

The roof racks are available in different sizes and configurations. Some are designed for specific vehicles, while others can be adjusted to fit almost any vehicle.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Roof Rack for a Roof Top Tent

Here are some of the things to consider when buying a roof rack for your rooftop tent:

Dynamic Weight Capacity (DWC)

The dynamic weight capacity (DWC) is the maximum weight that can be safely placed on your roof rack. Make sure to check the DWC of any roof rack you’re considering.

I recommend buying the rooftop tent before getting the roof rack. This way, you will be able to know how much the rooftop tent weighs so that you can get the correct type of roof rack to support it.

Mount Type

Roof racks come with different mounting styles, such as clamp-on or bolt-on. Make sure to select one that is compatible with your vehicle’s roof type.

Vehicle Compatibility

It would be best if you also considered vehicle compatibility. Some roof racks may work with specific vehicles only, while others might be adjustable to fit a broader range of cars or trucks. Check the product description and measurements before purchasing a roof rack.


Of course, you should also consider the price. A roof rack can range from inexpensive to very expensive, depending on its features and materials.

Installation Method

There are two main types of roof racks: those that require permanent installation and those that can be removed when not in use. Permanent structures are generally more robust, while removable setups are easier to install and uninstall.

Design and Quality

Check the quality of construction and materials used for the roof rack. Look for corrosion-resistant materials such as stainless steel or aluminum and an aerodynamic design.

5 Best Roof Racks for a Rooftop Tent

Now that you know what to look for in a roof rack, here are the five best roof racks for rooftop tents that you can get:

Yakima SkyLine System

 Yakima SkyLine System has vehicle-specific landing pads and a range of crossbar configurations, and it is intended for vehicles with fixed points or tracks on the roof.

This roof rack system is among the easiest to use and install with the tool provided. It has a maximum load capacity of 165 pounds and is, therefore, a great alternative if your rooftop tent is lighter than 165 pounds.

The system enables you to flatten the bars even on sloped roof surfaces by adjusting the pitch of the bars by 12 degrees. Yakima also provides a locking mechanism that needs to be purchased separately so that you can leave your rack on your car confidently in any circumstance.

However, because this is a cross bar kit rather than a roof rack system that is permanently fixed, it will be less secure. Yet, this might be a perfect choice if you sometimes use your RTT and don’t want to put a permanent rack on your car.

BajaRack Roof Rack System

The BajaRack Roof Rack System is designed to fit most vehicles, including Jeeps and trucks. It has a maximum load capacity of 300 pounds and is made from corrosion-resistant materials such as steel or aluminum.

Its installation process is straightforward, requiring no drilling or welding. The mounting system is designed to work with various roof types, including curved, sloped, and straight-edged roofs.

It has a one-year warranty and an adjustable front lip that allows you to fit different widths of bars. Additionally, the BajaRack Roof Rack System includes wind deflectors so that the noise from your rooftop tent is minimized.

Thule TracRac SR System

The Thule TracRac SR System is perfect for those with a pickup truck or similar vehicles. With a maximum capacity of 1250 pounds, this system allows you to mount your RTT on a truck bed rack. This leaves space underneath where you can store any gear.

The Thule TracRac SR System is made from anodized aluminum, which makes it resistant to corrosion and rust. It also has a removable crossbar that can be used as a cargo or bike rack. Furthermore, the system is aerodynamic and reduces wind noise when driving with your RTT on top.

This roof rack can carry almost any RTT, and its installation process is straightforward. It has all the necessary hardware, including bolts, nuts, and mounting brackets.

Front Runner Outfitters Slimline II Roof Rack

The Front Runner Outfitters Slimline II Roof Rack is an off-road roof rack that can be installed on any vehicle. It has a maximum capacity of up to 660 pounds and is made from corrosion-resistant aluminum.

This is one of the most popular roof racks that is permanently installed. One good thing about it is it comes with a wind deflector, so you won’t have any noise from your RTT when driving.

It has an adjustable crossbar to fit different widths of bars and comes with all the necessary mounting hardware. Additionally, this roof rack has openings on the side to store compatible gear like front-runner tables.

Gobi Stealth Rack System

The Gobi Stealth Rack System is an all-in-one roof rack with a maximum capacity of 300 pounds. This system includes a removable ladder, a cargo basket, and four mounting brackets that are adjustable to fit almost any vehicle type.

The Gobi Stealth Rack System is made from aluminum, which makes it resistant to corrosion and rust. It also has adjustable mounting points to fit different widths of bars.

This rack is easy to install with the included tool and can be removed easily by unscrewing the bolts and brackets. It is strong enough in a way that you can walk on it without it bending or breaking.

Final Thoughts

A roof rack is essential for carrying an RTT when going on road trips and storing your gear securely. The five different roof racks listed here are some of the best that can help you do just that – carry your bag in style.

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of roof racks available, you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your RTT and vehicle. Happy trails.

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