Transporting camping gear on the car roof

Your car roof can carry very large and bulky camping items like tents and bedding that can’t be accommodated in the boot / trunk. The basic car roof accessories include:

Roof load limit

Like the overall payload limit, each car will have its roof load limit and similarly this information is sometimes hard to find. In the absence of any reference to this figure in the car manual, you will need to make some further inquiries to the car dealer or manufacturer, especially if you will be transporting heavy items on the roof of your car.

As weight load limits of roof rails and racks will vary, you should choose roof racks that match your car roof load limit. If they don't match, the actual weight of the gear on your car roof will be the lower of the specified roof rack load limit and the roof load limit.

Roof racks

Car roof barsRoof racks are a set of bars secured to the roof of a car which are then used to secure items to the car roof, such as tents, surf boards, bikes, bags, cargo boxes and trays.

Roof racks can be purchased as an accessory from the car dealer or at separate auto and roof rack stores. Each set of roof racks will have specified load limits.

For the purposes of our camping setup, items transported on your car roof racks can be carried in the following ways:
  • In a roof pod or box which is secured to the roof racks
  • Secured to a roof basket or tray which is then secured to the roof racks
  • Safely strapped directly to your roof racks.

Securing roof racks to your car Car roof rails

Roof racks are designed to be fitted to the roof of your car. They are most commonly fitted to factory fitted roof rails but they can also be fitted to some vehicles after market. They can also be fitted to some vehicles without a roof rail using a kit which attaches the racks to the vehicle.

Needless to say, roof racks and roof rails should always be professionally fitted to your car.

Roof height considerations

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