Author - Peter Fazzini

Roof top tents and load ratings

Roof top tents are becoming more and more popular, for those people that want to discover Australia. You can sleep on your roof, staying away from those creepy crawlies.

Thinking a roof top tent is the answer? Please read on for what you need to know.

First of all, it’s not going to be possible to fit a tent on every type of vehicle. You’re going to need to get supporting racks. Your vehicle will need to have solid gutters, a track system or raised or solid rails. Generally, you need to have minimum 2 cross bars but can also be connected to platforms. Not all styles of roof racks will work. Be aware that most roof top tents have connecting u bolts and support longitudinal supports, so take note of the connectors before buying your roof rack.

It’s not recommended to put a tent onto a roof rack system that clamps into the top of the door frames.

Next up is the issue of your vehicle’s maximum load rating which the car’s manufacturer will specify. You will need to add the self-weight of the tent plus the self-weight of the roof racks (and any other gear you store on or inside the tent, to make sure you never exceed the max load rating while travelling. This is known as the ‘dynamic load rating’. If you’re heading onto dirt roads, a 33% reduction should be applied to the vehicles roof rack’s load rating.

When in a stationary position, the total weight of the tent, the occupants and any other gear inside should never be more than the general rule of three times the vehicle manufacturer’s maximum load rating for the vehicle. See example below.

Dynamic vs Static Loads

Dynamic is when you are driving your vehicle and there is motion. The load ratings applied to products by roof rack manufacturers and the car manufacturing are for when you are driving the vehicle on sealed roads, i.e. they are dynamic load ratings. If you’re heading onto dirt roads, a 33% reduction is applied to the vehicles roof rack’s load rating.

Example: Roof Rack and car manufacture max load rating 75kgs, roof racks self-weight 5kgs, tent weighs 45kgs

Bitumen Roads: You have a spare 75kg-45kg-5kg = 25kgs capacity, to carry extra gear on your roof

Dirt Roads: 75kg (reduced by 33%) = 50.25kg–45kg–5kgs = no extra carrying capacity on your roof racks

Static is when your vehicle is stationary. You have a spare 75kg x 3=225kgs-45kg-5kgs - weight of 2 x bodies, say 80kgs each=160kgs = 15kgs, so your racks are sufficient carrying limits.

There are exceptions to this, which all responsible roof rack manufacturers should make you aware of, so keep up to date on the rack manufactures websites. This should never exceed to load rating as outlined by the vehicle manufacturer.

Rack manufacturers have a blanket exclusion of all rubber mounted clamp mount systems for use. 

Awning Buying Guide

Looking at buying an awning? Read below for some great information.

An awning is a fantastic way to take your adventure to the next level, and no-Rack has a range to suite just about any application.

Getting Started

There are a few things you need to consider if you’re in the market for an awning. You don’t need to over-complicate things, but before making a purchase you should ask yourself the following questions:

·        What do I want my awning to achieve?

·        How big is the area I want covered?

What do I want my awning to achieve?

If it’s simply to throw some shade on a hot camp site, Rhino-Rack’s Batwing and Sunseeker awnings are the perfect solution. The Sunseeker can be mounted from the side, extending straight out and creating a little slice of paradise on your campsite.

The Batwing extends from side to rear, fanning out across 270 degrees. The size of your camping crew, the location of your regular campsites, and size of your rig will inform which option is most applicable to you. The Batwing Compact is a variation that differs slightly with a 500mm reduction in length to accommodate smaller vehicles and those with fewer shade demands. Also by using a lightweight polyester/polyurethane coating the waterproof rating of the Foxwing Eco is 2000mm, and the frame is constructed from rust-proof anodised aluminium which makes it strong and durable.

How big is the area I want covered?

When it comes to how much shade you want to create, Rhino-Rack’s awning base range offers a number of options. It’s also important to remember that these awnings are compatible with many accessories, all of which can help customise your set up to suit your needs.


The Sunseekers and Batwing are all constructed using the same tough as nails canvas; ripstop, lightweight, and mould resistant. The outer bags are a 580g/m2 water resistant fibre reinforced PVC material. The awnings all have an independently test UV 50+ rating and are endorsed by the Cancer Council.

No matter what kind of adventure you’re heading out on, an awning will only enhance the experience. Whether you need a cool spot to pitch your tent, or a dry and shady spot to sizzle your sausages, no serious camper should be without an awning.

Cancer Council Endorsement

Rhino-Rack’s Batwing and SunSeeker awnings are both Cancer Council endorsed products, meaning you will still be sun safe while relaxing in the shade at your chosen destination.

Every purchase of Rhino-Rack’s Batwing and SunSeeker will support Cancer Council’s work in cancer research, education and support services, helping them take a step closer to finding new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. Learn more about Rhino-Racks partnership with Cancer Council.


Rhino-Rack is honoured that our Batwing Awning received the Gold Design Award in the Product Design - Sport & Lifestyle category at the 2018 Good Design Awards.

The Good Design Awards are Australia’s oldest and most prestigious international Awards for design and innovation. The Good Design Awards are conducted annually and recognise outstanding design and innovation among a range of industry sectors.

Explore our large range of Awnings

Written By Rhino-Rack