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Can You Put a Rooftop Tent on RAV4?

Can You Put a Rooftop Tent on RAV4?

If you spend a lot of time on the road, it can be tempting to purchase a rooftop tent. After all, they are quick and easy to set up. You don’t even need to find a campsite as you would with a normal tent. But, will a rooftop tent like this fit on the Toyota RAV4?

You can put a rooftop tent on the Toyota RAV4. However, the RAV4 is probably not going to support the largest rooftop tents. It doesn’t have as much weight capacity as larger SUVs. The RAV4 is good for a one or two person setup.

Let’s answer some of the more burning questions that people often have about rooftop tents on the RAV4, shall we?

Putting a Rooftop Tent on RAV4

Yes. You can put a rooftop tent on the Toyota RAV4. However, many people do not recommend that you opt for one of the bulkier options. The RAV4 is a compact SUV. This means that it doesn’t quite have the strength that a larger SUV would have.

If you are going to put a rooftop tent on the Toyota RAV4, then we recommend that you opt for just 1-2 people in the tent at a time.

What Is The Best Rooftop Tent For RAV4?

A lot of people regard the Thule Tepui Explorer as being one of the best rooftop tents for the Toyota RAV4.

It is certainly not going to be the cheapest rooftop tent on the market, but if you want something that has been built for strength, then you are not going to get much better than this.

You have a huge amount of space inside of the Thule Tepui Explorer. This is coupled with a whopping amount of space.

The included annex means that you will have a bit of extra storage space in your tent too, which always comes in handy when you are spending your days on the road.

Will a Rooftop Tent Damage a RAV4?


As long as you are not overloading the rooftop tent, then there is going to be absolutely no danger to your vehicle.

That being said, if you are not used to driving with something on the roof, then it may feel a little bit odd at first. This is because the center of gravity of your vehicle will have shifted ever so slightly.

The vehicle also has a bit more ‘drag’ behind it. Some people may even notice that their vehicle swings a little from side to side due to the increased weight.

None of that is going to be especially dangerous, but do bear in mind that your vehicle will act differently from the tent. Prepare for that, and we are positive that you will have a much more pleasurable driving and camping experience.

Do You Need To Buy Anything To Support The Tent On The Roof Of Your RAV4?


If your RAV4 already has roof bars on it, and it almost certainly does, then you should be good to go.

That being said, there are some people that opt to give their roof bars a bit of an upgrade. Consider a rack like the RAV4 Roof Rack by PRINSU.  It isn’t 100% necessary as we believe that the stock roof bars on the Toyota RAV4 will provide enough support anyway.

Still, there are some people that feel a lot safer purchasing some roof bars with a bit of extra strength behind them, particularly if they are using their tent a lot.

Can You Install a Rooftop Tent On a RAV4 Yourself?


To be honest, installing a rooftop tent on a RAV4 isn’t an especially tricky job. You won’t have to do much more than use some basic tools to put some bolts and screws in place.

There may be a clip or two, depending on the rooftop tent that you are purchasing. The real difficulty comes with actually lifting the rooftop tent into place.

Many of them can be quite heavy, and since you have to lift them onto the top of your vehicle, it can be impossible to do on your own. Having at least two people to install the rooftop tent on your RAV4 should go down a treat.

Once the tent is actually on the roof, then you will be able to use it as a solo camper. You won’t need somebody else to help you to fold it out or fit the poles. The only time you will need to get somebody else involved again is when the time comes to remove the tent from your roof.

Making Your Roof Top Tent as Comfortable as Possible

Our top tip is to make sure that you always purchase the best quality rooftop tent that you can afford. That is why we recommend rooftop tents that sit at the upper end of the pricing scale.

Most quality rooftop tents will have a comfortable mattress built into them. This means that when you are sleeping on the top of your vehicle, it will feel pretty close to sleeping at home.

That isn’t something that you are going to get with a normal tent! Of course, you will want to choose the tent based on the mattress (we prefer foam)

You will also want to ensure that you choose a tent with a breathable fabric, just to help with the airflow so the inside of your tent doesn’t get too stuffy.

If you are planning on heading out when it is a bit colder, then you may want to splash the cash on picking up a 4-season rooftop tent for your Toyota RAV4.


Closing Thoughts

The Toyota RAV4 is a fantastic compact SUV. While it is a bit smaller than your average SUV, it is still more than capable of supporting a rooftop tent.

The roof should be more than able to deal with a solo camper, or maybe even a smaller family. Just make sure that you take the time to choose a quality tent for your roof.


Up Next:

Can You Put a Roof Top Tent On a Truck?

Are Rooftop Tents Good For Families?

What is the Biggest Roof Top Tent?

Are Roof Top Tents Easy to Steal? (theft prevention tips)


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