Can I install a TentBox roof tent on a roof rack?

Neill Shurville
Last update by Neill
Jun 29, 2023


Although crossbars are the easiest platform to attach a TentBox to, it is also possible to attach a TentBox to a roof rack.

  • Does your roof rack have raised edges?
  • Attaching a TentBox to a roof fack
  • Roof racks with the TentBox Lite

There a few things you need to be aware of if you plan to install a TentBox onto a roof rack, as opposed to crossbars.

Does your roof rack have raised edges?

If your roof rack has raised edges, the dimensions of the TentBox must fit within the boundaries of the raised-edge. For your reference, check the product page for the model you are interested in to see its dimensions.

    One thing to remember is that the raised edges may interfere with the ladder set up, the ladder may not be able to attach to the ladder brackets on the TentBox. However, if this is the case you can lean the ladder against the roof rack, or in some cases hook it directly onto the roof rack itself!

    Attaching a TentBox to a Roof Rack

    The base slats on roof racks come in various shapes and sizes. Some have slats that run from the front to back, some have slats that run from side to side, and some have both! In addition, the slats come in varying widths depths.

    When you can use our standard clamping system

    The standard TentBox clamping system is designed to work with two cross bars, which run from the side to side of the vehicle, and have a width of between 2 and 8.5 cm.

    The fixing rails underneath the TentBox are spaced 60cm apart.

    You can use our standard system if:

    • Your roof rack has slats that run from side to side
    • Those slats are between 2 and 8.5 cm
    • The fixing rails underneath the TentBox, which are 60cm apart, line up correctly with the gaps in your roof rack, allowing space for the bolts of the clamping system to drop through

    Other options

    If your roof rack doesn't meet the above criteria, you have the following options to attach your TentBox:

    • Contact your roof rack manufacturer, and see if they have a roof tent adaptor kit. These come in various forms, but essentially provide an alternative way to attach a TentBox to your rack.
    • Get in touch with a mechanic or vehicle outfitter, and see what they suggest. Often it is possible to custom build something to make it work.
    • The easiest solution is to buy a set of cross bars, instead of a rack! Cross bars are relatively inexpensive compared to a rack, and are incredibly easy to use and install.

    Person tightening nuts on TentBox universal mounting mechanism during installation

    Roof Racks with the TentBox Lite

    Our TentBox Lite is our soft-shell model that sits tiny on top of your car but folds out to create a comfortable camping pod. Due to the structure of this product, it would be difficult to attach it to a roof rack with a raised-edge. The TentBox Lite needs an unobstructed area to be able to fold out and lock into place at the hinge, as shown below.

    TentBox Lite installed on cross bars on small car

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