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How much can I carry on my roofrack?

Worried about your roofrack load limit, or your car’s roof load limit?

Every vehicle has a roof load limit, which for modern 4X4s is around 50-150kg – but that’s very much dependent on the specific make and model of the vehicle, so check your car’s limit and don’t assume one close to it will be the same.

That roof load limit has to include the weight of the rack, so if you have a 100kg roof load limit, and your rack weighs 30kg, then you’ve got 70kg of load left.

Some steel racks are very heavy – my old Defender below is shown with a 65kg steel rack…and its roof limit was 75kg. So, only 10kg load!

One advantage for utes is that the roof load limit applies only to the cab. If you run a canopy or service body on the back then the manufacturer of that product will set a limit for it.

Now driving offroad increases stress on the vehicle, so the limit should be reduced. But what is ‘offroad’ and therefore how much should be limits be reduced by? Good questions, no easy answer. And then there’s static limits…the roof load limit when not moving. This might be around 3 times the onroad (dynamic) limit, but it will be hard to find exact numbers.

Basically, buy the smallest and lightest quality alloy rack you can, and load it with the lightest, bulkiest gear such as sleeping equipment. The less weight up there the better!

All of the above and more is fully explained in the video below:

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