Last Updated on May 8, 2022
A roof rack is a popular accessory for all car owners around the world. You can carry quite a few extra cargoes over your roof using a roof rack. A roof rack is basically a combination of some crossbars held by some feet or towers over your vehicle’s roof.
Although roof racks allow you to carry some extra load, it doesn’t mean you can load as much weight as you would like to carry. In this article, you’ll find all the necessary information about the loading capacity on a vehicle’s roof. Let’s start with answering the question, “how much weight can a roof rack hold?”.
How much weight can a roof rack support?
There are various roof racks with different weight capacities. The weight capacity depends on the material and quality of your roof rack. You can find some roof racks that can support about 350lbs weight. But the problem is even if your roof rack supports 350lbs weight, you can’t carry that much over the roof of your vehicle.
Every vehicle has a maximum weight limit that can be carried over the roof. Typically, a car is capable of carrying about 150lbs of weight over the roof. If you exceed the weight capacity of your vehicle, it’ll be quite difficult to control the motion of your car while driving.
Doesn’t it sound weird that a vehicle can only carry 150lbs of weight over the roof? Yes, it is confusing if you don’t know about the car roof dynamic and static weight capacity. Let’s explain that to you in the easiest way.
Dynamic weight capacity
This is the maximum weight capacity of your vehicle’s roof when you are driving. When you load things on your car’s roof, it increases the overall weight and changes the center of gravity. More load means much harder vehicle handling. That is why car manufacturers provide a roof load capacity. Your car is capable of maintaining good maneuverability within that limit.
Most vehicles have about 75kgs (about 150lbs) of dynamic weight capacity for the roof. It can be a little higher or lower, depending on the vehicle. You can check the dynamic capacity of your car in the user manual (owner’s manual) that came with your car.
Static weight capacity
The static weight capacity of your roof is the maximum weight that can hold while you aren’t driving. A vehicle’s static weight capacity is much more than the dynamic weight capacity. A vehicle’s static capacity is roughly 10 times higher than the dynamic capacity.
This weight capacity comes in handy in some situations, like going on camping. As an example, let’s say you have a rooftop tent that weighs about 100 pounds. If you are planning to sleep over that car, it’ll exceed the dynamic capacity. In this case, the static weight capacity is quite impossible to exceed.
How much weight can I carry over my vehicle’s roof?
We already described the dynamic and static weight capacity. As the static capacity is really high, you don’t have to worry about that. It’s not possible to put that much weight on a vehicle’s roof in general.
You should be always careful about the dynamic weight capacity. If you have a roof rack, you should calculate the weight of that as well. Let’s say, you have a vehicle that has 150lbs of capacity and a roof rack that weighs about 40lbs. Now, you can put 100lbs of weight over the roof rack.
The roof of any car is capable of carrying a lot of weight over it. As it is hard to maneuver while there is too much weight over the roof, there is a weight limit for that. Carrying too much weight over the roof can lead to an accident. As the handling can also depend on other scenarios, it is better to carry a lesser weight than the car’s dynamic weight capacity.