Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi I'm trying to get a rooftop tent for my 2013 Rav4 LE and wondering if anyone can clarify something I found in this thread: Roof and bike racks

Someone said: "For the load bars (cross bars):
Thule makes a good product, as does Yakima, I use and abuse mine and have never had any issues. Keep in mind that even though the cross bars are rated higher, the roof itself is rated low, around 100 lbs."

Is it true that even with a good aftermarket roof rack system, I can't load more than 100 lbs on the roof of my car? With everything I've found online, I've been having a really hard time differentiating between what the OEM crossbars can handle (100 lbs) vs what the car could handle if I got a better roof rack system (also 100 lbs it seems?). It just seems like not much weight to me (btw I'm a total car newb). Thanks in advance to anyone for help!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
The bars themselves are quite flat in cross-section for aerodynamics, so most of their carrying capacity comes from the arch shape pushing out sideways on the rails. Plus of course Toyota doesn’t want these to pull a Suzuki Samurai (CR test) due to too much weight on the roof while moving. Lateral stability is a big concern with a big load up high, raising the centre of gravity.

Now I’m just some guy on the internet but the aftermarket crossbars have a much better shape for loading, and I would think this could work if you: 1. are not moving the vehicle with a sleeping person (or more than 100lbs) on top and 2. Position the crossbar brackets close to the rails’ roof attachment points, this would help transfer the load into the A, B, and D pillars of the roof structure (front door pillars and rear pillar), allowing a higher, relatively stationary load beyond 100lbs. My structural design training tells me that this should IN THEORY work, and I’d be inclined to try it myself. But remember your choice is tours alone to make, and I’m just some guy on the internet . Best bet is to contact the manufacturers of the hardware you want to use and see what their position is on this plan, then make your decision based on that.

You can also check with your Toyota dealer’s parts and accessories department to see if they list/sell packages for this for the RAV4.... implied consent and tacit approval, for what that’s worth! (Hint, not much, but better than a kick in the bum!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The bars themselves are quite flat in cross-section for aerodynamics, so most of their carrying capacity comes from the arch shape pushing out sideways on the rails. Plus of course Toyota doesn’t want these to pull a Suzuki Samurai (CR test) due to too much weight on the roof while moving. Lateral stability is a big concern with a big load up high, raising the centre of gravity.

Now I’m just some guy on the internet but the aftermarket crossbars have a much better shape for loading, and I would think this could work if you: 1. are not moving the vehicle with a sleeping person (or more than 100lbs) on top and 2. Position the crossbar brackets close to the rails’ roof attachment points, this would help transfer the load into the A, B, and D pillars of the roof structure (front door pillars and rear pillar), allowing a higher, relatively stationary load beyond 100lbs. My structural design training tells me that this should IN THEORY work, and I’d be inclined to try it myself. But remember your choice is tours alone to make, and I’m just some guy on the internet . Best bet is to contact the manufacturers of the hardware you want to use and see what their position is on this plan, then make your decision based on that.

You can also check with your Toyota dealer’s parts and accessories department to see if they list/sell packages for this for the RAV4.... implied consent and tacit approval, for what that’s worth! (Hint, not much, but better than a kick in the bum!)
Thanks for your thoughts! Yeah, I'm assuming it has to do with the stability, as you said, but I still can't believe the capacity would only be 100 lbs! I am going to call Toyota again today and see what they say, last time I called they only knew the load capacity of the crossbars. Thanks for the good advice on rail positioning; I think the rail positioning advice you gave is good no matter how much I'm loading the bars, so thank you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The OEM cross bars are rated for 100 lbs. Didn't see anything concerning the roof itself.

View attachment 154120
Thanks! Yeah I have the OEM crossbars, and every time I try to figure out what my car can handle if I were to upgrade these bars, I can only find information on the capacity of the cross bars! Seems kind of frustrating I can't find more about it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
For anyone who comes across this thread wondering the same thing -- I was FINALLY able to confirm with Toyota that they do not recommend putting more than 100 lbs on the roof regardless of the type of rack used. I guess it has to do with stability issues. A bit disappointing!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
589 Posts
For anyone who comes across this thread wondering the same thing -- I was FINALLY able to confirm with Toyota that they do not recommend putting more than 100 lbs on the roof regardless of the type of rack used. I guess it has to do with stability issues. A bit disappointing!
Again though, that’s for a vehicle in motion to avoid changing the centre of gravity. Parked and level, there are no dynamic concerns.

The bars likely have a yield weight of about 150lbs (or 200, 100 each) and the lowest yield limit is what they will list. Given how litigious everyone is, it’s no wonder they would list that, even stationary.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top