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Whether you want to strap some extra luggage to the top of your RAV4 or you are taking your kayak out for a leisurely adventure, it’s important to know what the roof rack holds. The only way to remain safe is to know the maximum Toyota RAV4 roof rack weight limit.
In this guide, I cover the weight limit of the RAV4’s roof rack, so you don’t need to wonder anymore. I also look at the dangers of overloading the rack and give you some safety tips.
Roof Rack Weight Limit on a Toyota RAV4
Where can the Toyota RAV4 roof rack weight limit be found? The easiest place to find it is in the owner’s manual, under the “Cargo and Luggage” section.
To make it easy, I have the RAV4 roof rack weight limit ratings broken down by model year below:
- 2019-2023: 176.4 lb. (80 kg.)
- 2013-2018: 101.9 lb. (46.2 kg.)
- 2006-2012: 102.7 lb. (46.2 kg.)
- 2001-2005: 75 lb. (34 kg.)
The newer models have a much higher maximum weight limit than older models. From the 2001 to the 2019 RAV4, there’s more than a 100-pound increase.
The Dangers of Overloading a Roof Rack
You should never overload the roof rack on your Toyota RAV4. It’s important to always follow the recommendations given by the manufacturer.
When overloading the roof rack, the following situations can occur:
- Poor handling
- Reduced fuel economy
- Instability leading to a rolled or flipped vehicle
- Broken roof rack, making it easier for items to fly off and create an on-road hazard
While some of these problems are mere inconveniences, others create real danger. When in doubt, weigh your gear to ensure it doesn’t exceed the recommendations.
Factors That Affect the Roof Rack’s Weight Limit
Here are the three main factors that affect the weight limit of your RAV4 roof rack:
- OEM vs. Aftermarket Rack: When you install an aftermarket roof rack, it could weigh more than the OEM parts. If so, the load you put on the rack may be diminished because of how much total weight the roof can hold.
- Load Distribution: Packing the load unevenly allows for more stress on the rack mounting points. The weight limit is reduced if the load isn’t even.
- Total Vehicle Weight Capacity: When the vehicle is already full of heavy gear, putting more weight on the roof rack is unwise. It could overload the capacity, creating an unsafe situation.
When loading up the RAV4 roof rack, it’s important to take all of these factors into consideration.
Tips for Safely Using a Roof Rack on a Toyota RAV4
To avoid any trouble when using a roof rack, consider following these valuable safety tips:
- Inspect the roof rack to ensure it’s attached correctly
- If the roof rack is worn or broken, have it repaired
- Secure items with high-quality straps and equipment
- Double-check the items before pulling out and at every stop
- Take your time, drive slowly and careful
- Never exceed the weight limit
- Avoid loading bulky items, such as mattresses and large furniture
- Avoid carrying dirty gear
Additionally, don’t forget to take the gear off of the rack when you are finished. There’s no reason to keep the load sitting on the rack when it’s not in use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Take Your Gear With You
Your Toyota RAV4 is designed for comfort and enjoyment, but it also allows you to experience new adventures. When carrying larger items or if the cabin is already full, take advantage of the roof rack for the ride.
Just don’t exceed the RAV4 roof rack weight limit to ensure you arrive at the destination safely. After all, it’s not much of an adventure if disaster strikes.