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2013 AUDM SJ FXT Premium
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m looking to purchase a Darche Panorama 1400 rooftop tent for my SJ Forester and need to choose some crossbars.

I’d prefer OEM and a dealer is having a 15% off sale (~$350) but open to other recommendations for Melbourne/Australia?

And are the OEM/Thule bars sturdy enough for a roof top tent?

Thanks 👍
 

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FOTM Moderator
2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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3,684 Posts
What is the weight of the tent? That's really your deciding factor right there. The "standard" load capacity for the SJ Forester (in the US) is 150 lbs - from my owner's manual:

The roof rails are designed to carry​
loads (luggage and roof rack) of not more​
than 150 lbs (68 kg).​

Does this mean that the roof rack and cross bars will break if you carry 200lbs up there? I'd say "NO" but... Part of it may be to limit exposure to damages by somebody that puts 300 lbs up there, but part of it may be related to the sturdiness of the cross bars and roof rails to begin with.

You're not limited by the weight capacity of the cross bars or the rails. Will the OEM be less sturdy than the aftermarket brands? Maybe? The bigger question is about the capacity of the rails (as shown above) and not as much about the crossbar. In the owner's guide, there is no reference to the cross bars and capacity, just a generic comment about the "roof rack" and the image is more of a basket than a set of crossbars. The section on crossbars does NOT show the factory rails but more of the OEM/aftermarket type of crossbars that would use the factory roof rail mounting points (that channel in the roof, about 4 inches from the side). This is what is said about capacity for that -
The maximum load limit of the​
cargo, crossbars and carrying attachment​
must not exceed 176 lbs (80 kg).​

Given that the roof support structure is designed to hold the weight of the vehicle in case of a roll-over, I doubt very much that cargo up there (or a tent in your case) will cause any issues with the structure of the Forester, just know that it's not recommended.

On that note, I have seen more than a few SJ generation Foresters with roof-top-tents and not heard of any issues with those that I know on social media.
 

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2013 AUDM SJ FXT Premium
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the effort in that reply Foz. Should have mentioned that the tent weighs 63.5kg, so is right on the recommended limit with the crossbars/fittings.

Anyone on here have experience with rooftop tents on the OEM crossbars? I think I’ve read that they may be more difficult to attach things to due to their low profile but can’t remember for sure.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring
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808 Posts
I don't know that I'd trust the OEM aero crossbars for much over the recommended load. They just don't seem that sturdy to me. Which means I certainly wouldn't put my 109kg self into bed in a rooftop tent mounted to the OEM crossbars. I'd certainly trust the OEM rails to support much more, though. They seem really robust.
 

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2020 Forester, Convenience, CVT
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38 Posts
Well it is a lot more comfortable for seniors, LOL. Like the option of leaving the camper and taking the Subie on trails. And of course the bathroom, and taking the canoe, and bikes. No set up time in the rain. Can't go too far off grid, but far enough for us. Roof top setup was really good though.
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