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Aftermarket Hitch Installation for Model 3

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by dhrivnak, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Caution do not try this at home. Now that I have that out of the way I believe I can successfully tow with my Model 3. I just took a test drive of 40 miles and all checked out. As I feared the watts/mile shot up from 230 to 400 so expect about 170 miles of range towing something substantial like my 2000lb (loaded) A-Liner. First I installed the hitch 2018 Tesla Model 3 Stealth EcoHitch which took me about 4 hours. 2 ½ hours of which was scurrying for bolts. That issue I have been told has been resolved. The hitch is quite solid and I really like how it attaches. I towed this A-liner over 13,000 miles with my Volt and the rear of the Model 3 is much more substantial which is good as I did have to beef up the Volt during one trip. For the 4 wire harness I use the no cut inductive harness from eTrailer. https://www.etrailer.com/Custom-Fit-Vehicle-Wiring/Tesla/Model+3/2018/119250KIT.html?vehicleid=201870784#exp-productdetails=.all-description While pricy it works and the only challenge was running the power wire from the battery to the module which in reality was not too bad. I installed the kit in about 2 hours. I then added a 7 pin connector from eTrailer Universal Installation Kit for Trailer Brake Controller - 7-Way RV and 4-Way Flat - 10 Gauge Wires e and could have likely saved money as I only really used the plug and bracket. I made an additional bracket out of 1/8” Al (3” x 5.5”) that attaches to the bolt on the hitch so if I want to take off the hitch the wiring harness also comes off. Not sure I needed a brake controller but I added one. The wires for the brake seemed like a bear to get to and I hated cutting into the wires as the braking is not straight forward on the 3. Fortunately Tekonsha makes a highly rated controller that is wireless and detects braking from an inboard accelerometer. Tekonsha Prodigy RF Wireless Trailer Brake Controller - 1 to 3 Axles - Proportional Tekonsha Brake C While pricey it seems to work well and it was a snap to install.

    Model_3_Towing (1).JPG Model_3_Towing (2).JPG Model_3_Towing (3).JPG
     
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  2. xpitxbullx

    xpitxbullx Member

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    #2 xpitxbullx, Jul 1, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2018
    6BF5A153-C233-4872-BE1D-A661407198D4.jpeg What are you connecting your safety chains to? You could get a ticket having it hooked to rope. My mount has a D-ring.

    Make sure your trailers tires are at near max psi. Under inflated tires will be the biggest factor in losing range per charge.
     
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  3. Rsdavis9

    Rsdavis9 Member

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    So has anybody talked to tesla and gotten an answer as to whether the hitch affects the warranty? I need a hitch for my kayak trailer and my wife insists that tesla signs off on it.
     
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  4. nervus

    nervus Supporting Member

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    At least you have the lawfull possibility to install a tow hitch. If Tesla doesn't do the proper paperwork for EU homologation, no one in Europe can drive a model 3 with a tow-hitch. It will be illegal :(:(
     
  5. xpitxbullx

    xpitxbullx Member

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    As long as the hitch or installation of the hitch isn’t the cause of failure with a warrantied part, you are fine.
     
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  6. grommet

    grommet Member

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    Tesla will never "sign-off" on it, as the current Model 3 has a tow rating of 0. (See manual, with all the warnings.) Most expect a hitch receiver (and towing capability) when Air Suspension becomes available next year.
     
  7. xpitxbullx

    xpitxbullx Member

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    A bike rack placed on a tow hitch IS a zero tow rating. Also, the 0 rating for the M3 is only because it hasn’t been issued a rating yet, not because it can’t tow anything on wheels (trailer). Asking the company to sign off on an aftermarket item is never gonna happen. As long as installing the hitch or it’s use afterwards doesn’t cause a failure, directly or indirectly, your warranty is still fine. IMHO
     
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  8. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    As for the rope it is stout climbing rope with 2000 lb drop strength. The reason I am a bit concerned about your chain attachment is both the bolt and the pin are single points of failure. If one fails you lose the hitch and the chains go with it. With the rope option I am tied to the cross bar. Maybe a false sense of security. Maybe I can add some stout cable.
     
  9. Randy Spencer

    Randy Spencer Member

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    Is that what happened with the Model S? Is it still living with a Zero rating, now years after people started putting hitches on? Did they ever add features to the Model S to help towing like the Model X Tow Mode?

    -Randy
     
  10. xpitxbullx

    xpitxbullx Member

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    The bolt and pin failing is extremely rare. The most common reason 99.99% of the time is improper seating of the receiver on the ball.
     
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  11. xpitxbullx

    xpitxbullx Member

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    7EA11688-A2A7-43A6-AFB5-3CA20E3539CC.jpeg
    2018 Model S Users Manual. No features. No rating.
     
  12. Randy Spencer

    Randy Spencer Member

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    Really? So if someone is using a trailer on a Model S and gets in an accident their insurance won't cover it?

    -Randy
     
  13. xpitxbullx

    xpitxbullx Member

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    I guess it would depend on the situation and the insurance company. If the accident was caused because a trailer was being pulled then possibly not.

    My insurance covers my own stupidity. But that’s how I tailored my policy, just in case. :)
     
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  14. GreenSilver

    GreenSilver New Member

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    I spoke with them. The hitch does not affect the warranty but any damage sustained by misuse of the hitch is not covered.
     
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  15. Randy Spencer

    Randy Spencer Member

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    That seems reasonable.

    Can I tow a passenger jet? I have seen them speak of Tesla’s ability to do such things.

    -Randy
     
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  16. xpitxbullx

    xpitxbullx Member

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    2FB1F393-52C9-4980-8C3C-D02B347F129F.jpeg
    I’ve seen a guy do it with his teeth so I’d say...yeah, a Tesla can do it, too. Haha.
     
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  17. GreenSilver

    GreenSilver New Member

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  18. GreenSilver

    GreenSilver New Member

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    ...Also, I spoke for a considerable amount of time with a representative of Torklift, who tells me they have sold "thousands" of their EcoHitch. I ordered the 2" receiver. The tongue weight will hold up to 200 lbs. including your bike rack, or be capable of towing up to 2,000 lbs. The receiver, when in place, will hang down below the rear of the car by about 2-3", so one will have to be careful about going too fast over speed bumps or low dips in a roadway.
     
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  19. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    I have that hitch installed and I still have 7” from the bottom of the hitch to the ground. Speed bumps have not been an issue. Not even close.
     
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  20. Yanquetino

    Yanquetino Member

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    Might I ask how and where you strung the wire to the battery? I've peered underneath my Model 3 to try to figure out the best path to feed the wire, but at this point I'm scratching my head.
     

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