TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Airstream Towing Equipment Recommendations - Sport or Nest

Discussion in 'Model X' started by Atlantian, Jul 29, 2018.

  1. mengwong

    mengwong Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2017
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    • Informative x 1
  2. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    @mengwong (and other pros here), I read that you used the stock Bosal receiver with no WD, aka commando style. Did you also hitch your Airstream with no ball offset? Asking because the sport 22 ball height is 17 inch and the top of the Bosal receiver is like 12 inches with suspension set to standard (at least on my car). Is a 5 inch difference acceptable, because of course Tesla advises against offsetting the ball above 3/4 of an inch. And apologies for the novice questions!
     
  3. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Question ohmman. Looking at the Airstream website, I seem to notice the tongue weight includes LP. Do they just mean the tanks unfilled? Asking because after much back and forth, we have landed on buying a 2020 22’ Bambi. Getting it next week. We understand the hit on range due to the larger frontal area but decided we could live with that for the additional space inside. I also plan on towing with the Bosal hitch, at least at first then moving to Draw-Tite if necessary. My only concern now is the 500 tongue weight rating of that trailer. Within Tesla specs but of course that’s theoretical. I plan on not filling both thanks at first and spending quite a bit of time balancing the trailer, like putting stuff in the bathroom in bins as suggested here. Any additional thoughts on living on the edge like that with regards to tongue weight? ;-)
     
  4. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    17,377
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    You need to accurately measure the tongue weight so you don’t exceed the hitch spec. I use one of these (4” drop version, and then I had it cut down even further) Labor Day Sale - 10% Off Weigh Safe

    You can also use something like this Sherline Trailer Tongue Weight Scale – Sherline Products

    Your tongue weight should be 10-15% of the total trailer weight
    https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-determine-trailer-tongue-weight.aspx

    I will be interested to learn what your Wh/mi energy usage figure is when towing a 22 ft Bambi at 55mph on a level dry road. Please let us know.
     
  5. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,681
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    Personally, it makes me uncomfortable, but that's just me. It is your decision and your rig. I would strongly recommend ditching the Bosal with that camper and going straight to the Draw-Tite. It's inexpensive, easy to install, and from a hitch standpoint, it gives you more tongue weight wiggle room. The hitch itself is rated at 750 lbs, though the Model X still is technically limited to 500 lbs of tongue weight. Still, I can't conceive of a good reason one wouldn't upgrade if their dry hitch weight is already 500 lbs.

    The tongue weight includes full LP, as far as I remember, but does assume empty tanks. You have to remember, as @ecarfan notes above, that you should definitely keep your tongue properly weighted. It would be easy enough to rear-load your camper but since you are foregoing weight distribution, you really want to err on the side of a heavier tongue. 15% of total weight is probably safest. Dry weight of the camper is 3800 lbs. If you load it up to, say, 4400 lbs, that would be a 660 lb tongue weight.

    Get the Draw-Tite.
     
  6. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,681
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    Oh, and I look forward to seeing the wider body version at some point at my Airstream dealer. I'm guessing they increased the depth of the dinette? That will be a huge win. I am not a fan of the U-shaped dinette in our camper.
     
  7. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    As always ohmman, thanks for the precious wisdom and insights.

    So when they say 500 lbs, it would be assuming full LP tanks but an empty trailer. 500 isn’t their estimation on tongue weight with the trailer loaded at maximum capacity, i.e. at the max 5000 lbs. If it’s the latter, notwithstanding weight distribution, I’m less concerned. Sorry for the newbie question!

    Reason I’d prefer to keep the Bosal hitch is to avoid any kind of problems with Tesla from a warranty standpoint. I also live in a place with lots of snow in the winter and I like ability to completely remove the hitch and limit the amount of gunk getting into that area of the car. I’ve also seen the rust issues experienced by some on aftermarket hitches and the related problems with our aluminum bodied cars.

    I get the Bambi is heavier when looking at specs but I did rent and tow a Sport 22 and my Bosal adapter still looks brand new. I mean it doesn’t look like it was stressed whatsoever. It’s rated at 430. Could the 70 lbs really be the straw that brakes the camel’s back, especially if I put more weight in the back (again, WD concerns aside)?
     
  8. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    It’s actually in the corridor that the space has been added. With our teenagers in the rented Sport, we had noticed the area was cramped when preparing meals so good move on their part to add it there. I do agree that dinette in Sport is not deep enough. What they’ve done there is make the cushion less thick. Makes a difference. Tried it. See photo.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Thanks. Will be sure and weigh it carefully. I had actually bought Haul Gauge for my experience with a rented Sport 22 but while it worked in tests ahead of the trip, it failed during it. So I may buy a more traditional scale.

    Is the Weigh Safe not too long of a ball mount for the X specs or you too have ditched the Bosal?

    And yes, I am really curious to about wh/mi. Should report back in a week. I get the trailer Friday.
     
  10. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    17,377
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    With the WeighSafe ball mounted as shown in my blog post at https://electrictravels.blog/2018/09/16/towing-with-a-tesla/ it meets the Bosal specs.

    However, I strongly recommend that you follow the advice of @ohmman and replace your Bosal with the DrawTite because of the weight of the Airstream. The Bosal just isn’t up to it. He has the towing experience to support that position. My Safari Condo Alto 17 ft trailer is literally half the weight of the Airstream and the Bosal is just fine with it.
     
  11. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Well, you guys are convincing... I will look into Draw-Tite. Would you happen to know if U-Haul white labels Draw-Tite? They sell a hitch for the X that is identical to the Draw-Tite down to the model number (76144) and installation instructions but is U-Haul branded. Seems like they have it in stock and I could pick it up tomorrow. A nice Sunday project before picking up the trailer Friday!
     
  12. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Oops. That’s 76143. Gotta be the same.
     
  13. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    17,377
    Location:
    San Mateo, CA
    Sorry, no idea. But if I was in your position, I would go with the DrawTite so I would be confident about what I was buying.
     
  14. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,681
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    Seems likely it's the same. I bet U-Haul can tell you.
     
  15. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Just back from U-Haul. Indeed is the same hitch. However, locations don't have it in stock. They have to order.

    Given that, might as well order from eTrailer and get the actual Draw-Tite branded one. Hopefully I get and can install it ahead of my trailer deliver Friday.
     
    • Informative x 1
  16. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    ohmman, quick question for you. Found a local place that could install the Draw-Tite. They are insisting however that the max tongue weight is 500 lbs. and sure enough the Draw-Tite website says that as well. Yet, eTrailet says 750 lbs. same model number. What am I missing?
     
  17. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,681
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    My understanding is that the hitch has a capacity of 750 lbs, but that they must defer to the manufacturer’s guidance. The Model X wants you to stay under 500 lbs., which is most likely a function of the rear suspension. I alluded to this above when I mentioned it but probably wasn’t clear enough. You should still shoot for a tongue weight reasonably close to 500 lbs because of this. But it should keep you safer from a Bosal adapter failure and breakaway.
     
  18. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Got it. Thanks. I definitely plan on staying on or under the 500. I also notice it is not rated for WD. Again, I assume that’s to meet Tesla specs. Now that I’m getting rid of the Bosal, might as well add that too. You’ve done the Equalizer if memory serves me right?
     
  19. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,681
    Location:
    North Bay, CA
    @JimVandegriff and I both have an Equalizer hitch. It's been fine. I think in hindsight I might consider a ProPride style hitch. In both cases, the large hitch apparatus adds quite a bit of weight to the tongue, so that's also something to consider.
     
  20. steilkurve

    steilkurve Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    721
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    True that. Given I’m up there, I should go easy on extra elements adding weight. I was thinking of adding a power jack but may be prudent to hold off on that too until I’ve played with tongue weight a bit.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC