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Best hitch rack for 2021 MYLR to hold my e-bikes and current weight limit?

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,697
3,854
USA
And I’m confused as to where the 120 lb figure comes from. The OP quotes the Y manual as stating that the vertical load of the Tesla hitch is 160 lbs.
Two different versions of the manual perhaps? Go with whatever is current.

Tesla also updated the towing capacity for the 20” wheels/tires at one point.
 

marym23

Member
Dec 9, 2018
83
67
Portland
I agree with the 1-UP rack. That's what I have and use for my eBikes. They also now sell a ramp attachment that you can use to load your bike without every having to lift it. Saris sells a new eBike rack that has a lift. You might want to look at it as well.
 
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cbo111

Member
May 28, 2019
64
73
florida
I am the OP and I was not subtracting the weight of the rack to come up with a total 160lbs. I read a couple different threads this year where MY owners state the 120lb limit. This is one of them from Feb 21:
jcanoe said:
See the 2021 Tesla Model Y Owner's Manual for information on the maximum unsupported tow hitch weight limit. The original documentation incorrectly stated that the Model Y tow hitch would support up to 160 lbs unsupported. Tesla has since restated this specification. The maximum unsupported tow hitch weight limit is 120 lbs. You will probably only be able to carry two bikes on the hitch rack.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,353
14,020
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I am the OP and I was not subtracting the weight of the rack to come up with a total 160lbs. I read a couple different threads this year where MY owners state the 120lb limit. This is one of them from Feb 21:
Well if that is the correct value for the Y factory hitch that makes it impossible to carry two e bikes without changing the hitch. I recommend the Torklift Stealth Ecohitch which is rated for up to 210 lbs load 12” out from the hitch. That’s why I had it installed on my Model 3.
 

a2t2

Member
Jul 8, 2021
282
139
Atlanta
tongue weight is normally just 10% tow rating hence 350# / 3500#. I wouldnt worry much about it your bike rack would be perfectly fine. Also, 1UP does make sweet racks. Ive got a triple, love it !
 
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a2t2

Member
Jul 8, 2021
282
139
Atlanta
I dont get that but Im not expert on trailering. All I tow is mainly a 4x8 harbor freight with bikes and/or kayaks.

This is from etrailer : The vertical load limit is the amount of weight pushing down on the ball. On a regular hitch it's called tongue weight.


All this means is when towing a trailer you want 10-15% of the load on the ball, to stabilize the trailer. Any less and the trailer will start doing the sine wave down the freeway. This 10-15% load is reacted by the mounting bolts which hold the hitch onto the frame of the vehicle.

No differently than a bike rack weight also pulling down on those same mounting bolts. Maybe for the case of bike rack install they are adding in the distance from the receiver hitch, and assuming you could load up a triple bike rack or something 10' off the back of the car ?
 
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kishkaru

Member
Feb 3, 2020
233
229
The Bay, CA
(Not trying to offend anyone here, but the physics of pulling trailers vs hitch-mounted bike racks is very different. After all, this thread is about hitch-mounted bike racks, and not about pulling trailers ;))

When you are towing, your ball/trailer weight is directly at the hitch mount point, or within 1 ft of it. Thus the "normal" tongue weight when towing a trailer is the 350 lb rating for MY.

On a bike rack, the weight is 3-4 ft from the hitch mount point, and due to the cantilever forces (the torque applied by the beam lever), the weight is multiplied by 2-4x easily. So the tongue weight rating drops dramatically and is cut by 1/2 to 1/4 the "normal" tongue weight for towing. For MY, this means 120-160 lb tongue weight max. Add to that the fact that bikes (especially heavy e-bikes) bounce around on bumps on freeways, and all that bouncing adds yet even higher torque forces via the beam lever when is then multiplied.
Good diagram/discussion thread of the forces here.

tl;dr: A 200 lb weight 3 feet past the tongue/hitch is going to translate to much more than 200 lb at the tongue/hitch.
 
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idriveacar

Member
Jun 30, 2021
60
104
Fremont
I was hoping to get a hitch with my MY so that I could add a bike rack, but unfortunately that was one of the compromises I made when nabbing an inventory car at the end of Q2.

What are my options to be able to add a bike rack to my MY? Do one of these aftermarket tow hitch options work even though my car was manufactured without that option from the factory? Would they affect the car's warranty? Can Tesla add one of their offical hitches to the car if I get it serviced?
 

kishkaru

Member
Feb 3, 2020
233
229
The Bay, CA
Never too late! Just purchase the Tesla Model Y Tow Package for $1200, and it includes free installation at Tesla Service Center. It's an option that can be installed on all Model Ys.

There may be better aftermarket options available, but you'll need to deal with installing a separate trailer harness for braking/lights. You'll be also missing the tow mode software package which does the braking/lights controls, so you'll need to add in a brake controller separately as well. If the hitch is only used for bike racks, then this is a non-issue. Although Trailer Mode is very useful to disable the rear parking sensors so they don't keep visualization/beeping when a hit bike rack is mounted.
 
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Masstify

Member
Jul 1, 2021
7
1
Lehi, Utah
I am assuming the factory installed towing package on MY is a 2" receptacle, right? I can't get an answer from Tesla. ( This is certainly the best place to come with questions. )
 

a2t2

Member
Jul 8, 2021
282
139
Atlanta
I understand now what you mean regarding tongue weight vs vertical load. Thanks. I would not worry about a good hitch receiver being overloaded by a bike or 2, but I would want a good bike rack.

and yes tons of hitch receivers available for this car either oem or aftermarket. Plenty of YouTube how to install vids. Your options are $1200 Tesla installed at a sc - gain tow mode software but lose ap towing. Aftermarket about $500 no tow software so may chime every so often if it sees the bike or trailer, can use ap since car has no idea ur towing, and u install yourself which looks fairily involved so you would need to be confident in basic Wrench turning.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,353
14,020
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I would not worry about a good hitch receiver being overloaded by a bike or 2, but I would want a good bike rack.
This thread was started by someone concerned about the total weight of two electric bikes and the rack to carry them. As various posts have made clear, with heavy bikes like that it is possible to overload a hitch.

Now with “regular” (non-electric) bikes it’s not a concern.
 

Sacramento

2021 Tesla Model Y LR AWD
Mar 13, 2021
50
73
Sacramento, CA
From a load on the hitch hardware standpoint, why is vertical load different than tongue weight? What’s the physics behind that?
This puzzled me as well until I received my cargo carrier.

A trailer has wheels (fulcrum) and the tongue (lever) is a pure downward force when standing still. The cargo/bike rack on the other hand turns the hitch receiver into the fulcrum and the rack produces torque a couple of feet away– which, if you think about it, exerts a different force on the receiver.
 

a2t2

Member
Jul 8, 2021
282
139
Atlanta
I’ll do the math for you if you want. You could prob load at least 500 lbs safely on the hitch, a few feet out and there would be no issue whatsoever if you drove safely. These limits are set more by lawyers than anything. If Tesla puts a low limit on the tongue weight it gives them an easy out incase someone does something stupid towing or carrying cargo on the hitch. I think some common sense needs to be applied here. The hitch itself is probably the strongest thing on the vehicle. The frame is very strong too, and so are the mounting bolts. It’s strong enough to lift up 5,000 lbs car vertically that could be full of water or mud. So you guys are lost in the noise worrying about a few hundred pounds on that hitch
 

Stavinski

Member
Jan 31, 2021
112
123
USA
This puzzled me as well until I received my cargo carrier.

A trailer has wheels (fulcrum) and the tongue (lever) is a pure downward force when standing still. The cargo/bike rack on the other hand turns the hitch receiver into the fulcrum and the rack produces torque a couple of feet away– which, if you think about it, exerts a different force on the receiver.
Ah, thanks for that. That makes sense if it isn’t actually a vertical load but a vertical load on a lever.
 
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