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Cargo rack on aftermarket hitch?

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by JCLeonard, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. JCLeonard

    JCLeonard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Hey all, I'm one of those weirdos that tore apart the butt-end of my car and installed a TorkLift EcoHitch. I have been using it with a Saris 2 bike rack with no issues for almost a year. I am wondering if anyone has used a hitch mounted cargo rack to add a little capacity for camping and what not. If so, post up some pics along with what kind of gear you haul.

    Thanks!

    TeslaModel3WithBikeRack.jpg
     
  2. JCLeonard

    JCLeonard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I'm happy to report that a cargo rack works great. Although I wouldn't take it offroading :)
    With the car fully loaded with camping gear to accommodate 4 people for 2 nights this particular rack had about 5 1/2" of clearance at the very back. I had to install and load it on the road because it scraped on our driveway. There was no scraping the entire drive to the campground as well as on the gravel areas at the campground. If I were to purchase a rack of my own I would consider other models that have a bent support to raise the bed slightly.

    I opted to load the rack with bulky but not particularly heavy items such as 2 adult camping chairs, 2 kid camping chairs, 2 self inflating sleeping pads, REI base camp 6 tent, plastic container with dishes, utensils and fire-starting stuff and life jackets.

    As for range, I saw a round trip usage average of about 245 Wh/mi for the 100+ mile round trip, which included highway and back road speeds. Ambient temps were between 85 and 96 degrees F, A/C was set to 74 degrees F. My typical usage up to that point in July had been around 218 Wh/mi.

    IMG_20190712_161036.jpg IMG_20190714_141726.jpg IMG_20190714_141737.jpg
     
    • Like x 1
  3. Billyk24

    Billyk24 Member

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    Jan 25, 2019
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    Location:
    16001
    It doesn't look like too much weight in the back. Makes the vehicle more practical.
     
  4. BerTX

    BerTX Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    3,386
    Location:
    Texas/Washington
    Keep in mind that Supercharging with the hitch cargo carrier can be a challenge. Most rural sites are not too busy and you can pull in sideways or they may have nose-in stalls. Otherwise you are at the mercy of the placement of the sign posts between each stall -- some are set back enough that you won't hit them and some are as far toward the curb as they could put them. Fortunately, bumping the post gently doesn't hurt anything, unlike a bike rack...

    Also be careful not to block taillights, and for longer trips you may think about the fact that you are blocking the license tag and some zealous/bored law enforcement may challenge that.

    I have driven about 10K miles in the MS with the cargo carrier and it doesn't affect range if the load is within the wind shadow of the trunk. I do use a rack with a curved post, as stated above and have never had it drag the ground, but that is with air suspension on MS, so Model 3 results may vary.
     
  5. TomLee

    TomLee Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2019
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Vancouver
    Thanks for the posting! I was struggling between the hitch version and the roof version. Roof rack looks more appealing in my wife's eyes but range lost is a bigger concern (10% to 25% according to many reported). Hitch version is on the side, less appealing but more practical. Range lost seems smaller (12% lost with full load in your post) too. What makes you decide to install the hitch instead of the roof rack?
     
  6. JCLeonard

    JCLeonard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Messages:
    101
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Agreed on the supercharging logistics. We've been using a hitch bike rack for the last year, too. So far we have not used the bike rack or cargo rack on a trip that required supercharging. Some of the chargers around here have at least one pull in spot, but in the event they are full I am prepared to unload stuff if needed. Just part of the trip planning and another reason to pack less :) Given our current travel and packing habits I don't see it being an issue for us for a few more years.

    As for tail lights and license plate: yup, that's a thing on this car and previous cars. So far no super troopers have cared and we haven't had incidents as a result from obscured tail lights.

    Before ordering the car I knew we would need a hitch for our bike rack. I actually had the ecohitch before the car. Hoisting the mountain bikes to the roof is a PITA for my wife, plus I am not too keen on the roof rack options out there compared to tray style hitch rack. Curb appeal is not on our list of concerns, usability prevails :)

    Also, keep in mind that 12% may not be totally attributed to the rack. We also had a butt-ton of camping gear (I can't believe how heavy the cooler is for these trips!) and a family of 4 in the car traveling at speeds up to 75 mph for portions of the trip.
     

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