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Draw-Tite Aftermarket Receiver Package

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,417
19,309
North Bay, CA
For those who have been following my posts, you know that I've had some issues with my trailer rig and the stock Bosal hitch adapter. I decided to replace it with this Draw-Tite fixed/welded hitch.

Before, without hitch adapter inserted:
IMG_4405.jpg


I won't bother reproducing my own version of the manufacturer's instructions. They're quite detailed and easy to follow. I'll just show some photos of how it progressed for me.

After removing some bolts under the body and a few clips around the edges, I was able to remove the bumper fascia. It took about 20 minutes total to reach this point. Note the iPad where I followed along with the instructions.

IMG_4409.jpg


The Bosal hitch bar in all its glory. I don't think we have a good photo of it on TMC, so if anyone's wondering how it looks under there, here's a good shot. Excuse the dust.

IMG_4412.jpg


Just had to disconnect a wiring harness and unbolt the stock bar.

IMG_4414.jpg


IMG_4415.jpg


IMG_4416.jpg


Here's a closer shot of the left side mounting point.

IMG_4418.jpg


The Draw-Tite hitch requires 42 lb-ft of torque. My click torque wrench, dialed in.

IMG_4420.jpg


Easy enough to mount.

IMG_4423.jpg


At this point, I realized that there isn't a mount for the 7-pin connector. The harness has to be clipped to the X body, but what to do with the termination socket? While I finished installation, I just put it on one of the safety rungs.

IMG_4426.jpg


..continued..
 
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ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,417
19,309
North Bay, CA
After reassembling the rest of the fascia and underbody panels, here's the finished product. I cut the underbody rear panel according to the instructions, which are for the two-screw 2017 hitch panel. I have an older 2016 panel and it wound up being more than I needed to trim. I'm not terribly concerned about it, but if it causes some kind of debris issue, I'll just plan to purchase a new rear panel with the two-screw cover and install that.

The hitch is much more flush with the rear of the vehicle, compared to the stock hitch. I think it looks a lot nicer. I will measure tomorrow but this is going to bring the trailer even closer to the car. It also will reduce the length of the moment arm acting upon the vehicle attachment point.

I believe this hitch is slightly higher than the stock hitch. Again, I haven't yet measured but it appears to be more tucked up into the body. Not fully sure, I'll try to compare with my previous notes.

I'm really happy with the size and location of the safety hooks. The stock ones were a total pain to reach and were far too small as well.

Currently, I've zip tied the wiring harness for the 7-pin connector to the cross bar. It is completely functional but obviously not an ideal solution. I'm considering having a custom plate made for this bar, or grinding the Bosal mount off and having that welded. Not sure just yet.

Any questions, let me know.

IMG_4431.jpg
IMG_4433.jpg
IMG_4437.jpg
 

jamtek

Member
Apr 8, 2013
66
85
Southern NH
After reassembling the rest of the fascia and underbody panels, here's the finished product. I cut the underbody rear panel according to the instructions, which are for the two-screw 2017 hitch panel. I have an older 2016 panel and it wound up being more than I needed to trim. I'm not terribly concerned about it, but if it causes some kind of debris issue, I'll just plan to purchase a new rear panel with the two-screw cover and install that.

The hitch is much more flush with the rear of the vehicle, compared to the stock hitch. I think it looks a lot nicer. I will measure tomorrow but this is going to bring the trailer even closer to the car. It also will reduce the length of the moment arm acting upon the vehicle attachment point.

I believe this hitch is slightly higher than the stock hitch. Again, I haven't yet measured but it appears to be more tucked up into the body. Not fully sure, I'll try to compare with my previous notes.

I'm really happy with the size and location of the safety hooks. The stock ones were a total pain to reach and were far too small as well.

Currently, I've zip tied the wiring harness for the 7-pin connector to the cross bar. It is completely functional but obviously not an ideal solution. I'm considering having a custom plate made for this bar, or grinding the Bosal mount off and having that welded. Not sure just yet.

Any questions, let me know.

View attachment 235804 View attachment 235805 View attachment 235806

Looks great @ohmman ! Very clean install. Looking forward to seeing the Airstream hooked up to it!
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
13,950
45,201
Michigan
Question: With the originally specified trailer ball height vs reciever, did the ball end up the same height to the ground as the receiver mount cross beam? (Minimal torque on attachment points during acceleration/ deceleration)
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,417
19,309
North Bay, CA
Question: With the originally specified trailer ball height vs reciever, did the ball end up the same height to the ground as the receiver mount cross beam? (Minimal torque on attachment points during acceleration/ deceleration)
Not with the original hitch adapter, no. The offset requirements were no more than an 0.75" rise from the hitch pin level. That placed the ball near the bottom of the offset.
 
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Solarman004

Member
Apr 27, 2016
775
1,036
Colorado
@ohmman , excellent detailed write-up as usual... thank you.
Are there sensors in the rear bumper fascia? In photo 2 of your first post, are those sensor wires I see at the left side of the bumper?
I was very surprised to see how reasonably priced the Draw-Tite hitch was. I look forward to reading your review of the new hitch.
 

ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,417
19,309
North Bay, CA
@ohmman , excellent detailed write-up as usual... thank you.
Are there sensors in the rear bumper fascia? In photo 2 of your first post, are those sensor wires I see at the left side of the bumper?
I was very surprised to see how reasonably priced the Draw-Tite hitch was. I look forward to reading your review of the new hitch.
Those wires are for the parking sensors in the fascia.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
13,950
45,201
Michigan
Not with the original hitch adapter, no. The offset requirements were no more than an 0.75" rise from the hitch pin level. That placed the ball near the bottom of the offset.

Thanks for that. To clarify for those reading, the 3/4 lift is measured from the top of inner reciever tube to bottom surface of the ball, so 1-3/4 from pin center (with center of ball some point above that). The 8" length is from pin center to ball center.
 

Xenoilphobe

Active Member
Jan 2, 2014
4,618
4,541
Fairfax County, Virginia
Looks like a solid Class III hitch - $225 cheaper than the one I put on my Model S. Also look like tongue weight is 750 lbs and tow weight 5000 lbs. Both these specs exceed the Model S hitch as well (ECO Hitch has 200 lb TW and 2000 Tow Weight).

Nice find and nice write up - they make a Class I hitch for the Tesla Model S too for $139 it only comes with the 1 1/4 receiver.
2016 Tesla Model S Trailer Hitch - Draw-Tite

Why would anyone buy the $750 towing package on the X when they could pay $158 for this???

Why would anyone buy the ECO hitch for the S @ $375 vs $139 for DRAW-TIGHT???

After seeing this I just bought a Draw-tight for our 3rd Model S...
 
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MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
17,218
41,787
Oregon
Why would anyone buy the $750 towing package on the X when they could pay $158 for this???

The Model X tow package is a $1,250 add on isn't it? $750 is what they charge to enable to towing software if you already had the accessory hitch.

I wonder if Tesla will eventually give everyone the software, or at least make it cost less.
 
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At this point, I realized that there isn't a mount for the 7-pin connector. The harness has to be clipped to the X body, but what to do with the termination socket? While I finished installation, I just put it on one of the safety rungs.

View attachment 235797

..continued..
Can you say more about clipping the 7 pin wiring and zip tying the adapter? Thanks for showing us the process.
 
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Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,906
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
After reassembling the rest of the fascia and underbody panels, here's the finished product. I cut the underbody rear panel according to the instructions, which are for the two-screw 2017 hitch panel. I have an older 2016 panel and it wound up being more than I needed to trim. I'm not terribly concerned about it, but if it causes some kind of debris issue, I'll just plan to purchase a new rear panel with the two-screw cover and install that.
I believe there are debris issues; regarding the part in my Model S that was that black plastic cover under the car, if it has any gap or hole:
  • Water can get in to the car interior, including:
    • Motor
    • Interior flooring
    • Suspension parts
  • Ditto for the dust, mud, etc.
When a hole was teared in that cover part in the Model S I owned, the body shop said this cover is more important to replace for maintenance and reliability than some cosmetic scrapes I got on the trim at a curb, simply because of dust, dirt, water. It can seem odd that a little black piece of plastic on the bottom of the car is more important than a trim piece on the side, but it is. If you look up through any holes in that cover, you immediately see suspension parts, motor parts, electronics, and the underside of the interior body floor parts, which will get wet in rain if this is open, and presumably get very damaging dirt and dust of all bad sorts.

So, yes, I'd say fix the gaps sooner rather than later. I wonder if some sort of rubber grommet can enclose the gap between the plastic cover and the hitch part that sticks out.

Question: is this a separate compartment (say, a "bumper compartment") from the compartment that holds the motor, suspension, etc. that I was mentioning for my Model S? It looks like it is distinct in your pictures, which might mean what I wrote above isn't necessarily relevant, but, I also see a gap in the forward cover; did you detach it? Did you full reattach it? Was there proper seal? Communication of dirt could happen from the rear compartment to the next compartment forward if those aren't sealed from each other.
 
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ohmman

Upright Member
Global Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,417
19,309
North Bay, CA
Can you say more about clipping the 7 pin wiring and zip tying the adapter? Thanks for showing us the process.
The clips are already in place on the harness. They just slide on and off of the body panel. As far as zip tying, I just got a long enough zip tie and wrapped the reinforced part of the wire harness to the new hitch bar. It's not a permanent solution, it just keeps the 7-pin receiver from dangling.

Thanks for sharing. I think getting that hitch would also address the Bosal limitation of only two bikes on hitch racks. When my Bosal deforms, I will be getting one of these as well.

Was the install easy? No issues getting all the plastics back together?
I agree that it's probably a more secure way to carry 4 bikes. I had some issue getting the plastics back together, but one of my bumper fascia clips is already broken from a fender bender. It's being replaced in two weeks so I definitely wanted to get my hands in there beforehand. :)
 
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