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Flat towing the Model X (four wheels on the ground behind an RV)

jtg

Member
Aug 25, 2014
59
8
fl
I think Tesla Motors has stated that the Roadster and Model S have to be towed on a flatbed trailer. Will the Model X have any ability to be flat towed behind an RV? Does anyone have TM feedback or unofficial techniques? The answer to this question might not come until after the reveal/deliveries.
 

Red Sage

The Cybernetic Samurai
Jul 6, 2014
3,033
2,121
Los Angeles CA
No. Highly doubtful that 'wheels on the ground' towing will be allowed. The motor(s) is/are always engaged. This could lead to serious drivetrain damage. Get a trailer.
 

spottyq

Member
May 7, 2015
278
49
Belgium
I'm also curious to see why you would want such a big car to use as a secondary vehicle (while RV'ing) ?

If you want an EV, could you tow an FWD car with the front wheels off the ground ? (WV e-Golf/e-Up, Kia Soul EV, and others I can't think about right now.)


As Red Sage has said, all (most?) EV's can't be towed with their (motor driven) wheels on the ground, as there is no clutch to disengage the wheels from the motor.

- - - Updated - - -

Also, jtg, do you have a video, or a blog of some kind about your Porsche conversion (mentioned in your signature) ? I'd be curious to read about it.
 

mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,870
Toronto, ON
No. Highly doubtful that 'wheels on the ground' towing will be allowed. The motor(s) is/are always engaged. This could lead to serious drivetrain damage. Get a trailer.

If the car was left "On", how would it be different than Re-Gen on a long downgrade? Maybe you could even arrive with a fully charged vehicle! Of course I'm kidding, but it does make you wonder...
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,028
1,017
Or... or... or!!!! (echoing the same line I get at car shows all the time)

You could get TWO Model X's instead! You pull the second one with the first one, letting it regen... then, when the first one runs out of range, you swap them and drive the second one while the first one recharges! Brilliant!
 
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mknox

Well-Known Member
Aug 7, 2012
10,103
1,870
Toronto, ON
My personal favorite:

self-charger.jpg
 
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Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,672
3,719
NoVa
Or... or... or!!!! (echoing the same line I get at car shows all the time)

You could get TWO Model X's instead! You pull the second one with the first one, letting it regen... then, when the first one runs out of range, you swap them and drive the second one while the first one recharges! Brilliant!

I'll save you $100k. Just figure out a way to leave regen on while you accelerate. You'll charge while driving! ;)
 

BornToFly

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 8, 2013
1,836
13,001
43,000 feet
I have emailed TM the same question/comment, and have never heard back. I too, think that if regen turns off when the battery is at 100%, they should be able to turn it off while towing with a simple software update. We need to be able to carry 5 people in the tow vehicle when we go RVing (7 would be better when we are with friends). We used to pull a Chevy Suburban behind our motorhome. Now we pull a Grand Cherokee. Pulling a full size trailer with a car on it is not practical since many campgrounds have no place for you to put the trailer. Between the motorhome and the boat (which is just over 5,000 lbs with trailer), we may be forced to keep the Jeep when the X arrives.
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,888
8,927
As was said before, the gearbox and motor are always engaged. So even if you could make sure the vehicle wasn't in "park", and you had no regen, you would still be putting excessive wear and tear on the bearings and gearbox components by spinning all those parts constantly as you drag the X behind you. I don't think it would be a good idea. I am not sure if X has a gearbox oil pump that would also need to be running for proper lubrication.

If you are determined to tow such a big/heavy vehicle behind your (must be mammoth) RV, I think a trailer would be the way to go.
towing-trailer.jpg


Wouldn't it be helpful to have control over the trailer brakes as well?
 

BornToFly

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 8, 2013
1,836
13,001
43,000 feet
@ TEG - if the Model X was towable, then a braking system would be installed so that when the RV brakes, the Model X brakes would activate as well, even with the car turned off. It is the law to have such a system. The problem with the trailer in your picture, is where are you going to put that giant trailer when you arrive at the campground?
 

BornToFly

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 8, 2013
1,836
13,001
43,000 feet
Can tow 15,000 lbs. Has 1 and a half baths, full residential refrigerator, washer, dryer, dishwasher, 4 flat screen TVs with home theater system, etc. (Our version of ruffing it). Can pull the Model X like it isn't even there....
 

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Red Sage

The Cybernetic Samurai
Jul 6, 2014
3,033
2,121
Los Angeles CA
Around 7.... :crying:
Woof! 7 MPG works out to something like 5,814 Wh per mile if it burns diesel fuel... Assuming 20% efficiency (at best) the actual motive force amounts to ~1,163 Wh per mile to move the RV... So, you'd need something like a 775 kWh battery pack to travel 600 miles in it...

Or, looking at it another way... If diesel fuel could be used as a battery... You'd only need about 17 gallons to go 600 miles.
 
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Shortmanz

Member
Jun 9, 2014
58
13
Plano, TX
As long as the car is not energized, the AC-Induction motors will not be capable of generating back EMF and recharging the battery. That is the reason torque sleep works in the 'D' cars. They only act as generators when the car is on and the field windings are energized.
You can always try what this Russian did - (This is NOT recommended, but I have to give him credit for his ingenuity)...

 
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jtg

Member
Aug 25, 2014
59
8
fl
I'm also ...

Also, jtg, do you have a video, or a blog of some kind about your Porsche conversion (mentioned in your signature) ? I'd be curious to read about it.

spottyq, here's a link to the EV album page for my EV conversion: 1971 Porsche 914 I don't have a blog or anything but there are others that do. Over 4 dozen 914 electric conversions have been done in the US. Thousands of other cars and trucks.

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I have emailed TM the same question/comment, and have never heard back. I too, think that if regen turns off when the battery is at 100%, they should be able to turn it off while towing with a simple software update. We need to be able to carry 5 people in the tow vehicle when we go RVing (7 would be better when we are with friends). We used to pull a Chevy Suburban behind our motorhome. Now we pull a Grand Cherokee. Pulling a full size trailer with a car on it is not practical since many campgrounds have no place for you to put the trailer. Between the motorhome and the boat (which is just over 5,000 lbs with trailer), we may be forced to keep the Jeep when the X arrives.

rdalcanto, Thanks for your posts. That was type of information (not opinion) that I was looking for. Hopefully TM or a third party will provide further information as this develops.
 

Rich Partain

New Member
Sep 29, 2016
4
4
Bakersfield Ca
Thanks everyone for the insights on towing a Tesla. Been a RVer with a MH (40' diesel pusher) for many years flat towing a Saturn L300. Pulling is not the concern. But stopping ability deteriorates (even with added brakes) with any extra weight. Love to have an upcoming Model 3 as our one car. But looks like a trailer will be the only dingy option. Many MH RVers I've talked to that pull trailers say they prefer lightweight all aluminum covered trailers. They cost more but can be used for other things and they keep the car out of the weather. A trailer does restrict using the parks with shorter spaces and pull throughs. Love the open road but we travel less miles and stay put at one spot longer than we used to so maybe the trailer is a good option for us.
 

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