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Has anyone in the uk installed a tow bar on their s?

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by douhgboy, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. douhgboy

    douhgboy Member

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    I have ordered a 90d, and would like to put a tow bar on it. For occasional light towing, but also for bike racks instead of roof mounting. Has anyone in the uk done this, and if so who did it for you / what make of towbar did you fit?
    Also - a trailer or bikes will trigger the sonar sensors on the rear bumper. Does this mean autopilot can't be used when towing or carrying bikes?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 Supporting Member

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    You may want to check the following site. I know a lot of Tesla owners use their products.

    Torklift Central | Home Page
     
  3. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Active Member

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    Bjørn has some useful videos about towing (that's on his MX). You might have to wade through his interesting, but lengthy, Road Trip videos to get the "meat", but he also has videos specifically about the trailers he has tried.

    Bjørn Nyland - trailers

    Don't think I've seen anything like a bike trailer though, but he did put them on the roof of his MS

    Bjørn Nyland - bikes
     
  4. archiveking

    archiveking Member

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    You cannot put a towbar on the MS in the EU. The frame of the car is aluminium and not designed for towing. The insurers here have decreed that the risk is too great for them and your policy will be voided if a claim is made. TM do not offer one and the aftermarket fit is deemed to void the maker's warranty.

    Lots of people moving to MX so they can have full towing capabilities. There are 100's of comments in the forums on this subject.
     
  5. DJP31

    DJP31 Member

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    When I read the post it immediately set alarm bells ringing about the S and tow bars. I searched and couldn't find anything but was obviously only hitting US internet stuff so thought I'd gone mad (still entirely possible :D).
     
  6. douhgboy

    douhgboy Member

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    I'd better find those comments then. it does seem that lots of people have done this, and I'd be surprised if they all knowingly forfeited their tesla warranty as a result. Attitude of an insurer is a different matter of course. I'd still like to hear from someone in the uk who has attempted to fit a tow bar. Anyone?
     
  7. archiveking

    archiveking Member

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    I asked back in 2014 - was going to bring the Torklift across to the UK. They wouldn't ship it to the UK and TM confirmed that to me at that time it would make the car uninsurable - the car is not designed to have heavy weights suspended off aluminium. The Insurance companies didn't like the idea of a rack wth 4 bikes coming off the back of MS in the fast lane of the M25 for some reason. They pointed me to their roof mounted bike rack. Understandable ? I think there are people who have gone ahead with the Torklift across the channel but never heard of anyone running the risk here in the UK. For me the risk wasn't to my lovely car but to other road users should there be a catastrophic failure.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. douhgboy

    douhgboy Member

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    It seems the issue is one of regulation and liability, rather than physical capability of the car. There are plenty of folk in the us who have successfully fitted a towbar, and the s does just fine. It hasn't affected their tesla warranties either, since tesla would have to prove that the modification was the cause of the defect. Tesla would have a hard time refusing warranty work to (say) the pano roof just because a hitch had been fitted.
    I'd have absolutely no concerns that I was jeopardising my car or anyone else by downing modest towing with a well built towbar. But it seems that the car and the towbar must have 'type approval' in the eu, otherwise we are breaking the law and potentially giving our insurers a get-out in the event of a claim.

    Still, there must be some uk drivers who have fitted a towbar regardless, and it would be interesting to speak to them - even privately! Particularly with regard to the question of whether using a hitch to mount a bike rack constitutes towing in the eyes of the law....
     
  9. S__B

    S__B Member

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  10. CookieUK

    CookieUK New Member

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    IMG_0222.JPG I imported a Torklift X7201 1.25" EcoHitch Stealth bar from the states.www.torkliftcentral.com Being aware of the fear that the cars warranty maybe affected by towing, i was not concerned as my ONLY application is to carry 2x EMTBs.However the issue of insurance is now a concern I will check with Admiral Multi Car.
    I had the Frame for the bar fitted by GT Towing in Hertfordshire,www.gttowing.co.uk £180.00 they did a good job for a fair price given it was thier first ever Tesla install but were unwilling to connect the electrics for reasons i could not comprehend, but given the application and the fact that the rear lights of the car can be seen anyway i was not concerned. I had not appreciated that the kit i bought did NOT include a Ball mount bracket, ( apparently because users need to chose the drop or lift length of the Ball Mount) so i now have a square receiver tube protruding and am awaiting delivery of the Curt 45017 Ball mount for 1 1/4 receiver, which again i had to buy from the US. There is a clever plate which covers the square tube female, IF you are prepared to get down with a spanner and remove the end of the square tube, being American i did not have the appropriate sized ratchet spanner which maight make the job less of a pain. I will probably not bother to remove it every time but will decide when i get the Ball Mount and the right spanner to fit the 1-1/4" basic receiver tube with a ball hole of 3/4" - I have the ball.
     
  11. pbrichardson99

    pbrichardson99 New Member

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    I know this is an old post, but for the record, I've just checked with our insurer, LV, and they said they would very happily insure our Model S after we fit a tow bar. So I'm going to enquire at GT Towing now about whether they're happy to install another. Thanks for sharing.
     
  12. JKCOOKIE

    JKCOOKIE New Member

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    It all went fine, except the local workshop/ installer was not keen on installing the rear lights of the bike carrier i use. ( I do not tow) also the general US method is not great for carrying 2 x 22kilo EMTBs as they are not an exact fit between the male and female tube in their designs - the .5 mm play on all 4 sides caused the EMTBs to rock too much so i had the Male and female welded. and now its rock solid.
    Its difficult to explain without a picture.
     
  13. kort677

    kort677 Active Member

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  14. pcharles

    pcharles New Member

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    You can get anything delivered from the US by using a service such as My US Address. Sign up and they assign you an address and suite number. Use that on any website and my US forward (for a fee) the goods to you. I've had an account for years and never had a problem. Occasionally US companies won't accept a UK credit card. But my US will give you a virtual card too. Get a MyUS Address | Shop US Brands & Ship Internationally
     
  15. DJP31

    DJP31 Member

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    IMG_1052.PNG

    The S doesn't have European type approval for a tow bar, and I certainly wouldn't take the word of an LV insurance representative.

    The above screen shot from the UK manual, page 161.
     
  16. pbrichardson99

    pbrichardson99 New Member

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    Thanks for sharing that, though I was already aware of Tesla's official position; unofficially, they're fairly ambivalent as you'll see from the post by Tesla above. I didn't just take the word of the LV sales rep, I got them to send over a quote that specified the modification of adding a non-manufacturers towbar. I think I've covered all bases, and given that the utility of a Tesla Model S is SO much greater to us if we can mount a bike rack or pull a small trailer, I'm going to go ahead. If you check out US threads on this subject you'll find that loads of people have added the EcoHitch.
     
  17. pbrichardson99

    pbrichardson99 New Member

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    Sorry, I've just realised that that wasn't Tesla posting the link to the EcoHitch, nevertheless in the US, Tesla give TorkLift stand space at their exhibitions to display the EcoHitch.
     
  18. DJP31

    DJP31 Member

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    It's not just the non OEM towbar though, the car doesn't have European type approval to tow. Presumably they know that too? I wonder why it seems to be ok to tow in the US but not here?
     
  19. cantanko

    cantanko Member

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    EU Directive 94/20/EC: Long story short: In the U.K, with effect from 1st August 1998 all Passenger Carrying Vehicles up to 3500kgs Gross Vehicle Weight (M1 Vehicles) can only be fitted with European Type Approved towbars if the vehicle has received European Whole Vehicle Type Approval.

    The Model S is type-approved, and hence my reading of this is that in order to keep its European type-approval status it needs to be fitted with a European type-approved tow hitch. Voiding the type approval would in turn void your insurance and, if you're being strict about it, would mean your vehicle needs an SVA and modified vehicle insurance. I think. :confused: Corrections welcome!
     

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