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M3 trailer experiences

bryand

Member
I intend to use my M3 with a small camping trailer for both local and vacation use. I would be interested in hearing any real-life experiences of other M3 owners who have been towing small trailers, for example:
  • Noise
  • Stability
  • Impact on range
  • Impact on performance
Evidence rather than conjecture, please.
 

Drew57

Member
Apr 4, 2020
840
943
Chester UK
I use a small Erde trailer, mostly for transporting loads to the local tip. If empty or lightly loaded, it does tend to bounce around and rattle quite loudly but is perfectly stable. Under load that noise becomes minimal.

As for range, a journey that would consume an average of (say) 250kWh increases to around 300kWh, however I haven't used it on a motorway or above 50mph. Performance should not be a concern when towing a trailer although my car (LR with performance boost) seemed unaffected under acceleration on the one occasion I tried (straight line, deserted road).

A small trailer is narrower than the car & therefore cannot be seen by the wing or interior mirrors so I recommend leaving the rear camera view on screen as much as possible, easy enough to tap the camera icon or use voice control to turn on-off.

If you don't already have one you will probably need to purchase a low cost 7-13 pin adaptor to connect the wiring loom.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,251
2,413
Scotland
I intend to use my M3 with a small camping trailer for both local and vacation use. I would be interested in hearing any real-life experiences of other M3 owners who have been towing small trailers, for example:
  • Noise
  • Stability
  • Impact on range
  • Impact on performance
Evidence rather than conjecture, please.

The small trailer I borrow from time to time (6x4) is a dream to tow on the local roads around here. Despite being small it is at the heavier end of the trailer spectrum (all steel and heavy ply) so doesn't bounce around even when empty. The rear view camera is brilliant for keeping an eye on things whilst driving. The torque of the car (SR+) makes towing spectacularly easy! I have only used the trailer for transporting logs to the house on short journeys (about 20 miles round trip max) so don't have any useful range data I'm afraid.
 
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Morhydro

Member
Mar 26, 2020
139
78
Scotland
I tow a glider trailer. 8m long and just squeezes in on the 900Kg towing capacity. Tows great but I used around 400 to 450Wh/mile so nearly doubling the energy consumption.
 
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pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,024
1,004
Leamington
I too tow a glider trailer and have done some long journeys, including to and from Germany with it. My consumption experience has been a bit better than @Morhydro - about 370Wh/mile, and on one 100 mile section in Belgium last spring as low as 330. I’ve also towed a small Erde trailer up and down to Lancaster from Leamington and it worked absolutely fine. The Model 3 is a very stable tow platform.

I posted some experiences here:

Thread 'Towing experiences with the Model 3'
Towing experiences with the Model 3
 

Morhydro

Member
Mar 26, 2020
139
78
Scotland
Interesting - but you have done many more miles than I have with the glider trailer so I am hoping thatmy figures are in fact wrong! I only towed the glider from my club to home so far about 50 miles each way.
 

pdk42

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
1,024
1,004
Leamington
Interesting - but you have done many more miles than I have with the glider trailer so I am hoping thatmy figures are in fact wrong! I only towed the glider from my club to home so far about 50 miles each way.
I had some work done on the glider at the DG factory near Bruchsal. I took it over in depths of winter (Jan 2020) and got a total journey average of about 370 Wh/mile. Coming back in May when it was warmer, it was nearer 360. However, I had a rather embarrassing experience on the return that resulted in higher consumption! After a SuC stop near the German/Belgium border, I forgot to release the trailer's handbrake. The car is so powerful that I didn't notice it apart from the higher consumption which I put down to perhaps a slight up-hill element to the road. 100km later and a stop for a natural break I realised what I'd done but by then the brakes and the wheel bearings on the trailer were completely shot. I ended up spending an extra day in Belgium getting new bearings fitted (I did the rest of the journey without trailer brakes and fixed it myself later). Cobra BTW were superb - can't fault them. They helped me find an Akzo dealer locally to get spares.
 

Morhydro

Member
Mar 26, 2020
139
78
Scotland
That is encouraging. I am off to Feshie in May (Covid restrictions permitting). I will take the TM3 but probably also my Nissan Navara which is rather diesel driven. Trouble is that we end up taking bikes, and the dingy, and camping gear and all the gliding stuff so need two vehicles. But perhaps we could take the Nissan Leaf instead of the Navara....just means a few stops on the way to charge.
 

UrbanSplash

Member
Nov 10, 2019
335
137
UK
I tow a glider trailer. 8m long and just squeezes in on the 900Kg towing capacity. Tows great but I used around 400 to 450Wh/mile so nearly doubling the energy consumption.
You say 900kg (910 when I purchased I think) but the website now says 1000kg. So does the plate on the car. I presume the limit is actually 1000kg?
 

Morhydro

Member
Mar 26, 2020
139
78
Scotland
I was wondering this. It said 910kg before I ordered the car, but everything I have says 1000kg. Has it been increased?
Where did you find that information. I can't find a maximum towing capacity in the manual but there is reference to Gross Vehicle Weight and Gross Axle Weight and the plate on my car seems ot have these at 1,000Kg difference.

So if the car is loaded with less that the Gross Vehicle Weight (i.e. does nto ahve 4 adults inside) is the towing capacity increased?
 

UrbanSplash

Member
Nov 10, 2019
335
137
UK
Well this is on the configurator now. It used to be 910kg. Does the latest manual reflect this also? I don’t have the latest for the UK

3D032428-9763-4414-80E2-BEACB18BE13A.jpeg
 
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UrbanSplash

Member
Nov 10, 2019
335
137
UK
I don’t think gross vehicle weight is linked to towing capacity. More that the gross weight is used to calculate the total of what you’re towing. So for many the max combined is 3500kg on their licence. Which is the max weight of the car (gross weight) plus the max weight of the trailer. Which in the case of a caravan is the MTPLM. For license purposes it doesn’t matter how heavy the actual car etc is as the maximum is used.
 

UrbanSplash

Member
Nov 10, 2019
335
137
UK
Our V5 has always stated 1000kg braked and unbraked capacity. iirc that the tow hitch hardware also states 1000kg.
Never thought to look at the V5. Just wonder if you tow above 910 it will not be as per the manufacturer’s instructions (instruction manual). Which I’ve not seen either to be fair.
If you had an accident while towing say 950kg, tow hitch hardware states 1000kg, v5 states 1000kg, but the Manual states Lower it might cause an issue.
 

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
308
192
Surrey, UK
Not only has the capacity increased but so has the price! I paid £1,000 for the tow hitch.
I paid £1000 and pretty sure it had already increased to 1000kg, at that point. The manual says to check the car plate and tow hitch label for maximum towing capacity. The car says 1000kg, and I’m 99% certain the tow hitch label also says this.
83E1D49D-B2A2-4E5A-B58F-90BD5F896F23.png
 

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