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Model S - Hitch discussion

Discussion in 'Model S: Interior & Exterior' started by jkirkebo, Sep 18, 2010.

  1. StephRob

    StephRob Member

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    Any more developments in this area now that there are some Model S's on the road? It would be huge for me to be able to put a bike rack on the back!
     
  2. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    #82 wycolo, Oct 20, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
    An S owner near Phoenix AZ needs to take it to U-Haul at Mesa AZ and have them build a prototype. They *want* to do this, and you get one for free, mounted of course. Must leave car overnight in their factory. Please, or I'll have to tow mine all the way down there (once its delivered).
    --
     
  3. NuclearPowered

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    Are there any S owners in Phoenix yet?
     
  4. phx182flyer

    phx182flyer P11051

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    None that I know of yet. I'd be glad to do it, but not expecting mine until July.
     
  5. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I'm taking my car in to Torklift Central later this week so they can design a hitch for the car. I'll pick it up on Saturday, and let you know what they say about general availability.
     
  6. 4sevens.com

    4sevens.com Member

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    Can you make an aluminum one to save weight while not towing?
     
  7. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Thanks for doing this. When I first got my Chevy Volt I worked with Torklift and owners in the Seattle area to get a Volt to them for the same purpose. I would have volunteered my own Volt but it would have been a 3,000 plus mile drive.

    I now have a Torklift hitch on my Volt. It's completely hidden. I'll be very interested to see what they design for the S.

    I think you'll be in very good hands. If the installation on your Model S works well, many of us will be buying them for ours.
     
  8. StephRob

    StephRob Member

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    Yes, thank you for volunteering your car to aid in the development of a hitch. Availability of a hitch is pretty much the deciding factor of whether we buy a second Model S!
     
  9. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #89 ChadS, Oct 27, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
    I picked up my car from Torklift Central today. They did a great job! They said there was plenty of room to build a hitch, and good stuff to connect it to so it's very strong. (I neglected to ask about towing capabilities, as I only plan to use it for a bike rack). Here is what the new 1.25" hitch looks like:

    IMG_4916.JPG

    It's made of transparent aluminum, so you can't see it at all.

    Actually it's built inside the bumper, so you can't see it until you attach this piece:

    IMG_4914.JPG

    If you look up under the car, you can see where to attach it:

    IMG_4918.JPG

    It just bolts in with a single 3/4" bolt. Once in, it looks like this:

    IMG_4890.JPG

    Or from farther back:

    IMG_4887.JPG

    And with a bike rack in (a light-weight collapsible model with aluminum arms that I bought for the Roadster), it looks like this:

    IMG_4892.JPG

    From another angle:

    IMG_4896.JPG

    And with a bike in the rack:

    IMG_4899.JPG

    It weighs 29 pounds. Torklift hasn't finalized pricing, but they say the hitch alone will probably be around $350. Installation is expensive because there is a lot of stuff they have to take off and put back; it takes four hours (they sounded impressed with how Tesla had put the car together, though). So probably $380 for installation.
     
  10. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    How difficult is it to attach the l-shaped extension to the hitch? Looks like you'd have to get prone to reach the attachment point. And it appears they cut a small piece out of the plastic underbelly, right?
     
  11. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    Yes, they cut a piece out of the underbelly so you can attach the hitch. You don't have to get prone, but you do have to at least kneel and bend over. It's not hard to hold it with one hand and screw the bolt most of the way in with the other hand. Then you'll need a wrench just for a couple of turns to tighten it. I think he said it was the same design as the one you have on your Volt.

    It seems a little low, so I wanted a removable one in case there are clearance problems. When the weather is nice I'll try it out on our driveway (it has a nasty rise just at the start). If clearance is fine, I may leave it on all the time.
     
  12. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    Doesn't sound too hard, and probably even a bit easier than the one for the Volt.
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Thanks for the pics, Chad - this is good info.
     
  14. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    Hopefully someone will offer something more substantial, if possible. I need something that can handle towing at least a couple thousand pounds for it to be of any use to me, including power connection for trailer lights.
     
  15. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    +1 - If I am simply going to carry a bike or two, I would get a roof rack in the hardpoints. No use for me if I can't lug my daughters' stuff back and forth from college in the trailer.
     
  16. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    As a die hard roof rack fan I generally would agree. But there will be a very significant range hit with bikes on the roof versus on a hitch rack.

    I also plan on getting new towers for my Thule rack when my S gets here. But I don't know if I will ever install it. I certainly won't stay on my car like the one on my GTI does.
     
  17. sublimaze1

    sublimaze1 8Dec2012 / Leeroy Jenkins

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    That claim may merit a controlled study.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    It's been proven many times in the Prius forum that a hitch mounted rack is far better than a roof rack for aerodynamics (as well as for preventing damage to the bicycles--far too many forget they are there and drive into the garage with unfortunate results). There is no reason to suspect the Model S would be any different.
     
  19. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    Done it on many cycling trips. Roof racks with bikes are giant sails, and not the good kind.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I would argue the opposite, if you aren't forgetful, getting rear ended is much more common that hitting a garage or other overhang. And I know someone who fell asleep and drove into a median with a hitch rack. All 4 bikes were totaled when they caught the ground. Not to mention I think bikes get many more minor scratches from hitch racks. Just my experience with them.
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I've always been able to carry the bikes within the Prius, so I'm just going by the number of posts in the forums. I suspect it depends on the kind of car whether backing up is an issue or not.
     

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