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Model S - Hitch discussion

Where did you get the EcoHitch?
And where did you have it installed?
I have one as well and really like it. I use it with the smaller receiver to carry two mountain bikes with a northshoreracks.com system. You can order direct from Torklift. I actually went down to Kent WA to have them do the install (fast and clean), but as that looks like a bit of a drive for you, I'd suggest printing the installation instructions from Torklift and taking them to your bodyshop of choice. I did that before deciding to make the trip down. The local guy liked the clarity of the instructions and quoted me a reasonable amount to do the work. It's relatively simple, but some body expertise is probably valuable to keep from making any costly mistakes.
 

wycolo

Active Member
May 16, 2012
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WA & WY
If you ended having your motor replaced, can you post back on weather or not you had arguments with Tesla because of the hitch installation.

The X is identical to the S in this regard so one can assume this to be a non-issue. Do you really fear a 400 to 600 horsepower motor/trans is being compromised by simply pulling a trailer that weighs (max) the same as the car?
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lklundin

Active Member
Oct 10, 2014
2,982
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Bavaria
As to why you need it... mostly to tow stuff I suppose. Usually we are not talking boats or mobile homes either. Just a big purchase from IKEA, helping someone move, transporting bikes etc. The big family car is usually what you use when you have special transportation needs, hence being able to extend that with a hitch is very usefull. Maybe Jkirkebo can explain it better?

According to one source, the Danish association of automobile importers (the country has no manufacturers) made a 2013 survey showing that in and around the capital 30 - 40 % of cars have a tow hitch, while in rural regions about 50% have a tow hitch. The non-tow hitch fraction of the cars include models that cannot legally have one.

People typically use them for shorter distance towing of trailers with stuff that their car would not fit (e.g. the new washing machine) or goods that are too messy, like gardening waste or fuel for wood burning furnaces/stoves. Another use is the popular tow hitch mounted bike mount, for transporting bicycles to a favorite biking area. Some gas stations sell heating oil and have dedicated fuel trailers so people can transport the oil home and pump it into the storage tank.

Since the distances are typically small, this use would be no problem for a Model S.

The lack of a tow hitch on a BEV is typically seen as a sign that it is not ready to take over from the ICE.
 
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Ok, just how would that argument go??
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It's important to note that I said 'argue', not 'prove'. They state in the documentation that the car isn't supposed to pull a trailer.

If a seam in one of the seats splits, they clearly won't be able to argue that the hitch or a trailer was to blame for that failure. But if a drive unit fails they could (not saying they would) put up the argument that... (make something up) ... the trailer's tendency to wag the dog caused premature wear of bushing A causing failure of something else... etc. We might be sure it's all BS, but since we had the trailer attached, would be in the position of proving them wrong. Consumer vs. automotive engineering team. Since they tell us not to pull a trailer, it's our problem to prove we didn't damage something by doing so. That's an uphill battle and the beauty of putting the qualifier in the documentation.

Happily, I don't think they'd put a consumer in that position, unless he was dragging some monster RV trailer that was clearly beyond what any car in the category should be expected to manage. I personally doubt a hitch on its own will trigger much of anything, which is why I have one myself. And a small utility trailer is unlikely to put any more load on the car than a trip to IKEA with my wife - it's amazing how much stuff will go in with the seats down - so you first need to do damage that would trigger a Tesla response. I don't tow anything, just carry two bikes, but still the hitch is attached to the car.... I'm not concerned.
 
I installed an Ecohitch last week to bring my Onyx RCR with me, but found the clearance is just too low on a bike carrier:

onyxhitch.jpg


Most hitch risers reduce the tongue weight rating by ~50%, but I found this one which, according to reviewers who spoke to the manufacturer, only has a 15% reduction: https://www.amazon.com/CURT-45794-Raised-Receiver-Adapter/dp/B004C6S1LS

Has anybody tried the Curt hitch riser, and if so, will it fit on an S with an Ecohitch (worried about bumper clearance)? Or does anyone have other ideas about how I could make this work?
 

wycolo

Active Member
May 16, 2012
3,120
484
WA & WY
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Update on using my homemade MS trailer hitch. After 5 years I finally had the bumper cover put back on by local Tesla-cert body shop. They did a very nice job but I need to enlarge the cut out so hitch pin can actually be installed. I guess the shop did not have a 1-1/4 inch hitch pin available to test. Replacing the cover is definitely a 2 man job!


Two recent tow jobs:

Spark_EV - 3300 lb + 1200 lb trailer = 4500 lb total load.
Smart_ED - 2100 lb + 650 lb tilt trailer = 2750 lb total load.


The hitch has not loosened or bent with regular usage and 5000 lb rated 1-1/4 hitch and ball are used. LEDs on the trailers so as to closely match the MS circuitry. MS is an excellent tow vehicle.
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BerTX

Active Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
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Texas/Washington
The reas
I installed an Ecohitch last week to bring my Onyx RCR with me, but found the clearance is just too low on a bike carrier:

View attachment 434681

Most hitch risers reduce the tongue weight rating by ~50%, but I found this one which, according to reviewers who spoke to the manufacturer, only has a 15% reduction: https://www.amazon.com/CURT-45794-Raised-Receiver-Adapter/dp/B004C6S1LS

Has anybody tried the Curt hitch riser, and if so, will it fit on an S with an Ecohitch (worried about bumper clearance)? Or does anyone have other ideas about how I could make this work?
The reason that the riser is derating the tongue weight is because it is increasing the length of the lever that is pushing down on the hitch. The further your load is from the hitch, the actual weight on the hitch is increased. The difference the manufacturer's are listing in affecting tongue weight capacity are likely due to the length of the riser.

From the looks of your load and carrier, you are already probably well past the 200# limit of the hitch because of the distance from the hitch. If you add the riser it will multiply that.

If it were my carrier, I'd put on the riser and modify the carrier to put it as close to the car as possible without causing damage from the bike.
 
A small dirt bike trailer would solve this problem and would instill more confidence in following traffic.
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Yeah, but a trailer creates other problems -- a bigger range hit, the need for lighting, difficulty parking at Superchargers, and additional registration requirements. If I can't find a solution I'll do it, but I'd rather not.

From the looks of your load and carrier, you are already probably well past the 200# limit of the hitch because of the distance from the hitch. If you add the riser it will multiply that.

If it were my carrier, I'd put on the riser and modify the carrier to put it as close to the car as possible without causing damage from the bike.

A friend made a similar recommendation: to have a metal worker modify the carrier to increase ground clearance. I don't know much of anything about welding -- do you think it's feasible for a welder to raise it and/or bring it a little closer to the car without lessening its structural integrity? In case it's pertinent, the carrier is rated for 400 lbs; it's my hitch that is the limiting factor.

BTW, the whole setup is lighter than it looks. The carrier is mostly aluminum and the bike is under 100 lbs if I remove the battery (72V/23Ah). Haven't done the math for ft-lbs at the tongue but I'm a lot more worried about the clearance than the weight (especially since the Ecohitch itself is rated for 300 lbs at the tongue according to their web site -- I think the 200 spec just derives from the Class II status).
 

BerTX

Active Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,508
3,665
Texas/Washington
Yeah, but a trailer creates other problems -- a bigger range hit, the need for lighting, difficulty parking at Superchargers, and additional registration requirements. If I can't find a solution I'll do it, but I'd rather not.



A friend made a similar recommendation: to have a metal worker modify the carrier to increase ground clearance. I don't know much of anything about welding -- do you think it's feasible for a welder to raise it and/or bring it a little closer to the car without lessening its structural integrity? In case it's pertinent, the carrier is rated for 400 lbs; it's my hitch that is the limiting factor.

BTW, the whole setup is lighter than it looks. The carrier is mostly aluminum and the bike is under 100 lbs if I remove the battery (72V/23Ah). Haven't done the math for ft-lbs at the tongue but I'm a lot more worried about the clearance than the weight (especially since the Ecohitch itself is rated for 300 lbs at the tongue according to their web site -- I think the 200 spec just derives from the Class II status).
I'm sure a person with both the knowledge of physics and the ability to weld aluminum could do it. It would be surprisingly expensive. I'd go with the riser that is designed for that purpose and just shorten the bar on the carrier.
 
I'm not sure how feasible that would be. There is a welded on tiedown point that would need to move. I could cut it off but then I'd need another way to do the tiedowns:

213BZG2NveL.jpg


In the meantime, I've ordered the riser. I expect I will have to dremel/route out part of my bumper cover to get it to fit.
 

wycolo

Active Member
May 16, 2012
3,120
484
WA & WY
Pulling a small trailer is not much of an energy hit if tires are given a few extra pounds of air. Best to get new tires with higher load range than the cheapo OEMs. If you are faced with a 150+ mile stretch between SCs then you should definitely charge up to 95% or more; there are still a few of these wilderness areas left out there.
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