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antdun

Member
Mar 8, 2018
78
108
Utah
When I purchased my Model S 85 D just over a year ago one of the big concessions I made when purchasing it was giving up my ability to tow trailers or use my trailer hitch bike rack. I knew there was an aftermarket trailer hitch option, but I was a little scared to take my Tesla apart, and I didn’t want to pay lots of money for someone else to do it. After researching it more I decided to take the plunge and DIY it. I had some great friends come help me which was helpful and I was able to make a video of how to do it. I found a couple other installation videos on YouTube for the Model S, but it was for the newer Model S. After hours of searching I found zero instructions on how to do the trailer wiring in my Model S! I hope this empowers others to be able to DIY the installation because it turned out to not be overly difficult in my opinion. I’ve now had it installed for nearly 3 months and I’ve loved the functionality it provides!

In my case I also installed trailer light wiring (which was a lot more difficult to figure out, but I succeeded!) and now I’ve been able to take our small 14 foot fishing boat to multiple lakes, I’ve towed a small camping trailer, small utility trailer, large utility trailer and used our trailer hitch bike rack. I highly recommend doing it if you’ve ever thought it would be useful functionality to have. Feel free to ask any questions you may have and I’ll do the best I can to answer them based on my experience.

This is a video I created on the why, parts and costs associated with the installation

This is my trailer hitch installation instruction video

2020 05 30 Tesla Model S Trailer Hitch Installation 001.jpg
2020 05 30 Tesla Model S Trailer Hitch Installation 002.jpg
2020 05 30 Tesla Model S Trailer Hitch Installation 068.jpg
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I already have this hitch installed, and you're right, the wiring was frustrating. You would think the wiring would be easy.

What is the heaviest trailer you have towed? It is rated at 2,000 pounds total, with 200 pounds tongue weight.

On a recent tow, I guess that it was 2,200 pounds. The energy consumption was roughly 2.5 times without a trailer.
 

antdun

Member
Mar 8, 2018
78
108
Utah
I already have this hitch installed, and you're right, the wiring was frustrating. You would think the wiring would be easy.
What is the heaviest trailer you have towed? It is rated at 2,000 pounds total, with 200 pounds tongue weight.
On a recent tow, I guess that it was 2,200 pounds. The energy consumption was roughly 2.5 times without a trailer.

I don't exactly know the weight of any of the trailers I've towed, but the heaviest is the small 14 foot fiberglass bass boat in the pictures above. One of these days I need to tow it to a scale somewhere to weigh it.

FYI the tongue weight (at least for my hitch) is 300 lbs not 200 lbs.
 
Anyone have pictures of a recent EcoHitch install? I am curious how they addressed the metallurgy concerns and galvanic corrosion. I couldn’t find an installation manual nor parts list on the TorkLift website.

In the first picture in my original post if you look closely at the bolts you'll see white discs around each of them. These are plastic vinyl washers that separate the aluminum bumper from the steel hitch and is what is used to isolate the metals from each other to avoid galvanic corrosion.
 
I do like mine as well, but I should point out one problem. My driveway is so steep that whenever I put the hitch on it scrapes. To say it's loud and bothers my wife, that's an understatement! But it works great once we get out of the driveway. Occasionally drags elsewhere as well, but, the usefulness is worth it. Mostly I don't keep the drop part in
 
I do like mine as well, but I should point out one problem. My driveway is so steep that whenever I put the hitch on it scrapes. To say it's loud and bothers my wife, that's an understatement! But it works great once we get out of the driveway. Occasionally drags elsewhere as well, but, the usefulness is worth it. Mostly I don't keep the drop part in

My driveway isn't very uneven and I can scrape a little bit with the suspension on normal and if I go straight out of the driveway. If I raise the suspension to at least high or if I leave at a slight angle it doesn't scrape at all. The very first time I left the driveway was this time it scraped in this video
 
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My driveway isn't very uneven and I can scrape a little bit with the suspension on normal and if I go straight out of the driveway. If I raise the suspension to at least high or if I leave at a slight angle it doesn't scrape at all. The very first time I left the driveway was this time it scraped in this video

unfortunately our driveway is not one we can pull out at an angle. just coming out of our garage we scrape, even on the highest setting on the suspension. we're talking three to four seconds of loud scraping. The bottom of my stealth hitch looks more silver than it should by a long shot!

interestingly our car is the same color as yours, and a December 2014. Rear wheel drive only, otherwise seems much the same. I'm sure you love yours as much as I love mine!
 
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In the first picture in my original post if you look closely at the bolts you'll see white discs around each of them. These are plastic vinyl washers that separate the aluminum bumper from the steel hitch and is what is used to isolate the metals from each other to avoid galvanic corrosion.

I went a step further and put a coat of plastidip on the back of the hitch when I installed it.
 
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I do like mine as well, but I should point out one problem. My driveway is so steep that whenever I put the hitch on it scrapes. To say it's loud and bothers my wife, that's an understatement! But it works great once we get out of the driveway. Occasionally drags elsewhere as well, but, the usefulness is worth it. Mostly I don't keep the drop part in

How hard is it to remove the hitch?

I have coils and the car is super low as is, it will definitely scrape on my driveway. I'm thinking of getting the 1.25" hitch for a bike rack.
 

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