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Model X: Heavy Towing over Time

Discussion in 'Northwest' started by Orbsitron, Nov 25, 2019.

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  1. Orbsitron

    Orbsitron Member

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    Hi everyone,

    I'm currently saving up for a Model X and a colleague of mine who owns an X suggested I post here about a pretty critical use case for my family.

    We have a 2003 Mastercraft X30 waterski/wakeboard boat. The boat and trailer together weight 4,480 lbs dry (add some water weight and some gear, and it's probably approaching 5,000 lbs when we tow it on a camping trip, etc.).

    I've seen YouTube videos of Model X owners towing ski/wakeboard boats, so I know it's doable. My colleague had heard that the tow package and hitch receiver that Tesla installs on the Model X is not particularly strong and is not durable. I'm not sure where he heard this so I can't validate or invalidate that claim.

    Instead, I'm reaching out to the community :). So yes, I know it's possible to tow a boat like mine with the Model X. The question is, has anyone had a similar boat or similarly weighted load to tow, that you have towed a couple of times per year for several years such that you can speak to how well the Model X holds up as a tow vehicle over time?

    For reference, we have a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee and despite it being a V6, it does a superb job towing our boat, particularly up hill, over mountain passes. We've borrowed friends' vehicles which are V8's and they don't do as well. Our Jeep has also held strong towing that load on family vacations for nearly 5 years.

    Ideally, if we spend a small fortune on a Model X, it would do as well as our Jeep.

    Thanks in advance!
    Jared
     
  2. Kuhz

    Kuhz Active Member

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    Model X towing capacity is 5k. On earlier models it was an option. It was either no tow, accessory (bike/ski rack), or full tow package. If I recall correctly tow package became standard in late ‘17 or early 18. I know this does not really answer your question but something to keep in mind.
     
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  3. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Well-Known Member

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    #3 Uncle Paul, Nov 25, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2019
    Model X tows great. Biggest issue is that with a full 5,000 load it will probably reduce it's range by 50%. Other than that reports have been mostly great.
    The factory tow hitch is a European design that allows the hitch to be completely invisible unless the unique receiver is plugged in. Heavy duty long distance haulers have sometimes replaced the factory hitch with a much more robust commercial bolt on version.

    If towing is a major concern, check out the Tesla 6 seater Pickup Truck just announced. Will be an even heavier duty tow rig. Probably cost you $30,000 less. Less saving up to do, but probably at least a year away and over 200,000 people ahead of you in line.

    I have towed several times with my X75 and it towed far easier than my previous V8 Grand Cherokee. Much easier to get up to speed, and hills were pulled far easier as well.

    Have not towed yet with my new Raven Long Range Model X, but it has far greater range and much more power.
     
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  4. IdaX

    IdaX Member

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    I agree with uncle Paul there above me — your issue will be range, not power or durability. It’s fine, you just have to stop at every supercharger.

    Oh and don’t go 80mph: the v^2 in the drag equation really kills ya.
     
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  5. Orbsitron

    Orbsitron Member

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    Thanks, Ida and Paul.

    Yup, I'm aware of the range hit. Our distance with the boat is typically about 180-200 miles, so one or two super charger stops should be fine.

    Paul, would you mind elaborating on the factory hitch receiver vs. a more heavy-duty one? My colleague alluded to needing to buy a more robust receiver due to the wear and tear of the factory solution. Is the factory solution robust enough to tow my boat 450 miles per year, give or take?

    Thanks!
    Jared
     
  6. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Well-Known Member

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    Should be fine. Some noticed a play after towing their travel trailers all around the country. If it was my car, I would from time to time give the ball a little wiggle to see if it was holding up. If you notice some play, then perhaps you will want to upgrade.

    450 miles/year is not much.
     
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  7. mswlogo

    mswlogo Well-Known Member

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    I had a 2017 Jeep Summit V6 and towed a 4500 Lb Tige boat. Surge brakes on trailer. It handled it fine. Technically it was supposed to have a weight distribution hitch though. You sure knew it was back there.

    I also have a 5000 lb GVWR dump trailer I tow. Electric brakes on trailer.

    I have not towed the boat, but I have towed the trailer at 4000 lbs. The X drove like there was nothing back there. It did chew threw the watts though.

    I would not worry about the strength of the hitch.

    The hitch is a little awkward / unconventional / inconvenient to hook up too. Because the wire hook up is way under and the chain loops are way under without much room around them.

    You might look into a weight distribution set up.
     
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  8. Orbsitron

    Orbsitron Member

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    Thank you, Paul and mswlogo!

    Paul, would you mind sharing what you towed with your X75 and how much it weighed (approx.)?

    mswlogo, interesting suggestion on the weight distribution setup. I've never heard of such a thing (I'm pretty novice at towing - really only towing my boat once or twice per summer). Would you mind sharing a link to the kind of thing you're talking about?

    Also, mswlogo, I do know what you mean when you mention knowing that the trailer is back there. With the Jeep, when we brake, we can feel a little clunk as the trailer presses on the hitch. It's small but noticeable.

    Hearing how smooth the Long Range Raven X was for mslogo's towing and hearing that Paul has towed with his X75 with no trouble gives me more confidence.

    Finally, thanks for the warning that the wiring and the loops are hard to get to. As for wiring, our trailer has a hexagonal plug with a 7th pin in the center for power. The Jeep has wiring for both the hexagon plug w/ center pin and for a four-in-a-row shaped plug for power so it's ready for multiple types of trailers without the need for an adapter/converter. Does anyone mind sharing what the power setup is like for the tow system on the X?

    Thanks again! I really appreciate this help from the community!
    Jared

    P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone :)
     
  9. goneskiian

    goneskiian Active Member

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    I thought there was one comprehensive towing thread in the Model X discussions here. There still may be but my brief search turned up a bunch of threads, none of which jumped out at me as being the one I remember reading in the past.

    If you have time you may want to check them out.

    Cheers!
     
  10. FireMedic

    FireMedic Member

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    Agree with most of what was said here. I do think that the hitch/towing adapter is very stout. Though it is quite inconvenient if you’re constantly detaching and attaching the entire assembly. I tow quite a bit, so I have left everything permanently fixed there. With a few small modifications I think it is an incredible towing machine.

    I used a whole saw bit to drill out enough space for an extension to the four pin wiring harness, as well as the hitch adapter. I also attached runaway hook extensions because those are also quite difficult to access.
    Then I used some gorilla tape to seal off any gaps. Once you pull out that key it is locked into place unless you reinsert the key even if there is a little bit of play. And you never have to mess with it again.

    It’s going to depend more on your ball hitch adapter rating. They have different weight ratings, so pay attention. I feel that the Straight hitch is the most secure and lets me use a lower ride height for freeway efficiency without throwing off the angle. It will depend on what youre towing.

    My favorite part is how well the MX does to slow down a load. All the while, retrieving that otherwise lost energy into the batteries.

    get the long range model so that you have a larger sidewall tire. It’ll improve ride, tow weight rating and durability. The 22” wheels would not be ideal for towing.
     

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  11. Orbsitron

    Orbsitron Member

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    Thank you SO much!
     
  12. Paul42

    Paul42 Member

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    Regarding a weight distribution hitch, I would double-check the owners manual first, though I would guess it is not a problem. There are a few unibody vehicles on the market with manuals that specifically state you are not to use a weight distribution hitch. The way they work is they literally take weight from the rear axle of your tow vehicle and put it onto the front axle, effectively "distributing" the weight. The issue with that is it is putting a little more load on the frame of the vehicle to do that - again I doubt this is an issue w/ the X, but it cannot hurt to double check. There is an old ad floating around for a system from the 70's (or so) with a house trailer hooked to a station wagon using a weight distribution hitch, and the rear tires from the car were removed. The car and trailer remained perfectly level - cool stuff. Google "weight distribution hitch" for pictures/examples.

    On second thought - it wouldn't be the frame of the X I would be most concerned about, but after reading this thread, the hitch itself.
     
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  13. Orbsitron

    Orbsitron Member

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    Got it. Thanks,Paul!
     
  14. Vancouver ClearBra

    Vancouver ClearBra Local Vendor - Canada

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    I'd assume with all the torque it would be an excellent hauling vehicle other then greatly reduced distance you'd be able to travel on a charge...
     
  15. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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  16. Orbsitron

    Orbsitron Member

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