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Model X hitch accessory overload ?

Discussion in 'Model X' started by YamAll, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. YamAll

    YamAll New Member

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    I have a question : I have the accessory hitch installed as I was planning to carry at least 3 bikes with the Tesla/Yakima rear bike carrier. The problem is I didn't know the hitch would only support 120 lbs and the bike rack itself weighs 40-44lbs. That makes only 76-80 lbs left for the bikes themselves. It is not enough. My bikes - all combined - are up to 91 lbs, which means my cargo is 11-15 lbs over. Do you think is it serious/dangerous ?
     
  2. bjm

    bjm New Member

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    A recent post on the Tesla forum recounted a trip in a Model X with a 1-UP USA bike rack with 4 bikes. The rack alone for 4 bikes weighs 96 lbs. That doesn't leave much for 4 bikes! He estimated that his rack and bikes weighed 180-190 lbs. Apparently there were no issues, however, I did correspond with Bosal to find out about the rationale for the 120 lb weight limit. As you can see from the reply below, it is based on static testing and dynamic fatigue testing. So, it would seem most reasonable to abide by the recommendation.

    "The Tesla Model X hitch is rated at 5000 lbs. GTW (gross trailer weight) with 500 lbs. TW (tongue weight). This is with the 20-inch wheels. With the 22 inch wheel option, the hitch rating drops to 3500 lbs. GTW/300 lbs. TW.

    However for carrying bikes, it is only rated for 120 lbs., (55kg) or 2 bicycles.

    This is because the loads are different when carrying vs. towing. Towing weight is supported also by the trailer suspension and wheels. Bikes and cargo are unsprung weight, supported only by the tow hitch and vehicle frame.

    These ratings were requested by Tesla and determined by exhaustive US SAE (static) testing and EU CARLOS ECE R55 (dynamic fatigue) testing.

    I would strongly advise against exceeding these load ratings. For further information, the customer should contact Tesla."
     
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  3. YamAll

    YamAll New Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply bjm. I am a little disappointed as the 2 bikes only is a serious limitation in my opinion. Does anyone know about another bike rack (reminder : I have the Tesla/Yakima 2'') that would be lighter and would allow the carrying of a 3rd (and maybe 4th) bike ?
     
  4. CaliX

    CaliX Member

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    What does your hitch look like? I ordered it on mine but the one from the reveal Elon did looks like it built in not something you attach underneath.
     
  5. YamAll

    YamAll New Member

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    As pictured. It is the "hidden" accessory hitch you can plug in underneath the rear of the car.
     

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  6. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & M3

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    Does this weight limit also apply to those with the tow package? or just the accessory hitch?

    They both seem to use the Bosal hitch assembly.
     
  7. goneskiian

    goneskiian Active Member

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    At this point it appears there is no difference between the AH option and the full TP hardware. I would not worry about carrying 4 bikes on the Yakima/Tesla bike rack. It, and the vehicle, can handle it no problem.

    I didn't get to talk to them but I saw an X a couple weeks ago at the Ellensburg Supercharger (WA state) with 4 bikes on a 1UP USA rack. Granted a couple of them were pretty nice carbon fiber road bikes most definitely weighing less than 20lbs.

    Cheers!
     
  8. MTOman

    MTOman Member

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    How about 4 fat tire bikes? I just got one that weighs 50 lbs! :eek: Two of those plus the rack itself would exceed the 120 lbs weight limit..
     
  9. DriverOne

    DriverOne Supporting Member

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    So if we use a cargo carrier like the Pro Series Rambler, the trailer + cargo limit is 120lbs? I hadn't seen that documented until now.

    That carrier is 60lbs by itself! A weather-proof bag is another 9lbs. Which doesn't leave a lot for cargo! (Maybe I need to switch to an aluminum carrier.)
     
  10. DaddyD

    DaddyD Member

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    I've got a Model X coming in May/ June '18. We camp a lot, bring extra kids and bikes along etc, and I think getting our gear and 2-3 bikes on board while transporting 6+ people is going to be a challenge. With no rooftop box, that hitch is going to be key, so I am already spending way too much time thinking about how to optimize it.
    I understand the key issue that makes the recommended weight limit of 120 lbs for hitch carriers less than the rated tongue weight for trailers is the dynamic torques. When you have a long lever arm such as a bike rack or cargo carrier and go over a bump, the torque on the hitch receiver could be considerable. If one could reduce this torque, it should be possible to increase the loads that can be safely carried. Tactic #1 is just to keep the center of mass of the carrier as close to the hitch receiver as possible. Another tactic, though, would be to set up a pre-loaded counter-torque, such as a tensioned strap running from the top of the bikes/ cargo box to an attachment point higher up on the back of the X. This will not reduce the amount of static weight the hitch is carrying, but it would reduce the torque exerted on it.
    The question is, where to attach to the back of the X? The spoiler is tempting and perfectly positioned but may be too fragile. I'm not sure if anything could hook on to the indentation you grab to open the trunk. I don't think I'll be welding on a big hook or drilling any holes either, or my kids will disown me. Has anyone else considered this strategy/ broken a spoiler mount/ made any other grievous mistakes/ come up with a brilliant solution you'd like to share?
     
  11. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    All the Model X's got the same hitch parts, so accessory or tow doesn't matter from a hardware perspective. It matters from a software perspective. SAE testing usually has requirements for a specific load over time and has built in tolerances. So could you technically exceed it w/o encountering issues? Yes. But based on their testing the failure rates exceed their threshold for approval. So is it recommended? No.

    There's lighter aluminum based carriers, but they get expensive. A lot of people probably don't want to hear this; but I just tow my loads. I've purchased a trailer and gotten really used to hooking it up quickly. Does it feel silly to show up in a trailer for a Christmas tree? Yes... Or showing up to a park and unloading bikes? Yes... But eventually you get used to perception of it and realize just how much easier a trailer is over a roof rack.
     
  12. DaddyD

    DaddyD Member

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    Thanks Yinn. I've also wondered about just using a small trailer. I think the hit on range would be larger with this than with a hitch carrier, though, since you have extra wheels as well as drag. We'll be driving our X from California to Wyoming and back so range matters. Any experience with battery life when towing a utility trailer - what % hit do you take at highway speeds?
     
  13. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    I've towed a utility trailer as well as an enclosed by this point. In my experience I get better mileage with the enclosed, which admittedly was a bit of a surprise to me as a first time tower. The range hit touches upon everything that normally affects us.

    Speed and temperature are the major factors, but either way there is a range hit. For highway speeds...
    Best case scenario; towing an enclosed trailer with 20" wheels netted me the same range as not towing with 22" wheels. ~10% in my case.
    Worst case scenario; was towing an open trailer in single digit temperatures and it consumed ~150% more energy.

    Now...I acknowledge this all sounds like an unreasonable amount of consumption on paper. But I also have to say a lot of this is just getting used to it. My first couple of times I had severe range anxiety (75D) - just like when I first bought my Tesla. After having done it regularly; I don't really give it another thought. I just hook up and go and find SC's along the way.
     

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