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Model X Hitch on Model S?

caliautobahn

New Member
Nov 22, 2018
3
0
San Francisco, CA
Hi all,

I'm looking to get a Tesla - and have a special use case. I have an old race car that I'd like to be able to tow. I see all the posts on the ecohitch etc, but I want/need a more substantial hitch - and the OEM Model X Bosal would be a perfect ticket.

I'm wondering if any of you have any idea whether a Model X hitch would fit on a Model S. It looks like the bolt pattern for the rear bumper is pretty similar - and the Bosal hitch would be more trustworthy than the smaller unit.

Really, I'm looking for definitive experience as to why it wouldn't fit/work. I know the easy answer is get a Model X - but that wouldn't be any fun - with similar weight, wheelbase, etc I can't think of a reason a Model X would make a better tow vehicle than a Model S and I'd love to save $30,000 and buy an S instead if I could just buy an X hitch on eBay for $300.

The race-car setup is 2500lbs - so not terribly heavy.

Thoughts? Thanks!
 

jonm93

Member
Nov 23, 2018
35
25
Portland, OR
I would be wary of putting a hitch on a Model S. The car was never designed for it. Many people have had serious galvanic corrosion issues from having the steel hitch in contact with the aluminum structure of the car. This is a great owners account of the issue

Tesla Model S hitch by Torklift (3 year update): Eaten alive

Be very careful. I would either look into getting a Model X or buy a cheap truck like a nissan frontier to haul your trailer. Frontiers are dirt cheap compared to a tacoma and would get the job done no problem.
 

ZachTW

Member
Jun 3, 2020
5
14
Seattle
Anyone accomplish this? I remember touring the Fremont factory and the tour guide (Not an engineer) stating the chassis for the Model X and Model S are identical, running on the same assembly line up until they start installing the body panels.

I have a 2016 Model S and contemplating purchasing a model X hitch off e-bay for the same price as the other stealth hitches.

galvanic corrosion is fixed pretty easy as long as you maintain physical separation between the metals and prevent moisture pooling between the two. Most hitches come with phenolic washers you can buy at Home Depot to accomplish this.
 

jjvan

Member
Sep 3, 2019
38
20
Vancouver
Anyone accomplish this? I remember touring the Fremont factory and the tour guide (Not an engineer) stating the chassis for the Model X and Model S are identical, running on the same assembly line up until they start installing the body panels.

I have a 2016 Model S and contemplating purchasing a model X hitch off e-bay for the same price as the other stealth hitches.

galvanic corrosion is fixed pretty easy as long as you maintain physical separation between the metals and prevent moisture pooling between the two. Most hitches come with phenolic washers you can buy at Home Depot to accomplish this.

@Evoforce has installed a Drawtite Model X hitch on his Model S. The Model X hitch is much stronger than the Model S hitch and rated for 5000 lbs. It is not a seamless install on the Model S and modification to the hitch plates and the bumper support is required. I do think this is a good option and I am considering it for my car.

Adding a hitch for a bike rack to a Model S

I was at first concerned about the modification to the bumper support but I don't believe the bumper support is even necessary once the hitch is installed because it has a large square bar at the back where the bumper support was. There is a strong (and more expensive) Model S hitch designed in Germany and approved in Europe which also does away with the bumper support once that hitch is installed.

See:
Anhängerkupplung Tesla Model S
 

arman1010

Member
Jul 13, 2020
25
15
Tbd
@Evoforce
I am very interested in installing a Class 3 hitch but was wondering what was the year of your Model S? I looked at your work from the other thread and noticed that your rear bumper trim looks different from my 2017 Model S.
 

Evoforce

Active Member
Apr 19, 2017
1,545
1,830
Fountain Hills AZ
@Evoforce
I am very interested in installing a Class 3 hitch but was wondering what was the year of your Model S? I looked at your work from the other thread and noticed that your rear bumper trim looks different from my 2017 Model S.
The bumper trim difference (if any) will make no difference to adding the hitch. The hardest part of the mod is the steel bumper skin support cuts and notching to fit over the hitch. It is a great addition to the car!
 
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arman1010

Member
Jul 13, 2020
25
15
Tbd
The bumper trim difference (if any) will make no difference to adding the hitch. The hardest part of the mod is the steel bumper skin support cuts and notching to fit over the hitch. It is a great addition to the car!
Thanks for your reply. What year is your car? Looking at your picture it seems the receiver is almost touching the chrome trim‚ so it was a very close fit‚ hence my worry if it will fit on mine the same way. Do you know anyone who followed your method on a 2016-2018 MS.
 

rooter

Member
May 13, 2018
808
968
Edmonds, WA
The main reason Tesla says no hitch on the MS is the ultrasonic sensors will go nuts, and through-bumper considerations. These're the only reasons "it's not designed for it".
 

cmarshack

Member
Oct 25, 2015
372
226
San Clemente, CA
I ended up installing a draw tite hitch for my MS. its a 1 1/4 hitch configuration which is enough for my needs. Im just carrying a bike rack.
https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch/Draw-Tite/24958.html#exp-productdetails=.reviews

How is the clearance for everyday driving (when nothing is attached to the hitch)? I have the EcoHitch and there is scraping/clearance issues when the car is the drive and lowered modes of the air suspension, which in my opinion makes the removable receiver almost mandatory for a hitch on the Model S.
 

Evoforce

Active Member
Apr 19, 2017
1,545
1,830
Fountain Hills AZ
How is the clearance for everyday driving (when nothing is attached to the hitch)? I have the EcoHitch and there is scraping/clearance issues when the car is the drive and lowered modes of the air suspension, which in my opinion makes the removable receiver almost mandatory for a hitch on the Model S.
Don't drive in low mode if you are afraid of scraping at dips in the road or steep driveways. Put it back in low when flat surface roads and freeways. It is no different than any other vehicle. If you have the adjustable suspension it is a bonus. My receiver comes out right at the bottom of the bumper, if you are scraping that, then you are also protecting the bumper from damage.
 

Evoforce

Active Member
Apr 19, 2017
1,545
1,830
Fountain Hills AZ
Thanks for your reply. What year is your car? Looking at your picture it seems the receiver is almost touching the chrome trim‚ so it was a very close fit‚ hence my worry if it will fit on mine the same way. Do you know anyone who followed your method on a 2016-2018 MS.
It will work on yours...
 

Evoforce

Active Member
Apr 19, 2017
1,545
1,830
Fountain Hills AZ
Thanks. Rooter mentioned the ultrasonic sensor and I also watched the installation video of echoHitch where they recommended flipping that sensor upside down for better clearance. What was the configuration on your mod?

I mounted it on the hitch crossbar facing toward the rear, off center just to the right (passenger side). The bumper reinforcement/support will install over it. I am assuming you have looked through some of the trailer wiring threads as well... I purchased a wiring kit as well as the draw-tite hitch from E-trailer and tied the hot wire into the rear hatch lift circuit. If you need more pictures PM me.
 
Last edited:

S-ALSET

Member
Apr 4, 2019
151
41
FL
How is the clearance for everyday driving (when nothing is attached to the hitch)? I have the EcoHitch and there is scraping/clearance issues when the car is the drive and lowered modes of the air suspension, which in my opinion makes the removable receiver almost mandatory for a hitch on the Model S.
I,ve had 0 clearance issues, the hitch is basically 1/2 the size.
 

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