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Model X Manual Update Regarding Towing

Discussion in 'Model X' started by ohmman, Jul 24, 2017.

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  1. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    I'm not sure when this occurred, but it I noticed that the Model X manual has new information about towing. My link should lead the reader to the manual, just search for Towing and you'll find the full text. Notable changes:

    The disclaimer about damage due to towing has been expanded. The last sentence of this blurb was all that was there before:

    There are other new warnings in this section as well.

    Tesla now includes quite a bit of information about leveling the trailer, includes warnings against using SAS to level the trailer, and also adds general towing safety information about trailer loads.

    Three trailer lights are now highlighted - blue, yellow, and red. I didn't know it could be anything but blue, but they describe the different meanings for each color in the manual update.

    A requested feature of mine appears to have been either adopted or, if it already existed, appears to be highlighted in the manual. That is:
    Then comes the juicy stuff.

    While they don't explicitly prohibit weight distribution hitches, they come a step closer here by pointing out that the Bosal is a weight carrying/weight bearing hitch. And on that note,
    :oops: Can I respectfully disagree?

    For anyone interested in the topic, I definitely suggest taking a look. Also, if someone knows how long this has been posted as it currently reads, I'd like to know. I am sure I checked about two months ago and it didn't have this new text.
     
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  2. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    I think one of their lawyers was following your recent travels and updated the manual accordingly. I bet you did more real life tow testing than Tesla did -- and the hitch wasn't looking up to the task.

    Yes, and I bet you'll feel much better on your next trip with your new hitch setup than with Tesla's twice wobbly one.
     
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  3. K-MTG

    K-MTG Sunshade Captain of TMC

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    I am curious what the deal is on the new towing package. It seems that it's included by default?
     
  4. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    This may be 'new--ish' but it's not 'new'. Maybe it's 8.0's original? There seems to be no production/update date on the PDF, so we can't tell when it really changes... it doesn't change frequently, as other changes like the double click for the passenger door for PUP users isn't in the manual.

    In any case, my point is my copy of this PDF that I downloaded months ago does have the same three-color trailer info. It has a mod date on my PC of January 15, 2017, for what that's worth.


    Would be nice if the online version matched the car's version and had a mod date clearly in the PDF. (PDF metadata shows mod data of 10/20/2016, and @ohmman's version shows the same, having said that.... :) )

    upload_2017-7-25_7-47-24.png
     
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  5. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the heads up! For those who haven't read that section, the Towing information starts on page 68.

    Do you think that the yellow and red icons are new? Or maybe they were always there but had never appeared for you because you never encountered the circumstances described in the manual that would activate either of those icons?

    Very interesting. When I start towing next spring I do not plan to use the stock Bosal hitch with WD bars because my camper trailer is relatively light (1,600 lbs). If I ever want to change to a different hitch I will be violating Tesla's proscription against doing so, as you noted.

    Quote from the X manual: "Warning: You must use the Model X trailer hitch when towing a trailer. Never attempt to attach a different type of trailer hitch."

    I think it is likely that the changes in the manual that you noted were in response to your recent experiences with the Bosal hitch.
     
  6. qadaemon

    qadaemon Member

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    #6 qadaemon, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
    Not only am I attempting it, I'm predicting success when I begin this evening. With this and my constant harping about the driveline shudder and windshield ghosting to the service line, I must be an outlaw by now.

    Edit: Weird that my quote didn't pick up your quote from the manual. Damn internets.
     
  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    To have a 5000# towing capacity and infer that one can't use a weight-distribution hitch is ridiculous. Might as well make the hitch a Class I with 2000# rating then.
     
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  8. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    #8 Canuck, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
    I say good luck to Tesla relying on this caveat to deny liability or warranty coverage. The problem is that Tesla is in the driver's seat when it comes to repairs and it's often not worth the hassle to sue for coverage. But if you did sue, it seems to me that @ohmman's new hitch is, in fact, a "Model X trailer hitch." It certainly meets the criteria for towing and is used on similar vehicles to the Model X. Arguably, it's just as much a Model X trailer hitch as the Basal hitch. I've never heard of Basal before Tesla but they're an independent company just like Reese and others, and used more in Europe than North America, apparently.

    Tesla also drafted this clause so any ambiguity is resolved against them -- and certainly they could have made it more clear.

    I'd also show the judge the wobbling Basal hitch -- ohmann posted a video of it in his travel thread (I saw it in person when he visited me) and I'd explain to the judge that it wasn't worth the risk of a detachment, especially since the replacement is a better Tesla Model X hitch.

    I couldn't believe the Basal hitch has three small bearings that come out to hold it in place -- and it wobbled after being replaced after the first one also became wobbly. I worried for him when he left back to California but fortunately the equalizer put upward pressure which helped to hold it on.
     
  9. Rossy

    Rossy Supporting Member

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    As I recall the first video I saw of a Moddl X showed it towing an airstream with a weight distributing hitch. I found Volvo US to also have similar towing restrictions but the XC60 is an awesome tow vehicle for my light trailer.
     
  10. WSKCONDOR

    WSKCONDOR Member

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    I am wondering if the Tesla manual simply is stating, “don’t come up with a different means of connecting to the frame-i.e. from the receiver forward, it is the supplied system.” It did not seem like we were talking about a completely different weird ball bearing Bosal device...or were we?

    Ohmann, could you clarify? I assume all of these configurations use the supplied snap-in receiver, but the question after that was...to use a basic hitch or to use a WD hitch (from the shank aft).

    Tesla does not supply anything aft of the shank, so I think they are only speaking in terms of Stuff FORWARD of the shank.
     
  11. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    Guess Tesla is just informing everyone that they are offering a factory approved towing solution.

    If you want to change to something else the liability falls on you for doing so.

    Don't say you can't do it, just that when you make any unapproved solutions it is on you. They do not intend to take responsiblity for owners making modifications that they have not tested and approved, even if is stronger than the OEM.
     
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  12. mengwong

    mengwong Member

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    If this were the case, no problem. But the tow package has been continuously out of stock for over a month, and we’re hearing stories that new deliveries of the Model X which are supposed to have the tow package standard appear to be shipping without!

    The going theory is that Tesla are scrambling to find a solution to the Bosal metal deformation problem. Until that solution appears, the tow package may be in the same state as the bicycle accessory hitch originally demoed at the Model X launch.

    I called Service and was told that any third party hitch such as the Draw-Tite would void warranty. The only possible conclusion is that the Model X is not tow-ready until further notice. Which will come sooner? Tow capability? Or full autonomy?
     
  13. WSKCONDOR

    WSKCONDOR Member

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    I think it is possible that they are taking some serious look into the Bosal deformations thanks to Ohmmann and those who have brought the issue up (and really discovered that there may be an issue in the first place). But I don’t know that I would go so far as to say the car is not tow ready. It clearly is for lighter weight trailers and perhaps even up to the 5klbs and 500lbs tongue WITH standard attachments.

    If I tow my trailer at 4700lbs or so and keep the tongue weight below 500lbs.....AND I start to get deformations in the Bosal, then,....I will bring that data up and I think the company would make the determination whether they need to do a “notification” or not. From data I have seen as well as anecdotal evidence so far, I don’t think we are at that point yet.

    Now the question of towing utilizing a weight distributing sway control hitch system...is another matter. If it causes problems then they should have placed that caveat in the manual from the start (seems almost unimaginable that they just “missed it”, especially when posters like Rossy are saying Tesla themselves were utilizing such a hitch early on.). It does NOT seem unimaginable that they just didn’t have the breadth of data with towing certain weights-yet. That’s when early adopters come in to play. Like it or not, we are all still thousands of beta testers helping the EV ecosystem learn and grow. I don’t think that is all bad. We are shouldering some portion of risk, but I think it is worth the possible benefits in the end. I know I will share whatever I learn with the threads as well as the company.
     
  14. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Remember that by law, it can only void the warranty as it relates to damage caused by towing. And I think one would have a decent argument if they were towing well within guidelines (<5000 lbs) but still had a motor or drivetrain failure.

    And for the record, I don't believe we've ever seen Tesla towing with a weight distribution hitch; only the occasional post about it. I haven't seen any photos that corroborate this, anyway.
     
  15. WSKCONDOR

    WSKCONDOR Member

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    Ohmman, can you tell me which model of Fastway flip jack foot you purchased? I find two, with different trailer jack “outer diameter”s.
    I see you put an electric one on your 22FB, and I am guessing it will have the same OD jack tube as my FC 20’, I would like to order it ahead of when I take delivery. I can’t find the spec online.
    Is it the
    Fastway 88-00-6500 Flip 2-1/4-Inch automatic Jack Foot (2-Inch inner Jack Tube)??
     
  16. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    That’s the one I bought for my 2” tube. It requires drilling through the tube to mount but is not a very difficult installation. Some reviewers were unhappy with the stability of it but I’ve found it quite solid with my 22 Sport.
     
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  17. WSKCONDOR

    WSKCONDOR Member

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    Thank you Ohmmann, that helps! I will probably do the mod a week after delivery, because I won’t really have access to tools for that long.
    But I needed to know the model number.
    I am getting excited about the trip and hope I don’t forget something critical, or screw something up. I am getting a clear nose bra installed (I love that on my Porsche Cayenne and Boxster) but other than that I have done no “mods” to the X 100D. I decided that I need to wait for delivery to physically inspect some things on the trailer before proceeding with a camera mod, because I will have different runs, lengths, etc, I DO wish I could devise a non-permanent back camera solution even just for this first trip. I might do some wireless doorbell and tape mcGyver thing.
     
  18. qadaemon

    qadaemon Member

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    Are you talking about integrating one into the main screen, or just having one? We have this for our camper. Still works great with the X.

    https://smile.amazon.com/Digital-Wireless-Waterproof-Reversing-Horse-trailer/dp/B071WW8Q8M/
     
  19. WSKCONDOR

    WSKCONDOR Member

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    Thanks qadaemon. This looks like a good unit and the lowest price I have seen.
    I am talking about integrating into the main screen, but what I meant in the last post is that I don’t think I have all the kinks worked out yet, so maybe I am not ready for the deep integration, BUT a system like you sent a link for would be a stop-gap measure.

    Others can chime in, but when I towed the 16’ Sport (which was the same 8’ width as what I am getting) I DO wish I had some backup camera and highway situational awareness in the back. It probably won’t stop me from going, but I have a feeling it will be much better if I have something working as an interim solution.

    Thanks again. Who knows, maybe I can take this thing apart and use modules from it. Ideal I would mount a camera on back of trailer, send it’s feed wirelessly forward to a switch box, where I could select between the built in factory reverse camera or the end of trailer camera. Many details to work out first though...
     
  20. qadaemon

    qadaemon Member

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    Towing mirrors made a big difference too. Without them, it feels very claustrophobic to me compared to towing the same camper with a truck.

    Towing mirrors
     
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