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Model X trailer mode

Discussion in 'Model X' started by patrick42h, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. patrick42h

    patrick42h Member

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    I just wanted to float an idea that I had for the Model X. It seems likely that Tesla will officially support towing with the Model X, but not with the Model S. Given that, what do you think about a "trailer mode" to be used when pulling a trailer?

    I started thinking about this when I learned about the "Tow/Haul Mode" in my dad's Suburban. It essentially delays upshifts during acceleration and keeps the transmission out of overdrive until you reach 64 MPH. Granted, this is not an issue for a car with a single-speed transmission, so here's what I thought it might do:

    • Disable rear-facing Autopilot sensors so the car doesn't think you're about to get rear-ended all the time.
    • Tweak the torque distribution so that it favors the rear wheels a little more, since they will have more weight over them than usual.
    • Nerf acceleration a bit to avoid damaging the gearbox(es) and trailer hitch during hard acceleration.
    This mode might also be useful when using a hitch-mounted bike/ski/cargo rack that could trip the Autopilot sensors in the rear bumper.

    It could be activated manually on the touchscreen. There could be ways of the Model X detecting the presence of a trailer, such as a switch inside the receiver that gets flipped when there is a trailer ball installed. The car might also be able to sense that the air suspension is working harder than usual to keep the rear end of the car level because of the weight of the trailer. Either way, there would be an indicator light on the dashboard to show that you are in this mode.

    towhaulmodebtn.jpg
     
  2. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Nice start. Thank you for sharing.

    Not really my topic, but to add, one thing that competing cars do trailer-mode-wise is changing the reversing lines (or lack there of) on the reversing camera. So parking system changes for trailer mode could be added to that list.
     
  3. patrick42h

    patrick42h Member

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    I hadn't thought of that, but that would be a good idea, since turning the wheel to the left when backing up moves the trailer to the right.
     
  4. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    Cool idea. Would make sense if they officially supported trailers to add some functionality along those lines.

    I'm still on the fence on whether or not they will/should support towing with the Model X, personally, if for no other reason then the supercharging stalls not being designed for this. If I get to a charger to find it unusable because a Model X + trailer is there blocking 4 stalls or whatever, I'll be pretty pissed.

    Nose-first isn't really a solution, either, since that'd leave the trailer out in the travel lane of the parking lot. There are actually some superchargers where the pedestals are between each stall (nose-in, Savannah, GA for example) where there would be no way to safely supercharge with a trailer.

    So my vote is anti-trailer, or the car not allowing supercharging at all while a trailer hitch is installed.
     
  5. AnxietyRanger

    AnxietyRanger Active Member

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    Considering the numerous sensors, large screens, (hopefully more) high-res cameras and Tesla's constantly improving software... there would be plenty of room to innovate around this, indeed.
     
  6. patrick42h

    patrick42h Member

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    I hear you. If there isn't a technical solution to this problem, maybe it's going to have to be one of etiquette. Most Superchargers are in large parking lots. Maybe people could live with the minor inconvenience of unhooking the trailer in the parking lot before charging. If not, then they should stay with the car so they can move if more stalls are needed by other people.

    I guess there really isn't an elegant solution to that problem, assuming it becomes one.
     
  7. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Easiest way to detect a connection is via the trailer power plug (assuming we're talking proper trailer here). Change in the reversing lines really isn't necessary, unless you've got a camera on your trailer you can't see back there anyway.

    Good positioning of the reversing camera is important though, the ball hitch needs to be visible in the camera. Hooking up to a trailer needs to be a one-person job.

    WRT to Supercharging: I need to trailer my horses, unhitching for a while isn't an issue but someone always has to stay with the trailer anyway. In general there are very few situations where anyone would need to tow significant weight over really long distances, ergo the need to utilize a Supercharger while towing is likely to be infrequent.
     
  8. EchoDelta

    EchoDelta Member

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    Also not my specialty area, but I guess a magnetic mount rear facing camera that you could put behind your trailer and it's automatically there to your screen would be another cool sounding idea. I wouldn't expect it to happen however
     
  9. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    You mean.. like.. RV'ing?

    Model X (depending on the towing capacity) might just be an ideal RV'ing rig.
     
  10. brkaus

    brkaus Member

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    What's the chance of a heavily loaded, esp with trailer, model x making it from one Supercharger to the next? My truck drops 30% when I tow a boat/trailer.
     
  11. Paul Carter

    Paul Carter Active Member

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    Would think the 85 would be ok. Doubt a 60 would make it. Anyone wanting to tow anything more than a small utility trailer / toys would need the higher capacity if long distance travel is involved.
     
  12. patrick42h

    patrick42h Member

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    #12 patrick42h, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    I thought the Model X might be up to pulling a couple of race boats (mine and my sister's) around the Midwest. Combined, two hulls and two motors might be just over 400 lbs. In that case, I think the aerodynamics of the trailer would be a bigger factor than the weight.

    42H_at_Huntington_IN.jpg
     
  13. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    #13 bonnie, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    I'm expecting my X to be able to tow my GO trailer , even with firewood and camping supplies loaded. It's low, aerodynamic (not counting the stuff I load on top), and only 840lbs unloaded.

    If I need to stop to Supercharge, it's pretty straightforward to drop the trailer and hook it back up. Block the wheels, crank it up off the hitch, unplug the wiring ... minutes on each end, at best.

     
  14. tga

    tga Active Member

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    I'm only buying an X if it can tow at least 6000 lbs. Then it can replace both my truck and my commuter car (Mini). I need to tow boats (<25miles) and a race car trailer (frequently ~50 miles one way, but occasionally up to 350 miles).

    Otherwise I'm getting an S/waiting for the 3 (haven't decided yet; leaning towards a used S for a couple of years, than a new 3).

    265 miles - 30% = 185. My 350 mile routes have superchargers every ~100miles, so it could work, in theory. We'll see...

    - - - Updated - - -

    That looks kind of handy. I put together a 4x8 Harbor Freight folding trailer kit 20 years ago before I had a truck (I towed it behind a Saturn). Great for dump runs, firewood, etc. It folds in half and stands up in a corner of the garage, and has casters so it can easily move around while standing.
     
  15. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    I am waiting to see if the X will be able to tow a 2700 pound pop up camper that I currently tow with a Honda Odyssey. I would prefer to NOT have to unhook at SC stations. We used to drive from TX to NM or CO. I don't know why anyone would think towing is only a local or short distance thing. I don't know if this will work, but if not it will be a deal breaker for me.
     
  16. patrick42h

    patrick42h Member

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    #16 patrick42h, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
    That's what I am thinking, too. It seems most Supercharger locations are in the far corner of some huge parking lot. There would be plenty of room to quickly drop the trailer, turn the car around, and back into a charging stall. It might be a minor inconvenience, but I think it would be worth it.

    Besides, we're paying for the convenience of leaving the trailer hooked up while refueling at a gas station. The Superchargers are free. I would happily take a few minutes to unhook the trailer while my car charges.
     
  17. santana338

    santana338 Member

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    If you have to stop and unhook-charge-rehook every couple of hours while on a day long trip to go camping, this is going to get pretty old pretty quick.
     
  18. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Just to be clear: I referred to Supercharging while towing being an infrequent event, not an inconceivable event. I'll stick with that and also say (as someone who does regularly tow a horse trailer) that I see no problem in unhitching to use a Supercharger.

    Anyone towing heavy loads 2,000 miles every weekend might want to consider moving house. ;-)
     
  19. Paul Carter

    Paul Carter Active Member

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    How about my Model X is my dining / card playing room. I may want to tow the rest of my house, kitchen sink and all! :)
     
  20. patrick42h

    patrick42h Member

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    If most (or all) of the Supercharger stalls are not being used, I guess you could just park across a few of them and charge without unhooking. I would stay with the car, though, in case more people show up and you need to move.
     

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