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Model Y hitch (Draw-Tite)

jacksonlui

Member
Oct 15, 2020
47
34
san diego
You can order pry tools from various places - I got mine from Living Tesla. I removed it once and removed most of the clips (there is a YouTube video on how to do this - also Living Tesla, I think). Don't need anything to pop it off now.

I recently removed my aero covers simply by grabbing one around the 'vanes' and pulling it out slightly, then moving to the next. It will probably pop off after doing that 2 or 3 times around the circumference.
Using a pry tool, basically a plastic lever, I would start in the upper right quadrant and work your way around. It's pretty easy to do but I can see that removing on and off a lot would cause the tabs to break eventually. Perhaps a magnetic mod would be best.
 

jacksonlui

Member
Oct 15, 2020
47
34
san diego
Could you share pics of it installed please?
MY Bumper.jpg

I only took this pic. I had wanted to put my concentration on everything fitting perfect and that I didn't forget any screws. As you can see, the draw-tite hitch replaces the silver bumper beam. (trading aluminum for steel). Note also the two eyelets on top of the receiver. You can hook to this when being towed which means you don't even need to carry that tow hook around.
 
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bluenycom

Member
Feb 12, 2021
95
87
Rancho Cucamonga
I'm about to order the draw-tite hitch from etrailer also. I was also curious if others have used it. I've had other draw-tite hitches and they worked fine. Thanks for the video recommendations, I'll be checking those out.

What wiring harness did you go with? I see the Tekonsha modulite is most commonly used. I was going to get it from a different website since it's much less. I read some reviews on it and some people had issues with it working intermittently but haven't heard any complaints from Tesla owners so I wonder if the issues are specific to certain cars, or user error.
If you're asking about wiring harness, then I assume you're planning to tow with your hitch. I personally would NOT splice any electronic/wiring/modules into Tesla system. You have no idea what kind of issue it can interact with. I'd rather pay extra for Tesla to install the proper wiring harness designed for it with the accompanied software update.
 
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Koolio46

Member
Aug 26, 2020
468
193
Boston, MA
You can order pry tools from various places - I got mine from Living Tesla. I removed it once and removed most of the clips (there is a YouTube video on how to do this - also Living Tesla, I think). Don't need anything to pop it off now.

I recently removed my aero covers simply by grabbing one around the 'vanes' and pulling it out slightly, then moving to the next. It will probably pop off after doing that 2 or 3 times around the circumference.
I also use the Living Tesla pry tool. Used it for the first time yesterday and they work well. Note, when prying, there’s a small slot at the top center of the cover where you can fit the pry tool into to start the process.
 

LionelHutz

Member
Jan 12, 2019
179
143
CA
What do you use to remove the panel that covers the tow hitch? I tried a flat head screwdriver, stopped as soon as the plastic started deforming.

This and the wheel caps, would like to know how best to remove both.

Any flat, thin plastic trim tool should work. I popped mine off in about 10 seconds with a standard trim tool--I think the difficulty of removal is being a bit exaggerated.
 

Dan888

Member
Feb 10, 2021
11
5
Huntsville, AL
If you're asking about wiring harness, then I assume you're planning to tow with your hitch. I personally would NOT splice any electronic/wiring/modules into Tesla system. You have no idea what kind of issue it can interact with. I'd rather pay extra for Tesla to install the proper wiring harness designed for it with the accompanied software update.
I had the same concern and I would not use anything that requires splicing. The Tekonsha Modulite ZCI harness does not require splicing any wires. It snaps over the wire and senses current when your lights go on.
I hear where you're coming from on DIY vs Tesla service doing it. On occasion I've regretted a DIY job :) For this I'm confident in my ability and looking forward to saving $800. We'll see!
 
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DanDi58

Member
Jun 22, 2020
904
684
Dayton NJ
This just seems like a lot of work to not get Tow Mode, the same crash protection and emergency tow hitch to save $600 bucks or so - especially when that $600 is spread over the term of the loan.
 

jacksonlui

Member
Oct 15, 2020
47
34
san diego
Video brings up good points however that aluminum crash beam is pretty light and minimal. The steel hitch is a lot more rigid and both uses the same mounts so the energy will be dissipated to the same area as designed by Tesla.
I don't agree with the comments on insurance. If you have full coverage, then you just pay the deductible to get it fixed.
On my other vehicles, the tow hitch gets attached below the bumper beam and in case of a crash, more than likely your hitch will be hit first and the energy will not be directed to where it's intended and can cause other issues to the frame of your car. In case of the eco-hitch , a case can be made that a rear end will hit the hitch which is located below the bumper beam and the force being directly dissipated into the mounts isn't horizontal but at an angle; I'm not sure how this translates in terms of potential damage. If someone can confirm that the OEM hitch also replaces the bumper beam, then I would lean more towards that option.

In regards to the tow hook, the steel eyelets on the hitch seems a lot more sturdy for that purpose but it's really a moot point because it's mostly used to pull the car onto the bed.
 

bluenycom

Member
Feb 12, 2021
95
87
Rancho Cucamonga
This just seems like a lot of work to not get Tow Mode, the same crash protection and emergency tow hitch to save $600 bucks or so - especially when that $600 is spread over the term of the loan.
After watching that video, I agreed that it's a lot of work removing trims, lights, bumper, ect, without causing damages. Tesla price includes installation as well as harness/wiring. I not so sure how much I'd really save if I pay someone else to install an aftermarket one. Not everyone is handy with tools.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
287
265
Jax
Great thread and an Interesting video. I come from an aerospace background and was an aeronautical engineer in my early career. Cars, like planes, like to have controlled crumple zones to help absorb the energy in a crash. This can help reduce the acceleration of your body in the event you were in an accident and the attendant issues like whiplash, internal organ damage, etc. I was once rear-ended by a tow truck towing a large car while I was stopped at a light. The tow truck was doing 65 mph when it impacted my car. Let's just say it wasn't a pretty sight but I lived but not without suffering significant injuries.

My assumption for the aluminum beam is partially to be a sacrificial member in the event of a collision. Aluminum can work well for that and at the same time, it is fairly lightweight. Weight at the end of the car doesn't do anything positive for handling and weight, in general, isn't going to help acceleration or braking either (for the most part). I have been considering a MYP as I might have to tow occasionally.

I am pretty happy I stumbled across this thread while researching towing for the MY. I now need to research how Tesla does the factory hitch but now I know that the Drawtite hitch is a hard pass for me. I have had good luck with their hitches on other vehicles but this design leaves a lot to be desired for me. Removing the aluminum beam and also allowing the hatch area to protrude past the hitch are the only 2 strikes I need to cross it off my list. Realistically just one of those issues would have been enough not to buy it.

To repair that hatch area wouldn't be pretty and it wouldn't take much for someone to back into you to cause some very expensive damage. If the insurance company was petty, they might not cover the damage or maybe not all of it

If I buy a MYP I'll probably just spend the extra money and get the factory hitch. No point in investing in false economy. Anyway, it might work great for some and they may never have an issue with it. It all comes down to your risk tolerance. If I am paying 50-60k for a car, I'll spend the extra few hundred to do it right, or at least better than the aftermarket. If it was just a solid frame car, like an old pickup, you could bolt on most anything and be fine. Or the M3 where there isn't a hitch option in the US so you have to go aftermarket anyway.

Anyway this is a great forum and this thread probably has turned out to be one of the most useful ones in my Tesla research.
 
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jacksonlui

Member
Oct 15, 2020
47
34
san diego
Let us know what you find about the OEM hitch, if it indeed replaces the bumper beam. That may be telling.

Would another car's bumper hit above the hitch and not hit the hitch first?
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
287
265
Jax
I am going to research that for sure. There are federal laws mandating bumper heights for vehicles. That way a big pickup truck just doesn't plow through your car. Not at least a stock one from the factory.

If you have the hitch in, and it is up high enough, that would help the hatch. Then that energy would be transferred to the unibody directly so maybe some distortion there. Realistically I am not worried about the 30+ mph hit to the rear, that is going to mess up the car no matter what.

I am more concerned about the random dipwad who backs into your car and does far more damage than it should have. What should have been a $1k bump and run turns into a $5k bump and run.
 

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