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Model Y Towing - Experiences Post here

STBR0510

Member
Nov 13, 2020
15
55
Minnesota
About how fast were you going? I'm doing a 1,400 mile move with the same U-Haul trailer. California speed limit is 55mph while towing which I'm hoping gets me at least ~450whpm.

Also, how did you handle overnight rests? The trailer coupler doesn't have a lock which I'm a little nervous about. Thanks!

I kept it between 55 and 70mph. Pretty much just went the speed limit and stuck to the back roads. If you are doing your trip in warmer months you should be fine.
Overnight I was concerned about theft but there is always sentry mode and being selective on where you park. I only had one overnight stop on the trip. Just make sure you lock the trailer door.
 
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MikeHolliday

Member
May 9, 2020
339
255
Worthington, Ohio
After a bunch of research and YouTube videos, I'd decided to buy an Armadillo trailer in Canada. https://www.armadillotrailers.ca The unloaded vehicle weight is1,800 lbs. and hitch weight is 180 lbs. I'd have to drive up to Canada, but with Covid, I believe the border is closed. Anyway, these are amazing trailers, if you get a chance check them out.

View attachment 639155
Here's another one to consider that is well within the MY tow capability. Made in U.S., standard queen (not RV) bed, full size fridge and full bath, power awning, power jack and reasonable pricing.

You will be stopping to charge much more often with this trailer compared to the Armadillo above...
 
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Flybuddy

Member
Jul 12, 2020
350
363
Fort Myers FL
You will be stopping to charge much more often with this trailer compared to the Armadillo above...
Yes, but maybe not MUCH more often. Once we start towing there doesn't seem to be a huge difference. I towed a much larger trailer and found minimal difference in range. The aerodynamics is the main problem and that can be minimized by slowing down. You also have to drive to Canada and pay 24K U.S. for a base Armadillo trailer that you can't even take a leak in, easy to add another 5K in options. Also, what about warranty work in U.S.? The Riverside is about half the price well equipped, sold all over U.S. and has an actual bathroom with inside shower. If you're towing long distances a 15 mile range difference might be important enough to accept a less convenient RV but for most who don't do extensive or long range trailering, a larger RV (for way less money) might be the answer.
 

Flybuddy

Member
Jul 12, 2020
350
363
Fort Myers FL
You are probably correct but look at post 83, similar in size and weight to aforementioned trailer and I generally do better numbers than that. I would think most folks towing would be figuring max between stops of 100 to 140 miles. All kinds of factors will drive those numbers, temp, headwinds, terrain, aerodynamics and weight. The weight does not seem to be a major factor unless terrain involved or lots of stop and go. Aerodynamics can be helpful in tailwinds and minimized in headwinds by slowing down. In looking at the many, many posts by MY owners towing trailers, the one constant is the inconsistency of WH/MI. My longest leg between charging was 108 miles with about 20 miles (towing) remaining. If I was more careful I might have stretched that to 140 total. Not sure the smaller trailer would do a whole bunch better than that. Seems like a lot of concessions strictly for the chance that it may tow a reasonable amount further. I would submit that if range is the biggest issue then pop up campers might be the answer. There are both hard and softside ones with more amenities for a lot less money.
 
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scr_tmy

New Member
Jan 7, 2021
1
8
San Diego, CA
Great string.

I have a 2021 LR AWD MY, average 280wh/mi unloaded, in San Diego.
I rented an Airstream Bambi 16RB last month. Drove about 140mi, 80% freeway, avg 58mph on fwy, wh/mi loaded was 552, temp was in the 50's, some rain.
To reduce tongue weight, I went with just 1 propane tank & secured it towards the back of the trailer.
Planning to try some other rentals...
 

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ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,190
18,700
North Bay, CA
Great string.

I have a 2021 LR AWD MY, average 280wh/mi unloaded, in San Diego.
I rented an Airstream Bambi 16RB last month. Drove about 140mi, 80% freeway, avg 58mph on fwy, wh/mi loaded was 552, temp was in the 50's, some rain.
To reduce tongue weight, I went with just 1 propane tank & secured it towards the back of the trailer.
Planning to try some other rentals...
Very cool. Be careful to keep at least 10% of the gross weight of the trailer on the tongue. Back loading to alleviate trailer tongue weight can come at the cost of stability.
 

fly4fun

Member
Jul 28, 2020
37
41
Colorado
Just took my new Flagstaff T12RB Hard-sided fold-up camping trailer on a test run from Denver up to the mountains, specifically, Pine Valley Ranch open space.
43 miles uphill averaged 517 Wh/mi
43 miles downhill averaged 316 Wh/mi
Overall average 417 Wh/mi at speeds ranging from 35-65. Average probably around 55.
I think the low profile of a pop-up trailer like this is a big plus when it comes to reducing drag.

Dry weight 2014 lbs, hitch dry weight 222 lbs.
Tekonsha P3 brake controller.
Trailer was nearly empty except for full propane tanks and a 53 lb battery, probably around 2200 lbs.
Actual tongue weight was measured at just under 350 lbs with the full propane and the battery.
Also measured tongue weight with a full 20 gallon fresh water tank. It was about 15 lbs lighter as the tank is located just behind the axle.

Altogether a very pleasant ride to one of my favorite hiking locations and back.
PVR_5-31-21.JPG
 

digitalboi

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2017
827
1,842
Orlando, FL
Great string.

I have a 2021 LR AWD MY, average 280wh/mi unloaded, in San Diego.
I rented an Airstream Bambi 16RB last month. Drove about 140mi, 80% freeway, avg 58mph on fwy, wh/mi loaded was 552, temp was in the 50's, some rain.
To reduce tongue weight, I went with just 1 propane tank & secured it towards the back of the trailer.
Planning to try some other rentals...
Where did you rent the Bambi from? I was looking at those but would love to rent it and a few others like it before we pull the plug on purchasing one
 

uxabhi

New Member
Jun 26, 2021
1
1
Sisters, OR
Great string.

I have a 2021 LR AWD MY, average 280wh/mi unloaded, in San Diego.
I rented an Airstream Bambi 16RB last month. Drove about 140mi, 80% freeway, avg 58mph on fwy, wh/mi loaded was 552, temp was in the 50's, some rain.
To reduce tongue weight, I went with just 1 propane tank & secured it towards the back of the trailer.
Planning to try some other rentals...
Curious how tryouts are progressing, and what the experience was with the bambi. We’re looking to buy a bambi 16rb
 
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Araman0

Member
Apr 18, 2018
303
495
Seattle
I use one and have been towing a popup camper for a year now. It works as expected and I didn't even know what a brake controller was prior to buying the Y.
I have that brake controller @HyperionMark . It works really well. The only downside is when regenerative braking turns on the brake light, the controller uses the brake light as a signal to activate the trailer brakes. So when I want to be purely regen braking to feed the battery the trailer brakes become activated, wasting energy.
 
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HyperionMark

Member
Aug 28, 2017
529
257
Brookings, SD
I have that brake controller @HyperionMark . It works really well. The only downside is when regenerative braking turns on the brake light, the controller uses the brake light as a signal to activate the trailer brakes. So when I want to be purely regen braking to feed the battery the trailer brakes become activated, wasting energy.
You sure that's how the Curt Echo works? From what I can tell it can tell how hard you are braking and you can adjust how much the trailer "responds" accordingly.
 

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,190
18,700
North Bay, CA
You sure that's how the Curt Echo works? From what I can tell it can tell how hard you are braking and you can adjust how much the trailer "responds" accordingly.
Most modern brake controllers do engage based on the brake light and then use an accelerometer to determine how much braking should be applied (proportional). On my Tekonsha Prodigy P2, proportional braking is adjustable, and I have been known to turn it down on flat roads and with a low SOC in order to recapture the maximum amount of energy. But at speed or in the hills, safety trumps energy efficiency and it should really be kept at the standard value.
 
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EV Car

Member
Apr 28, 2021
19
45
San Mateo, CA
Just towed a 5x9 utility trailer with 700lbs load ontop from Reno to Tahoe, up Mt Rose highway. Averaged 680 Wh/mi over 30ish miles.

The MY tows well. Need a c clamp to reduce play in receiver and tow adapter, quite loud bangs without it.
Tight to fit pin, connector and chains in the limited opening, but doable.

MY is great for towing smaller loads shorter distances. Not sure what it be like to tow a larger trailer long distance.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,395
14,407
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Yes, but maybe not MUCH more often. Once we start towing there doesn't seem to be a huge difference. I towed a much larger trailer and found minimal difference in range.
There is a big difference in range when towing compared to not towing. In your own words:
In looking at the many, many posts by MY owners towing trailers, the one constant is the inconsistency of WH/MI. My longest leg between charging was 108 miles with about 20 miles (towing) remaining. If I was more careful I might have stretched that to 140 total
I would describe the difference between having to charge after 108 miles while towing compared to the typical Y range of over 300 miles as definitely a “huge” difference.

Towing any RV trailer with an EV cuts range by over 50%. I’ve been towing a relatively small trailer (17 ft, 2,300 lbs fully loaded) with my X for over three years now.
 

Flybuddy

Member
Jul 12, 2020
350
363
Fort Myers FL
There is a big difference in range when towing compared to not towing. In your own words:

I would describe the difference between having to charge after 108 miles while towing compared to the typical Y range of over 300 miles as definitely a “huge” difference.

Towing any RV trailer with an EV cuts range by over 50%. I’ve been towing a relatively small trailer (17 ft, 2,300 lbs fully loaded) with my X for over three years now.
The context above was NOT towing vs not towing but towing different trailers. It's obvious that any towing greatly compromises the range.
 

OldEVDude

Member
Jul 5, 2021
10
9
Cleveland
2021 Model Y with the factory towing option, towing a moderately loaded 6x12 U-Haul trailer for a total of 364 miles. Relatively flat terrain (Northeastern Ohio), warm temps outside (about 80 degrees). Drove a constant 55 mph, almost entirely Interstate driving.

Car consumed 157 kWh, for an average of 431 Wh/mi, which was better than I expected (I think driving 55 helped a lot). The Mt Gilead, Ohio, Supercharger has one stall that is pull in (rather than back in), so I never had to disconnect the trailer to charge.

Obviously, the lack of Autosteer took some of the fun out of the trip, but overall the experience wasn't bad. When there was a hill the Model Y handled it like a champ (something I couldn't say for the semis falling behind). The U-Haul folks were very helpful (I'm a novice at such things).

My advice to anyone thinking about hauling a U-Haul trailer would be keep the speed down, and scout out the Superchargers ahead of time to pick the ones with at least one pull in stall (Google Maps satellite view is invaluable here).
 
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Madsen203

May 26, MYLR, White ext, Black int, Tow, 19”
Jun 1, 2021
389
273
Bay Area
2021 Model Y with the factory towing option, towing a moderately loaded 6x12 U-Haul trailer for a total of 364 miles. Relatively flat terrain (Northeastern Ohio), warm temps outside (about 80 degrees). Drove a constant 55 mph, almost entirely Interstate driving.

Car consumed 157 kWh, for an average of 431 Wh/mi, which was better than I expected (I think driving 55 helped a lot). The Mt Gilead, Ohio, Supercharger has one stall that is pull in (rather than back in), so I never had to disconnect the trailer to charge.

Obviously, the lack of Autosteer took some of the fun out of the trip, but overall the experience wasn't bad. When there was a hill the Model Y handled it like a champ (something I couldn't say for the semis falling behind). The U-Haul folks were very helpful (I'm a novice at such things).

My advice to anyone thinking about hauling a U-Haul trailer would be keep the speed down, and scout out the Superchargers ahead of time to pick the ones with at least one pull in stall (Google Maps satellite view is invaluable here).
Was this a utility trailer or a cargo trailer? Based on your numbers, I’d have to think utility.
(Utility: open, cargo: enclosed)
 

rvatornate

Member
Jul 28, 2020
9
25
Colorado
We own a 5X8 Hiker Trailer seen below behind our Subie. Took it out a couple of weeks ago behind our Y for a test. Ran a 50 mile loop on the west side of Denver, 46 miles of 65 MPH and rolling hills. Started the test without the trailer and at 90% charge. We averaged 241 Wh/mile. Came back home and recharged and hooked up the trailer. (Which is actually easier than hooking up to the Subie.) We averaged 486 Wh/mile. Average temp outside on the 1st run was 36 degrees, and on the 2nd was 40. Trailer empty weight is 1000lbs with a tongue weight of 112lbs. On testing day we had all our normal stuff inside with an estimated gross weight of 1500 lbs. We couldn't even tell it was back there. No indication of working to go up the hills, and very stable going down them. No noise from the trailer hitch at all. Very stable and comfortable.
The range hit is significant, but looking at where we go here in Colorado, it is doable. Looking forward to taking it out and enjoying it. Happy to answer any questions folks may have.

Nate
2020 Model Y AWD LR

View attachment 629644
Replying to my own post. Gotta love it. Finally took our Hiker out behind the Y to do some actual camping. Took it up I-25 to Boyd Lake State Park here in Colorado. About 60 miles from home. Set the cruise at 65 and averaged about 60 on the way up. Stopped at the Loveland supercharger just to try out the combo, and got lucky the pull in charger was available. Averaged 409 Wh/mile on the way up.
We spent a couple fun days hanging out went on some drives and dodged some raindrops. Took the back road roads home averaging 57 mph and 404 Wh/mile. Temperature in both directions was in the upper 70's. 1500lbs total weight 125lbs on the tongue. This was a bit better than the test we did, but I imagine most of that improvement was from the warm temps. We really enjoyed the whole trip!
20210630_124544.jpg
 

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