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Model Y Towing Travel Trailer : Buying vs Renting vs Airbnb

Ken43

Supporting Member
Feb 27, 2018
50
42
Florida
Was considering getting a Model Y and buying / towing a small Travel Trailer near the Great Smokey Mountains (North Carolina) for a vacation this fall. With the popularity of RVs this year, I imagine others may be considering similar trips. After doing much research, and with many thanks to the Model X owners out there who have shared their experiences towing travel trailers , here is what I have read:

- driving range may be cut in half on average when towing a travel trailer.
- Model Y can tow GVWR of 3500 pounds / 350 pound hitch weight
- Model X can tow GVWR of 5000 pounds / 500 pound hitch weight
- Most (but not all) sub 20 foot travel trailers have a GVWR (fully loaded weight) of greater than 3500 pounds, less than 5000 pounds. Many sub 20 foot travel trailers have a dry weight of less than 3500 pounds, but go over when loaded.
- Supercharging can be a problem with a travel trailer in tow as unhitching frequently required
- Campgrounds are busy, with daily rental fees of $50-$90
-Renting a travel trailer at the destination is possible, but due to high demand cost is $150-$200 /night after all fees are added in. ( outdoorsy and rvshare )
-Nice spacious airbnbs in the area go for $100-$200 a night.

After considering all this, I suspect the best towing experience , for a 16-20 foot travel trailer, would be from a Model X or a Tri-motor Cybertruck, not a model Y.

Therefore am considering just driving the model Y and going the airbnb route. Cheaper, more space, and more convenient , but will not get the "camping experience."

Does anybody else have any experience with this or other observations that I might be missing?
 

Prachatice

Member
Jul 3, 2016
88
20
Boulder, Colorado
Why not put the MY in Camp mode? You get the camping experience, don't pay the rental fee for a camper, and don't have to stay in AirBnB. Seems like a win win and addresses all of your concerns.
 

Ken43

Supporting Member
Feb 27, 2018
50
42
Florida
Thanks for all the insight. 3 people going on trip. so although the Y camp mode is intriguing for 1 or 2; too crowded for 3 people.
 

Dcd7041

Member
Jun 9, 2020
73
63
Bay Area
Thanks for all the insight. 3 people going on trip. so although the Y camp mode is intriguing for 1 or 2; too crowded for 3 people.
Do three of you plus your gear collectively weigh less than 475lb? Because that is the payload capacity left after you deduct 350lb tongue weight from payload capacity. You may think that is crazy. I certainly think so, but those are the official numbers. Perhaps you can put all your gears to the trailer to stay within the limits.
 

Dcd7041

Member
Jun 9, 2020
73
63
Bay Area
I wish.

Payload capacity is 825lb. Tow capacity 3,500 lb. Max hitch weight is 350. When you put the trailer on you need to subtract hitch weight from payload capacity to find what is left for driver, passengers and cargo. These are from my car's tag.

There is a big discrepancy going on between GAWR and GVWR, which you can see in the thread: is load capacity too low?
 

Hblick48

Member
May 13, 2020
120
83
Folsom, CA
I wish.

Payload capacity is 825lb. Tow capacity 3,500 lb. Max hitch weight is 350. When you put the trailer on you need to subtract hitch weight from payload capacity to find what is left for driver, passengers and cargo. These are from my car's tag.

There is a big discrepancy going on between GAWR and GVWR, which you can see in the thread: is load capacity too low?

Above correct for 22 inch wheels. 20 inch wheels = larger numbers.
 

Dcd7041

Member
Jun 9, 2020
73
63
Bay Area
Unfortunately, No. I have 19 inch wheels and these numbers are for 19 inch. The numbers are taken directly from the label on the car body.

You are right though, 20 inch wheel Model Y towing capacity is even lower based on user manual. 21" capacities are the same as 19 inch wheel. There is no 22 Inch wheel in Model Y.

I have gone through a denial phase on such low numbers but I moved to acceptance phase. They are what they are ;)
 
Last edited:

Dennisis

Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2020
457
417
Tucson
Buy a trailer and it’s something else to store and maintain. Go Airbnb you stay, you’re done - no commitment. Or hotel. Take day trips if wanted. My philosophy anyway.
 
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Ken43

Supporting Member
Feb 27, 2018
50
42
Florida
I have gone through a denial phase on such low numbers but I moved to acceptance phase. They are what they are ;)

First off, I wanted a model y before the towing option was announced. But then i thought pulling a small travel trailer would be a bonus. But after doing the math on cargo capacity as you mentioned, compromises would have to be made. There is no way my party of three plus car cargo is less than 450 pounds. I am unwilling to spend $30,000 more for a x over a y just for more towing capacity.
 

AuburnAlum

New Member
Jul 19, 2019
2
0
Piedmont, NC
As someone that has towed with a large Ford F250 and now now a Toyota Tacoma, towing with a Model Y will very very impractical. The towing limits are very limited as mentioned above. You range is going to be the real killer. You will have very limited range when you hook up a large object with the aerodynamics of a brick behind a Model Y. That 300 mile range will be less than 100 especially in the mountains. This is physics for any vehicle. Live in NC and go camping regularly with my son's scouting organization hauling a loaded 3000 lbs trailer that takes our supplies. My Tacoma which gets about 22 MPG without the trailer now will get about 11 MPG with the trailer. I have the ability to get to a gas station pretty easy. Here is a good video on a Model X towing a relatively small trailer.
 

mark95476

Member
Jun 21, 2020
893
470
Bay Area CA
It's always laughable that people suddenly "discover" that physics (like gravity, air resistance, drag) doesn't change when switching to an electric vehicle.

This is physics for any vehicle. Live in NC and go camping regularly with my son's scouting organization hauling a loaded 3000 lbs trailer that takes our supplies. My Tacoma which gets about 22 MPG without the trailer now will get about 11 MPG with the trailer.
 

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