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Pulling a trailer

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by mckemie, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. mckemie

    mckemie Member

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    #1 mckemie, Aug 1, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
    I had a trailer hitch installed in order to carry bicycles outside the car. And, of course, I've been thinking of what trailers I might pull. For a comfortable place to rest/read/nap while charging at an RV park, the "tear drop" trailers are attractive:
    Custom Teardrop - Teardrop Camper - Texs-Teardrop.com
    Little Guy Teardrop Trailers - Home

    To test energy consumption, I recently used the Tesla to pull a 2,000 pound capacity Harbor Freight flatbed about 105 miles and back. Trip out was empty and it came back with around 1000 pounds. I started with a full charge. Consumption was about 350 wh/m both ways. Speed out was around 60 mph, speed back was about 50 mph. Ran the air conditioning all the way. The Tesla reports having consumed 74.75 kwh but the "rated range" ended up zero.

    For that trip (without a trailer but with air conditioning) I would have expected consumption to be 280-300 wh/m. So, I would guess that the trailer costs 50-70 wh/m. Air conditioning seems to cost about 20 wh/m.

    Can anyone point me to a discussion of behavior near the end of capacity? I experienced no power cut back. Charge light on the battery bar did come on.

    Incidentally, I just changed a flat on the Tesla and found the easiest jack point to be the trailer hitch receiver. I lifted the whole rear of the car with no apparent ill effects.

    Though Tesla does not condone pulling a trailer, the hitch is rated for up to 2000 lb of trailer and 200 lb of tongue weight. Any tear drop I select will be 700-1000 lb.
     
  2. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    I have been asking others as well what the drop in range was pulling a trailer. I would like to pull a teardrop camper. A local manufacturer of them builds them as low as 800lbs, or 900 w/air conditioning. They said they could build a custom at 600lbs, and are getting back to me on price. These are going for less then $4000. I will dig up the site again.

    Cant wait until the superchargers are up and running. Really REALLY wish I went with the 85kw now :(
     
  3. mckemie

    mckemie Member

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    Please do! Though I haven't shopped seriously, I haven't seen any that "cheap".
     
  4. rdrcrmatt

    rdrcrmatt Member

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    I want to be able to pull a 1 place motorcycle trailer.. it'd be 600-800 lbs total.
     
  5. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    How big is the cycle? If you get the hitch, we could install one on both of our cars. I have a small trailer I use for delivering scooters you may be able to use for a cycle. I pull it being my Nissan Cube.

    - - - Updated - - -

    http://www.retrorideteardrops.com/

    is the site, not the best site in the world, but I have seen their trailers and they are fairly nice, and extremely reasonable. The seem to start at $3,295 for a 4x8.
     

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  6. 4sevens.com

    4sevens.com Member

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    When I pick up my X I want to pick it up in person at the factory and then immediately install a hitch and then go pick up a custom made road chief (ordered ahead of time) and then drive cross country (west to east) touring all the national parks and stopping at EV stations and supercharger stations :)

    Bowlus Road Chief | Uncrate
     
  7. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

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    Here is a nice aerodynamic and roomy trailer that will meet the specification of the torklift ecohitch. Quite cool...

    Alto 1723
     
  8. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    I visited Retro Ride Tear Drops yesterday. All I can say is, WOW!!! Amazing quality teardrop campers! All hand crafted, attention to detail. Definitely not your crappy "little guy" tear drops. SOLID, AND Lite Weight. Very reasonable price, in fact, not sure how they dont charge more for all the work that goes into these little campers!!!. These would be worthy of a Tesla. I have some (blurry) pictures. My boys were groggy, my 2 year old was prematurely woken when we hit a pothole not to far from Retro ride, and he was not happy, my oldest (mental disability) went nuts with the camper. Climbed right in, found "his" little spot in it, and was happy as pie. He even does this cute little dance when he's happy, and boy was he doing it. I think this will be absolutely perfect!!!

    I am going to have my business partner Airbrush The TESLA "T" on the back once we get it, and do some nice graphics :)

    I will post pictures a little later once I finish uploading my latest Tesla Youtube video (Full charge from completely dead to full, complete range charge uses 63kw on the 60kw battery pack).

    Cheers!



    EDIT: BTW, Made it all the way their and back in my MS60 :D
     
  9. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    The Model S is pretty aero sensitive and I would have expected 350 Wh/mi or so (of course, that's what I average without a hitch :) ) for a normally configured car w/ 19" wheels... The gentleman from Pedego explained at Teslive that the consumption was pretty significant as well on his experience (he had to have his car put on a flatbed to get to Teslive because it shut down 500 yards from the hotel...)
     
  10. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    #10 islandbayy, Aug 12, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2013
    IMG_1454.jpg IMG_1455.jpg IMG_1456.jpg IMG_1458.jpg IMG_1459.jpg IMG_1460.jpg Wow, thats fairly high consumption. I did the drive yesterday, at 75+mph, 160 miles round trip, averaged about 290 wh/mi. When I drive like a maniac. I average around 320. I also had AC on the whole drive round trip and headlights (cloudy) + Hills.
    They said they have people with even Prius's purchasing and towing, and that average drop in MPG was 2 miles per gallon on your standard econobox cars (Prius, Versa, Focus, Yaris etc...).
     
  11. mckemie

    mckemie Member

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    Thanks to your information, I have one on order. A 4x8; is that the size you selected? I have a need to haul produce packed in banana boxes and I've decided to use the teardrop for that too. The Tesla will hold 15 banana boxes easily, about 19 if packed tightly. The 4x8 is supposed to hold 30 someodd.

    I will want to use mine mostly without a 12v battery or air conditioner so I will get the teardrop without either but configured for both. I have a supply of 100ah lithium cells which will make a better 12v battery.
     
  12. islandbayy

    islandbayy Active Member

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    I have had to hold off on purchasing ours yet. I will be doing 4x8. I have not had much time to make it to the casino, so I am running low on liquid funds at the moment. Should be able to pull in a few $k over the next couple of weekends, and then will most likely order. I am also being trained and certified to operate Steam Locomotives, so that has been taking some time up as well ;)
     
  13. mckemie

    mckemie Member

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    I just finished a trip from Texas to Wisconsin and back after picking up a teardrop:
    http://austinfarm.org/homegrown/tripreport.html
    Though weather and temperatures were horrible, my best guess is that pulling the trailer costs around 100 wh/m. Data, such as it is, is presenting at the above URL.Energy consumption went from around 350 wh/m to around 450. Range went from around 200 miles to around 150 miles. When/if I pull the trailer in nicer conditions, i may post better data. My good weather energy consumption can go as low as 240-250 wh/m.

    - - - Updated - - -

    To be clear, I did buy a 4x8 teardrop from:
    http://retrorideteardrops.com/
    Very nice trailer, I'm pleased. And very cost effective.

    I had to make the Corsicana to Normal jump (and back) using RV parks to charge. Coming back, the trailer provided comfortable accommodations. I plugged the trailer into the RV panels 120vac outlets and ran an electric heater in the trailer. Most of the trip was below freezing, much of it down below 10 deg. I also used the trailer's 12vdc power to supply a wifi hotspot. Running a laptop on the trailer's 120vac outlets. Of course, I spent nearly twice as much time charging on the way home as on the way up.
     
  14. Adrian

    Adrian Title(D)

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    Do you have any pictures of the hitch and how it is mounted?
     
  15. palmer_md

    palmer_md Member

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    I have a trailer that I tow with my Prius and my Leaf. It basically doubles the consumption at speeds over 60. With the Leaf in order to keep the range up, I try to stay on surface streets at slow speed where the hit is not so bad.

    20130823-093259.jpg
     
  16. nrcooled

    nrcooled P#8946 VIN 03225

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    Did you wire up the harness on your Tesla or did you take it somewhere to have it done?

    I am looking to get some details as I have a TorkLift hitch on order and I need to wire the Tesla to get the lights working on my motorcycle trailer.
     
  17. mudfud

    mudfud Member

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    Here's my My Pod by Little Guys in Ohio. I picked it up in Wyoming during the tesla rally in May in Custer SD, but had to have it replaced due to a leaking window. It is painted tesla white (almost). Weighs only 650 pounds. My energy use was about 10% more, but I only drove 55 mph (vs usual 70). If you look closely you'll se a Tesla camera on the back that shows the rear view from the trailer on the big screen. It was useful for backing up and reassuring on the freeway.
     

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  18. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Having your energy usage go up by "only" 10% when you drop speed from 70 to 55 mph with the trailer means that the aerodynamic drag of the Tesla/trailer combo is almost double that of the Tesla alone. (Because energy to overcome aero drag scales as speed squared, reducing speed from 71 to 50 mph would reduce aero energy usage by 50%.)

    One of the great achievements of the Tesla Model S is it's wonderful aerodynamic design and very low coefficient of drag. That wonderful aero design is a big contributor to the range of a Model S. The downside of that, is that anything you put on the outside of the car has a big effect, whether that is a bike rack, a ski rack, or a small aerodynamic trailer.
     

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