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Ramp launching a boat from a trailer?

Please see the text below that I just read from the latest manual version 7.1.
I launch/retrieve my 1200 lb sailboat/trailer from a boat ramp. The procedure described below on page 68 and 69 would make that so cumbersome as to be impossible.

For those of you that do not ramp launch/retrieve trailers let me describe the procedure in a conventional car. Retrieving requires more time on the ramp so I will describe that. Back into the water to submurge the trailer to the correct depth. Usually this is done with 2 people but can be done with one. Then set the emergency brake and for safety I also shut the car off and put in first gear for a stick shift or shut off and put in park for an automatic. That way you have 2 redundant systems keeping your car from becoming a boat. Then exit the car to assist the other person in the retrieval. I do this procedure 2 and sometimes more per week and there is usually a line so you cannot tie up the ramp too long.

This procedure "requires" a person to set chocks under the wheels of the car and also under the wheels of the trailer that are now submerged! Both of these requests are unreasonable. The rear car wheels are usually at the water line or submerged a few inches. Even trying to use this procedure would require more than one person since someone needs to set the chocks under the front wheels while the driver is behind the wheel. Again, not acceptable.

My question for anyone that has tried this with a Model X. Is it possible to engage both the "hill hold" brake and the parking brake simultaneously. If so that should securely hold it on the ramp even thought that would not comply with the page 68/69 description.

Launching and retrieving a boat for me is absolute necessity. It it the reason I have waited for the X instead of buying an S.

Ron



From Page 68 and 69
Parking with a Trailer
Whenever possible, avoid parking on a grade.
However, if parking on a grade is absolutely
necessary, place wheel chocks under the
trailer’s wheels:
• Press and hold the brake pedal.
• Have a second person place the wheel
chocks under the wheels on the
downgrade side of the tires.
• When the chocks are in place, release the
brake pedal, making sure the chocks are
holding the weight of the vehicle and
trailer.
• Make sure Model X is in Park (which
engages the parking brake).
Note: When the chocks are in place and you
release the brake pedal, ensure that Vehicle
Hold (see Vehicle Hold on page 58) is not
braking Model X, preventing you from
checking that the chocks are holding the
weight of Model X and the trailer. If Vehicle
Hold is braking Model X, the Vehicle Hold
indicator light displays on the instrument
panel. To disengage Vehicle Hold, press and
release the brake pedal.
Warning: If parking on a grade is
necessary, always ensure that all trailer
wheels have been securely chocked.
Failure to do so cause result in serious
damage, injury, or death.
 
I have a Model S and I launch my boat which weighs around 3,500 lbs using my ICE 4x4.

The whole chocking thing is not practical unless you are parking a boat with a trailer on dry land.

If the X is like the Model S the park brake is on the two rear wheels which will not be adequate because the rear wheels are often partially submerged and on the slippery part of the ramp. That means when you release the main brake it is very likely the car will slide backwards with a heavy trailer behind it. If you try to use the hold feature (assuming it brakes all 4 wheels), it will likely switch to park if you get out of the car, thus releasing the front brakes. Bottom line, if you have to launch or retrieve a boat you need to stay in the car and hold the brakes while somebody else releases the boat from or secures the boat on the trailer.

I would send an e-mail to Tesla and get their recommendation on this.

Alex
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,509
10,013
Drammen, Norway
Thanks. For most modern cars without manual gear box the emergency brake = the parking brake (as with the Tesla S and X) so does that mean that you can't use any modern car with an automatic gear box to launch a boat? Or is there something particular about the model X that makes it worse? I don't plan on using my X to pull and launch boats, but I expect to use the tow hook to pull trailers a lot.
 
Tesla's have no equivalent of "leaving in gear" or "park" with is a transmission pawl via an automatic transmission. That is why they have a separate emergency brake. Which Tesla themselves determined via page 68/69 is not adequate/safe to hold the car on a hill with a trailer. IE activating the main brake while out of the car would be the only way to back up the parking brake for the redundancy.

This could be a simple software fix, a method to leave parking brake and main brake activated while outside the car, but until done it is a fatal flaw.
 

Johan

Ex got M3 in the divorce, waiting for EU Model Y!
Feb 9, 2012
7,509
10,013
Drammen, Norway
Isn't the emergency brake and parking brake the same mechanical rear wheel brake on the Tesla? I.e. by pressing down the P button when moving or pressing the Emergency brake button on the touchscreen the parking brake calipers engage on the rear wheels? I didn't know the Model S/X had a separete emergency brake.
 
SabrToothSqr,

I have launched my racing sailboat and others, Thistle, over thousand times all over the county and would not risk depending on only the transmission pawl, they do fail. My current car has 217,000 miles on it and I spend almost a $1,000 last year to replace virtually everything in the emergency brake system, strickly for boat launching! I personally knew someone who had "launched" their car and have heard of several others.

Better safe than sorry. I only want one boat!

Ron
 
Once my FJ Cruiser was not properly in gear (neutral to low-4) with a boat attached in the water and I couldn't figure out why the car wouldn't move forward and kept sliding back with the handbrake still engaged. I could only hold the car with the main brake. I literally told my wife who was sitting in the car at the time that it was time for her to swim :tongue:. Thankfully I cleared my head of the fog of panic, thought it through, and made an accurate diagnosis of the problem...
 
Didn't realize there was no equivalent of a pawl when in Park. I wonder what the risks are parking on a really steep SF hill? Our Leaf has a manual parking brake which I rarely use, but DO use parking on steep hills (turning wheels properly as well.) Wonder if this is a case of "over automation" on Tesla's part.
 

MP3Mike

Well-Known Member
Feb 1, 2016
18,291
45,356
Oregon
If the X is like the Model S the park brake is on the two rear wheels which will not be adequate because the rear wheels are often partially submerged and on the slippery part of the ramp. That means when you release the main brake it is very likely the car will slide backwards with a heavy trailer behind it. If you try to use the hold feature (assuming it brakes all 4 wheels), it will likely switch to park if you get out of the car, thus releasing the front brakes. Bottom line, if you have to launch or retrieve a boat you need to stay in the car and hold the brakes while somebody else releases the boat from or secures the boat on the trailer.

Does that mean you can't use a two wheel drive truck either? Since the rear/drive wheels on the slippery underwater section and are what the parking brake and transmission would be holding in place. So you are saying it would just slide in to the drink right?

Or do you just put it in park, get out and immediately chock the front wheels? (Which you could do on the X as well.)
 
Does that mean you can't use a two wheel drive truck either? Since the rear/drive wheels on the slippery underwater section and are what the parking brake and transmission would be holding in place. So you are saying it would just slide in to the drink right?

Or do you just put it in park, get out and immediately chock the front wheels? (Which you could do on the X as well.)

I guess it depends on the ramp, how much grip it has, and if there is any algae making it slippery. I certainly wouldn't attempt it. My 4x4 slides backwards with only the handbrake engaged - which only locks the rears. If you can get out and chock the front wheels you can prevent a rwd vehicle from sliding backwards but you'll probably not be able to pull the boat out. As I said it depends on the available grip. My experience is launching in seawater on a slippery ramp.
 

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