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Ramp launching a boat from a trailer?

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by bikeandsail, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. bikeandsail

    bikeandsail Member

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    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.
     
  2. Ames

    Ames Member

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    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
     
  3. bikeandsail

    bikeandsail Member

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    Ames,

    Thanks for the response, I am contacting Tesla. This is a deal killer to me. Have been an X reservation holder for 2 plus years but will not buy if I need to stay in the car during a boat launch retrieval, that is just not acceptable.

    Ron
     
  4. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    Forgive my ignorance. How is this done in other cars? Are there cars where you can enable the regular brakes (the ones you activate while holding the brake pedal) to hold the car as you exit it?
     
  5. bikeandsail

    bikeandsail Member

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    Hi Johan,

    Read my description. You rely on the emergency brake and the park and or a stick shift in first gear with the engine off. It is important to have redundancy since "launching" a car happens more than you might think.

    Ron
     
  6. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    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.
     
  7. pvogel

    pvogel Member

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    In an automatic car, putting the car in Park locks the gear box so the wheels can't move and the parking brake engages the brakes on the non-drive wheels (usually the rear wheels) so the two devices work in concert.
     
  8. bikeandsail

    bikeandsail Member

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    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.
     
  9. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    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.
     
  10. bikeandsail

    bikeandsail Member

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    No the emergency brake is separate and only acts on the rear wheels and Tesla determined in unsafe for holding a trailer on a hill.
     
  11. Ames

    Ames Member

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    I think Tesla could easily implement a launch/retrieve mode where the front wheels are locked.
     
  12. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    This does seem like an unfortunate side effect of not having a pin lock the transmission.
    I've parked my Tahoe on a hill w/the boat on trailer (6500 lbs) and using nothing but Park, it holds fine. In 26 years of boat launches... never once actually used the parking brake...
     
  13. bikeandsail

    bikeandsail Member

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    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
     
  14. Ames

    Ames Member

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    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...
     
  15. PGeer

    PGeer Member

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    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.
     
  16. EcoHeliGuy

    EcoHeliGuy Member

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    How you you plan to launch a boat, while submerging the rear wheels? I understand that's what we do with a truck, but a truck doesn't have its electric motor in between the wheels waiting to be submerged at the same time, let alone in salt water at most boat launches?
     
  17. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    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.)
     
  18. Ames

    Ames Member

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    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.
     
  19. EcoHeliGuy

    EcoHeliGuy Member

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    4x4 put substantial weight on the front wheels. At least with 20+ foot boats 4x4 is pretty much required.
     

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