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Rear facing seat MS owners in Chicagoland?

seantay00

Member
Nov 4, 2018
169
65
Chicago
My family has been debating getting a MS with rear facing seats as our family hauler for the 5 of us... We've been eying up model X's for a while, but with the deteriorating seals, shudder shake, and other issues.... we're reconsidering a model S.

Challenge is we haven't been able to find or see an MS with the rear facing seats. I found one on their used site, but they aren't very accommodating to view the vehicle without putting money down. I was curious if there might be any friendly owners in the area where we could see your vehicle and test "feasibility" of this option for our family.
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,489
1,241
USA
If you don’t find someone local, I’m I near DC but could give you a walkthrough on FaceTime. PM if you want to do that. I’ve got 3 kids and the RFS has been great for those times when you’ve got to take an extra kid to practice, etc. it does get warm in the back as there isn’t extra cooling ducts, so it isn’t popular for long road trips at least not in the summer. Probably can even try to match kids sizes for a demo...

With the folding 2nd row seats, the S has a lot of room for “stuff”. May better cargo holder than any sedan, wagon, hatchback we’ve owned.

we’ve looked at the X several times but the reliability of the doors worries me, too. The massive windshield is cool to start, right up until you actually drive somewhere. The first spray of windshield washer fluid and you have a muddy puddle accumulating just above the windshield wipers reach and just in front of your head. There is a really large area of unwiped glass.
 
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seantay00

Member
Nov 4, 2018
169
65
Chicago
Awesome! We might take you up on that if we don't hear back from anyone local.

Regarding the cooling, do you find having a little fan in the back helps at all? Also, what about winter time and heat? Similar issues, or does the heat transfer well to the rear?

We are currently a single car family (I commute via train to city) and own an old Volvo XC90 that is on its last legs. We're looking for a family hauler replacement for our 3 kids (2 / 4 / 6 YO). Right now we're eyeing several used options:

1) Model X (noted concerns around long term repairs)
2) Model Y (would consider over MX if 7 seater has rear facing)
3) Model S w/ Rear Facing (Not clear whether it could truly function as everyday family hauler - maybe?)
4) VW Atlas (Big, trendy looking... noted quality issues... sworn I'd never buy another ICE)
5) Honda Pilot (Most practical option, a bit boring... sworn I'd never buy another ICE)

Do you think the Model S w/ RFS could be our single family car for 2-4 years, while larger EV SUV options become more mainstream?

What's the longest roadtrip you've done with family in the Model S w/ kids in RFS?
 

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,913
7,146
Chicago, IL
I don't own one but my service center gave me one as a loaner and my kids LOVED it (5 and 2). My 5 year old is tall and seemed like she might get too tall for it in a year or two (47 inches at the time). The kids loved the view but I didn't use it outside of winter and only for a day.

My impression was that the system used for RFS was slick. It allowed for rear storage (less than standard but still very generous). The rear bench seats will last longer and look better without car seats and the kids had a great time looking right through the otherwise useless hatch window.

Hopefully you can find a way to see it for yourself.
 
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Alysashley79

Active Member
Oct 4, 2013
1,213
520
Seattle(ish) WA
We have two cars but our Tesla is our primary car. 99.9% of the driving. We have two kids. Our first Tesla had RFS back in 2013 it was our primary car 100% of the time back then. My kids were 7 and 5. They rode 100% of the time in the RFS for 3 years until we traded up. Our newer used MS also a Has RFS while my now 14 year old son can’t fit back there my 12 year old daughter is small and she still rides back there every once in a while. If she has friends over they’ll sit back there to stay away from the boys.

We live in the Seattle area so we have moderate temps 30 degrees up to 90 degrees we haven’t had an issue with it getting to hot for the kids ever but we always have the sunshade Tesla sells in the back window. It makes a HUGE difference.

If you call your service center once things are open for test drives several of them have older loaners that have the RFS they may let you try out with your kiddos.
 
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David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,489
1,241
USA
About the heat - we got the sunscreen recently. Didn’t have it to start. Only drawback is it blocks my rear dash cam. Decided I would cut a little hole in the fabric Of the sunscreen , but haven’t gotten my nerve up yet.

We didn’t try a fan. It hasn’t been a problem on cold days. Think it’s more solar heat gain problem. The “exhaust” for the cabin air leaves out the back corners of the hatch, so turning recirculate off and turning the fan up does also help push air back there. This is a bit counter intuitive as most cars use recirculating Air when the AC is set to max. You have to manually set it. Would be nice if there was a “kids in the back” mode.
 

dannycamps

Member
Apr 8, 2019
736
661
Northeast USA
We're looking for a family hauler replacement for our 3 kids (2 / 4 / 6 YO)

Your kids are the perfect age for the RFS and will fit back there with no problem. My kids are 14, 12, and 8. We opted for RFS because we figured the youngest could have a few years back there without bothering the other two on longer rides. It turns out that they ALL love the RFS. My oldest and his friends will sit in the RFS when we are taking a lot of kids (which is interesting watching a 5'10" 15 year old squeeze in there but hey who am I to judge...) and my youngest loves her personal space when she rides back there.

Everything said about summer months is true. It does get warm back there but preconditioning does help. Tesla states that keeping the AC on non-recirculated will assist with cooling but I've never found that to be the case. I am probably going to try a fan this summer or maybe one of those little portable evaporative coolers. No issues in the winter with heat according to my kids.
 

seantay00

Member
Nov 4, 2018
169
65
Chicago
Awesome feedback! Thanks everyone.

Can anyone comment on the "loadability" factor? At what ages can they just pop the back, get in, buckle themselves, and close door? (can they close the door?)

Comparing that to loadability of jumping into Model X or traditional SUV and getting in boaster seats.

How is storage for errands when kids are using the back seat? Do you just load groceries in the second row and on floor? Do you find yourself using the frunk more?
 

David.85D

Active Member
Oct 29, 2016
1,489
1,241
USA
The hatch is powered up and down, so closing the door is not an issue. There’s a hidden open/close button for someone sitting in the back.

For us it was a question of when we trusted them to buckle themselves. The seats use a secure five point harness with manual tightened(much like a car seat). It’s not complicated but probably too much for a 4 yo. Depends on the kids dexterity and compliance.

also had to teach them to sit on the sill and swing their legs around to avoid lots of shoe scratches on the bumper. Some people may not care, but I do...
The older kids could usually just make it with a big step.
 

croman

Active Member
Nov 21, 2016
4,913
7,146
Chicago, IL
The hatch is powered up and down, so closing the door is not an issue. There’s a hidden open/close button for someone sitting in the back.

For us it was a question of when we trusted them to buckle themselves. The seats use a secure five point harness with manual tightened(much like a car seat). It’s not complicated but probably too much for a 4 yo. Depends on the kids dexterity and compliance.

also had to teach them to sit on the sill and swing their legs around to avoid lots of shoe scratches on the bumper. Some people may not care, but I do...
The older kids could usually just make it with a big step.

All great points. I will add that I (and my 5 year old) though the RFS were easier to self-buckle than a normal car seat (the 2 plastic connectors on top are very light-weight and easy to align and snap together). Once adjusted to the kids' size, it should be straight-forward as compared to a normal forward facing seat.

Bumper scratches are definitely going to come, particularly in winter. Plus, the kids will have to be OK sandwiched close to the other kid. My kids are usually ok but it is really tough with them being that far back and if a dispute flares.
 

Alysashley79

Active Member
Oct 4, 2013
1,213
520
Seattle(ish) WA
We have PPF on our entire bumper (entire car really but got it mainly for the bumper) the shoe scratches easily buff out with hot water.

getting the kids in is quite easy. I never had an issue nor do I when putting friends kiddos back there.

In regards to storage I’ve always used the frunk. I used it when it was full size (pre D) and still do for my groceries. I can fit groceries for my family of 4 in there each week without issue. For bigger Costco sized stuff I’ll put on the back seat. If need be.
 

dannycamps

Member
Apr 8, 2019
736
661
Northeast USA
Awesome feedback! Thanks everyone.

Can anyone comment on the "loadability" factor? At what ages can they just pop the back, get in, buckle themselves, and close door? (can they close the door?)

Comparing that to loadability of jumping into Model X or traditional SUV and getting in boaster seats.

How is storage for errands when kids are using the back seat? Do you just load groceries in the second row and on floor? Do you find yourself using the frunk more?

My daughter (8) has no problem at all opening the hatch from outside, climbing in, and closing the hatch via the switch located on the inside. She can also easily buckle/unbuckle herself. The only thing I need to do occasionally is adjust the strap sizing.

I usually do the grocery shopping on my own and will sometimes put the seats down or sometimes leave them up. If I have only one child in the back, I will put groceries in the space next to her and also the frunk. I have also loaded groceries into the middle row at times.
 
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