Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register
  • Want to remove ads? Register an account and login to see fewer ads, and become a Supporting Member to remove almost all ads.
  • The final cut of TMC Podcast #34 is available now with topics timestamped. We covered Tesla's rollercoaster prices, Toyota pushing junk science, Mike's new Model 3, Optimizing track mode for snow driving, FSD V11 apparently coming by the end of this week, and more. You can watch and check out the chat replay on YouTube.

Rear hitch cargo carrier with superchargers

Perhaps this has been asked, even several times, but I used a Rola cargo carrier with my tow hitch on a road trip recently. The carrier worked very well with only limited range loss. I used tow mode, which I assume will prevent the sensors from freaking out. The only issue was charging. Beyond the normal obstructed view issue (expected) for backing up. The issue was the lack of available charging stalls compatible with this setup. Of three superchargers I stopped at along the way, only one had a side-address stall - and even there - only one stall like that. There doesn‘t seem to be any information on the Tesla website regarding which superchargers have those stalls, much less their availability. I was extremely lucky in that I arrived at the same time that slot became available.

I assume at least some of you have traveled with hitch mounted cargo carriers/racks before, how do you deal with superchargers along the way? I don’t want to take up multiple slots and taking off the carrier fully loaded (especially in the rain) is not an option either.
 

Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,596
3,039
Massachusetts
I'm pretty sure Tow Mode is intended for short distance rolling up onto a flatbed, and is not referring to the tesla towing anything. I'd also wager it goes out of Tow Mode the moment you put the car in any gear other than P'ark.

Even with an extra few feet of cargo carrier, I'd expect that Supercharger cables should reach. I'm not sure I'd enjoy having my car sticking out a few extra feet into the parking lot, though.

I wonder if there's enough space between supercharger stands to fit the Rola in between them. It's clearly not optimal, but better to take two Supercharger spots instead of three or four. Additionally, some SC stands are two-sided, so you wouldn't be making the other one completely unusable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bjoo907

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,825
11,535
Boise, ID
This may be of some help. When the Model X came out, which was able to do some towing, people first started encountering this issue. So someone made a wiki thread here on the forum in the Model X section, which is now pinned at the top of the charging section. It is a listing of which sites are set up with stall positions that are towing-friendly.

 
funny enough been looking into this all yesterday, well looking into which i want to buy, i like the xrack as its super lite , has the cooler lock and accessories and such, but there are bigger options on amazon, Thule also makes a big enclosed one for the rear which s very cool but more expensive.
 
Tow mode is made for towing, like with a trailer
I'm pretty sure Tow Mode is intended for short distance rolling up onto a flatbed, and is not referring to the tesla towing anything. I'd also wager it goes out of Tow Mode the moment you put the car in any gear other than P'ark.
Tow mode is for towing a trailer, not being towed.
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: Rocky_H

Sophias_dad

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
2,596
3,039
Massachusetts
Tow mode is made for towing, like with a trailer

Tow mode is for towing a trailer, not being towed.
They seem to have renamed tow mode to two different things in the latest manuals.

The old tow mode I was referring to is now called 'transport mode', while the new 'towing something' mode is called 'trailer mode'.

 
They seem to have renamed tow mode to two different things in the latest manuals.

The old tow mode I was referring to is now called 'transport mode', while the new 'towing something' mode is called 'trailer mode'.

"Transport mode" has always been what they call the mode for being towed. My owner's manual, from June 2020, calls it that. Amusingly, it doesn't seem to mention trailer mode (or "tow mode") anywhere, and I don't recall what they called it in the UI at the time.

In any case, "tow" is confusing for the reason you mention (who is the tower, and who is the towee?), so it's good that they're called transport and trailer. I shall attempt to use those terms henceforth.
 
  • Like
Reactions: joelitespeed

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,825
11,535
Boise, ID
"Transport mode" has always been what they call the mode for being towed.
No it wasn't always called that. It was called "Tow mode" for quite a long time, as @Sophias_dad was explaining.
My owner's manual, from June 2020, calls it that.
Sure, that was the beginning of time. Surely it couldn't have been called something different before 2020, right?
 
No it wasn't always called that. It was called "Tow mode" for quite a long time, as @Sophias_dad was explaining.

Sure, that was the beginning of time. Surely it couldn't have been called something different before 2020, right?
Well, this is a Model Y forum, so for our purposes it is the beginning of time. Anyway I sure can't remember much from before then.
 
funny enough been looking into this all yesterday, well looking into which i want to buy, i like the xrack as its super lite , has the cooler lock and accessories and such, but there are bigger options on amazon, Thule also makes a big enclosed one for the rear which s very cool but more expensive.
I think I like XRack as well but can’t tell how much cargo you can put in it. Have you looked into it?
 
I have the Thule Transporter Combi. No issues at all during my 1900 mile trip several weeks ago. I did always look for spots that had room to back in but in some cases I had no choice and I had inches to spare. I encountered 2 head first and 1 pull through. All others were back in. I bought the Thule when it was like $500 five years ago and now it’s $900 on Amazon.
3484C02B-C0FD-42FD-AD4B-FC2E476FA581.jpeg
 
I have the Thule Transporter Combi. No issues at all during my 1900 mile trip several weeks ago. I did always look for spots that had room to back in but in some cases I had no choice and I had inches to spare. I encountered 2 head first and 1 pull through. All others were back in. I bought the Thule when it was like $500 five years ago and now it’s $900 on Amazon. View attachment 829161
That looks like it might hide in the wind shadow pretty well. What kind of efficiency do you get on long trips?
 
I wanted to report back on my trip. I have made several trips with the cargo carrier attached since I posted. I will say that v3 chargers can be problematic - I did have to basically rub up against the Tesla parking sign at one place in order to get the cable to reach, but it did (Newnan, GA Supercharger). My favorite so far is the supercharger at Madison, FL - they have angled spots which make it super easy for the cables to reach and it is a v3. Biggest challenge is just backing up with a fully loaded carrier because it blocks most of the camera. My wife will sometimes get out to help guide me back so I don't hit anyone else's 100K+ babies or i damage my own car going too far back. I have only had to do this once with heavy rain - which I was basically on my own (I live in Florida). For the few times a year I need to so this, this is fine. I do feel sorry for anyone towing an actual trailer. I could not imagine having to unhitch/re-hitch in a downpour.
 

sparty96

2021 MYLR
Jul 19, 2021
39
39
MN
I wanted to report back on my trip. I have made several trips with the cargo carrier attached since I posted. I will say that v3 chargers can be problematic - I did have to basically rub up against the Tesla parking sign at one place in order to get the cable to reach, but it did (Newnan, GA Supercharger). My favorite so far is the supercharger at Madison, FL - they have angled spots which make it super easy for the cables to reach and it is a v3. Biggest challenge is just backing up with a fully loaded carrier because it blocks most of the camera. My wife will sometimes get out to help guide me back so I don't hit anyone else's 100K+ babies or i damage my own car going too far back. I have only had to do this once with heavy rain - which I was basically on my own (I live in Florida). For the few times a year I need to so this, this is fine. I do feel sorry for anyone towing an actual trailer. I could not imagine having to unhitch/re-hitch in a downpour.
do you know the distance that your cargo carrier protrudes from the rear of the vehicle? I'm hoping I can back up close enough with my Thule 2 bike rack to reach at SCs. Guess I should to do a test run to the local SC before long trip.
 
The only issues I’ve had are on chargers with close mounted Tesla charging signs. Most stations the signs are mounted about 2’ further back and I don’t run into an issue. What I generally do is if I run into the situation and they don‘t have a pull in spot I‘ll use the CCS adapter and hit an EA spot if there’s one close. Ran into one issue on last trip but luckily the lot was empty and no one else was charging.

Was worried I’d need my 7 year old to help me do something like This.

JPEG image 5.jpeg
 
  • Like
Reactions: sparty96

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top