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Retrofit a tow hitch?

Is it possible to add on a tow hitch to a M3P? I recall some Model 3s in Europe could option out a tow hitch when ordering, but I don't know if it ever became an after sale option in the US.

While a Model Y would probably suit me best, I'm wondering if a Model 3 could still do some light towing like a small trailer towing one or two kayaks.
 

Wennfred

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
3,052
2,141
San Diego
Is it possible to add on a tow hitch to a M3P? I recall some Model 3s in Europe could option out a tow hitch when ordering, but I don't know if it ever became an after sale option in the US.

While a Model Y would probably suit me best, I'm wondering if a Model 3 could still do some light towing like a small trailer towing one or two kayaks.
Check YouTube, lots of videos on this.

Third-Party Towing Options for Model 3?

Fred
 
Everything that I have read says that Tesla will not install a hitch on a 3 in the US. From an engineering point of view, it makes no sense, as they offer the hitch in Europe on the 3. It is a commercial decision, either they have legal/certification hurdles to pay or, or they want to make the Y or X more attractive to the customer that wants a hitch.

In any case, from what I understand, if you want a hitch on a 3, you need to pursue an aftermarket solution. There are several threads on this forum that discuss how to do that and the potential warranty issues. If you want a Tesla installed hitch in the US, you need to buy a Y (or an X).
 

HughManatee

Member
Jan 16, 2018
24
46
Minnestoa
I have used the contact feature on my Tesla account to twice in the last 6 weeks to politely ask them to confirm in writing that a 3rd party tow hitch won't void warranty, since Elon said multiple times publicly that Model 3s will be able to tow (part of why i didn't wait for a Y) and they offer it in Europe. Neither email was ever responded to.
 

Quorky

Member
Oct 1, 2019
380
247
NYC
just added a stealth hitch rack/tow combo package to my P3D-. fairly straight forward install process. since mine is a sept 19' build it had the removable cover and the harness (which i used to tap the +ve constant into the stealth wiring harness)... go for it, you wont regret it.
 

Salted

Member
Mar 6, 2020
69
35
97330
just added a stealth hitch rack/tow combo package to my P3D-. fairly straight forward install process. since mine is a sept 19' build it had the removable cover and the harness (which i used to tap the +ve constant into the stealth wiring harness)... go for it, you wont regret it.

I'm so very tempted to do this, but need to hear more experiences of M3s with aftermarket hitches that experience any kind of drivetrain problem, and how Tesla service behaves.
 

Quorky

Member
Oct 1, 2019
380
247
NYC
I'm so very tempted to do this, but need to hear more experiences of M3s with aftermarket hitches that experience any kind of drivetrain problem, and how Tesla service behaves.

take a look at the UK version / rating.. it is very similar to the hitches in US (looks like the stealth) and is rated for 2k lbs towing capacity. As far as warranty, if you plan on towing a camper or something extremely heavy, i would worry, but otherwise, it is within the normal specs of the vehicle. stay within the range and you dont have to worry about the warranty issues. nobody has reported issues on the power draw for the trailer lights, wouldnt worry about that either
 

thefortunes

Active Member
Jun 14, 2013
1,083
1,334
Wisconsin
just added a stealth hitch rack/tow combo package to my P3D-. fairly straight forward install process. since mine is a sept 19' build it had the removable cover and the harness (which i used to tap the +ve constant into the stealth wiring harness)... go for it, you wont regret it.
About to order the stealthhitch to my 3 and am curious about your comment regarding the wiring harness.

I have a 2020 P3D- so I assume I also have the factory harness.

Could you direct me to any info regarding this wiring install (I assume it will be easier than what they prescribe), or will it be self-evident when I have the bumper cover removed?
 

Quorky

Member
Oct 1, 2019
380
247
NYC
About to order the stealthhitch to my 3 and am curious about your comment regarding the wiring harness.

I have a 2020 P3D- so I assume I also have the factory harness.

Could you direct me to any info regarding this wiring install (I assume it will be easier than what they prescribe), or will it be self-evident when I have the bumper cover removed?

Stealth hitch install (wiring)

Super easy. Take the "constant on" wire off from the harness (your tow harness is taped to the crash bar) and hide the module on the passenger side of the trunk ( i personally like it there more) - this way, you are not running anything to the front of the car. you will be running the Stealth hitch to the module inside the trunk anyhow, so just include the power that you will splice up from the Tesla factory harness - dont need to drill anything, as model 3 has gaps where you can run the wires through to the outside of the car (you will see them once you peel away the carpeting). you will spend more time on unscrewing all the bolts than on the actual installation.
 

Salted

Member
Mar 6, 2020
69
35
97330
take a look at the UK version / rating.. it is very similar to the hitches in US (looks like the stealth) and is rated for 2k lbs towing capacity. As far as warranty, if you plan on towing a camper or something extremely heavy, i would worry, but otherwise, it is within the normal specs of the vehicle. stay within the range and you dont have to worry about the warranty issues. nobody has reported issues on the power draw for the trailer lights, wouldnt worry about that either

Lights aren't my worry. "I'm not a lawyer" but afaik Tesla's UK/EU warranty policy has no bearing on if, when I visit a SC for a failed motor/battery and they notice the aftermarket 2" receiver. Even if I only carry bicycles, how are they to know I wasn't tractor pulling against that idiot who put tracks on his 3? Until Tesla US clarifies their position on aftermarket hitches, I'll wait. Which of course is what they want. :( Damn virus. We'd have a model Y with hitch by now. (says this first-world problem whiner)
 

Quorky

Member
Oct 1, 2019
380
247
NYC
Lights aren't my worry. "I'm not a lawyer" but afaik Tesla's UK/EU warranty policy has no bearing on if, when I visit a SC for a failed motor/battery and they notice the aftermarket 2" receiver. Even if I only carry bicycles, how are they to know I wasn't tractor pulling against that idiot who put tracks on his 3? Until Tesla US clarifies their position on aftermarket hitches, I'll wait. Which of course is what they want. :( Damn virus. We'd have a model Y with hitch by now. (says this first-world problem whiner)

Sure, but you can extend that argument to pretty much most of the secondary accessories. The bottom line is that in order to deny warranty coverage, they need to document improper use that caused the damage. They can't deny coverage just because they suspect you may or may not have done some aftermarket add on.
 

Salted

Member
Mar 6, 2020
69
35
97330
Hauling 2000lbs behind a car not rated for towing by mfgr in US would be easily detectable and will have an adverse effect on longevity. I agree it should be otherwise, but fighting against denied warranty coverage = FML. I'm not saying this won't be worked out, just that for me, with other tow options, it isn't worth the uncertainty.
 

Knightshade

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2017
14,089
24,673
NC
So Tesla USA said that it will void my warranty if I put on an aftermarket tow hitch... anyone know about this??


There's no such thing as "voiding" a new car warranty (other than a salvage title).

But if adding the hitch causes any problems they're not obligated under the warranty to fix those specific problems

They'd still be obligated to fix anything not caused by the modification.

(that said- there's probably a pretty wide range of issues they could claim towing on a vehicle not rated to do so is the cause of)
 

SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,899
17,226
New Mexico
Everything that I have read says that Tesla will not install a hitch on a 3 in the US. From an engineering point of view, it makes no sense, as they offer the hitch in Europe on the 3. It is a commercial decision, either they have legal/certification hurdles to pay or, or they want to make the Y or X more attractive to the customer that wants a hitch.

In any case, from what I understand, if you want a hitch on a 3, you need to pursue an aftermarket solution. There are several threads on this forum that discuss how to do that and the potential warranty issues. If you want a Tesla installed hitch in the US, you need to buy a Y (or an X).
Tesla specifically says not to tow with a Model 3 in the US. How does that affect insurance liability ?
 

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