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Roadster Rear Hitch

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by nsus, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. nsus

    nsus New Member

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    Hi Team Tesla,
    I was wondering if anyone has put a bike rack or wheelchair rack on the back of their Tesla. If so, can you point me in the right direction? I’m looking into getting one made by an aftermarket company but if anyone out there has already done this and is happy with the outcome I would love to hear about it!
    Thanks,
    N
     
  2. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    I did a quick search for Lotus Elise racks; nothing came up. I can't quite imagine where you'd attach it. I suppose that a hatch-back style strap on one might fit the trunk lid; I have one so will take a look tonight.

    You might want to ask Tesla directly as the trunk lid hinges aren't really very substantial; they can be bent easily, though the Ford latches look solid.
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    There's really no simple place to grab on the back of a roadster. The Carbon Fiber body is strong but like fiberglass, if you drill holes in it they would elongate very quickly and possibly bolts/nuts might even punch through.

    An option might be to have a rack that comes from underneath like the towhitch racks.
    Tow-n-Go-1-a.jpg

    BUT, the Elise and Roadster have the problem of having no where to attach a tow from the back of the car (unlike the front). A Lotus exec once put an Elise in a ditch on the track and they ruined the car trying to get it out.
    When Ian's car was hanging off the cliff we strapped the rear wheels and pulled it out successfully.

    Sector 111 looked at the Roadster underbelly to make a version of their aftermarket boomerang tow hitch towhookdeal2MED.jpg

    They found with the minimal mounting for the electric motor and lightweight aluminum frame there was no place to mount a new version of one of these cost effectively. It's all hollow back there.

    Someone was asking about an exterior (2nd) golf bag holder on the owner's forum a while back. Don't know if he ever solved that one.
     
  4. mpt

    mpt Electrics are back

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    I tried the hatchback style rack for size; not a complete failure.

    It does fit on the rear deck (trunk lid) and the bike would end up resting on its side on the deck secured by the rack however, you'd need plenty of padding around the bike plus, the tie-downs that normally clip around the metal lip of the hatchback would clip around the lip of the trunk lid at the sides and I'm not confident it'd stay put without damage to the trunk lid.

    Picture someone laying on the trunk lid facing forwards with arms outstretched to the sides holding on.

    DPeilow's results would be safer!
     
  5. nsus

    nsus New Member

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    Which hatchback style rack did you try? I’m working with several companies (including unique racks) to try to get something built that will work. Thanks again for your help!
     
  6. michael123

    michael123 New Member

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    Hi VFX,
    i am agree with you. i also want to share that Elise and Roadster have the problem of having no where to attach a tow from the back of the car (unlike the front). A Lotus exec once put an Elise in a ditch on the track and they ruined the car trying to get it out.there are nice rides.thanks for sharing, keep it up and good luck.
     
  7. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  9. scottfe

    scottfe 2008 Roadster #282

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    Bellevue, WA
    Tesla trailer hitch and bicycle carrier

    I probably have the first (and only?) Tesla Roadster with a trailer hitch and custom bicycle carrier! If you want info on this please contact me thru the email link at the bottom of the root page on my website and I'll get you in touch with the person who did it. I don't know if this can be offered commercially or not, given the liability concerns and regulations that must certainly apply to minimum load requirements and such. I can tell you it is more than sturdy enough for the carrier and the bike and can actually hold a man's weight without problem.

    Here's a shot of just the hitch...
    [​IMG]

    Additional images and info can be seen in my gallery at...
    http://www.forestmoon.com/Gallery/#item=Galleries/Tesla/My%20Roadster/DSC_6901.jpg

    Enjoy!!
     
  10. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    From our vantage point, it looked pretty stable zooming down the freeway.

    11.jpg
     
  11. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #12 ChadS, May 27, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
    I ended up getting the same hitch as scottfe. (There is another option here in Bellevue WA that a CA owner has tried and is happy with: Welcome to Mann's Hitch and Trailer : mannshitch.com. Professional and custom trailer hitch installation, Trailer, brake, light and wiring repairs.). And so like Scott, I can carry bikes:

    5766173271_82b25e8aaa.jpg
    IMG_20110522_161433 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    OK, so his bike rack is better. But I'm playing with other options. Like this:

    5766173345_a5bf5f8abb.jpg
    IMG_20110522_162302 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    But what I really wanted was more storage, so my wife doesn't whine (at least not as much) when we go on road trips. Now it turns out that I have a cargo pod, and I can mount it:

    5766717998_5097dee37d.jpg
    IMG_20110520_095113 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    But that's pretty darn big. I can't see out the back with it there, and it blocks all the lights so I'd have to wire it up. So I looked around for something that still has a decent amount of space, but that would fit between the taillights, and doesn't sit up too high. Almost any cargo pod, ATV rack or truck tool box is too big. Motorcycle trunks generally stop at 48-55 liters of storage, which just isn't quite enough. I did find one extra-large motorcycle trunk that has 71 liters:

    5766717966_1593998f94.jpg
    Fleetliner by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    And it comes with a gel finish, so you can have it painted to match your car. I may still do that; but it will probably be $1400 after painting. I wanted something cheaper to try it out with first. And perhaps a little bigger. I finally found my dream cargo box:

    5766717592_c5f509dd9d.jpg
    IMG_20110519_195802 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Yes, a Rubbermaid ActionPacker. True, it's not very cute. But: it's $30, it fits between the taillights, it has 90 liters of storage, it has holes to padlock the handles, it's easy to drill through and mount to my hitch frame (I drilled a little small so the plastic is now threaded), and there's a perfect-sized space to mount a license plate on it. It is a significant addition to the Roadster trunk:

    5766172559_dc79f89651_m.jpg
    IMG_20110519_200024 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr
     
  12. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Last time I was in Menlo Park, I was told that an attachment had been made for an owner that requires a wheelchair ... and because of the work they put in, they were also getting a bike attachment ready to sell. I believe it will be out in June. I've sent an email inquiring as to status (because I'd REALLY like a bike rack on the back), but no answer yet. But it was a 'definitely' when I was talking to Tesla sales folks, just not quite ready for prime time.
     
  13. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #14 ChadS, May 27, 2011
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
    This is the Stowaway2 1.25" frame with 6" rise that I am plugging in to my receiver:

    5766172683_451f9c36f0_m.jpg
    Stowaway frame by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Having the 6" rise means that it blocks some of my view out the back:

    5766717308_01eea1c89f_m.jpg
    IMG_20110519_195009 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    That doesn't look bad, but it's more significant in the rear view mirror. They have a frame without the 6" rise that would lower the box so it doesn't block my view at all, but then I wouldn't be able to get up and down my driveway:

    5766717450_43c1ee0bd7.jpg
    IMG_20110519_194900 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Now with this frame, not only can I mount my old enormous white Stowaway2 cargo box (shown in the previous post), and my Rubbermaid ActionPacker, but they have other options. While I have a bike hitch that plugs directly in to the receiver, I could also get one that mounts on to this frame:

    5766717982_893f1ef3fc.jpg
    Bike rack by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Or I could get a cargo basket:

    5766719088_7bf2b866cb.jpg
    basket by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Carry fishing poles:

    5766173937_0f71a9b208.jpg
    fishing by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Have a barbeque:

    5766173969_54ccb2d3e6.jpg
    stowaway_grill_package1 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    And of course with a standard hitch, I'm not limited to products from Stowaway2. I could have a picnic without the grill:

    5766719172_c6f8da5a3a.jpg
    supercontainer_copy2027155487090071819 by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Or just have a place to sit and rest while the car is stopped:

    5766719196_2d8cdb6fa3.jpg
    ZBench by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr

    Or I could really turn the Roadster in to a 3-seater:

    5766173997_0fb34c81b3.jpg
    wc by Chad Schwitters, on Flickr
     
  14. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I'm pretty sure the WC attachment would ruin the Roadster's emissions free reputation though.
     
  15. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #16 ChadS, Aug 28, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
    It sticks up several inches above the back of the car, so I wondered about how much drag it adds - would it affect range notably? I tried running a few back-to-back 63mph tests to see (same route, same speed, just with or without the box). It is suprisingly hard to tell; of course traffic is different every time, so there's small variations even without the cargo box. But it looks like it might reduce range about 3%.

    I can probably live with that; but the frame without the 6" rise would probably be a little better. The Corbin trunk is also more aero and a tad shorter, so that might be an improvement too.
     
  16. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    For comparison's sake, TomSax recently organized a road trip for a few Roadster owners in the area. There were 6 cars, and the wh/mi for 5 of them were within 5% of each other--and that appeared to be almost directly correlated to the weight of the people in the car (two cars had one driver, one had driver + kid, two had driver + adult).

    The 6th car, in addition to two adults, had a bike mounted on a rear rack. I wouldn't think that amount of weight would matter much on a long 55mph drive, and you wouldn't think a bike would add much aero drag. But that car did about 15% more wh/mi than the others. That's a bigger hit than I expected.

    The type of top (none, hard top, mesh top) didn't seem to matter. Neither did the version (1.5, 2.0, 2.5). There's not enough data to be sure of any of this; but that's how it looks.
     
  17. S-2000 Roadster

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    Cool, thanks for the summary of our trip.

    As for the stowaway hitch platform, it looks to me from the photos that you could move the whole attachment closer to the vehicle and thereby reduce the height a little. I suppose you want a little distance between the box and the bumper to avoid scrubbing, but it looks like there's an 8" to 10" gap there! Shortening the length of the straight part that plugs into the hitch would bring the box closer to the bumper. The nice benefit is that the closer the box is to the hitch, the lower it can be. It's the opposite of the need to raise the box higher as it gets further away from the bumper.

    By the way, there are tons of welders in the Seattle area, many of whom work for Boeing and can produce a weld joint that's certified to be safe. I had custom ski racks fabricated that would reverse into a rack that would hold three or four bicycles, so I wasn't stuck with an off-the-shelf design. I'd never consider adding a hitch to my roadster, but those of you who are trying this might want to consider a custom job. I only paid $100 for parts and labor, and I was able to participate in the design.
     
  18. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    tesla_car-pic_Sun-Frost.jpg


    Towing an ulta efficient fridge. Sunfrost fridge in CA.

    (Is this the best Roadster trailer thread?)
     
  19. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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