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StowAway Max rear luggage carrier - my experience

Discussion in 'Model X' started by tsw4life, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. tsw4life

    tsw4life Member

    Joined:
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    I bought the StowAway MAX Cargo Carrier ($760) for my X to go on a road trip from the LA area to the Colorado river in Laughlin, recently. I was a little worried about how it would work out, so I thought I'd share my experience here (which was good).

    IMG_4763.JPG

    It holds 16 cu. ft. andup to 200 lb of luggage inside. You can get the version of the carrier that swings away from the car (which I did). Makes it easier to load stuff into your trunk with the carrier attached. However, I was able to open and close the trunk, even without swinging the carrier out of the way.

    IMG_4760.JPG

    You will likely need to have the full tow package installed, as the carrier itself weighs 94lb, and with it fully loaded, you're talking about holding up to 300lb of tongue weight. I believe that is over what the "accessory hitch" is able to handle?

    The carrier comes with an electrical connection for brake, left/right blinkers, but is in a wiring configuration known as "4 flat." The Model X electronic connection is what's known as a "7 way round," so you'll need an adapter. I used this one for $8. The carrier comes with a standard bolt to hold the carrier safely on the X's tow hitch, however if you're planning to leave the carrier attached during your travels, you'll probably want to do what we did, and spend $20 to get a receiver lock.

    My primary concern was whether I would have a hard time Supercharging, due to the increased depth. My route to Laughlin was set to take me to the Barstow and Needles SC. Barstow has 8 stations, 4 are pull-through, and 4 are back in. We arrived here, and were able to use one of the pull-through spots, so no worries there.

    Needles SC was a bit scarier, because I couldn't really tell from the photos online whether or not the SC cable would reach, but we had no problems!

    IMG_4781.JPG

    On the way back, the X took us on a different route, going through Primm, NV instead of Needles, and then back through Barstow. Primm, like Needles, only had back-in stations, and when we got to Barstow, all pull-throughs were taken, so we had to back in here as well. In all 3 locations, we had no problems backing in to charge! Forgot to snap one on our pass back through Barstow, this is Primm:

    IMG_4828.JPG

    I can't guarantee it will work at all SC, I could see where it might be difficult if the Tesla parking sign was too far forward or something, but one other option you might have in that situation would be to have a passenger swing the carrier out completely, opening up more of the rear/center of the vehicle area to allow for backing in further. We didn't have to do it this trip, though.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  2. tsw4life

    tsw4life Member

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    In terms of impact on range, it's hard for me to say for sure, because I've never taken the X on that route before, and there were a lot of variables that likely also played into my range during the trip: temperatures of 100º-110º on the drive through the desert, heavy side-to-side wind, etc. I did need to charge at each stop for about 25 minutes, and the total trip distance was about 250 mi. I arrived in Laughlin with about 30 miles of range left.

    The carrier had no impact on how it felt to drive the X, you couldn't feel it back there, except when backing up (rear camera view blocked of course).

    On the trip out, I let the X automatically put me into full trailer mode, which disables Autopilot, and only radar-assisted cruise control is operational. On the way back I decided to manually turn off trailer mode to allow for Autopilot, but I disabled automatic lane changing, as I deemed that was the only real Autopilot-related risk with a longer tail and impeded rear sensors. Used AP for most of the trip back with no issues at all (manual lane changes).

    Since the X still detected that something was connected to it electronically, it still shows the trailer dash light, but in orange instead of blue, to let you know that trailer mode is technically off, though the blinkers/brake lights should still function.
     
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  3. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    Thanks a lot, that is very helpful!
     
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  4. madodel

    madodel X at the end of a rainbow

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    Thank you for the review. Very helpful.
     
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  5. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

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    Excellent write up and pictures. Back in Jun 9, 2015. I started the thread below as I have had a stowaway2 for several years.

    Any StowAway2 owners wondering about range impact on Model X?

    One major critical thing you determine was that you could still use AP. I didn't know you could manually turn off trailer mode. Hopefully the blinkers and brakes lights work on the stowaway2 as you didn't seem sure about that. I would have zero problem still doing my own lane changing as well.

    The second major thing you clarified was being able to charge with it attached. Unlike a trailer these things would not be practical to "unhitch".

    Thanks much.
     
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  6. bro1999

    bro1999 Member

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    Nice review.

    I have a similar setup for my Volt, with an Ecohitch 2" receiver and Thule Transporter 665C Combi hitch mount cargo box instead. The Thule box cost me $450, and can hold 13 cubic feet and 150 pounds of stuff. The Ecohitch is rated for a 200# tongue weight, and the box itself weights 55 pounds, so theoretically I have 145 pounds of stuff I can load in the box, though I usually keep it under a 100 pound payload.

    I've found there is almost no efficiency hit with just the Thule box attached. If anything, the only hit comes from the increased weight of the box and its payload.

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  7. cantdecide

    cantdecide Member

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    That box appears to come with a rear license plate holder. Did you decide to not use it or did it not work with the X?
     
  8. cheekychappie

    cheekychappie Member

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    Great review, thanks for this as I am concerned about luggage space in the X.

    Are you able to share a picture of what the back of the X looks like without the box attached - do you always have to have the hitch and bar showing or can they be removed when not in use?

    Thanks again
     
  9. tsw4life

    tsw4life Member

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    I got it and planned to use it (since I haven't mounted my front license plate I was just going to use that ;-) but then totally forgot!

    While parked at a restaurant, a police car rolled up and slowed down. I thought he was going to ask me where my license plate was, but instead he just said "cool doors." ;-)
     
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  10. tsw4life

    tsw4life Member

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    I have it off now, and didn't think to take a photo without the box attached. The box attaches to the swing out bar with 4 nuts/bolts. Because the bar is so heavy, I decided to detach the box from it when storing it. You can also get different accessories to attach to the swing out bar, e.g. I think they have a bike rack option, a grill, etc.

    Once the StowAway box and swing out mount is removed, you're left with the typical tow hitch receiver sticking out of the back of your X. Not a great look, so unless you plan on re-attaching something to it soon, you'll probably want to detach it. Luckily, it's pretty simple to detach it and put the cover back on underneath. (When I first picked up the X the service center gave me the tow hitch in the bag and said I could bring it back for installation, but it's pretty simple to install it, so never bothered.)

    Let me know if I misunderstood the question :)
     
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  11. cheekychappie

    cheekychappie Member

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    Great thanks - that was my main worry, that the tow hitch sticks out but that it was fixed and couldn't be removed, glad to know that you can and make the back look more aesthetically pleasing, cheers
     
  12. randy1077

    randy1077 Model X60 Vin 180XX. Reverved 8/11/2016

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    Great info.
    Now that it has been several months, do you have any better data on the range impact?
     

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