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Suggestions for towing 2 ebikes with model 3 LR

BryanK6120

New Member
Jun 8, 2022
3
0
USA
I have a 2021 Model 3 LR and this October, the wife and I are going to drive from Georgia to Florida and I would like to take our new ebikes with us. The problem I'm encountering so far is that the bike racks I see for the M3 are either ones that hang off the trunk, to which all I can think is "My paint! D:" and then the tow hitch option doesnt seem to work because one ebike weighs 53 pounds and the other weighs 80 pounds. From what I understand, using a tow hitch bike rack can only support like 100ish pounds.

Does anyone know of any options for something like an affordable pull behind specialty bike trailer or any suggestions of that sort?
 

BryanK6120

New Member
Jun 8, 2022
3
0
USA
It looks like my bikes (without the batteries) weigh 45 and 64 pounds. That's already 109, so I need to find a tow hitch rack that weighs almost nothing and can support that heh. Also on the Tesla model 3 page for tow hitch bike racks, it mentions a limit of 55kg or 120lbs which it seems I see peoe going over closer to 200lbs. Am I missing something? I'm just afraid of breaking my car @[email protected]
 
If I were to transport bikes on my Model 3, in my opinion the only way to go is to install a hitch, either factory if you can get one or the Stealth hitch, and get a hitch mount bike rack like the one made by 1upusa.com (possibly the best, longest lasting bike rack made). I have the 1up rack and it's so easy to load/unload bike. The rack itself is one of the lighter weight racks on the market as well.
 
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T3kster

New Member
Jun 9, 2022
4
1
PA
I'm in the exact same situation and have been doing some research. I think I'm going with a Stealth Hitch (Model 3 Hitch), self-install it (TMC Post referencing self-install), and I was leaning towards a Thule of some sort. The best seems to be EasyFold XT 2, but that may be excessive.

Let me know what you end up doing - I'll probably be placing my order in about a week.
 
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I'm in the exact same situation and have been doing some research. I think I'm going with a Stealth Hitch (Model 3 Hitch), self-install it (TMC Post referencing self-install), and I was leaning towards a Thule of some sort. The best seems to be EasyFold XT 2, but that may be excessive.

Let me know what you end up doing - I'll probably be placing my order in about a week.

You would need to explain to me why you'd want to spend $900 on a Thule rack with lots of plastic bits when you could get a 1upUSA rack for 60% of that cost. The Thule rack you linked uses plastic straps and an arm that rubs on the bike frame, neither of these are a good way to hold a bike. The 1upUSA rack grabs the bike by the front and rear tires, the preferred way to hold the bike on the rack and way easier to load/unload the bikes. Maybe you just like Thule, but the 1upUSA rack is a simpler, far better rack.
 
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The load capacity of the Tesla roof rack is 150 pounds.
Nick With Surfboard Bicycle Kayak on Roof Rack.jpg
 
I haul around 2 ebikes with my stealth hitch and my north shore rack no problem

Haven't got around to getting a pic with both of them on, but here's a pic with just my bike on

Rack has been adjusted as well so it snugs in a bit closer to the car, and trimmed a bit of the aluminium so I don't strike curbs as much

My bike is 51lbs, my gf's is 46lbs and the rack is 60lbs and the stealth hitch has a 350lb tongue weight
 

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I considered adding a hitch and bike rack to my Model 3, but I gave up on the idea due to cost and safety concerns. I already have a 1up USA super duty double bike rack, which I highly recommend. I use this bike rack with a small SUV. The rack weighs 47 lbs and my two e-bikes are 50 lbs each. The Tesla model 3 owners manual in the UK lists a weight limit of 120 pounds total, so I was uncomfortable with carrying 150 pounds. If you are determined to go this route, look at the Torklift EcoHitch. It has a much more secure method of attaching the receiver to the frame. Choose your installer carefully. If possible go with one of the Torklift certified installers. I was quoted $540 for the hitch install. Keep in mind the low ground clearance of the model three. If you have a bike rack extending off the rear bumper, you increase the likelihood of scraping the ground.
 
I considered adding a hitch and bike rack to my Model 3, but I gave up on the idea due to cost and safety concerns. I already have a 1up USA super duty double bike rack, which I highly recommend. I use this bike rack with a small SUV. The rack weighs 47 lbs and my two e-bikes are 50 lbs each. The Tesla model 3 owners manual in the UK lists a weight limit of 120 pounds total, so I was uncomfortable with carrying 150 pounds. If you are determined to go this route, look at the Torklift EcoHitch. It has a much more secure method of attaching the receiver to the frame. Choose your installer carefully. If possible go with one of the Torklift certified installers. I was quoted $540 for the hitch install. Keep in mind the low ground clearance of the model three. If you have a bike rack extending off the rear bumper, you increase the likelihood of scraping the ground.
What is your specific safety concern about the weight of the hitch? Steath hitch 2" rack mount has a weight limit of 350lbs which is pretty standard for Class 2 hitch found on small SUV and minivans. Plus, the stealth hitch mounting points are spread out across the entire back of the car and bolted to the frame. 2x bikes or vertical bike holder would not come close to the limit of this setup. I would bet your rear suspension would wallow a bit more due to the extra weight, but should not significantly impact handling.

The hitch for sure impacts your clearance, but just find a rack that quickly moves upwards. 1up does a good job of minimizing overhang. Another rack for vertical hanging that handles the weight would be the Alta Rack as it turns upwards very quickly.

Eric
 
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What is your specific safety concern about the weight of the hitch? Steath hitch 2" rack mount has a weight limit of 350lbs which is pretty standard for Class 2 hitch found on small SUV and minivans. Plus, the stealth hitch mounting points are spread out across the entire back of the car and bolted to the frame. 2x bikes or vertical bike holder would not come close to the limit of this setup. I would bet your rear suspension would wallow a bit more due to the extra weight, but should not significantly impact handling.

The hitch for sure impacts your clearance, but just find a rack that quickly moves upwards. 1up does a good job of minimizing overhang. Another rack for vertical hanging that handles the weight would be the Alta Rack as it turns upwards very quickly.

Eric
The tongue weight rating for a hitch does not take into account the lever arm effect of heavy bikes carried well behind the receiver. See this thread:
Thoughts on adding additional support to a bike rack to overcome the 120 lbs weight limit?

Also I have the option of using a RAV4, rated for towing, with my 1Up hitch rack. Just have to pay more for fuel.
 
The tongue weight rating for a hitch does not take into account the lever arm effect of heavy bikes carried well behind the receiver. See this thread:
Thoughts on adding additional support to a bike rack to overcome the 120 lbs weight limit?

Also I have the option of using a RAV4, rated for towing, with my 1Up hitch rack. Just have to pay more for fuel.
Sure it is. Putting weight out for sure puts additional torsion on the hitch, but you have to understand that hitch ratings are not coming specifically from the hitch itself. First, it
The tongue weight rating for a hitch does not take into account the lever arm effect of heavy bikes carried well behind the receiver. See this thread:
Thoughts on adding additional support to a bike rack to overcome the 120 lbs weight limit?

Also I have the option of using a RAV4, rated for towing, with my 1Up hitch rack. Just have to pay more for fuel.
You are 100% correct, but also, as mentioned before, 1000s upon 1000's of folks have been towing their bikes and motorcycles on racks an hitches are not just braking off. The only time I have seen issues in when people try to mount bike racks on the back of travel trailers with very weak bumper welding and thin steel.

The tow rating has more to do with the rating for the suspension, brakes, vehicle dynamics, etc and then the tongue weight is 10% of max tow rating to preserve trailer sway dynamics. So 350lbs hitch is more coming from the 10% rule of the 3500 lb towing, not the pure rating of the hitch. For example, my Class 4 hitch on my Ford Expedition is rated 9k lbs towing and 900 lbs hitch weight. But, the same class IV hitch on the F150, can go up to 12k towing and 1,200 hitch weight. The hitch itself is the same and bolted to the frame. The ability of these 2 hitches to withstand the torsional bike forces are pretty much the same and the difference in rating is really tied back to the vehicle.

I know this does not answer what is the real max bike rack weight rating, but I wouldn't worry about it too much as long as you are using quality products and staying close to the weights specified on the hitch.
 
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DayTrippin

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 30, 2021
1,641
1,903
Park Cities, TX
I haul around 2 ebikes with my stealth hitch and my north shore rack no problem

Haven't got around to getting a pic with both of them on, but here's a pic with just my bike on

Rack has been adjusted as well so it snugs in a bit closer to the car, and trimmed a bit of the aluminium so I don't strike curbs as much

My bike is 51lbs, my gf's is 46lbs and the rack is 60lbs and the stealth hitch has a 350lb tongue weight
That is a pretty long lever arm and can exert a lot of torque on that hitch. Likely there is a fair amount of aero drag due to the bike, it is going to stress it even more. I can't say I'd chance it on a 3. If I did, I'd be using a bore scope or pulling the bumper to look for any signs of fatigue on a frequent basis.
 
With such heavy ebikes, maybe it would make sense to have them on their own trailer. Get a small utility trailer like this Northern Tool one.
Then get a couple of 1Up USA roof trays, mount them to the trailer and you're ready to go.
 
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