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Superchargers & Trailers... (future w/Model X)

Discussion in 'Model X' started by jhs_7645, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    I posed the question to Elon via Twitter; I’ve heard that Tesla plans to add towing capability to the Model X, but it seems that the superchargers (which would be *VERY* important for RV’ing around the country) are not being designed with vehicles towing trailers in mind. They are not ‘pull through’ chargers, but rather they are ‘park in’ charging spots. I sure hope Tesla thinks about that as they fill out their roster of stations around the US. Seems a bit short-sighted.

    Thoughts? Could this just have been an ‘oops’ on their part?
     
  2. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    That is a valid issue. However, every trailer I have ever towed is easy to unhook and leave in a parking spot.
    It only take a few minutes to park the trailer elsewhere, unhook, etc. Then you can go over and recharge on the Supercharger.
    Yes, it is not perfect, but not insurmountable.

    blue-white-boat-trailer-3883012.jpg
     
  3. jkirkebo

    jkirkebo Model S P85+ VIN 14420 EU

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    You can't seriously expect them to set aside twice the space at every charger so every car can have a trailed behind it. If you have a trailer and need to SC, park it in another spot first and unhook it. Takes all of two minutes.
     
  4. wts13

    wts13 Member

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    This is a good question. We hope to be able to replace our Buick Enclave with a Model X if it can tow our small-ish trailer and fit adults in the third row like the Buick can. Superchargers will work perfectly for the trips we do mostly in California. Unhitching and re-hitching takes more than two minutes, by the time you stop, unplug the cables, unhook the chains, release the hitch, raise it up, drive the tow vehicle over to the Supercharger, then when you're done - get the tow vehicle aligned, lower the trailer, secure the hitch, attach the chains and cables, it's at least +15 minutes. Not the end of the world though, but lengthens the stop a bit. Maybe a single pull-through spot at some of the Superchargers would be nice.
     
  5. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    Exactly, I’m not saying that all supercharging station stalls should be able to accommodate truck + trailer, but it should be easy to come up with a solution where you can pull up to one side perhaps and have one extra long cable that reaches the truck or something. Just something to think about. For folks with a more complex hitch such as my weight distribution hitch (Round Bar Weight Distributing Hitch - 1000 lb Tongue Weight - Camco RV 48053 - Hitches & Hitch Bars - Camping World) it takes about 15 minutes to unhook and hook back up (combined time). plus it’s just a pain in the a** that I’d rather avoid.
     
  6. Mark Petersen

    Mark Petersen Model S EU P71

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    well just choose the fast option as that is drive through
    (battery swap) most likely you are almost empty because of the trailer
     
  7. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    I *totally* thought of that! The only thing I wonder is the wheel/tire fit. It seemed from the demo that the wheel's of the Model S were pretty tightly aligned with guide rails, so I would doubt that the trailer could fit in the same space, but you never know! Also, another thought would be that they could put a charger along the side of the battery swapper and you could just use that if nobody is swapping their battery.. or make it double wide so you could go on one side... who knows. I know we're talking years from now, but as my family prepares for a summer of 9 miles/gallon pulling our trailer around, I'm excited by the possible future of all electric camping trips!!!
     
  8. Mark Petersen

    Mark Petersen Model S EU P71

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    Noooooo as some idiot will connect her/his tesla go into the shopping center for 2h, blocking the swap station
     
  9. jhs_7645

    jhs_7645 VIN: #3305

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    my guess is that the swapping stations will be collecting dust, that being said, this is no marginally more egregious than somebody occupying the ‘regular’ supercharger for an irresponsible amount of time.
     
  10. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Towing and glaring supercharger flaw

    Most of the supercharger stations that have gone in ( at least in Washington and Oregon ) are back in stations.
    I want to tow a trailer with my Model X and this supercharger back in design is a huge disaster for that.
    Having to drop the trailer and then recouple it every time I stop to supercharge is going to make it a lot less convenient.
     
  11. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    This has been discussed before...
     
  12. aronth5

    aronth5 Long Time Follower

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  13. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    At some point we have to expect that all scenarios can't be planned for (nor should they be as to try would be a company ending financial catastrophe). The charge is essentially free. If that's not worth un-hitching (how much is this REALLY going to be an issue) then I don't know what to say.
     
  14. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Thanks for the link.
    I am now trying to imagine a crazy scenario where I have a Model X and a lightweight car hauler to pull my Roadster because I want to go to Laguna Seca ( from Seattle ).
    The Roadster can't charge at superchargers, so if I drive it, I have to charge at 17kW max.
    The Model X with the trailer can supercharge, but I have a ~15 minute penalty at each supercharger stop to unhook and rehook the trailer. With that extra penalty, I will want to supercharge to very full to minimize stops, which makes the average supercharge power on the order of 60kW. It probably averages 50kW when you include the time penalty because of the trailer.
    50kW is about 3x faster than 17kW
    Then there is the question of how much pulling the Roadster on the trailer hurts my wh/mile in the Model X. I have no idea what that will do. Does it go from 320 to 500? 600? 700? At 700 wh/mile it is about 3x worse than the Roadster driving itself - so I am better off just driving the Roadster instead of trailering it.
    ( Yes clearly trying to tow my Roadster 1000 miles with a Model X is going to be a stretch )

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't care whether the supercharge is free or not. This is about making ICE cars obsolete in every way - for every possible use. Clearly that can't happen right away, and it shouldn't be Tesla's goal to chase all edge cases. However when they are building out the Superchargers they should try to plan for a future that enables as many of them as possible. If they want to position the Model X as a vehicle that can tow stuff, then making it difficult to do that and supercharge is a big mistake.

    It might be that the first version of the X is only good for occasional towing - and Tesla should clearly say so. We'll have to wait a few more years for an X that is more capable but superchargers are concrete in the ground and there is no reason to build them wrong the first time.
     
  15. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    I guess you'll just hafta use the battery swap stations then.
     
  16. felixtb

    felixtb RsEU502,Sp+14274,XpEUSig4

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    this is probably more of a space allocation problem. I don't think in any scenario that Tesla them selves want to aquire more land than necessary or for freebes (which I think are most of them if not all for now anyway) the landowner wants to part with more than minimum necessary. land is expensive and doing a drive through supercharger would be using about twice the needed space.....
     
  17. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Mod Note: moved to Model X section.
     
  18. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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    Speaking from personal experience as someone who trailers a lot of boats, it takes about 1 minute to hitch or un-hitch a class II/III trailer. (A trailer holding a Roadster isn't going to need a weight distributing hitch). Most people spend much more time figuring out how to reverse into whatever space they have; practice that and you'll add a few minutes at most to your charging stops.

    This is going to be your much bigger problem.
     
  19. caddieo

    caddieo Member

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    #19 caddieo, Sep 1, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2013
    The new superchargers going up in Port Orange, FL have one pedestal offset and rotated 90 degrees with a lot of space between it and the rest of the chargers. This may be an accommodation for vehicles with trailers. See my pix and latest post this AM on the Port Orange supercharger thread of the FL Forum. It looks like an S or X with a trailer can drive straight in and have the pedestal right next the left rear charge port.
     
  20. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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