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Supercharging While Towing

Kbra

Member
Feb 4, 2015
919
456
San Luis Obispo, California
It occurred to me that it would be very difficult to travel any real distance while towing a trailer if you had to disconnect your trailer every 250 miles. I could see a double pull through charge working but those are few and far between in my experience. Anyone know if Tesla has something in mind to combat this?
 

Pete90D

Fan of Red Lights
Jul 25, 2015
478
4
Bay Area, CA
I hadn't thought about charging and towing. I haven't been to many superchargers, but the ones I've been to haven't had tons of space for parking a trailer off to the side while you charge.
 

hpham007

Banned
Jul 17, 2015
166
1
Houston
It occurred to me that it would be very difficult to travel any real distance while towing a trailer if you had to disconnect your trailer every 250 miles.

If you think you only have to disconnect your trailer every 250 miles, you will be very disappointed. A more realistic range is probably 125 miles.
 
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MikeInFL

Member
May 10, 2014
468
238
Florida
If you think you only have to disconnect your trailer every 250 miles, you will be very disappointed. A more realistic range is probably 125 miles.

This. A heavy trailer on a vehicle with a single speed will likely consume a lot of energy... Imagine winter time towing.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
With or without a trailer range is most affected by elevation change and by weather. With a trailer of any sort your range will be affected by the size and shape of the trailer and, of course, in particular it's gross loaded weight. There's so many variables it's impossible to make any generalized comments on range other than "Trailering will affect your range".

As far as supercharging is concerned, it takes no more than a minute to unhook even a heavy trailer. Folks new to towing tend to take more time backing up to attach a trailer, with a little practice it can be measured in seconds rather minutes. I trailer horses on at least a monthly basis and unhooking/rehooking wouldn't add more than a couple of minutes to a supercharger stop.
 

Chris TX

Active Member
Sep 30, 2013
1,531
186
Dallas, TX
Most newer Supercharger locations have at least one nose-in stall for the X which would have the cargo carrier or even a trailer attached, if it's angled right.
 

hpham007

Banned
Jul 17, 2015
166
1
Houston
As far as supercharging is concerned, it takes no more than a minute to unhook even a heavy trailer.

The actually hook may take a minute but there's so much more to it than that. Finding a space for your trailer, unhooking, jacking it up, securing the trailer so it doesn't get stolen, etc. is going to take more than a minute. Doing it one time for a long trip is not a big deal, having to do it at every charge will get old quick.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
The actually hook may take a minute but there's so much more to it than that. Finding a space for your trailer, unhooking, jacking it up, securing the trailer so it doesn't get stolen, etc. is going to take more than a minute. Doing it one time for a long trip is not a big deal, having to do it at every charge will get old quick.

You obviously never used a supercharger or a trailer. Most superchargers are set away from busy areas and every one I've ever seen has plenty of spaces around. Also, from a safety perspective you always secure your trailer prior to driving; you don't risk anything popping open while you're underway. Even if you need to prevent anyone hooking up and driving off with your trailer, every owner knows this is simply done with a padlock on the ball cup lock.

No need to imagine problems where they don't exist.
 

hpham007

Banned
Jul 17, 2015
166
1
Houston
You obviously never used a supercharger or a trailer. Most superchargers are set away from busy areas and every one I've ever seen has plenty of spaces around. Also, from a safety perspective you always secure your trailer prior to driving; you don't risk anything popping open while you're underway. Even if you need to prevent anyone hooking up and driving off with your trailer, every owner knows this is simply done with a padlock on the ball cup lock.

No need to imagine problems where they don't exist.

I trailer my motorcycle to the track about once or twice a month. It takes more more than a minute because I triple check everything to make sure it is safe and secure. You obliviously have more time and patience than I do so kudos to you. If I had to repeat this process at every fill up and I'm talking with a 400 plus range, it would drive me crazy. Padlock on the ball is not really a security device, it's more about safety .
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,220
13,869
West Vancouver, British Columbia
?..securing the trailer so it doesn't get stolen...
How likely is it that someone will steal your unhooked trailer while you are Supercharging your X for 30 minutes? If you are worried about that, I suggest that you keep it within visual range while charging.
You certainly are creative in coming up with extremely low probability scenarios to support your position.
 

hpham007

Banned
Jul 17, 2015
166
1
Houston
How likely is it that someone will steal your unhooked trailer while you are Supercharging your X for 30 minutes? If you are worried about that, I suggest that you keep it within visual range while charging.

I would think that if you're towing, you will need the most range possible so you're not going for a quick 30 minute top off which would be what, less than 100 miles of towing range? You're more likely to stay the whole 1.5 hours to get 100 percent. To answer your question, coming up with an exact percentage would be quite difficult but I would guess it's way more likely than if it was still hooked up to your car and the fill up only took five minutes as in a traditional gas tow vehicle.

:smile:
 

BerTX

Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,562
Texas/Washington
It seems like hooking/unhooking is mostly about the backing up to match with the trailer, and the backup camera should help immensely with this. Maybe Tesla even has done some work to help in guiding the backing, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The rest of the process should be easy and routine. The only time it would NOT be is if the trailer is huge and/or the tongue weight is too high.

There is a lot we don't know about towing with the MX, but one thing I can guarantee -- it will not be like towing with a giant truck where tongue weight is not much of a concern. You will have to have your load balanced very carefully to assure sufficient, but not excessive tongue weight. However, this is something that will not have to be re-done at every supercharger stop. Once you have the load set at the beginning of the trip, you won't mess with it.
 

Breezy

Member
Dec 15, 2013
451
119
SW Ontario
Tesla should do what they can to provide at least one Supercharging stall at each location where charging can be done with the trailer hooked up. I have never had to unhook a trailer just to fill up at a gas station.

Maybe a small utility trailer or similar can be unhooked in "a minute." Chock the wheels, lower the jack, unhook the chains, unplug the lights, lift it off the ball. Hooking it up is going to take longer. Back up cameras help a lot. If the trailer is light enough that you can move it by hand, that helps.

But if it's a heavier trailer like a travel trailer with weight distribution, you aren't going to want to be hooking and unhooking it at Superchargers.

Towing our low-profile fifth wheel reduces our range by about 50%.
 

Chris TX

Active Member
Sep 30, 2013
1,531
186
Dallas, TX
Tesla should do what they can to provide at least one Supercharging stall at each location where charging can be done with the trailer hooked up. I have never had to unhook a trailer just to fill up at a gas station.

They ARE doing that with most all of the new Supercharger locations. At least one of them is accessible pulled sideways with the trailer out of the way. Supercharger - Sandy, OR - Page 3

It would be good if that stall had a sign that says something like "Priority is given to Model X with cargo/trailer"
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
Maybe a small utility trailer or similar can be unhooked in "a minute." Chock the wheels, lower the jack, unhook the chains, unplug the lights, lift it off the ball. Hooking it up is going to take longer. Back up cameras help a lot. If the trailer is light enough that you can move it by hand, that helps.

But if it's a heavier trailer like a travel trailer with weight distribution, you aren't going to want to be hooking and unhooking it at Superchargers.

The only difference between a small trailer and a heavy trailer is that you're cranking down the front support leg. Apart from burning a few calories the difference is maybe 20 secs.
 

dsm363

Roadster + Sig Model S
May 17, 2009
18,278
151
Nevada
The actually hook may take a minute but there's so much more to it than that. Finding a space for your trailer, unhooking, jacking it up, securing the trailer so it doesn't get stolen, etc. is going to take more than a minute. Doing it one time for a long trip is not a big deal, having to do it at every charge will get old quick.

Don't buy a Model X then. Simple. Sure, there will be some adjustments needed but it's not the end of the world. Consider it the cost of towing something heavy but not spending a dime in fuel.

I agree with the comment about your creativity in finding ways to paint things in the worst possible light. Do you have any interest in EVs in general, own one or plan to get one? Ever driven one even?
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,517
7,675
Maine
Tesla should do what they can to provide at least one Supercharging stall at each location where charging can be done with the trailer hooked up. I have never had to unhook a trailer just to fill up at a gas station.

Maybe a small utility trailer or similar can be unhooked in "a minute." Chock the wheels, lower the jack, unhook the chains, unplug the lights, lift it off the ball. Hooking it up is going to take longer. Back up cameras help a lot. If the trailer is light enough that you can move it by hand, that helps.

But if it's a heavier trailer like a travel trailer with weight distribution, you aren't going to want to be hooking and unhooking it at Superchargers.

Towing our low-profile fifth wheel reduces our range by about 50%.

Most gas stations don't have room for someone towing.
 

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