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Torklift ecoHitch on Model S - ground clearance

xzanadu

New Member
Jul 28, 2020
2
0
Palo Alto, CA
Just had the echo hitch from Torklift installed on my Model S earlier this week. One issue that I noticed was the low clearance between the ground and the bottom of the ecohitch - is approximately 6" on my vehicle (2015 Model S with no air suspension). The ecohitch receiver (2")consistently grazes/touches the road/pavement/drive way while I drive into/out of parking lots/drive ways to enter malls, parking lots etc. The first few times it happened, I assumed that I need to drive the slower, at an angle etc., but this hasn't changed and the receiver continues to touch the road.

Search the forums and don't see anyone to have experienced this? Is this a problem with the receiver measurement or the installation? Or is my car just lower compared to other Model S (I have measured the ground clearance of to the bottom of the car and its around 10")? See attached pictures - anyone else having this problem? If not, can anyone with a ecohitch already installed on their Model S, confirm the ground clearance with/without the receiver?

Thanks
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Deanm0000

Member
Sep 26, 2019
67
5
St Petersburg
I'm in a similar boat. I've got air suspension and even when I set it to very high, depending on the driveway, I can still graze the bottom of the hitch. The only thing you can do is store the receiver when you don't need it. The hole in my bumper makes getting a ratchet in there difficult so I got myself a regular old 12-point wrench...I forgot the size... I want to say 15/16th of an inch?

I'll typically drive the back wheels up on ramps to give myself extra clearance to take the receiver off. I find that I can't actually easily take the receiver out on flat ground because it's longer than there is clearance. If you don't have ramps you could park the car such that it's straddling a rain gutter or something to make the clearance to get it out.

They didn't install it wrong, it's just the nature of the beast of putting a tow hitch on a car that was never intended for a tow hitch. It is impossible for the installer to have made it any higher or lower as the hitch mount is installed in existing bolt holes. The receiver is bolted onto the mount at a fixed location as well.
 

Greg29

Member
Apr 26, 2019
97
47
Orlando, FL
I just had the hitch installed and see the low clearance. I know some hitch bike racks curve upward from the hitch more than others, does anyone have a recommendation of a rack that is best given the low clearance?
 

Deanm0000

Member
Sep 26, 2019
67
5
St Petersburg
I just had the hitch installed and see the low clearance. I know some hitch bike racks curve upward from the hitch more than others, does anyone have a recommendation of a rack that is best given the low clearance?

I bought a used Thule that swings out just in case I want to get in the hatch with bikes mounted. I didn't do much research. I just bought the first used bike rack that seemed like a good deal for what it was and wound up with this one.
 

Xenoilphobe

Active Member
Jan 2, 2014
4,590
4,323
Fairfax County, Virginia
Mine does this too, I drag out my driveway everytime I forget to raise the suspension. I wish they used a design the would come out the bumper verses a drop down design, I saw one somewhere that had a much higher hitch point, I think the Model 3 has several Torklift options...
 

Deanm0000

Member
Sep 26, 2019
67
5
St Petersburg
Mine does this too, I drag out my driveway everytime I forget to raise the suspension. I wish they used a design the would come out the bumper verses a drop down design, I saw one somewhere that had a much higher hitch point, I think the Model 3 has several Torklift options...

I don't think many would want the hitch coming out of their bumper. I know I certainly wouldn't want that. It's just one bolt to remove the receiver and then it looks stock again if you don't need it.
 

cheqsgravity

Member
Sep 20, 2019
19
13
Texas
Yes, I second removing it. I remove my hitch also when not needed.

Also as a tip for those that want to leave it on, you can save the raised suspension height using the menus. That way the car will auto raise when you come close to your garage and lower to normal when you leave your house. I have this setup on my X (traded my S in for X) and so far it has been working great. Have a steep driveway so need to raise even on my X.

Added pics of my S hitch install for others. Just remember to remove all the screws. There are 2 that are accessed from the rear trunk area that secure the bumper to the car. The rest of them are around the tire walls and under the car.
 

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FatherTo1

Member
Mar 7, 2019
886
877
California
I am considering installing the EcoHitch (either myself or paying some place). I have dealt with hitches bottoming out in other cars and don’t want to deal with that on the S. I was planning to use a riser but it seems from posts above that the main hitch will still contact the ground on steep inclines. This all makes me want to consider the Draw-tite non-stealth that @Evoforce suggested. The Draw-tire sits exposed but is about an inch higher as it’s right against the bumper (and still sort of concealed):

Adding a hitch for a bike rack to a Model S

For those with the EcoHitch, have any of you noticed rust on the magnetic cover? The following article gives me concern about galvanic corrosion with any installed hitch:

Tesla Model S hitch by Torklift (3 year update): Eaten alive | TESLARATI
 

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