Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tow Hitch requirements

I'm picking up my MYLR on November 13th and busy buying anything/everything I need (mats, storage bins, screen protector etc) but not sure what I need to get for the tow hitch - if anything.

I won't be towing much and when I do it'll be a trailer for moving furniture or pickups from Home depot etc

Do I need to buy anything specific? Does it come with a ball? Do I need one of these


If anyone can post me a link for Amazon it would be great as I just want to ensure that when/if I want to tow I can just pop off the cover and away I go.

Thanks !
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Sep 21, 2013
19,501
14,522
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Do I need to buy anything specific? Does it come with a ball?
I assume you ordered the C$1,300 Tow Hitch option for your Model Y. You will need a hitch ball as that is not included with the Tow Hitch option

Regarding a trailer brake controller; that depends on what you will be towing. You refer to a ”trailer for moving furniture or pickups from Home Depot”. So what is the law in Ontario regarding controlling the brakes on a utility trailer? If the trailer has its own brake controls, e.g. “surge brakes” that come on automatically when the tow vehicle decelerates sharply enough, then you don’t need a brake controller in the car.

You need to do some web searching to learn more about your local requirements for towing a utility trailer. I also recommend you post in the Canada forum on TMC.
 

chand

MYLR / MSM OD: 6/24 VIN: 10/05 MF285xxx DD:10/12
Jun 28, 2021
240
576
DFW, TX
It does not come with ball, just the hitch & standard wiring socket, we don't need the wireless socket you linked above, that's too fancy.

I have exact same requirement as you do + we occasionally attach bikes mount.

I had to buy following accessories:
1. Removal Tools Set for Tesla Model Y Hitch Cover - Makes it pretty easy.
2. Trailer Hitch Receiver Tube Extenders for 2" - Hitch hides under the bumper cover, aesthetic I believe, I was a bit worried how close the bike mount attaches to the body of the car. This extender or many other extenders are only meant for tongue weight, like bike mounts, this must not be used for towing.

I am yet to buy the ball mount for towing, I am planning to buy something adjustable like CURT 45900 Adjustable Trailer Hitch Ball Mount , still checking.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jbarnum
Thanks Guys. I've downloaded from thingiverse the details for 3D printing a set of the removal tools and sent onto my friend who owns a 3D printer :)

I'll have a look at some different ball mounts on amazon (u-haul also have some that are inexpensive) and go from there - I don't think I'll be towing anything for a couple of months so I'm in no major rush.
 
From what i have found so far, the center of the ball to center of the hitch receiver pin can be no longer than 8.5" and cannot rise more than 0.75". it cannot drop either. So the Receiver Tube extender and the Adjustable Trailer hitch ball mount is not supported with the MY trailer hitch.

1636405188209.png

1636405392805.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: ohmman

MrJeep997

Member
Nov 1, 2021
80
74
PA
I've done lots of towing but not with the MY. You do not need a brake controller for 3500# even if you max it out which you never will because you will get 25% range. Generally brake controllers are for when you start to get equal to or exceed the weight of the tow rig. For instance I use one when I tow 5500# with my 5000# Gladiator.
I've been doing lots of reading on this topic online and it seems someone needs to come out with a hitch ball bar specifically for the MY that is longer from pin to ball and then curves up. I can't believe one is not on the market yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: tricky_tran
I've done lots of towing but not with the MY. You do not need a brake controller for 3500# even if you max it out which you never will because you will get 25% range. Generally brake controllers are for when you start to get equal to or exceed the weight of the tow rig. For instance I use one when I tow 5500# with my 5000# Gladiator.
I've been doing lots of reading on this topic online and it seems someone needs to come out with a hitch ball bar specifically for the MY that is longer from pin to ball and then curves up. I can't believe one is not on the market yet.
Thanks. I've been looking at so many hitch balls and not found one that meets the required spec so at least you've put my mind at rest. As I'll be towing very intermittently I'll likely pick up one that is as close as possible and wait for a specific one for the MY to be available. You'd think Tesla would have one !
 

MrJeep997

Member
Nov 1, 2021
80
74
PA
Thanks. I've been looking at so many hitch balls and not found one that meets the required spec so at least you've put my mind at rest. As I'll be towing very intermittently I'll likely pick up one that is as close as possible and wait for a specific one for the MY to be available. You'd think Tesla would have one !
The MY specs are certainly based on max of 3500# so if you are just doing a sub 1000# utlity trailer like I would be I'm not going to worry my head that something that is too long or high for Tesla's specs is going to do any damage. I'm sure it has to do with the shear forces or bending moments put on the hitch mounting bar.
 

MrJeep997

Member
Nov 1, 2021
80
74
PA
I looked at a ton of hitches too, and this is the best I could come up with:
Curt 45010, 2” receiver,8.25” length, 0.75” rise
Hitch Pin
2" Ball

There is a bit cheaper option, but it would require removing the pre-installed ball, and rotating it. The comments indicate that is not easy:
Curt 45036 Trailer Hitch kit
You can pick up a big 2 foot long trailer ball wrench at harbor freight or the like, I forget where I got mine, pretty cheap. What I see is people trying to change the ball with the hitch bar just lying on the ground, which is near impossible. Put it in the receiver hitch and pin it and then you have all the leverage to loosen the nut. Super simple mistake I see a lot of people make.
 
You can pick up a big 2 foot long trailer ball wrench at harbor freight or the like, I forget where I got mine, pretty cheap. What I see is people trying to change the ball with the hitch bar just lying on the ground, which is near impossible. Put it in the receiver hitch and pin it and then you have all the leverage to loosen the nut. Super simple mistake I see a lot of people make.
I found this wrench. It would seem that you would need a 2nd tool to hold the ball steady. Perhaps an adjustable end wrench I have is large enough (10in)..
 
I have been watching various youtube videos of people towing travel trailers, boats, etc. and I see hitches with up to a 6" rise. I will be towing a 12' trailer this weekend with an ATV and some band equipment. I feel a little more comfortable after watching these people towing heavier items.

I have this ball mount kit and it looks like it meets the 8.5" length requirements. I was apprehensive about using the 3" rise one, but it doesnt seem to be a problem from the videos that i have seen.

 
Last edited:
We've towed a bit with our 2021 Model Y. We have a 900lb (empty, 3,500 lb gross trailer weight) utility trailer that is our "pick up truck". It does not have any trailer brakes and handles really well. We also have a small sailboat and trailer that together weigh about 2,700 lbs. The boat trailer has surge brakes, that compress the tongue when the tow vehicle brakes and activates hydraulic brakes on the boat trailer. Also tows very well. This summer we towed a friends Casita travel trailer (about 3,000 lbs), which has electric trailer brakes, without a brake controller on the Model Y and had no problems. Then I found in the Model Y manual that a trailer brake controller is required when towing over 1,650 lbs! Oops. The manual says you must get a wiring harness to plug into the socket under the carpet on the left side of the driver's foot well. Then you must wire an after market trailer brake controller into the harness. After quite a bit of discussion with Tesla service, they finally found and sent me the wiring harness, at no cost (retail price was $5). In the meantime I learned about the CURT 51180 Echo Bluetooth trailer brake controller (Amazon). It plugs into the trailer light socket on the tow vehicle and the trailer plugs into the controller. It uses accelerometers to detect vehicle braking and activates the trailer electric brakes accordingly. Controlled by an app on your smartphone. Once it's set up, you don't need to have the app running on your phone. A friend has one and it works fine. I'd get one if we tow a trailer over 1,650 lbs in the future.
 
We've towed a bit with our 2021 Model Y. We have a 900lb (empty, 3,500 lb gross trailer weight) utility trailer that is our "pick up truck". It does not have any trailer brakes and handles really well. We also have a small sailboat and trailer that together weigh about 2,700 lbs. The boat trailer has surge brakes, that compress the tongue when the tow vehicle brakes and activates hydraulic brakes on the boat trailer. Also tows very well. This summer we towed a friends Casita travel trailer (about 3,000 lbs), which has electric trailer brakes, without a brake controller on the Model Y and had no problems. Then I found in the Model Y manual that a trailer brake controller is required when towing over 1,650 lbs! Oops. The manual says you must get a wiring harness to plug into the socket under the carpet on the left side of the driver's foot well. Then you must wire an after market trailer brake controller into the harness. After quite a bit of discussion with Tesla service, they finally found and sent me the wiring harness, at no cost (retail price was $5). In the meantime I learned about the CURT 51180 Echo Bluetooth trailer brake controller (Amazon). It plugs into the trailer light socket on the tow vehicle and the trailer plugs into the controller. It uses accelerometers to detect vehicle braking and activates the trailer electric brakes accordingly. Controlled by an app on your smartphone. Once it's set up, you don't need to have the app running on your phone. A friend has one and it works fine. I'd get one if we tow a trailer over 1,650 lbs in the future.

I imagine you dont follow the 0.75" max rise on the ball mount? what kind of ball mount do you use?
 

MrJeep997

Member
Nov 1, 2021
80
74
PA
I found this wrench. It would seem that you would need a 2nd tool to hold the ball steady. Perhaps an adjustable end wrench I have is large enough (10in)..
Yes, I have big lock jaw pliers. Also, some hitch bars have a hex patterns built into them so the ball side can't swivel as you tighten.
 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
436
371
Austin, TX
I would recommend a Tekonsha Prodigy 3 hardwire over the curt echo controllers with an EV. The echo does not get a brake signal, rather only the brake lights and then it applies the brakes.

With a good hard wired unit you can still regen and the trailer brake lights will come on but not the trailer brakes. Then when you touch the brake pedal the trailer brakes will come on as well.

It allows you to capture more regen and get better range.

Installing the hardwired kit was not too difficult.

I flipped a CURT 45041 as well and did a MPP rise kit to tow a 3000lbs toyhauler popup.
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top