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

Tow Hitch - Tongue Weight Capacity

Hi everyone! New to TMC and learning as I go. Have a MY on order and had a question:

I have seen two different tongue weight capacities for the Tow Hitch on the Y: 160lbs and 350lbs. Can someone tell me what is correct? I have a family of 4 and looking to install a 4 bike rack - and 160lbs wouldn’t be enough.
 
Unfortunately tongue weight (350 lbs) applies only to trailers — as the manual states, 160 lbs is the maximum for a bike rack. There have even been reports of Tesla employees saying that 160 is a mistake and it should be 120. Indeed, the Tesla Shop page for the Model X/Y Hitch Rack says outright: "The Model X/Y hitch is designed to support loading of up to 120 lbs." But it seems plausible that 120 lbs is actually the amount for bikes after the 40-lb Tesla rack.

(edited to add quote from Tesla Shop)
 
Hi everyone! New to TMC and learning as I go. Have a MY on order and had a question:

I have seen two different tongue weight capacities for the Tow Hitch on the Y: 160lbs and 350lbs. Can someone tell me what is correct? I have a family of 4 and looking to install a 4 bike rack - and 160lbs wouldn’t be enough.

I’m in this boat too, and there are a few threads.

The tongue weight is 350lbs and this is the tongue weight as applied by a trailer, the problem with a suspended bike hitch is that it applies a toque. Really from an engineering perspective Tesla should identify the torque rating of the hitch, but they try to simplify it with a 160lb hanging hitch weight limit.

I’m going to sell the 2 bike extension on my 4 bike platform rack, and buy a vertical hanging mountain bike rack to take all the bikes.
‘that way I can still take my road bike on my own, or with my partner on the plat form rack, or take all the mountain bikes with the kids. It’s a real shame, love my Yakima HoldUp EVO platform rack on my X5 I just traded in awaiting the Model Y
 
I just installed the Yakima Ridgeback 4 on my Y this morning. It’s the exact same one Tesla sells but they just placed some decals on them. So far it works great but I only tried it with 2 bikes. I’ll test it out this weekend with the other 2 kiddy bikes to see how it works out. I believe the total weight shouldn’t exceed 120... the bike hitch was around 35 alone. The 4 bikes we have should be under 85 so I’m close to and if not at the limit.

6E1CF7B4-AE7B-46A5-8B4B-1F0AED8F4DAE.jpeg
9D538C52-EAD5-401A-942C-505F798CAD4B.jpeg
C5DCF184-8834-4815-A254-BF6EACC005FB.jpeg
 
Last edited:
I just installed the Yakima Ridgeback 4 on my Y this morning. It’s the exact same one Tesla sells but they just placed some decals on them. So far it works great but I only tried it with 2 bikes. I’ll test it out this weekend with the other 2 kiddy bikes to see how it works out. I believe the total weight shouldn’t exceed 120... the bike hitch was around 35 alone. The 4 bikes we have should be under 85 so I’m close to and if not at the limit.

View attachment 635915View attachment 635916 View attachment 635917

I just installed the Yakima Ridgeback 4 on my Y this morning. It’s the exact same one Tesla sells but they just placed some decals on them. So far it works great but I only tried it with 2 bikes. I’ll test it out this weekend with the other 2 kiddy bikes to see how it works out. I believe the total weight shouldn’t exceed 120... the bike hitch was around 35 alone. The 4 bikes we have should be under 85 so I’m close to and if not at the limit.

View attachment 635915View attachment 635916 View attachment 635917

That's a sexy setup. I'd love to hear how it worked out with four bikes.
 
I’m in this boat too, and there are a few threads.

The tongue weight is 350lbs and this is the tongue weight as applied by a trailer, the problem with a suspended bike hitch is that it applies a toque. Really from an engineering perspective Tesla should identify the torque rating of the hitch, but they try to simplify it with a 160lb hanging hitch weight limit.

I’m going to sell the 2 bike extension on my 4 bike platform rack, and buy a vertical hanging mountain bike rack to take all the bikes.
‘that way I can still take my road bike on my own, or with my partner on the plat form rack, or take all the mountain bikes with the kids. It’s a real shame, love my Yakima HoldUp EVO platform rack on my X5 I just traded in awaiting the Model Y
I'd love to do the same, but the vertical empty is 75lbs which is already half of what is allowed, Am i reading this right?
 
4-bike 'hanging' racks are much lighter than 4-bike platform racks, around half the weight (40-50 lbs vs. 90-110 lbs). Also think about the weight distribution as hanging racks keep the bikes closer to the car, while platform racks (especially 4 bike racks) extend much further out from the hitch and you can really feel it when going over bumps.

Add on some MTB's that can weigh on average 25-30 lbs, and that'll give you a quick idea of what type of weight you'll be carrying. If you have lighter bikes, then that's even better.


I've calculated my 1UP Super Duty double with 2 add-on's, hitch locks, add-on locks, wheel locks, and EZ pull handle, weighs approx 101 lbs. Most of our bikes weigh between 25-30 lbs, so I have no problem putting all of that onto our 4Runner and hauling it around - approx 212 lbs of total tongue weight.

But then my 4Runner hitch mounts deeper underneath the frame, so it's a lot stronger than the Tesla hitch that just bolts to the very rear of the car's body. I don't think I'll be putting all 4 of our bikes onto the Model Y and driving around with it, but I'll still test it out when my car arrives and see how it feels (just around the neighborhood.... or until the trunk wall rips right off the car from the weight :p ).
 
86FC1382-5D60-48E7-BDDC-84E144583D26.jpeg

For what it’s worth, this Allen brand bike hitch from Amazon works great for our 4 bikes. Total weight of the 4 bikes plus the hitch itself is 140lb, which leaves about 20lb of room to spare. My wife’s cheap Walmart bike is HEAVY, so when she upgrades that will shave off another 7lb. When the kids get bigger and heavier bikes it still should be able to accommodate them all.

Here’s the rack: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00TRTS...abc_CV6FR0696727YMMG1V9G?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
 
  • Like
Reactions: my8888 and Noflash
There’s no way in hell the max vertical load rating is only 120 lbs. no way. I’m not doubting they put it in the Manual but it’s not right. I installed my drawtite a few days ago and it’s built like a locomotive part lol. I had a 12” extension ball hitch and I was jumping up and down as hard as I could, I weigh 190. The car/hitch didn’t move. The sticker on the drawtite rack says 525 tongue and 3500 tow rating.

I’ll do some quick maths for you but it’s held on with 6 15mm steel/alloy bolts that have a ultimate tensile strength of more than 100 ksi each.

there’s also a tow eye in the rear crash bar that would be reacted by those same 6 15mm bolts. That tow eye is designed to lift the entire 5000 lb vehicle up a cliff sometimes loaded with mud and water. It could prob lift 10,000 lbs.

it must have to do with compressing rear suspension a bit then driving 100mph or something. Sounds like the lawyers wrote that nonsense in. You will have no issue adding a bike rack.

if you guys want I’ll throw on my kx250f rack. With bike That thing weighs 350 # and sits 24” off. I wouldn’t do the slalom course at 100mph doing that but at safe normal speed it would be just fine

also tongue weight is still a vertical load. It makes no difference if the load is caused by a trailer or a dirtbike rack it’s a vertical load applied a certain distance from the receive mounting bolts. It induces principal stress in the mounting bolts caused by shear and bending, and uniaxial load (if towing and accelerating hard)
 
Last edited:
I just installed the Yakima Ridgeback 4 on my Y this morning. It’s the exact same one Tesla sells but they just placed some decals on them. So far it works great but I only tried it with 2 bikes. I’ll test it out this weekend with the other 2 kiddy bikes to see how it works out. I believe the total weight shouldn’t exceed 120... the bike hitch was around 35 alone. The 4 bikes we have should be under 85 so I’m close to and if not at the limit.

View attachment 635915View attachment 635916 View attachment 635917
@Dr.Will How did the 4 bikes end up working out on this rack? Happen to have any photos of it? And finally does the rack wobble or shake much when it's mounted in the hitch? Thanks!
 
@Dr.Will How did the 4 bikes end up working out on this rack? Happen to have any photos of it? And finally does the rack wobble or shake much when it's mounted in the hitch? Thanks!
It worked out great. The rack does not wobble or shake as far as I know. I've done a few 1-200 mile trips with it and it's solid. I don't have any pictures with the bikes hung but if you have a very nice bike I would recommend a tray style rack. I don't have any scratches on the bike from our Yakima rack but I can see where a bike enthusiast may not want to hold down their nicer bike frames with straps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: suprax
That’s why I like the 1up. I’ve got a carbon pivot 429 and a friend has a carbon road bike. He loaded his on a hanging rack and rubbed a hole in the $5k frame .. the hanging racks are for the steel frame Walmart bikes. Anything else nowadays has become insanely expensive so you need a good tray rack like 1up or kuat
 
  • Like
Reactions: GeezerSquid
That’s why I like the 1up. I’ve got a carbon pivot 429 and a friend has a carbon road bike. He loaded his on a hanging rack and rubbed a hole in the $5k frame .. the hanging racks are for the steel frame Walmart bikes. Anything else nowadays has become insanely expensive so you need a good tray rack like 1up or kuat

Yep! It held mine and the kid's Walmart bike just fine 🤗
 
Ive got nearly the identical Yakima as you, bought it like 15 years ago (maybe yours is now aluminum, mine is steel and so heavy). Its a beast of hanging rack though, Ive probably got a hundred thousand miles on it and its still in my garage :) You can also buy the ski rack attachment for the Yakima and it will hold 6 pairs of skis vertically, and lockable. Kinda cool !!
 
  • Like
Reactions: GeezerSquid
View attachment 689112
For what it’s worth, this Allen brand bike hitch from Amazon works great for our 4 bikes. Total weight of the 4 bikes plus the hitch itself is 140lb, which leaves about 20lb of room to spare. My wife’s cheap Walmart bike is HEAVY, so when she upgrades that will shave off another 7lb. When the kids get bigger and heavier bikes it still should be able to accommodate them all.

Here’s the rack: Amazon.com : Allen Sports Deluxe 4-Bike Hitch Mount Rack (2-Inch Receiver), Black : Automotive
I'm thinking of the Allen when I get MY. I've used allen racks for my ICE and they are good value. Does the tilt release work well and allow the trunk to open?
 
I'm thinking of the Allen when I get MY. I've used allen racks for my ICE and they are good value. Does the tilt release work well and allow the trunk to open?
Honestly, I've only used the tilt function once a while ago. My usage consists of installing the hitch, loading with bikes, biking, and then uninstalling the hitch when we're done. So I haven't really had a need to tilt it and open the hatch, nor would I want to try with the bikes loaded as that's 130lb+ of bikes that you'd be trying to tilt down and support. An empty tilt however, would be easy/quick.
 
  • Like
Reactions: my8888
There’s no way in hell the max vertical load rating is only 120 lbs. no way. I’m not doubting they put it in the Manual but it’s not right. I installed my drawtite a few days ago and it’s built like a locomotive part lol. I had a 12” extension ball hitch and I was jumping up and down as hard as I could, I weigh 190. The car/hitch didn’t move. The sticker on the drawtite rack says 525 tongue and 3500 tow rating.

I’ll do some quick maths for you but it’s held on with 6 15mm steel/alloy bolts that have a ultimate tensile strength of more than 100 ksi each.

there’s also a tow eye in the rear crash bar that would be reacted by those same 6 15mm bolts. That tow eye is designed to lift the entire 5000 lb vehicle up a cliff sometimes loaded with mud and water. It could prob lift 10,000 lbs.

it must have to do with compressing rear suspension a bit then driving 100mph or something. Sounds like the lawyers wrote that nonsense in. You will have no issue adding a bike rack.

if you guys want I’ll throw on my kx250f rack. With bike That thing weighs 350 # and sits 24” off. I wouldn’t do the slalom course at 100mph doing that but at safe normal speed it would be just fine

also tongue weight is still a vertical load. It makes no difference if the load is caused by a trailer or a dirtbike rack it’s a vertical load applied a certain distance from the receive mounting bolts. It induces principal stress in the mounting bolts caused by shear and bending, and uniaxial load (if towing and accelerating hard)
I’m thinking of towing my dirt bike as well on a rack, did you end up trying it and how did it work?
 

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