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Towing a single motorcycle trailer - towing and efficiency report

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
725
710
Jax
I had to make a run across Florida and back today. I towed my Honda Africa Twin on a single motorcycle trailer. It started at about 73F and no AC to pretty hot and in the 80's an hour into my trip. I was on a lot of 2 lane roads running 65 mph and some highways where I was 70-75 mph.

My overall impressions are the MY is an amazing tow vehicle. Even when down to 20%, it still had excellent acceleration. The range impact was bad but not as bad as I thought it would be. The bike stuck up quite a bit higher than the car based on all the flying love bugs that impacted the windscreen. Most painful part of the trip was the damn superchargers and too short cables. They clearly weren't designed for towing. Not a single one was long enough so I could nose in. Fortunately I picked ones were I could pull really close and get the side of the car close enough to charge.

Too much tonque weight for me to unload the trailer from the hitch by myself. Fortunately I was able to work around it as shown in the picture below. I would have moved if more people showed up but I was able to get in and out with about 15-20 min charges and keep moving.

The absolute worst part of the trip was the cursed phantom braking. Out of nowhere, TACC slams on the brakes and someone almost rear ended me on a two lane road. If I hadn't got on the gas quickly it would have been an accident. A minute later the guy passes me yelling and honking at me. I gave up counting after 30 phantom braking events. It probably was close to 50 by the end. It got to the point I barely trusted it.

It clearly has issues where there is light to dark with shadows across the road. One one 5 mile stretch it braked 10 times! I had phantom braking on other cars, but never like this. Even on the interstate going over an overpass at 75 mph it braked with a semi behind me. WTH? How the hell could I ever trust autopilot if it can't even get braking right. Instead of making my trip easier, it was a constant source of stress. I would have been much happier with dumb cruise control than this piece of garbage.

The rest of the car was amazing. Efficiency was pretty good. I average 400 wh/mi for about 310 miles. AC was on 73F for about 80% of the trip with a fan speed average of 4.5. The car drove straight and true and I hardly ever noticed the trailer behind me other than charging. I wouldn't mind about a 30% bigger battery pack for towing. On one leg I was getting a bit anxious about charge level. I was hitting a lot of hills and seemed to have a headwin on top of.

I can say a better route planner really helped a lot. So much better than the default dumb Tesla charger/trip routing. It was my first time using it for a longer trip and it was really useful once I figured out how to use it effectively for my route. After I tweaked a few parameters, it was almost dead on for my expected charge level at each stop. It might have been a touch pessimistic by about 1% but that is better than the other. It is definitely worth the subcription fee.

drivingM.png
7 Drives
Total Miles Driven307.98
Rated Miles Used575.71
Efficiency53.5 %
Time Driven8 Hours 25 Minutes
kWh Used121.84 kWh
Wh/Mile396 Wh
Total Cost$ 12.8
Total Gas Savings$ 30.09
Average Temp84.7 F


Tesla AT SuC stop.jpg
 
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Madsen203

May 26, MYLR, White ext, Black int, Tow, 19”
Jun 1, 2021
395
275
Bay Area
Thanks for the report. I’m anxious to take mine out. Getting the trailer registered today. Home built harbor freight trailer designed for dirt bike. Hoping at 65 mph I can make 120 miles comfortably and not be in the yellow zone. Guess I’ll find out.

you were driving pretty quickly for having a trailer though your average speed is normal at 36mph for the trip.

I’ll reply once I get a chance to tow my bike. I plan to use the left most charger and slide in sideways. Potentially blocking another charger but minimize the impact. Where I’ll struggle the most is the Truckee super charger in Lake Tahoe area and may have to unhitch. Alas, that is only for when I ride at Downieville or Moon Rocks.

happy towing!
 

miracj

2021 Model Y LR AWD
Jul 15, 2021
55
38
Waltham, MA
I had to make a run across Florida and back today. I towed my Honda Africa Twin on a single motorcycle trailer. It started at about 73F and no AC to pretty hot and in the 80's an hour into my trip. I was on a lot of 2 lane roads running 65 mph and some highways where I was 70-75 mph.

My overall impressions are the MY is an amazing tow vehicle. Even when down to 20%, it still had excellent acceleration. The range impact was bad but not as bad as I thought it would be. The bike stuck up quite a bit higher than the car based on all the flying love bugs that impacted the windscreen. Most painful part of the trip was the damn superchargers and too short cables. They clearly weren't designed for towing. Not a single one was long enough so I could nose in. Fortunately I picked ones were I could pull really close and get the side of the car close enough to charge.

Too much tonque weight for me to unload the trailer from the hitch by myself. Fortunately I was able to work around it as shown in the picture below. I would have moved if more people showed up but I was able to get in and out with about 15-20 min charges and keep moving.

The absolute worst part of the trip was the cursed phantom braking. Out of nowhere, TACC slams on the brakes and someone almost rear ended me on a two lane road. If I hadn't got on the gas quickly it would have been an accident. A minute later the guy passes me yelling and honking at me. I gave up counting after 30 phantom braking events. It probably was close to 50 by the end. It got to the point I barely trusted it.

It clearly has issues where there is light to dark with shadows across the road. One one 5 mile stretch it braked 10 times! I had phantom braking on other cars, but never like this. Even on the interstate going over an overpass at 75 mph it braked with a semi behind me. WTH? How the hell could I ever trust autopilot if it can't even get braking right. Instead of making my trip easier, it was a constant source of stress. I would have been much happier with dumb cruise control than this piece of garbage.

The rest of the car was amazing. Efficiency was pretty good. I average 400 wh/mi for about 310 miles. AC was on 73F for about 80% of the trip with a fan speed average of 4.5. The car drove straight and true and I hardly ever noticed the trailer behind me other than charging. I wouldn't mind about a 30% bigger battery pack for towing. On one leg I was getting a bit anxious about charge level. I was hitting a lot of hills and seemed to have a headwin on top of.

I can say a better route planner really helped a lot. So much better than the default dumb Tesla charger/trip routing. It was my first time using it for a longer trip and it was really useful once I figured out how to use it effectively for my route. After I tweaked a few parameters, it was almost dead on for my expected charge level at each stop. It might have been a touch pessimistic by about 1% but that is better than the other. It is definitely worth the subcription fee.

drivingM.png
7 Drives
Total Miles Driven307.98
Rated Miles Used575.71
Efficiency53.5 %
Time Driven8 Hours 25 Minutes
kWh Used121.84 kWh
Wh/Mile396 Wh
Total Cost$ 12.8
Total Gas Savings$ 30.09
Average Temp84.7 F
A lot of superchargers have a left side, drive in straight spot. Your trailer would stick out, but most superchargers are out of the way, far from the flow of traffic. Were these available on your trip?
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
725
710
Jax
A lot of superchargers have a left side, drive in straight spot. Your trailer would stick out, but most superchargers are out of the way, far from the flow of traffic. Were these available on your trip?
All were along the edge with no sort of drive up to options. They all had the short about 8' cables. I couldn't nose in anywhere to charge. It was pretty hot in the sun and the charger was very hot to the touch when I unplugged on the last charge session. It wasn't burning out but definitely uncomfortably hot.

I'll make sure to have some sort of tongue jack on any trailer I tow with now in case I have to unhitch. I had a clamp on one with a wheel that I had for another trailer that I'll likely put on my single MC trailer. My jetski trailer has one and so does my large tandem MC trailer.

The towing speed average was brought down and likely consumption was impacted by about 12 miles straight of stop and go lights. I reset the in car trip meter for that stretch and my average consumption was over 530 wh/mi. It takes a lot of juice to get everything moving and couldn't go very far at about 40 mph and have to stop again.

I do wish the mirrors were better too. I set up a few different profiles to work with what I have. I had a towing profile (where I could see the trailer easier on narrow roads), a backup profile (even more trailer visible and angled down to see if the wheels will impact anything) and a highway profile (wider view to the side so I could see the adjacent lanes).

With all the torque it has (I have the acceleration boost), it was easy to move. The downside was it would really suck down the electrons. For those of you old enough to remember, think back to the days when you had a 4 barrel card (or two) and open up your old gas-guzzling V-8 and would swear you could actually see your fuel gauge needle go down.
 
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Madsen203

May 26, MYLR, White ext, Black int, Tow, 19”
Jun 1, 2021
395
275
Bay Area
I drove an empty harbor freight trailer to DMV today and back. Total weight was about 300#. On surface roads I was averaging 225-240 and on highway at 65 mph it was using 365 according to instant trip consumption. I’ll be interested to see how it holds up with a dirt bike on the back cruising 60-65mph.

trailer is registered now and ready to go. Now only if I could say the same about my dirt bike :/
 

Madsen203

May 26, MYLR, White ext, Black int, Tow, 19”
Jun 1, 2021
395
275
Bay Area
Ok I can report back with my preliminary run:

83 miles round trip from East Bay to SF (top of twin peaks) and back. Traffic at the maze and bridge. Never passed 60mph.

Averaged: 325wh/mi which means I have a solid usable range of 175 miles.

Towing a harbor freight trailer with a YZ250 dirt bike (260#). Wife was in the car and we had AC running (heater on way home)

The regenerative braking meant we barely had to use the brakes when driving in the city. Only on one very steep decent did I touch the brakes just closing in on the stop sign at the bottom. Very cool!

torque was impressive (long range, no AB) even on the highway. It was like the trailer wasn’t there. Incredible driving experience.

Over all, I’m very happy with the result. I’ll have to test at 70mph but at 60 it was hovering between 315-325wh/mi.
 

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