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Towing a [email protected] trailer with Model S

ElectricLove

Member
May 28, 2013
554
323
So, I've been sitting on this thought for a while and after much online research and not finding much great definitive info I decided to just dive in.

I drive a Model S P85DL and installed a tow hitch on it and 4-flat wiring harness. It has the staggered 21" turbines and we generally get around 350Wh/mi efficiency, far less when driving with fun on the mind :)

The camping trailer we bought is a [email protected] by the company Little Guy and it has about as low a Cd as we can find, it's also around 1500lbs which is within my comfort zone for the car.

Clearly this car is "capable" of towing a heavy load but my main concern is going to be range, I'm excited to see what the set up is going to be capable of and the adventure of figuring out supercharging with a trailer.

Our drive home from picking it up was 50 miles and our efficiency on that trio was right at 600Wh/mi... pretty rough and will only leave us with about 120mi range... On this trip we did 55mph for half and 65mph for half the trip, it was somewhat hilly and it was a really windy day too, though I hadn't checked if head or tail wind... fingers crossed it was headwind ;)

I'll post our set up and efficiency numbers here for our trips in this rig and hope it helps others to decide if it's right for them or not.

Just to try and stave off the "you know who's", I know these cars don't have a "tow rating" and I'm not publicly advocating for anyone else to put a hitch on their S and do anything but haul a few bicycles around with it!

More photos and data to come...
 

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BerTX

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,647
Texas/Washington
So, I've been sitting on this thought for a while and after much online research and not finding much great definitive info I decided to just dive in.

I drive a Model S P85DL and installed a tow hitch on it and 4-flat wiring harness. It has the staggered 21" turbines and we generally get around 350Wh/mi efficiency, far less when driving with fun on the mind :)

The camping trailer we bought is a [email protected] by the company Little Guy and it has about as low a Cd as we can find, it's also around 1500lbs which is within my comfort zone for the car.

Clearly this car is "capable" of towing a heavy load but my main concern is going to be range, I'm excited to see what the set up is going to be capable of and the adventure of figuring out supercharging with a trailer.

Our drive home from picking it up was 50 miles and our efficiency on that trio was right at 600Wh/mi... pretty rough and will only leave us with about 120mi range... On this trip we did 55mph for half and 65mph for half the trip, it was somewhat hilly and it was a really windy day too, though I hadn't checked if head or tail wind... fingers crossed it was headwind ;)

I'll post our set up and efficiency numbers here for our trips in this rig and hope it helps others to decide if it's right for them or not.

Just to try and stave off the "you know who's", I know these cars don't have a "tow rating" and I'm not publicly advocating for anyone else to put a hitch on their S and do anything but haul a few bicycles around with it!

More photos and data to come...
Likely you don't find many people talking about towing with a Model S because most people feel uncomfortable documenting a violation of warranty that would likely give Tesla a reason not to honor the drive unit / battery coverage. Not saying owners don't do it, just that some feel that they might need that warranty, and better to be safe and not talk about it here.

And BTW, the [email protected] has a pretty bad Cd. No better than a box.
 

ElectricLove

Member
May 28, 2013
554
323
In that case, let me be clear, I have never and will never tow a trailer with my Model S and any/all claims made about such on this thread are entirely theoretical.

I have a hitch installed for the sole purpose of hauling my bicycle.
 

KJD

OD 7/27 MYLR Red/Black 19's No FSD EDD 10/23-11/12
Supporting Member
Dec 14, 2013
1,386
1,080
SLC, UT
So, I've been sitting on this thought for a while and after much online research and not finding much great definitive info I decided to just dive in.

I drive a Model S P85DL and installed a tow hitch on it and 4-flat wiring harness. It has the staggered 21" turbines and we generally get around 350Wh/mi efficiency, far less when driving with fun on the mind :)

The camping trailer we bought is a [email protected] by the company Little Guy and it has about as low a Cd as we can find, it's also around 1500lbs which is within my comfort zone for the car.

Clearly this car is "capable" of towing a heavy load but my main concern is going to be range, I'm excited to see what the set up is going to be capable of and the adventure of figuring out supercharging with a trailer.

Our drive home from picking it up was 50 miles and our efficiency on that trio was right at 600Wh/mi... pretty rough and will only leave us with about 120mi range... On this trip we did 55mph for half and 65mph for half the trip, it was somewhat hilly and it was a really windy day too, though I hadn't checked if head or tail wind... fingers crossed it was headwind ;)

I'll post our set up and efficiency numbers here for our trips in this rig and hope it helps others to decide if it's right for them or not.

Just to try and stave off the "you know who's", I know these cars don't have a "tow rating" and I'm not publicly advocating for anyone else to put a hitch on their S and do anything but haul a few bicycles around with it!

More photos and data to come...
Looking forward to seeing more data with your setup. What exact model Little Guy do you have anyhow ? It looks like they have quite a number to choose from on the web site.

Just for kicks you might want to compare your numbers to some on the X forum.
Model X Travel Trailer Consumption Analysis
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,678
3,196
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Yeah, I have a (small) trailer and I have towed it. As with any warranty concerns, they have to prove your towing was the cause of the failure, and I have only towed about twice. I put my chunky trike in the trailer. I don't think the less than 30 miles towing affects any of the 78,000 miles on my car.

As long as you know how to pull a trailer and don't stress the car (like trying to tow something up the I-5 "Grapevine" at 80 mph... doesn't the law say something like 55??) you'll be fine. Just use uncommon sense.
 

vesder21

Member
Dec 20, 2015
82
20
Ohio
So, I've been sitting on this thought for a while and after much online research and not finding much great definitive info I decided to just dive in.

I drive a Model S P85DL and installed a tow hitch on it and 4-flat wiring harness. It has the staggered 21" turbines and we generally get around 350Wh/mi efficiency, far less when driving with fun on the mind :)

The camping trailer we bought is a [email protected] by the company Little Guy and it has about as low a Cd as we can find, it's also around 1500lbs which is within my comfort zone for the car.

Clearly this car is "capable" of towing a heavy load but my main concern is going to be range, I'm excited to see what the set up is going to be capable of and the adventure of figuring out supercharging with a trailer.

Our drive home from picking it up was 50 miles and our efficiency on that trio was right at 600Wh/mi... pretty rough and will only leave us with about 120mi range... On this trip we did 55mph for half and 65mph for half the trip, it was somewhat hilly and it was a really windy day too, though I hadn't checked if head or tail wind... fingers crossed it was headwind ;)

I'll post our set up and efficiency numbers here for our trips in this rig and hope it helps others to decide if it's right for them or not.

Just to try and stave off the "you know who's", I know these cars don't have a "tow rating" and I'm not publicly advocating for anyone else to put a hitch on their S and do anything but haul a few bicycles around with it!

More photos and data to come...

How did you run your flat 4 wiring. (Any links to the product you purchases?)

I bought the Tekonsha clip over (non splice) harness but it has to be hooked up to a 12v so debating on trying to do the same as you.
 

D Bouton

Member
Jun 29, 2020
9
1
Wilmington, nc
How did you run your flat 4 wiring. (Any links to the product you purchases?)

I bought the Tekonsha clip over (non splice) harness but it has to be hooked up to a 12v so debating on trying to do the same as you.
The instructions on my ZERO CONTACT INTERFACE says to use the 12v from the trailer but gives instructions on how to connect to the tow vehicle battery. The interface does not care where you get the 12v from so if you want you could use an independent source but you would need to charge it
 

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