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Towing an inTech Flyer Pursue with a Model Y PUP 21" Überturbines

pmotch

Member
Jun 11, 2020
5
17
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Thought I'd share my experience preparing and towing an InTech Flyer Pursue with my Model Y PUP 21" Überturbines + FSD.

123516486_358520818747775_7232883333085513844_n.jpg


The trailer is an inTech Flyer Pursue with Adventure Package (pullout kitchen option, roof rack, etc). It's a low feature simple trailer with a high quality aluminum build coming in at a dry weight of 1,090 - 1,595 lbs (with the options I got on the trailer I'm on the higher end I would imagine) and a tongue weight 225 - 325 lbs. This works well enough and within spec for the Model Y with 21" wheels @ 3,500 lbs weight / 350 lbs tongue weight maximums.

I added the towing package in the original Model Y order, but that's only half the work involved to get the rest of the things prepared that you'll need for towing a trailer. There are three major other things to consider: 1) obtaining the not-included electronic brake controller harness 2) picking an electronic brake controller and installing it 3) picking out a hitch with the right height.

As is other people's experience, getting a hold of the electronic brake controller harness isn't easy. I don't live near a service center (2+ hours away), so I had hoped trying to call a few service center parts departments would work, but all voicemails asking for the part went unanswered. I had even tried calling Tesla support and they said they would get someone to call me about this, but that didn't work out either. After a few months of trying this sporadically, I eventually just scheduled an appointment in the app for the nearest service center, which seemed overkill, but within a few days I got some texts saying there is no need to actually show up to the appointment and that they were looking into what the correct part should be so that they could mail it to me:

"Good morning Dan, this is Dan from the Tesla Parts Department. We are still trying to source the pigtail for the trailer brake for the Model Y. As soon as I have more information, I will be in touch. We will keep this service ticket open just without an appointment date so there is no need to cancel it."

Via email, after a few back and forths, they eventually replied with:

"I was able to locate the part! It’s the same part that is used on the Model X. I will get this in the mail to you."
Many thanks to Dan in the parts department at the Nashville Service Center! He seemed very interested in getting to the bottom of what was needed.

As for the electronic brake controller, I went with the typically recommended Tekonsha Prodigy P3. In my case, I bought it from etrailer. They were initially out of stock, replying via email that it would be weeks to get it to me, but within a week they were able to get it sent out. As for installing, connecting, and mounting it, I followed omgwatt's Youtube video to the "T" and his directions are flawless (I ended up getting the wire connectors AND heavy duty velcro he recommends from Lowes for <$10).

As for the hitch, I went a picked up a generic 2" drop hitch from Lowes and simply reversed the ball to the otherside. It ends up being near perfect as the manual says not to go above a certain height (it ends up being within .25" of the max height when you do it this way). This is also the perfect height needed for this trailer to make it near perfectly level. For anyone doing this, you might purchase a hitch with the ball included, and if so the factory really may tighten it down good; I ended up trying myself to get it off to invert the ball but I couldn't, so I just took it down the road to a mechanic who did the inversion for me for free (it's just unscrewing it after-all; takes 30 seconds for them to do).

After I got all these steps sorted out, I picked a weekend to go camping, hooked it all up, and drove 50 miles to the campground.

A few observations hooking it up:
  • Getting the tow cover panel off is notoriously difficult and my first attempt without looking into it proved this to be true. After Googling it I found livingtesla.com created a 3D printable set of tools to make it easier. They sell these tools OR very thankfully they do provide the models so you can 3D print them yourself; I did the latter on my Prusa MK3S using Prusa Filament PETG and they worked flawlessly for the job. After prying with them there wasn't a single visible scuff on the panel.
  • The chains get pretty low to the ground. I ended up tying them up just a bit higher.
  • The chains get hooked deep inside the cavity where the hitch is and in my case they rubbed against the black plastic lip on the very bottom of the rear of the car; just for the trip I put a strip of black electric tape where it was rubbing; this did the trick and it peeled off cleanly right after I got back from the trip.
A few observations driving it:
  • You can feel a trailer back there, but it's less obvious than I thought. The torque is just so much that I makes it hard to notice.
  • As you accelerate there is some odd "tugging" behavior I noticed, but very subtle and only during acceleration.
  • The rear camera is perfect to have on while you're driving. The angle of it is perfect to see full trailer all the way to the hitch ball; gives you some piece of mind.
  • When I hooked up the harness, towing mode was automatically turned on (I didn't have to turn it on myself)
  • FSD is disabled while in towing mode (makes sense)
  • I did try to load supplies as much as I could in the rear of the trailer thinking it would reduce the tongue weight. I'm sure it was still near ~250 - 300 lbs though which does put a decent amount of weight on the rear. You can tell that it slightly splays out the rear wheels; I wouldn't be comfortable driving long distances like that knowing it would wear the inner part of the tire.
PXL_20201106_230821369.jpg


All in all, I'm super happy with the experience and results. I hope these details help someone else trying to do the same thing!
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,458
2,360
In a galaxy far, far away
Great combination !!! The trailer tires look very big, what are their dimensions?

I just think that adding an extra backup camera on the back of the trailer would be helpful.
Especially when maneuvering on a Supercharger parking location.
Did you find some Superchargers allowing charging with the trailer or did you have to disconnect the trailer?
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
3,346
2,728
Redmond, WA
Thanks for all the info!

Would you mind posting the height of the model Y's receiver, and the tow height of the trailer? Thank you.
 

pmotch

Member
Jun 11, 2020
5
17
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Great combination !!! The trailer tires look very big, what are their dimensions?

You can see various dimensions here: inTech RV | Flyer Pursue -- I'm my case, no lift kit package, yes to roof rack:
  • Overall height: 77"
  • Overall width: 83"
  • Overall length: 165"
The big win is that this trailer fits in a standard height garage bay and also fits under the standard garage door height by just a few inches. No need to store it outside!

I just think that adding an extra backup camera on the back of the trailer would be helpful.
Especially when maneuvering on a Supercharger parking location.
Did you find some Superchargers allowing charging with the trailer or did you have to disconnect the trailer?

That's a good question. I didn't try to charge it while the trailer was plugged in, either with a standard charger nor a supercharger. I'm curious now that you ask. I'll try it next time.
 

pmotch

Member
Jun 11, 2020
5
17
Evansville, Indiana, USA
I know it isn't applicable to any other combination, but just curious what kind of Wh/mi and range you've gotten with your setup.

That's a good question. I don't have the exact data on hand (I should have taken a picture of the energy chart afterwards). I do recall noticing that it did use more energy than normal. What was an actual ~50 mile trip ended up using ~70 miles of energy. I think the knobby tires on the trailer maybe made it a little less efficient. My route was half interstate at 75 MPH and the other half was hilly country roads. Next time I go I'll take a picture and try to remember to update this comment.
 
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pmotch

Member
Jun 11, 2020
5
17
Evansville, Indiana, USA
It looks like I'm unable to edit my previous comments above so I can add photos to them (I'm new here); instead here's follow-ups to several replies from yesterday.

The trailer tires look very big, what are their dimensions?

Sorry for misreading your question. I was hasty and instantly read it like you were asking about overall dimensions. The diameter of the tire looks to be about 28 inches for me (picture below).

PXL_20201125_180840569.jpg


Would you mind posting the height of the model Y's receiver, and the tow height of the trailer?

To the top of the inner 2" square receiver appears to be ~13 5/8th inches (see picture below).

PXL_20201125_181412256.jpg


As for the tow height, I took a picture of the trailer and the top of the ball when it's in the receiver on the Tesla; both are ~16.5 inches (makes for a nearly level trailer). Hope this helps!

PXL_20201125_180706421.PORTRAIT.jpg
PXL_20201125_181458918.jpg
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,283
13,953
West Vancouver, British Columbia
The rear camera is perfect to have on while you're driving. The angle of it is perfect to see full trailer all the way to the hitch ball; gives you some piece of mind.
The side camera displays are certainly helpful while towing but you have no view of what is behind you. I recommend a rear view camera mounted on the trailer with a display inside the car for added safety especially when changing lanes.

FSD is disabled while in towing mod
As is Auto Steer. Fortunately TACC works!

I did try to load supplies as much as I could in the rear of the trailer thinking it would reduce the tongue weight. I'm sure it was still near ~250 - 300 lbs though which does put a decent amount of weight on the rear.
Did you measure your tongue weight with a scale? It’s very important that it be 10-15% of the total trailer weight. If the tongue weight is too low the trailer can fishtail on you and become uncontrollable.

https://www.etrailer.com/faq-how-to-determine-trailer-tongue-weight.aspx

Find out how to prevent trailer sway and how to control it
 
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