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

Towing an R-Pod RP-193

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Hey all - looking at jumping into the fray here a bit. We're considering purchasing an R-Pod RP-193 travel trailer (r-pod RP-193 | Forest River RV - Manufacturer of Travel Trailers - Fifth Wheels - Tent Campers - Motorhomes) and wanted to query the experts on their thoughts.

We'd be using our "Raven" 2020 Model X LR AWD and was hoping to use the Bosal hitch. I've read up on @ohmman's travails with WD hitches especially, and to be honest, would prefer to keep our X as stock as possible. That said ...

Any thoughts on friction sway control bars? Was thinking about installing one of these to help control sway (without the WD hitch, I'd think this would help?)
https://www.etrailer.com/Accessories-and-Parts/Reese/83660.html

Secondly - I see lots of recommendations for the Weigh-Safe mount; have any of you tried the universal 2" ball? Weigh Safe Universal Tow Ball | Award-Winning Tongue Weight Scale

Since I'm looking at the friction bar, was thinking I'd use this mount with sway control tab: https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Hitch-Ball-Mount/Curt/D320.html which means I'd need the universal Weigh-Safe ball instead of their mount. This would be a 7.5" shank with a 3/4" rise - seems like it meets all the Bosal specs ...?

Thoughts on a) Whether towing the RP-193 is feasible; b) whether the sway control setup would make sense; and c) am I really getting myself in over my head here?

edit: Forgot to add - of course the RP-193 has electric brakes so we'd be adding the Tekonsha controller. That goes without saying (I know anti-sway bars should never be used with surge brakes... I'd rather think surge brakes should never be used, but that's just my opinion!)

We'd likely stay within a 100-mile radius for the most part. Plenty of nearby campgrounds that we enjoy, with a possible, occasional road trip outside that radius. We're fantasizing about taking a road trip from here NJ to Disney's Fort Wilderness, but that may not be realistic with the range hit on the X... I'd have to check the Supercharger distances once I get a handle on what the wh/mi look like with the RP-193.

Thanks all!

--Dennis
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ohmman

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,203
13,856
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Thoughts on a) Whether towing the RP-193 is feasible
With an empty trailer weight of less than 3,700 lbs it is certainly feasible to tow that R-Pod with an X.

We'd likely stay within a 100-mile radius for the most part
And that makes it even easier, though you likely won’t be able to complete a 200 mile roundtrip without charging unless your average speed is less than 50mph and there are no hills. On a level dry road at 55mph with no headwind you may be able to go 150 miles on a full charge (very rough guess on my part) since you have a Raven LR X.

Of course for longer trips the Supercharger network should make it pretty easy unless you are traveling to very remote areas.
 
  • Love
Reactions: dmurphy

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
With an empty trailer weight of less than 3,700 lbs it is certainly feasible to tow that R-Pod with an X.

And that makes it even easier, though you likely won’t be able to complete a 200 mile roundtrip without charging unless your average speed is less than 50mph and there are no hills. On a level dry road at 55mph with no headwind you may be able to go 150 miles on a full charge (very rough guess on my part) since you have a Raven LR X.

Of course for longer trips the Supercharger network should make it pretty easy unless you are traveling to very remote areas.

Thank you! I think we’ll be OK on the round trip front since we’re staying on grid. Most campgrounds have either a TT-30 or 14-50, and I’ve got both of those adapters for my mobile connector.
Can you tell I’m excited? I think as much for the camper as for the “... doing it with an EV” part!
 
  • Like
Reactions: HyperionMark

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
9,993
18,057
North Bay, CA
@dmurphy, I agree with what @ecarfan had to say above. I would add the caveat that on longer trips you may find yourself going faster than 55mph on the East Coast. California's technically legal limit for towing is 55, but most go at least 60. I don't think there's a similar limitation down I-95. So maybe assume slightly under 150 if you want to keep up with traffic and avoid 100%--5% charges.

Either way, I think you'll be in perfectly good shape, and with a little planning, could quite easily make your trip to Disney as well. If I could make it to Glacier and Banff three years ago, when there was very limited infrastructure in that area, I'm certain you'll find it easy.

It's been a lot of fun for us, with some of our greatest vacation memories, I hope you have the same experience!
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
@dmurphy, I agree with what @ecarfan had to say above. I would add the caveat that on longer trips you may find yourself going faster than 55mph on the East Coast. California's technically legal limit for towing is 55, but most go at least 60. I don't think there's a similar limitation down I-95. So maybe assume slightly under 150 if you want to keep up with traffic and avoid 100%--5% charges.

Either way, I think you'll be in perfectly good shape, and with a little planning, could quite easily make your trip to Disney as well. If I could make it to Glacier and Banff three years ago, when there was very limited infrastructure in that area, I'm certain you'll find it easy.

It's been a lot of fun for us, with some of our greatest vacation memories, I hope you have the same experience!

Thank you! We don’t have the same 55mph restriction (though I’d think we should ...) here to cope with, so once I get out a bit I’ll have a better handle on the wh/mi consumption rate. I’m loving following your adventures and look forward to forging some of our own!

The biggest stumbling block for us has been the inability to store the camper. Our home isn’t setup for it (1/3 acre lot, small-ish driveway, no side yard.) Our current plan is to actually get a seasonal site at our favorite campground (About 35 miles away.). It works out to about the same cost as paying storage fees at a self-storage yard, but this way we’d have full use of the R-pod. We can either camp in place, or be able to hitch up and head out anywhere we please whenever we want. We’ll see how it works out, but that’s the running theory!

Looking forward to getting out on the road more. Just took a 6600 mile road trip in the X from here to Rushmore/Yellowstone/Moab/etc - Covid has really pushed us to defocus on the “palm trees and piña colada” vacations and do a better job exploring our country! It’s more mental than the real pocketbook impact, but snagging free supercharging on a 2020 X is somewhat inspiring - want to take advantage of that as best we can.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ohmman

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
9,993
18,057
North Bay, CA
Our current plan is to actually get a seasonal site at our favorite campground (About 35 miles away.). It works out to about the same cost as paying storage fees at a self-storage yard, but this way we’d have full use of the R-pod. We can either camp in place, or be able to hitch up and head out anywhere we please whenever we want. We’ll see how it works out, but that’s the running theory!
Interesting idea, and the cost situation is also eye-opening. I would recommend a very good wheel and/or ball hitch lock if you're going to be leaving it for an extended period at a campsite. I don't know how likely a stolen camper is, but if I wasn't there for days on end, it would go a long way towards helping me sleep at night.
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Interesting idea, and the cost situation is also eye-opening. I would recommend a very good wheel and/or ball hitch lock if you're going to be leaving it for an extended period at a campsite. I don't know how likely a stolen camper is, but if I wasn't there for days on end, it would go a long way towards helping me sleep at night.

Agreed with you! Thankfully it's a very small, family campground where everyone-knows-everyone. Nobody would be able to get "my" camper out of the gate - they'd catch that right away. They check all vehicles in and out; it's fairly impressive. If the sticker on the camper doesn't match the one on your vehicle, that's a red flag.

More concerned with a kid mucking with it than actual theft there, believe it or not ...

So that said - I was also considering adding one of these surreptitiously on a tree at the campsite to keep an eye on things ... There is LTE service available there so for the $5 or $10/mo, maybe it's worth the peace of mind. Wouldn't stop anything bad from happening of course, but I could keep an eyeball on it.

Reolink Go - Wire-Free 4G-LTE Mobile Security Camera

The storage pricing was very eye opening for me too! It appears that most of the self-storage places here have 20' and 30' spots available. The 20' slots are slightly cheaper but this camper is 22' long... that's a no-go. Here's one of the closest that would fit - $286/mo to store it 20 miles away? I may as well go seasonal at the campground for that price.
 

Attachments

  • Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 11.12.45 AM.png
    Screen Shot 2020-09-01 at 11.12.45 AM.png
    135.7 KB · Views: 23

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Well, we pulled the trigger this weekend ... but not on the R-Pod!

We ordered a Surveyor Legend 19BHLE. Was much roomier than the R-Pod and checked all the boxes for us.

3814lbs dry weight, cargo capacity of 991 = 4805lbs ... well within spec.

Going to try towing with the factory hitch to start; if we need to replace with the draw-tite, we can do that down the road ... unless you all say it’s an absolute necessity!
 
  • Like
Reactions: HyperionMark

HyperionMark

Member
Aug 28, 2017
498
224
Brookings, SD
Well, we pulled the trigger this weekend ... but not on the R-Pod!

We ordered a Surveyor Legend 19BHLE. Was much roomier than the R-Pod and checked all the boxes for us.

3814lbs dry weight, cargo capacity of 991 = 4805lbs ... well within spec.

Going to try towing with the factory hitch to start; if we need to replace with the draw-tite, we can do that down the road ... unless you all say it’s an absolute necessity!
Excited to hear about your adventures.
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Well...4% within spec if fully loaded.

Let us know about your towing experience. I suggest being careful not to exceed the Bosal spec of 0.75” hitch rise.

Right but if I’m carrying 991 pounds of stuff, I’m so ridiculously overpacked!

No intention of “dry” camping so won’t be traveling with full tank - without water weight, it’d be a ton of stuff to get to almost 1000lbs of clothing and dishes. :)

and yes - will stay within the .75” rise; already have a new ball mount on order - but concerned the trailer may be too high for that. That may force my hand to the draw-tite. We’ll see; I’ll have to get a measure on the tongue height.
 

DCGOO

Active Member
Nov 24, 2015
1,512
896
Indianapolis, IN
Well, we pulled the trigger this weekend ... but not on the R-Pod!
We ordered a Surveyor Legend 19BHLE. Was much roomier than the R-Pod and checked all the boxes for us.
3814lbs dry weight, cargo capacity of 991 = 4805lbs ... well within spec.
Going to try towing with the factory hitch to start; if we need to replace with the draw-tite, we can do that down the road ... unless you all say it’s an absolute necessity!

Be careful. I would consider 4805 dangerously close to the limits, rather than well within the limits. Remember, water weighs 8 lb per gallon, propane and gasoline around 6 lb per gallon. 991 CCC, is not very much. You might want to stop at the first truck stop you find and weigh yourself. just sayin.' But good luck to you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: doghousePVD

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Be careful. I would consider 4805 dangerously close to the limits, rather than well within the limits. Remember, water weighs 8 lb per gallon, propane and gasoline around 6 lb per gallon. 991 CCC, is not very much. You might want to stop at the first truck stop you find and weigh yourself. just sayin.' But good luck to you.

I don't expect to be anywhere close to that. We're not dry campers, so I won't have any water weight, nor gasoline. Really just clothing, food and a couple chairs.

Your suggestion for a weigh stop is a great one, and we will do that. For the most part, the campgrounds we intend to use - at least initially - are within a 100-mile radius. I plan to 'stretch our legs' at some point, but the shorter distance sites will give us an opportunity to get a good feel for the combo.

That said - purchase #1 will be a new set of tires. Forest River uses some really lousy imported tires in their assembly; I'll put a good 'ol set of Goodyears on there. For less than $250, the peace of mind is worth it.
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Well, the day is upon us. We pickup our Surveyor Legend 19BHLE this coming Thursday.

I did replace the Bosal hitch with the Draw-Tite bar. Also using a Gen-Y "Mega-Duty" adjustable height receiver to get the correct rise, and an anti-sway friction control bar.

For now, we'll be without a WDH setup. I'll feel things out on the initial drive home, and if I have any doubts at all, we'll add one. I'm trying to avoid it as neither the Tesla nor the Draw-Tite seem to officially support a WDH. I was a little spooked at the Draw-Tite specs that list "N/A" for Weight Distribution, to be frank.

Most - if not all - of this summer, the camper will be parked either in my driveway or at our seasonal campsite. 2022 is when we intend to really hit the road, so I've got time to decide on the WDH factor.

Thanks again everyone for the excellent guidance -- I wouldn't feel nearly this well prepared if it weren't for you all.
 

Attachments

  • A990DD37-37CF-4B21-9AA3-DA39BD779001.jpeg
    A990DD37-37CF-4B21-9AA3-DA39BD779001.jpeg
    543.1 KB · Views: 14

PungoteagDave

Member
Nov 19, 2012
43
60
Pungoteague, VA
Please report on range. I have towed a couple jet skis with my '19 Raven MX, find range to be cut in half (running at close to 750 wh/mi), so would expect your much heavier trailer to make range about 100-110 miles. I assume your campgrounds will have power at site, so you can start with a full charge at both ends, but if it were me, I'd initially pick a campground within 75 miles unless there is an enroute Supercharger. Good luck!
 
  • Like
Reactions: dmurphy

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Please report on range. I have towed a couple jet skis with my '19 Raven MX, find range to be cut in half (running at close to 750 wh/mi), so would expect your much heavier trailer to make range about 100-110 miles. I assume your campgrounds will have power at site, so you can start with a full charge at both ends, but if it were me, I'd initially pick a campground within 75 miles unless there is an enroute Supercharger. Good luck!

You read my mind Dave! Ours is a '20 Raven LR+ so hopefully that gets us to about 105-115 miles of range... LOL. The way I'm looking at it, 100 worst-case-scenario is what I'm counting on. That's easy enough to plan for. If it comes in less than that... things could get interesting.

Unfortunately the RV dealer is 145 miles away from our home, so our first trek will be beyond range. We pass at least three Superchargers on the route, one of which is almost at the exact halfway point. So I'm not concerned - should have plenty of range to get home without worry - but it'll be a good test. Looks like rain in the forecast for Thursday, too.

Our first campground outing will be about 45 miles away - we actually have a seasonal site this year, so the plan is to keep it there unless we're "on the road"... in which case we'll drive to the campground, top off using the 50a connector at our site (I specifically got a seasonal site with 50a service just for this reason), and then go from there.

Next summer, however, we have Fort Wilderness @ Disney booked. That's the big trek down the coast I'm looking forward to. Going to take some serious planning for that one!
 

HyperionMark

Member
Aug 28, 2017
498
224
Brookings, SD
Please report on range. I have towed a couple jet skis with my '19 Raven MX, find range to be cut in half (running at close to 750 wh/mi), so would expect your much heavier trailer to make range about 100-110 miles. I assume your campgrounds will have power at site, so you can start with a full charge at both ends, but if it were me, I'd initially pick a campground within 75 miles unless there is an enroute Supercharger. Good luck!
What speed?
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Contrary to the thread title, we did pick up the Surveyor 19BHLE today! Really towed beautifully behind the X. Was a very cold, rainy day so the wh/mi was extreme - a hair over 900 - but we got home safe, sound and without any trouble.

I did make a last minute decision to change to a ReCurve R3 weight distribution hitch. I waffled back and forth but it seemed like the right thing to do. And to be honest, I LOVE it. Very easy to take the bars on and off - I mean, 20 seconds max for both of them - so doesn't cost me any time. Also has built in sway controls, so towing felt like the whole thing was on rails.

Super impressed... Just wish I could squeeze more range, but we knew that going in.... hopefully will be a little better on a warm summer day!

BDA0F9AB-5286-4245-B276-328420FFFE18.jpeg
 
  • Informative
Reactions: dhrivnak

Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,248
3,956
Canada
Contrary to the thread title, we did pick up the Surveyor 19BHLE today! Really towed beautifully behind the X. Was a very cold, rainy day so the wh/mi was extreme - a hair over 900 - but we got home safe, sound and without any trouble.

I did make a last minute decision to change to a ReCurve R3 weight distribution hitch. I waffled back and forth but it seemed like the right thing to do. And to be honest, I LOVE it. Very easy to take the bars on and off - I mean, 20 seconds max for both of them - so doesn't cost me any time. Also has built in sway controls, so towing felt like the whole thing was on rails.

Super impressed... Just wish I could squeeze more range, but we knew that going in.... hopefully will be a little better on a warm summer day!

View attachment 645802
Would you mind sharing a picture of your weight distribution setup and list of components?

Thanks.
 

dmurphy

Woof.
Dec 7, 2018
3,469
4,681
New Jersey - Morris County
Would you mind sharing a picture of your weight distribution setup and list of components?

Thanks.

Sure thing! - I’m away for a few days but absolutely will send photos when I get home.

The hitch is a Recurve R-3 and is stupidly easy to setup and use. The trunnion bars lift “on top” of the connectors instead of hanging down via chains like many others.

There’s plenty of YouTube videos about it but here’s one of the shortest (ie less than 10 minute/not monetized) I could find:

Very happy with the hitch so far! Attach chains, drop onto ball, install trunnion bars, attach power cable, adjust sway control (hand tight with long side of Allen wrench, then 1/2 additional turn) and ... done. All of 2-3 minutes to hitch up.
 

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