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Towing Experience with My New Model Y

I ordered my 2021 Model Y with a towing hitch for my bike rack. I decided to take it on a brief trip to my friend's house with a small, Uhaul motorcycle trailer. The lightly loaded trailer reduced my mileage by 40%, the safety hooks were very difficult to latch (tight fit in the hitch area), and I also had to unhook the trailer to supercharge. In addition, trailer mode disables autopilot/FSD. Conclusion after 300 mile RT: The Model Y kicks butt during uphill hauling - plenty of smooth power. But, stick to hauling bikes, unless you are doing some around town stuff where chargers are plentiful!
 
I ordered my 2021 Model Y with a towing hitch for my bike rack. I decided to take it on a brief trip to my friend's house with a small, Uhaul motorcycle trailer. The lightly loaded trailer reduced my mileage by 40%, the safety hooks were very difficult to latch (tight fit in the hitch area), and I also had to unhook the trailer to supercharge. In addition, trailer mode disables autopilot/FSD. Conclusion after 300 mile RT: The Model Y kicks butt during uphill hauling - plenty of smooth power. But, stick to hauling bikes, unless you are doing some around town stuff where chargers are plentiful!
I am curious as I am thinking about adding a hitch to MY. Are you saying that towing that "light load" cut your range almost in half? Am I interpreting your "40% statement" correctly? Thanks.
 
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I am curious as I am thinking about adding a hitch to MY. Are you saying that towing that "light load" cut your range almost in half? Am I interpreting your "40% statement" correctly? Thanks.
Yes. I was carrying a queen size headboard, frame and footboard. The edge of headboard stuck out from the trailer and created some drag. I got a bit less range (20 miles or so) going up with my load, versus coming back with an empty trailer. Overall energy usage went from 270 Wh/mi (one driver) to about 460. So this is is actually somewhere north of 50%. Oh yeah...I also drove in right lane at 65 mph, and the safety hooks got easier to latch and unlatch with a bit of practice.
 
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jebinc

EndlessVibrating PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP, wht on wht
Supporting Member
Jun 19, 2019
9,879
15,099
Seattle area
I got mine so that when I went to Home Depot or Lowe's I didn't have to put bags of mulch or big bits of wood in the back of the vehicle

Not so much for long trips
@EVer Hopeful Same! Also, for when I rent equipment, like a towable Ditchwitch! What pull behind trailer do you have/use for these errands?
 
@EVer Hopeful Same! Also, for when I rent equipment, like a towable Ditchwitch! What pull behind trailer do you have/use for these errands?

What pull behind trailer do I have ?????????????????

I don't even have the freaking car yet !!!!!!!! 🤬 🤬 🤬 🤬 🤬 🤬 🤬


Sorry, you just touched a nerve there 🤡





...but I'd probably rent one if I needed it, otherwise it's just more crap to store and get in the way
 

doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
678
624
New England, USA
I am curious as I am thinking about adding a hitch to MY. Are you saying that towing that "light load" cut your range almost in half? Am I interpreting your "40% statement" correctly? Thanks.

Air resistance is by far the largest impact on range, much more than weight. A non-aerodynamic load, even it is very lightweight, will cut the range almost in half at highway speeds, even worse if you have headwinds. Adding a few thousand pounds to that same lightweight load will have negligible difference.

A lightweight, partially-loaded open utility trailer is has huge air resistance. A heavy Airstream trailer has less resistance.

This is quite different than ICE vehicle fuel economy. ICE vehicles cannot recover the energy needed to accelerate, so weight impact fuel economy much more.
 

Madsen203

May 26, MYLR, White ext, Black int, Tow, 19”
Jun 1, 2021
685
485
Bay Area
9B3681C8-21B9-4D21-95C1-3FC2C081FB4C.jpeg
 
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Air resistance is by far the largest impact on range, much more than weight. A non-aerodynamic load, even it is very lightweight, will cut the range almost in half at highway speeds, even worse if you have headwinds. Adding a few thousand pounds to that same lightweight load will have negligible difference.

A lightweight, partially-loaded open utility trailer is has huge air resistance. A heavy Airstream trailer has less resistance.

This is quite different than ICE vehicle fuel economy. ICE vehicles cannot recover the energy needed to accelerate, so weight impact fuel economy much more.
Wow! I thought air resistance could be a factor, but no idea of its influence on range. Thanks for your info. That's really good to know. I'd like to buy a small pop up camper one day, so I'll look for one with the least resistance.
 
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I've done a wide range of towing with my Y and aerodynamics is the biggest factor affecting range. Knowing that, I built a small, aluminum trailer to tow my m/c. Just did a 430 mile r/t to Daytona for Biketoberfest. If I stayed below 60, it used less than 300 wh/mi for the entire trip which is consistent with 2 other trips I've taken with it. Could have done each way on the trip non-stop. Unfortunately the center of the state (south) is devoid of any kind of chargers with the exception of one s/c all the way south on Alligator alley (wrong direction for me)
 

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Madsen203

May 26, MYLR, White ext, Black int, Tow, 19”
Jun 1, 2021
685
485
Bay Area
I've done a wide range of towing with my Y and aerodynamics is the biggest factor affecting range. Knowing that, I built a small, aluminum trailer to tow my m/c. Just did a 430 mile r/t to Daytona for Biketoberfest. If I stayed below 60, it used less than 300 wh/mi for the entire trip which is consistent with 2 other trips I've taken with it. Could have done each way on the trip non-stop. Unfortunately the center of the state (south) is devoid of any kind of chargers with the exception of one s/c all the way south on Alligator alley (wrong direction for me)
Interesting how poorly aerodynamic dirt bikes are in comparison. I used 20% more energy going similar speeds.
 
Interesting how poorly aerodynamic dirt bikes are in comparison. I used 20% more energy going similar speeds.
Our bikes are probably similar in weight (Zero S - 313lbs) but my trailer base is a 40X48 inch aluminum which only weighs 135lbs. The last 40 miles which were a straight shot, I averaged 326 wh/mi with cruise set at 63 mph. My other usages were impacted by some slow downs through various towns and traffic on I-4. I also had light winds, flat lands and 80 degree temps. The 326 is probably a better number for planning.
 

Madsen203

May 26, MYLR, White ext, Black int, Tow, 19”
Jun 1, 2021
685
485
Bay Area
Our bikes are probably similar in weight (Zero S - 313lbs) but my trailer base is a 40X48 inch aluminum which only weighs 135lbs. The last 40 miles which were a straight shot, I averaged 326 wh/mi with cruise set at 63 mph. My other usages were impacted by some slow downs through various towns and traffic on I-4. I also had light winds, flat lands and 80 degree temps. The 326 is probably a better number for planning.
That’s really good. My trailer is 300#, sits 19” high (quite in aerodynamic on the bottom) and the platform is 4’x8’. Dirt bike is 250ish with large gas tank filled.

At 55 on light hilly drive, I averaged 340-350. At 60-65, it was 390-400 IIRC. Pushing 70 it was in the low 400’s.

Overall, I’m not shocked and happy with the range for the speeds. Especially considering I’m not paying $5/gallon for gas.

I thought about a plastic shield to on on the bottom to clean up the air turbulence but then realized it’s easier to just slow down some. The dirt bike will always be a huge source of drag.
 
That’s really good. My trailer is 300#, sits 19” high (quite in aerodynamic on the bottom) and the platform is 4’x8’. Dirt bike is 250ish with large gas tank filled.

At 55 on light hilly drive, I averaged 340-350. At 60-65, it was 390-400 IIRC. Pushing 70 it was in the low 400’s.

Overall, I’m not shocked and happy with the range for the speeds. Especially considering I’m not paying $5/gallon for gas.

I thought about a plastic shield to on on the bottom to clean up the air turbulence but then realized it’s easier to just slow down some. The dirt bike will always be a huge source of drag.
As opposed to a plastic shield on the bottom, how about a plastic faring around the dirt bike to reduce drag?
 

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