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

Towing travel trailer with Model Y

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
94
56
Austin, TX
Increasing the ball mount height in either direction would increase the moment applied to the hitch receiver when starting/stopping. It's probably not a big deal if you're not towing at max load capacity, which most people won't be, but I imagine that's why it's there.

I've towed a lot with my Impreza, but found it incredibly annoying with the 6" rise ball mount that it would wiggle a lot when coming to a stop (flat bed trailer, 1-2 motorcycles), but the OEM hitch design didn't allow any of the "anti rattle" clamps to fit. I ended up using some old free depth gages and using them as shims to reduce the rattle. Given the tight space of the opening, have you guys had any luck with them on the Y?

I use a tow hitch tightener with a single bolt. I can't put the bolt on the bottom side as designed, so I have it on the right side of the square receiver. It does make it tight for putting on the chains, but it has been working great.

 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
94
56
Austin, TX
Where are you attaching your breakaway cables? The manual mentions the use, but does to prescribe where to attach it to. Usually it is not recommended to attach to the hitch assembly, but for now I am attaching it to the area for the chains.

I am also using a bungie cord to keep the chains from rubbing on the plastic bumper. Any innovative solutions to avoid the bungie, or make chain hookup easier?

I would start a new thread, but not sure how many people are towing with their Model Y now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: olsookie

Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,279
3,992
Canada
I wonder, where are people getting the pigtail for the model Y or Model X for the brake control? Part numbers if you have them.

Thanks in advance.
 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
94
56
Austin, TX
I wonder, where are people getting the pigtail for the model Y or Model X for the brake control? Part numbers if you have them.

Thanks in advance.

I got the Model X part number 1072586-00-A, it was about $5. I have installed it and can confirm it works. I got it from my local service center. I tried to get it for free since I factory installed the tow package but they didn't understand what it is even for and for $5 didn't care to fight it. I explained that there is no Y part and I am okay buying the X part. They had one on hand.
 

olsookie

Member
Mar 27, 2021
61
33
Penciltuckey
Where are you attaching your breakaway cables? The manual mentions the use, but does to prescribe where to attach it to. Usually it is not recommended to attach to the hitch assembly, but for now I am attaching it to the area for the chains.

I am also using a bungie cord to keep the chains from rubbing on the plastic bumper. Any innovative solutions to avoid the bungie, or make chain hookup easier?

I would start a new thread, but not sure how many people are towing with their Model Y now.
Please let me know if you get responses anywhere else on this one.
 

Araman0

Member
Apr 18, 2018
287
430
Seattle
I'm just attaching my breakaway cable to the chain connect loop on the hitch. I hadn't really considered it not being optimal until now, so I'll keep this in mind next time and see if there's anywhere else.

For the brake controller we avoided any rewiring and just went with the CURT 51180 Echo Mobile electric trailer brake controller with bluetooth:

https://www.amazon.com/CURT-51180-Controller-Bluetooth-Enabled-Proportional/dp/B07JQ99SDD

I don't have any experience with brake controllers prior to using this, so can't really say how this compares to the wired kind. This is an adapter that goes between the vehicle and the trailer's wire harness. It uses a blueooth connection to your phone to establish brake strengths and for manual brake application. But it will work without your phone too once you have it programmed with some default braking profiles.
 

broadbandcwby

New Member
May 23, 2021
1
4
wyoming
All of the posts on towing have been very helpful so I thought that I would share our findings from pulling our Aliner Ranger 12. The dry weight of the camper is around 1,600llbs and the hight of the camper is about the same as the Y. We towed the camper about 60 miles on side streets and found consumption to be ~350-400wh/m when traveling 35-45mph.

Today, we towed the camper about ~250 miles from Ogden, UT to Jackson, WY. At 65-70mph on the highway consumption averaged 500-550wh/m. With a tailwind, we were under 500 at times. I-15 from Ogden to Idaho Falls does have some elevation changes and were generally averaging mid 500s with some rain and a ~50 degree temp.

In Idaho Falls, we changed to 93% and arrived in Jackson with about 30% of the battery remaining.

We had to unhitch the trailer to charge in Tremonton and Idaho Falls.

In Tremonton, we were limited to charging to 80% because the supercharger was busy. We planned to camp and recharge about 60 miles north but an 80% charge limit might make it difficult to reach the next supercharger north on I-15 in Pocatello. Is it possible to override the 80% limit when a SC is busy if the extra charge is critical to reaching a destination?
 
  • Informative
Reactions: fly4fun and Araman0

MadArc30

Member
Aug 25, 2020
13
10
Orange County, CA
All of the posts on towing have been very helpful so I thought that I would share our findings from pulling our Aliner Ranger 12. The dry weight of the camper is around 1,600llbs and the hight of the camper is about the same as the Y. We towed the camper about 60 miles on side streets and found consumption to be ~350-400wh/m when traveling 35-45mph.

Today, we towed the camper about ~250 miles from Ogden, UT to Jackson, WY. At 65-70mph on the highway consumption averaged 500-550wh/m. With a tailwind, we were under 500 at times. I-15 from Ogden to Idaho Falls does have some elevation changes and were generally averaging mid 500s with some rain and a ~50 degree temp.

In Idaho Falls, we changed to 93% and arrived in Jackson with about 30% of the battery remaining.

We had to unhitch the trailer to charge in Tremonton and Idaho Falls.

In Tremonton, we were limited to charging to 80% because the supercharger was busy. We planned to camp and recharge about 60 miles north but an 80% charge limit might make it difficult to reach the next supercharger north on I-15 in Pocatello. Is it possible to override the 80% limit when a SC is busy if the extra charge is critical to reaching a destination?
Yes, it is always possible to adjust the limit even when the station is full and it automatically sets the charge limit to 80%. Simply open the charging tab and manually set the limit to the desired limit and it will charge beyond the 80%.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
386
345
Jax
This has been an interesting thread. I wanted a Tesla that I could to with but in the US only two options with less liability and with a warranty. I very quickly realized from watching some youtube vids and reading this forum it isn't very practical to too far. For me I don't usually have to tow more than 30-50 miles round trip. At times maybe 300 miles one way.

So I put together a spreadsheet of my own to compare it to a few vehicles I towed with in the past. It was a real eye opening experience. Maybe I got the values wrong but when I started looking at how limited the range was, factor in the cost of the SC, it was going to really drive up the cost per mile to tow. It was like using scotch for paint thinner.

I used as one comparison my Acura that I just sold. Not terribly efficient to begin with but even towing a 7' tall, 16' long , (3500#) trailer I had. It still got 16 mpg while drinking premium. At $3.17/gallon, it cost me about $.20/mile. Only 10 minutes to refuel and I could go an easy 200 miles between fuel stops and easy to find refueling places.

The Acura wasn't near as efficient towing this same trailer as my Ram 1500 Ecodiesel towing the same trailer. It got 23 mpg and diesel averaged $2.88 gallon. So this worked out to a bit above $.12/mile. I could easily go a bladder busting 500 miles between stops even towing at 75+ mph.

So when I do the math for an MY towing about the same size trailer, and if I have to rely upon SCs since I am on the road, it looks more like something more than $.23/mile. Or about the equivalent of 13 mpg if fuel was $3.17/gal or 12 mpg if the equivalent of my diesel at $2.88. Let's take the great rip off gas state of California and even at an exorbitant cost for $4.00 gal, that equates to about 17 mpg.

Now those are just my back of the napkins numbers so to speak. Has anyone actually done an analysis of taking a trip with their relatively big traler and figured out the cost per mile? I am estimating SC costs at $.30 for an average kWh. Based on that it, and the time it take to charge, and the number of stops required, doesn't seem very practical. I can see how they can tow well with all the torque but stopping about every 60-90 minutes to recharge doesn't seem like that much fun.

Then again I rode a 50cc motorcycle 1100 miles one way for an event and a week later rode it back. I guess there was some sort of perverse pleasure at the time in doing it, but I can't say I'd want to do it now. Maybe with battery packs in the trailer to help out OR a super aerodynamic trailer (low drag coefficient and very small frontal area), might make more sense.

I'll still use it to tow, but likely just to a lake an back or pretty short runs. Cool to know it can do it based on what I've seen here but I'd like to go at least as long as my bladder can hold out before I stop. ;-)
 

avs007

Member
May 14, 2021
103
83
PacNW
I used as one comparison my Acura that I just sold. Not terribly efficient to begin with but even towing a 7' tall, 16' long , (3500#) trailer I had. It still got 16 mpg while drinking premium. At $3.17/gallon, it cost me about $.20/mile. Only 10 minutes to refuel and I could go an easy 200 miles between fuel stops and easy to find refueling places.
You're getting 16mpg with your Acura while towing a 3500# trailer? I barely average that with my MDX when its not towing anything. My E350 gets 7mpg. Most all my friends that tow with gas vehicles avarage around 10mpg or less when towing. Only my friends with diesels average higher than that.
 
You're getting 16mpg with your Acura while towing a 3500# trailer? I barely average that with my MDX when its not towing anything. My E350 gets 7mpg. Most all my friends that tow with gas vehicles avarage around 10mpg or less when towing. Only my friends with diesels average higher than that.
towing a 12 foot long 7 foot wide 10 foot tall box trailer with my 2011 Ford Expedition only gave me 10mpg or less at 65 mph, and I always thought that was good. I haven't towed that trailer with my Y yet, but I am going to assume a range of about 100 miles per charge.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnny Vector

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
180
243
Maryland
towing a 12 foot long 7 foot wide 10 foot tall box trailer with my 2011 Ford Expedition only gave me 10mpg or less at 65 mph, and I always thought that was good. I haven't towed that trailer with my Y yet, but I am going to assume a range of about 100 miles per charge.
Thanks, I was surprised at those mpg numbers too, but I haven't ever (yet) towed anything, so I wasn't sure.

The cost for the Tesla looks high too. All towing numbers I've seen reported have been around 500 Wh/mile, so just take the Supercharger price per kWh and divide by 2 to get the cost per mile, or 15 cents/mile for his assumed cost. Now, these are mostly smaller trailers like the Alto lift-top, because that's all I'd ever be interested in, so maybe a taller trailer would be worse, but he's assuming 770 Wh/mile, which is more than I've seen anyone report around here. Maybe on the way up into the mountains, but you get that back on the way down.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gadget63

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
386
345
Jax
You're getting 16mpg with your Acura while towing a 3500# trailer? I barely average that with my MDX when its not towing anything. My E350 gets 7mpg. Most all my friends that tow with gas vehicles avarage around 10mpg or less when towing. Only my friends with diesels average higher than that.
Yep, it was the RDX. It was a 7' tall trailer and not very aerodynamic. Towed it for several thousand miles at about 65 mph but not in any real mountains like I did the Ram. That same trailer was towed behind my Ram 1500 for about 20k miles through all manner of conditions cross-continental a few times while moving (mountains, rain, snow, etc.) for the 23 mpg.

Most of the trailers I've seen posted here are more aerodynamic than this trailer. It mostly about maximum capacity and tall enough I work in it when taking my motorcycles to races.

The main point is not as much costs, though I think a diesel pickup would be cheaper especially using superchargers, is the limited range would a major impact for me. Maybe the CT would be better. On my trips across the US when moving, the Ram I could go usually 7 hours without stopping. For the MY LR I would have to likely stopped at least 5 times to recharge. In hills you will get some of the energy back that you expend going uphill but it is always a losing proposition.

Speed is the real enemy here if you can't do anything to reduce drag. Drag goes up by the square of speed and HP (energy) required goes up by the cube. So a 10% increase in speed results in 20% more drag and 30% more HP required. I rounded to keep it simple.

So if I were to tow long distances with a Tesla, I'd be very involved in picking a trailer that would have minimal overall drag. I'd rather minimize drag as much as possible than just keep throwing batteries at it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Johnny Vector

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
386
345
Jax
Yes. The vast majority of the time, the capacity was within the weight limit of the RDX. It is the huge frontal area of the trailer that really killed the fuel economy.

I would say 99% of the time it was right at 1500# loaded when towing that trailer or hauling 2 PWCs. I always checked the tongue weight before going anywhere. Even when above the weight capacity it towed very well but I would never want to make a habit of it from a longevity perspective as well as a legal one. It had a lot of torque and very good brakes. I also had electric trailer brakes that reduced the load. My biggest concern was how well the transmission would hold up so I tried to make sure I was typically at or under, their max capacity.
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
326
185
North East Arkansas
I sold it about a year ago, but I think a Chalet XL 1930 A-Frame popup would have been a great option.

Made in Oregon, and was a great camper. Upgraded to a 36' Cougar that we pull with 5.7L Ram now... way too heavy for the Y 🤣View attachment 653260View attachment 653262

I can see pulling a Chalet LTW behind the MY LR without any problems... I like pop up and / or tear drop trailers that don't stick up above the roof line of the car too much. I can't imagine trying to pull a large size box on wheels type of trailer behind an EV for cross country trips.

Keith
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
326
185
North East Arkansas
Where are you attaching your breakaway cables? The manual mentions the use, but does to prescribe where to attach it to. Usually it is not recommended to attach to the hitch assembly, but for now I am attaching it to the area for the chains.

I am also using a bungie cord to keep the chains from rubbing on the plastic bumper. Any innovative solutions to avoid the bungie, or make chain hookup easier?

I would start a new thread, but not sure how many people are towing with their Model Y now.
I have seen hot water pipe insulation (foam tubes split down one side) zip tied around chains before as padding / scuff prevention. It isn't fancy, but it works.

Keith
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: dduffey

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
386
345
Jax
I have used bicycle tubes over the chains as well. A little stretching and they fit right in. Most of my trailers have cables now and not chains so I just use clear vinyl tubing on them if they don't have some sort of coating or it is worn a bit.
 

Araman0

Member
Apr 18, 2018
287
430
Seattle
Here’s what I got towing our camper over a mountain pass here in WA.
  • Monroe supercharger to Leavenworth supercharger
  • Camper weight as loaded = 3,350 lb.
  • Camper 19ft long by 8ft wide by 9 ft tall
  • Camper has a completey flat front and back, with the front angled slightly upward.
  • Elevation gain of 4000 ft followed by elevation loss of 3000 ft.
  • Weather in the 50’s and rainy, cooler at the summit.
  • Ave speed 45-55 mph
 

Attachments

  • 3830AE9A-DBF3-4E30-B7B9-FD02F98DA34A.jpeg
    3830AE9A-DBF3-4E30-B7B9-FD02F98DA34A.jpeg
    728.7 KB · Views: 37

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