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

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
623
468
North East Arkansas
  • Like
Reactions: Darmie and Gadget63

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
608
529
Jax
I've towed my jetskis already. It towed them very well. Total weight was about 2,000 pounds. The tandem trailer is much wider than the MY. Below is the trailer I use. It is 101" wide. Both skis are basically out in the wind and not blocked much by the MY. I haven't gone that far with them but at 55 mph, I was using about 400-425 wh/mi. The boat ramp was very steep and slimy and it had now issues pulling everything out.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Araman0
Feb 5, 2021
22
28
Colorado
I've towed my jetskis already. It towed them very well. Total weight was about 2,000 pounds. The tandem trailer is much wider than the MY. Below is the trailer I use. It is 101" wide. Both skis are basically out in the wind and not blocked much by the MY. I haven't gone that far with them but at 55 mph, I was using about 400-425 wh/mi. The boat ramp was very steep and slimy and it had now issues pulling everything out.

Just completed a 1200 mile trip from Colorado to Portland Oregon. The Y tows great (1900 lb. AFRAME TRAILER) Range was around 450 wh/mi, so not too bad. Except across Wyoming, where I ran into 45 mph winds with gusts to 65mph. Driving straight into that wind the range was closer to 700 wh/mi. But it sure pulls like a champ, with no hesitation up steep hills.
 

Araman0

Member
Apr 18, 2018
291
446
Seattle
It's pretty well known that the Y has the power to tow easily up to it's 3500 lb state limit. But does anyone know how the rear suspension and tires of the car handle the up to 350 lbs of added weight the hitch can hold? I'm no expert on towing, but when towing my trailer that's usually my biggest concern.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
608
529
Jax
There was a great post about putting the 18" aero wheels from the M3 that goes into a lot of detail around that. A lot of time was spent on the load rating of the rear tires and axle. Definitely worth a read.


TL : DR - the 20" Inductions have the lowest load rating of the factory MY wheels. How you load the car, and what the tongue weight, can really matter with those. Also be careful of aftermarket wheels/tires if you change them to make sure they have the appropriate load rating.
 

Sidekick

Member
Feb 26, 2021
14
18
Victoria, BC
I just got back from my first trip towing my tent trailer. Towed like a champ and the range hit wasn't as bad as I thought. Half city, half highway going over a small mountain (Malahat on Vancouver Island).

Towed this 2000lb trailer with about 250lb of gear plus 2 adults/2 kids and coolers in the trunk:
20210628_124740.jpg


to this spot:
campsite.png


With this consumption:
20210624_173921.jpg
 

Webeevdrivers

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
2,315
4,012
Canada
I just got back from my first trip towing my tent trailer. Towed like a champ and the range hit wasn't as bad as I thought. Half city, half highway going over a small mountain (Malahat on Vancouver Island).

Towed this 2000lb trailer with about 250lb of gear plus 2 adults/2 kids and coolers in the trunk:
View attachment 678895

to this spot:
View attachment 678897

With this consumption:
View attachment 678903

Nice. And thanks for the report. That will give us an idea on what to expect towing our Teardrop trailer which is about 1000 pounds heavier but also about 8 feet ish tall. My guess on the routes we travel it will be around 350 wh per km. Speed limits are low and soooo many small towns it takes hours to go 200 km...without a trailer. :).

How wide is the trailer. Did you use mirror extenders’.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,279
13,947
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Just hitched our new Y to our Alto trailer.
Looking forwad to our first camping trip in May.
Dry weight 1750lb
Top up for camping

Love your yellow Alto! We have an Alto too. I'm trying to find the right ball mount for our MY with enough rise to accommodate the manufacturers recommendation of 17.5" for the Alto. Do you mind telling me what ball mount you got and the rise it has?
Altos are great trailers. I tow an Alto F1743 with my Model X (yes I realize this thread is in the Y forum) and I think it is an ideal trailer for towing with a Y due to its exceptionally light weight for its size. At 55mph on a level, dry road with no headwind I get about 485-550Wh/mi. More details about why I chose the F1743 model at A “Safari Condo” is not an apartment in the Serengeti… and about modifications I have made at Improving the already impressive Alto trailer

Patrick, I use a Weigh Safe hitch, see Towing with a Tesla

6B25AD41-67D3-4942-82E9-F0C3F635D92C.jpeg
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,279
13,947
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I read through your links but couldn't find this. Why didn't you go with the retractable roof version?
The first link I posted, A “Safari Condo” is not an apartment in the Serengeti… , on that page right after the section “Is the teardrop trailer shape an advantage” (answer; no) is a section titled ”Why I chose the fixed roof Alto”.

Here is what I wrote:

Is a “teardrop” trailer shape an advantage?​

Safari Condo claims “…the aerodynamic shape of the Alto, developed in a virtual wind tunnel, creates 75% less aerodynamic drag than a traditional travel trailer. This factor, along with its lightweight, makes the Alto readily towable by most compact cars and small SUVs.” And at about 1,800 lbs, the 17 ft Alto is definitely a lightweight compared to other trailers in its size range: the Airstream Sport 16 weighs nearly 2,900 lbs. Many Alto owners tow with 6-cylinder Subarus and other small vehicles.

My conclusion was that while the retractable roof Alto certainly has less drag than a “traditional” box-shaped trailer, and the low weight does make it towable by smaller vehicles with more modest engines than a Ford F-250 for example, the sharply sloping rear roofline is probably not an advantage. An engineer with aerodynamic experience informed me that air flowing across the trailer roof peak would tend to separate from the roof as it sloped sharply downwards and then would interact with the air coming off the sidewalls, creating turbulence and acting like “twin parachutes” that would increase the energy consumption of the tow vehicle compared to a more gradually sloping roof. A Canadian RV dealership with extensive experience towing a variety of trailers, including every version of the Alto, said that the R series trailers offered no noticeable energy savings compared to the 95” tall F1743 fixed roof version. It was also clear to me that the Model X was a suitable tow vehicle, since Canadian Model X owners Rolf and Silke Sommerfeld were towing their Alto across Canada and back!

Why I chose the fixed roof Alto​

So I turned my attention to the F1743 model, which still features a generous amount of window area all around while offering more storage and most significantly, an enclosed bathroom. As I compared it to other trailers on the market in the 15 to 19 ft size range, I realized that the 17 ft Alto F1743 had numerous advantages. In a very compact size it provides a queen size sleeping area aft that can be left made up all the time if desired because there is also a very usable two-person dinette table forward which converts to a single bed as needed (with just the two of us, we’ve never had the need for that). The kitchen counter space includes a sink and two-burner stove, lots of storage below and more storage above along with an optional microwave. The 12V 4.3 cu ft refrigerator is positioned below a generously-sized clothes closet. The compact bathroom has a toilet, shower and a small cabinet. Additional storage is available below the sleeping area and dinette seats. Exterior hatches provide easy access to the same storage areas.

Just as importantly, it is clearly made with care and to a high standard, with a very contemporary style. Lightweight materials are used throughout; the trailer frame, exterior walls, and interior walls are all aluminum, as is the floor. There is no wood anywhere; composites are used extensively and the only steel employed is in the axle, suspension components, and tongue. LED lighting is used throughout. The double-wall acrylic windows, made in the Netherlands, include built in adjustable screens and shades. The fresh, grey, and black water waste tanks are located beneath the floor for a low center of gravity. A small exterior hatch next to the freshwater hose connection conceals a shower head and hot/cold water controls for outdoor showering.

The Alto F1743 base dry weight of 1742 lbs is astonishingly light (and slightly lighter than the retractable roof Alto) yet Alto owners with years of towing experience report that the trailer design holds up very well over tens of thousands of miles of travel. In comparison, the 16 ft Airstream Base Camp weighs almost 2,600 lbs, lacks a permanent dinette area, and costs 15% more. The more traditional looking 16 ft Airstream Sport weighs nearly 2,900 lbs and offers a twin size bed (48” wide) instead of the queen size (60” wide) that is standard in the Alto, yet costs about 60% more.

The new 16.6 ft Airstream Nest caught my eye with its modern style, rounded corners, queen-sized sleeping area, and sink in the bathroom (only available in the Alto by special order). But it lacks a permanent dinette table, costs 60% more than the Alto F1743, and despite featuring a fiberglass body shell weighs a shocking 3,400 lbs! How is that possible; are the countertops made of concrete?
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,279
13,947
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Did this guy actually take this setup on a long distance trip
Did you actually watch the video? It’s only 12 minutes, and the first two minutes are unnecessary for anyone familiar with the Model 3. Skip that and get to the part where Andy Thomson of Can-Am RV (in London, Ontario, Canada) talks about towing with a Tesla. That guy is extremely knowledgeable and experienced.

The Model 3 shown towing in that video has a hitch installed by Can-Am. It is nothing like the typical 2” hitch Tesla installs on the X and Y or that I had installed on my 3 for a bike rack. The hitch shown in the video is attached to the car frame at multiple points and can be seen in the trunk subfloor area. It is also a weight distribution hitch. With that hitch the 3 can easily and safely tow the 6,000 lb Airstream shown.

The only discussion of range in that video is Thomson saying that while towing that trailer the 3 has a range of about a hundred miles. When I tow my Alto with my X at 55mph on a level, dry road with no headwind my range is about 140 miles max. I typically drive for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, meaning about 120 miles, and then stop to charge. It’s nice to take a break from driving, have a snack and a bathroom break and maybe a quick snooze (because I have my kitchen and bathroom and bedroom with me!).

Other than that the video does not discuss range or long distance travel. The guy who made that video is not a Tesla or EV owner and may not fully appreciate how important fast charging and the Supercharger network is. It’s hard to grasp until you have owned a Tesla and experienced it on a long trip. Thomson mentions “charging for an hour” and again he doesn’t understand that you never spend that much time at Supercharger. 30 to 40 minutes max is what it takes. I almost never charge to 100% while towing; typically 90 to 95% and of course I don’t start from zero.
 
  • Informative
Reactions: SmartElectric

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