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.
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 AltoSo 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?
This is what we intend to tow. Opinions on its shape? Aerodynamics etc. I know nothing about this stuff.