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Towing travel trailer with Model Y

clyjr

Member
Nov 9, 2015
190
72
Charlotte, NC
FYI, I have some recent experience towing a 6x12 enclosed trailer (extended height, 6ft 6in interior) with my Model Y performance.
I took the same ~110 mile trip multiple times moving.
1st trip Loaded (probably 3k lbs), I only made it about 95 miles before charging (16 miles indicated left), but I foolishly started with about 250 mile range, forgot to charge to max, also drove 60-65 avg until I noticed range was dropping very fast then slowed to 50-55.
I probably would have gotten 100 miles before shutoff...
2nd trip unloaded (opposite direction). Started at max charge, finished with about 35 miles indicated left, 55 max speed.
I probably would have gotten 120-125 miles before shutoff
3rd trip loaded again, Max charge, finished with 15 miles indicated left, 55 max speed.
4th trip, same results as 2nd trip...
5th trip, loaded but I went a different route (longer drive) since I went to superchargers that were about 70-80 miles each leg, easily made each supercharger with plenty of range left (don't remember the number since there was no concern about making it) driving max 55mph

My advice is plan on 1/3 range, don't go over 55 mph and watch the energy page constantly...
 

digitalboi

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 24, 2017
827
1,840
Orlando, FL
Still waiting for them to deliver the hitch to the SC so I can schedule my install. Looking forward to getting it done soon so we can try out some of the suggestions here. We will be renting something before we commit to a purchase
 

Flybuddy

Member
Jul 12, 2020
344
350
Fort Myers FL
Just finished building this trailer for my motorcycle. Less than 500 lbs total weight and not bad aerodynamically. 290 wh/mi on a test tow this morning, mostly interstate at 60 mph. This is the 5th different trailer I have towed with the Y, 2 RVs, one 6 X 12 enclosed, this one and a large double m/c trailer. Aerodynamics seem to be the biggest driver of range.
 

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Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
245
364
Maryland
Just finished building this trailer for my motorcycle. Less than 500 lbs total weight and not bad aerodynamically. 290 wh/mi on a test tow this morning, mostly interstate at 60 mph. This is the 5th different trailer I have towed with the Y, 2 RVs, one 6 X 12 enclosed, this one and a large double m/c trailer. Aerodynamics seem to be the biggest driver of range.

A Tesla and a Zero? Crivens!
 
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Sacramento

2021 Tesla Model Y LR AWD
Mar 13, 2021
50
73
Sacramento, CA
Took the Tesla and RTTC Grizzly out for a shakedown tow. The weather was not great, cold (38F), rain and windy in comparison to my not towing baselines, but here are my takeaways:

The Tesla hitch design sucks. Whoever thought any of this was a good design has obviously never towed anything and should be fired! I have to kneel on the ground behind the car to see what I'm doing!!
As has been widely reported the hitch cover is impossible to remove without tools and causing some damage to it. Clips have been removed, but still not good.
The safety chain hooks are buried and not visible, then the chains, once actually hooked up, contact the rear bumper potentially causing scuffing (I wrapped them to prevent this, but come on Tesla!)
The trailer 7-pin connector is also buried and causes issues if you try to connect a 4-pin to 7-pin adapter as the opening is small, and you can't open the cover flap wide to cleat the retention latch.
Anti rattle brackets will not fit on the hitch

Set Up
Tow vehicle - Model Y AWD LR
Camper - Rustic Trail Teardrop Campers Grizzly ~ 1700lbs as towed - Grizzly Bear | Rustic Trail Teardrop Campers

Test route out and back totaling 50 miles with 28 miles of highway @~65-70mph + 22 miles of backroads @~25-30mph. Minimal elevation change.

Non towing consumption
Northbound = 280wh/mile
Southbound = 246wh/mile

Towing consumption
Northbound = 540wh/mile
Southbound = 460wh/mile

Summary
The car tows effortlessly, installing and removing the tow ball and connecting the electrics and chains is horrible. Consumption increase is basically doubled, but not unmanageable and will meet our needs for our typical trips, but probably not great for super long cross country road trips, I'd probably revert to a tent and B&B's for long trips.
It will be interesting to see the performance over the summer when the weather is warmer, but overall it is a usable solution for towing our small camperView attachment 654577
I agree with your assessment on the design of the hitch receiver. Apparently Tesla designers wanted to make it as unobtrusive as possible– which means it's extremely difficult to connect the safety chains and impossible to use an anti-rattle plate because there's simply not enough clearance. I'm still seeking a solution for the anti-rattle, but I solved the safety chain problem with a couple of shackles from Home Depot.

 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
271
174
Austin, TX
This works well, I just use it with the bolt coming from the right:


It doesn't make it easier to hook up the chains, but not worse either.

Chains are a pain!!! Especially unhooking/hooking to charge at a SC in the Texas heat. If you have suggestions let me know. I used a heavy duty O link to try and make it easier, but it made it even harder.
 

helpmerick

Member
Aug 25, 2021
9
2
85718
We have money on a used Safari Condo Alto A2124 that we are scheduled to pick up at the end of September. It is 2700 dry plus or minus and tongue weight is under 350 limit. My biggest concern is the height of the hitch. Almost all trailer hookups that I've researched seem to be going above the 3/4" rise. The only problems I've seen people writing about is the loosening of the Tesla hitch.

Like an earlier post, I would really like to know if anyone is experiencing any problems with excess tire wear, suspension problems, or other mechanical or structural issues. Also, as a newbie to towing, we would really like to see more closeup photos of hookups. Thanks!
 

jebinc

MSM Model S PLAID, cream/FSD; MYP & CT on order
Jun 19, 2019
5,490
6,054
Seattle area
Quick Alto question - What the approximate lead time from order to delivery of an Alto trailer (Seattle area). Anyone know? Is it weeks, months or years?
 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
271
174
Austin, TX
We have money on a used Safari Condo Alto A2124 that we are scheduled to pick up at the end of September. It is 2700 dry plus or minus and tongue weight is under 350 limit. My biggest concern is the height of the hitch. Almost all trailer hookups that I've researched seem to be going above the 3/4" rise. The only problems I've seen people writing about is the loosening of the Tesla hitch.

Like an earlier post, I would really like to know if anyone is experiencing any problems with excess tire wear, suspension problems, or other mechanical or structural issues. Also, as a newbie to towing, we would really like to see more closeup photos of hookups. Thanks!

This is what I did:

3/4" hitch rise
2" MPP suspension lift
Reduced trailer tire size
Single bolt hitch tightener

My biggest issue is having to get down on my knees to hookup and unhitch in 100+ degree weather. I wish it was easier to put on and off the chains.
 

helpmerick

Member
Aug 25, 2021
9
2
85718
Quick Alto question - What the approximate lead time from order to delivery of an Alto trailer (Seattle area). Anyone know? Is it weeks, months or years?
They are deep into 2023 for new orders. That's why we went on the hunt for a used one. They don't come up often, but they are out there. We found ours here: Facebook Groups

Also I had a saved search on Canada's version of Craigslist, Kijiji - Buy, Sell & Save with Canada's #1 Local Classifieds, and they have they come up for sale a few times per month. Lastly, Durango RV in Durango, CO is the only U.S. RV company that rents them and then sells there fleet every few years.
 

helpmerick

Member
Aug 25, 2021
9
2
85718
This is what I did:

3/4" hitch rise
2" MPP suspension lift
Reduced trailer tire size
Single bolt hitch tightener

My biggest issue is having to get down on my knees to hookup and unhitch in 100+ degree weather. I wish it was easier to put on and off the chains.
Sounds well within spec. Who did the suspension lift for you? How heavy is your trailer? Any photos? Thanks!
 

dduffey

Member
Aug 26, 2015
271
174
Austin, TX
Sounds well within spec. Who did the suspension lift for you? How heavy is your trailer? Any photos? Thanks!

2900-3300 lbs

Austin Detailing did it, it was one of MPP's recommended installers. There where quite a few Teslas at that location.

This picture is before the lift, but after installer smaller trailer tires. I haven't taken it out since we lifted it due to the Texas heat.
 

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BigTrailer

Member
Mar 18, 2021
73
58
Toronto, Canada
We have money on a used Safari Condo Alto A2124 that we are scheduled to pick up at the end of September. It is 2700 dry plus or minus and tongue weight is under 350 limit. My biggest concern is the height of the hitch. Almost all trailer hookups that I've researched seem to be going above the 3/4" rise. The only problems I've seen people writing about is the loosening of the Tesla hitch.
I know you can have the Alto lowered from the factory. I think it's just a different bolt position and probably something that can be done after as well.
 

Koolio46

Member
Aug 26, 2020
494
206
Boston, MA
Just finished building this trailer for my motorcycle. Less than 500 lbs total weight and not bad aerodynamically. 290 wh/mi on a test tow this morning, mostly interstate at 60 mph. This is the 5th different trailer I have towed with the Y, 2 RVs, one 6 X 12 enclosed, this one and a large double m/c trailer. Aerodynamics seem to be the biggest driver of range.
That’s a nice trailer you made!
I tow my motorcycle with a Trailer In a Bag trailer. Weighs around 200 pounds. Last tow was from Boston to the New York Safety Track in upstate NY. I averaged around 350 wh/mi. I’m guessing it’s also because I have a ton of track gear in my Y. I was surprised by the consumption since my trailer is super small.
 

Flybuddy

Member
Jul 12, 2020
344
350
Fort Myers FL
That’s a nice trailer you made!
I tow my motorcycle with a Trailer In a Bag trailer. Weighs around 200 pounds. Last tow was from Boston to the New York Safety Track in upstate NY. I averaged around 350 wh/mi. I’m guessing it’s also because I have a ton of track gear in my Y. I was surprised by the consumption since my trailer is super small.
Thx, the frame was from Northern tools (40x48 inch) aluminum. Only had about $600 in it including aluminum ramp, MC chock, plywood and hardware. I considered the Trailer in the bag also as the simple, trailer is a ramp, concept makes for less drag. Was the 350 wh/mi speed related? Headwind?
 

helpmerick

Member
Aug 25, 2021
9
2
85718
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