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Towing with Cybertruck

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,141
18,448
North Bay, CA
There are a number of threads asking various questions that apply to towing with the Cybertruck, but I thought it might be useful to have a single thread where we can discuss specifics of towing.

What do we know?
  • Single motor RWD: 7,500+ lbs., 250+ miles
  • Dual motor AWD: 10,000+ lbs., 300+ miles
  • Tri motor AWD: 14,000+ lbs., 500+ miles
This is great, but there are a number of things we don't yet know.

First, there's no published hitch/tongue weight capacity. Going by standards, hitch weight is typically 10% of the rated towing capacity. That implies that we'd be seeing at least a 750 pound capacity at the single motor level. Whether or not they'd be scaling that up for the dual- and tri-motor versions remains to be seen. Since hitch weight carrying capacity is related to structure and suspension, it seems likely that the entire line would have the same capacity rating. With diesel trucks, the larger engine models have beefier suspension and therefore the higher towing capacity naturally comes with higher tongue weight capacity.

Next, and related, I'm curious about weight distribution capability. The general rule is that vehicles with an exoskeleton aren't to be used with weight distribution because it flexes the body and can cause damage. That said, the Model X is a unibody vehicle and I use weight distribution with it. The feedback I've received from Tesla is that the skateboard provides a lot of rigidity that doesn't exist with standard vehicles. I think it's extremely important for Tesla to provide guidance on this. Typically, when weight distribution is allowed, the vehicle hitch rating goes up. For instance, the F-150 has a 5000 lb towing capacity with a 500 lb hitch weight (10%). But when used with weight distribution, the tow rating goes up to 13,200 and 1320 lbs, respectively.

And the question most people will be asking - how far can I tow with the Cybertruck? Really, this is probably best phrased as "what is the efficiency penalty, in percent, for towing a certain type of trailer?" We know that with relatively efficient, relatively lightweight campers, the Model X has a penalty in the 35-50% range when traveling at 55 mph. Because a higher towing capacity is very likely to result in larger, less efficient campers, I believe that the Cybertruck will see penalties above 50%. That is, range seems likely to be cut by more than half in most cases.

Any other thoughts or criticisms of what I've laid out here?
 

pdx_m3s

Active Member
May 18, 2019
1,356
1,184
Portland, OR
I think the Model X will do about half it’s rated range when towing a big load. I would expect Cybertruck to be the same for sub-10k lb loads, as it’s using the same Raven powertrain. At 14,000 lbs, I doubt the tri-motor does more than 175 miles.


I see the RWD model as really only for construction/contractor uses for regional jobs.
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,493
3,756
NE Tennessee
Charging is a big issue. I recently towed my camper with the Model 3. Range was effectively cut in half with my Aliner popup. So a 370 mile trip requires two if not three SuperCharger stops. Few SuperChargers are set up for towing so I often blocked 3 stalls, not an issue as they were not busy, but will be an issue when they do get busy. My hope is I could get over 300 miles with the CybrTrk with a small camper. If true and if they enhance the SuperChargers, it could work. The steering wheel is also very impractical for backing in spaces and for off road driving. I want a round wheel.
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
510
295
HOU
...
  • Single motor RWD: 7,500+ lbs., 250+ miles
  • Dual motor AWD: 10,000+ lbs., 300+ miles
  • Tri motor AWD: 14,000+ lbs., 500+ miles
...
And the question most people will be asking - how far can I tow with the Cybertruck? Really, this is probably best phrased as "what is the efficiency penalty, in percent, for towing a certain type of trailer?" We know that with relatively efficient, relatively lightweight campers, the Model X has a penalty in the 35-50% range when traveling at 55 mph. Because a higher towing capacity is very likely to result in larger, less efficient campers, I believe that the Cybertruck will see penalties above 50%. That is, range seems likely to be cut by more than half in most cases.
...

This is my main consideration. The efficiency hit of the X in towing mode is partly why we sold. For the most common camper towing trip we will take, it is 115 miles between superchargers, and honestly the safest minimum speed for this stretch of interstate would be 70 mph. If I have to have the tri-motor CT to successfully make this stretch of the drive with 1kish passengers/payload and towing a 5kish lb camper, that's a hard sell.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,344
14,010
West Vancouver, British Columbia
The general rule is that vehicles with an exoskeleton aren't to be used with weight distribution because it flexes the body and can cause damage. That said, the Model X is a unibody vehicle and I use weight distribution with it. The feedback I've received from Tesla is that the skateboard provides a lot of rigidity that doesn't exist with standard vehicles. I think it's extremely important for Tesla to provide guidance on this. Typically, when weight distribution is allowed, the vehicle hitch rating goes up.
Agreed, and I’m interested to see what make of hitch Tesla will offer with the Cybertruck. We know that Bosal hitch offered with the X is not suitable for weight distribution, and you switched to the DrawTite with good success. I hope that the Cybertruck factory hitch will be a weight distribution type.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,344
14,010
West Vancouver, British Columbia
tesla is making their own camper and it will have a 1mwh battery to help with the range #rumors
I don’t expect Tesla to ever get into the camper trailer market, but a German company has stated they will be will selling a trailer with an 80kWh battery and electric motors to power the wheels so as to reduce tow vehicle energy usage (ICE or EV). See Dethleffs e.home coco . Their announcement was over a year ago and I can’t find anything recent indicating it is available for purchase.

If that caravan (as they are called in Europe) becomes a reality it will greatly extend the towing range of the Cybertruck, or any vehicle.
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,344
14,010
West Vancouver, British Columbia
If I'm towing a 38 foot trailer and I pull into a Supercharger Station I'm at almost 60 feet. If I can't drop my trailer in a safe place and charge up it would not be good.
All of us who tow with your Model X face that challenge. I find it quite manageable after towing my trailer for over 10,000 miles in the past two years.

With the Cybertruck there is an additional three feet of length compared to the X. Even for pull through Superchargers like Petaluma CA, a 17 ft trailer like I have hitched to a Cybertruck will stick way out of a pull through Supercharger stall, so you would need to unhitch. I charge there hitched up only if there are multiple empty stalls available, and I don’t leave my vehicle while charging in case it suddenly gets busy and I need to move.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,344
14,010
West Vancouver, British Columbia
Charging is a big issue. I recently towed my camper with the Model 3. Range was effectively cut in half with my Aliner popup. So a 370 mile trip requires two if not three SuperCharger stops. Few SuperChargers are set up for towing so I often blocked 3 stalls, not an issue as they were not busy, but will be an issue when they do get busy. My hope is I could get over 300 miles with the CybrTrk with a small camper. If true and if they enhance the SuperChargers, it could work.
My X towing range with my 17 ft/2,300 lb trailer is reduced by 35 t0 50% depending on speed and conditions. With some planning I don’t find that an obstacle in most cases, especially now that the Supercharger network is becoming so extensive. Sure I charge more often compared to when not towing, but I don’t mind. Most of the time I unhitch to charge, but that only takes a few minutes.

The 500 mile range Cybertruck would obviously offer much better towing range than my X100D. I would love it, but I can’t get over the length of the Cybertruck; three feet longer than my X. Urban parking lot stalls don’t accommodate vehicles that long very well.
 
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ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,344
14,010
West Vancouver, British Columbia
This is my main consideration. The efficiency hit of the X in towing mode is partly why we sold. For the most common camper towing trip we will take, it is 115 miles between superchargers, and honestly the safest minimum speed for this stretch of interstate would be 70 mph. If I have to have the tri-motor CT to successfully make this stretch of the drive with 1kish passengers/payload and towing a 5kish lb camper, that's a hard sell.
I’m not sure where you are located, but I have towed my trailer in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico and I never go above 60mph; have not felt that was ever unsafe. At that speed 115 miles between Superchargers is fine, it leaves me with a big safety margin of battery capacity. Of course towing at 70mph will dramatically increase energy usage. I don’t do it for that reason but primarily because that is well over the legal limit (when towing) in California and some other states, and I don’t feel it’s safe.
 

Karma

Member
Nov 17, 2014
104
15
Safety Harbor, Florida
I’m not sure where you are located, but I have towed my trailer in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico and I never go above 60mph; have not felt that was ever unsafe. At that speed 115 miles between Superchargers is fine, it leaves me with a big safety margin of battery capacity. Of course towing at 70mph will dramatically increase energy usage. I don’t do it for that reason but primarily because that is well over the legal limit (when towing) in California and some other states, and I don’t feel it’s safe.
Where and how do you charge while on the road and towing?
 

FoxSTL2HOU

Member
Nov 12, 2018
510
295
HOU
I’m not sure where you are located, but I have towed my trailer in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, and New Mexico and I never go above 60mph; have not felt that was ever unsafe.

I'm referencing the stretch of I-45 between DAL and HOU, where the passenger speed limit is 75 mph (so the majority of passenger vehicles are at 80+ mph) and the small-vehicle towing speed limit is 70 mph. Towing at 60 mph would lead to hundreds of vehicles passing by at +25 mph speeds.
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,493
3,756
NE Tennessee
My X towing range with my 17 ft/2,300 lb trailer is reduced by 35 t0 50% depending on speed and conditions. With some planning I don’t find that an obstacle in most cases, especially now that the Supercharger network is becoming so extensive. Sure I charge more often compared to when not towing, but I don’t mind. Most of the time I unhitch to charge, but that only takes a few minutes.

The 500 mile range Cybertruck would obviously offer much better towing range than my X100D. I would love it, but I can’t get over the length of the Cybertruck; three feet longer than my X. Urban parking lot stalls don’t accommodate vehicles that long very well.
Yes a midsized truck would meet my needs FAR better. We have a few years so hopefully someone will come up with a good tow EV.
 

Silver Ghost

Member
Sep 1, 2018
129
135
Austin, TX
My X towing range with my 17 ft/2,300 lb trailer is reduced by 35 t0 50% depending on speed and conditions. With some planning I don’t find that an obstacle in most cases, especially now that the Supercharger network is becoming so extensive. Sure I charge more often compared to when not towing, but I don’t mind. Most of the time I unhitch to charge, but that only takes a few minutes.

The 500 mile range Cybertruck would obviously offer much better towing range than my X100D. I would love it, but I can’t get over the length of the Cybertruck; three feet longer than my X. Urban parking lot stalls don’t accommodate vehicles that long very well.
What is the exact length of the Cybertruck- reference please
 

ohmman

Plaid-ish Moderator
Feb 13, 2014
10,141
18,448
North Bay, CA
Exactly what we needed, another towing thread. Not like there was already 5 before the OP posted this one

Size/Dimensions
Those seemed specific to certain questions but not comprehensive. I could have merged them into this one but it would have been confusing. I did not see a broader towing thread - can you please point me to that, and I’ll merge them?
 
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