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Trailer Hitch questions

Since y'all have a car that supports towing and i'm about to install a hitch on my S i figured i'd post this question in the X area.

Is there any extra parts on the frame that the X has with the tow bar? Or is it just as simple as installing a tow bar on any car? Like i put a trailer hitch on my 2006 mustang and it was as easy as just bolting it up and calling it a day.

I have the torklift one coming in tomorrow for my S and i just wanted some opinions from y'all on best practices of towing.
The trailer i'm gonna get has a tongue weight of 120lbs and a dry weight of 1,300 lbs and a GVWR of 2,200 but ill never put that much weight in it prob around 1,800 will be as full as i make it. The hitch i'm installing has a max tongue of 400lbs and a max trailer weight of 4,000 (according to the manufacture when i spoke to them before buying it) so i'm confident it should hold up easily. Just wondering if i should add anything to the car to make it stronger or anything.

I'm also having issues trying to wire up the damn lights but since the wiring is different on the X vs the S y'all prob cant help with that.
 
The S isn't rated for towing. I hate to ask, but have you considered trading your S for an X or even a Y - that trailer is easily within the capabilities of the Y. I Also replaced a 2014 S85 (twice...) and while it was painful to give up free supercharging and free connectivity, the upgrade was worthwhile.
 
The S isn't rated for towing. I hate to ask, but have you considered trading your S for an X or even a Y - that trailer is easily within the capabilities of the Y. I Also replaced a 2014 S85 (twice...) and while it was painful to give up free supercharging and free connectivity, the upgrade was worthwhile.
I know it's not rated for towing but neither is a mustang, or a prius but they tow *sugar* just fine as do other model S on the road.

And a new Y is about $70k and my current car is only worth maybe $45k. I retire in 9 months and a car note is not in my budget. Everything I have is paid off and it will stay that way.
 
I had a tow hitch on my last S and it handled it just fine, up hill and down, loaded or empty. Intelligent drivers won't try to do crazy things while towing, and it sounds like your trailer is about the size I used. I never worried about "rated" loads, because, in my not-so-humble opinion, God gave us brains for a reason. I drove that car for about four years before selling it to my brother, including trailer, and he drove it to Ohio and sold the package to one of his in-laws. The S has the same motors that the X has, and pretty much the same everything else, and it hauls a small trailer with ease.
 
I had a tow hitch on my last S and it handled it just fine, up hill and down, loaded or empty. Intelligent drivers won't try to do crazy things while towing, and it sounds like your trailer is about the size I used. I never worried about "rated" loads, because, in my not-so-humble opinion, God gave us brains for a reason. I drove that car for about four years before selling it to my brother, including trailer, and he drove it to Ohio and sold the package to one of his in-laws. The S has the same motors that the X has, and pretty much the same everything else, and it hauls a small trailer with ease.
That's my logic we all know its the exact same car just the X has a bigger body and weighs more but the bones are the same as the S so i don't see any reason for it to be an issue. I mean i plan to keep the weights in spec because obv safety and all. no reason to put 10 pounds of crap into a 5 pound sack
 
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DCGOO

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Nov 24, 2015
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I know it's not rated for towing but neither is a mustang, or a prius but they tow *sugar* just fine as do other model S on the road.

And a new Y is about $70k and my current car is only worth maybe $45k. I retire in 9 months and a car note is not in my budget. Everything I have is paid off and it will stay that way.
Tesla does accept ACH transfers :cool:
 
I wonder why Tesla doesnt consider the S safe enough to tow with🤔
The same reason Ford doesn't consider the mustang safe to tow with, because they didn't want to spend the money to get it certified. but I towed with my 06 mustang easily and without issue for years.
But as we've said it's the same chassis as the X so logically it's got the same capability
 

ngng

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Jul 23, 2018
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That's my logic we all know its the exact same car just the X has a bigger body and weighs more but the bones are the same as the S so i don't see any reason for it to be an issue. I mean i plan to keep the weights in spec because obv safety and all. no reason to put 10 pounds of crap into a 5 pound sack

You will want to check the load rating of your wheels/tires and compare it to your gross load.
 
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You will want to check the load rating of your wheels/tires and compare it to your gross load.
My tires combined for a max GVWR of 5,768lbs which is 58lbs more than the cars max GVWR and like 500lbs more than I'll be including the tongue weight of the trailer so I'm good on that front. And it's something I've already considered but thanks for bringing it up so I could run the numbers again to verify.
 

ngng

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Jul 23, 2018
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Bay Area
My tires combined for a max GVWR of 5,768lbs which is 58lbs more than the cars max GVWR and like 500lbs more than I'll be including the tongue weight of the trailer so I'm good on that front. And it's something I've already considered but thanks for bringing it up so I could run the numbers again to verify.
What is the load rating on the wheels? I know some X guys run S wheels, but I don't know the actual load rating.
 

ChadS

Last tank of gas: March 2009
Jul 16, 2009
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Installing the Torklift Ecohitch on a 2012-2018 Model S is pretty easy. They have a video HERE that shows them installing one on my wife's 2012 S (which they used to design the ecohitch). The hardest part is probably removing and replacing the trim pieces; with that out of the way, it really just bolts on.

When the X came out (it didn't initially include a hitch as standard), I asked someone at Torklift and they claimed their S ecohitch would fit it with no modifications. However, years later I ran in to a Tesla owner that had spoken with a Tesla engineer that said they'd "learned a lot" from people putting hitches on the S, and the X was modified to handle it "properly". That was second-hand and I got no further details, so take it for what it's worth. I agree the two vehicles mostly have the same parts and if you are reasonably careful, towing with an S should be fine - there are certainly plenty of people that have reported doing so, and I can't recall hearing of any problems.

We only used ours for a bike rack, so I'm afraid I don't have any experience with towing with the S. We didn't have lights wired up either. Good luck.

Wait...you said Torklift, but are you getting the Ecohitch? They told me at the time (and their web site still says) that it's capacity is 200/2000lbs, but you were told twice that. They also told me the S "looked" like it could handle 2,000lbs, but of course there was no way for them guarantee that. They did strongly advise not going over 2,000.
 
What is the load rating on the wheels? I know some X guys run S wheels, but I don't know the actual load rating.
They are XL rated, I got the staggered setup so the fronts are 1,565lbs was and the rears are1,819lbs ea.
Installing the Torklift Ecohitch on a 2012-2018 Model S is pretty easy. They have a video HERE that shows them installing one on my wife's 2012 S (which they used to design the ecohitch). The hardest part is probably removing and replacing the trim pieces; with that out of the way, it really just bolts on.

When the X came out (it didn't initially include a hitch as standard), I asked someone at Torklift and they claimed their S ecohitch would fit it with no modifications. However, years later I ran in to a Tesla owner that had spoken with a Tesla engineer that said they'd "learned a lot" from people putting hitches on the S, and the X was modified to handle it "properly". That was second-hand and I got no further details, so take it for what it's worth. I agree the two vehicles mostly have the same parts and if you are reasonably careful, towing with an S should be fine - there are certainly plenty of people that have reported doing so, and I can't recall hearing of any problems.

We only used ours for a bike rack, so I'm afraid I don't have any experience with towing with the S. We didn't have lights wired up either. Good luck.

Wait...you said Torklift, but are you getting the Ecohitch? They told me at the time (and their web site still says) that it's capacity is 200/2000lbs, but you were told twice that. They also told me the S "looked" like it could handle 2,000lbs, but of course there was no way for them guarantee that. They did strongly advise not going over 2,000.
Yeah the website still says 2k lbs but when I called they said they were upgrading me for free to a stainless one and it was 4k lbs. But I'll never put that much weight because that's just crazy. I dono I'll see what the literature says when I open up the packaging.
 
Wheel load and tire load are different, but if you are using OEM the XL tire rating should be ok to go off of
Naw I use falken tires, the stock Michelin's are overpriced and not worth the money. If a manufacturer rates a tire to whatever rating it's legally required for that tire to handle that speed or load it's rated for. So if the tire is rated for 1,800 it probably fails around 2,000lbs.
 

ngng

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Jul 23, 2018
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Naw I use falken tires, the stock Michelin's are overpriced and not worth the money. If a manufacturer rates a tire to whatever rating it's legally required for that tire to handle that speed or load it's rated for. So if the tire is rated for 1,800 it probably fails around 2,000lbs.

No, what I am saying is the OEM wheel load should give you a good idea what your S can handle in regards to weight. Putting an XL rated tire on a wheel that is not physically rated for the load will result in the wheel failing even though your tire can handle the load.
 

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EbS-P

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Apr 21, 2022
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The only issue I could see is breaks. The S is a heavy car that even if the trailer loaded gets squirrely it won’t push the car around.

Breaks stopping an ICE when the trailer without breaks is 50% of the vehicle weight seems fine. You are less than 50% so even without trailer breaks as long as you are an altert driver you should be fine. Was looking at adding breaks to my trailer and the etrailer.com video I was watching mentioned some states require trailer breaks for any trailer of 1000#.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
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MA, NH
The S isn't rated for towing. I hate to ask, but have you considered trading your S for an X or even a Y - that trailer is easily within the capabilities of the Y. I Also replaced a 2014 S85 (twice...) and while it was painful to give up free supercharging and free connectivity, the upgrade was worthwhile.

The the same hitch for Model X is rated for Model S. It’s just not sold in the USA with that configuration option. See photo below of label on the OEM hitch.

Model S tows like a dream. I traded my Raven X for a Refresh S (with an OEM hitch).

The bigger problem is the Model S is not wired.

OP would be better off asking questions in the Model S Hitch threads since Model X owners don’t install their hitches.

You do need the main hitch and the receiver adapter. All discussed in the other threads.

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