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Utility trailer towing experience

Discussion in 'Model X: Driving Dynamics' started by Cosmacelf, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Today I used my Model X to tow a golf cart on a utility trailer about 110 miles. The trip was a bit of a torture trip for towing since it started in 89 degree heat and went up about 4,000 feet in elevation right away up a mountain road with switch backs. Then a longish up and down route of 55 to 60 mph highway driving, then 70 mph freeway driving. Attached is a picture of what I was towing, and what the trip meter looked like at the end ... I rolled in with 6 miles of range remaining!

    This trip normally uses about 130 rated miles. With the trailer, it used 240 rated miles. From looking at the energy graphs while driving, it seems the biggest range penalty was due to speed, not climbing. Climbing up the mountain had me going around 30-40 mph, and while energy usage was high, it was higher when I got onto the highway and was driving 60 mph. At one point, the last 30 minutes was averaging 980 watts per mile. The freeway was really bad too at 70 mph. If I had been worried about range, I would have throttled it back down to 55 mph and saved a lot of range.

    This particular utility trailer no doubt acts as a big wind break. I estimate that the trailer and load weighs just under 1,000 pounds.

    The other thing I was wondering about is how the car cooling system would handle the extra load. Well, the heat and pulling load and full AC didn't seem to bother it a bit. No power limiter came on.

    The X felt a little heavier pulling the trailer, but it still had plenty of torque and pickup.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Informative x 1
  2. loganintx

    loganintx Member

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    Did you arrive with 2% battery left?
    That golf cart roof and wind screen is definitely NOT aerodynamic ;) Maybe they should put dimples on the carts too
     
  3. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Yes, arrived with 2% (6 miles) left.
     
  4. Johann Koeber

    Johann Koeber Member

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    That is a really interesting report.

    1. it shows how the TESLA is optimised for low consumption: low friction bearings, low wind drag etc. Otherwise a relatively small trailer would not put such a penalty on range

    2. glad to hear that cooling sytem is up to tha task

    3. power is plenty

    Personally I look forward to electric trucks.
     
  5. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    Silly question possibly, but is there a reason you had the cart facing backwards on the trailer? Concerns on tongue weight? With it backwards, the cart windshield is acting like a big sail catching all that airflow. Even the canopy roof slightly angled down might be catching some of the airflow too. I would be very curious to see your results with the cart facing the other way.
     
  6. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    It was facing backwards since that is the only way to load it onto the trailer. The trailer isn't long enough for it to fit the other way. The back seat needs to overhang the trailer.

    Yeah, it isn't so much the size of the trailer, but it's really bad aerodynamics. Note that on the way out, with the freeway portion at the beginning of the trip, I drove much slower on the freeway, like between 55 and 65, and I even drafted a big rig or two for a little while. I arrived with much more range on that trip.

    I still would like to see a real pulling test, like pulling a 5,000 pound trailer up a mountain and see if the X is up to the task. So far so good though.
     
  7. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Wups the trip back was longer than I thought. It was actually 120 miles, which would have used about 145 rated miles without the trailer, versus the 240 rated that I used.
     
  8. loganintx

    loganintx Member

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    Ask and you shall receive:
     
  9. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Looks like that was all flat terrain, no hills.
     

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