Tesla towing

The Long Haul: Are Teslas Good For Towing?

Many people have posted videos to social media showing how fast and sleekly designed Teslas are. But what about practical matters, like towing capacity? 

A recent report from Motor Trend delved into the matter, looking at what the Model Y, Model 3, Model X, and Model S were capable of. And based on their findings, any Tesla owner looking to maximize their vehicle’s towing capacity must be willing to spend some extra money.    

The Tesla Model X

The Model X, the bigger of the company’s two SUV offerings, comes with a tow package. Tesla rates the Model X for a towing capacity of around 5,000 pounds. Its tow package includes:

  • A steel tow bar.
  • A two-by-two-inch tow hitch receiver.
  • A built-in electrical connection.

Tesla also included a unique ball mount as part of their towing package. “trailer mode” software also operates the electrical connection when someone attaches a trailer to the vehicle. The Model X additionally has extra wiring built into power carriers that come with lights for when someone is towing bikes, for example. 

However, Tesla recommends that Model X drivers who wish to tow over 1,000 pounds purchase trailer brakes. The controller for these brakes is an aftermarket accessory that owners must pay to purchase and install. Additionally, installing this brake controller requires buying and installing a separate component (a four-pin pigtail connector) under the driver’s side footwell. 

Maxing out the Model X’s 5,000-pound towing range requires Tesla owners to outfit their vehicles with the proper tiers. For example, a Model X with 275/450R20 rear tires, with a tire pressure of 46 psi cold, can tow 5,000 pounds. Meanwhile, a Model X sporting 285/35R22 rear tires, with a tire pressure of 50 psi cold, will max out around 3,500 pounds. 

Tesla also notes that towing heavy loads will decrease the vehicle’s driving range because additional weight increases energy consumption. 

The Tesla Model Y

Tesla’s other SUV option does not come with a standard towing package. However, a Model Y owner looking to haul items must purchase a tow package from Tesla consisting of a steel tow bar, a two-by-two-inch tow hitch receiver, wiring necessary to power trailer lights, and the software for installing “trailer mode.” In all, this package costs around $1,300. Someone must purchase the appropriate ball mounts to connect the square receiver with various trailers separately. The Model Y’s maximum towing capacity is around 3,500 pounds. 

The Tesla Model 3 And Model S

The Tesla Model 3 is not factory-ready to accommodate any towing hitch in the United States. However, there are aftermarket towing packages that Model 3 owners can purchase if they want their vehicle to tow something. There are towing options available for the Model 3 in the European Union, where the Model 3 has a maximum towing capacity of 1,653 pounds. 

The Model S is also not factory-ready to accommodate any towing hitch in the United States. As with the Model 3, people can purchase many towing packages online if they want to haul things with their Model S. In Europe, the Model S does come ready for towing equipment, but owners must buy those packages separately. The Model S can tow up to 3,500 pounds with the correct ball coupling. 

So, Teslas can have solid towing capacity with the right equipment and aftermarket purchases. However, for more heavy-duty hauling needs, the Cybertruck is a better bet (that’s if you insist on using a Tesla for the job.)   

Author: Jarret Hendrickson

Similar Posts