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Old 11-24-2021, 03:14 PM   #1
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Towing with our Tesla Model Y

Hi Everyone,

We recently got a dual motor Model Y with the trailer hitch option and towed our 184BH up to Big Bear California. There isn't a lot of information out there on average watt hour use for flat land and towing uphill so I wanted to share my experience.

Charged it up to 95% and drove 100 miles to the Supercharger with 30% battery remaining. Uses about 350-450 watt hours per mile on flat land. 15 min of charging will get you to 80% which would have been enough to make it to the campsite, but I didn't want to risk it with a 7,000 ft climb so I waited 45 min to get it to 95%. Biggest pain is unhitching, but it really only takes a few minutes. It was about 35 miles to campsite and we made it with 50% battery remaining. Used an average of 1500 watt hours per mile getting up that hill! We then plugged it in to our full hook up spot. Only charges at 5 miles per hour, but we were there for 5 days so it wasn't a problem.

On our way out, I charged it to 90% to give room to charge with regenerative braking. We made it off the mountain at 90%. I was hoping it would charge us up to 100% coming down the hill, but that wasn't the case. At least I didn't have to use my brakes coming down. We just drove straight home without supercharging so that was really nice.

So this will be the perfect TV for our local camping trips (Big Bear, Joshua Tree, Jalama Beach.) 15 minutes of supercharging is fine for us, but I hate unhitching! Some Superchargers have pull through spots and some will allow you to pull in sideways without unhitching if there is space.

Biggest con is the range. It's not going to work for anyone that doesn't have access to a Supercharger every 130 miles or so. Even less if you have a heavier trailer.

Biggest advantage is that it tows like a dream. There is so much torque that I can't feel the trailer when I accelerate. It was amazing to keep up with traffic during the 7000 ft climb. Our poor mini van revved pretty high to make it up that hill, so it was fun to do it silently with what seemed to be unlimited power.

Hope this information helps anyone considering towing with a tesla.
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Old 11-24-2021, 03:56 PM   #2
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Donít have a Tesla, but thatís a pretty cool report on how it worked out for you. Interesting stuff.
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:03 PM   #3
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Very interesting description. Thank you.

I'm not familiar with how the charging stations are set up. I'm assuming that you need to pull forward in to the charging stations as they are now correct? Would the use of a charger extension allow you get in and get charged without having to unhook the trailer? This one is 50-Amp rated and makes reference for use with electric vehicles.


https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Extensi...ustomerReviews

Again, just a thought, but it may allow you to get in and out of the charging station without having to unhook.
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:46 PM   #4
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That's great to worked out for you. But if PG&E decides they need to cut the power due to high winds or have rolling black fuel to power shortages would you still make it up an back?
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:54 PM   #5
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Very interesting description. Thank you.

I'm not familiar with how the charging stations are set up. I'm assuming that you need to pull forward in to the charging stations as they are now correct? Would the use of a charger extension allow you get in and get charged without having to unhook the trailer? This one is 50-Amp rated and makes reference for use with electric vehicles.


https://www.amazon.com/Camco-Extensi...ustomerReviews

Again, just a thought, but it may allow you to get in and out of the charging station without having to unhook.
I'm in sales and drive my Tesla all over northern and southern California. I've been to many Supercharging stations and they all require you to back into the spot. Aside from downtown Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, They are usually pretty empty which would allow me to pull in sideways to charge. I would have to block at least one other bay in the process though. The extension cord is a great idea though!
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Old 11-24-2021, 05:07 PM   #6
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That's great to worked out for you. But if PG&E decides they need to cut the power due to high winds or have rolling black fuel to power shortages would you still make it up an back?
I've been driving Tesla's all over California for a couple years now and I've never been stuck at a Supercharger because of a power outage. At home, we set the chargers to start after midnight, so no issue there either.

Our favorite camp spots have hook ups, so as long as the power comes back at some point, we would be fine. You bring up a really good point though. It would really put a damper on our trip if we had to wait for the power to come back. It can occasionally go out for over an hour where I live.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:39 PM   #7
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When I buy a new vehicle, my #1 concern is what's the towing capacity. Gasoline fuel mileage is about #11 on my top 10 must have list.

Also, I see Teslas can be a bit pricey. For those that own one I would have to ask if they are actually cost effective? In other words, when you pay big bucks to buy it, and of course you save tons of money not having to buy gas, but when you add the cost of electric usage at your house, what would be the cost comparison if you bought a similar auto (cheaper capital of course) but put gas in it instead?

I understand its more than cost, (and I AM a tree hugger) because we want to keep the planet clean, but in my case my local power is generated from a coal fired power plant, if that makes an difference.
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:10 PM   #8
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Check out Can Am RV online. They tow TT's with a Tesla and have written articles about this.
https://www.canamrv.ca/blog/post/tes...tream-trailer/
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:25 PM   #9
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We went to Carls Jr. today for lunch. They have a Tesla charging station there with about 6 chargers. All were occupied, with about another 8 cars waiting. While inside getting burgers a couple of “T” driver were complaining they had been there an hour and a half and were next in line for a charger, hopefully within the next hour.

Geez, what a waste of time just to save a few bucks on gas! Every hour waiting just increases your trip time to a ridiculous amount. One car had three little kids in it…imagine how that trip must have been!

How did the cold weather at Big Bear affect your batteries?

Might be a great idea someday, but I have no interest in jockeying for a charger every couple of hours.
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:45 PM   #10
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This is the first I have read about pulling with a Tesla! Great post! I am excited to get more data on trailering with EVs.
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Old 11-24-2021, 08:05 PM   #11
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Great thread from someone who hardly ever sees an electric vehicle, but is interested in the towing aspect of electric vehicles and how it will change traditional rv'ing.
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:15 PM   #12
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That's great to worked out for you. But if PG&E decides they need to cut the power due to high winds or have rolling black fuel to power shortages would you still make it up an back?
Not that I think electric vehicles are ready for towing but, how would you pump gas/diesel if the power was off?
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Old 11-24-2021, 09:54 PM   #13
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Not that I think electric vehicles are ready for towing but, how would you pump gas/diesel if the power was off?
It is actually fairly common in the south east for example for fuel stations to have backup power. Florida and Louisiana actually have had code in place for many years that requires fuel stations near hurricane evacuation routes to have generator backup power.

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2011/rpt/2011-R-0389.htm

I'm not sure how common it is in other areas of the country however.
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Old 11-24-2021, 11:03 PM   #14
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Very interesting and informative. Thanks!
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Old 11-25-2021, 07:49 AM   #15
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It is common in the North also. After the ice storm of 98 many stations put in permanent backup power. Or kept a large one in the back to pull out.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:02 AM   #16
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Backup power generators are getting pretty common in the southeast. Many private homes and businesses have it in addition to hospitals, communications and other essential business.
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Old 11-25-2021, 08:54 AM   #17
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Here's the answer for electric vehicles- exchangable batteries. You pull into a certified battery station, they roll yours out with a pallet jack, and roll a fresh one in. You're refueled in a minute!

It solves the waiting problem, and helps with the grid problem. Only the stations need the massive power connections, not the entire grid.
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Old 11-25-2021, 10:46 AM   #18
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Actually the solution long term is wireless charging as you drive down the road.

https://grist.org/transportation/mic...charging-road/
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:04 AM   #19
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It's amazing how things come full circle in life. Nearly 140 years ago the first electric streetcars powered by overhead wires were the future of transportation. The tracks from the streetcars in our local town were still evident when I was a kid. The system had already been shut down by then, but my father still speaks fondly of when he road on them as a kid. Now were are looking at roadways that will power a car.


https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/frank-sprague
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Old 11-25-2021, 11:17 AM   #20
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Beings back fond memories of growing up in Portland, OR. Streetcars were everywhere, fast, quiet, and cheap. Plus, when we got bored we would sneak up behind one, pull on the rope going to the trolley and pull it off the wire, then run! The operator would make a few choice comments putting it back on the wire as it was holding up traffic.
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