Model X

Tow hitch dust cover

edited November -1 in Model X
Folks have wondered about the open tow hitch chamber on the X: you remove the plastic dust cover to install the tow hitch. Won't the compartment fill up with mud and schmutz?


The DIY fix?

Get a spare plastic dust cover. Not sold in stores! Sweet talk your dealer or service center into giving you a spare. (Ours asked for $2, then waived the fee after a glitchy repair...)

Drill a hole in the plate about 2.5" diameter centered over the center of the vertical tow hitch post as shown:

Takes about a minute with a Dremel.

You should be able to just barely work the hole over the wedge-shaped cross piece. The surface of the plate will fit in between the bottom of the wedge and the top of the rest of the tow hitch.

To install:

1. Set your car suspension height to "Very High."

2. Remove the dust cover. (Use a thin flat head screwdriver to pop loose the two plastic buttons and then snap out the cover).

3. Put the tow hitch through the holy dust cover. Using the key, "open" the tow hitch and rotate the knob forward to get it ready for insertion as usual.

4. Slide the back lip of the cover into place (in the rearmost part of the opening), positioning the hitch post. Snap the hitch into place, snap the dust cover hooks in place and pop the plastic buttons back in. Ready to roll.


  • edited November -1
    That's awesome! How did you cut the hole out in just the right spot? Thanks for sharing.
  • edited November -1
    Love it. Wish Tesla (or someone) would just make one of these that works! But answers my question if this kind of solution would work.
  • edited June 2017
    This is a great idea. It would require further modification if you are towing a trailer (need slots for the chains and wiring harness). I might look into this...
  • edited November -1
    Lilbean: quick and dirty. I drew with a sharpie on the receiver pipe, pressed the dust cover in place to mark the spot, and eyeballed it. I held the dremel in my right hand and the dust cover in my left...
  • edited November -1
    Thanks, mjhawly!
  • edited November -1
    Good write up and pic. Will have to try this when I get some time.
  • edited June 2017
    Mjhawley, would you mind measure the coordinate of the cut out hole relative to the cover please? Thanks so much!
  • edited June 2017
    I did notice just yesterday after a car wash, the opening isn't the lowest point of the chamber and potentially will collect water after a wash. I wonder if duct tape will seal and hold itself in place if no spare cover is available.
  • edited January 2019
    I just made the same modification on our Model X cover..It worked great. I located my hole by making a few cardboard covers and iterating on location and size. I found Mjhawley's size was spot on - 2.5" or 63mm diameter. From the edge of the cover that is closest to the front of the car, my hole edge starts at 52mm and extends to 115mm (so center at 83.5mm). It is centered right-to-left. The resulting setup is definitely a BIG improvement over having the vast hole.
    In regards to the concerns about water accumulation, the situation is still clearly better than having the hitch installed and no cover - which is no doubt a far more common setup and seemingly without reports of problems. I'd be surprised if there aren't some drain holes somewhere in the plastic underside.
  • edited April 2019
    I just did this today as well. Relatively easy to do. Simple measurements as described. I used a dremel to cut the hole.
    Tesla should really make this optional cover available for purchase
  • edited April 2019
    @mjhawley and dwaharvey You should send your info to Perhaps they will create covers as an aftermarket product.
  • edited November -1
    I Did send an email to EVannex a couple of months ago. No response. Let’s gang up and each/all email them.
  • edited April 2019
    Not meaning to rain on this parade, but how do you connect the electrical and the tow chains with this? This works great if you only use the receiver for bike carriers etc. If you tow, the best solution is still to remove the Bosal adapter and put the original cover back on when not towing.
  • edited November -1
    Now that I’ve thought it through more clearly it makes no sense to suggest EVannex get involved. They are not in the business of replicating Tesla parts and then modifying the part to suit this issue.
  • Looking to cut cover for hitch but the hole described in this thread does not work for our late 2018 model. It appears a simple circle will not work as shown here:

    Does anyone have measurements/template for cutting cover?
  • edited January 15
    How does one buy a replacement cover? Mine fell off or was stolen. Ebay has them for $65-90 plus $20 shipping, used. I couldn't find it on the Tesla site and the part numbers vary on the used items on Ebay.
  • edited January 18
    I would just go to a service center and have them order the part.
  • edited January 20
    Exactly what I did. $11 at SC. Arrived in reasonable time. Can’t find anyone with a dermal took. Too cheap to by one.
  • edited January 20
  • edited November -1
    So five months later a Collegue and I spent 3 plus hours following the dwaharey guidance of 1/7/'19 pretty much to the letter. We twice templated with cardboard to insure proper hole alignment. After drilling the 2.5 inch/63 mm hole in the original November 2018 X dust cover we slightly notched the hole at 3 & 9 o'clock to allow smooth passage of the cover over the triangular-shaped guides on the hitch. This allows the cover to be put back in place first and then the hitch inserted into it's receiver. There's a grease ladened cover in the receiver to be removed and stored before all this. "Green Grease" appears to be the type of non-resinous grease to use to maintain the hitch.
    End result, a pretty respectable tight fit. Didn't have to use/cut on the spare cover I ordered from the near-by Service Center back in October 2019 for $11. We didn't use a Demel tool since our loaner set had no saw. My Collegue had an hole saw ajustable up to 3 inches.
    Suggest practicing cocking and re-cocking the locking cylinder a time or two before actual install on the vehicle. It's a tough turn. Check out the instructions found/vicinity Pages 100 &101 of the 2020.4 Owner's Manual.
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