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Model 3 tow hitch pictures

Model 3 tow hitch pictures

Hey guys,

Received my M3 today, LR AWD, just great, everything works, acceleration is insane, scared my wife.

I'm probably one of the first to receive the tow hitch in Europe, I received the offer 1 week after placing my order on April 29th. So I thought I'd share some pics:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/cJ1R7yii82bEPhJJ9

It's made by Westfalia. It comes in a nice case and has a lock with 2 red keys.
Picture 3 shows in which position must be the knob in order to insert it.
There is a plastic panel under the car, twist the 2 screws with a coin and the panel pops right out.
Remove the insert from the hole.
Insert the hitch all the way in until it clicks into position, at which position you can turn the small red key 180 degrees to lock and remove it.
Fairly standard. Last pic shows the electric socket.

Spartan24 | 15 juin 2019

Looks good. Thanks for sharing.
What do you plan to tow?

gmr6415 | 15 juin 2019

I thought the manual stated that the M3 couldn't be used for towing. Is it now approved by Tesla?

Towing a Trailer

Warning: Do not use Model 3 for towing purposes. Model 3 does not currently support towing. Towing can cause damage and increase the risk of a collision.

Caution: Using Model 3 for towing before Tesla-approved towing components and accessories are available may void the warranty.

nigeltm3 | 15 juin 2019

looks good for bike rack.

Renfren | 15 juin 2019

I too ordered the tow hitch. Thanks for sharing. Are you in the U.K.?

nigeltm3 | 15 juin 2019

i just checked the Tesla app on my phone and it says in the support section the following:
'the model 3 tow hitch is capable of towing trailers, ski and bike carriers that weigh up to 910 kilograms'

have fun!

Hugues1965 | 15 juin 2019

Towing my trailer to take out garden stuff and my motorbike sometimes.

@gmr6415 It's a new option Tesla is rolling out, it was offered to me one week after I ordered in May, I think it's available in Europe for now, I'm in Switzerland. Can tow 910 kgs.

jefjes | 15 juin 2019

Looks nice and it looks like a Tesla option from the pictures. I'll be watching to see if it becomes an item in the Tesla online store and maybe can be installed at a Tesla service center.

FISHEV | 15 juin 2019

910kg/2000# is great. Gotta get me one of those. I wonder when they'll allow US Tesla owners to put it on.

greg | 15 juin 2019

It's an EU only thing for now.
And is a "can only be installed by the Factory"
option i.e. No retrofitting - for now.

Might be like that due to EU regulations.

And is in short supply.

greg | 15 juin 2019

@Hugues1965

I have some questions on your towbar pictures.

1. Is there a place on the thing where the trailer safety chain (usually via a shackle) can attach to the tow hitch anywhere as is required by some countries?

2. The electrical connection socket - is that a standard EU "trailer" hook up socket or will you need a special plug and wiring to convert the wiring to enable you to plug in trailers and such?
[and does the Tesla come with such a plug, or do they assume that most trailers will just plug in?

My only comment would be how weatherproof the connection will be due to road spray and such if its located where it is.

All up it looks like it will do the job thats for sure.

FISHEV | 15 juin 2019

“It's an EU only thing for now.”

Euro’s get all the good stuff, CCS port, trailer hitches vs. their bumpkin US cousins.

twistedskipper | 15 juin 2019

Of course, we did (USA) get the Model 3 itself a year and half before Europe, so there's that.

hugh | 15 juin 2019

Can't wait for Tesla to release the hitch in the States so I can use a rear-mount bike rack instead of needing to ruin the range -and the lines - with a more-or-less permanent roof-rack.

rhj | 16 juin 2019

Thanks for the photos, and happy tows

Hugues1965 | 16 juin 2019

@Greg

1- Indeed I forgot to mention this. On the 5th picture in the album I shared you can see a black metal loop on each side of the hitch. This is where you can attach the trailer safety chain.

2- The car came installed with the 13 pins connector we can see on picture 10. It does fit the 13 pin connector on my trailer. I'm not a specialist on this but that seems to be the standard connector in Europe. Seems to correspond to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_standards_for_trailer_connectors
My trailer connector has the same 13 pins but only 7 are used.

peterjamescorrigan | 16 juin 2019

Do you know the maximum towball weight of the tow hitch?

Hugues1965 | 16 juin 2019

@peterjamescorrigan
I checked my online user manual (EUR version) and I see towing capacity = 910 kgs and Maximum Tongue Weight = 91 kgs. Funny enough, this is for 18" and 19" wheels, for 20" it says towing currently unavailable.

I've added the towing capacity and pin connections to the album linked in my first post, link again:
ttps://photos.app.goo.gl/cJ1R7yii82bEPhJJ9

FISHEV | 16 juin 2019

"towing capacity = 910 kgs and Maximum Tongue Weight = 91 kgs."

10% tongue weight which is a US standard. EU standard is 2-4% tonque weight.

It looks like they built it to US higher tongue weight standard but then only offer it to EU customers. Good news there is it is set for US standards so should be available in US soon.

I'd totally buy a Tesla trailer hitch and Tesla CCS port conversion. Money to made there if Tesla is smart.

PECo CT | 16 juin 2019

+1 @FISHEV

Sparky | 16 juin 2019

What was the cost of the option?

greg | 16 juin 2019

@sparky

Its about $950 Euro or so. For the towbar.

It may seem a bit pricey, but it covers extensive installation processes in the factory.
Which for a normal towbar you either DIY it or pay some to do it. Plus certification afterwards.

So represents a good value if you want a towbar.

Sparky | 16 juin 2019

@greg. Yep, good value. Thanks!

peterjamescorrigan | 16 juin 2019

@Hugues1965
Thanks for that, that’s what I had hoped.

sosmerc | 17 juin 2019

Hopefully towing option will appear soon in the U.S. An official Tesla recommendation of max towing capacity for 2000 lbs would be awesome.

greg | 17 juin 2019

Oddly enough seems that (a) Performance Model 3's in Europe can't get the tow option (only SR+ and LR AWDs)

Either because of, or as well as (b) Model 3s with 20 inch wheels can't have towing added
Also wonder if the sheer acceleration of a performance might rip the tow bar off the vehicle due to acceleration?

And there seems to be a limited number of tow packages available - as many of the RHD folks (like those in AUS/NZ and no doubt the UK too) want it, but its only offered in the EU at the moment. Supposedly due to limited availability from the supplier.

So how soon the option will open up for more countries? I don't know.

But I do wonder if its a little more complicated than bolting the thing to the cars frame. Like the Torklift one is.

Seems there is electrical wiring, cutouts in the under tray area, and maybe suspension tweaks to handle the additional weight on the rear of the car both downwards and from behind.

I figure this because the "you can't add it later" note is made plain to all who are configuring new Model 3s in the EU. Seems that its not a DIY (or professional after market installer) product. Yet this manufacturer routinely ships to third party installers for other brands without problems. Including EU countries. So its not a "car is not certifiable if tow bar not factory installed" issue I think.

[part A]

greg | 17 juin 2019

[Part B]

The 910 kg maximum towing limit is about 2000 pounds. That is also stated as the maximum in the EU configurator and also in the Australian vehicle registration data Telsa provided to the Australian government agencies for the RHD Model 3s.

Both EU and AUS data say an un-braked trailer can only have a maximum weight (technically its actually "a mass") of 750 kg or about 1700 pounds. Compared to 910 kg when braked.

Maximum Tongue weight is 10% of the maximum towing weight. i.e. 91 kg, around 200 pounds.

Our Swiss friend the OP who has one could may be check/comment if his car has more options on the menu or maybe different firmware levels compared to the others?

And yeah I would like one for my RHD car - mainly for bike racks and light towing. But not going to wait forever either.

Hugues1965 | 18 juin 2019

@greg
I'm on 2019.16.3.2
When you ask if I have more options on the menu, you mean which menu ? Sorry i'm still new to these screens, still discovering. Saw a button for a 2g thruster the other day, but not sure what it was, so I did not activate it.

dbkerr | 22 juillet 2019

Hello Hugues1965. I'm doing a Model 3 article for CleanTechnica that, among other things, compares hitch connectors that the U.S. has to offer versus Europe. I would like to use two of your photos to show the difference. I would provide credit to you in the article, of course. Would that be okay with you?

peter.cowburn | 13 février 2020

I got my Tesla M3 SR+ in Sept 19 and it has 91Kg nose weight and 1000KG (2200lbs) tow weight. It is the Westfalia tow bar with the 13pin connector. I tow a Lunar Ariva caravan rated at 950Kg.
It uses about 400Wh per mile towing that weight so in effect halves the range of the M3 to approx 100 miles..