Towing spec question

Towing spec question

Hi All,
I have this question out to Tesla but haven't heard back yet and need an answer quickly. Figured there might be some towing experts on here with actual experience already using a wd hitch on the model X under the same circumstances I have. Certainly not going to risk damage to the car or my family so would want to be certain this scenario is safe and effective.

My scenario:
Have a 4900 lb trailer with a starting tongue weight of 678 lbs.

Manual confirms trailer weight is under limit but tongue weight is over 500 max.

But the trailer comes with a weight distributing hitch which effectively increases the normal 500 tongue weight rating on a class III hitch to 1000 lbs.

I understand Tesla cannot account for all trailer set ups going on beyond the car and hitch receiver but I am hoping you can confirm that the Tesla class III hitch is built and supplied to the same specs as the industry standard class III hitch, confirming for me that I can treat it the same way as all other cars and set ups with class III hitches i.e. The same weight distribution hitches mentioned will work the same way to effectively lower the hitch weight within acceptable limits.

darlin | 15 giugno 2016

Your trailer is at the X's limit empty. Not sure what you are planning on towing on the trailer, but you are out of spec every way possible.

vperl | 15 giugno 2016

You mean 5000 pounds with 20 inch wheels is the limit ? Gee whiz.. guess I should have known, me bad .

Color me informed..

Big Hat Theory

c3 | 15 giugno 2016

@Reedmadd You will likely have to stop for charging every 2 - 2.5 hours of driving with that kind of load. Each time you will need to hitch and unhitch your rig to gain access to the supercharger. If you are travelling any distance you may find it very cumbersome. I do not believe that long distance trailering with the MX is practical.

Reedmadd | 15 giugno 2016

Thanks. Travel trailer. Only 80 miles each way with RV charge onsite. Was asking about tongue weight capacity and effect of wd really as I know the range will suck but have that covered. Cheers.

DonS | 15 giugno 2016

My concern is that since Tesla doesn't have any spec for a weight distributing hitch, that they may not have planned for the way such a hitch applies torque to the hitch frame so that some of the tongue weight is carried by the front wheels. Although it would probably work fine, I would really prefer to have Tesla confirm it first. Also, the GCWR means you would have to be careful about loading too much in the X.

bruce | 27 giugno 2018

On a related front: I want to put an aluminum cargo carrier in my hitch receiver and load a few hundred pounds of suitcases on it. Owners manual (pg 75) states vertical load is limited to 120 lbs. Then it states tongue weight is limited to 500 lbs (pg 76 for my 20" tires). I don't understand the discrepancy here. What's the difference between vertical load and tongue weight? Can I throw a few hundred pounds of cases on a cargo rack? Thanks!

davidahn | 27 giugno 2018

Bike rack for me; a little disconcerting to see the 120 lb limit, as my rack (Kuat NV2 w/ 4 bike capacity) weighs 82 lbs, leaving only 38 lbs for 4 bikes.

davidahn | 27 giugno 2018

@bruce, you're right, odd that for a bike rack (example given in manual) it's 120 lbs, exceeding it "could cause significant damage," but for a trailer, 500 lbs tongue weight is cool.

johnse | 28 giugno 2018

Think about the moment arm for a trailer vs a bike carrier or travel rack. The 500 lb of a 5000 lb trailer (10% tongue weight) is less than a foot from the attachment point. Add a 2’ deep rack and put 500 lb out there and it’s the same torsion as 1500 lb at the hitch.

120 May be a conservative value depending on the distribution of the weight...but it makes sense.

Tropopause | 29 giugno 2018

Good point, johnse. It's similar to jumping up and down on the hitch vs jumping up and down on a crow bar attached to the hitch. Your weight is the same but the moment arm (leverage) is greater.

Uncle Paul | 29 giugno 2018

Remember, the frame on the Model X is aluminum. Most heavy duty trailer haulers will have a sturdy steel frame and cross members.

I have used my hitch to pull a trailer and also to carry an aluminum cargo carrier, but certaintly carried far less than 500 lbs. on it. Mostly large bulky items, but not that heavy.

If you are thinking about pulling a 5,000 lbs trailer while also carrying a full family and all their luggage and camping stuff you are really pushing it. Gotta lighten up :)

Your trailer may weigh just 4,900 lbs.empty, but people tend to also load it up further with water, propane, food, drinks, glasses and dishes, clothing in the closet, bedding, plus maybe adding a generator, camp chairs, family dog, etc.

davidahn | 29 giugno 2018

Thanks, @johnse. Forgot about the torque arm. Should load the heaviest bike closest to the receiver, lightest bike farthest out.