Tesla trailer hitch differences per model and tow capacity
Image credits: Tesla

Tesla trailer hitch differences per model and tow capacity

Tesla did not offer a trailer hitch for their vehicles in the past but now there are some options that can be ordered ex vehicle production. But still a towbar is not available for every Tesla model. This article shows an overview of the possible variants with their advantages and disadvantages:

Model S

Original Tesla Model S trailer hitch ordered ex works

Tesla does not offer a trailer hitch for the Model S.

Retrofitted trailer coupling on Model S

Third-party manufacturers offer various retrofittable couplings for the Model S. Evannex, for example, has a product offer for a coupling useful for bikes in the US.

 

Model X

Original Tesla Model X trailer hitch ordered ex works

Until about mid-2018, the trailer hitch had to be selected as an option for the Model X. Since then it is standard equipment. A field report.

Retrofitted trailer coupling on model X

Tesla’s  tow hitch can be added afterwards. Check this thread on TMC-Forum.

 

Model 3

Original Tesla Model 3 trailer hitch ordered ex works

The trailer hitch for Model 3 has been available as an option when ordering the vehicle since 8.5. 2019. However, this only applies to Model 3 “long range” and “Standard range plus”. Model 3 Performance drivers unfortunately have to do without a real trailer hitch. However, certain Model 3 Performance base vehicles are also designed for an optional coupling with a towing capacity of up to 500 kg. These vehicles are performance models only available on request and are sold without performance packages such as 20 inch wheels, performance brakes, spoilers etc. It is basically a Model 3 “long range” with the performance of the performance model. And it is exactly this model that allows a reduced coupling with 500 kg towing capacity.

Retrofitted trailer coupling on Model 3

There are also Model 3 aftermarket offers.

 

Model Y

Original Tesla Model Y trailer hitch ordered ex works

When the model Y was launched in the USA, it was not yet available with a trailer coupling.  But in the meantime it can be selected in the configurator. In contrast to the Model 3, there will also be a trailer hitch for the normal performance version.

Retrofitted trailer hitch for model Y

Nothing is known about this yet.

 

Trailer tongue weight and towing capacity of the official Tesla trailer hitch

ModelMax trailer tongue weightTowing capacity
Model 3 Standard range and long range (Europe only)100 kg, but according to the manual for vertical loads (e.g. bicycle carrier) this is reduced to 54 kg with 18 and 19" tyres. (20 kg with 20" tyres)910 kg (braked)
750 kg (unbraked)
Model 3 Performance (Base version in Europe only)25 kg500 kg (braked)
Model X90 kg. However, according to the manual, this is reduced to 54 kg for vertical loads (e.g. bicycle carrier).2250 kg (braked)
Model Y19" : 159 kg
20" : 104 kg
21" : 159 kg
However, according to the manual, this is reduced to 72 kg for vertical loads (e.g. bicycle carrier).
19" 1,588 kg (braked)
20" 1,043 kg (braked)
21" 1,588 kg (braked)

These are the default values, which may also change. The manuals provide the most up-to-date information. Of course, other factors also change the tongue load in addition. For example, a Model 3 “Long Range” or “Standard Range Plus” with 20 inch rims offers less drawbar load than such a vehicle with original 18 or 19 inch tyres. If you do some internet research on this subject, you will find out that in the different Model 3 vehicle registration documents there are different values for drawbar load and trailer load. So far I could not find out why the registration authorities handle this so differently.

Warranty

The disadvantage of a trailer coupling from a third-party manufacturer is the loss of the vehicle warranty. With these conversions, the warranty is void on all parts that are worked on during the conversion. Basically Tesla sees a conversion as follows:
Any structural and/or electrical modification/intervention invalidates the warranty or even parts of the warranty.

In addition, you should pay close attention to a technical inspection agency approval of your country.

The alternative to the trailer coupling is maybe a roof rack for some field of application (for example for a bicycle rack).