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Old 10-14-2017, 05:55 PM   #1
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Towing 19 or 17 with Tesla X?

Has anybody had experience towing an Escape 19 or 17 with a Tesla Model X? If so, does it work well? What kind of decrease in range have you seen with towing a camper this size? Thank you.
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Old 10-14-2017, 05:59 PM   #2
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Has anybody had experience towing an Escape 19 or 17 with a Tesla Model X? If so, does it work well? What kind of decrease in range have you seen with towing a camper this size? Thank you.
Ann, you will probably have more luck with an online google search, as no one here has yet reported anything about that Tesla. This showed up on my search: Tesla Model X Range Impact When Towing

If you do tow with one, please post about your experiences!
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:05 PM   #3
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Thanks; it's all a fairly new field, so we will be sure to do that. Just in the planning stages now for both the X and camper. We currently have an S, and the range decreases with a rocket box or bikes on top by up to 30% with headwinds. Have heard from an X owner that their range with a tear-drop style camper was about 50-60% of normal. We also have an F-150, so can use that if the range decrease would be so great that we couldn't reach the chargers... but it sure is nice to not have to use gas if we don't have to!
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:22 PM   #4
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Ann, one serious limiting factor would be that you would always have to travel only where you could be assured of getting a charge when needed. If you ever wanted to camp in places without electricity available, you would need one heck of a lot of solar to get the Tesla back up to charge, or carry a generator large enough to recharge it.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:30 PM   #5
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The manufacturer of a much smaller trailer (the Happier Camper HC1) posted videos about Edmund's trial of towing with a Model X, in FiberglassRV.com:
Tesla towing HC1
Tessla towing HC1 part 3
The general comment from Edmunds is that a trailer cuts range in half, but in fact that depends on multiple factors, including the size of the trailer.

The discussion of the final installment included an image of the vehicle's display, showing a consumption average over the trip of 521 Wh/mile. You can compare that to your normal highway consumption to see what the effect of this small trailer might be; for instance, if you use 350 Wh/mile normally, this is 50% more consumption and so two-thirds of the range.

One could hop from fully-serviced (50 amp) campsite to the next, as long as you don't want to drive for more than a couple of hours between sites. This seems like a horribly hobbled mode of recreational travel to me. The Edmunds video is based on the idea of using Superchargers, but those don't exist in areas which are desirable to me for travel.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:45 PM   #6
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Thank you for those links. Yes, using an EV makes one dependent on charging availability, and does take more time. With our S, we're typically stopping every couple hours to charge for 30 min. or so - enough time to usually walk around a little bit and go to the bathroom. The number of Superchargers is increasing rapidly, but you still have to map it out and make sure it's feasible, esp if towing or carrying a load that will decrease the range. If one is staying at a campsite that has electricity, you could fully charge the car back up. For any longer backcountry trips, we'd use the F-150.
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Old 10-14-2017, 06:54 PM   #7
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I would think that the stress of worrying where and how you were going to charge the vehicle would take all the fun out of the trip. Places I camp don't have power or other services.
Even if there were chargers on the route, I can't imagine what I would do in Despair, BC for an hour and 14 minutes while 'fueling up'.
If you watch the video at the link Brian posted, there are stats at the end credits.
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:23 PM   #8
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Thanks; that goes along with the stats the TeslaX Canada folks posted with their Alto 1713 - about 50% expected range. Good to know you can take these campers off the main drag and into the backcountry! Do they handle dirt mountain roads fairly well - as long as it's not too gnarly 4WD roads?
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:24 PM   #9
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Scratch at least 90% of the National Parks from your camping futures list, unless you are one of the lucky few to get one of the few powered sites. But still, I'm curious to hear what you find out
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Old 10-14-2017, 07:45 PM   #10
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For those that own Escapes, do you feel they are fairly aerodynamic? Do you notice them much when you're towing them? What kind of mileage drop do you have when towing? Thanks
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:25 PM   #11
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I do not understand the rationale behind the electric cars as a means of conserving energy, where does one think the electricity comes from in recharging? There is a big coal plant somewhere belching out extra smoke to meet the increased electric demand. I was shocked to see in Wyoming the strip mines on one side of the highway, desecrating the landscape to send coal under the road to an electric generating plant on the other side of the road to produce electricity to fuel a refinery that pumps the natural gas out of the ground!! It seems the cheapest alternative causes the most destruction.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:26 PM   #12
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For those that own Escapes, do you feel they are fairly aerodynamic? Do you notice them much when you're towing them? What kind of mileage drop do you have when towing? Thanks
Ann, Towing an Escape 21' with our F-150 V8, we drop 6-8 mpg when towing depending on how hilly it is. Drops more over 65 mph, towing or not. But we're never in a hurry, so that's not a problem for us....
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:29 PM   #13
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Towing and gas efficiency is like an oxymoron as in giant shrimp or was that army intelligence, I get them confused.
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:33 PM   #14
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Jim - some of the Superchargers are solar-powered, and more are being built that way. We are converting to all solar this year, and the solar panels along with the power wall battery will completely power all of our house electricity needs as well as charge 2 Teslas.

Thank you, War Eagle, for your stats. Do you average around 15+ mpg with your F150 without towing?
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:39 PM   #15
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I do not understand the rationale behind the electric cars as a means of conserving energy, where does one think the electricity comes from in recharging? There is a big coal plant somewhere belching out extra smoke to meet the increased electric demand. I was shocked to see in Wyoming the strip mines on one side of the highway, desecrating the landscape to send coal under the road to an electric generating plant on the other side of the road to produce electricity to fuel a refinery that pumps the natural gas out of the ground!! It seems the cheapest alternative causes the most destruction.
Perhaps this is a self-centered perspective, but the cost of generating electricity (financial and environmental) is shared by many and cheap to the individual (are Tesla charging station still free?). But the cost of gasoline is hard-earned greenbacks out of my wallet every time I pull into a gas station. For what it's worth, my electricity comes from fresh river water flowing through a turbine in a hydro-electric dam built on the beautiful Tallapoosa River. My wife and I fish and kayak within a few hundred yards of where it's being generated. No black smoke, no desecrated landscape. Just beautiful scenery (if you ignore the big power transmission lines leaving the generator facility) and great fishing. Just saying....
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Old 10-14-2017, 08:41 PM   #16
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Guess you can always take a nap in the trailer while the Tesla is charging.
I'm also wondering about the line-ups at charging stations as EV becomes more popular, encouraged by government programs.
A local grocery has room for two vehicles at the charging station. Watched a couple plug in their BMW at the one remaining spot and then leave the property.
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:01 PM   #17
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Regarding whether or not charging at Tesla stations is "free" ... "not really". It is built into the cost of the car, and Musk/Tesla is paying for the electricity, unless he's got some deal going with the property owner (such as a hotel), where they've determined the increase in customers due to the chargers has given him/her a profit above what the electricity costs - and then the property owner may pay for that. With all of the new 3's coming out, there will be no free supercharging - so they'll pay as they go. The vast majority of the other chargers we've charged at have been a money-making venture for whoever owned it - such as $5 access fee, x amount per minute or hour of charging, etc. Still cheaper than a tank of gas, but not free. Have not had any maintenance costs at all with 50K miles on it so far; hopefully that continues!
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:47 PM   #18
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With regards to EV's, the performance at altitude as well as the regenerating brakes are huge pluses. No drop in speed or performance due to increasing altitude. We train on the trails at the top of Pikes Peak fairly often through the summer, so we'll drive the Tesla to the top (~20 miles from about 6500' to 14,115') and get some long workouts on top of the peak between 12-14,000'. Coming down, there is a mandatory brake check about 1/2 way down, as many people who drive to the top don't know they should downshift when descending to not overheat their brakes. Many cars are pulled over there to cool off as a result. With regenerating brakes, you slow down as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator, such that even with steep switchbacks, you don't have to touch your brakes at all, and even have to slightly accelerate between switchbacks so as to not come to a complete stop. Our brakes are typically only 1-5 degrees above air temperature at the brake check point - the last time, our brakes were 62 degrees and air temp was 61 degrees. It will be interesting to find out if the added weight of a camper will add to the regeneration of miles when descending, or if one will need to apply brakes more when going downhill... not that we'd tow a camper to the top of PP, but with other mountain passes, etc.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:02 PM   #19
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(are Tesla charging station still free?)
No...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnL View Post
Regarding whether or not charging at Tesla stations is "free" ... "not really". It is built into the cost of the car, and Musk/Tesla is paying for the electricity, unless he's got some deal going with the property owner (such as a hotel), where they've determined the increase in customers due to the chargers has given him/her a profit above what the electricity costs - and then the property owner may pay for that. With all of the new 3's coming out, there will be no free supercharging - so they'll pay as they go.
Elon Musk has never paid for anything at Tesla Motors. The company loses money (in the hundreds of millions of dollars) every year - thousands of dollars for every car sold - and the loses are made up by additional investors buying stock and by taxpayers providing subsidies.

Even before the Model 3, unlimited included Supercharging had already ended - there have been various deals; apparently the deal now here in Alberta is that the purchase price of the car (Model S or presumably Model X) includes an annual credit for 400 kWh (enough for an average person to drive for a month) and the rest is charged at higher-than-market rates. I believe that the assumption is that owners will charge at home, and use public charging stations or Superchargers (which are certainly not for general public use) only for unusually long trips.

There is a Supercharger about 40 km (25 miles) from my home, the next one is a couple hundred kilometres away, and someone going to the nearest major national park destination (Jasper) will find no Superchargers within 300 km of Jasper.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:13 PM   #20
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With regards to EV's, the performance at altitude as well as the regenerating brakes are huge pluses. No drop in speed or performance due to increasing altitude. We train on the trails at the top of Pikes Peak fairly often through the summer, so we'll drive the Tesla to the top (~20 miles from about 6500' to 14,115') and get some long workouts on top of the peak between 12-14,000'. Coming down, there is a mandatory brake check about 1/2 way down, as many people who drive to the top don't know they should downshift when descending to not overheat their brakes. Many cars are pulled over there to cool off as a result. With regenerating brakes, you slow down as soon as you take your foot off the accelerator, such that even with steep switchbacks, you don't have to touch your brakes at all, and even have to slightly accelerate between switchbacks so as to not come to a complete stop. Our brakes are typically only 1-5 degrees above air temperature at the brake check point - the last time, our brakes were 62 degrees and air temp was 61 degrees. It will be interesting to find out if the added weight of a camper will add to the regeneration of miles when descending, or if one will need to apply brakes more when going downhill... not that we'd tow a camper to the top of PP, but with other mountain passes, etc.
My tow is a Tacoma but our other car is a Prius that also has regenerative braking. We have experienced similar results on long steep downhill roads such as dropping into SteamBoat Springs off rabbit ears pass.

I would be very interested in your results with the X. For comparison, I get 19-20 MPG in my 2016 Tacoma on road trips at 65-70 MPH. When towing my 2013 19' Escape under similar conditions, my milage drops to 14.8 MPG average. Hills don't affect my milage as much as headwinds. This June I was traveling westbound across southern Idaho against pretty steady winds and my milage dropped to 10.5 MPG.

Electric motors have amazing low-end torque so I would expect no issues pulling hills. But head winds would certainly impact range.
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