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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally had a good reason to hitch the trailer up to the car and did about 35 miles of towing for a friend that's moving house at the weekend. Fitting the tow ball and getting the electrical connector is a bit of a faff but it works fine. I'm sure I'll get quicker and more at ease with it. I've cut the foam to allow a towball cover to fit in the padding rather than get grease everywhere. It makes me think they didn't expect a greased ball...

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Quite pleased to find I can still comfortably plug in with the trailer attached although there's a small apple tree that's in jeopardy behind the tailgate. -5C soak overnight and ice on the back roads to make it a more interesting test.

I don't think I've read much about the hitch being used for anything more than a bike rack but I would say that the car makes an excellent tow vehicle (albeit up to the 900kg limit - which is 1000kg on the registration document). The trailer is unbraked so only rated up to 750kg all up weight anyway which is perfect for the Model 3.

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Even with acceleration bursts in 'normal' driving I don't think I've seen the energy graph anywhere near 900Wh/mile before. Average energy consumption over the 35 miles was around 550Wh/mile which is 57% higher than my running average. The trailer does have a full ramp tailgate and I'm considering make a mesh tailgate to reduce the losses a bit. I don't think weight will be the issue with this car.

No idea if 'tow mode' was doing any assistance and there's no AP in tow mode which seems reasonable.

The battery was definitely fully warmed up by the end of this and I think it's only the second time I've seen the regen bar with no dots.

All in all, a good experience and a confident tow car.
 

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Nice. Yea I'm sure the ramp at the back doesn't help at all with the aero, and mesh sides probably cause a fair bit of drag too.
I'm tempted to get a small trailer for runs to the tip. at the moment the Leaf is the rubbish run car, which is OK until one of the leather seats gets ripped.
Did you have a cover over it at all? would be interesting to see if stretching a tarp over to sort out the aero makes any difference.
From pulling a light caravan with an X I found it halved the range, so I'm sure there's a big hit on towing anything but reducing drag must help as rolling resistance alone shouldn't reduce range that much.
 

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I'm tempted to get a small trailer for runs to the tip. at the moment the Leaf is the rubbish run car, which is OK until one of the leather seats gets ripped.
Did you have a cover over it at all? would be interesting to see if stretching a tarp over to sort out the aero makes any difference.
From pulling a light caravan with an X I found it halved the range, so I'm sure there's a big hit on towing anything but reducing drag must help as rolling resistance alone shouldn't reduce range that much.
FWIW I have a covered-top tip-running trailer as described and in short runs (no more than ~30mi) I've not seen more than a ~7% Wh/mi increase on the MX. About 4 data points though, so I really need to go a bit further with something heavier to get a proper idea of impact...
 

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How can the limit be 910kg (as advertised) but the registration document is 1000kg? I’m looking at towing a small caravan with a 3LR with oem tow hitch. Only caravan suitable for me on the market is 900kg mtplm. Which is within spec. Another thing I don’t understand is that the oem electrics do not have the pin for brakes. But the manual says you can’t tow anything more than 750kg unbraked. This doesn’t seem to stack up...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
How can the limit be 910kg (as advertised) but the registration document is 1000kg? I’m looking at towing a small caravan with a 3LR with oem tow hitch. Only caravan suitable for me on the market is 900kg mtplm. Which is within spec. Another thing I don’t understand is that the oem electrics do not have the pin for brakes. But the manual says you can’t tow anything more than 750kg unbraked. This doesn’t seem to stack up...
The car is sold as having a tow capacity of 910kg but on the registration document it's listed as 1000kg (not totally clear which one trumps the other here). The 750kg limit comes from the UK regulations on unbraked trailers which limits the all up mass of an unbraked trailer to 750kg. Braked trailers can exceed this depending on your license, tow vehicle weight and tow capacity.

The manual linked to my account online is the US-en version which basically says Don't Tow, it's not rated for towing!! I'll look at the one installed on the car later....

The OEM electrics are the 13-pin type which have a powered pin for always on consumers (like a fridge in a caravan) as well as all the lighting pins. There's no pin for electrically actuated braking as used in the US for trailer brakes. All UK caravans and trailers I've ever seen or towed have used the mechanical over-run system to apply brakes on the trailer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Model 3’s with a tow hitch have “Trailer Mode” software which helps with stability etc. “Transport Mode” is the one you’re thinking of.
Trailer (sorry, I called it Tow) Mode enables automatically when the electrical connector is plugged in. I think the option in the menu must be intended for when you've fitted a bike rack and aren't going to potentially make use of the active stability assistance (or whatever else Trailer Mode provides). Looking at videos on YouTube I'd thought you had to turn on Trailer Mode once you'd connected the trailer but that's not the case. I did have to turn it off once I'd disconnected as it didn't seem to auto recognise that but maybe I just didn't give it enough time or engage drive. I'll be more systematic next time.
 

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The car is sold as having a tow capacity of 910kg but on the registration document it's listed as 1000kg (not totally clear which one trumps the other here). The 750kg limit comes from the UK regulations on unbraked trailers which limits the all up mass of an unbraked trailer to 750kg. Braked trailers can exceed this depending on your license, tow vehicle weight and tow capacity.

The manual linked to my account online is the US-en version which basically says Don't Tow, it's not rated for towing!! I'll look at the one installed on the car later....

The OEM electrics are the 13-pin type which have a powered pin for always on consumers (like a fridge in a caravan) as well as all the lighting pins. There's no pin for electrically actuated braking as used in the US for trailer brakes. All UK caravans and trailers I've ever seen or towed have used the mechanical over-run system to apply brakes on the trailer.
Thanks for the reply! So if I had a Caravan with an mtplm of 900kg is all good (as this will have a brake which applies if it becomes disconnected) ? I dont need b + e licence as combined max permitted weight of car and max technically permitted laden weight of caravan is less than 3500 kg. Think that’s right..
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the reply! So if I had a Caravan with an mtplm of 900kg is all good (as this will have a brake which applies if it becomes disconnected) ? I dont need b + e licence as combined max permitted weight of car and max technically permitted laden weight of caravan is less than 3500 kg. Think that’s right..
From what you've written there you're correct and you must be in the same category of license as me (I got my license in 1998). I can tow up to 3500kg GVTW (trailer plus tow vehicle) with a braked trailer.

900kg braked caravan on a Model 3 is within the rating of the car and your license. The brake mechanism is in two parts btw, the over run brake and the emergency cable which yanks the trailer brakes on if the hitch parts company. The M3 hitch has a loop next to the towball socket as I think to comply with the regulations you are not supposed to just loop the safety cable over the neck of the hitch, it's supposed to be attached to the car proper.

We used to have a mid-90s Abi Marauder which was around 765kg MTPLM and perfect for towing behind a 1.6l Seat Leon. There're not many caravans with weights that low any more. Palaces on wheels these days....
 

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From what you've written there you're correct and you must be in the same category of license as me (I got my license in 1998). I can tow up to 3500kg GVTW (trailer plus tow vehicle) with a braked trailer.

900kg braked caravan on a Model 3 is within the rating of the car and your license. The brake mechanism is in two parts btw, the over run brake and the emergency cable which yanks the trailer brakes on if the hitch parts company. The M3 hitch has a loop next to the towball socket as I think to comply with the regulations you are not supposed to just loop the safety cable over the neck of the hitch, it's supposed to be attached to the car proper.

We used to have a mid-90s Abi Marauder which was around 765kg MTPLM and perfect for towing behind a 1.6l Seat Leon. There're not many caravans with weights that low any more. Palaces on wheels these days....
indeed. The weights of caravans is pretty crazy. Even a trailer tent (air opus) is knocking on 1000kg! So if I get this caravan (knaus travelino) we are good to go! Range wise I’m working on half or less. So for a LR I’m hoping for 150 miles at least between Superchargers. Not planning mega distances anyway and limited to 60 mph on a motorway.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
indeed. The weights of caravans is pretty crazy. Even a trailer tent (air opus) is knocking on 1000kg! So if I get this caravan (knaus travelino) we are good to go! Range wise I’m working on half or less. So for a LR I’m hoping for 150 miles at least between Superchargers. Not planning mega distances anyway and limited to 60 mph on a motorway.
I'd like to see the consumption numbers when you get your caravan underway and also your experience at Superchargers. Sounds like a good way to add to the adventure!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nice. Yea I'm sure the ramp at the back doesn't help at all with the aero, and mesh sides probably cause a fair bit of drag too.
I'm tempted to get a small trailer for runs to the tip. at the moment the Leaf is the rubbish run car, which is OK until one of the leather seats gets ripped.
Did you have a cover over it at all? would be interesting to see if stretching a tarp over to sort out the aero makes any difference.
From pulling a light caravan with an X I found it halved the range, so I'm sure there's a big hit on towing anything but reducing drag must help as rolling resistance alone shouldn't reduce range that much.
I didn't cover it so the drag would be pretty horrendous. There's definitely some scope for testing and optimisation. Covering over the top and sides would make an interesting comparison or I could remove the cage fo but for a lot of what I haul the sides are useful and so is the ramp. Given how few miles I tow I think I'll just suck it up most of the time and marvel at the regen capacity :)
 
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