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I wonder if I made a mistake?


Chet P

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I have always been intregued by TESLA, so last month I gave in and bough a new Model Y. Now we have a 2015 Jeep Grand  Cherokee with all the bells a whistles that we have towed. The TESLA can not be towed 4 down so now I have got to consider a trailer for our travels. The question is do I go for an enclosed or open trailer.  Plus I guess I know have to worry about selling the Jeep.

I would appreciate comments from any of you who are using either type of trailer and are they much trouble.

Chet P

2004 SIG Castle IV Detroit 60

Edited by Chet P
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A Sig & a Tesla?  I'd be looking at an enclosed trailer.

50+ years ago I had a generator on my Schwinn that I could engage to contact my tire & spin.  The spinning generator wheel would generate enough electricity to light the bulb in my headlamp.  The faster I pedaled, the brighter the light.   I've often wondered why Tesla can't put their cars in a same generating mode so that while being towed it would charge it's own batteries.   Maybe that's why I become a creative guy and not and engineer.

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3 hours ago, Chet P said:

I have always been intregued by TESLA, so last month I gave in and bough a new Model Y. Now we have a 2015 Jeep Grand  Cherokee with all the bells a whistles that we have towed. The TESLA can not be towed 4 down so now I have got to consider a trailer for our travels. The question is do I go for an enclosed or open trailer.  Plus I guess I know have to worry about selling the Jeep.

I would appreciate comments from any of you who are using either type of trailer and are they much trouble.

Chet P

2004 SIG Castle IV Detroit 60

Hi Chet, I would put your Jeep for sell in iRV2. I sold my Saturn VUE in 18 hours. 

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9 hours ago, Bill Morgan said:

I imagine if you had an enclosed trailer you could put enough solar on the roof to charge the Tesla...

 

LOL!  It would take acres of solar panels to charge an electric car in any reasonable time.

8 hours ago, bklaes said:

A Sig & a Tesla?  I'd be looking at an enclosed trailer.

50+ years ago I had a generator on my Schwinn that I could engage to contact my tire & spin.  The spinning generator wheel would generate enough electricity to light the bulb in my headlamp.  The faster I pedaled, the brighter the light.   I've often wondered why Tesla can't put their cars in a same generating mode so that while being towed it would charge it's own batteries.   Maybe that's why I become a creative guy and not and engineer.

You'd then be burning diesel fuel to generate the power to charge the car.  A very inefficient way to charge.

I'd definitely go with an an enclosed trailer.  You can also keep other items inside, your vehicle is protected when towing, and it's secure when parked.

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I tow an enclosed trailer. I am 70 ft long and have no issues. I get in and out of parking lots fine and the coach doesn't even know it is back there.

With that said I would not want to be going in and out of campgrounds and resorts with it. You will have to be real picky and vigilant with CG's and check the drives through google maps, etc. as well as make sure they have storage. If you do get an enclosed trailer make damn sure it is a V-nose with an extended tongue. I know guys who had a flat nose trailer with a standard tongue and forgot about their limited turning radius and punched holes in the rear cap of their coach or destroyed their ladder.

They are awesome to have for storage as well as haul a car around but can be a royal pain sometimes and do require ongoing maintenance - greasing the bearings, etc. If you have an issue with a trailer for sure it will be with the tires. I had nothing but problems till I changed all of them out to Goodyear Advantages. That ended the tire problems on the trailer. Before that I got stuck on the side of the highway with flat tires.

Richard Smith ( DR4Film ) has towed an enclosed trailer with car behind a coach more miles then anyone I know of. He could offer much more input then I can as I have only towed our trailer for 2 years and then only to events and rally's where there is always a huge host of parking options. Richard has towed for years and tens of thousands of miles with an enclosed trailer.

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9 hours ago, Bill Morgan said:

 

That guy has about 2kW of panels there, and that's probably about all that would fit on a 24' trailer.
Even if you figure only a 15% loss in the charger, and another 10% in the inverter, that gives you 1530 watts, IF you have full sunlight from directly above.
That means you'd need 54.24 hours of DIRECT SUNLIGHT to charge an 83kW Tesla car battery.
In real world practice with panels mounted flat instead of tracking the sun, you could probably multiply that time by 8 or 10 to get the actual time required to charge.

There's just not enough energy in 200 sq. ft. of sunlight to do much better.

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13 hours ago, dl_racing427 said:

That guy has about 2kW of panels there, and that's probably about all that would fit on a 24' trailer.
Even if you figure only a 15% loss in the charger, and another 10% in the inverter, that gives you 1530 watts, IF you have full sunlight from directly above.
That means you'd need 54.24 hours of DIRECT SUNLIGHT to charge an 83kW Tesla car battery.
In real world practice with panels mounted flat instead of tracking the sun, you could probably multiply that time by 8 or 10 to get the actual time required to charge.

A Tesla goes around 4 miles per KW/hr, so if you drive a 30 miles for sightseeing, you've used 7.5 KW, which can be refilled in 5 hours at 1.5KW/hr.  The problem is if you spend much of the day doing that sight-seeing, you don't have much solar time left for charging. 

You can get around 1500 watts from a 15-amp plug as well, so if you're in a campground, overnight charging on the 15-amp socket on the pedestal will cover 60-80 miles that you might have driven during the day, and the 30-amp plug would cover a lot more.

It would be nice if Teslas had a flat tow mode, which could automatically sense downhill and engage the regen. If it wasn't for the trailer requirement I'd have gotten a Tesla instead of a Jeep Cherokee. Even when in a 30-amp spot, the 15-amp plug could provide enough power to cover for most daily running around, and superchargers are plentiful for the occasional longer trip. Having to go to a gas station once a month instead of weekly would be nice.

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4 hours ago, jimc99999 said:

A Tesla goes around 4 miles per KW/hr, so if you drive a 30 miles for sightseeing, you've used 7.5 KW, which can be refilled in 5 hours at 1.5KW/hr.  The problem is if you spend much of the day doing that sight-seeing, you don't have much solar time left for charging. 

You can get around 1500 watts from a 15-amp plug as well, so if you're in a campground, overnight charging on the 15-amp socket on the pedestal will cover 60-80 miles that you might have driven during the day, and the 30-amp plug would cover a lot more.

It would be nice if Teslas had a flat tow mode, which could automatically sense downhill and engage the regen. If it wasn't for the trailer requirement I'd have gotten a Tesla instead of a Jeep Cherokee. Even when in a 30-amp spot, the 15-amp plug could provide enough power to cover for most daily running around, and superchargers are plentiful for the occasional longer trip. Having to go to a gas station once a month instead of weekly would be nice.

I agree that the flat tow mode would be nice, along with using the regenerative braking on downgrades.

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Having an engineer mentality I am all about having a backup, a plan B, carry some cash, put that heavy coat in the car in case you have to walk for help kind of guy. The wife and I will sometimes go wild and throw the blue print and the spread sheet out the window and go for a joy ride with no destination or plan in mind. That helps the wife cope with my "got to have a plan" attitude. Unless I had an exact to and from route that was half the distance of the current battery charge on a full electric vehicle I would be nervous. To me that makes an electric only vehicle useful for local travel only. When we travel we often leave the motorhome at a campground and drive the toad for as much as 200 miles. That makes even the Nissan Leaf a non starter in my thinking. We currently own a Ford CMax Hybrid that we first purchased to tow behind the motorhome but abandoned that plan when we discovered that the air conditioner would be a death trap for our dogs. If you leave the CMax on with the doors locked and the air conditioner on it must feather back because it does a terrible job of keeping the dogs cool. Just another thing to think about when you choose a toad. The CMax averages about 45 MPG but our little Chevy Sonic gas only now has 5500 miles on it and the average is 31.5 MPG. The CMax cost around $33k but the Sonic was less than $20K. Of course I know that most folks are not purchasing an electric vehicle to save money and if they are they will be lucky to break even. It is like planting a garden to save money. I did that twice. The first time was when I was in the Air Force living in Fort Walton Beach, FL. After getting my first water bill I let the garden die. The second time was here in Tennessee and after buying a tiller, fighting insects and varmints, and sweating for hours on end, I decided that a garden should be a hobby only and I was going to find another hobby.

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I wont touch the electric vehicle topic of this post. Never owned one and never will. But that is just my own preference and my own personal needs dictates me driving a gas guzzling Ram 2500. Almost every trip I make requires me to take our show trailer. If we tow a car it is my wife's GMC Terrain.

In regards to trailer power my enclosed trailer has 30 amp shore power. I have 12 v and 120 volt lights and 120 v outlets. In all of my travels and the events I have attended only once did I ever have the ability to plug into shore power. For the most part the trailer is always stored somewhere remote on the grounds. Because of this I have installed solar panels on the roof with 12 v battery but use it strictly for the electric jack and interior lights as well as the Girard power awning.

I think most people forget that throwing batteries into an enclosed trailer is not an easy task. Enclosed trailers are limited on weight ( 7,000 or 10,000 lbs ) and the trick is weight distribution. There is nothing worse ( or more dangerous ) then driving a trailer that has cargo placed to far forward or too far back. You get your weight distribution off and you will know it. That is why I always use a tongue weight scale before heading out on a trip to get my weight distributed perfectly. All of our coaches have a limit of 1,000 lbs on tongue weight. So where do you throw that battery bank without placing too much load on the front ? Placing it in the back will impede the loading of the car.

I am not up to speed on electric vehicles, especially the Tesla. I do know they have certain power requirements for charging and takes a special plug. How this will work in campgrounds I am not sure. There are many other members out there that would have a better idea of the requirements including our solar/charging guru Bill Groves. All I can tell you is charging a Tesla out of an enclosed trailer is going to require shore power. I cannot see how solar would work.

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2 hours ago, Bob Nodine said:

Unless I had an exact to and from route that was half the distance of the current battery charge on a full electric vehicle I would be nervous. To me that makes an electric only vehicle useful for local travel only. When we travel we often leave the motorhome at a campground and drive the toad for as much as 200 miles. That makes even the Nissan Leaf a non starter in my thinking.

The Teslas have ranges up to 300 miles, 250+ in real-world use, enough to make a 200-mile trip if you're starting at 80%+. That's 4+ hours of driving in most places unless you're doing all those miles on a highway.  If you're doing 200+ miles, you'll probably be on a highway long enough to pass a supercharger to add some range to your day. If you're at a campground with 50-amp service, most also have a 30amp service on the pedestal you could use to charge the car (about 70-80 miles overnight).  

Obviously if you spend all your time boondocking, the charging can be an issue. But it could work for full-timers like my wife and I, with our driving (mostly running around locally or driving to work, longer trips every week or two would require a supercharger visit).

But, the Tesla can't be flat towed, so if you don't want to deal with a trailer it's just not an option.

Edited by jimc99999
clarification
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On 12/1/2020 at 5:12 AM, Jeff H said:

If you have an enclosed trailer, could you not put a battery bank in the trailer to charge by the panels and electrically at the CG then use that to charge the car overnight or on the road?

That's a possibility, but the weight penalty would require a MUCH heavier trailer and the tow capacity to tow it, as well as the considerable cost of basically duplicating the Tesla's capacity, plus 30% or so extra to cover efficiency losses.

With enough money, time and desire I guess anything is "possible", however practical is another matter.

On 12/1/2020 at 7:07 AM, Bob Nodine said:

Having an engineer mentality I am all about having a backup, a plan B, carry some cash, put that heavy coat in the car in case you have to walk for help kind of guy. The wife and I will sometimes go wild and throw the blue print and the spread sheet out the window and go for a joy ride with no destination or plan in mind. That helps the wife cope with my "got to have a plan" attitude. Unless I had an exact to and from route that was half the distance of the current battery charge on a full electric vehicle I would be nervous. To me that makes an electric only vehicle useful for local travel only. When we travel we often leave the motorhome at a campground and drive the toad for as much as 200 miles. That makes even the Nissan Leaf a non starter in my thinking. We currently own a Ford CMax Hybrid that we first purchased to tow behind the motorhome but abandoned that plan when we discovered that the air conditioner would be a death trap for our dogs. If you leave the CMax on with the doors locked and the air conditioner on it must feather back because it does a terrible job of keeping the dogs cool. Just another thing to think about when you choose a toad. The CMax averages about 45 MPG but our little Chevy Sonic gas only now has 5500 miles on it and the average is 31.5 MPG. The CMax cost around $33k but the Sonic was less than $20K. Of course I know that most folks are not purchasing an electric vehicle to save money and if they are they will be lucky to break even. It is like planting a garden to save money. I did that twice. The first time was when I was in the Air Force living in Fort Walton Beach, FL. After getting my first water bill I let the garden die. The second time was here in Tennessee and after buying a tiller, fighting insects and varmints, and sweating for hours on end, I decided that a garden should be a hobby only and I was going to find another hobby.

I agree on the garden, though I have wells so the water cost isn't the real issue.

Several years ago my wife wanted a garden, so I pushed down trees and cleared a spot, bought a tiller for my tractor, tilled it up and put an electric fence around to control the deer.  Now we have a nice spot of weeds that are well protected from deer.  LOL

Then she wanted chickens, so after building a coop and buying all the required stuff, along with chicken feed, we had the most expensive eggs and fried chicken in the world, until a coyote or fox got into the coop and feasted on the whole flock.   Now we have another ornament out next to the woods.

I can't afford anymore of her "hobbies". 😱

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22 hours ago, dl_racing427 said:

That's a possibility, but the weight penalty would require a MUCH heavier trailer and the tow capacity to tow it, as well as the considerable cost of basically duplicating the Tesla's capacity, plus 30% or so extra to cover efficiency losses.

With enough money, time and desire I guess anything is "possible", however practical is another matter.

I agree on the garden, though I have wells so the water cost isn't the real issue.

Several years ago my wife wanted a garden, so I pushed down trees and cleared a spot, bought a tiller for my tractor, tilled it up and put an electric fence around to control the deer.  Now we have a nice spot of weeds that are well protected from deer.  LOL

Then she wanted chickens, so after building a coop and buying all the required stuff, along with chicken feed, we had the most expensive eggs and fried chicken in the world, until a coyote or fox got into the coop and feasted on the whole flock.   Now we have another ornament out next to the woods.

I can't afford anymore of her "hobbies". 😱

David,

I understand your plight but have found that even through we know something our wife's request is not going to turn out as a positive endeavor life will be more pleasant if we just comply with her request. I see you have learned that also.🙂

 

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2 hours ago, Bob Nodine said:

David,

I understand your plight but have found that even through we know something our wife's request is not going to turn out as a positive endeavor life will be more pleasant if we just comply with her request. I see you have learned that also.🙂

 

Bob,

You're right, but does it ever end?

Before the garden and chickens, she learned to design and make jewelry.  She made beautiful stuff, but she absolutely SUCKS at selling it, and there's so much chinese junk on the market, that looks nice but falls apart, that she can't compete with the $1 an hour labor.
Now we have over $30,000 worth of gems and completed jewelry in the basement. 🤯

Next, she wanted to sew. Alterations as well as making custom clothing and handbags.
Now there's an $8,000 Serger and a $4,000 sewing machine, that probably have 10 hours of runtime combined, taking up space in the basement as well.

I think she spends more money jumping from one hobby to the next, than I do on auto racing.
Fortunately, she's pretty frugal on everyday spending, but we're running out of space to store all her abandoned hobby stuff. LOL
I wouldn't mind spending the money, if she'd just pick one hobby and follow through.

Don't get me wrong though, I do love her and wouldn't trade her for anything... well, most anything. 😉

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Chet,

We also have a Tesla Model Y we tow behind the RV.   I bought a Featherlight enclosed trailer to carry it.   I hope you ordered your model Y with a tow hitch.


The featherlight is light enough when unloaded to move around with the model Y if needed.   
 

I am also used to mainly flat towing, so I’m still getting used to the setup, but so far so good.

If you have any specific questions, let me know.

 

Granville Barker

05 Dynasty

 

PS:   just make sure the trailer isn’t too heavy to move with the Tesla.   I would have been ok with an open trailer that had a shield on the front.   If you have extra funds, check out the areovault trailer.

3D6CC878-5CFA-47F1-B8E5-223F14170DC3.jpeg

A28188CC-8780-43CD-B2A7-3152B180B987.jpeg

Edited by granvillebarker
Added ps and pics.
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Problem solved--maybe. I managed to find a 4 year old Hallmark 20' enclosed trailer and bought it yesterday. Trailer is in good shape and just had $600 spent on new tires all around. Need to get a brake controller installed in the coach. Got it for 1/2 the price of a new Hallmark.  Now I just have to make the first trip and see how things workout.

Chet P

2004 SIG Castle IV Detroit 60

Towing a 2021 Tesla in an enclosed trailer.

By the way I am going to have a 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee  Limited diesel with an IR2 brake, Blue Ox base and Aladdin tow bar, car top rack and Thule hard shell carrier for sale. 42,000 miles with new Michelin tires.

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I also pull an enclosed trailer at 67' total.  40' Dynasty RR10R and a 24' Featherlite trailer.  As Chris T said know what your tongue weight is so that the trailer does not steer the coach.  It is great to have the car and motorcycle clean when you arrive at your destination. Getting in and out of the car with sidewall or fender restrictions can be interesting. My trailer requires a wider turn than towing my 2015 Grand Cherokee 4down. I run a TMPS with a repeater for the trailer tires and carry 2 mounted trailer tires with tools to change them out.

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10 hours ago, RRoger said:

I also pull an enclosed trailer at 67' total.  40' Dynasty RR10R and a 24' Featherlite trailer.  As Chris T said know what your tongue weight is so that the trailer does not steer the coach.  It is great to have the car and motorcycle clean when you arrive at your destination. Getting in and out of the car with sidewall or fender restrictions can be interesting. My trailer requires a wider turn than towing my 2015 Grand Cherokee 4down. I run a TMPS with a repeater for the trailer tires and carry 2 mounted trailer tires with tools to change them out.

Way back when I bought my trailer, I had them include a 48"x60" escape door on the left, just above the fenderwell.
Then I added 2x12's as runners to raise a low vehicle enough for the door to clear the fender.
These also give another 1.5" clearance under the car, which makes tying it down much easier.
I also have, in addition to six 12v lights overhead, I have four lights at floor level, which illuminate underneath the car.  Very handy when loading/unloading at night.

I'd like to upsize from my 24' to a 28', but if I buy anything it's going to be all aluminum, and the prices have gone absolutely crazy on those.

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Chet:

Roger mentioned something I forgot - TPMS & spare trailer tires. It is imperative you carry at least one spare tire and you are asking for major problems if you do not use a TPMS on the trailer. Trailer tires are known to blow out or cause other issues. I have had 3 instances where tires lost pressure forcing me to ditch into a rest area to change them. I have since went to Goodyear Endurance tires and have had no issues.

Stay on top of your axle greasing. Learn how to properly grease the bearings on your trailer ( jack up each side and while pumping grease into the wheel spin it ). Trailer axles will go through a lot of grease so you will be doing it quite often. Just so you know trailer axle bearings are not like car bearings and will burn up in a heartbeat if they are not continually and properly lubed. The Haulmark trailers are well built. They are known for excellent stability while being towed. 20 ft to haul a car will be tight for you but it should be able to make it work. Typically 22 ft is a minimum for hauling cars and 24 is preferable.

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7 minutes ago, throgmartin said:

Chet:

Roger mentioned something I forgot - TPMS & spare trailer tires. It is imperative you carry at least one spare tire and you are asking for major problems if you do not use a TPMS on the trailer. Trailer tires are known to blow out or cause other issues. I have had 3 instances where tires lost pressure forcing me to ditch into a rest area to change them. I have since went to Goodyear Endurance tires and have had no issues.

Stay on top of your axle greasing. Learn how to properly grease the bearings on your trailer ( jack up each side and while pumping grease into the wheel spin it ). Trailer axles will go through a lot of grease so you will be doing it quite often. Just so you know trailer axle bearings are not like car bearings and will burn up in a heartbeat if they are not continually and properly lubed. The Haulmark trailers are well built. They are known for excellent stability while being towed. 20 ft to haul a car will be tight for you but it should be able to make it work. Typically 22 ft is a minimum for hauling cars and 24 is preferable.

What Chris says is true, but do be careful not to over-grease the spindles as well.
Those spindles are designed so that the grease is injected through the spindle shaft and out between the inner grease seal and the inner bearing.
Regularly giving them a shot of grease (5-10K mile intervals) will cause the old grease to gradually migrate through both bearings to where you can scoop it out.
(Don't use your finger, as those hub covers are sharp.  Don't ask how I know.)

Shooting too much grease at once, will force grease past the seal and contaminate your brakes, making them ineffective, and if the brakes get hot enough the grease could ignite, causing a fire.

My trailer came with Goodyear load range D trailer tires,, and after the second blowout I went to Titan tires, in load range E.  The Titans have been trouble-free.
This was years ago, and the Goodyear Endurance series wasn't available then.  They may be the same tire, as Titan bought Goodyear's HD tire division.

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