Cybertruck as a tow vehicle

rr6013

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I have just fitted a tow bar on my Model 3 dm. I fish at Lake Anna which is 65 miles from my house in Warrenton VA. There is no supercharger on route so I need to make about a 25 mile detour to get to a supercharger.
I have an F150 which I can use to tow with but I love my Model 3 as it is such a pleasure to drive so I rather want to tow with the Tesla. I can just about make it with my bass boat to Lake Anna but the whole arrangement is not ideal. I now start worrying about the Cybertruck which was to replace the F150. It starts looking like its a non-starter because of EV's poor towing performance. After the first Cybertrucks are released I shall monitor the YouTube videos to see how they perform as tow vehicles. If they are much the same as the Model X, 3 & Y in towing then I will not proceed with my pre-order. Sad, but it won't work for me and I am a big EV fan.
THIS tread is the most important discussion on Cybertruckownersgroup.com.

This elementary example is the core engineering criteria with which Cybertruck was designed. The purchasing decision here is critical. Critical to those reading, researching and making informed judgement how a Cybertruck applies to their exact towing needs.

An “everyman” use case, it defines CT’s MVP(minimum viable product). A bass boat is low weight, low windage and medium drag on efficiency. As are @AlexD other uses minimal (horsebox, racecar, utility trlr, caravan) stipulated earlier.

The narrative arc that emerges is Elon’s infamous F-150 .vs. Cybertruck. An “everyman” use case, it defines CT’s MVP(minimum viable product) and Elon’s proof.

Personally, I’m expecting no less than this use case of my CT investment. Regardless the TOC, ROI and pride of ownership Cybertruck minimum expectation is retirement, replacement and reinvention of the truck I currently own. It hauls ass(1st), pulls like a beast(2nd), comfortable(3rd) and lasts forever(22yrs.). Otherwise, I can’t afford two trucks.

Granted 20% extra was invested in suspension, engine mods and drivetrain. Likewise, as a Cybertruck buyer, I expect an additional 20% necessary to spec its ability to meet my needs too.

SO buying Powerwall to P’nP with CT to extend range is right in my wheelhouse. Only Active Charging stands between that application and pulling the trigger for extended power and range. Its a known ground fact towing sucks regardless.

Towing solution is what matters most. Cybertruck is engineered to 14000# dead weight pull, 3500# payload and hitch weight umknown for CT 1,2,3. Haven’t seen Tesla realease a number yet.

This everyman use case is right in my own wheelhouse and the majority I’d venture. Range on the table for CT3 is 140 miles towing heavier, bigger mass exposued surface area and probably equivalent drag. For a 500mile CT3 MTY range EV I‘d expect everyman’s lower use case to approach 200-250+ mile range.





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AlexD

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The only - and I mean only - reason a truck would have a higher towing 'penalty' is because it was more aerodynically small than another truck.

Because when you're towing, what you're doing is raising the cross-section and lowering the aerodynamic efficiency. A trailer's aerodynamics barely* change when you swap the towing vehicle.

So really, looking at it as 'this truck only does 18% towing penalty' is the wrong way to look at it. It probably means that truck is wasting energy all the time that you don't notice.

-Crissa

* It's possible for the wind-shadow of a truck to work particularly well with a specifically designed trailer, or to have more of a wedge that creates more of a shadow for trailers to fit into at a specific speed. See also the profile of the Shinkansen vs Amtrak engines. But few pickup trucks are going to have that sort of profile. Well, except maybe a Cybertruck...
Crissa, I don't dispute that GasHog wastes energy all the time. It's a piece of shit hence called GasHog! It has the aerodynamics of a brick shit-house! So bad that towing something like a boat probably doesn't affect the already awful aerodynamics. The points that come out from this exercise is that the lousy fuel economy of GasHog doesn't get that much worse when towing. To be honest I am quite surprised at how little difference it made to the fuel consumption. But there the figures are, there for all to see, and coincidently this trip couldn't have been more perfectly structured if the objective had been to test consumption towing vs not towing in that specific vehicle.
 
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AlexD

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Let's put fuel consumption into the same terms seen on EV dashboards.

Assuming your F150 has the 25 gallon usable tank, your unladen range is 25 gallons * 17.13 miles/gallon = 428 miles.

With the your (new) boat, the rang falls to 25 gallons * 13.88 miles/gallon = 347 miles.

428 miles / 347 miles = 81%. That means you see a 19% range hit when towing that boat.

That's a substantial range hit, but much less than my travel trailer on my truck.

But I don't know how big the boat is. How much does the boat+trailer weigh, and does it fit into the aerodynamic slipstream of the truck?

Lastly, I cannot know if a ~347-mile towing range (with a CT3 towing your boat) suits your needs in the Cybertruck (assuming your trailer has a roughly comparable range impact on the CT3). That is completely your decision, and based your needs, circumstances, and risk tolerance.

I can say that a ~250 mile electric range while towing my travel trailer would suit me just fine. But you are not me, and your needs may be quite different.
If I got a 250 mile towing range with my Cybertruck I would be a happy bunny.
If I only got 120 to 140 mile range that would suck. Based on what I see on YouTube videos, towing with Model X, 3 & Y's makes me worry. I shall wait until the first Cybertrucks are delivered and I will keenly follow the tests on YouTube showing how they tow. - But I'm not holding my breath based on the others results.
 

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If I got a 250 mile towing range with my Cybertruck I would be a happy bunny.
If I only got 120 to 140 mile range that would suck. Based on what I see on YouTube videos, towing with Model X, 3 & Y's makes me worry. I shall wait until the first Cybertrucks are delivered and I will keenly follow the tests on YouTube showing how they tow. - But I'm not holding my breath based on the others results.
You and I are in the same boat. I am looking at the CT3 as a vehicle replacement for my 2012 RAM 2500 turbo diesel, which can tow damn near anything but gets crap fuel mileage doing it and obviously is not super great for the environment. Mostly what we tow is my 21' tri-toon fishing boat. It's ~ 3,000 lbs, give or take, and has the aerodynamics of a cinder block. The lake I most like to fish at is roughly 64 miles away so having a range of 200-250 miles would be amazing, but 120 miles would not. Hopefully we see some numbers come out later this year, assuming trucks start to get delivered as expected.
 

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What do you need to tow
My boat, my caravan, my wife's horsebox, my race car and my work utility trailer.
That’s quite the trailer train there. Add a little house caboose and you will truly have a train. No wonder your range sucks with all that train on there.
 

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I personally am looking for my CT3 to tow a 30ft airstream.

Weight is 9000lbs. I'll let you know what happens to the range when I get it early next year. (11K in line)

Hopefully the CT is not too delayed. Really hoping to take the family on many trips!
 

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You and I are in the same boat. I am looking at the CT3 as a vehicle replacement for my 2012 RAM 2500 turbo diesel, which can tow damn near anything but gets crap fuel mileage doing it and obviously is not super great for the environment. Mostly what we tow is my 21' tri-toon fishing boat. It's ~ 3,000 lbs, give or take, and has the aerodynamics of a cinder block. The lake I most like to fish at is roughly 64 miles away so having a range of 200-250 miles would be amazing, but 120 miles would not. Hopefully we see some numbers come out later this year, assuming trucks start to get delivered as expected.
Hope i can tow my boat too!
 
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Hope i can tow my boat too!
Tow your boat you certainly will be able to. You can pretty well pull out tree stumps with all the torque and power you got but ...... For how far before you need to recharge is the $1,000,000 question?
 

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Towing power, style, comfort yes. The solution is having a trailer with 3000W or more solar array and 1000 ah 48V battery bank for range.
 

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I've done the math based off of other tests and I expect to get around 140 miles of range with my 10K lb Airstream with my Tri-Motor (500+ mile range) Cyber Truck. That is at 70F.

That is enough to get between just about any Supercharger gap on US Interstates.

If it's below freezing outside, I'm planning on 100 miles or less. But I don't tow much when it's cold.

The REAL problem is almost all current Supercharger stations are not setup for charging with a trailer. I'd say around 90% of Superchargers you will have to disconnect the trailer to charger the Cybertruck. So if the CT has the expected ~200kWh battery pack, a minimum of 1 hour charging while towing, and then add on another 20 minutes every time for trailer de-coupling and re-coupling.

Don't expect to get anywhere quickly.
I don't think the range will decrease that much due to low Temps. The heat pump will extract the heat off the motor and controller efficiently.

Towing anything big with a EV will suck.
 
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I don't think the range will decrease that much due to low Temps. The heat pump will extract the heat off the motor and controller efficiently.

Towing anything big with a EV will suck.
There is a guy on a YouTube video towing a very light trailer with 2 small scramblers (look like 125cc size) behind a model Y and getting awful watts/mile results. That trailer set up you could easily tow with a 1300cc Corolla! So it appears that size doesn't matter (as the actress said to the Bishop!!)
 
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Just because you can tow it behind a Corolla doesn't mean it wouldn't get terrible gas mileage doing it.

Trailers with shrouds may become more common.

-Crissa
My point is that based on the numerous YouTube videos of Teslas towing; these range from guys towing huge caravans on the one hand and guys towing those small scramblers on a light trailer (the 1300 Corolla quip) and what seems strange to me is that the watts per mile are not that different where the one guy tows a humungus "house on wheels" and the dude towing the light trailer. They all seem to be using in the 700 watts per mile range and this baffles me. How can this Mickey mouse size trailer be drawing roughly similar watts as the "house on wheels"? Can someone explain this to a simple country boy!
 

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It's mostly aerodynamics. The big trailers have a big surface area... But they're a solid, which has a limited aerodynamic efficiency. However, aerodynamic efficiency is a multiplier of the surface area. And because of additive and destructive waves, it can actually be worse than 1.

A mesh panel would be worse than its surface area.

-Crissa
 

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I have just fitted a tow bar on my Model 3 dm. I fish at Lake Anna which is 65 miles from my house in Warrenton VA. There is no supercharger on route so I need to make about a 25 mile detour to get to a supercharger.
I have an F150 which I can use to tow with but I love my Model 3 as it is such a pleasure to drive so I rather want to tow with the Tesla. I can just about make it with my bass boat to Lake Anna but the whole arrangement is not ideal. I now start worrying about the Cybertruck which was to replace the F150. It starts looking like its a non-starter because of EV's poor towing performance. After the first Cybertrucks are released I shall monitor the YouTube videos to see how they perform as tow vehicles. If they are much the same as the Model X, 3 & Y in towing then I will not proceed with my pre-order. Sad, but it won't work for me and I am a big EV fan.
I would just move to within 15 miles of Lake Anna.
 
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