When The Tesla Model X Debuted, It Did So Hauling An Airstream Trailer

When The Tesla Model X Debuted, It Did So Hauling An Airstream Trailer

We get our first impression of how the Tesla Model X fares hauling around a teardrop trailer for a 1,000+ miles thanks to a recently completed road trip by Edmunds.

One can check out the full, moment-by-moment, blow-by-blow account of the adventure on Edmunds' road trip diary here (it is very thorough), but below are the condensed highlights and statistical review for the sake of brevity.

The Model X in question is a P90DL with 22" tires, which means the hauling capacity of the all-electric SUV is limited to 3,500lbs (down from the 5,000lbs capacity with 20" wheels).   And as the trailer is a light weight teardrop trailer (1,260lbs), the X has no issues hauling the extra weight, and performs admirably when it came its 'on road' performance, handling and comfort.

3,500 lb Towing Capacity on 22

3,500 lb Towing Capacity on 22" Wheels For The Model X

Where Edmunds does find issue with using the Model X as a recreational hauler, is in regards to travelling any more than a couple hundred miles;  specifically in using Tesla's Supercharging infrastructure in conjunction with a reduced range while towing.

"...the Model X itself served up an abundance of power, stability and grade-climbing ability. The driving experience was effortless.  Effortless, that is, until it came time to charge the blasted thing. That's where this towing exercise turned into a real drag.

The problems are numerous: towing speed, range, recharge time and the physical incompatibility of Superchargers when you roll up with a trailer. The first three issues are interrelated. That last one stands alone."

Some Tesla Supercharging sites can be tricky to navigate when you are hauling a trailer (InsideEVs/A. Wai)

Some Tesla Supercharging sites can be tricky to navigate when you are hauling a trailer (InsideEVs/A. Wai)

When the trip started, the first Supercharge was without a trailer, so the Model X had the full use of its ~250 mile range, and there was no issues using a back-in spot.  However, future stops with the trailer attached would require nose-in spots, or having to blocking other stalls/roadways, or disconnecting the trailer entirely.

As for the trip itself and the Model X's power consumption, the combination of highway driving and pulling a wind-sail behind the all-electric SUV took its toll.

The Model X ranged from consuming 484 Wh/mile to 676 Wh/mile, with one 40 mile stretch into "fierce headwinds" spiking consumption to 923 Wh/mile.    For reference, an unburdened Model X P90D requires ~380 Wh per mile travelled.

The final trips stats were:

Towing distance: 1,003 miles (1,033 total) Number of Supercharger stops: 11 Average stop time: 1 hour, 34 minutes Average Energy consumption: 612 Wh/mile Travel time: 40.25 hours (23.02 hours driving, 17.23 hours charging) Average travel speed: 24.9 mph

Tesla Supercharging station In Maidstone more Model X w/trailer friendly

Tesla Supercharging station In Maidstone more Model X w/trailer friendly

Edmunds takeaway from the trip?

"Unless you're merely towing across town, these issues (charging time/ease, speed) conspire to make the Model X a very poor tow vehicle.

Bottom line: the Tesla Model X is not something I'd recommend if you plan on towing. Any other vehicle with a 5,000-pound tow rating would be a less painless and ponderous alternative that wouldn't chew up nearly as much travel time."

Edmunds, Hat tip to Jim I!