Towing a Trailer

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Note
You cannot enable Off-Road Modes and Trailer Mode at the same time.
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Note
If the towing capacity on the hitch label conflicts with the information provided in this owner's manual, this owner's manual takes precedence.

Towing Guidelines

Towing a trailer puts additional load on the motors, drive train, brakes, tires, and suspension and significantly decreases range. If you tow a trailer, follow these general guidelines:

  • Reduce your driving speed and avoid sudden maneuvers. Keep in mind that when towing a trailer, steering, stability, turning radius, stopping distances, and braking performance are different when compared to driving without a trailer.
  • Increase your following distance by maintaining at least twice the typical distance from the vehicle ahead. This helps avoid situations that require heavy braking. Sudden braking may result in skidding or jack-knifing, and loss of control.
  • Avoid sharp turns. Sharp turns can cause the trailer to contact Cybertruck and cause damage. Make wider turns to prevent the trailer from hitting curbs, road signs, trees, or other objects.
  • Periodically check the trailer lights and turn signals to confirm that bulbs are still working (see Trailer Light Test). When towing a trailer, the turn signal arrows on the touchscreen flash as normal, even if the bulbs on the trailer are burnt out.
  • Periodically confirm the cargo is secure.
  • Periodically confirm the trailer brakes are working (see Trailer Brakes).
  • Avoid parking on a grade (see Parking with a Trailer).
  • Regularly confirm that all towing components are secured.

Before Towing a Trailer

Before towing a trailer, you must do the following:
  1. Review all regulations and legal requirements in your state/region that apply to towing a trailer. Failure to comply with regulations can compromise your safety.
  2. Inflate tires to the cold tire inflation pressure specified in Tire Pressures when Towing.
  3. Set the suspension height to match the trailer height. Tesla recommends Low (Controls > Suspension > Low). You must choose a ball mount suitable for your towing needs. See Ball Mount Specifications for more information.
  4. Adjust all mirrors to provide a clear rearward view without a significant blind spot.
    Informational PurposesAn informational icon, calling your attention
    Note
    Use towing mirrors for larger trailers.
  5. Confirm the trailer load is evenly distributed such that the trailer tongue weight is approximately 10% of the total trailer weight, without exceeding the maximum tongue weights provided in Towing Capacity.
  6. Engage Trailer Mode (see Trailer Mode).
  7. Calibrate the trailer brakes (see Trailer Brakes).
Then, confirm the following:
  1. Cybertruck rests horizontally with the trailer attached. If the vehicle is tipped up at the front, and down at the rear, check that you are not exceeding the maximum towing capacity and tongue weights provided in Towing Capacity.
  2. All trailer hitch parts and attachments, safety chains, and electrical connectors are in good condition and properly connected. If any problems are apparent, do not tow the trailer.
  3. Trailer lights (brake lights, turn signal lights, marker lights, etc.) are working properly.
  4. The trailer tongue is securely connected to the hitch ball.
  5. Safety chains are properly connected between the trailer and the vehicle. Cross the safety chains under the tongue of the trailer to help prevent the tongue from contacting the road if it separates from the hitch. Leave enough slack in the safety chains to allow for turns and ensure that the chains can never drag on the ground.
  6. Wheel chocks are available and easy to access.
  7. All cargo is secured.
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Note
For general information about trailer safety provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, go to https://one.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/equipment/towing/index.htm.
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Warning
The trailer tongue weight must be approximately 10% of the total trailer weight without exceeding the maximum tongue weights provided in Towing Capacity. Loads that are balanced over the wheels or heavier in the rear can cause trailer sway, resulting in loss of vehicle control.
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Warning
Always ensure that cargo is secured in the trailer and will not shift. Dynamic load shifts can cause loss of vehicle control, resulting in serious injury or death.

Towing Capacity

The total trailer weight (including all cargo and additional equipment), and the trailer tongue weight, must never exceed the following:

Wheel Size Maximum Towing Capacity Maximum Tongue Weight*
20" x 9J 11,000 lb (4,990 kg) 1,110 lb (499 kg)

*The tongue weight is the downward force that the weight of the trailer exerts on the hitch. It must not exceed 10% of the maximum towing capacity. Carrying a significant amount of equipment, passengers, or cargo in the tow vehicle can reduce the tongue weight it can handle, which also reduces the maximum towing capacity. Maximum towing capacity is calculated assuming the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) is not exceeded. For GVWR, see Vehicle Loading).

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CAUTION
Tesla assumes no responsibility for damage or injuries resulting from towing a trailer, for any errors or omissions in the instructions accompanying towing equipment, or for your failure to follow the proper instructions. Damage caused by towing a trailer is not covered by the warranty.
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Warning
Do not overload the vehicle or trailer. Doing so can cause poor performance, vehicle damage and loss of vehicle control, resulting in serious injury.
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Warning
Do not use the trailer hitch to tow/transport Cybertruck.
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Warning
Never operate a trailer with a negative tongue weight, where the trailer tongue pulls upward on the trailer hitch. Negative tongue weights can significantly increase the risk of trailer sway or loss of stability.

Tire Pressures when Towing

When towing a trailer, tire pressures must be adjusted to accommodate the additional load. Keep tires inflated to the pressures shown below (these pressures override the pressures that are provided on the Tire and Loading information label – see Vehicle Loading):

Tires Cold Tire Inflation Pressure
20" All Season 50 psi
20" All Terrain 65 psi
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Warning
Check tire pressures using an accurate pressure gauge when tires are cold (see Tire Pressures). Driving one mile (1.6 km) warms the tires sufficiently to affect tire pressures. Parking the vehicle in direct sunlight or in hot weather can also affect tire pressures. If you must check warm tires, expect increased pressures. Do not let air out of warm tires in an attempt to match recommended cold tire pressures. A hot tire at or below the recommended cold tire inflation pressure is dangerously under-inflated.
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Warning
Never attempt to tow a trailer when a tire is faulty or has been inflated using a tire repair kit. A temporarily repaired tire is not designed to sustain the towing load. Towing using a faulty or temporarily repaired tire can result in tire failure and loss of vehicle stability.

Trailer Mode

Trailer Mode must always be active when towing a trailer. When you connect a trailer's electrical connection (see Electrical Connections), Cybertruck automatically engages Trailer Mode. Trailer Mode disengages when you disconnect the trailer's electrical connection. To engage or exit Trailer Mode manually, touch Controls > Towing & Hauling > Trailer Mode on the touchscreen. One of the following indicators displays on the touchscreen:

Icon of a blue trailer.
Trailer Mode is active.
Icon of a yellow trailer.
Cybertruck detects a connection for trailer lights but Trailer Mode is disabled. It is likely that a carrying accessory has been connected.
Icon of a red trailer.
Cybertruck detects a faulty electrical connection for the trailer lights. Some, or all, trailer lights may not be functioning. Pull over as soon as safety permits and inspect the trailer lights for faulty cabling or connections. If the issue is resolved and the red icon persists, manually turn Trailer Mode off and on again.

Some Autopilot features, and any feature that requires the use of the rear camera, may be unavailable when Trailer Mode is enabled. In addition, some features may operate differently. For example:

  • Autosteer (if equipped) is unavailable. Therefore, for Traffic-Aware Cruise Control availability, touch Controls > Autopilot > Autopilot Activation > Double Click. This allows you to engage Traffic-Aware Cruise Control with a single click of the right scroll button on the steering wheel.
  • Traffic-Aware Cruise Control increases the following distance from the car in front of you.
  • The air suspension system will not make speed-based adjustments from Medium to Low and does not automatically raise ride height based on saved locations.
  • Side collision warnings are active but automatic steering interventions are disabled.
  • The braking force provided by Automatic Emergency Braking (see Collision Avoidance Assist) is significantly limited.
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Note
Trailer brakes are only available when Trailer Mode is engaged.
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Warning
Do not rely on Cybertruck to automatically detect a trailer in all cases. Always check that Trailer Mode is engaged before towing a trailer.
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Warning
Remaining in Trailer Mode will help ensure Cybertruck remains stable in adverse conditions while towing. Do not exit Trailer Mode while towing a trailer. Exiting Trailer Mode could result in loss of vehicle stability.

Trailer Alarm

When enabled, Cybertruck sounds an alarm if the vehicle detects the trailer is being unplugged while Trailer Mode is active and the vehicle is locked.

Trailer Brakes

Cybertruck is equipped with a trailer brake controller which automatically applies the trailer brakes when you decelerate. To update your trailer brake preferences, navigate to Controls > Towing & Hauling where you can:
  • Enable/disable Trailer Mode.
  • Customize Trailer Brake Gain.
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    Note
    Tesla recommends always enabling the trailer brakes, otherwise stopping distance may be increased. To disable the trailer brakes, first disable Trailer Mode or set the Trailer Brake Gain to 0.
  • Choose how to manually apply the trailer brakes (either with the touchscreen or right scroll button). The trailer brake activation button is unaffected.
  • Adjust Trailer Brake Boost.
  • Toggle Adaptive Regenerative Braking.
  • Perform the Trailer Light Test.

You can also set up a shortcut for Towing & Hauling by adding it to your vehicle "Cards" area, near the bottom of the touchscreen.

Trailer Brake Gain

The Trailer Brake Gain slider is a scale between 0 and 10 that calibrates the degree of trailer braking applied when you press the brake pedal normally. 0 applies no trailer brakes, whereas 10 applies the full trailer brakes.

Set this up each time you connect a trailer to ensure your trailer brakes do not lock up:
  1. Ensure the trailer is securely attached to the Cybertruck hitch assembly.
  2. Drive Cybertruck in a safe, open area at low speeds (10-15mph or 15-25 km/h).
  3. Use the right scroll button on the steering wheel or Trailer Brake Activation (set your preference in Towing & Hauling) to apply the trailer brakes while moving. Adjust the Trailer Brake Gain as needed to ensure the trailer brakes do not lock up when they are applied. If the wheels do lock up, decrease the amount of gain slightly and repeat this process.

The ideal Trailer Brake Gain varies depending on your trailer load, number of axles, and surface conditions. You must adjust as needed while conditions change.

Trailer Brake Boost

Tesla recommends initially setting your Trailer Brake Boost to Low. Once Trailer Brake Gain is calibrated, adjust based on your preferences by driving around in a safe, open area and applying the brakes as you would in normal traffic. Increasing will make your brakes react more quickly, although the braking feels more harsh to passengers.

Adaptive Regenerative Braking

At the start of every drive, Cybertruck estimates the load to determine the proper level of regenerative braking. Regenerative braking will start at the standard level and increase as the vehicle learns your trailer/cargo weight.

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Note
Weight estimation works best when driving in a straight line on a flat, smooth surface.
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Warning
It is your responsibility to determine when to enable Adaptive Regenerative Braking. Always drive safely and avoid situations that could require heavy braking.
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Warning
Towing increases your stopping distance. When towing, increase your following distance and avoid situations that could potentially cause heavy braking. Failure to do so can result in a collision.
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Warning
Observe all regulations and legal requirements in your regional and national jurisdictions that apply specifically to trailer towing and brake requirements. Many regions require a breakaway switch, located on the tongue of the trailer, to activate the trailer brakes if the trailer separates from the vehicle. Failure to comply with regulations can compromise your safety.

Trailer Light Test

Before towing, and periodically during towing, use Trailer Light Test to confirm the trailer lights are working as expected.

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Warning
Do not tow a trailer if the trailer lights or trailer brakes are not working properly.

Trailer Brake Controller Limitations

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Warning
It is your responsibility to understand your towing needs, proper towing procedures, trailer brakes (such as their use and limitations), and the risks and limitations of towing. Do not tow with Cybertruck if you do not have towing knowledge and experience; doing so may result in damage, injury or death. Damage as a result of improper towing is not covered by the warranty.

Keep in mind the following brake controller limitations:

  • Properly maintain and use trailer brakes as intended to prevent damage.
  • The trailer brake controller and auxiliary output is 12V.
  • Abusive or extensively long manual activations of the trailer brake controller may cause overheating with some trailer brake loads.
  • Maximum power draw - The onboard trailer controller is designed to support most trailer power applications. The power allocations are:
    Standard trailer brakes (when braking power is derived from brake output, e.g. non-EOH Electric Drum brakes)Lights: Max. 220 Watts total for all light outputs combined.
    Auxiliary power (AUX 12V+ Charging): Max. 270 Watts (20 Amps).
    Trailer brakes: Max. 331 Watts
    Electric over Hydraulic trailer brakes (braking power is derived from auxiliary power output, e.g. EOH, Hydraulic disk brakes, see Electric Over Hydraulic (EOH) Brakes)Lights: Max. 220 Watts total for all light outputs combined.
    Auxiliary power (AUX 12V+ Charging): Max. 405 Watts (30 Amps).
    Trailer brakes: Max. 48 Watts (Current draw must be less than 3 Amps).

    Cybertruck switches to the standard brakes if a 3A or higher load on the trailer brake connections is detected.

Electric Over Hydraulic (EOH) Brakes

Cybertruck supports standard electric brakes and Electric over Hydraulic (EOH) brakes. If using EOH brakes, Tesla recommends connecting a battery in parallel with the auxiliary power output to the EOH unit.

The auxiliary output is capable of supplying up to 30 Amps when supporting an EOH trailer brake unit. You are responsible for understanding the power needs of your EOH trailer brake unit. Using an EOH trailer brake controller that draws more than 30 Amps may result in a loss of power to the trailer brakes while braking.

The usage of only an EOH unit with the auxilary power port is supported for maximum braking availability. A battery in parallel is recommended. The battery must be in good health and is expected to already be present in most states per DOT regulations.

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CAUTION
Tesla does not recommend using EOH trailer brakes simultaneously with other auxiliary power loads. Doing so could lead to complications or loss of power to the EOH trailer brakes unit.

Parking with a Trailer

Whenever possible, avoid parking on a grade. However, if parking on a grade is absolutely necessary, place wheel chocks under the trailer wheels:
  1. One person presses and holds the brake pedal.
  2. A second person places the wheel chocks under the wheels on the downgrade side of the trailer's tires.
  3. When the chocks are in place, slowly release the brake pedal and ensure the chocks hold the weight of the vehicle and trailer.
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    Note
    When testing chocks, ensure that Vehicle Hold (see Vehicle Hold) is engaged. If Vehicle Hold is braking Cybertruck, the associated indicator light appears on the touchscreen. To disengage Vehicle Hold, press and release the brake pedal.
  4. Place the vehicle in Park.
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Warning
If parking on a grade is necessary, ensure that all trailer wheels have been securely chocked. Failure to do so can result in serious damage, injury, or death.

Trailer Sway Mitigation

When trailer sway is detected, your vehicle's electronic stability control system attempts to apply the appropriate amount of braking to minimize trailer sway. The touchscreen briefly displays the traction control system indicator. Manually applying the brakes (via right scroll button on the steering wheel or the Trailer Brake setting) when the system is actively braking to mitigate trailer sway does not cancel this automatic braking. However, it is still your responsibility to drive carefully and brake when needed, taking into consideration possible trailer sway.

Accessing the Trailer Hitch Assembly

The Cybertruck trailer hitch assembly is located behind the rear fascia of the vehicle, under the tailgate. Your vehicle is not equipped with a ball mount, which must be purchased separately based on your towing needs.

The trailer hitch cover is attached to the body of the vehicle with three turn clips. Use a flat trim tool or non-marring screwdriver to partially turn and unlock the clips, then remove the trailer hitch cover and place it in a secure, dry place. Once removed, you can see where the ball mount can be installed.

When not actively towing, keep the cover installed to prevent dirt and debris from entering.

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Note
The maximum permissible rear overhang for the coupling point is 49 in (1.25 m), measuring from the center of the rear tire toward the hitch receiver.
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Note
Always attach safety chains when towing. See your vehicle Owner's Manual for more information.

Ball Mount Specifications

A ball mount must be purchased separately based on your towing needs. The Cybertruck hitch receiver supports a 2 in (5 cm) ball mount. Follow the ball mount manufacturer's instructions for more information.
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Note
Refer to the manufacturer's instructions to properly maintain the ball mount.

Electrical Connections

Cybertruck is equipped with a combination electrical outlet, located near the hitch assembly, that supports two types of commonly-used trailer plugs without needing an adapter:

  • 7-PIN - SAE J2863 - for heavier trailer loads requiring their own braking system.
  • 4-PIN - SAE J1239 - for light trailer loads requiring lights only.

Regulations require that all trailers, at a minimum, are equipped with taillights and turn signals. These are provided on the 4-pin connector, which is adequate when pulling a light load. For heavier loads, the trailer must also be equipped with brakes, available on the 7-pin connector.

Plugging a trailer's wiring into either electrical outlet automatically engages Trailer Mode (see Trailer Mode).

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Note
Use one outlet only according to your trailering needs. The covers prevent you from opening both outlets simultaneously.

7-PIN Connector

Image showing the built-in 7-pin wiring connector .
  1. Left Turn/Stop Light (Yellow)
  2. "-" Ground (White)
  3. Trailer Brake Output (Blue)
  4. Right Turn/Stop Light (Green)
  5. +12V Auxiliary Power (Orange)
  6. Running (or Side Marker) Lights (Brown)
  7. Reverse Lights (Gray)

4-PIN Connector

Image showing the built-in 4-pin wiring connector and a callout to each terminal.
  1. Ground (White)
  2. Tail and License Plate lights (Brown)
  3. Left Turn/Stop Light (Yellow)
  4. Right Turn/Stop Light (Green)

Loss of trailer lights when towing may be the result of a fault in the trailer wiring or excessive power consumption by the lights connected to the trailer output(s). When this occurs, the touchscreen displays a red Trailer Mode icon. Fix any issues with the wiring and/or reduce the number of lights connected to the trailer output(s), then turn Trailer Mode off and on to try again.

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CAUTION
Always ensure that the trailer's electrical cable does not contact or drag on the ground and there is enough slack in the cable to allow for turns.
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Warning
Before towing, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure that all electrical connections are working, all trailer lights are operating as expected, and the braking system is fully functioning. Cybertruck does not detect faulty electrical connections. You must perform manual checks. Failure to do so can result in property damage, personal injury, or death.
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Warning
Use only the electrical connection designed by Tesla. Do not attempt to directly splice or attempt to connect trailer electrical wiring using any other method. Doing so can damage the vehicle electrical system and cause malfunctions.

Impact on Range

Towing a trailer and carrying accessories increases vehicle weight and drag. As a result, driving range can decrease significantly. Although Trip Planner attempts to adjust estimates based on Trailer Mode, actual energy consumption may vary. Plan trip length and charging destinations accordingly.