Towing and Accessories

The towing package allows you to tow a trailer with your Model X. It also allows you to carry skis, snowboards, bicycles, etc. by attaching an accessory carrier to the hitch.

Carrying Accessories

The Model X towing package has a 2" hitch receiver that can support an accessory carrier.

The hitch receiver is designed to support vertical loads of up to 120 lbs (54 kg). When carrying bicycles or other items on the Model X hitch, always check to ensure that the maximum weight is not exceeded. When calculating weight, remember to include the weight of the accessory carrier. For example, assuming the carrier weighs 40 lbs, the weight threshold is sufficient for carrying two bicycles weighing approximately 40 lbs each, or four bicycles weighing approximately 20 lbs each.

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CAUTION
The Model X hitch is designed to support up to 120 lbs (54 kg). Exceeding this maximum weight can cause significant damage.
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CAUTION
Do not attempt to install a carrier on a Model X that is not equipped with the towing package. Doing so can cause significant damage.

To install and use an accessory carrier, the tow hitch must be connected (see Connecting the Tow Hitch). Then follow the instructions provided with your accessory carrier. Observe all regulations and legal requirements in your state/region that apply to carrying accessories.

The Model X towing package includes the wiring necessary for using an accessory carrier equipped with lights (see Electrical Connections). The package also includes Trailer Mode software (see Trailer Mode).

Icon of a yellow trailer.
When you connect an accessory carrier's wiring harness, Model X detects a connection for trailer lights and this indicator illuminates on the instrument panel. Trailer Mode is disabled.

When carrying accessories, periodically confirm that the accessory carrier and its cargo remain secure at all times, and if applicable, that the lights on the accessory carrier are working.

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Note
Go to www.tesla.com to purchase accessories for your Model X. Although third-party products are available, Tesla recommends and supports only Tesla-approved products (see Parts and Accessories). The accessory products available for your Model X vary based on market region. Before attempting to install a non-Tesla carrier, review the product information to ensure compatibility.
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Note
When not in use, the hitch receiver should be removed and stored in a dry location to prevent rust and corrosion. Keep the dust cover over the hitch housing to prevent dirt and debris from entering (see Disconnecting the Tow Hitch).
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CAUTION
A carrier may obscure your view from the rear view mirror, the rear camera(s), and/or the rear ultrasonic sensors. In addition, some Autopilot features may not function as expected.
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Warning
Tesla assumes no responsibility for damage or injuries resulting from installing and using an accessory carrier, for any omissions in the instructions accompanying an accessory carrier, or for your failure to follow the instructions. Damage caused by using an accessory carrier is not covered by the warranty.

Towing Capacity

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

Tires Maximum Towing Capacity* Maximum Tongue Weight**
275/45R20 110 V / Y

SAE Class III – 5000 lb (2300 kg)

SAE Class III – 500 lb (230 kg)
285/35R22 106 W

SAE Class II - 3500 lb (1588 kg)

SAE Class II – 350 lb (158 kg)

*Tesla recommends a separate braking system on trailers with a loaded weight of over 1000 lbs (450 kg). The braking system must be appropriate for the weight of the trailer. Follow the instructions provided by the trailer brake manufacturer to ensure that trailer brakes are properly installed, adjusted, and maintained.

**The tongue weight is the downward force that the weight of the trailer exerts on the hitch. It must not be less than 10% of the trailer load. 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. The GVWR is printed on the Vehicle Certification Label (see Vehicle Certification Label).

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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.
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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 Model X.
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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.

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):

Front Tires Rear Tires Cold Tire Inflation Pressure

255/45R20

265/45R20

275/45R20

46 psi (320 kPa)

265/35ZR22

285/35ZR22

50 psi (345 kPa)

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Warning
Check tire pressures using an accurate pressure gauge when tires are cold. 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 Model X 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.

Before Towing a Trailer

Before towing a trailer, you must do the following:

  • Inflate tires to the cold tire inflation pressure specified in Tire Pressures when Towing.
  • Set Suspension to Standard height (touch Controls > Suspension > Standard).
  • Observe all regulations and legal requirements in your state/region that apply to trailer towing. Failure to comply with regulations can compromise your safety.
  • Adjust side mirrors to provide a clear rearward view without a significant blind spot.
  • Engage Trailer Mode (see Trailer Mode).

Confirm the following:

  • Model X 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 loads provided in Carrying Capacity.
  • All trailer hitch parts and attachments , safety chains, and electrical connectors are in good condition and are properly connected. If any problems are apparent, do not tow the trailer.
  • Trailer lights (brake lights, turn signal lights, and marker lights) are working properly.
  • The trailer tongue is securely connected to the hitch ball.
  • Safety chains are properly connected between the trailer and the tow 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.
  • All cargo is secured.
  • Wheel chocks are available.
  • 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 Carrying Capacity.
  • If the trailer is equipped with a separate braking system, check that the brakes work and are properly adjusted. To provide safe stopping ability, you must balance the trailer brakes with the vehicle brakes.
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Note
For general information about trailer safety provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, go to: http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/problems/Equipment/towing/Towing.pdf.
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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 Carrying 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.

Trailer Mode

Trailer Mode must always be active when towing a trailer. When you connect a trailer's electrical connection, Model X automatically engages Trailer Mode. When you disconnect the trailer's electrical connection, Trailer Mode disengages. To engage or exit Trailer Mode manually, touch Controls > Pedals & Steering > Trailer Mode on the touchscreen. One of the following indicators display on the instrument panel:

Icon of a blue trailer.
Trailer Mode is active.
Icon of a yellow trailer.
Model X 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.
Model X 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 issues are resolved and the red icon still persists, turn Trailer Mode off and on again.

Some Autopilot features (Autosteer, Summon, Lane Assist, etc.), as well as rear parking sensor functionality, may not be available when Trailer Mode is enabled. In addition, some features may operate differently. For example:

  • 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 STANDARD to LOW.
  • The air suspension system 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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Warning
Do not rely on Model X to detect the trailer and automatically engage Trailer Mode. Always check that Trailer Mode is engaged before towing a trailer.
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Warning
Under no circumstances should you exit Trailer Mode when towing a trailer. Doing so can cause serious injury and/or death.
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Warning
Do not use the suspension setting to appropriately match the height of the hitch with the height of the trailer. You must choose a trailer hitch and trailer that have the appropriate height for suitable axle loading and trailer balance.

Trailer Brakes

When towing a loaded trailer that weighs more than 1000 lbs (450 kg), Tesla recommends that the trailer be equipped with its own brake system adequate for the weight of the trailer. Ensure compliance with local regulations. A brake controller must be purchased separately, and the required 4-pin pigtail connector can be ordered from Tesla Service.

Follow these steps to connect a brake controller:

  1. Connect the wiring on the brake controller to the appropriate locations on the 4-pin pigtail connector.
    Image of the 4-pin connector.

    1 - Brake control output to trailer

    2 - Ground

    3 - Brake On Signal

    4 - Low Voltage Power (20A)

  2. Remove the cover located under the dashboard in the driver's side foot well.
    Zoombox of the cover being released in the footwell area.
  3. Peel back the carpet to expose Model X's 4-pin connector on the wiring harness.
    Zoombox of the connector in footwell area exposed.
  4. Connect the pigtail connector to the vehicle wiring connector.
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Warning
Towing increases your stopping distance, even when the trailer is equipped with its own braking system. 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 in the event that the trailer separates from the vehicle. Failure to comply with regulations can compromise your safety.
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Warning
Follow the instructions provided by the trailer brake manufacturer to ensure that trailer brakes are properly installed, adjusted, and maintained. Tesla is not responsible for damages caused by incorrect installation of trailer braking systems.
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Warning
Never attempt to connect trailer brakes directly to the vehicle braking system. Doing so can cause damage to the vehicle and the trailer, and can cause the braking system to malfunction, resulting in serious injury or death.

Towing Guidelines

Model X is designed primarily as a passenger-carrying vehicle. Towing a trailer puts additional load on the motor(s), drive train, brakes, tires, and suspension and significantly decreases range. If you decide to tow a trailer, proceed with caution and 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 distance and braking performance are different when compared to driving without a trailer.
  • Increase your following distance by maintaining at least twice the distance from a vehicle ahead. This helps to 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 the vehicle and cause damage. Keep in mind that the trailer wheels are closer to the inside of the turn than the vehicle’s wheels. Therefore, 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. When towing a trailer, the turn signal arrows on the vehicle instrument cluster flash as normal, even if the bulbs on the trailer are burned out.
  • Periodically confirm the cargo is secure.
  • Periodically confirm the trailer brakes are working.
  • Avoid parking on a grade (see Parking with a Trailer).
  • Regularly confirm that all towing components are securely tightened.

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:

  • One person presses and holds the brake pedal.
  • A second person places the wheel chocks under the wheels on the downgrade side of the vehicle's tires.
  • When the chocks are in place, 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 not engaged. If Vehicle Hold is braking Model X, the Vehicle Hold indicator light displays on the instrument panel. To disengage Vehicle Hold, press and release the brake pedal.
  • Place the vehicle in Park.
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Warning
If parking on a grade is necessary, always 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, the Model X electronic stability control system attempts to apply the appropriate amount of braking to minimize trailer sway. The instrument panel briefly displays the traction control system indicator. Pressing the brake pedal when the system is actively braking to mitigate trailer sway does not cancel this automatic braking.

Connecting the Tow Hitch

The Model X towing package includes a weight-carrying hitch with a 2” x 2” removable hitch receiver. When not in use, the hitch receiver should be removed and stored in a dry location to prevent rust and corrosion. Keep the dust cover over the hitch housing to prevent dirt and debris from entering.

Image of the hitch.
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CAUTION
Always remove the ball mount before installing or removing the hitch receiver from the vehicle (see Attaching and Removing the Ball Mount).
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Warning
You must use the Model X trailer hitch when towing a trailer. Never attempt to attach a different type of trailer hitch.
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Note
Always attach safety chains when towing. Cross the chains under the trailer tongue and attach to the trailer eyelets to ensure the security of the trailer load.
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Note
The maximum permissible rear overhang for the coupling point is 47 inches (1186 mm).
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The trailer hitch assembly is attached to the body of the vehicle with 8 nuts.
Image showing the hitch assembly mounted to the body with the fasteners highlighted.

To install the trailer hitch receiver:

  1. Remove the dust cover from the hitch housing.
    Image of the fastener securing the dust cover with an arrow showing to twist it.
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    Note
    Model X may have two push clips that secure the dust cover to the vehicle. To open, use a sharp object, such as a flat screwdriver, to carefully pry the clips open. Remove the dust cover.
    Image showing to release both fasteners on the dust cover.
  2. Insert the key into the locking cylinder on the hitch, and turn the cylinder so the top of the key is aligned with the “unlocked” position.
  3. Pull the locking cylinder out of the adapter approximately 1/8" (0.5 cm), and turn clockwise until the red marking on the cylinder aligns with the white dot.
    Image showing the locking cylinder with arrows turning it clockwise.
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    Warning
    Be careful when turning the locking cylinder. If it does not lock into the “Open Position”, it automatically retracts into its original “Closed Position” and can pinch your fingers.
  4. Firmly grasp the hitch from the bottom and align the triangular-shaped guides at the sides of the hitch with the corresponding cutouts in the hitch housing.
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    Note
    Do not grasp the locking cylinder because it needs to rotate freely.
  5. Push the hitch into the hitch housing until the locking cylinder rotates approximately 120° counter-clockwise and automatically locks into the "Closed Position". The green area on the locking cylinder (above the white arrow) aligns with the white dot on the housing.
  6. Visually check to confirm that the hitch is fully inserted into the housing. Try pulling down on the hitch. The hitch should not drop when you pull down.
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    Note
    If the hitch does not lock into the housing, it falls out when you pull down on it.
  7. Turn the key so the arrows align with the “locked” marking on the locking cylinder.
  8. Remove the key and store it in a safe place (preferably inside the vehicle).
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    Note
    The key can be removed only if the hitch is locked. This indicates a proper connection. Do not use the hitch if the key is not removed.
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    Note
    Tesla recommends making a note of the key code. You need this code if you lose the keys and need to order a replacement.
    Image showing the hitch key.
  9. Close the dust cover to prevent dirt and debris from entering the lock. For newer version with push clips, reattach the dust cover, snap it in place and open the push clips before pushing them in.
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Note
To maintain the hitch, regularly grease its surfaces with non-resinous grease.

Disconnecting the Tow Hitch

After towing, remove the hitch:

  1. Insert the key and turn to align the top of the key with the “unlocked” position.
  2. While firmly holding the bottom of the hitch (to prevent it from dropping to the ground), pull the locking cylinder out approximately 1/8" (0.5 cm), and turn it clockwise until the red marking on the locking cylinder aligns with the white dot. At this point, the locking cylinder is locked in the "open" and the hitch drops out of the housing.
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    Warning
    Be careful when turning the locking cylinder. If it does not lock into the “Open Position”, it automatically retracts into its original “closed" position and can pinch your fingers.
  3. Reinstall the dust cover on the hitch housing to prevent dirt from accumulating inside the housing.
  4. Close the dust cover on the hitch's locking cylinder and store the hitch in a secure location.

Attaching and Removing the Ball Mount

The Model X towing package does not include a ball mount. You must purchase a ball mount suitable for the type of trailer you are towing. The Model X hitch receiver supports a ball mount up to 8” with a rise of up to 0.75”. Do not use any type of drop ball mount.

Image showing appropriate ball mount thresholds.

To attach a ball mount:

  1. If necessary, remove the cotter pin from the locking bolt and slide the locking bolt out of the hitch assembly.
  2. Slide the ball holder into the hitch assembly.
  3. Align the hole in the ball holder with the one in the hitch assembly.
  4. Slide the locking bolt through the hitch assembly/ball holder.
  5. Insert the cotter pin in the hole at the end of the locking bolt.

To remove a ball mount:

  1. Remove the cotter pin from the locking bolt and slide the locking bolt out of the ball holder/hitch assembly.
  2. Pull the ball holder out of the hitch assembly.

Electrical Connections

Regulations require all trailers to be equipped with tail lights, brake lights, side marker lights, and turn signals. To provide power for trailer lighting, a built-in seven-way wiring connector (SAE J560) is attached near the tow hitch. Most trailer wiring plugs can be attached to this connector.

Image showing the built-in seven-pin wiring connector and a callout to each terminal.
  1. Reverse Lights (Purple)
  2. Low Voltage Power (Red or Black)
  3. Right Turn Signal and Brake Light (Green)
  4. Brake Controller Output (Blue)
  5. Tail Lights and Running Lights (Brown)
  6. Left Turn Signal and Brake Light (Yellow)
  7. Ground (White)
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Note
It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that all electrical connections are working, and all trailer lights are operating before and during towing. Model X does not detect faulty trailer lights. You must perform manual checks.
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Note
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, a red Trailer Mode icon appears on the touchscreen. Fix any issues with the wiring and/or reduce the number of lights connected to the trailer output(s), then toggle Trailer Mode off and on again.

Plugging trailer wiring into the Model X electrical connector automatically engages Trailer Mode (see Trailer Mode).

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Warning
The brake controller output operates only when a brake controller is installed (see Trailer Brakes).
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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.
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CAUTION
Always ensure that the trailer electrical cable does not contact or drag on the ground and there is enough slack in the cable to allow for turns.

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.