Towing and Accessories

Carrying Capacity - Accessories

The towing package allows you to tow a trailer or carry an accessory (bicycles, skis, snowboards, etc.) with your Model Y.

The tow package includes a weight-carrying hitch with a 50 mm ball coupling that can support an accessory carrier. When carrying accessories, the ball coupling is designed to support vertical loads of up to 72 kg. When carrying bicycles or other items on the Model Y hitch, always check to ensure that the maximum weight is not exceeded. Maximum weight capacity for the tow hitch depends on the number of occupants in the vehicle:

19 or 21" Tires 20" Tires
Icon of a black car with a white bicycle attached.

Five occupants in the vehicle.

72 kg 20 kg
Icon of a black car with a white bicycle attached.

Two or fewer rear occupants in the vehicle.

72 kg 72 kg

When calculating weight, remember to include the weight of the accessory carrier.

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Note
The weights shown previously are for Tesla recommended accessory carriers. They are based on measuring the vertical and horizontal distances between the accessory carrier's center of gravity and the ball of the hitch (see the example image in Non-Tesla Approved Accessory Carriers for reference).
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CAUTION
Exceeding the maximum weight the Model Y hitch is designed to support (as previously described) can cause significant damage.
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CAUTION
Do not attempt to install an accessory carrier on Model Y that is not equipped with the towing package. Doing so can cause significant damage.

Non-Tesla Approved Accessory Carriers

In addition to calculating the weight, it is important to ensure your accessory's overall load does not exceed the specified weight and distance from the ball on the hitch. This distance is calculated based on the center of gravity of the accessory carrier and the items mounted to it. For non-Tesla approved carriers, measure the vertical and horizontal distances from the ball on the tow hitch to the accessory's center of gravity.

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Note
Consult the product details of your accessory carrier for more information, such as additional weight or load limits. Damage caused by non-Tesla approved accessories is not covered by the warranty.
Image showing the appropriate limits of the accessory.

Installing and Using a Carrier

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

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

Icon of a yellow trailer.
When you connect an accessory carrier's wiring harness, Model Y detects a connection for trailer lights and this indicator illuminates on the touchscreen to show that Trailer Mode is disabled.
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Note
Go to http://www.tesla.com to purchase accessories for your vehicle. Although third-party products are available, Tesla recommends and supports only Tesla-approved products (see Parts and Accessories). The accessory products available for your vehicle vary based on market region. Before attempting to install a non-Tesla recommended carrier, review the product information to ensure compatibility.
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Note
When not in use, the hitch should be removed and stored in a dry location to prevent dust 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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Note
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.

Carrying Capacity - Trailer Towing

Refer to the Certificate of Conformity (provided at the time of your vehicle's purchase), statutory plate (see Statutory Plate), or tow hitch label for the total trailer weight—including all cargo and additional equipment—and the trailer tongue weight Model Y can safely carry. In addition to the maximum total trailer weight and trailer tongue weight, observe the following guidelines:
  • For trailers weighing more than 750 kg, a separate trailer braking system with an independent controller must be used. Carefully 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 be at least 4% of the total trailer load. The maximum tongue weight (or technically permissible mass at the coupling point) is 100 kg. 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 TPMLM (Technically Permissible Maximum Laden Mass) is not exceeded (See Vehicle Loading).
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Note
If the information in the Certificate of Conformity, hitch label, or Statutory Plate conflicts with the information provided in this owner's manual, the former documents take precedence.
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CAUTION
You should only use Model Y to tow if you have experience and knowledge of how towing affects the vehicle and are able to safely load, secure, and maneuver the vehicle and cargo. Tesla’s instructions are not all-inclusive of the knowledge and skills necessary for safe towing. 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 transport Model Y (see Instructions for Transporters).

Tire Pressures when Towing

When towing a trailer, tire pressures must be adjusted to accommodate the additional load. 18", 19", 20", or 21" tires are acceptable to use for towing. Keep tires inflated to the pressures shown below (if different, these pressures override the pressures that are provided on the Tire and Loading information label) :

Front Tires Rear Tires Cold Tire Inflation Pressure
255/45R19 XL 255/45R19 XL 42 psi (290 kPa)
255/40R20 XL 255/40R20 XL 42 psi (290 kPa)
255/35R21 XL 275/35R21 XL 42 psi (290 kPa)
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Note
When towing a trailer, the technically permissible maximum mass on the rear axle may be exceeded by no more than 15% and the technically permissible laden mass of the vehicle may be exceeded by no more than 100 kg. In these instances, vehicle speed cannot exceed 100 km/h and the rear tire pressures must be at least 20 kPa above the tire pressure recommended for normal use.
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Note
For information on towing with winter tires, contact Tesla Service.
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CAUTION
Do not use Model Y for towing if equipped with tires that are not listed above.
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Warning
Check tire pressures using an accurate pressure gauge when tires are cold. Driving 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 may be dangerously under-inflated.
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Warning
Never attempt to tow a trailer when a Model Y tire is faulty or has been temporarily repaired (for example, 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 Care and Maintenance.
  • Observe all regulations and legal requirements that apply to trailer towing. Failure to comply with regulations can compromise your safety.
  • Adjust side mirrors to provide a clear rear view without a significant blind spot.
  • Engage Trailer Mode (see Trailer Mode).

Confirm the following:

  • Model Y 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 - Trailer Towing.
  • All trailer hitch parts and attachments, safety chains, and electrical connectors (including reverse and fog lights, if equipped) 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.
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    Note
    If Model Y is in Trailer Mode or has detected a connection for trailer lights, and Model Y detects an electrical fault in the trailer turn signals, the turn signals for the affected side(s) will flash faster than normal.(see Trailer Mode).
  • 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 do not 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 4-10% of the total trailer weight, without exceeding the maximum tongue weights provided in Carrying Capacity - Trailer Towing.
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    CAUTION
    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.

Towing Guidelines

Model Y 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 the 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 the bulbs are still working.
  • Periodically confirm the cargo is secure.
  • Avoid parking on a grade (see Parking with a Trailer).
  • Regularly confirm that all towing components are securely tightened.
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Warning
Towing requires you to increase 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 jurisdiction that apply specifically to trailer towing. Failure to comply with regulations can compromise your safety.
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Warning
Never attempt to connect trailer brakes 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.

Trailer Mode

Trailer Mode must always be active when towing a trailer. When you connect a trailer's electrical connection while the vehicle is in Park, Model Y automatically engages Trailer Mode. When you disconnect the trailer's electrical connection, Trailer Mode does not disengage automatically. To manually engage or disengage Trailer Mode, touch Controls > Pedals & Steering > Trailer Mode on the touchscreen. One of the following indicators display on the touchscreen:

Icon of a blue trailer.
Trailer Mode is active.
Icon of a yellow trailer.
Model Y 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 Y 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 once more. If you are finished towing and have disconnected the trailer electrical connector, manually disengage Trailer Mode to clear the red icon.

If Model Y is in Trailer Mode or has detected a connection for trailer lights, and the vehicle detects an electrical fault in the trailer turn signals, the turn signals for the affected side(s) will flash faster than normal. If you are finished towing and have disconnected the trailer electrical connector, the turn signals will flash faster than normal and the red trailer indicator will display on the touchscreen until Trailer Mode has been manually disengaged.

Some Autopilot features, as well as rear parking sensor functionality, may not be available when Trailer Mode is enabled. In addition, these features operate differently:

  • Traffic-Aware Cruise Control increases the following distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Side collision warnings are active but automatic steering interventions are disabled.
  • The braking force provided by Automatic Emergency Braking (see Collision Avoidance Assist) may be limited.
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Warning
Do not rely on Model Y to detect the trailer and automatically engage Trailer Mode. Always check to ensure 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.

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. Consider having someone help you with these steps:

  • 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 Y, the Vehicle Hold indicator light displays on the touchscreen. 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 or injury.

Connecting the Tow Hitch

The Model Y towing package includes a weight-carrying hitch with a 50 mm ball coupling. When not in use, the hitch 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 ball hitch.
The trailer hitch assembly is attached to the body of the vehicle with 6 bolts.
Image showing the hitch assembly mounted to the body with the fasteners highlighted.
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Note
The maximum permissible rear overhang for the coupling point is 1064 mm.
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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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Warning
You must use the Model Y trailer hitch when towing a trailer. Never attempt to attach a different type of trailer hitch.

To install the trailer hitch:

  1. Remove the dust cover from the hitch housing by inserting a small object, such as a flat screwdriver, into the push clips on each side of the dust cover. Turn the push clips until they are in an unclasped position, take them out, and 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 “Open” position.
  3. Pull the locking cylinder out of the adapter approximately 0.5 cm, and turn clockwise until the Unlock icon is fixated at the top of the locking cylinder.
    Image showing the locking cylinder with arrows turning it clockwise.
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    CAUTION
    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 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 quickly rotates counter-clockwise and automatically locks into the "Closed" position.
  6. Check to confirm that the hitch is fully inserted into the housing by pulling on the hitch.
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    Note
    If the hitch does not lock into the housing, it falls out when you pull down on the hitch.
  7. Turn the key so the arrows align with the Lock icon 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 key code if you lose the keys and need to order a replacement.
    Image showing the hitch key.
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    Note
    The trailer hitch is attached to the body of the vehicle with 6 bolts.

Disconnecting the Tow Hitch

After towing, remove the hitch:

  1. Insert the key and turn to align the top of the key with the Unlock icon.
  2. While firmly holding the bottom of the hitch (to prevent it from dropping to the ground), pull the locking cylinder out approximately 0.5 cm, and turn it clockwise until the Lock icon shifts to the top. At this point, the locking cylinder is unlocked in the "Open" position and the hitch drops out of the housing.
    Warning IconA warning icon, calling your attention to a possibly risky situation
    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 by snapping in the push clips.
  4. Close the dust cover on the hitch's locking cylinder and store the hitch in a secure location.
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    Note
    To maintain the hitch, regularly grease its surface with non-resinous grease.

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 13-pin wiring connector is provided near the hitch support's wiring plugs for most types of trailers. It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all electrical connections are working and all trailer lights are operating before and during towing. You must perform manual checks

Image showing the built-in 13-pin wiring connector and a callout to each terminal.
  1. Left Turn Signal
  2. Rear Fog
  3. Ground for pins 1-8
  4. Right Turn Signal
  5. Right Tail Signal
  6. Stop Lamps
  7. Left Tail Lamp
  8. Reverse Lamps

All pins have low voltage power. 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.

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Note
Pins 9-13 (if equipped) may not be not supported at this time..
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Note
Vehicles with a lead-acid low voltage battery have auxiliary power. Vehicles with low voltage lithium-ion batteries do not have auxiliary power at this time. You can determine which battery your vehicle is equipped with by touching Controls > Software > Additional Vehicle Information.
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Note
If a trailer fog light is detected, Model Y disables its rear fog light (if equipped).
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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.
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Warning
Use only the electrical connections designed by Tesla. Do not attempt to directly splice or attempt to connect a trailer’s electrical wiring using any other method. Doing so can damage the vehicle's electrical system and cause malfunctions.

Impact on Range

Towing a trailer increases vehicle weight and drag. As a result, driving range can decrease significantly. Although Trip Planner (if available in your market region) attempts to adjust estimates based on Trailer Mode, actual energy consumption may vary. Plan trip length and charging destinations accordingly.