Towing and Accessories

The towing package includes a 5 cm x 5 cm hitch receiver that can support an accessory carrier (for bicycles, skis, snowboards, etc.) or tow a trailer.

Installing and Using a Carrier

When using the tow package to carry accessories, the 5 cm x 5 cm square hitch receiver is designed to support vertical loads of up to 72 kg. Ball mounts that are compatible with the square receiver must be purchased separately.

To install and use an accessory carrier, you must first attach the ball mount to the hitch receiver (see Attaching and Removing the Ball Mount). 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).

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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 may vary based on market region. Before attempting to install a non Tesla-approved carrier, review the product information to ensure compatibility.
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Note
When not in use, the ball mount 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 Attaching and Removing the Ball Mount).
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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 Accessories

The hitch receiver is designed to support vertical loads up to 72 kg). When carrying bicycles, skis, or other items on the Model Y 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 18 kg, the weight threshold is sufficient for carrying two bicycles weighing approximately 27 kg each, or four items weighing approximately 14 kg each.

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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.
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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 tow package. Doing so can cause significant damage.

Trailer Towing

The maximum trailer weight (including all cargo and additional equipment), and the trailer tongue weight depend on the number of occupants in your vehicle and the tires being used. The maximum towing capacity and trailer tongue weight must never exceed the following:

Tire Size # of Passengers Maximum Towing Capacity Maximum Tongue Weight
19", 20" and 21" up to 3 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg) 350 lbs (159 kg)
19" and 21" 4 - 5 3,500 lbs (1,588 kg) 350 lbs (159 kg)
20" 4 - 5 2,300 lbs (1,043 kg)** 230 lbs (104 kg)**

** You must operate within the speed limitations of your trailer and tires, and only drive at speeds appropriate for the load you are towing, the weather, road and traffic conditions, and your level of towing experience. Always obey posted speed limits and local regulations regarding speed.

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Note
In Canada, towing is limited to 89 km/h.

For trailers with a combined loading of more than 750 kg, Tesla recommends using a separate braking system with an independent controller (see Trailer Brakes). 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. This must not exceed 10% of the maximum trailer weight. Carrying a significant amount of equipment, passengers, or cargo in the tow vehicle can reduce the towing capacity it can handle, which also reduces the tongue weight. Maximum towing capacity is calculated assuming the GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) is not exceeded (see Vehicle Loading).

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Note
If the information on the hitch label conflicts with the information provided in this Owner's Manual, this Owner's Manual takes 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. 19", 20", and 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 (see Vehicle Loading)).

Front Tires Rear Tires Cold Tire Inflation Pressure
255/45R19 255/45R19 42 psi (290 kPa)
255/40R20 255/40R20 42 psi (290 kPa)
255/35R21 275/35R21 42 psi (290 kPa)
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CAUTION
Do not use Model Y for towing if equipped with tires that are not listed previously.
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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 Pressures when Towing.
  • 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 Trailer Towing.
  • 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 do not drag on the ground.
  • 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.
  • 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 Trailer Towing.
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    CAUTION
    Loads that are balanced over the trailer 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. 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. When towing a trailer, the turn signal arrows on the touchscreen flash as normal, even if the bulbs on the trailer are burned out.
  • Periodically confirm the cargo is secure.
  • 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.

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 automatically disengage. To manually engage or disengage Trailer Mode, touch Controls > Pedals & Steering > Trailer Mode on the touchscreen. One of the following indicators displays:

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, disable and re-enable Trailer Mode once more.

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. Therefore, stopping distance may increase.
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Warning
Do not rely on Model Y to detect the trailer and automatically engage Trailer Mode. Always check to ensure 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.

Trailer Brakes

When towing a loaded trailer that weighs more than 750 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.
  2. Remove the cover located under the dashboard in the driver’s side footwell.
    Zoombox of the cover being released in the footwell area.
  3. Peel back the carpet to expose the vehicle'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 cause 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.

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:

  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 vehicle's tires.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Trailer Sway Mitigation

When trailer sway is detected, the 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. Pressing the brake pedal when the system is actively braking to mitigate trailer sway does not cancel this automatic braking.

Attaching and Removing the Ball Mount

The Model Y 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 Y hitch receiver supports a ball mount with a length of up to 22 cmand a rise of up to 2 cm. Do not use any type of drop ball mount that does not meet these requirements.

Image showing appropriate ball mount thresholds.

To attach a ball mount:

  1. Remove the dust cover from the hitch housing by using a small object, such as a flat screwdriver, to pry between the dust cover and hitch housing. Store the dust cover in a secure location.
    Image showing the dust cover released.
  2. If necessary, remove the cotter pin from the locking bolt and slide the locking bolt out of the hitch assembly.
  3. Slide the ball holder into the hitch assembly.
  4. Align the hole in the ball holder with the one in the hitch assembly.
  5. Slide the locking bolt through the hitch assembly/ball holder.
  6. 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.
  3. Re-install the dust cover for the hitch housing and store the ball mount in a secure location.

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 7-pin wiring connector is provided near the hitch support's wiring plugs for most types of trailers. Plugging in trailer wiring into the Model Y electrical connector automatically engages Trailer Mode (see Trailer Mode).

Image showing the built-in seven-way wiring connector and a callout to each terminal.
  1. Reverse Lights
  2. Brake Controller Output
  3. Right Turn Signal and Brake Light
  4. Low Voltage Power (if equipped)
  5. Ground
  6. Left Turn Signal and Brake Light
  7. Tail Lamps
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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. 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.
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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 attempts to adjust estimates based on Trailer Mode, actual energy consumption may vary. Plan trip lengths and charging destinations accordingly.