Can a Tesla Model 3 tow a caravan?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a Tesla Model 3 tow a caravan? We will discuss how it feels towing with a Tesla Model 3 and debate what is the best electric car for towing a caravan.

Can a Tesla Model 3 tow a caravan?

Tesla Model 3 could tow a small caravan or pop-up camper. The Model 3 can tow up to 910 kg, according to Tesla. The Californian manufacturer adds that an electronic system for stabilising the trailer via targeted braking is automatically coupled to this model.

To attract even more customers, the Tesla Model 3 can now be ordered with a tow bar. This option is billed at $1290 and is available on the Standard Plus and Large Autonomy versions. The more radical Tesla Model 3 Performance has to do without it. Note also that Tesla specifies that the towing hook cannot be fitted after delivery of the vehicle.

The motion monitoring software that comes with the Tesla Model 3 includes the following: 

  • a steel rod;
  • detachable ball neck with carrying bag;
  • 13-pin cable set;
  • control unit and cover. 

It comes with software that allows you to monitor the trailer’s movements and adjust the braking accordingly. The pack can in particular be used to install a bicycle or ski support. In short, a high strength steel hitch with a removable adapter. The good news is that this towbar won’t just be used to attach a small bike rack. 

What other Tesla models can tow a caravan?

Tesla’s electric models are indeed ideal for towing, especially with the instantaneous torque produced by their engine. This has already resulted in several impressive feats in the past. Recall for example that his Model X electric SUV managed to pull a semi-trailer stuck on a snowy slope and even a Boeing on an airport runway.

Note that the Model Y crossover which expands the Tesla catalogue being technically derived from this Model 3, should also be able to benefit from this equipment and be able to tow a caravan.

How it feels to tow with a Tesla Model 3

The driving experience while towing with a Tesla Model 3 feels surprising, with perfect stability and comfort, impeccable handling. This is the vehicle to tow!

The only downside that makes the whole thing unusable for long travels is the autonomy. The increase in fuel consumption is phenomenal, so do not trust the dashboard which recalculates the arrival estimate quite badly. I think the caravan mode does not affect the calculation of consumption.

 What you cover in one hour of towing with the Model 3:

  • 93.5km
  • 31 kWh
  • Average of 334wh/km.

Whether it is for a long-range or a standard, it is a considerable descent of the battery in a very short time. In my opinion, it is impossible to ride two hours (grand max 1h30 and more). So it is, unless I’m mistaken, not possible to make a long trip from a supercharger to a supercharger (which are not planned for in terms of the layout by the way).

In bad weather or conditioning, or especially when loading the car and the caravan, I think you have to bet on 45 minutes of driving and maybe 60 minutes for a long-range. However, it remains quite an interesting option for moving the caravan or a trailer over small distances.

 A model 3 100kw would, on the other hand, allow to travel serenely to the supercharger in supercharger although I doubt the feasibility of several starts to do this at the terminals which are not intended for that.

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Can an electric car really tow a caravan? 

Electric cars are more and more powerful and have more autonomy, but when towing a trailer or a caravan, they may not be efficient.

Electric cars seem to be the most immediate future and electric mobility the perfect solution to avoid polluting emissions. But this type of vehicle presents some other problem that can cause its implementation to be delayed a bit. 

The lack of components to make batteries, the high cost of cars, the battery’s autonomy, and the cars’ characteristics. Among them, limitations such as the ability to tow a trailer or caravan.

Electric vehicles offer more and more improvements and we are sure that they will be the vehicle of choice for many users in a few years. But for the moment, the best features are reserved for high-end cars, with high-capacity batteries and powerful engines. Most electric vehicles are very practical for urban mobility and interurban routes are beginning to be taken into account.

Trailers and caravans have a problem and that is that they are heavy. To move one and the other it is necessary to use a lot of power and the limitation of electric cars can turn out to be a problem for this. Of course, a car like the Nissan LEAF or the Renault ZOE is not suitable for this type of function. Of course, neither a car with a combustion engine of these characteristics is suitable for towing a trailer or a caravan.

At the moment, it is the electric vehicles with more power that can perform this task, that of towing a medium-weight trailer or a caravan, which is much heavier and requires more energy to be towed. In fact, a Tesla Model X has been tested towing several caravans of different weights.

The electric saloon has managed this without problems, but it needs to be recharged to make a long trip. The weight of the vehicle, plus the payload, added to the caravan’s weight quickly consumes the battery charge. In this case, the Tesla Model X could be used, although few models can achieve this.

The presence in the market of electric SUV and pick-up models makes the possibility of towing trailers and caravans grow. But the problem with vehicles like the Tesla Cybertruck is that they can tow a caravan, but not for long.

What are the best electric cars for towing a caravan?

A very suitable vehicle to carry a caravan is the Ford F-150, and it has been chosen to compare the Tesla Model X and this model.

 In comparison, a gallon of fuel, that is, 3.78 litres, has been determined that is equal to 33.7 kWh. The Ford F-150 has two versions with a 23 and 36-gallon fuel tank, so the energy it can generate is 775 and 1,200 kWh.

The Tesla Model X has a battery with a capacity of 100 kWh. For the test, a route of 160 kilometres was made, circulating at 120 km / h with a 2,268 kg trailer. To this is added the 2,495 kg of the car itself and 295 kg of payload. The calculation is that a total of 100.4 kWh is needed to make the trip, so Tesla has to be recharged to make that trip in these conditions.

On the other hand, the Ford F-150 would need 176 kWh to make that same journey adding the three weights. This means that with much less you can do this work.

The bottom line

So are electric vehicles capable of pulling a trailer or a caravan? Yes, but only vehicles with powerful batteries and for a very short time. To tow a trailer or caravan, it is best to use a vehicle with a combustion engine with approved power and technical capabilities. At least for the moment.

Please let us know what you think on the subject or any comments or questions. 

FAQ on Can a Tesla Model 3 tow a caravan?

Is there an electric car that can tow a caravan?

Electric cars such as Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model X or Tesla Model 3 have a somewhat decent towing capacity and could thus tow a small to a medium-sized caravan. However, when it comes to towing a vehicle, a plug-in-hybrid such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Volvo XC90 T8, Volvo XC60 T8 and Audi Q7 e-Tron do a great job. 

Can a Nissan Leaf tow a small trailer?

Yes, a Nissan Leaf can tow a small trailer. Nissan Leaf’s towing capacity is rated at 1500 pounds (or 680kgs). 

Are electric cars good for towing caravans?

Electric cars are good for towing caravans, but only for a small distance. The lack of components to make batteries, the high cost of cars, the battery’s autonomy, and the cars’ characteristics don’t put the electric car on top of our list.

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