Tesla Model Y Towing Capabilities [Tested]

Tesla Model Y Towing Boat

Towing with a Tesla is a possibility for those looking for outdoor adventure or more versatility from their Tesla automobile. Just because it is an electric car doesn’t mean it can’t haul some serious weight around. Along with a large amount of storage and cabin space, there are robust towing capabilities for this Tesla utility vehicle.

The Tesla Model Y can tow 3,500 pounds once a tow hitch and ball are attached to the vehicle’s frame. There is nothing weak about electric vehicles when it comes to the Tesla Model Y because they have incredible towing capabilities that would surprise truck owners.

The Model Y is the luxury SUV crossover in the Tesla line of vehicles. This utility vehicle gets marketed towards families and those who need a little more room than the Model 3 or S sedans provide. Not only is the Model Y roomier and more powerful than the Tesla sedans, but it is also comparable with many SUVs, vans, and small pickup trucks for other car manufacturers. Read on to find out more about the Tesla Model Y real towing capabilities.

Towing with a Tesla Model Y

Towing with a Tesla Model Y is possible, even if it isn’t the first car you think of for hauling trailers or small campers. All you need is the towing package that comes with the Tesla Model Y, which costs about $1,200. The towing package gets made up of a simple trailer hitch mount and trailer hitch receiver. It would be best if you bought the trailer ball adapter on your own.

Once you order the Tesla Model Y towing package and have it installed, you are ready for towing! Having the trailer package installed for your Tesla Model Y means that your Tesla is now capable of towing heavy loads just like some of the midsized trucks, vans, and SUVs on the market. Some of the other vehicles that have a similar towing capacity to the Tesla Model Y include:

  • Subaru Outback XT 3,500 lbs
  • Volvo V90 Cross Country 3,500 lbs
  • Chrysler Pacifica 3,600 lbs
  • Chevy Equinox 3,500 lbs
  • Ford Escape   3,500 lbs
  • Mercedes Benz GLK250 3,500 lbs
  • Mitsubishi Outlander 3,500 lbs
  • Lincoln MKC 3,000 lbs

These high-quality towing SUVs, crossovers, and vans are utility vehicles that rise to the challenge of towing loads. The Tesla Model Y is right in there with this group and is considered a workhorse capable of hauling many different heavy items.

The Real Towing Capabilities of the Tesla Model Y

Once you get your towing package installed on your Tesla Model Y, you have a vehicle that tows 3,500. Despite being an all-electric vehicle, the dual-motor is robust. The 3,500-pound payload for hauling is a testament to the Model Y’s power. However, it is confusing and challenging to determine which types of things a 3,500-pound towing capacity can get towed behind your Tesla Model Y.

Many things fit in the category of 3,500 pounds or less that the Tesla Model Y can tow. Knowing the different things that work in this weight category gives you a realistic idea of your Model Y’s towing capabilities. Some of the items that fit into the 3,500-pound weight category for towing behind your Model Y include trailers and dollies listed below:

  • Boat Trailer: Boat trailers are very light, and as long as you have a medium-sized or smaller boat, your Model Y can handle it. Boat trailers are typically around 200 pounds unloaded.
  • Small Watercraft Trailer: This includes canoe or kayak trailers that carry anywhere from 30 pounds up to 800 pounds.
  • Motorcycle Trailer: Motorcycles are generally under the 3,500 weight category and are usually anywhere from 200 to 3,000 pounds.
  • Car Dolly: Even though many cars are above 3,500 pounds, others are not and are capable of getting towed by the Tesla Model Y. A small and light car dolly trailer allows for the car’s back wheels to touch the ground and get pulled. These trailers, when fully loaded, weigh around 3,000 to 5,000 pounds, depending on the weight of the vehicle placed on the dolly.
  • Open Box Utility Trailer: Utility trailers are great for hauling trash and other open-air items as long as they are tied down. Also, they are great for people who have tools that they need to get stored for everyday work. These utility trailers are usually about 400 to 800 lbs unloaded.
  • Pop-up Camper Trailer: If you plan on traveling with your Model Y, a pop-up camper is an excellent way of bringing some comfort with you. You may not be able to tow a full-sized trailer for camping, but a Pop-up camper fits into the weight limit for a Model Y at around 1,500 to 3,500 pounds.

The real towing capabilities of a Tesla Model Y are precise once you understand the types of trailers you can pull behind you. These trailers include:

  • Utility trailers for working
  • Car dollies for moving
  • Pop-up campers for recreation

This ability makes the Model Y towing capabilities incredibly versatile.

The Effect of Towing on Tesla Model Y Range

Suppose you plan on towing anything behind your Tesla Model Y. In that case, it is essential that you figure out how much the weight behind your vehicle affects your battery range. You will surely lose battery range when towing any extra weight behind your Tesla Model Y. Usually, heavier items like Pop-up trailers or fully loaded utility trailers lessen your battery range even more.

The Tesla Model Y averages about 45% battery efficiency while towing something significant like a 3,500-pound boat. The cost of such a towing trip is still relatively less expensive than towing with a gasoline-powered vehicle. Also, when using a supercharger, the towing capacity is only minimally impacted since you can regain the other 55% of your battery in under an hour.  

Is Towing With Electric Engines Better Than Gas Engines?

There are several reasons why towing with an electric engine like the one in a Tesla Model Y is better than pulling with a traditional gasoline-powered engine.

  • Costs Less: Battery power gets expressed in kWh for the Tesla Model Y. Even at 45% efficiency, a 100-mile trip would cost around $7.50 versus nearly $15 in a gas-powered vehicle.
  • Smoother Ride: Since there is more low-end torque with the dual-motor engine of the Tesla Model Y, towing is much smoother than with standard gasoline-powered engines. Acceleration and turning are also smoother because of the ability that torque gives the driver.
  • Better for uphill driving: If you are towing something like a camper, the odds are that you are going up into the mountains, where you will encounter some hills. The torque of electric engines allows for a better feel and acceleration uphill than traditional gas-powered vehicles like trucks.

The efficiency and smoothness of the electrical engines make it an up-and-coming option for those looking for some towing power behind their vehicles.

In Conclusion

When you think of Tesla, towing isn’t likely what comes to mind. However, there are many advantages of pulling things with a Tesla Model Y. Even though the towing capacity is less than other large trucks, 3,500 lbs are plenty of power for many of the things you need for recreation, work, or moving.

Hopefully, this article helps convince you of the merits of the towing package for the Model Y. The comparison to other similar gas-powered vehicles shows how it stacks up against the competition. Notice that no other electric vehicles are currently on this list, so the Tesla Model Y stands alone.

Tesla Discounts:


The articles here on ThatTeslaChannel.com are created by Greg, a Tesla vehicle and Tesla solar expert with nearly half a decade of hands-on experience. The information on this site is fact-checked and tested in-person to ensure the best possible level of accuracy.

Recent Posts