How to Pick Out (and Install) a Tesla Trailer Hitch

The Tesla Tow Package, which comes with a trailer hitch, is standard on the Model X and optional on the Model Y. Do not tow with a Model 3 or S.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
A Tesla trailer hitch comes standard on the
Model X
and is optional on the
Model Y
. It’s not recommended to tow with the
Model 3
Model S
While you might not think of Tesla as a camper’s dream car, the Model X and Model Y are fairly adept towers. The Model X is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds, and the Model Y can tow up to 3,500 when properly equipped with the towing package.
Knowing your electric vehicle’s maximum towing capacity is important—and so is purchasing the right equipment, such as an appropriate trailer hitch if your Model Y doesn’t have one. That’s why
car insurance
comparison shopper, licensed broker, and
super app
—created this guide to fill you in on how to select a trailer hitch for your Tesla. Without further adieu, let’s get started!
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Which Teslas come with a trailer hitch? 

The Model X comes standard with a trailer hitch
The Model X is rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds. It even comes with a Trailer Mode, which automatically levels the suspension and turns off rear proximity sensors when towing a trailer.
The Model Y comes with a trailer hitch only if you purchase the Towing Package
The Model Y Towing Package includes:
  • A high-strength steel tow bar with a 2-inch hitch and standard connector
  • A trailer harness
  • Tow Mode software 
If you have an older Model Y and want to outfit it with the Towing Package, you may do so for $1,200 through your preferred Tesla Service Center.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase a ball mount separately. This is dependent on the type of trailer you’re towing.

Can you put a hitch on a Model 3? 

Tesla does not recommend towing with a Model 3, so putting a trailer hitch on your Model 3 is inadvisable. In Europe, these Teslas are approved for towing and have a maximum towing capacity of 2,000 lbs.
Tesla has hinted that a Model 3 hitch may be coming soon. Until then, stay tuned!

How to pick a Tesla trailer hitch

If you already own a Tesla Model Y and want to install a towing hitch on your existing vehicle, we advise buying the Tow Package on
Tesla’s website
. That said, if you want to go rogue and buy and install a trailer hitch yourself, there are a few different types of hitches to choose from: 
  • Receiver hitch. This is the most common type of hitch. It attaches to your car’s frame and must meet strict safety standards. If you purchase a hitch through Tesla’s website, you’ll get a receiver hitch. 
  • Front-mounted hitch. If you want to carry stuff in front of your Tesla, this is for you. This type of hitch mounts to the front of the car’s frame.
  • Bumper hitch. The same as the front-mounted… but in the back! A bumper hitch can’t hold as much weight since it doesn’t mount directly to the car’s frame. That said, it’s highly adjustable.
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Genuine Tesla trailer hitches vs. aftermarket hitches for Telsa

If you’re installing a trailer hitch yourself, you’ll have to decide whether to go for a genuine Tesla trailer hitch or an aftermarket hitch. 
If you go with an aftermarket hitch, you’ll save money. You can get an aftermarket trailer hitch for less than $300. You’ll pay at least $1,000 if you purchase one directly through Tesla. 
That said, if you stick to genuine parts for your Tesla towing hitch, you’ll always know that the trailer hitch you choose will fit your Telsa. Also, it will be backed by the
Tesla warranty
if there is a manufacturing error.

Intro to trailer classes

No matter whether you go with an aftermarket or genuine Tesla trailer hitch, you’ll need to invest in a trailer hitch that’s approved for the appropriate trailer class. There are five trailer classes, organized by weight:
  • Class I: up to 2,000 lbs
  • Class II: 2,000 to 3,500 lbs
  • Class III: 3,500 to 8,000 lbs 
  • Class IV: 5,000 to 12,000 lbs 
  • Class V: 10,000 to 25,000 lbs 
Let’s go through four popular Tesla models to determine the appropriate trailer hitch you’d need for each.

The best Tesla Model 3 trailer hitch

As stated, the Tesla Model 3 has not been rated for towing in the U.S. In Europe, it has been approved to tow up to 2,000 pounds with a Class I trailer hitch.
European drivers may add a tow hitch to their Model 3 for $1,000 to $2,000 on
Tesla’s website
. You may also invest in an aftermarket option like the
Stealth EcoHitch
, which retails at $499.99. 

The best Tesla Model S trailer hitch

Like the Model 3, the Tesla Model S has not been approved for towing in the U.S. We couldn’t find any data to support that it is licensed to tow in Europe either. 
Until the Model 3 and Model S are approved for towing in the US, we strongly recommend against towing with them. Doing so may be against the law, unsafe, and you risk seriously damaging your vehicle! 

The best Tesla Model Y trailer hitch

Finally, a Tesla model that’s approved for towing in the U.S.!
The Tesla Model Y is approved to tow up to 3,500 when properly equipped. That said, you’ll want to invest in a Class II or III Tesla trailer hitch depending on the number of passengers you’re transporting and the weight of your cargo.
If you want to buy genuine Tesla parts, you can purchase the
Tow Package through Tesla’s website
for $1,300. The trailer hitch will be shipped to your preferred Tesla Service Center and installed for you. 
If you’d like to purchase an aftermarket hitch and save a little money, we recommend the
Draw-Tite Class III Max Frame Receiver Hitch
, which retails at $288.45

The best Tesla Model X trailer hitch

The Tesla Model X has the greatest towing capacity of all Tesla models at 5,000 pounds. For this SUV, you’ll be outfitted with a Class III Tesla trailer hitch and equipped to haul utility trailers, U-Hauls, medium-sized campers, personal watercraft, etc.
The Tesla Model X comes pre-installed with a Class III trailer hitch, so you won’t have to make any tough decisions!
MORE:Tesla Model X vs Model Y
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How to install a trailer hitch on a Tesla 

Since the Model X comes with a trailer hitch preinstalled, and the Model 3 and Model S are not yet approved for towing in the U.S., we’ll focus on how to install a trailer hitch on a Model Y
We recommend purchasing the towing package through Tesla’s website for a seamless installation. However, if you’ve got the urge for a little automotive DIY, we won’t stop you! 
If you want to install a trailer hitch yourself on a Tesla Model Y, you’ll need:
  • Safety glasses
  • 8-mm, 10-mm, and 15-mm sockets
  • Torque wrench
  • Power drill
  • Trim panel removal tool
  • Flathead screwdriver
Your Tesla receiver hitch will likely come with detailed instructions. Follow these instructions carefully and, keep these handy tips in mind:
  • Put your Tesla on jack stands if possible. This will give you easier access to the bumper of your vehicle.
  • Towing equipment can be heavy (some parts may weigh close to 50 pounds), so get a friend or family member involved to help out if possible! 
  • Torque all bolts to the specifications given in your instructions.Follow the instructions to a T to make sure your receiver hitch is safely outfitted to your Tesla! 

How to upgrade your Telsa insurance

Whew, you did it! You upgraded your Tesla to the Tow Package, or you installed that receiver hitch yourself—congratulations! Now you’re ready to tow to your heart’s content.
But first, make sure your vehicle is properly insured before you hit the open road.
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Yes, you can put a trailer hitch on a Tesla Model Y. The Tesla Model X comes with a trailer hitch preinstalled.
If you add the towing package to your Model Y on Tesla’s website, you will pay $1,300 to put a trailer hitch on a Tesla Model Y. If you pursue an aftermarket option, you will likely pay much less—there are trailer hitches available for as little as $300—but you will still have to pay for installation.
At present, the Tesla Model 3 has not been approved for towing in the U.S. In Europe, the Model 3 has been approved to tow up to 2,000 pounds, which may include the size of a small trailer.
When outfitted with the Tow Package, the Tesla Model Y will include a trailer hitch, a trailer harness,and Tow Mode software.
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