Can you flat tow a Tesla? Everything you need to know

Many Tesla owners love to go on road trips, but what happens if their vehicle breaks down? Can you flat tow a Tesla? In this article, we will explore the possibility of flat-towing a Tesla, the potential risks and challenges, and how to do it safely.

Tesla has become a popular choice among electric car enthusiasts, and for good reason. These vehicles are sleek, eco-friendly, and technologically advanced.

However, when it comes to towing, there are some unique challenges to consider. One question that often comes up is whether you can flat tow a Tesla.

can you flat tow a tesla

Can you flat tow a Tesla?

The short answer is no, Tesla does not recommend four-wheel towing for any of their vehicles.

This is because cars powered by electricity have a different cooling system and electric motor compared to traditional cars, which can be damaged during towing.

In addition, Tesla vehicles have an electric parking brake that could be problematic when being towed.

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Flat tow

Also known as dinghy towing, involves towing a vehicle with all four wheels on the ground. This is usually done by attaching a tow bar to the front of the vehicle and connecting it to a towing vehicle. While this method is common for traditional cars, it is not recommended for electric vehicles like Tesla.

Tow mode

To make flat towing a Tesla safer and easier, the company has introduced a “Tow Mode” feature in some of its models. This mode allows the car to be towed at speeds of up to 70 mph without causing damage to the vehicle’s motor or transmission. To activate Tow Mode, simply access the vehicle’s settings and select “Tow Mode.”

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Flat towing

Towing a Tesla model in this case could result in serious damage to the electric motor and vital components. The coolant system in cars powered by electricity is designed to operate differently than traditional cars, and it could cause the gears to spin, which can lead to heat-related issues.

Flat towed

If you must tow your Tesla model, the best option is to use a flatbed trailer or tow dolly. This will ensure that all four wheels are off the ground and the vehicle is not being dragged. A flatbed trailer is often the preferred method for long distances, as it is the safest and least damaging way to transport a Tesla.

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Electric cars

Electric cars like Tesla models have unique features that need to be taken into consideration when towing. For example, Tesla’s all-wheel drive and self-leveling features could be affected if the vehicle is towed improperly.

It is important to consult the owner’s manual and follow Tesla’s instructions to avoid any potential damage to the vehicle.

Flat tow vs. tow dolly: When it comes to towing a Tesla, there are two main options. Flat tow involves attaching the vehicle directly to the vehicle that is towing, a tow dolly allows the Tesla’s front wheels to be raised off the ground and towed behind a separate towing vehicle.

It’s important to note that not all Tesla models are compatible with tow dollies, so it’s important to check your vehicle’s manual before deciding which method to use.

Tow vehicles

You should know how much your Tesla weighs when it comes to choosing a towing vehicle for your car. A Model S, for example, weighs around 4,600 pounds, while a Model X can weigh up to 5,400 pounds. Make sure the tow vehicle you choose is rated to handle the weight of your car, and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe towing.

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Active suspension technology

One of the benefits of towing a Tesla is the vehicle’s advanced suspension system. With active suspension technology, the car can adjust its ride height and stiffness to compensate for the added weight of the tow vehicle. This can make for a smoother and safer towing experience.

Braking system

Another significant consideration when towing a Tesla is the vehicle’s brake system. Make sure the brakes on both the tow vehicle and the Tesla are in good working order, and consider using a supplemental system to help slow down the additional weight.

Gears spin: when towing a Tesla, it’s important to remember that the car’s gears will spin while the vehicle is in motion.

This can cause wear and tear on the transmission, so it’s essential to limit towing distances and speeds to avoid damage.

Tesla states: while Tesla does not officially recommend flat towing its vehicles, the company does provide some guidance for those who choose to do so. Tesla states that the car should not be towed faster than 55 mph or for more than 50 miles at a time.

Additionally, the company recommends placing the car in Tow Mode and disconnecting the 12-volt battery before towing.

RV trips: if you’re planning a long RV trip with your Tesla, it’s significant to plan ahead for safe towing. Consider investing in a towing package that includes a tow bar, base plate, and other necessary equipment, and make sure to follow all manufacturer guidelines for safe towing.

Towing a motor home: some Tesla owners may wish to pull their vehicle behind a motor home. While this is possible, it’s important to make sure it is rated to handle the additional weight of the Tesla. Additionally, be sure to check your state’s laws regarding towing a vehicle behind a motor home.

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Cooling system and flatbed trailer

When towing a Tesla, it’s essential to keep in mind the vehicle’s cooling system. Unlike traditional gas-powered cars, electric vehicles rely on it to regulate the temperature of their battery packs and motors. Flat towing a Tesla can result in the vehicle’s cooling system is inactive, which could lead to damage to the battery or motor.

One way to avoid this issue is by using a flatbed trailer to transport the Tesla. By using a flatbed trailer, the Tesla can be safely and securely transported without putting any additional stress on the cooling system.

Additionally, a flatbed trailer provides an extra layer of protection against potential damage to the Tesla’s body or suspension during transportation.

While using a flatbed trailer can be more expensive and require additional planning, it can be a safer and more reliable option for those who want to transport their Tesla for long distances or over rough terrain.

Ultimately, whether to flat tow or use a flatbed trailer to transport a Tesla depends on the specific situation and the preferences of the driver.

However, it’s important to keep in mind the potential risks and considerations of each method to ensure the safety and longevity of the vehicle.

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Q: Are Tesla cars flat towable?

A: Yes, Tesla vehicles can be flat towed, but it’s important to follow the correct procedures to avoid damaging the car.

Q: Can I tow Tesla with an RV?

A: Yes, you can flat tow a Tesla model with an RV, but you need to make sure that the weight of the Tesla doesn’t exceed the RV’s towing capacity.

Q: Are there any electric cars that can be flat towed?

A: Yes, there are other cars powered by electricity that can be towed by this method, such as the Chevy Bolt and Nissan Leaf. However, like with the Tesla, it’s significant to follow the correct procedures for flat towing to avoid damaging the car.

Q: Can a Tesla be towed by a tow truck?

A: Yes, a Tesla can be towed by a tow truck, but it’s essential to use a flatbed truck rather than a traditional tow truck. This will ensure that the Tesla’s vital components, such as the e-motor and cooling system, are not damaged during transport.


Now you know the answer to the question: “Can you flat tow a Tesla or not?”.

But still, if you want to do that, it’s important to keep in mind the weight of the vehicle. Tesla weights can vary depending on the model, so it’s essential to check the owner’s manual or specifications for your particular model to ensure that it can be safely towed.

Additionally, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper equipment, including a flat tow adapter, to ensure that the Tesla is securely attached to the towing vehicle. It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for flat towing to avoid damaging the Tesla or compromising its warranty.

Cameron Mason

I have been fond of cars since childhood. I have always been interested in knowing the principle of their work, as well as the structure. Therefore, I liked to help my father dismantle cars and fix them. Then I went to college with a degree in mechanical engineering. After all, I decided to connect my life with cars.

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