Can Teslas Be Towed? (All Models Checked)

Teslas are impressive cars, but this does not automatically make them 100% reliable.

In fact, Tesla has gotten the worst reliability score so far from surveys. Thus, there will be situations where owners will need to tow their Teslas if it breaks down, or it runs out of battery.

But for someone who knows nothing about Teslas and towing, you are wondering if it is okay to tow your Tesla.

Not to worry, this article answers just that. Join us as we answer whether you can tow each Tesla model and if towing can damage your Tesla, and other related questions.

Here Is the Answer to Whether You Can Tow Your Tesla:

You can tow your Tesla, but not like you do regular cars. Unlike normal cars, Teslas are delicate to towing because when the wheels spin, they produce power. Thus, the wheels have to be off the ground in order to protect them from overheating and damage. 

How Does “Towing Mode” Work in a Tesla?

Also called Transport Mode, Teslas owners must enable the Towing Mode to transport their Teslas safely.

This feature offers safe transport by disengaging the parking brake while winching your Tesla unto a flatbed truck or lifts and dollies.

When owners activate it, Towing Mode displays a message that your vehicle will stay free-rolling. Owners can still enable the Towing Mode feature in their Tesla even when it has no power as it requires low voltage to work.

To activate:

  • Owners should ensure their Tesla is in Park.
  • Make sure they secure it very well, especially the tires.
  • Next is to press and hold the brake pedal.
  • Activate the Towing Mode/Transport Mode on the Tesla by going to the Controls> Service> then Towing.
  • The towing button provides a transport button you press until it turns blue.

After turning blue, it means you can safely transport your Tesla.

However, in certain cases where the power is down and owners can’t access the touch screen, then they will have to use the tow eye.

Can You Tow a Tesla?

You can tow a Tesla, but you must use a flatbed truck or comparable transport vehicle so the wheels are off the ground.

To tow your Tesla, be sure you abide by the instruction Tesla provided in your owner’s manual, so you are certain you are doing it right.

Provided you have a flatbed truck or similar, and you made certain the tires are not spinning during transport, you can safely transport Teslas.

While you can tow your Tesla, another question to ask is if you can tow all Tesla models.

Can You Tow a Tesla Model S?

You can tow a Tesla Model S provided you have a flatbed truck or similar.

Using this option, owners can make their Tesla face either direction. However, in the absence of this, then owners have to employ wheel lifts and dollies to protect the wheels from having contact with the road.

Note that employing wheel lifts and dollies demands extra care and towing for only a short distance. According to Tesla, this distance should not exceed the maximum of 35 miles. Anything longer can severely damage your vehicle.

In such a situation, your tires, batteries, or other electrical properties can get spoilt. Note that these parts are not cheap to repair in your Tesla.

Also, when using this method, the speed rating of the dollies must not exceed the Tesla’s recommendation to avoid any problems.

Tesla also recommends the vehicle is facing forward so that the towing vehicle is lifting the front wheels of your model S, while the rear wheels are on dollies.

Just as Tesla has recommended, using flatbed trucks or similar is the best option to protect your Model S from any damage that may occur during the transport.

Using wheel lifts and dollies, however, does not guarantee safe transport of your car. Thus, we only recommend it if it is the only option you have, and it is urgent.

Ensure you enable Transport Mode before winching your Model S onto a flatbed truck. Where Transport Mode or touch screen is not accessible, owners will have to employ self-loading dollies or tire skates to load the vehicle into the transportation position Tesla has approved.

Can You Tow a Tesla Model X?

You can tow your Tesla Model X using a flatbed truck as recommended in your Model S. However, if there is no flatbed truck, you can employ wheel lifts and dollies.

Also, you must ensure you secure the wheels so they don’t roll during transport and don’t exceed 35 miles.

However, note not to transport your Model X with the front wheels on dollies unless there is an external steering yoke lock and there is a certainty the wheel will not spin.

Ensure you activate “Transport Mode” before towing your Tesla model X.

Can You Tow a Tesla Model Y?

Just like model other models, you can’t tow your Model Y with the wheels off the ground. Owners must ensure none of their car tires are spinning during transport, as this can lead to significant damages.

To tow your Model Y, use a flatbed truck or similar as we mentioned for the Model S.

Where there is no flatbed truck or similar, then owners will have to employ wheel lifts and dollies to make sure all wheels are off the ground.

As mentioned for the Model S, using wheel lifts and dollies should only be for short distances not over 55 km (35 miles). Anything more can damage your model Y.

Also, note to enable “Transport Mode” before winching your Model Y onto the flatbed truck. Also, owners should ensure they abide by their user’s manual on how to tow their Model Y to avoid complications, damages, or issues.

Can You Tow a Tesla Model 3?

You cannot transport your Model 3 with wheels on the ground, but you can tow it using a flatbed truck or similar. Model 3 employs the same towing method as the Model Y and Model S.

You can use rear wheels and dollies if a flatbed truck is not available.

However, towing using this method should not exceed the distance of 55 km. Also, remember to enable the “Transport Mode” before moving your vehicle to avoid damages or complications.

Can Towing a Tesla Damage It?

Towing a Tesla can only damage it if you don’t follow the instructions in the user’s manual.

This is the reason we advise you to follow the guidelines correctly and ensure you consult your owner’s manual for accurate information.

All Tesla models require a flatbed truck as the safest means to transport them. Transporters must, however, ensure they secure all wheels from spinning during transport, or this can damage your car.

Also, using wheel lifts and dollies is not quite reliable. Owners need to be extra careful to transport them safely, as Tesla itself does not suggest this as the best method to use.

Using wheel lifts and dollies, some Tesla owners have had to pay for repairs because of damages that resulted from it.

Also, for safest towing, you can’t tow your Tesla beyond the distance of 35 miles. Towing your Tesla longer than this can damage some primary components, such as the brakes and wheels.

However, note that flat towing your Tesla is sure going to damage the car. Doing this can severely damage your Tesla with no warranty coverage.

Can a Tesla Be Towed Behind an RV?

You can tow a Tesla behind an RV provided you attach a flatbed trailer to transport it.

However, if this is not the case, then you cannot flat tow a Tesla behind an RV unless you put it in Neutral.

Putting the car in neutral makes it safe to tow your Tesla behind an RV by deactivating the brake and unlocking the wheels. This isolates your motor control system so that it can spin without applying regenerative braking force.

While putting Tesla in neutral is the popular solution so far, note that this is still dangerous to your car. This is because your wheels can overheat, and overheating can damage them.

Also, Tesla doesn’t encourage flat towing of any type, no matter what the situation can be. As we mentioned above, Tesla warranty will not be responsible for damages or issues that may result from it.

To tow your Tesla behind an RV, get a permanent flatbed trailer for it. Not only will this protect your Tesla, it will also save you from expenses that flat towing it can cause. So far, getting a flatbed trailer costs around $2,000 to $15,000.

Related: What Does Tesla’s Warranty Cover? (9 things checked)

What Tesla Model Is Best for Towing Behind an RV?

Using the flatbed trailer, you can tow all Tesla models safely without issues behind an RV. That way, all the Tesla models are safe and can travel any distance.

However, using other means to tow your Tesla behind an RV is not good for any model. Using wheel lifters and dollies can cause even the best model to be the worst to tow where there is long distance to travel.

Also, setting your Tesla to neutral when towing may not be enough to prevent problems.

Related: How Far Can Fully-Charged Teslas Go? (All Models’ Range)

Can You Set a Tesla in Neutral?

You can set a Tesla in neutral. With Tesla Neutral Mode, owners can roll freely without pressing the brake pedal.

Also, there is the added advantage of easy parking, improved range, increased safety and more.

Tesla offers different ways of utilizing the Neutral Mode in each model. However, each method is identical in two models as listed below.

To shift your Tesla into the Neutral Mode in 2022 models, owners should follow the guidelines below:

Model 3 and Model Y

  • Push or pull the gear stalk upward or downward to the first position when in Park.
  • Hold it for one or more seconds.
  • Your model Y or 3 will automatically shift into neutral mode. Note: Tesla will notify you when it shifts.

If in reverse, you can shift to neutral mode by:

  • pushing the drive stalk down to the first position briefly.

Model S and Model X

  • Open the control on model S console screen.
  • Go to the car icon.
  • Press and hold the Neutral icon on the drive mode for a few seconds until it engages Neutral.
  • Your model S will automatically shift to neutral.

Related: How Much Can A Tesla Tow? (4 Models Checked)

Can a Tesla Charge While Being Towed?

Tesla can charge while being towed, but at a slower rate compared to V1 and V2 charging stations.

A Tesla charges at the rate of 65 kW during towing, according to Motorbiscuit. This is low compared to the 72 to 150 kW charging rate of Tesla Supercharger V1 or V2 stations.

Note that the car’s wheels need to be on the ground during towing for it to charge the battery. Unfortunately, you can’t do this for a long period, as it can cause overheating and damage to the car’s components.


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