Can a Tesla Pull a Small Camper?

Teslas are among the most powerful and efficient electric cars out there. But since EVs still hold an underrated value in the eyes of millions, the masses think that they have a hard time pulling even their own load. And camping aficionados often query about the prowess of Tesla cars to pull their small trailers for family picnic events.

Since small campers weigh 500 to 4,500 lbs—well within the towing capabilities of Teslas—yes, most Tesla cars can pull a small camper easily. However, it impacts the range depending on the original weight, aerodynamics, and the loaded capacity of the camper.

Which Tesla Is the Best for Pulling a Small Camper?


All Teslas are great for pulling a small camper; however, if the camper falls on the heavier end of the weight, Tesla Model X is the best choice for pulling it. With its enormous wheel torque and heavy build to keep friction with the ground, the vehicle is extraordinary in its towing performance.

Tesla Models Towing Capacity (lbs) Torque (Nm) Weight (lbs)
X 5,000 660 Up to 5,371
Y 3,500 481 4,416
3 2,200 487 Up to 3,814
S 2,000 487 Up to 4,960


How to Pull a Small Camper With a Tesla?

1. Install the Hitch


Tow packages containing the hitch are necessary to attach the campers to the back of Tesla cars. You will not get a tow package with your Tesla; you need to purchase it separately. Depending upon your model, you can expect to pay up to $1,000 for a full package. Once you get the hitch, insert it into the socket present on the rear bumper of your car. You can also take the help of special clips to make sure that the hitch remains in place. You need to eliminate the play entirely to ensure a smooth ride. Once the hitch is installed, you can attach the camper to it.

2. Manage the Tow Settings

Tesla recommends engaging the Trailer Mode while towing anything. It will disable some autopilot features, automatic steering interventions, and rear parking sensors. Traffic-Aware Cruise Control also increases the distance between your Tesla and the vehicle in front of you. Together, these slight changes can enhance safety while towing.

The Trailer Mode is turned on automatically when you establish the electrical connection between the camper and your car (Teslas have 13-pin wire connectors near the hitch socket). However, you can turn it off as per your requirement. To do it, simply select Controls on the screen, reach out to Pedals and Steering, and select Trailer Mode. You will see an option to turn it off there.

Also, note that when the Trailer Mode is on, it shows a blue mark on the screen. But when something is connected electrically but the user has turned the mode off manually, the mark will turn yellow.

Be Careful

Always connect your camper to your Tesla electrically. As per regulations, all campers must be equipped with brake lights, side-marker lights, and turn signals.



3. Increase Tire Pressure

Various sources recommend additional air pressure in the tires to accommodate the attached load. Tesla also recommends adjusting the tire pressure since the rear excel is burdened more. As per Tesla manuals, the pressure in the rear tire must be at least 20 psi above the recommended range for normal driving.

4. Charge

If you have attached a camper to your Tesla, we assume that you are driving somewhere far. But since towing can decrease the range, you need to charge the battery to the maximum to ensure you have a sufficient number of miles to drive to your desired location. You can also take the help of a carefully planned route—if you have a lot of charging stations in your way, it will keep replenishing your battery after regular intervals. You can also take a portable EV charger with you.

How Much Does Pulling a Small Camper Affect the Range?

On average, by towing a small camper, Teslas, like other EVs, lose up to 50% of their range. However, it is not a hard and fast figure and depends upon several factors. Most important among those are the camp’s weight, design and shape, and the upward inclination of the path. To give you a brief idea specifically about Tesla, the Model X is known to lose about 71% of its range while pulling a 3,200 lbs trailer.


Teslas put more power to work when any additional load is attached to them for the same path and distance. It inevitably consumes more battery to compensate for the performance. The larger the attached load is, the faster the battery charging will be lost.

Can a Tesla Pull a Big Camper?

Yes, the Model X can pull any camper below 5,000 lbs weight. However, it will compromise the range more than in the case of a small camper. Tesla cars are among the beasts in terms of torque and therefore hold a good reputation when it comes to pulling something.


Not to mention, these cars can even pull a plane! In 2018, Tesla proved its mettle by towing a Qantas Boeing 787. We also know about Teslas pulling other cars out of the sands of Dubai. But this significantly reduces the range. If you want to pull enormous trailers, you will have to wait for the Tesla Cybertruck to hit the markets. That beast will have a 1,000 Nm torque with a whopping 14,000 lbs towing capacity!

Concluding Remarks: Can a Tesla Pull a Small Camper?

Absolutely, depending upon the weight of the trailers and the pulling capacities of the Tesla cars, towing a small trailer is not a tough job for these vehicles. The Tesla Model X is the perfect car for pulling small campers—with its larger torque and heavy weight, it can tow any size of small camper without any issue. Moreover, it has the best range among all Tesla models—you will see the least significant drop in a Model X range while towing a small camper compared to other models.

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