Tesla is one of the fastest-growing automobile manufacturers in the world. Their lineup of electric vehicles is redefining the cutting edge of transportation technology.
In late November of 2020, they revealed their latest creation the Tesla Cybertruck.
Positioned to compete in the niche currently held by a wide range of gasoline and diesel-powered half-ton trucks it has a lot of people asking some very important questions.
For RV enthusiasts, this includes wondering if the new Tesla Cybertruck can tow an RV or a trailer.
The good news is that with a towing capacity of 14,000 pounds and a payload capacity of 3,500 pounds, that yes the Tesla Cybertruck can indeed tow a lot of RV’s and travel trailers and light-weight 5th wheels. Though not all of them are a good option. There are a few technical issues to keep in mind to make sure you can tow your chosen RV safely.
To truly find out if the Tesla Cybertruck is a good choice to tow your camper or travel trailer, we are going to need to roll up our sleeves and look at the devil hiding in the details.
This includes not only the electric motor’s power and range but also other things like aerodynamics.
We’ll also need to take into account some real-life considerations, like where and how long it takes to charge the Tesla Cybertruck during a long towing session.
Tesla Cyber Truck’s Basic Specifications
On paper, there are a lot of things to like about the Tesla Cybertruck. It certainly has a nice towing capacity and payload capacity, though things can change a little bit when you take it off paper and into the real world.
Tesla Cybertruck’s Aesthetics And Aerodynamics
This is a hot-button topic we probably need to address right off the bat, just to get it out of the way.
Like several other Tesla electric vehicles, the Tesla Cybertruck has drawn the ire of many critics for its arguably primitive exterior shell, which looks like something your kid draws and you begrudgingly hang it on the refrigerator to keep from deflating his tender kindergartener’s ego.
In recent years, Tesla’s engineers have been perhaps overly obsessing about aerodynamics with the design of many of their newest models.
This is especially true of the new Tesla Cybertruck which seems to have spent more time in a wind tunnel than it did on a designer’s drawing board.
If you are okay with the stark lines and somewhat boxy shape and the fact that from a traditional standpoint there are more direct blind spots than a traditional half-ton or quarter-ton pickup truck, then the aerodynamic shape will ultimately add to your range.
Oh, and when it comes to the blind spots, Tesla addressed this in the Cybertruck by giving it an innovative 8-camera system.
Once you break the habit of always turning your head to change lanes or back up into tight spots, you will find the camera system to be very helpful. Even when backing up a trailer into a tight campsite.
Though it’s still worth bearing in mind that the aerodynamic shape of the back end of the Tesla Cybertruck with a trailer behind it, the way the wind comes off the back can lend itself to certain trailers over others.
Ultimately the wider the front profile of your camper or travel trailer is, the less value you are going to get out of the aerodynamic engineering of the Tesla Cybertruck.
Teardrop Campers and other travel trailers that were designed with aerodynamics in mind will ultimately tow easier in the slipstream created behind the Tesla Cybertruck.
As will pop-up trailers with their incredibly low profile that essentially lets the draft of the Tesla Cybertruck pass smoothly over them.
In the end, this will translate into a greater travel range out of the high-tech lithium-ion batteries that power the Cybertruck.
Tesla’s Overall Build Quality
Experience RV travelers know that the build quality and overall durability of your tow vehicle is a major factor.
It plays into the longevity of the vehicle, as well as a reduced risk of breakdowns. Not to mention the knack a minor parts malfunction can have on how the vehicle tows.
As with all Tesla vehicles the Cybertruck is infused with a lot of high material build quality applied to sound engineering principles.
Though Tesla did go the extra mile to make their new Cybertruck especially durable.
This includes an exoskeleton that’s made from cold-pressed stainless steel, which reduces metal fatigue while improving overall rigidity.
This will ultimately translate into better tracking and control of a trailer being pulled behind the Tesla Cybertruck.
There is a little bit of argument about the overall look of the commercial-grade stainless steel.
On the one hand, it doesn’t take paint well at all, so you are stuck with the sort of institutional look of stainless steel.
On the plus side, the stainless steel has incredibly high corrosion and rust resistance, which will add to the long-term value of the Tesla Cybertruck.
Though you might need to give it a good wipe down with the same stainless steel cleaning polish that you give to your stainless steel gas grill.
It’s also worth noting that the hardness of the stainless steel used in the Tesla Cybertruck has far greater resistance to dents and dings than the kind of crude steel used in a lot of domestically produced half-ton and quarter-ton pickup trucks.
This can come in handy if you have a knack for over-correcting when backing up a trailer and might ever so slightly kiss a picnic table or tree.
The Towing Capability Of The Tesla Cybertruck
Several factors go into the towing capabilities of any pickup truck, especially the Tesla Cybertruck.
This includes the towing capacity of the electric motors as well as things like suspension and braking power.
What Is The Towing Capacity Of The Tesla Cybertruck?
One of the impressive realities of electric vehicles is the immediate delivery of power and a high torque potential compared to gasoline and even diesel pickup trucks.
On paper, the Tesla Cybertruck has a towing capacity rating of up to 14,000 pounds.
Though towing capacity is only one important factor amongst many when it comes to safely and confidently tow a trailer.
The Suspension System Of The Tesla Cybertruck
Suspension plays an important role in your ability to comfortably tow and control a trailer.
It also translates directly into payload capacity, which also affects how much hitch weight your truck can bear.
With the Tesla Cybertruck, you get adjustable air suspension, which when it comes to comfort is a lot smoother than the leaf springs and heavy-duty shocks that you get with a lot of domestically produced pickup trucks.
What Is The Payload Capacity Of The Tesla Cybertruck?
It also translates into a payload capacity of up to 3,500 pounds, which is typically more than enough to handle most travel trailers and certainly any teardrop camper on the market today.
There’s also 100 cubic feet of storage in the back, for your gear. Just bear in mind that the more you load into it, the more payload capacity you are losing when it comes time to tow something heavy.
What Is The Range Of A Tesla Cybertruck When Towing
The range is the biggest argument against electric vehicles of all kinds. In the case of the Tesla Cybertruck, it’s unclear what the range limitations are for the special electric tri-motor system.
So How far can the Cybertruck tow?
On the specs, Tesla Cybertruck can drive up to 500 miles on a single charge when it is empty and unladen. Those numbers will inevitably come down when you are towing a trailer behind it.
The United States is arguably behind a lot of other nations when it comes to the distance between fast electric charging stations.
Statistically, as of the spring of 2020, there is an average of 47 miles between charging stations in the continental United States.
This is spread out between 78,500 charging outlets and almost 25,000 charging stations that are available for plug-in electric vehicles.
That might sound good on paper, but when you look at it in the real world, most of the electric vehicle charging stations in the continental United States are in urban and suburban areas, where they feed commuter vehicle needs.
When you start getting out in the great wild world where a lot of RV enthusiasts like to camp.
Ultimately, if you are ready to take the plunge on an electric tow vehicle like the Tesla Cybertruck as your primary means of transportation on years of RV adventures, you are going to want to do some research in advance.
Take a close look at the maps and plot out your travel route to make the most out of the available charging stations.
It’s probably best to take a pessimistic look and plan on the Tesla Cybertruck only being able to get half its potential range when towing. You could call it a safe ballpark number of 250-miles.
When you get to the point where you are ready to take it out in the real world, you will likely get better range than that with say a light teardrop camper behind you. Still, for the first few RV adventures,it’s better to be safe than sorry.