Product Review Excellent Stealth Hitch System for Tesla Model 3

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Ramblin Wreck

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Joined
Apr 15, 2017
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12
Location
Smyrna, GA
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Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
I want to recommend a hitch system for the Tesla Model 3, I had one installed on my TM3 AWD in mid-November 2018 and I can personally vouch for its quality and the company behind it (an unpaid/uncompensated recommendation):
www.stealthhitches.com/products/tesla-model-3-2017-present
www.stealthhitches.com/blogs/news/press-release-stealth-hitches-llc-announces-product-release-of-new-tesla-model-3-hidden-hitch
- Rack-only Package (2.0"/1.25" square hitch receiver) $498
- Tow Package (18" U7S/15.5" U5S/13" U3S Tow Ball Height with 2"/1.875"/2.3125" Tow Ball, Stealth wiring harness) $658
- Rack + Tow Combo Package $757
Stealth Hitches are fully hidden when not in use. No more bruised shins from contact with the receiver of other hitches, all while maximizing your towing capacity, maintaining your crumple zones (unlike other hitches), and maintaining the vehicle’s original appearance. The main hitch bracket mounts behind the rear bumper, completely hidden from view. A rectangular access hole is cut in the plastic cowling under the TM3 as with other hitches. The difference is that the detachable hitch ball mount or rack receiver hitch attaches to the main hitch bracket when needed via a precision-machined stainless steel mounting block.
Stealth Hitches
4580 Commerce Pkwy NE
Sugar Hill, GA 30518
www.stealthhitches.com
info@stealthhitches.com
1-833-MyHitch (694-4824) / 678-714-3592
Notes: As part of the Stealth wiring harness installation, a fused heavy-gauge wire is routed from the 12V accessory battery, through the car chassis, back to the rear bumper area where the towing wiring harness and electronics are installed. The tow harness voltages are indirect, relay-generated and short-circuit protected.
 
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Ramblin Wreck

Member
Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
12
Location
Smyrna, GA
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Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
I might add that I had the hitch installed in Sugar Hill GA since I live in the metro Atlanta area. They did a great job, meticulous work. As part of installation, I did have them apply plenty of outdoor-grade silicone adhesive/sealant between the car's rear chassis (aluminum) and the hitch bracket (powder-painted hardened steel) in addition to the standard insulating spacers, to minimize the possibility of corrosion and rust (I've read about the early Tesla Model S/X Eco-Hitch corrosion & rust horror stories, and seen the photos of the extensive chassis damage).
Don't bolt ANYTHING steel to your aluminum Tesla chassis without proper insulation and waterproofing (look up "galvanic corrosion"), paint and anodizing are thin surface coatings that will fail.
 

garsh

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Misterbee

Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Los Angeles
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
I want to recommend a hitch system for the Tesla Model 3, I had one installed on my TM3 AWD in mid-November 2018 and I can personally vouch for its quality and the company behind it (an unpaid/uncompensated recommendation):
www.stealthhitches.com/products/tesla-model-3-2017-present
www.stealthhitches.com/blogs/news/press-release-stealth-hitches-llc-announces-product-release-of-new-tesla-model-3-hidden-hitch
- Rack-only Package (2.0"/1.25" square hitch receiver) $498
- Tow Package (18" U7S/15.5" U5S/13" U3S Tow Ball Height with 2"/1.875"/2.3125" Tow Ball, Stealth wiring harness) $658
- Rack + Tow Combo Package $757
Stealth Hitches are fully hidden when not in use. No more bruised shins from contact with the receiver of other hitches, all while maximizing your towing capacity, maintaining your crumple zones (unlike other hitches), and maintaining the vehicle’s original appearance. The main hitch bracket mounts behind the rear bumper, completely hidden from view. A rectangular access hole is cut in the plastic cowling under the TM3 as with other hitches. The difference is that the detachable hitch ball mount or rack receiver hitch attaches to the main hitch bracket when needed via a precision-machined stainless steel mounting block.
Stealth Hitches
4580 Commerce Pkwy NE
Sugar Hill, GA 30518
www.stealthhitches.com
info@stealthhitches.com
1-833-MyHitch (694-4824) / 678-714-3592
Notes: As part of the Stealth wiring harness installation, a fused heavy-gauge wire is routed from the 12V accessory battery, through the car chassis, back to the rear bumper area where the towing wiring harness and electronics are installed. The tow harness voltages are indirect, relay-generated and short-circuit protected.
Looks like a nice setup. May I ask what you are pulling with it? My wife and I dream of pulling a small trailer with our 3.
 

groovetesla

Active member
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
150
Location
Denver, CO
Country
Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
I love this. But I worry about adding 30+ pounds to the car and what that would mean for range. I suppose I could offset some of it with forged wheels but I don't have the budget for that yet. How much did the install cost?
 

kyrral

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Sep 29, 2018
Messages
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Location
Pomona, CA
Country
Country
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Model 3
I bought the base model because I already have a ball. I didn't want to pay $160 for that option. I do have to weld on tow chain rings (which I think should be standard). Stealth wont sell me a wiring harness separately so my QUESTiION is: how hard to fabricate one from scratch (not me, I'm jobbing this out to Arrow Trailer in Ontario, CA), Incidently I had a hitch on my Prius and hauled over 2000lbs concrete to dump and weighed it. Weight is balanced over wheels, not tongue. Mainly need to slow down ahead.
 

MJJ

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2016
Messages
215
Location
Fresno
I bought the base model because I already have a ball. I didn't want to pay $160 for that option. I do have to weld on tow chain rings (which I think should be standard). Stealth wont sell me a wiring harness separately so my QUESTiION is: how hard to fabricate one from scratch (not me, I'm jobbing this out to Arrow Trailer in Ontario, CA), Incidently I had a hitch on my Prius and hauled over 2000lbs concrete to dump and weighed it. Weight is balanced over wheels, not tongue. Mainly need to slow down ahead.

How did you do with this project? I'm walking the same path. I tried the Tekonsha clip on harness which did not work.
 

android04

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Sep 19, 2017
Messages
255
Location
Crete, NE
Country
Country
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Model 3
How did you do with this project? I'm walking the same path. I tried the Tekonsha clip on harness which did not work.
For the wiring to connect my trailer, I used the Tekonsha Item# 119190KIT, which is a powered trailer light converter. It works perfectly, but you have to tap into the tail light wiring. I used these Posi-Taps to tap into the wires easily without cutting or splicing or soldering Amazon product .

Before this Tekonsha light converter (which supports PWM lights) I tried using an old converter that did not require separate power and got it's power from the lights. This worked well for running lights and turn signal, but the brake lights would not turn on in the trailer. So make sure that your tail light converter supports PWM since our Tesla brake lights are PWM.
 

MJJ

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Messages
215
Location
Fresno
Thank you much. I guess I’ll have to tap the wiring. I tried the Tekonsha 119250 which did not work. Spoke to a Tekonsha engineer who said “nope! It sure don’t!” I also spoke to Stealth, but as soon as I asked them whose harness they use, they said “I don’t know where you’re going with this” and hung up on me!
 

Misterbee

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Dec 7, 2018
Messages
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Location
Los Angeles
Country
Country
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Model 3
I have the Stealthitch, and ordered it with the wiring harness. It’s nothing special, just a pretty generic 4-pin harness. I took the whole thing to my hitch guy, and he did the installation. He said the hardest part was running the power all the way to the 12 volt battery up in the frunk.
 

Ramblin Wreck

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Apr 15, 2017
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12
Location
Smyrna, GA
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Country
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Model 3
A note to folks about the Tesla Model 3 wiring harness (from an owner who's an Electrical Engineer): the Tesla Model 3 has a very unique wiring harness WITH NO FUSES. All power comes from the Battery Management System (BMS) via switched circuits that are actively monitored - "smart circuit breakers" if you will. If the BMS detects excessive current drain on a particular chassis circuit, it turns that circuit off and alerts the vehicle control system for diagnostic and corrective action. No fuses or circuit breakers to burn out and replace. Very smart, saves lots of copper and connections, much more reliable and flexible. Almost all future vehicles will likely be made this way.
This said, for towing you will want to use a separate "amplified" towing wiring harness with signal sense wires that gets its operating power from a separate power wire run along the passenger side of the car chassis up to the 12Vdc accessory battery, connected directly to the positive battery terminal (as Misterbee's hitch guy confirmed). If you don't, you will definitely have problems, and the vehicle will detect and "complain about" unauthorized brake light/turn signal/running light circuit connections or unexpected power drains. The StealthHitch solution has been tested and refined, and works perfectly with all Model 3 versions.
 
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MJJ

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... running the power all the way to the 12 volt battery up in the frunk.

I don’t know why they insist on going all the way to the 12v battery. The 12v taps under the rear seat are much easier to get to, and are cabled directly to the 12v battery. 0F2ADB85-B7ED-4DBD-A638-C35A44345F35.jpeg
 
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Ramblin Wreck

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Joined
Apr 15, 2017
Messages
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Location
Smyrna, GA
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Country
Tesla Owner
Model 3
It's complicated, but the same basic issue that they run into when looking for an unswitched power source for accessories (dashcams etc). If you don't connect directly to the 12V battery, the BMC sees the current draw of the device(s) and interprets it as a "vampire drain" on the system which causes problems. The only way to avoid being "sensed" by the BMC is to connect directly to the 12V battery at the (+) terminal. I assure you, many clever workarounds have been tried, including your rear seat 12V taps (which are sensed).
As a practical matter, there's a convenient channel for running the wire along the passenger side of the vehicle, it's not that bad once you know the tricks, it's just a long run of heavy red copper wire. The StealthHitch documentation shows it. They install a standard fuse right at the battery that's easy to pop out if needed.
 
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Dcon

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Joined
Aug 18, 2018
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Location
Los angeles,CA
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Model 3
I have the Stealthitch, and ordered it with the wiring harness. It’s nothing special, just a pretty generic 4-pin harness. I took the whole thing to my hitch guy, and he did the installation. He said the hardest part was running the power all the way to the 12 volt battery up in the frunk.
Mister bee, Im in LA as well and haven't found a place to install a hitch on my model 3 , can you share your hitch guy / installer's info with me please .
 

Misterbee

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Dec 7, 2018
Messages
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Los Angeles
Country
Country
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Model 3
Mister bee, Im in LA as well and haven't found a place to install a hitch on my model 3 , can you share your hitch guy / installer's info with me please .
From the dealer locator on the Stealthitch website. A great shop, ask for Michael. 1A7270DF-6CC4-4BDA-A219-DD3C0952CF2C.png
 

dsgerbc

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Jun 16, 2019
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Location
Michigan
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Country
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Model 3
I need this for my bikes.
How does one buy a spare rear shield? I'd like to have it on while not using the hitch.
 

Misterbee

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Joined
Dec 7, 2018
Messages
21
Location
Los Angeles
Country
Country
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Model 3
I need this for my bikes.
How does one buy a spare rear shield? I'd like to have it on while not using the hitch.
When you mount the hitch, save the piece that gets cut out of the bottom of the rear of the car.When you aren’t using the hitch, you can tape it in place. Honestly, it’s almost visible .
 

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