Is It Possible to Drive A Tesla Towing Generator? The Truth

Charging stations have been a more familiar sight in remote areas these years, but that doesn’t mean they are that common.

Millions of Tesla drivers still struggle to spot one during their long travels! 

Due to these challenges, some adventurous souls decide to turn a seemingly risky idea into practice: driving a Tesla towing generator.

While the trick sounds downright laughable at first hearing, think again: is it really that impractical? 

Can You Drive A Tesla Towing Generator?

tesla towing generator
Tesla Towing Generator

Can we drive a Tesla with generator on back? Yes.

A typical generator weighs approximately 250 pounds, while Tesla’s reported towing performances can max out at a whopping 5000 lbs (the same as 2014 Toyota Highlander, and only slightly lower than 2006 Tacoma).

Even the weakest-performing out of them all, the Tesla Model 3, works fine with loads beyond 2000 pounds. There’s no reason a small generator cannot fit into these ratings! 

Nevertheless, do not forget that hundreds of Tesla models have been distributed so far; some are made for towing, and some aren’t.

By illustration, Model S has no towing rates, and Tesla doesn’t say anything about Model Y’s tow ranges.

Hence, always refer to their manuals for specific weights, payloads, engines, etc., before driving a Tesla with a generator in the trunk.

Only then can you keep both yourself and the electric vehicle from unnecessary risks.

What Are The Drawbacks of Driving A Tesla Towing Generator? How to Solve Them?

gas generator tesla
Some Drawbacks & Solution of Driving A Tesla Towing Generator

Low ranges, high pollution risks, and off-the-roof prices are the most headache-inducing problems one has to face when driving an electric car towing a generator.

Fortunately, we have come up with a few methods and alternatives to counter them.

Low Range

The generator itself is not the problem; replacing it with camping supplies or fishing gear wouldn’t make any difference. What matters here, instead, is the trailer placed on your Tesla’s rear.

Once this device is hooked up, your car range will significantly drop compared to normal circumstances (though the specific numbers may vary across each model).

The trailer’s contents, drag level, and total weight all combine to slow down your car to an insane extent, hampering the rest of the trip.


What to do, then? Thankfully, Tesla has included a trip planner with its products to help confused drivers assess the exact distance they will get.

You can find the planners in Tesla’s trailer mode features – which are always active during trailer towing. Aside from range calculations, these modes also help you: 

  • Be traffic-aware. The Cruise Control extends the following distances from the vehicles before you.
  • Avoid accidents. Its collision warning is always active. However, automated steering intervention is disabled.

Pollution Risks

One might say we are exaggerating, but we aren’t: using generators consistently on the road is a thousand times worse for our environment than conventional diesel-powered or gasoline cars.

Most car features are designed under stringent emission criteria to reduce harmful particulates.

Meanwhile, generators do not comply with similar rules: performance and charging flows are put above all else, which is why their fumes and fuel burns are almost unfiltered.

One rare exception is probably a natural gas generator – but its environmental-friendliness is yet to be officially confirmed by authorized studies or research.


Except for limiting their usage frequency, we really can’t think of any other way to use generators and NOT pollute the air at the same time.

Great Expenses

There’s no explanation needed here. Generators require a lot of money to operate and maintain; not to mention, frequent conversion losses force your car to consume more fuel than usual.

While its upfront convenience is undeniable, generator charging is not that great of a deal if we speak about long-term benefits.


The ultimate answer is to replace Tesla with gasoline-powered cars. Cheaper, less emission, and that’s that.

But suppose you still want to keep your Tesla for the occasion; what to do, then?

Experiments have concluded that towing EVs can return impressive power to the battery.

Based on these revolutionary findings, experts have come up with a cheaper and better alternative for generator-towing Tesla:

Step 1. Find yourself a wrecked, old-styled, automatic transmission VW beetle.

  • Cut off 2/3 of its front.
  • Attach and design the fuel system for your rear section (about 5 gallons is enough). Install modified goosenecks that can lock straight ahead when needed.
  • Also, you can tweak some servos to enhance the beetle’s trans selectors and throttles.

Step 2. Let your Tesla tow it.

The entire thing should weigh much less than 465 kg or 1000 lb.

Step 3. Use the VW beetle to power your Tesla.

Let’s say you are stuck on an empty road with depleted batteries.

  • Get away from the highway and pull over.
  • Tighten the drawbars, start the VW beetle engine, and turn its RC radio on.
  • Enter your Tesla to engage the trailer hitch/tow dolly. Use your trailer to push the Tesla down the street at low speeds while letting the regen charge its battery.

How to Charge Properly: Tips for Tesla Being Charged by Generator 

electric car towing a generator
Tips for Tesla Being Charged by Generator 

Despite all odds and drawbacks, many drivers still decide to stick with Tesla pulling generator.

That’s alright, but at least make sure you understand how to use those generators before embarking on any trip: 

Generator Types

Sure, our one-sizes-fit-all guide can work with all generator categories. Still, it’s important to learn basic features and differences among them, which will allow you to customize their usage better: 

Standard Generators (most common) 

It comprises an outlet system, exhaust, fuel reserve, starter, alternator, and combustion engine. Everything must be done manually: start, shut-off, refueling, etc.

Inverter Generators

They have two extra parts compared to standard versions: an inverter and a rectifier.

Hence, the produced electrical energy doesn’t go straight into the outlet – but flows through the rectifiers first to be converted from AC to DC.

Power Stations

Quite similar to standard generators in purpose and size, except that there’s no power plant or engine.

Instead, it works like batteries, holding and distributing specific electrical energy quantities via outlets.

Standby Generators (or Backup Generators) 

Its non-mobile, sizable generation system fulfills two goals:

  • Providing sufficient power
  • Activate automatically once the power grids are down

Their low-THD electric production (below 2%) makes them a good choice for sensitive cars.

However, these generators are by no means light or small, demanding concrete setups/ foundations in well-prepared areas.

Charging Guides

Go extremely slow in every step. No need to rush yourself and ruin the entire process!

Step 1. Ground the generator properly. After activating it, wait for some time to let it warm up.

Step 2. Start your Tesla charging. First, set the generator’s amp outputs at the lowest setting. Then add extra power slowly using your dashboard monitor system.

Again, “slow” is the magic word; too-fast charging will damage both your car and the generator.

Establish a moderate objective during earlier hours (reaching 28-30 amps gradually) before aiming for full power.


Driving a Tesla towing generator does not seem as insane as some expect it to be, but there are definitely better and cheaper options out there.

Still not changed your mind about using Tesla towing a generator? At least note down our charging tips to keep mishaps at bay.

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