Trailer Trash

We’ve bought a trailer! It’s for trackdays and trips abroad, further afield. It’s a Debon C400. As luck would have it, it arrived as a part-exchange at the dealer the morning we turned up, so it was in an out within an hour, heh.

We’ll tow it with the Tesla to start with, as that’s what we have, but we plan on getting a towing vehicle to make life a little easier on longer trips - mainly to avoid having to unhitch every time we need to recharge. When towing with the Tesla we are estimating a 125-150 mile range, but time will tell. We’ve only towed it empty, not fully loaded. The normal real-world range is about 250-280 miles, but of course towing something massive and heavy ruins your fuel-economy/range.

It’s to tow the two sports bikes and associated gear for trackdays. Also, we plan on putting the two BMW GS’ in there somehow (without panniers) to take to places further afield. We’ve got a roadtrip planned to Slovenia later in the year and that’s at about the point distance wise, where it starts to get a little bit of a stretch when riding all the way on bikes, considering time off work, tyres, tiredness/enjoyment, etc. Easy in a car where you can share the driving duties and the tyres don’t square off :slight_smile:

Fit-out wise, we want to do a few things to make life a bit easier, but nothing drastic as we want to keep the weight/cost down. We’re thinking Pitbull mounts for all bikes, a few small cupboards, rails to hang things off, skylight, additional lights, perhaps some mats, etc.

Something like these, but without the fitted cabinets…


Pitbull trailer restraints:

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I would think carefully before fitting a skylight. If its not 100% right you may get water coming in and thats not good unless you were hoping to fit a shower to freshen up.


Hrm, a good point for sure.
I’d probably get a professional to install one, if I did :slight_smile:

Where’s Mian when you need him.

Some 12v downlights would be my go to. or some 12v LED strip in a surface mount profile rather than a skylight. Less likely to give you hassle and easy to remove if the next owner doesn’t want them in.


Definitely some LED lights, maybe fed by a small bike battery that’s charged from the car. Then it’s independent.

Yeah, that’s exactly what I’d like, for when the trailer isn’t connected to the car. Perhaps a Lithium Ion battery to keep it light.

Update: have just done a dress-rehearsal with the two GS’ in there. They fit, in a top and tail arrangement. That was on the side stands. Ideally I’d like to have them on Pitbull stands to make life easier. I really don’t want to be strapping these behemoths down.

I helped a mate convert a van to a camper a couple years ago, after 3 people tried, I was the one who was able to fit a roof fan properly without it leaking.

Fit solar to the roof. Judging from your budget, get a Jackery system, then you can have 240v when you need it at the track, as well as 12v for lights.


If doing trackdays and no garaging etc consider a small night/diesel heater fitted in trailer for those inclement periods that you can shelterin trailer without having to sit in the car reducing your range with heating on and bulky leathers


Also bear in mind your weights ( approx numbers below)
X2 gs fully loaded 530kgs with fuel etc

Trailer max weight 1300kgs
Unladen 498kgs

You have a payload capacity of
800kgs - 530kgs = 270kgs for other goodies

And then lets not mention the Tesla towing capacity …
Word of warning DO NOT EXCEED THE SPECS GIVEN OF THE CAPACITY/NOSE WEIGHT have seen quite a few detachments caused by towing attachment failures over the years on Tesla’s due to misuse.


The first use of the trailer + Tesla combo went well. @pricetta and I had our first trackday of the year up at Snetterton, in Norfolk (~90 miles away). The journey was uneventful really with only one snag (seen below in pics). We charged once on the way and unhitching at the Supercharger was easy enough, taking only a minute.

We used approx double the amount of energy than usual, so that left us with about half range. The car wasn’t very good at estimating range before setting off, but that’s not unsurprising considering it doesn’t know how heavy the trailer is (could assume max allowed weight and adjust from there though).

Claire and I both need to learn HTF you reverse a trailer, as we had a go and got it totally wrong. All thoughts of “how hard can it be” quickly went out the window. Think we need to go on a brief trailer course driving :slight_smile:

The trackday itself was good, in that we came home with both bikes in one piece. It rained in the morning, but we elected not to go out on track as wet + cold is not really a condition the tyres will work well in, even with tyre warmers. That turned out to be a most sensible decision as every session was red flagged and the recovery truck guy really earnt his pay that day as he was bringing bashed up and muddy bikes back all the time.

We stuck the car on trickle charge at the circuit, though the three-phase (blue) socket was only outputting 10amps, so it didn’t really help a great deal (think we got 50 miles in the end). We fell asleep in the car with the heating on and when we woke up it was after lunch and dry! Yay!

So we had a special couple of sighting laps with the instructors and got out on track and got in a solid three full sessions and had a great time!

Packing up is sooooo much easier with a box trailer! The roll-on/roll-off ability is a god-send when you’re tired at the end of a trackday, and being able to stand up in the trailer is a real boon.

The drive home was a breeze as well, with just a single charge required.

Things that went well:

  • A very comfortable drive with adaptive cruise-control.
  • Effortless acceleration with the trailer out of junctions and into traffic due to immense torque.
  • Pre-heating the cabin in the morning of the trackday from the hotel room. Toasty.

Things that could be improved:

  • Charging time could be reduced if the battery pre-heat feature extended to ad-hoc navigation to Superchargers. It seems to only work when the car knows you’ll need energy to reach your navigation destination, though of course as you’re using 2x as much energy like this, it thinks you don’t need to charge, so you have to navigate to a Supercharger yourself, and battery pre-heat doesn’t seem to work in this scenario, or at least it didn’t for us, twice.
  • Circuits could have one or two fast chargers for EVs.

Stopped at services for a comfort break. No charge needed at this point.

Discovered a snag. The trailer electrical cable had dragged on the floor a bit and worn the outer protective layer a bit. Some cable ties from the trackday kit held it up for the rest of the trip. Will have to come up with some kind of velcro tie solution I think.

Quick charge on the way to the hotel.

Somehow managed to reverse it more or less into a good place. All trailer security added.

Waiting for the rain to stop and the circuit to dry! Switched to paddock stands for Claire’s bike this time as the ConStand we have for her bike is too fiddly for use at a track. The per-bike mount for it seems problematic, despite much adjustment.

Loved seeing this. Did not love seeing it come back all bashed up in the recovery truck later.

There were three of these very custom Yamaha R1 builds. At first I thought they were Moto2 replicas, but not, big boys! Very nice bits of kit, but I dread to think how much they would cost to repair after slipping off.

Custom Yamaha R1 cockpit.

Suzuki Classic Racing were there with this very nice SRAD. Very slick outfit. There were also a few other SRADS there, with VERY enthusiastic owners.

Good to have a trial fairly local.

What sort of range did you have to start with?

Just hope it wasn’t a situation where you were in a hurry. That’s where a van would be easier.

Thats why you only got 50 miles as you were using it as it was charging

I see you parked next to the AA just in case

Range: normally about 240-275 miles of real world, non-conservative driving. Think we were on for about 130-140 miles of range with the trailer at 1 tonne.

The heating on the car is very efficient. It uses a heat-pump so the electrical input required is far below normal car heaters. That’s part of why their range is so much better than the competition, but yes, having the heating on would have slowed charging down, but mostly it was because the socket was only putting out 10 amps.

The AA probably wouldn’t even know how to tow it onto the flatbed! :slight_smile:

Will be getting a diesel SUV for towing though at some point (wish we didn’t have, but hey ho). It’s just nice to know we can tow with the Tesla if we need to, without serious inconveniences.

AA do a specific video training module for towing tesla onto a flat bed and is accessible by all AA patrol staff via their in vehicle tablet … As an owner i would strongly recommend you read the owners manual/recovery manual so you are aware of the correct placement of recovery straps if towing eye is not available and how it is placed in tow/recoverymode.

Look for Instruction for transporters


Make sure you check the road fund licence for whatever vehicle you choose as it can be more than you expect.


Top tip right there. My old 2016 diirty diesel SUV car tax comes in at the same cost as a cheese burger, chips and a diet coke at the Bike Shed (£20). Car tax rates took a hike from 1st April 2017 which means that a new SUV with a heavy (towing) lump could be 15 times that and then some!

Oh yeah. Good point, ta.

Petrol seems considerably cheaper for 2017+ cars. TBH, we were looking at 2015-2017 cars. Ideally diesel for fuel economy reasons, though I’d always prefer a petrol personally, just don’t know how good it’d be for towing. Looking at 3L engines.


Where’s the tow hook?