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1,200 Mile Road Trip to Houston, TX - Am I Crazy?

kavyboy

Active Member
Jan 13, 2016
1,225
2,070
Spring, TX
You don't need any aftermarket route planners...... Everything you need is already built into the cars nav. Enter your destination in the nav. and press begin. Monitor the energy consumption with the trip energy screen until you feel more comfortable with your car.

Long distance driving is what Tesla's were built for!!!
In theory. There's one route I take that is better than anything suggested by car nav, EVTripPlanner, or ABRP in every way: distance, time, and energy use. And it's a more pleasant drive, too. It never hurts to check.
 

tezlafor5

Supporting Member
Oct 3, 2019
20
49
Milwaukee, WI
You don't need any aftermarket route planners...... Everything you need is already built into the cars nav. Enter your destination in the nav. and press begin. Monitor the energy consumption with the trip energy screen until you feel more comfortable with your car.

Long distance driving is what Tesla's were built for!!!
Absolutely true if your only goal is to get there without running out of juice. Not the case, in my experience, if you are attempting to optimize for sufficient charge AND time.
 

richtrav

Member
Apr 20, 2019
138
121
South Texas
You should be fine unless the weather is insanely bad, I've done that route and then some twice, once in an SR+. The Van Horn to El Paso leg is probably the longest stretch between superchargers (~130 miles) so don't skimp in Van Horn or El Paso, depending on which way you're headed. When I did it in the SR+ the car at the time couldn't charge faster than 100 kW and it still wasn't bad.
 

kai2002

Member
Jul 13, 2018
30
6
West Hollywood
Did LA to Nola and back in February last year in a our Mid-Range M3 after having the car for only 6 weeks - especially now with the faster charging rates it should be easy-peasy and also fairly quick, even with the SR+. Range shouldn't be an issue at all. As others mentioned: at one point somewhere in Western Texas I almost thought we wouldn't make it cause the headwinds were insane. Did make it with like 3% left after slowing down considerably. The car will tell you and it's also pretty conservative. Learn to read the energy consumption graph and get a feeling for it and how it changes when going slower/faster etc. Plan some extra. I always charged 50% extra (I like to drive fast), so for a 120 mile stretch f.e. I would charge to at least 180 miles so you have peace of mind and you can actually go fast if you want to (my main reason) but also prepared to slow down if the car tells you too of course.

Add: We didn'tuse a third-party trip planner, just the Tesla nav / planner.

Add 2: As other people mentioned: overinflate the tires (we did at least 44-46 cold), put the aero caps on (if you're on 18s and took them off). And to emphasize: speeding is a big factor for range, but it's also fun if done right ;)
 
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JBHemlock

Member
Dec 16, 2019
46
42
Seattle, WA
I'm a big fan of plugshare, too. I have yet to do a long road trip like this, but just in playing around with trip planning I've noticed it's pretty easy to find L2 charging near restaurants, so you could get a few bonus kwh while you're stopping for food.

I drive an SR+, too, and have plotted out the El Paso - Van Horn trip. It looks very doable.
 

hughbie

Member
Jul 14, 2018
8
13
Humboldt Co., CA
Most of the trip planners show you how much charge you will need to get to the next supercharger stop on the route. That can mean that the recommendation is to only charge to 65%, then go to the next stop. Of course, charging to 80% will get you there with much range to spare. Look at the planner’s recommended charge percent. Then project if you need a bit more to avoid range anxiety.
 
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acer

Member
Sep 9, 2018
8
9
Houston
Purchased my SR+ June of 2019. Love the car... but have only made a Saturday run from Phoenix to Tucson and back (124 miles one way). We have a wedding to go to in February and I am trying to convince my wife that we should take the Tesla. I only see two issue in making the trip. I am using abetterrouteplanner to plan my trip and there are two spots (between Wilcox, AZ and Deming, NM and then again between El Paso, TX and Van Horn, TX) where I will be arriving with less that a 10% charge. One of those jumps between superchargers would have us arriving at 4%.

Am I crazy for thinking we can do it on the Tesla?


Nope, it will be an awesome experience. Did a 4,000 mile road trip from Texas all the way up to the northeast, all around and back. Can’t wait to do another one!
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,106
485
az
use to live in ATX and PHX and did the "commute" for a while in my ICE cars. I always did an overnight in Deming or El Paso to break up the journey. Depending on what part of PHX and HOU you can add 2 hours to the trip :)


This post got me thinking if I have to do it in my SR. I live in the NW valley but thankfully my destination would be in Katy. I would pick a Tesla dest. charger hotel . Another reason not to speed in West TX is the speed traps. + you're in the heart of oil country :)
 
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iwannam3

Member
Aug 8, 2016
909
1,278
Washington
Is it possible to roll up to a non-Tesla charger and charge without an account or RFID card for that specific brand of charger? I haven't seen any that have a credit card reader, I assume you have to download an app for each brand to access charging? I also see crazy prices $0.59/kwh.
 

kavyboy

Active Member
Jan 13, 2016
1,225
2,070
Spring, TX
Is it possible to roll up to a non-Tesla charger and charge without an account or RFID card for that specific brand of charger? I haven't seen any that have a credit card reader, I assume you have to download an app for each brand to access charging? I also see crazy prices $0.59/kwh.
Yes.
For Chargepoint, you can call the number on the equipment and get started immediately. RFID cards are free. Many ChargePoint stations are free to use. I have never paid anything to ChargePoint. In fact, they gave me a $25 promotion credit I've never used.
 

novox77

1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
1,639
3,545
NH, MA
@CharleyBC: I played with heat settings on my trip and did not notice much of an impact on Wh/mile (unlike my old Volt, in which seat heat only was a regular strategy in the cold weather months). Would be curious to know whether your insight here is based in data you've seen? I thought it would make a huge difference, but, in my limited testing, it did not seem to do so. Agreed on getting the ABRP temp (and speed, and wind) settings right.

It only makes a big impact if you turn it off. If you go from a set point of 74 down to 70, and outside is below freezing, you won't notice it too much. When I'm in a crunch, and it's winter, I keep the heat completely off and the seat warmers on. When my glass shows the first sign of fogging, I turn the HVAC back on, with the set point around 68. Since it runs the A/C in auto mode, it quickly dehumidifies the cabin and the fog goes away. Then I shut it off. Rinse and repeat.

If you don't see a huge difference in your Wh/mi numbers doing this, I don't know what to tell you. On an 80mi round trip commute in the winter, running the heat at 74 the entire time vs only running heat to dehumidify improves my total trip Wh/mi by 100 (~350Wh/mi vs ~250Wh/mi).
 
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boiler81

Member
Feb 22, 2016
744
636
Manson, WA
Did a 10K+ road trip in my LR 3D last winter.
Don't waste time with Tesla's planner, use ABRP. Make sure you adjust variables in ABRP for "outside temperature" "wind", "road conditions", and most importantly "reference speed". In many areas of the country, if you drive the posted limit, you'll get run over. I drive based on local customs, which typically put me 5 to 10 over on freeways. This significantly effects range, so if you don't program an increased "reference speed", ABRP thinks your driving the posted limit, and you'll run short and have to slow down to make your next charger.
Try to find hotels with destination chargers. If they don't have a charger, at least talk to the hotel desk and see if there's a outside 110VAC outlet you can plug in. Several hotels I stayed at were able to provide a convenient outdoor receptacle, or even loan a power cord for longer reach. Some hotels have receptacles in their parking lot light poles, Other have them by the hotel service/maintenance entrances. In colder areas of the country, they provide them for ICE customer's block heaters.

Remember, in a crunch, all RV parks have 110V & 220V outlets, and if you have the adapter plug, you can use the 220V.

Just plan it out and go for it.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,106
485
az
It only makes a big impact if you turn it off. If you go from a set point of 74 down to 70, and outside is below freezing, you won't notice it too much. When I'm in a crunch, and it's winter, I keep the heat completely off and the seat warmers on. When my glass shows the first sign of fogging, I turn the HVAC back on, with the set point around 68. Since it runs the A/C in auto mode, it quickly dehumidifies the cabin and the fog goes away. Then I shut it off. Rinse and repeat.
i).

how about the defrost button instead?
 

novox77

1.21 Gigawatts
Nov 25, 2017
1,639
3,545
NH, MA
how about the defrost button instead?

Using just the heated defrost button (for the front windshield) results in the system cranking the heat to "HI" which imo is a waste of energy. I've also noticed that using the cooled defrost button is slower to defog the side and rear windows because so much of the flow is diverted to the front windshield. Typically if you're driving with no HVAC in the winter, you're going to have all your glass fog up at the same time. The best way to defog them all the fastest is to just turn on the HVAC and let it dry out the entire cabin's air. This usually takes less than 15 seconds to accomplish (as long as your HVAC mode is set to auto so that the A/C is running on low), but I'll let it run for a minute to dry out the air even more. That buys a lot more time before your next fog-up.
 
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Timmygp

Member
Dec 7, 2019
37
12
Louisiana
Purchased my SR+ June of 2019. Love the car... but have only made a Saturday run from Phoenix to Tucson and back (124 miles one way). We have a wedding to go to in February and I am trying to convince my wife that we should take the Tesla. I only see two issue in making the trip. I am using abetterrouteplanner to plan my trip and there are two spots (between Wilcox, AZ and Deming, NM and then again between El Paso, TX and Van Horn, TX) where I will be arriving with less that a 10% charge. One of those jumps between superchargers would have us arriving at 4%.

Am I crazy for thinking we can do it on the Tesla?

it’s only 131 miles — shouldn't be a problem!
 

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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,049
9,777
SF Bay Area
Keep in mind that some superchargers will limit you to only 80%. This happened to me on the way back from LA to Phoenix and it definitely affected my driving style for the rest of the trip (much slower).

Tesla does post that at some high use SCs, because the last 20% will take longer to charge due to tapering down and in many cases it’s faster to charge to 80% or less and stop at the next charger. This does get cars in and out of charging stalls quicker and for the majority will still give them sufficient charge to make it to the next SC and save them charging time. However Tesla does tell drivers that if you are traveling long distance and need the extra charge (maybe going off route where SC aren’t yet available) to just reset your charge level if the car has automatically reset your charge target to 80%.
 
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