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

Wampa

Member
Mar 19, 2019
123
138
Scottsdale, AZ
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%.

Really wish I knew that when I was on my road trip!
 

ElectricIAC

Devil’s Advocate
Dec 31, 2019
2,278
566
DFW
Speed traps?! The speed limit is 80 out there, someone who gets a ticket is probably approaching triple digit speeds (and I've seen them doing it)
Wouldn’t nesc call them traps but let’s just say that when 80 is posted you run the risk of getting pulled over at 86. I did just fine setting my NoAP max at 90 but I won’t be surprised the day that backfires on me.
 

JWSM3Owner

Member
Nov 19, 2019
48
69
Virginia
It doesn’t sound like there’s anything to stop you doing this trip! I just did a pretty lengthy road trip in a SR+ myself and lived it. Autopilot in particular makes a huge difference. As others have said, running without heat (just the fan) and slowing down are two viable strategies to minimize consumption and maximize range. Use ABRP to plan the route, and Tesla nav to get you from one SC to the next. That way the car will know you are about to supercharge and precondition the battery if needed, and also alert you if it thinks you need to slow down or plug in. Some say the car is conservative, but I’ve found the car to be very accurate (within 1-2%) when calculating arrival charge.
 
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SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
9,072
9,787
SF Bay Area
Really wish I knew that when I was on my road trip!

At least now you do for your next trip :). It was a change Tesla made some time ago and as I recall was displayed on the screen at those SCs when you went to charge and maybe in a Release Note back then. The change was made to help alleviate some of the wait times at the SCs. This info is also in the current 10/30/19 Model 3 Manual under "Charging Instructions":

"Note: To reduce congestion at high-usage supercharger sites, you may be automatically limited to a maximum charge of 80% when not using Trip Planner (see Trip Planner on page 125). You can manually increase the limit by tapping “Set Limit” on the touchscreen or mobile app."

Seem to recall Elon making a point at the time that if your trip requires it, go a head and fully charge.
 
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ElectricIAC

Devil’s Advocate
Dec 31, 2019
2,278
566
DFW
It’s a rare time that I SC past ~70% and even rarer that we go to 90% since we get charged by the minute in most states in the south.
 

vickh

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
3,106
485
az
Speed traps?! The speed limit is 80 out there, someone who gets a ticket is probably approaching triple digit speeds (and I've seen them doing it)

I got a ticket in Balmorhea on i-10 for 83. Took a defensive driving groupon deal, but the court got it's $$
 

ElectricIAC

Devil’s Advocate
Dec 31, 2019
2,278
566
DFW
I got a ticket in Balmorhea on i-10 for 83. Took a defensive driving groupon deal, but the court got it's $$
Yeah: that town sucks. Junction is no treat either where I was paced for 85 indicated back a few years. Let me go when they caught someone flying down the other side and flipped around.
 
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ElectricIAC

Devil’s Advocate
Dec 31, 2019
2,278
566
DFW
I-10 west of Bexar county in general is one big bear trap. It’s not easy keeping your speed down driving through all that expanse of nothingness where the only break in speed you get is the inevitable semi passing events.
 

kavyboy

Active Member
Jan 13, 2016
1,237
2,081
Spring, TX
I-10 west of Bexar county in general is one big bear trap. It’s not easy keeping your speed down driving through all that expanse of nothingness where the only break in speed you get is the inevitable semi passing events.
Autopilot to the rescue. The only problem is that the roads are so straight it sets the nags off. One hand, two hand, doesn't matter (though two is worse). You'll get nags through there, at least in my car. I resorted to TACC for some parts.
 
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bovine

Member
Jul 12, 2015
33
18
Texas
I drove my Model 3 SR+ from Houston, TX to Tucson, AZ along I-10 over Thanksgiving 2019 without any range problems. Going towards Tucson there was a pretty heavy rainstorm, so that probably negatively impacted our efficiency but I ended up having to slow down due to such poor visibility during the heaviest parts of the storm which might have offset some.

It was roughly 22 hours from door to door in each direction. I took turns driving with a buddy, trading seats at almost every charging stop. This was probably close to the longest trip I would be comfortable attempting without stopping overnight somewhere for a longer rest period.

We were generally driving at pretty close to the posted speed limits (which went up to 80 mph in parts of western Texas), though we did intentionally drive closer to 65 mph on the Van Horn leg that was close to our maximum range. We generally supercharged until we had at least 20% estimated remaining charge to our next stop (rather than the 10% used by abetterrouteplanner).
 

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Malbrough

Member
Nov 30, 2017
89
111
Oklahoma
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?
You can do it! Can you borrow a Chademo adapter? There is a Chademo halfway between Wilcox, AZ and Deming, NM. Otherwise, pressure up and drive slow.
 

TezTex

Member
Nov 19, 2019
12
15
Glendale
Apologize for the delay in my update... But I did make the trip! It was a success! I only had a few issues. I will summarize my trip and takeaways.

I used ABRP for pre-trip planning, but realized that allowing for a headwind painted a bad picture for the whole trip. The reality is when your driving like that, sometimes the headwind is less or worse... I generally arrived with more SOC then the ABRP stated. After the first day, I quickly realized that using the cars trip planner, worked just fine! I did not use ABRP on the way home at all.

We enjoyed the stops and arrived rested and ready to go. As the driver, I only experienced the "in a car for days" feeling... not the normal exhaustion due to driving fatigue. The car was generally ready before we were to continue our trip. Only waited on the car a few times.

I did learn a valuable lesson: Our first day we arrived in Ft. Stockton, TX in the evening with about 10% SOC. I chose to check-in to our hotel and call it a night and planned to charge in the morning @ the Supercharger. Well.. the cold of the night significantly impacted the rate of charge and we waited A LOT longer to charge the next morning. This was despite my plugging the car in via the travel charger on 120v. The next time I had these opportunities, I charged to 80% before calling it a night. When we stayed at hotels with Destination Chargers, we didn't have this concern. We also changed and stayed at a few hotels that had Superchargers in the parking lot. Made it super easy!

ICE'd: I did have a few times where ICE vehicles where parked in Supercharger spots, but there were always additional open stalls. There was also a night that a Destination Charger was ICE'd.

Enjoyed the trip. Would do it again! My wife and kids enjoyed it as well.
 

l&blue

Member
Feb 18, 2019
15
7
New Jersey
Apologize for the delay in my update... But I did make the trip! It was a success! I only had a few issues. I will summarize my trip and takeaways.

I used ABRP for pre-trip planning, but realized that allowing for a headwind painted a bad picture for the whole trip. The reality is when your driving like that, sometimes the headwind is less or worse... I generally arrived with more SOC then the ABRP stated. After the first day, I quickly realized that using the cars trip planner, worked just fine! I did not use ABRP on the way home at all.

We enjoyed the stops and arrived rested and ready to go. As the driver, I only experienced the "in a car for days" feeling... not the normal exhaustion due to driving fatigue. The car was generally ready before we were to continue our trip. Only waited on the car a few times.

I did learn a valuable lesson: Our first day we arrived in Ft. Stockton, TX in the evening with about 10% SOC. I chose to check-in to our hotel and call it a night and planned to charge in the morning @ the Supercharger. Well.. the cold of the night significantly impacted the rate of charge and we waited A LOT longer to charge the next morning. This was despite my plugging the car in via the travel charger on 120v. The next time I had these opportunities, I charged to 80% before calling it a night. When we stayed at hotels with Destination Chargers, we didn't have this concern. We also changed and stayed at a few hotels that had Superchargers in the parking lot. Made it super easy!

ICE'd: I did have a few times where ICE vehicles where parked in Supercharger spots, but there were always additional open stalls. There was also a night that a Destination Charger was ICE'd.

Enjoyed the trip. Would do it again! My wife and kids enjoyed it as well.

Very interesting, but could you please tell ignorants like myself the meaning of ABRP, SOC, ICE? Thanks :)
 

MacsEV

Member
Apr 9, 2019
12
23
Meaford, ON
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?
no... I had a very good experience on a 5,000 mile round trio to Phoenix..
see Road Trip Analytics Meaford, ON to Goodyear AZ and back. 12 days on the road
 
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heartmy3

Member
Jul 30, 2019
6
1
Bend
We've made several road trips in our M3 and usually have no problem between superchargers except during winter at night. The range drop is significant. But you can usually find a 110V charger somewhere. You never know how that might turn out: we were pushing it to get to the next supercharger on a road trip last summer and found there was a destination charger close by at a small B&B and winery. We asked permission to charge and had a delightful respite alongside a pretty river, after which we did a wine tasting with the owner and, of course, bought two bottles of wine. An "emergency" turned into a great experience.
 

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