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1,500 Miles and another song on the all night radio :)

Yeah.. I'm borrowing part of Kathy's song.. but it fits.

I just completed a 1,500 miles.. cost in fuel was 106 USD. with about 80 miles for free.

I took my Standard Plus to AZ and back.. short legs and all. My "range" is 220 miles.. reality is if I top to 100%, I get about 216. 80% is about 190 and thats important to remember because at a busy SC, you do not get to charge more than 80% and some SCs like Casa Grande, AZ are very small and very busy. Small like 6 stalls. Busy like both times I was there was a wait.. the 2nd time was worse because two of the six were down. And for short legs like me, there is not any other choice for fast charging.

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So notes..

Real range vs advertised range
Your real range will NOT match advertised range. range is calculated on things like speed. Like Tesla nav has decided that the average speed will be 60 mph. OK.. thats fine when the max is 55 but in AZ, much of the drive the max was 70-75 mph and people were doing 80+. And 70-75mph has a real impact on your range. Not to mention hills.. and AZ has a lot of hills when you start heading north from Tucson to Flagstaff. The nav computer's calculations were off by several percentage points at times from when I started to when I arrived. My advice with short legs is to always, always at least get to 80% and if you can, go to 90% plus. Yeah, it takes time.. so does running out of juice in the middle of nowhere. The highest stress was going from Flagstaff to Kingman. 148 miles. Should be well within my range of 190. I arrived at 6% which was about 15 miles of range. Why? a couple of things.. rolling hills, speed in the slow lane was 70 mph and most importantly, I went from 99 degrees in Tucson to 36 degrees in Flagstaff and for about the first 1/3 of the drive to Kingman. The cold hit me with about a 15% decrease in usable range. I was able to get to Kingman by tucking in behind a few slow trucks and RVs at 60-65 and plodding along for the last 40 miles. That was the one and only time things got a bit spicy on the range.​

Hotel Charging
Yeah.. dont bank on it. Nice to have it when it's there but its definitely a hit and miss. But, its not all bad. My room in Tuscon (University Inn 7 out of 10) said they had a charger.. and they did.. two but shared. Good news. I was the only one. Bad news.. people are assholes and will park their ICE in the slots. I was able to get into one despite the crownvic park in the other. I got some backstory about the chargers from the owner. Seems Tesla gave him the two units for free but it cost him 3,800 to get them installed. He was very happy to hear I picked his place in large part due the charger which was a huge help by adding 80 miles for free that night. He said he had a few Teslas come through since he installed the two units.​
Sky Ranch Lodge in Sedona ( 8-10) did not have any charger which I did complain about since they had the room and the power. Apparently I'm not the only one :). But the difference is that I complained but offered up that they didnt need the fancy Tesla wifi enabled AI charger. All they needed to supply was a couple of 14-50 outlets with lock boxes. I explained most people on a road trip would have a mobile charger with some adapters. They didnt know that detail. They didnt know that the 14-50 is kind of a default standard outlet for EV users of any kind. When I explained this, they were much more interested in it since it would be very little investment on their part with good return. I ended up those two days at different hotel ( Sky Rock Inn) that had free J chargers.. the Tesla charger had it's cord removed since it broke the day before. Which points to a pretty standard pattern of non tesla chargers being abused, misused and generally ignored so many were broken or partial functional. At the hotel in Sedona, there two J plugs and one was smashed and the hotel didnt know it.​
Additional point.. get a few charger apps.. they all dont work the same. Plug Share worked the best to find non tesla chargers. That was how I found Sky Rock. I also used it to find free charging at the city hall a few miles down the road.​
Emergency supplies..​
Never could get a spare tire. Out of stock everywhere and didnt have the time to test getting a Hyundai space spare as I read about here on the forums. I did bring a patch cord kit, breaker bar, socket, large DC source ( 110 outlets, 5 volt outlets etc), jackets, wipes, water etc. All of this went into the Frunk. Since I was not planning on using it but if I needed it, I didnt want to have to unload the luggage to get to it.​
Navigation
Oh boy.. the good stuff :D. yes the Tesla nav worked better than Apple Maps or Google maps. At one point I had all three open because they shut down the entire freeway leading into Phoenix. The two IOS apps did get me around the closure but along with EVERYONE ELSE. Only the Tesla Nav took in account speed. Now, with that said, the Tesla nav to get speed will take you on some interesting back roads. SO trust but verify and use with caution. Getting around Phoenix went through very "interesting" areas. Successfully.. but not where you would want to stop for any length of time. It did that twice on the trip. The second time was getting to Baker and by passing Vegas in the process. 60 miles of desolation and very few cars. If you wont like that, you need to manually select something in Vegas for example to keep it on the major highways. Then cancel it when you arrive and add in the stop you really want. you do the same to force picking super chargers early. The default wants to get you as far as possible.. Often my nav would pick a charger that had me arrving under 10% SOC. Not my idea of a good time. Again.. speed. more stops to charge makes for a slower trip.​
FSD is a very useful took on these trips. But do NOT trust it. In my case, I had a few cases of phantom braking that could have been problematic. Once in the middle of a lane change in a long sweeping turn. twice when someone was trying to merge onto the freeway. And once at a bridge that was high contrast light/dark. But for the long , long boring open stretches.. LOVE it :D. The cruise could do it.. but I liked the auto lane change or just hitting the blinker and letting the car do it.​
The white "leather" held up really well. It cleaned up with wipes after the trip. The seats for me were very comfortable. Even after 6 hours.​
Bring paper towels and windex to clean the windscreen. It seems to collect bugs like nobodys business.​
Have some cash!! Some of the more out of the way places didnt take credit cards.. everything from the machine was broken to they didnt want to give the "Government" any fees.​

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Great write-up. As an Arizonan I love to hear stories of people visiting and their perspectives on things we see commonly. The Tesla drive info is just the cherry on top. I would say as I’ve become more alert to the EV phenomena after ordering that AZ is a bit behind when it comes to this, but with the new influx I would say changes are a coming. :). Thank you for sharing.
 
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SteelClouds

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The state is a great place to visit. It reminds me of Utah with the warm southern half and the cooler northern half. My daughter's favorite part was the Missile Silo Museum just outside of Tucson. We found some very fun places to have lunch/dinner at. Who knew Tuscon had a Tiki bar/restaurant :D - Kon Tiki
 

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SteelClouds

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Crave Coffee Bar in Tucson.. Highly recommended as Stop #1 on the way to the Titan Missile Museum.

PS - Get your tickets EARLY for the museum. I bought my tickets three months early. When we got there, they were turning away people and were sold out weeks in advance.

 

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SteelClouds

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Last post.. I think :D. All the pictures shown here were taken with an iPhone XR one of two ways.. plain Jane.. ie.. Apple's lens or using Moment's case and 58mm telephone lens. I brought a nicer camera and never took it out of the luggage. My last few road trips have been pretty much iPhone only for a camera. I'm a HUGE fan of the Moment lens system because they are glass and they work very well. Over the years, they have really expanded their line of "stuff" so check them out. Not cheap.. but it works well. I might put a post together on using the phone on a trip but not here :D
 
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...

Hotel Charging
Yeah.. dont bank on it. Nice to have it when it's there but its definitely a hit and miss. But, its not all bad. My room in Tuscon (University Inn 7 out of 10) said they had a charger.. and they did.. two but shared. Good news. I was the only one. Bad news.. people are assholes and will park their ICE in the slots. I was able to get into one despite the crownvic park in the other. I got some backstory about the chargers from the owner. Seems Tesla gave him the two units for free but it cost him 3,800 to get them installed. He was very happy to hear I picked his place in large part due the charger which was a huge help by adding 80 miles for free that night. He said he had a few Teslas come through since he installed the two units.​
...​

I stayed in the University Inn, too, on a cross-country road trip back in the first week of March. I called that morning to confirm they actually had working chargers, and they volunteered to put a cone out to save a spot for me.

Good thing, too, because the other spot was ICEd when I got there. The guy in that other car did ask me about EVs, though, and he seemed genuinely interested.

I emphasized to hotel staff both when I checked in and checked out, that I had chosen them initially because of the charger.

As for the hotel itself, I kind of like older hotels as long as they're clean and well-maintained. Not as many amenities as new ones right off the interstate, but more interesting. (Sandia Peak Inn in Albuquerque is another old Route 66-style hotel with a Tesla charger that turned out to be a good experience for me.)
 
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