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2000 mile road trip-What I learned

Larry

Member
Jul 28, 2013
488
91
East Bay of SF
We went from the Bay Area to Sedona and back for our first long road trip in our 2 yr old classic S. Each leg we drove straight through 17 hours including charging. Here are my observations:

1. The S is a CRUISING machine even without AP. I've had several SUVs and none of them ride like the S. Even in ice and snow
2. The beta Trip NAV sucks. After the many months it's been available it's still unreliable. Just plug in the next supercharger for it to be accurate and trustworthy.
3. The storage for the S is amazing
4. You have to be patient and plan what you do at your stops as some charging stops will be 40 minutes.
5. It's much less exhausting stopping every 3-4 hours when on a long trip
6. The supercharger stops allow you to see places you would just drive by
7. There's a lot of nice people that drive Teslas
8. Most people outside of California that we encountered are clueless about Tesla
9. Range anxiety is a fallacy unless there is significant inclement weather
10. Seems like every X out there is red

photos in order
Barstow, Flagstaff, Sedona, Sedona, Edit-Cordes Lake not Harris Ranch
 

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Yodeller

Member
Jan 1, 2016
30
6
Cupertino, CA
Larry,
Thanks for sharing, we're contemplating a long California drive along the coast then to the Yosemite area.
ive been a model s owner for a little more than 2 months now, and I love the car, but I do have some feedback that is negative -I agree with you the Nav is outdated and sucks and the entertainment software is redeemed by Bluetooth.,

They should have a way for people to choose to use Waze or Google Maps or heaven allow, even Apple Maps in the display as an app. Secondly I have no idea nor do I care what Slacker Radio is. I don't want a freebie either, I just want to be be able to use Spotify on my Touch Display and it needs to be linked to the driver profile so that when my wife drives the car, her Spotify account comes up. There's also a lag in voice commands that makes it feel jerky. Album art seems random and not linked to the music, or podcast you're actually listening to. On a long trip, these three things make a difference and are weaknesses Tesla should address or loosen up their app structure so others can address them.

Parting question, if the extra front storage is called the frunk, is the deeper extra trunk space at the back called the drunk? :)



We went from the Bay Area to Sedona and back for our first long road trip in our 2 yr old classic S. Each leg we drove straight through 17 hours including charging. Here are my observations:

1. The S is a CRUISING machine even without AP. I've had several SUVs and none of them ride like the S. Even in ice and snow
2. The beta Trip NAV sucks. After the many months it's been available it's still unreliable. Just plug in the next supercharger for it to be accurate and trustworthy.
3. The storage for the S is amazing
4. You have to be patient and plan what you do at your stops as some charging stops will be 40 minutes.
5. It's much less exhausting stopping every 3-4 hours when on a long trip
6. The supercharger stops allow you to see places you would just drive by
7. There's a lot of nice people that drive Teslas
8. Most people outside of California that we encountered are clueless about Tesla
9. Range anxiety is a fallacy unless there is significant inclement weather
10. Seems like every X out there is red

photos in order
Barstow, Flagstaff, Sedona, Sedona, Harris Ranch
 
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Reactions: benjiejr

FloridaGary

Member
Sep 27, 2015
634
309
Orlando, FL.
Thanks for sharing your trip. I am a new owner and it's always nice to learn what others have experienced on long driving trips, especially in the Model S. That picture of your car with Sedona in the back drop is beautiful.
 

Drumheller

Member
Jan 20, 2016
678
4,552
Arizona
Hi Larry, and others that have done road trips in the Model S!

I'm planning to do a cross country and back trip with some off the highway sight-seeing. Looking for tips and suggestions on how to plan best for the trip.

So far, I'm planning to take with me:
- NEMA 14-50 configured extension cord
- Mobile charger and all connectors (standard kit plus a NEMA 14-30)
- Air compressor and gauge for tires
- NEMA 10-30 to 14-50 outlet converter. I know I'd need to dial down the amps if I use one of those

I'm planning the routes on EV Trip Planner.
I also have plugshare bookmarked in the Tesla.

What about other charging options? What are the pay options? Do I need to create accounts / get key cards?

What other things should I bring 'just in case' or plan for?

Thanks for the help!
 

kort677

Banned
Sep 17, 2015
4,801
2,242
florida.
you should get a chargepoint card, while it is nice to have the extension cords and the adapters, consider buying a chademo adapter, if you stick to the routes with superchargers and stay in hotels with HPWCs or j1772 units you shouldn't need the adapters. the trip planner in the car works well and once you get to know it's nuances it will be most helpful. use the plugshare app to find chargers in out of the way areas and always know where you next charge will be. the only other important thing that you need to factor in is climatic conditions and elevation changes that could put a big dent in your estimated range. one last idea RV parks with 50 amp service will bail you out in an emergency.
happy trails!
 

Drumheller

Member
Jan 20, 2016
678
4,552
Arizona
you should get a chargepoint card, while it is nice to have the extension cords and the adapters, consider buying a chademo adapter, if you stick to the routes with superchargers and stay in hotels with HPWCs or j1772 units you shouldn't need the adapters. the trip planner in the car works well and once you get to know it's nuances it will be most helpful. use the plugshare app to find chargers in out of the way areas and always know where you next charge will be. the only other important thing that you need to factor in is climatic conditions and elevation changes that could put a big dent in your estimated range. one last idea RV parks with 50 amp service will bail you out in an emergency.
happy trails!

Thank you!
 

bmanke

Member
Mar 1, 2015
74
28
Chesapeake, VA
Car dealerships are also handy and helpful. On a recent trip outside the Supercharger network the local Nissan dealership let me charge to get back to the Supercharger.
 

glenhurst

Member
Aug 2, 2014
502
234
Minneapolis, MN
Car dealerships are also handy and helpful. On a recent trip outside the Supercharger network the local Nissan dealership let me charge to get back to the Supercharger.

Not always: There's a Nissan dealer I pass by occasionally about 75 miles from home. I stopped there once last summer and they were quite friendly and let me use their 50kw CHAdeMO DC Fast Charger. Fast forward to this past January. My route home was taking me by the same Nissan dealership and I wasn't going to be able to make it home without stopping for a charge. To be courteous, I called ahead to ask if I could stop and use the charger. The manager said no, it's only for people who buy cars from them. I offered to pay for the electricity, but still the answer was no. Bad move. I'll spend the rest of my days telling people to avoid them. Anyway, the point is, some dealers are great, others not so much, such that I don't ever make plans that depend on them. (Since the dealer said no to my using their charger, I went to a nearby college and used their Level 2 charger instead. Took longer, but the surroundings were better.)
 

Larry

Member
Jul 28, 2013
488
91
East Bay of SF
Get the Plugshare app as well for off the main highway info. As Kort said RV parks are a good source for electricity. Your biggest nemesis in my opinion is wind. Have fun!
 

DDotJ

Member
Feb 28, 2013
747
1,151
California
Get the Plugshare app as well for off the main highway info. As Kort said RV parks are a good source for electricity. Your biggest nemesis in my opinion is wind. Have fun!
I've always been curious, I know the trip planner's range estimator accounts for speed and elevation but does it also account for wind and weather conditions? I've found it to be pretty darn accurate but I haven't driven through insane headwinds or inclement weather conditions yet.
 

kort677

Banned
Sep 17, 2015
4,801
2,242
florida.
I've always been curious, I know the trip planner's range estimator accounts for speed and elevation but does it also account for wind and weather conditions? I've found it to be pretty darn accurate but I haven't driven through insane headwinds or inclement weather conditions yet.
I'd be wary of the claim that the tesla trip planner accounts for elevation changes ahead of real time and it does NOT account for any climatic issues you may encounter, wind, rain, snow, cold, heat. what it does on the fly is report how much energy you've used and how far the remaining energy will get based on current usage patterns.
 

shinne

Member
Mar 30, 2016
19
11
Oakland
Google Maps isn't free for Tesla. It cost them money to have them added to their cars. It's not cheap either.
With that said, Tesla might be able to do some kind of app mirroring so that you could just project your favorite GPS app to the touch screen.
 

Barry

Active Member
Aug 9, 2013
1,822
1,397
Colorado
I've always been curious, I know the trip planner's range estimator accounts for speed and elevation but does it also account for wind and weather conditions? I've found it to be pretty darn accurate but I haven't driven through insane headwinds or inclement weather conditions yet.
Elevation, yes. Speed, accurate up to ~70 mph (I-70 in Utah is 80 mph and reserve dropped from 20% to 10% in first 20 mi at 80 mph!). Wind and weather, no.
 

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