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4,000 miles in 15 days? No problem! [Reflections on the Model 3]

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by Zaxxon, Jul 23, 2018.

  1. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    #1 Zaxxon, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    I picked up my Model 3 LR in early May, and thought that racking up nearly 3,000 miles by the end of June was a sign that I was quite enjoying the vehicle. Here we are, about three weeks later, and I've put on another 4,000 miles. Here are some reflections on my experience thus far.

    Some context: I've closely followed Tesla since late 2012. I was a line-waiter reservation-holder, and previously owned a 30 kWh Nissan Leaf.

    Delivery/Initial thoughts
    I picked up on 5/10. Arrived to the delivery center and met my advisor, who took me back to the car and did a quick walk-around. He showed me the basics of the UI, then left me to play around / inspect the car more closely while he grabbed my paperwork and confirmed the trade-in that I had brought.

    When he returned, I signed the few remaining documents and we went over the car for a few more minutes, and then I was out. Total time at Tesla was about 45 minutes, and that's with a trade. It was a positive experience. I adjusted to the center display in a matter of minutes after delivery. Panel gaps are consistent to my eye. The only issue I had at delivery was a slight discoloration to the passenger A-pillar trim piece inside, which Tesla will replace whenever I bring the car in next. It's really only visible in the right light, so I have not made this a priority.

    The car is a blast to drive. It may not have the internal-organ-compressing acceleration of the S/X P models, but what it has is sufficient to put a smile on my face whenever I press the go pedal with more than a light touch. Highway passing--especially on undivided 2-lane roads--is so much less stressful than in an ICE vehicle due to the immediate punch the car delivers. It's planted to the ground and corners very well.

    Complaints
    The phone key reliability needs work, as has been discussed in countless other threads. That's really my only significant complaint to this point. It works well for me and my wife (Pixel 2 & Pixel) 95% of the time, but when it fails, it's a PITA and can be embarrassing. If I had to pick another thing to complain about, it's that I've had to restart the user interface a few times due to the LTE connection not resuming after leaving an area with no service. But that's a minor thing, and I'll take that in trade for the frequent OTA improvements I've received.

    Thoughts after 7,000 miles in 2.5 months
    This car is fantastic. I took it to West Texas (a large charging desert) on a 1,400 mile trip over 4 days. Supercharging got me there with virtually no stops beyond what I'd have done in a gas car--stopped once and ate breakfast, and a 2nd time for lunch. The car was ready to continue when I was both times. I stayed at a hotel with a J1772 charger. Was able to get my work done, which included multiple 50-mile each way trips while on-site, and return home with no issues.

    This past week my family and I took the car on a 2,400-mile road trip from Denver up through Wyoming to the Rapid City, SD area. From there we visited the Badlands/Minuteman Missile/Rushmore/Jewel Cave/Wind Cave/Wall Drug/National Grasslands Visitor Center, Teddy Roosevelt NP in North Dakota (a true charging desert, as @lightfoot3b will attest), Devil's Tower and Fort Laramie in Wyoming, and Scotts Bluff in Nebraska.

    With one exception--the North Dakota stop where we stayed at a hotel and I charged the car at an RV site 3/4 mile away--charging was simply a non-issue. We stopped to charge at Superchargers as directed by the in-car nav, and had bio breaks while it charged. With small kids, the car was ready to move on before we were every time. The Superchargers were pretty conveniently located--we did not have to veer off our intended course by more than a mile, and in all but one case there were restaurants within a minute's walk.

    Things learned
    -The things that seem difficult to do via the touch screen--raising/lowering temp or volume--actually aren't, because you don't need to touch them exactly in the up/down hitbox. You can just swipe up or down across the temp or volume control.
    -Add a little buffer to the nav's estimation of when you can end a Supercharge session and continue on your trip. It's never failed to get me there, but leaving immediately did result in a stressful leg from Trinidad, CO to Amarillo, TX once. Stick around another 3-5 minutes and you'll have enough buffer to just skate on through stress-free.

    Bottom line
    I think I've pushed the car pretty hard to this point. It was already apparent that for 'normal' daily use, the Model 3 is great. I now know that even for pretty significant road-tripping into less well-covered areas, it's sufficient, too. I love the size of the car (the Model S just feels too big to me), the handling, the software--the whole package. It's the best car that I've ever owned by a wide margin, and I do not plan to give it up anytime soon. Supercharging is a key advantage vs other electrics. Quite simply, the two road trips that I took this month would not have been possible in any electric vehicle but a Tesla.


    Some photos of my experience thus far follow.

    At Teddy Roosevelt National Park:
    DSCF6818.jpg DSCF6846.jpg

    In random scenic Colorado locales:
    IMG_20180517_103459.jpg IMG_20180609_144116.jpg IMG_20180622_201012.jpg

    The roof glass coating is magical when wet:
    IMG_20180519_100406.jpg

    Supercharging:
    IMG_20180714_144740.jpg
    Lusk, WY

    IMG_20180716_101817.jpg
    Rapid City, SD

    IMG_20180716_135926.jpg
    Wall, SD campground while tooling around Wall Drug (not strictly necessary, but I wanted to play it safe as our next leg was through the Badlands and we'd already shot 100 miles of range since leaving Rapid City).

    IMG_20180717_102705.jpg
    Spearfish, SD
     
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  2. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    #2 Zaxxon, Jul 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2018
    IMG_20180719_121415.jpg
    Custer, SD

    IMG_20180720_090239.jpg
    Powder House Lodge destination charging, Keystone, SD

    IMG_20180721_134905.jpg
    Gilette, WY

    IMG_20180721_212307.jpg
    Wheatland, WY (with windshield washers and garbage cans on-site!)

    IMG_20180722_111328.jpg
    What happens when you spend 20 miles on a Wyoming unpaved gravel road...

    IMG_20180722_172841.jpg
    Road trip stats (trip name courtesy of 4 yo daughter)

    Screenshot_20180722-140319.png
    The Model 3 supercharges quickly in terms of miles added per unit of charge time due to its reduced consumption/mile vs Model S/X.
     
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  3. Unpilot

    Unpilot Active Member

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    Nice write up Glad you are enjoying the future...now!
     
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  4. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2018: Drain the Sewer

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    What was your plan for a flat tyre ? That gravel road revived some memories ...
     
  5. Blu Angel

    Blu Angel Member

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    Thx for sharing your experience!

    I believe the Supercharger network is the BEST asset of the whole Tesla ownership experience.

    I've driven from Toronto- Ottawa (300 miles) with 1 Supercharger stop (15 min)
    And Toronto - Windsor (210 miles) with 1 Supercharger stop.

    It was really an eye-opener to bypass the On Route gas stations which are full of ICE vehicles and truckers
    I rather enjoyed the calmness of the Supercharger stations and grabbing a coffee at the local Tim Horton's

    I believe the Supercharger network will become a profitable business for Tesla and a blast for all Tesla users
     
  6. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Really didn't want one. :) The gravel road 20-mile leg was not intentional. It was a WY paved road at 70 MPH that 'transitioned' to gravel with zero notice. Sure freaked me out. Had I known this was the case, I wouldn't have taken that particular route. The Tesla nav took me there, though. Likely due to leaving from a smallish town (Wheatland, WY) to a smaller area (Scotts Bluff, NE). It did lead to a fun moment among the stress, though. Around halfway through the 20-mile gravel travel, a farmer on a tractor passed me going the other direction. He did a significant over-the-shoulder 'WTF did I just see' look after he passed.
     
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  7. suwaneedad

    suwaneedad Member

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    THANKS!
     
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  8. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Yeah, when I discovered this I wondered how I managed to drive 5,000 miles before noticing...
     
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  9. Adeon

    Adeon Member

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    Don’t forget to do the oil change at 10k; 3k to go. Might wanna order the filter and oil now. Tesla parts take forever to get
     
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  10. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    At this rate I'll need a serpentine belt by next Christmas...
     
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  11. e-FTW

    e-FTW New electron smell

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    Awesome report, solid pics! Man the blue looks good when sunny!
    Also, I may have said this before, but fantastic handle. Nothing like flying up and to the right!
     
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  12. goldengate

    goldengate Member

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    This is a great trip report and really sums up the Model 3 experience for me as well. I'm curious, how did you charge at the RV park? Did you have to pay? Check in? I keep reading about RV parks being emergency backups and am curious how that works.

    Bummer that Flintstonesland in Custer, SD is closed!
     
  13. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    At the one near Wall that I needed for two hours, I negotiated with the office. Paid $20 which was way overpaying compared to what I used, but they were not willing to take less and I really wanted the charge to be sure we could tool around Badlands without worrying (it was also 100F out, so we were dropping some range as it sat in the sun while idle).

    At the campground in North Dakota I just reserved a 50A 'short' RV spot since I wanted it all afternoon/night.

    In both cases I used the UMC to plug into 14-50 outlets. I also brought with me an adapter for the 30A RV outlet as a backup, but didn't have to use it (which is good, as RV 30A outlets are actually 120V, so rather than charging at 32A/240V = 7.6 kW of a UMC on a 14-50, they charge at 24A/120v = 2.8 kW). The adapter is available from evseadapters.com in case anyone else is interested. Handy for emergency backup in the event you end up at a campground with only 30A sites.
     
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  14. goldengate

    goldengate Member

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  15. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Sorry--the acronyms flow freely around here. Let me know if anything didn't make sense.

    That's similar to what I got. I chose this one as I didn't want a big dongle that left my UMC on the ground in case it rained.
     
  16. chronopc

    chronopc Active Member

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    You're on pace to exceed the warranty mileage in about 3.5 years. Glad you're enjoying the car.
     
  17. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Drive it like you own it...

    That said, this is not at all typical. It'll ramp way down soon.
     
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  18. chronopc

    chronopc Active Member

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    I'm going to drive it as much as I want too. I've noticed I make excuses to go places just so I can drive the car. :)
     
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  19. goldengate

    goldengate Member

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    Thanks Zaxxon for the link! I'll order that one. And some RV parks have 50 amp connections from what I've read. Did I read correctly they require no adapter? And really, again, sorry about Flintstonesland being closed... :\:):):)
     
  20. Zaxxon

    Zaxxon Supporting Member

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    Yes, that's correct. The UMC that comes with the car includes plugs for regular wall outlets (5-15) and the 14-50 outlet, which is what 50A RV hookups use. Tesla sells several others but not the TT-30, hence the third-party adapter I bought.
     
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