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5000 Mile Road Trip Lessons Learned (Tesla Road Tripping for Dummies)

DblOSmith

Member
Jun 29, 2021
240
173
Missouri
I'm currently awaiting a new LR+ Model 3. Stated "range" is now 358. JFTHOI, what is the stated "range" of yours today, and what is your practical range?
I also found that the bottom 50% has more effective range than the top 50%. I'm guessing due to lack of regen braking? On highway, I can get 120 miles out of the bottom 50%, and maybe 60-70 miles out of the top 50%.
 

drdumont

Member
Nov 22, 2019
412
465
4 Mi N of D/FW
2018 M3 LR+ with 60,000 miles and 19" wheels. 100% SoC shows range of 285 miles. If I did 55mph on the freeway (like I had to before I had supercharging set up), I can get close to one actual mile per one stated mile. 80mph on the highway, I might get 180 miles from 100 to 0 SoC.

Since most superchargers are 100-150 miles apart, I'd have to stop anyway. So, it's not a big bother, usually. Stretches like Springfield, MO to Little Rock, AR is a danger zone with the highway range I have and I would have to go from 100 to 0 SoC. (TESLA, PLEASE GET A SUPERCHARGER IN BRANSON, MO or northern AR!) But it'd definitely be nice if:

  1. Superchargers or fast charging in general was as common as gas stations so we can run down all the stated miles if we wanted. I think this is the best answer for all involved. Or...
  2. Get closer to the stated miles so we might have the option to skip some chargers if we want to. I heard that the Porsche Taycan displays the worst case highway miles, and as you drive in mixed conditions, it just gets better as you gain range (or don't lose it). That's why their reported mpge is so low. That's pretty neat. Or...
  3. Larger, more efficient batteries. If Tesla's new batteries are cheaper, denser, and more efficient, perhaps we can get closer to the 400 miles range mix so we can get 300 miles of highway range. Unnecessary 99% of the time but would be nice.
Thanks for the info.
And I couldn't agree more with your statements.
Nowadays, about 2-1/2 hours between stops is my personal biological limit. Alas, gone are the days when I had a 400 mile coffee cup, a 400 mile fuel tank and a 400 mile bladder...
 

augkuo

Active Member
Supporting Member
Apr 24, 2011
1,027
3,006
Berkeley
Same. Those days are over.
Thanks for the info.
And I couldn't agree more with your statements.
Nowadays, about 2-1/2 hours between stops is my personal biological limit. Alas, gone are the days when I had a 400 mile coffee cup, a 400 mile fuel tank and a 400 mile bladder...
Bring a bottle/jar with a wide mouth ;)
 
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drdumont

Member
Nov 22, 2019
412
465
4 Mi N of D/FW
Bring a bottle/jar with a wide mouth ;)
I could say that would just aid in aiming...
Funny comment, thanks for the grin.
And you know what BIIIGGG grin I have today?😁
I got the VIN for my new M3LRAWD this morning and just sent the insurance and a rather large
wire transfer to Tesla.
Now begins the last part of the wait, 30 Nov to 6 December it says here.

Waiting pariently.jpg

Hey, Elon! I left the light on for ya!
 

wws

Active Member
Aug 11, 2014
1,123
1,386
Northern California
Also for remote places where there are no L2 or superchargers available, make sure you bring your mobile charger with the 14-50 and 14-30 adapters. There are always RV parks nearby - Charging your EV at an RV Campground | It's Electric

The "30 amp" RV receptacles in North America are TT-30 - not 14-30. Unfortunately Tesla doesn't make a proper TT-30 adapter for the UMC. However evseadapters does, and it works quite well.
 
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drdumont

Member
Nov 22, 2019
412
465
4 Mi N of D/FW
The "30 amp" RV receptacles in North America are TT-30 - not 14-30. Unfortunately Tesla doesn't make a proper TT-30 adapter for the UMC. However evseadapters does, and it works quite well.
In Abilene Texas, at the Convention Center, there are several "RV style connectors for tour busses at the loading dock. The plug which was supplied with teh Turo Tesla rental which I had that weekend wored well. It was a stock Tesla adapter plug for the charging adapter, not the plug that EVSadaters et al sell. ISTR it was a plug with three parallel blades and a round ground plug. I've seen the same outlet at campgrounds. Looked something like this:
|
| |
0
Ahh... ASCII Graphics... Brings back memories
 

wws

Active Member
Aug 11, 2014
1,123
1,386
Northern California
In Abilene Texas, at the Convention Center, there are several "RV style connectors for tour busses at the loading dock. The plug which was supplied with teh Turo Tesla rental which I had that weekend wored well. It was a stock Tesla adapter plug for the charging adapter, not the plug that EVSadaters et al sell. ISTR it was a plug with three parallel blades and a round ground plug. I've seen the same outlet at campgrounds. Looked something like this:
|
| |
0
Ahh... ASCII Graphics... Brings back memories

LOL!

That would be a "50 amp" (in RV terminology) receptacle - which is a NEMA 14-50.
 
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threeputts

Member
Dec 14, 2020
151
198
Minnesota
My wife and I have done 3 major road trips this year in the LRMY we took delivery of last December. We got free SC for a year so in the last 11 months we've put 22000 miles on the car across 23 states. Some thoughts (many echoed by others sorry for the repeats):

Like Smitty I've found the simplest approach to supercharging is to put the next SC in the nav as your destination and leave when you're comfortable with the buffer the car says you will arrive with. For me that's 10-15% depending on the length of the leg. If you plan to use autopilot you will need a bit more buffer than if you don't.

I disagree that V3 vs V2 doesn't matter. Our last trip was across ND and MT where nearly all the SCs are V3. We were employing the standard strategy of using the lower half of the battery which meant we typically charged to 50-60%. V3s get you from 15% to 50% a few minutes faster than V2s, or more when you must load share at the V2. By the time we went to find a restroom or eat whatever we had just picked up in a drive through, it was time to go. I never felt like I was waiting long at a V3. That few minutes multipled over several charging stops gets you closer to the real world time it would take to make the same trip in an ICE car. I'd love to see Tesla start upgrading existing V2 sites to V3s.

When you are sticking to the interstates and most other major routes you don't even need to worry about SC availability any more. It's when you get off the beaten path that you have to do some planning. Plugshare is the only site you really need. Have a plan and a backup plan, and be sure you don't forget your adapter if you use a J1772 charger. At both the B&B outside North Cascades NP we stayed at and at the hotel in Yellowstone I didn't need to fish my adapter out of the trunk because someone else had left theirs attached to the charger.

The car is very comfortable, the stereo is awesome and autopilot is great on the open road. Long drives are so much less fatiguing when you can spend most of the day watching the car do the driving.

Complaints: Phantom braking is still an issue, you learn to be ready to hit the accellerator when going under a bridge or past anything else that is casting a shadow on the road (applies to both autopilot and just cruise control). Despite turning off all emergency alerts in the driving menu, the car still screams at me whenever I pull to the far left side of the left lane when passing a semi. More than once when stopped at a SC out West someone approached us to inquire how much it costs to charge. No, it's not always free I just got a year free as a sales incentive. No, your taxes aren't paying for it, Tesla is. Be ready with what info you want to share when charging out in the sticks.

To me the pros far outweigh the cons. Already looking forward to heading back to Utah next February. I'd choose the MY over my ICE SUV even in winter and when I have to pay for supercharging.
 
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threeputts

Member
Dec 14, 2020
151
198
Minnesota
Is that because auto pilot uses energy to steer? The last time I used auto pilot, I felt the steering wheel constantly making small corrections. I wondered how much extra energy that used.
Sure seems like it but I haven't done any quantitative measurements. I don't think it's much but getting to a SC at 5% insead of 10% tends to make my wife anxious which is the fastest way to make the drive no fun :).
 
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roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,899
3,395
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Milli and I went on a road trip just after getting our first Tesla, #000064, to many of the areas you outline. At the time, there were NO SUPERCHARGERS in the entire country, so RV parks were the order of the day, some free, most wanting ten bucks for their slow service. We found that RV parks are not usually placed near any businesses, so we often would GET TO walk a couple miles into town while our car charged. SOMEtimes the motel would have RV outlets. Still, we made it to where we wanted to go, visited with relatives, and had a great time, even without using "A better route planner" (what?) or other nav helpers. Still have never used ABRP to this day, after over 250,000 miles on four Teslas. Some things you don't need. With the current map on the display, and tons of available charging shown, it's not hard.

And this was before my new 400 mile range Model S.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,899
3,395
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
Thanks for the info.
And I couldn't agree more with your statements.
Nowadays, about 2-1/2 hours between stops is my personal biological limit. Alas, gone are the days when I had a 400 mile coffee cup, a 400 mile fuel tank and a 400 mile bladder...
At 77, I still have no trouble making it near 400 miles with no bathroom stops, though I can't say the same for my wifey. Don't drink much coffee, so that may be a clue as to why it lasts all day, as it's a know diuretic (which is also at odds with having a 400 mile bladder). But my car supposedly has its 400 mile "fuel tank", so it's only "gone are the days" for some people. Personally I'm happy the days of driving gas burning, oil dripping, noisy, non-aerodynamic cars are over for me.
 

roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,899
3,395
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
  1. Get closer to the stated miles so we might have the option to skip some chargers if we want to.
The stated miles were not measured doing 80 mph, which is the main reason people complain about Tesla's estimates. It can take twice the energy to do 80 as it does to do 60. Be that as it may, I skip chargers all the time. Most chargers are placed 100 to 150 miles apart, so most people have no trouble, and can skip chargers "if they want to" with impunity. My car can do 150 mph, but I wouldn't get any decent range doing that and might not even make it to the next charger. Maybe I ought to complain.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,271
8,955
Boise, ID
I put my wife through a trial by fire when we first got it, where we did a long trip with no Superchargers within range and had to slow down and turn the heat nearly off with the snow blowing just to make the long stretch we had to do. Now that it's never THAT bad, she isn't concerned with it at all. Winning!
 

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