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5700 Mile Model Y Road Trip noob style

Sorry for the long post, I wanted to share our road trip experience as a positive example for other electric noobs like me. I have had a 2022 MYP since November 2021 and have over 13k miles on it so far.

I started in Sacramento early Saturday morning at 90 percent and drove to Salt Lake City the first day. Had one adult and three kids in the car and used the ABRP to plan our trip, but used the Tesla navigation while driving. The Tesla nav had us charging longer and driving longer but after watching the “out of spec” YT guy we found that more frequent stops that were shorter were preferable. While charging I would search for superchargers along our route and occasionally add them to reduce charging time. I decided that we would “push” the first day and do 12 hours in the car with the thought of the following days the kids would be antsy and I would have to limit car time. I was shocked when everyone agreed that the first day “wasn’t bad at all” 😅

The next day we started out after breakfast with a nearly full charge thanks to our hotel. I set the charge to 90% when we went to bed, then changed to 100% when we woke up so it was 98ish by the time we hit the road. With SLC in our rear view mirror, we started across Wyoming with our same quick stop charging method that was working for us. Most of the stops had excellent facilities but some didn’t, so we just made a habit of using them when available. I didn’t book a hotel because we all agreed that we would stop when we were hungry and tired. We stopped in Ogalala Nebraska for dinner and while eating at one of the best Mexican restaurants ever… (I know) we decided to travel one more leg and stay in north platte Nebraska. Brrrr 23 degrees, but I had learned the lesson of always charging while the battery is warm, so parked it with 70ish percent and woke up to 66ish percent. Plenty of charge to make it to the next charger with a warmer battery.

Leaving Nebraska and through Iowa it was much of the same. Many of the superchargers were in HyVee parking lots and were amazing. Thank you Wahlburgers 🤤 Since we were eating, I just let the car charge as much as it could and thankfully so. I happened to be talking on the phone with a friend and that silences the nav so I missed a charging stop. I didn’t notice until it navigated to the next one and had a 3% arrival estimate. I thought about turning around, but I was an expert by this time 😄 so I slowed a bit and followed a semi for about 30 minutes until the arrival estimate was >10%. We ended up staying in Davenport Iowa at the Blackhawk. Nice place but no chargers and kinda spendy, so just made sure we had plenty of charge to get to the next supercharger.

We were heading to Columbus Ohio the next day and it was another wash rinse repeat day with more of the same. We rented the FSD a few weeks before we left and for a road trip it is amazing. At the end of every day I honestly felt refreshed. During the short periods where I didn’t use autopilot or FSD, I could feel the tension in my neck and shoulders as well as Elon’s voice saying “you are 10x more likely to crash” 🤣 We decided to stop early in Dayton and devote half a day to the Air Force museum.

The next day we enjoyed the museum and drove to Youngstown Ohio, an odd supercharger desert. I had noted this before the trip and to save time I brought the mobile connector and a nema 6-50 adapter to plug into my Father’s shop.

We spent a few days in Youngstown then headed to Columbus Ohio where we picked up my wife from the airport and stayed with some friends and family for a few days. We never had to bother them with any charging nonsense since there were superchargers around. Now would be the test… two adults in the front and three kids shoulder to shoulder in the back. Did I make a mistake not getting a model X 😬

We left Columbus and headed south on a “short” 6 hour drive to Pigeon Forge where we rented a house on the top on a hill with some family and friends. We supercharged when we got there to 90% and didn’t really worry about charging since it was just daily excursions around the area. The second day I noticed a 20amp 120 outlet where my car was parked at our rental house so I said what the heck, it’s free and plugged in. While I was doing that, one of the homeowners down the street offered to let us use his newly installed charger. I was grateful but declined since I was already on the high end of our charge state.

We left Pigeon Forge TN a few days later and decided to travel home on a more southern route. I spent the day explaining and demonstrating to my wife how the stops, charging and autopilot/FSD worked. She took to it rather quickly and we arrived to Little Rock Arkansas after a full day driving. We spent 20 minutes charging before heading to the hotel and after we arrived my wife commented how smooth everything went on her first big day of driving.

The next day we headed to Amarillo Texas and ran into the first hiccup in our trip. We charged before we left Arkansas and our first scheduled stop after was in Oklahoma City OK. My wife was driving and I was continually checking the supercharger there. I kept noticing that there were only 1 or 2 open chargers and then it showed a short wait before we arrived. I plugged into a charger and the car failed to charge. I sent the wife and kids to use the facilities and proceeded to ask some of the other people charging what the deal was and they said the two chargers at the end were broken 😠 I then waited my turn to use a charger and it was showing a 45 minute charge time and I had already been monkeying around for 20 minutes. I checked the nav and found another charger that was halfway to our next scheduled charge and selected it. The charge time dropped to 15 minutes and we were out of there. 😅no further issues.

The next day we wanted to check out Grand Junction Colorado so used the Tesla nav and took off as usual. The first two legs were pretty straightforward but the next seemed a little suspect. We were supposed to charge up to 70ish percent and drive for 3.5 hours in mountainous terrain. This didn’t sit well with me so I charged for an extra 20 minutes to 90 something percent. We ended up skipping a SC stop and making it all the way to GJ Colorado. Long story short, it would have been fine 😅 We have always been interested in Grand Junction as a place to live, sigh, when we pulled into charge, a pickup backed in next to us and started revving their engine. We ignored them, they lost interest and left, but what a first impression 😅

Next leg we decided to drive as far as we felt comfortable and ended in Winnemucca NV. It was “only” 6 hours from home but we decided to just start fresh the next day with what we have come to feel as a short day driving.

I didn’t reset the trip odometer but when I inputted our trip with stops it came to over 5700mi. with no excursion miles, so all in we were probably over 6000 miles 😮 Autopilot set to 80mph on 95% of freeway miles and I would estimate over 97% of the driving was Autopilot/FSD. This trip was by far the best and most enjoyable road trip I have ever been on. Stopping every 2-2.5hrs to charge worked out so well and resulted in a nearly stress free experience. FSD rental was great, I didn’t use the navigate on Autopilot feature much because it would randomly change lanes on occasion, but instead just used the turn stalk to execute a lane change when needed.

I toyed with the idea of buying a set of Gemini wheels for the trip but in the end just went with the 21s that the car came with. I packed a plug kit and compressor as insurance. We have a three piece luggage set and I removed two wheels from the middle size suitcase so it would fit under the rear hatchback area. The other two suitcases easily fit along with another small suitcase and IKEA bag for miscellaneous treasures. We also used the fitted luggage in the front for dirty laundry and souvenir storage. The luggage sat low and did not interfere with rear visibility at all.

This trip has transformed how we view travel time automotively. 7-8 hours to Legoland used to be so tedious even in a black label Lincoln, (or our old Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid) but now we are exploring trips in the 13-14 hour drive range. Anywho, thanks for reading and I hope our account helps others contemplating the same. Can’t wait until the next one.

TL:DR The Y is a great road trip car thanks mostly to the SC network, Autopilot and great storage.
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Any "phantom braking" issues with that much FSD? Seems to happen a few times an hour on undulating roads with no one around on my m3 in autopilot.
Oh good question! I used to have terrible PB, but it almost disappeared a few updates ago. I would say we experienced around 5 events total on our trip. All coincided with mirages and undulating roads. We got so we could almost predict when it would happen.
 
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Can I ask how the trip from Dayton to Pigeon Forge was? We are planning to shove my family of 4 into my Model 3 LR for our summer vacation from Cincinnati to Charleston SC, and the stretch from London KY to Asheville NC has me really nervous with the potential for losing range going up those mountains. ABRP seems to prefer me taking a more backroad focused route from around Corbin KY into Asheville, but I’m still having a shade of range anxiety about this stretch of road. Knoxville or Pigeon Forge would be optional stop offs, but they still aren’t that close to that London SC, and again, mountains.
 
Can I ask how the trip from Dayton to Pigeon Forge was? We are planning to shove my family of 4 into my Model 3 LR for our summer vacation from Cincinnati to Charleston SC, and the stretch from London KY to Asheville NC has me really nervous with the potential for losing range going up those mountains. ABRP seems to prefer me taking a more backroad focused route from around Corbin KY into Asheville, but I’m still having a shade of range anxiety about this stretch of road. Knoxville or Pigeon Forge would be optional stop offs, but they still aren’t that close to that London SC, and again, mountains.
We took 75 south from Cincinnati and charged at Lexington and London and charged a little extra in London because the Knoxville SC seemed a little out of the way and we easily made it to Pigeon Forge. The Pigeon Forge SC would be a bit out of the way for you it seems that Knoxville to Asheville is a pretty doable leg. With a M3LR I would not be worried about that at all. (More efficient and better range than our car) Really the cars nav works well by letting you know the arrival percentage estimate, and that makes judgment calls pretty easy for trips. I way overthought things, but one big trip changed everything. 😄👍
 
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What was your AVERAGE wh/mi for that trip? We have a 2020 LR AWD and when we take long road trips we typically average 280 wh/mi. Anything over 300 and I start getting anxious. But I shouldn't, given the current state of SuperChargers in the US and only getting better.
I wish I would have reset my trip odometer 😭 I think we did about 340 based on mileage and kWh charged. You are totally right about the SC network getting better. Most of the time we stayed between 10% and 60% and that 50% range charges in 15-20 minutes and gave us about 2 hours of 80mph driving. Pee, get a drink, drive, charge repeat 🤣 not worrying about efficiency or range made the experience priceless. Stress free
 
We took 75 south from Cincinnati and charged at Lexington and London and charged a little extra in London because the Knoxville SC seemed a little out of the way and we easily made it to Pigeon Forge. The Pigeon Forge SC would be a bit out of the way for you it seems that Knoxville to Asheville is a pretty doable leg. With a M3LR I would not be worried about that at all. (More efficient and better range than our car) Really the cars nav works well by letting you know the arrival percentage estimate, and that makes judgment calls pretty easy for trips. I way overthought things, but one big trip changed everything. 😄👍
Thanks for sharing. I noticed that the Pigeon Forge SC is a good bit off the exit, but its in a shopping center that we are familiar with from previous trips there that has a toy store that my kids absolutely love, and a coffee shop my wife and I enjoy - so it may be worth it :)

I'm probably overthinking the whole range thing, I like your idea of just stopping every 2ish hours and going pretty much whatever speed you want, maybe we will try that. ABRP doesn't even has us stopping between London and Asheville - I'm just struggling with how that will even be possible, plus I know one of us will need to stop at some point during that stretch, so I'd like to just mentally plan for it. I tend to be a fairly conservative driver, 259 wh/mi is my current lifetime average since taking delivery in December, which includes quite a bit of cold weather driving. Most trips around town since the weather has started to get warmer have me close to or below the EPA range of 227 wh/mi - so you are right, I'm probably fine, and just need to do it to get over the range anxiety for good.

My wife even mentioned maybe leaving a day early and staying in Pigeon Forge for a night, so maybe that makes it make more sense to just plan for that stop.
 
Thanks for sharing. I noticed that the Pigeon Forge SC is a good bit off the exit, but its in a shopping center that we are familiar with from previous trips there that has a toy store that my kids absolutely love, and a coffee shop my wife and I enjoy - so it may be worth it :)

I'm probably overthinking the whole range thing, I like your idea of just stopping every 2ish hours and going pretty much whatever speed you want, maybe we will try that. ABRP doesn't even has us stopping between London and Asheville - I'm just struggling with how that will even be possible, plus I know one of us will need to stop at some point during that stretch, so I'd like to just mentally plan for it. I tend to be a fairly conservative driver, 259 wh/mi is my current lifetime average since taking delivery in December, which includes quite a bit of cold weather driving. Most trips around town since the weather has started to get warmer have me close to or below the EPA range of 227 wh/mi - so you are right, I'm probably fine, and just need to do it to get over the range anxiety for good.

My wife even mentioned maybe leaving a day early and staying in Pigeon Forge for a night, so maybe that makes it make more sense to just plan for that stop.
Yes! I like the wife’s idea 🤣 can you tell I’m trained well? We did that drop ride by the Pigeon Forge SC and would highly recommend it. Not sure if you are familiar with the old demon drop at Cedar Point… but it is better
 
Thanks for sharing. I noticed that the Pigeon Forge SC is a good bit off the exit, but its in a shopping center that we are familiar with from previous trips there that has a toy store that my kids absolutely love, and a coffee shop my wife and I enjoy - so it may be worth it :)

I'm probably overthinking the whole range thing, I like your idea of just stopping every 2ish hours and going pretty much whatever speed you want, maybe we will try that. ABRP doesn't even has us stopping between London and Asheville - I'm just struggling with how that will even be possible, plus I know one of us will need to stop at some point during that stretch, so I'd like to just mentally plan for it. I tend to be a fairly conservative driver, 259 wh/mi is my current lifetime average since taking delivery in December, which includes quite a bit of cold weather driving. Most trips around town since the weather has started to get warmer have me close to or below the EPA range of 227 wh/mi - so you are right, I'm probably fine, and just need to do it to get over the range anxiety for good.

My wife even mentioned maybe leaving a day early and staying in Pigeon Forge for a night, so maybe that makes it make more sense to just plan for that stop.
If you go to Pigeon Forge SC, consider staying in Gatlinburg instead. Beautiful town. You can even drive through Smoky mountains national park to Asheville.
 
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Awesome post! We'll be using our myp to drive from SoCal to Houston this year and another trip to Portland. I've only had it for a couple months now and I'm still trying to get an idea of how long road trips will shake out

At 80 mph doing hwy travel, how many miles do you estimate the car can do from 80% down to 20%? When traveling I would prefer to keep the battery in this range if possible. My daily commute seems to use about 30-35% battery for 70 miles (leave the house at 80%, get back at 45-50%). Seems like I can expect about 150ish miles at 80mph to go from 80% down to 20% but maybe you have a better idea since you just did a long trip
Great post! I am going to make my first long road trip about a little less than 1000 miles. Will see how it turns out! So excited!
 
Ouch. My Prius at 45 mpg is actually cheaper to run then.
Maybe, I guess it depends on how much gas costs and what mpg a Prius does at 80 mph. I doubt it would be as comfortable and have the ability to store enough luggage without a roof carrier that would tank mpg.

I think a better comparison size wise would be with a model 3. I know my wife’s model 3 would trounce a Prius on efficiency (especially the way she drives)

Supercharger rates have definitely increased, so for a road trip this is noticeable. Everyday charging for us is 95% home charging. Even with CA electricity costs, we are less than half of what it costs to supercharge.

So for that 5% of the time driving a larger more comfortable car while supercharging on road trips, a Prius might be roughly equivalent 🙃 but overall it isn’t even close.
 
Ouch. My Prius at 45 mpg is actually cheaper to run then.
My wife has a MYP, while I drive my 7 year old faithful Prius.. When taking a long trip I definitely prefer my Prius (Freedom)😃 don’t want to be controlled 🤷🏻‍♂️…How fast you drive determines where and when you must stop to get kW’s. (Multiple stops at that) driving can be fun but you have to admit less worries and getting to your destination in a shorter time is best; Specially when family (grandkids) are waiting for you.. 👍🏻
 
Can I ask how the trip from Dayton to Pigeon Forge was? We are planning to shove my family of 4 into my Model 3 LR for our summer vacation from Cincinnati to Charleston SC, and the stretch from London KY to Asheville NC has me really nervous with the potential for losing range going up those mountains. ABRP seems to prefer me taking a more backroad focused route from around Corbin KY into Asheville, but I’m still having a shade of range anxiety about this stretch of road. Knoxville or Pigeon Forge would be optional stop offs, but they still aren’t that close to that London SC, and again, mountains.
Trust the planner in the car. It will perform exactly as it says, maybe a little better.
 

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