TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Adventures in charging a Model S in traveling to Key West

Discussion in 'Florida' started by Larry Chanin, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Club member Bruce Gamradt sent me the following write-up of a challenging trip from West Palm Beach to Key West.

    IMG_2817.JPG

    Larry
     
  2. aviators99

    aviators99 Model S - R140

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    1,453
    Location:
    Weston, Florida, United States
    I have found Recargo to be iffy, at best. I use Plugshare and Chargepoint instead. I would like specifics on the RV park, so we can know to avoid it if they charge $80 for a top-off. I've heard that many places will let you do it pretty cheaply (but have no firsthand experience).
     
  3. ClearwaterBchSteve

    ClearwaterBchSteve P445 / VIN 1794

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Messages:
    334
    Location:
    Clearwater Beach, FL
    We vacation in Key West every May for a week. (own a timeshare there). As much as the trip would be fun in our Model S, we are still reserved to take my Mom's Mary Kay ICE. There simply are no reasonable charging locations near Naples nor southern keys apparently. Maybe next year!
     
  4. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Ron,

    KOA have been known to accommodate EVs. I have written to KOA Camgrounds corporate to obtain their policy and fees for EV charging. Here's their response:

    Some folks staying overnight at KOA Kabins are charged the full daily rate plus another $15 for charging.

    Larry
     
  5. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Steve,

    This won't solve the challenges of charging in Key West, but remember we have club members who live in Naples who are members of the club charging network.

    Larry
     
  6. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    South Florida
    Interesting write up on Key West. Several times a year I have to go to Key West and Marathon for work. The good thing is I'm in a hotel there all week so charging up should be easier, even if it's only 120v unless I can talk them into using their 240v dryer socket. Usually I get the company to give me a rental car but the next time I go I'll have to try the Tesla which I'll be getting next month. Both locations are well within range for me (Plantation, FL). US1 (Overseas Hwy) would be an ideal road for the MS as it's generally slow 45-55mph and because of tourists stopping every few miles to view the sights, you slow down a lot. Perfect for regen mode use.
     
  7. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Now we also have two locations in Key Largo with members who are participating in the club charging network.

    Larry
     
  8. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Daniel,

    Did you intend to take US1 for the entire route? Driving at a slow steady pace of 45-55 mph with cruise control on will get you great range. However, slowing down and stopping will not help even with regenerative braking because you are still wasting energy deaccellarating and accellarating. Regenerative braking is not 100% efficient.

    If you can't get 240volt charging when in Key West or along the route with 120 volt you should be prepared to be charging more that 60 hours to get home.

    Larry
     
  9. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    South Florida
    Hi Larry,

    Normally I use the Turnpike to US1 so I bypass Miami. I'd say 2/3 of the journey is via US1. I realize regen braking isn't 100% efficient but with that journey, you do slow down quite a lot and slowly pick up speed. Much of the route is single lane so you can't overtake and where you can they are pretty hot on speeding especially in the summer months. You can't do more than 50 in a 45 or else they'll nick you! There is a KOA at Sugarloaf which isn't far from Key West. They claim to have 30 and 50amp hookups. I'd imagine in the peak season it would be fully booked however: https://koa.com/campgrounds/sugarloaf-key/site-type/rv-camping-sites/
     
  10. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Daniel,

    As you know taking the turnpike you won't be able to safely travel at 45-55 mph and you will be burning off more range until you can safely slow down.

    When traveling to Key West it is wise to have some back-up plans and as Bruce reports RVs are sometimes necessary. I have read that KOA campgrounds are sometimes receptive to EVs. So I emailed their corporate offices to see if they had a corporate policy or fee for charging EVs. They told me that each campground is individually managed. Bottom line you will have to contact each campground in advance to determine if they have a policy and pricing for EVs. As you can see from Bruce's initial posting the worst case senario is having to pay for an entire day.

    Larry
     
  11. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    South Florida
    Yeah I realize the Turnpike will use more gas...errr electrons and that any trip near the 200 mile range or so will need some backup plans if it all goes wrong. I suspect you've run into that before at some point :wink: In my regular job, I'm a pilot so managing fuel is a basic requirement of which operating a Tesla is likely to be very similar with one exception. If the worst happens you're already on the ground! :biggrin:
     
  12. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2011
    Messages:
    4,283
    Location:
    Sarasota, Florida
    Hi Daniel,

    Sorry if my postings sounded like I was "Nannying" you. That's because they were. :redface:

    I am fairly conservative in approach and I haven't had any mishaps yet. Prior to his trip I did attempt to caution Bruce about the practical aspects of making this particular journey with the existing limited infrastructure. It turned out to be an expensive charging experience for him having to resort to a local RV park. He was hoping that his hotel's 110v outlet would take care of his charging needs. That didn't work out so well.

    Larry
     
  13. ChrisC

    ChrisC see signature

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2009
    Messages:
    518
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I happened across this thread while looking for other Florida EVSE info. I have updated the two Recargo entries per Bruce's report above. In my opinion Recargo has the best web interface (slightly better compared to PlugShare and far better than any of the others) and the quality of the data depends on YOU (the "crowd") to improve it. In Atlanta we have whipped the Recargo database into fine shape and it's THE canonical reference for us here.

    If someone provides details on an RV park that they have successfully charged at, I'll enter into Recargo. Or, you know, enter it yourself :) Here's are two examples from Model S owners in Atlanta:

    EV Charging Location - Cordele KOA - Cordele, GA
    EV Charging Location - Beaver Run RV Park - Metter, GA
     
  14. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Thanks Chris! As someone who also uses an RV from time to time I have to add that charging at an RV park depends a lot on the season - if they've got space most of them will be accommodating but if they're full then, understandably, forget it. I've had campsites that were fully booked weeks in advance.
     
  15. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    South Florida
    No problems Larry. I appreciate your wisdom and your experience with the Tesla. I hope to see you in real life one day at an FL meet/event.
     
  16. scottev

    scottev Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Hi Daniel,

    I was also looking at making the same trip and one charger that I saw on PlugShare was at the Snapper Creek Service Plaza. Not sure if I would plan on it since I haven't seen any reviews and it looks like a single J1772 charger, but it might be good to keep in mind.



    Snapper Creek Service Plaza
    http://api.plugshare.com/view/location/16368

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  17. Brit4864

    Brit4864 Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2013
    Messages:
    338
    Location:
    South Florida
    According to that Plugshare page there's also a 240v charger in Homestead, just off from the Turnpike/US1 junction which might be worth checking on as well.
     
  18. robballan

    robballan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    Location:
    Palm Beach, FL
    For what it's worth, I drove from WPB to Orlando and back in February. Range-charged before I left, 110v-charged at a Disney hotel while there. Not enough to get all the way home. Found that a call to a Nissan dealership en route was all it took to stop in and use their Leaf J1772 station for an hour while I had lunch nearby.
     

Share This Page