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  1. Hello Model S Drivers,

    I am looking for any advice on driving from Detroit to San Diego and back again in December/January. Any advice is welcome! :rolleyes:

    I understand my navigation feature directing me to Supercharge stations across the country. That tells me it's 2,502 miles and will take around 49 hours. Does that time include the time estimated for charging? Google maps says it's 2,347 miles and a 34 hour drive, obviously disregarding the need to power a vehicle. I have not compared the exact routes between the two navigations. It looks roughly the same, but with a difference of 155 miles I assume the Supercharging stations take us a little out of the way.

    I have found the need for snow tires in the winter. Otherwise, I haven't felt confident on slippery roads. However, I understand that I cannot drive my snow tires in warm weather. So, driving through the North and mountains I can count on wintery road conditions. I honestly cannot see lugging along an extra set of tires to change in Arizona! Thoughts?

    If anyone has made this trip and has tips to share, I'd love to hear them.

    Thanks,
    Kathy
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Good luck on trip. In terms of the tires you would be fine to drive them in warmer climates for that short time period. It might accelerate the wear but easier than lugging an extra set of rims around.
     
  3. KJD

    KJD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    628
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    Don't be afraid of charging to 100% when doing road trips. Just do not charge to 100% and leave it that way for a week.
    Try and plan you lunch stops at a supercharger stop.
    Plan you overnight spots somewhere within walking distance of a charger. (Level 2 is fine for overnight)
    Enjoy the trip. Lots of interesting parks and landmarks between those 2 cities.
     
  4. Scotty

    Scotty Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2014
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    130
    Location:
    Lodi, CA
    I traveled from Lodi, CA to Port Huron, MI and then into Ontario about 3 months ago. Columbia, MO and Albuquerque, NM were not up until I had already bypassed them. No problems on the trip. I found the on-board NAV was barely ok when traveling across country. HOWEVER, in routing short distances, be cautious, as it can route you a thousand miles out of the way (you can read my post about it routing me past the Toronto SpC and on to Buffalo, NY, before routing me BACK to the Toronto Spc to charge). Others have seen this occur. I do not only charge to what the NAV system says is adequate to continue. I charge to about 30 - 40% more, than it recommends. I would not be able to make the next stop without slowing way down. I also like to have extra so I can deviate off the route to explore, etc. I bought the CHADemo adapter just in case, but it's still in the box.
    Also, if you find yourself in Kansas, be wary of any vehicle at the side of the road with flashing lights. In no matter what state you're in, if you see a vehicle at the side of the road (and particularly, if they have lights flashing), slow down, or get into the left lane. I only got a verbal warning, but the KHP officer said he pulls over Tesla's regularly.
    Also give yourself a bit more 'in the tank', when traveling west. The western winds can decrease your range, and going 55mph in a 70 mph zone can be frustrating.

    Scotty
     
  5. KJD

    KJD Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Messages:
    628
    Location:
    SLC, UT
    When you look on Plugshare.com for charge stations it will be listed as J1772 or NEMA 14-50.
    Any of these are Level 2 and are OK for overnight charging. They are slow compared to a Super Charger, but for overnight they work fine.
    Some of the Hotels will have them in the parking lots.
     
  6. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,770
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    It means 240V charging-- whether a J1772 charging station from ChargePoint, Blink, etc. that the car comes with the adapter for, or Telsla HPWC, or a NEMA 14-50 outlet that you probably use at home.
     
  7. Oba

    Oba Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    #8 Oba, Nov 8, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2015
    It's an easy trip. You can use Superchargers the entire way, but I would ALWAYS bring your UMC charge cable and I highly recommend the CHAdeMO adapter for California and the west coast. It can be quite convenient when there are quite literally over 100 CHAdeMO stations in SoCal. If you don't want to buy this for $450, I'll rent you mine for $100 for the entire period.

    While planning, I suggest using PlugShare - EV Charging Station Map - Find a place to charge your car! (there is an app for your iPad / smart phone, also) to find hotels along your route with overnight charging. You'll want to filter for just:

    "NEMA 14-50" (use this with your UMC, generally found at campgrounds and called "50 amp service". There are lots of RV camp spot apps that you can filter to just show "50 amp", like All Stays)

    "EV Plug" (J1772 / L2 / normal public charging plug... use the adaptor that came with your car)

    "Tesla (S)" (this will plug straight into your car, and is generally found at premium hotels. Tesla calls it "destination" charging)

    You do not need Superchargers selected for PlugShare... the car will find them quite easily. Plus, Superchargers would not normally be the smartest overnight choice, but there are plenty of hotels along that route that have the Supercharger right there.

    Use this link, in addition to PlugShare, to find the Tesla "destination" plugs (these are the ones that are referred to as "Tesla (S)" on PlugShare):

    Tesla Store, Service Centers and Chargers,

    You'll have to estimate how much driving and site-seeing per day, but your Tesla can easily drive 65-70mph down the freeway at its rated range, provided there are no mountains, headwinds, snow / heavy rain, or cold weather. I recommend EV Trip Planner to help you with this.

    Let's assume your rated range is somewhere between 230 and 280 miles, therefore your maximum distance that you'll want to actually travel between charge stations is about 200 miles. You're in luck!!! All the Superchargers along your route are under 200 miles, and most are between 100 and 150 miles. Easy, easy!

    I would plan 3 hours driving and one hour charging as a general rule of thumb during the day. That will cover 180 miles every 4 hours. An 8 hour day might be 360 miles, and a 12 hour day, about 540 miles. Yes, it can be done faster, but not everybody is in a race, and your experience level is likely in the 360-540 miles per day for planning.

    So, minimum of 4-5 days for the trip.

    Last bit of advice: turn off the beta trip planning on your car! I think the button is found by pressing the lower left hand car symbol, then settings at the upper right, then apps at the top left, than press the navigation icon. You'll see the beta trip planning at the bottom of the choices. Turn it off.

    It is horrendous, and will frequently route you either ridiculously out of your way, or want you to return to the Supercharger that you were just at. Dumb, dumb.

    You can plan your route, as I suggested, with EVtripplanner, and then manually select the next Supercharger along your route. The easiest way is (on your navigation screen in the car) just press the icon for the Supercharger you want to use, then when the information screen pops up for that Supercharger, press "Navigate".

    Then, press the area of the navigation that shows miles to destination, time enroute, estimated time of arrival, and it will now also display the estimated remaining battery % for your arrival. For somebody new to long distance travel, I'd keep that above 20% to start, and adjust speed while traveling, if necessary, to keep it above 10%. Just a 5mph lower speed, or turning off the heater, makes a big difference.
     

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  8. StaceyS

    StaceyS Member

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    Location:
    Bend, OR United States
    My wife and I just recently completed a 2200 mile drive from central Oregon to Utah (Zion National Park) and back, going through the middle of nowhere (er, Nevada...). Our p85 did great.

    The Energy App is great for long distance driving. Set your destination in the navigation, bring up the Energy App, and tap on the "Trip" tab and you'll get a graph showing the battery capacity over the course of your drive. This graph does take terrain into account, but it does not take in speed limits, its based on RATED range (which is 55 mph at 70 degrees with no winds).

    This is really important when following the car's charging advice. If you set your Navigation to take you from Detroit to Rapid City, SD, the navigation will route you through Superchargers, and tell you how long to charge at each one. It is really important to do your own thinking though, because the car is assuming RATED consumption, which you will not get at 75 mph with a headwind. So, while the car may say you need 20 minutes to charge to make it to your next charging stop, be aware of the weather and driving conditions, two big things the car won't have any knowledge of which can noticably affect range. Fortunately, the graph in the car shows you your actual consumption (and projects it forward to the end of your trip), as well as the Rated consumption. On our trip, we had very strong headwinds for 3 days on our way back. I charged 20-30% more range than the car recommended. I was never close to running out of charge, but I also used more energy than the car predicted I would.

    Another good tip is to recognize that the battery charges fastest between the bottom half of capacity to about 80%, then the charging speed really falls off. If you're supercharging between 15% and 75%, you're spending the least amount of time at the Superchargers.

    And finally, if you have the time and if you enjoy this sort of driving, get off the Interstates. I've driven across the country many times and sticking to the Interstate is the most boring way to see the country. All you see are on-off ramps, service stations, fast food joints and shopping malls. If you can drive sections of US Highways, you'll see everyday America. You'll go through downtown Smalltown, USA, you'll see the locals going about their daily lives, you'll see the full history of American buildings and settlements and the countryside. Driving the highways is definitely slower, but I find it much more enjoyable than the Interstates. (Added plus: driving slower on the highways gives you more range than on the interstates!)
     
  9. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
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    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    I could not agree more with taking the time to get off the interstates. With Tesla's Destination Charging program, there are many chances for this.

    From Silverthorne, CO to Farmington, NM, there is a nice detour that I have helped put in place. There are 70 Amp J1772 outlets in Salida, CO and Pagosa Springs, CO. The one in Salida is only available during business hours, but the one in Pagosa is available 7/24. Here are some links to those chargers:

     
  10. evp

    evp Nerd

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    Location:
    Arvada, CO
    What makes you think you can't drive on snow tires in warm weather? That won't be a problem. Unless, of course, you have studded tires, and you'll wear the studs down at an accelerated rate.

    Be careful of range in bad driving conditions. You can lose up to 40% range below rated in the cold and when driving on snowy roads.
     
  11. StaceyS

    StaceyS Member

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    Location:
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    Agreed. I wouldn't worry about driving on your snow tires in warmer weather on this trip. Yes, snow tires do wear faster when its warmer, but you're not going to be seeing much wear relatively speaking.

    If I were dictator of the world, I would banish studded snow tires for road use back to the rut-producing, road-destroying hell from whence they came!
     
  12. Oba

    Oba Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    SoCal
    Some more pointers:
     

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  13. Cyberax

    Cyberax Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    My rule of thumb is - supercharging speed is about 200mph. So for a trip of 2500 miles (around 50 hours of driving) it's going to take about 12 hours of charging. And you can also shave off about 3-4 hours of charging time by strategically using destination chargers and filling up to 100% overnight.

    My recent trip was: Seattle, San-Diego, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Salt Lake City, Seattle. Around 4000 miles total, the total charging time was 14 hours (not including overnight charging).

    And to add to other commenters's advices: charge to 100% overnight if you can, but don't charge more than 75% on superchargers if you can reach the next supercharger with a comfortable margin (20% according to the energy app). That limits you to about 130-140 miles of range between superchargers on a 85D and can be somewhat annoying, but it saves you time in the end.
     

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