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Anyone slept in their car during winter?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by FrozenCanuck, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    In mid December my buddy is getting married. It's short term notice and I'm only able to go because I'll drive to Ottawa (from Port Perry) super early on a Saturday morning, attend the event, party, there will be some drinking, etc :) ... and then I expect maybe 6 hours MAX of sleep followed by an early drive home for family stuff.

    Normally I'd grab a hotel. But I should be able to plug in and be fully charged while in Ottawa. I'm just thinking of having a pillow and air mattress (since I'm solo on this trip) and putting it in the unofficial "camping mode" for 5-6 hours and park right in the parking lot at the venue. No wasted time getting to/from a hotel. No expenses. No need to take a taxi.

    Anyone ever done this during winter? The Norway dude who posts awesome videos has done it at 4 degrees C and the car used up about 35km of range in 7 hours of sleeping. Not bad. I figure if the outside temp sucks (-10) I'd fare much worse, but I should stay warm and have plenty of charge left to get to Kingston for a supercharge.
     
  2. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    There was a couple who did it while touring the country. They often slept in the car in RV parks while the car charged overnight. That would work well. While charging, the car keeps the battery heated and that warmth should rise up into the cabin. I have noticed that charging in the winter heats the cabin many degrees.

    You can use the App to turn on climate control, but it turns off every half hour. With a good sleeping bag, the cold soaking in after the climate control shuts down should not wake you too many times in the night.
     
  3. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    I don't anticipate being plugged in during the night, only daytime and then I'll move the car before the party starts so I can be literally right at my own personal hotel when the party ends. So I'd use the trick of being in neutral, parking brake on, and turn lights off (locking doors) to be able to keep climate control on all night long.
     
  4. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Be sure to add a layer (thick cardboard worked for me) to accommodate for the level change between the rear compartment and the top of the rear seat.
    Even a good pad might not be able to account for the uncomfortable drop.

    Also, since you will probably have your head toward the rear of the car, you might consider a sleeping mask to prevent any errant nearby light from preventing a full night's sleep.
     
  5. Biker

    Biker Member

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    I'm very interested to hear how this works out for you.

    Also, not clear, but will you be plugging in at the wedding venue? If so what kind of outlet do they have.

    I'm considering a trip from TO to S florida in January and was wondering if sleeping in the car is a safe/viable idea. If it is, it makes the trip almost free.
     
  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    A couple things others have noted:
    - I believe that the "unofficial camping mode" leaves your daytime running lights on on Canadian vehicles.
    - You can't get both heat and electricity, if the climate control is on then you can't be charging (exception being short bursts from the app, but it won't stay on all night)
     
  7. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The parcel shelf works fine for that.

    - - - Updated - - -

    True, but you don't need it to stay on continually, just turn it on every so often (and adjust the temperature to very high).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Note that he made some custom insulation pieces for the roof.
     
  8. RAM_Eh

    RAM_Eh Member

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    Leave one door slightly ajar. Cabin heat stays on all the time. Turn off all the light manually.
     
  9. jeff_adams

    jeff_adams Member

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    He puts the car in neutral with tires chocked. You can set climate control to your comfort level and sleep all night instead of constantly waking up cold and running the app. The DRL lights could be on all night.
     
  10. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    Thanks for all the replies thus far. Yeah, I'm aware that as of right now you can't charge AND have climate control on all night. I expect to charge at a friend's house 2km from the venue and then just move my car to the actual venue, OR leave it charging at his place and grab a taxi back to it. Doesn't matter.

    I'm planning to cover the screens with a cloth or towel to prevent the light from annoying me and I'll use an air mattress to account for the change in height from trunk to folded seats. If daytime running lights will stay on I guess that's no big deal. That will use hardly any power compared to running the heater all night. And I could drop some towels on top of them too, to avoid annoying others.

    As to whether this is smart / safe for other trips (like heading to Florida) I think it really matters where you are parking. If you park somewhere safe you're fine. But if you're parking at a truck stop I would not consider that safe.
     
  11. Gabzqc

    Gabzqc Member

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    #11 Gabzqc, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
     
  12. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Parking at Truck Stops or WalMart is about as safe as you can get. Likewise Interstate Rest Areas.

    Don't know why you want to run DRLs or run heaters. Just turn off the car and lock it with the fob. Place fob in the door handle nearest you.

    Buy two heavy sleeping bags at WalMart- their house brand is good and they also carry Coleman brand which might even be thicker/warmer. If you need to, put one bag inside the other for maximum warmth. Four layers of moving pads is warmer and thinner than an air mattress and much less cumbersome. Wear a wool cap!
    --
     
  13. FrozenCanuck

    FrozenCanuck Member

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    DRL is just something that it seems I am forced to deal with as a Canadian owner, if I use the unofficial "camping mode". If I plug in then yeah I can do what you suggest and crank up the heat for the first 30 minutes, let it of off, and not worry about it.

    I'm also reading that if you leave something relatively heavy on the driver seat, the climate control will stay on all night. That might work.
     
  14. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    #14 PoweredByRain, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
    Update: I tested this. The screen - and audio and climate control - shut off after half an hour. So, either the firmware has changed, the behaviour is different when plugged in (I recall doing this when not plugged in in the summer), or: I was just plain wrong. I'm leaning toward the latter.

    On the plus side: it occurs to me that it shouldn't be too hard to make your own "app" which would send the "turn climate control" command every 25 minutes or so. (I haven't looked at the API, but I'm sure this is part of it). Just leave that running on your phone.



    Was:


    Why not?

    Get in the car in the back (i.e. no weight on the driver's seat). Open one of the doors (say, back left). Close the door. The screens all turn off. (The software assumes - I assume - that no one is left sitting in the car). Tap the nav screen to wake it up. (Hey, car, there is still someone here!) Turn climate control on (and turn on the tunes, whatever you like), and hit "lock" to lock the car, and you can stay there for hours.

    This worked for me. Am I the only one who has done this?
     
  15. Canuck

    Canuck Active Member

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    #15 Canuck, Nov 15, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2014
  16. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

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    I've camped in the back of my S overnight while charging. To keep the heat on while charging I used the scheduling function on visibletesla to send the HVAC on command every 30 minutes.
     
  17. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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  18. pairtrader

    pairtrader Member

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    I tried sleeping in the back of my car with an air mattress and it was terrible. Like you mentioned, I thought that would compensate for the gap created when the seats fold down. I returned the mattress after one attempt and bought foam instead. One very dense piece to make the back area level, then a longer 2" thick piece of camping foam. I slept on this setup at least 10 nights out of a 3 week road trip, mostly at RV parks and it was more comfortable than I ever hoped for. I can easily add another piece to make the sleeping area adequate for two (well a couple since it will be a bit cozy).

    Photos about half way down the page.
    Tent Camping in a Model S - Page 5

    Behind the driver's seat there will be an empty space, so just put your bag or a couple of pillows there to even it out. I'm 6'1" and I had room to spare.
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    If you are charging then definiteky not. It turns off every half hour. (Sleeping in driver's seat while charging.)
     
  20. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I had no problem sleeping with no mattress.
     

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