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Anywhere to charge on Manitoulin Island (ON)?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Bitjockey, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    In a week's time I'll be driving from my cottage near Parry Sound to a friend's cottage on Manitoulin Island, total distance of about 400km. Thankfully, there are several places to charge in Sudbury (200km away).
    The problem is, once I get to my destination, I have no place to charge; my friend's cottage is completely off-grid and is solar-powered, not enough capacity for charging.

    There's a place called "Batmans Camping & RV" listed on PlugShare, but they are fully booked, and even if they weren't, I'd have to pay their overnight rate to charge just for a few hours.

    My friend has a 7000kw Briggs & Stratton generator that has a NEMA L14-30 receptacle, so I made an adapter cord so that I can hook my 14-50 plug to it. I'm not sure the sine wave will be good enough to support charging, only time will tell.

    Does anyone have any experience with charging anywhere on Manitoulin Island?

    This will be my first long distance road trip, and also the first with my Whispbars and 2 WB200 bike racks and bikes installed, so I'm not really sure what to expect as far as range. I've set the car up for range mode, unticked "always connected", and won't be speeding. :eek:

    George
    2 month-old S85D
     
  2. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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  3. MacLeodMX

    MacLeodMX Member

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    I'd take the gas car for this trip. Sudbury charging is pathetic at best, and your energy use will be at least 30% more than expected with the bike on the roof rack. I would not rely on a gas generator unless you have tested that method of charging for your car. My car did not like it when I tried that - got the red ring of death that needed a reboot to fix.
     
  4. CadillacJack

    CadillacJack Member

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    Hi George - I'm in Little Current at my dad's right now and we have a makeshift 14-50 @ 30 A connection for my Sig. PM me if you're here anytime in the next few days (before Aug 4th) and we can give you a top up at least...I can't really offer it as an option if I'm not here.

    There are a lot of campgrounds around that you could call like the list above, but this is Haweater weekend which is the big tourist weekend - so you might be challenged. Sudbury charging is not convenient either since the chargers are far from the 69/17 bypass.

    BTW, I just drove up today and after learning from my last trip, I topped up in Parry Sound with 50 extra rated kms to spare (330 for a 280km trip), and I barely made it. The wind was so bad between Sudbury and Little Current that my range just melted away, even underspeeding. Be careful! The ICE advice above is certainly something to consider.
     
  5. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    Thanks for the info and the charging offer --- but I won't be on the island until the weekend of Aug 7-9. I'm pretty handy with electricals, have made several adapters (14-30 dryer to NEMA 14-50 for my cottage, as well as the 14-30 generator to 14-50). I guess I'd be out of luck at your dad's place if I showed up for a top-up that weekend.

    Chargepoint lists the Nickel Centre Trucking place as a great place to charge, and I've been in touch with someone who charged there recently. The GM there, Terry, owns a Tesla and installed an 80A charger there which I'm hoping to use both ways. It just would be nice to get an extra 100km or so of range while I'm actually at Manitoulin.

    I've been trying to find out how much range I could get by charging at 120V/5A during sunlight hours from my friend's solar setup. I know that when his battery bank is full, the load gets dumped to a big resistor, so maybe I could harvest/harness that excess while I'm there for a few days.
     
  6. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    5A? I'm not sure that would be enough to cover the constant losses! (Speaking of which, I'd recommend turning on energy saving in the car!)

    I'm at a relative's right now which means charging at 110V 12A (standard 15A circuit) and it's pretty darn slow. Basically 1% per hour.
     
  7. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    I live in Sudbury quite close to the 17 bypass. If anybody is stuck, feel free to PM me and I might be able to make my home HPWC available. I'm not on plug share because it's in the garage but I'm always happy to help out if I can.

    The Barrie SC is too far from Sudbury to make points beyond practical. In January I can't even make it from Sudbury to Barrie on a full charge. There needs to be an intermediate charger.
     
  8. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    Thanks for your kind offer sandpiper, much appreciated, I will keep that in mind if I can't charge at the truck centre.

    I totally agree there needs to be an intermediate charger; I recently approached the mayor of Seguin township (Bruce Gibbon), and proposed that I would purchase a 100A charger if the township would agree to install it at their municipal offices on Rankin Lake Rd (about 2km from Hwy 400 exit 217). He took my suggestion to a council discussion, where they agreed it was best left for the private sector to do this, giving me the name of the owner of the gas/restaurant/visitor centre at exit 214. I will pursue that and see what happens, even if it means having one or more fee-based chargers there.
     
  9. Bitjockey

    Bitjockey Member

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    Just thought I'd post my findings from my recent round trip between my cottage (south of Parry Sound) and Manitoulin Island, about 400km each way.
    Both ways, we stopped at Nickel Centre for an 80A charge for about 1-1/2 hours.

    Going there, we had 2 MTBs on the roof, but going back, we loaded the rack and bikes inside to see what that did to affect range (ignoring wind and elevation differences). Looks like the bikes penalized our range by about 15%, and added some wind noise, but still reasonable.

    We were fortunate enough to charge from a 14-30 dryer outlet at my friend's neighbour, otherwise we couldn't have done this trip. I made a generator adapter cable and attempted charging from my friend's cheap B&S 8000w generator, but the car didn't like it and refused to charge.

    On the way back yesterday, we left Manitoulin at the same time as other guests did in their ICE car, but we stopped in Sudbury to charge while they proceeded south. They texted us that Hwy 69 was closed both ways due to a serious accident and had no idea when it would reopen, so they turned around and did a long detour via North Bay. We monitored the MTO web site while continuing to charge, waiting for either the highway to reopen or to get enough charge to do the North Bay detour. Fortunately, the highway reopened and we continued down south. We ended up back at our cottage about 30 minutes before our guests did, even so we had to stop and charge in Sudbury --- proof that slower is at times faster.

    This was our first long road trip, and thus, the first time we relied on the Tesla nav system. The estimated arrival times were way way off, pretty useless. And not being able to set waypoints and change routes (as we almost had to) is pretty pathetic. I hope they address these shortcomings soon.

    Thanks to all who offered advice and assistance!
     
  10. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    The arrival times in the Tesla Nav system is ridiculous. And I don't understand why. it seems to think that you're going to travel at 70% of the speed limit. That said, the system in my wife's Audi does exactly the same thing.
     
  11. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    It depends on where you are. In much of the "wilds" of Canada, I'd agree with you. For some reason, for example, it thinks you can't average more than 60 km/h on the Trans-Canada highway north of Lake Superior. But on "better known" routes, it is usually very accurate.
     
  12. wayner

    wayner Active Member

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    Which is why you should primarily use Waze rather than the Tesla system. It would be great if they would open up the app system so that we could have a native Waze app on our cars.
     
  13. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I think that's bang on. It assumes everything is a "side street - 60 kph" unless it actually has a speed limit in its road database. Never mind that Ontario laws default the roads outside "built-up areas" to 80 kph.
     
  14. PoweredByRain

    PoweredByRain Member

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    Ah, that explains it!
     
  15. bsd

    bsd Member

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    I think the map databases for Canada have little information on speed limits. Navigon in Europe and the US show the current speed limits for the road and provide warnings when you reach, but never do for Canada. I started to fill in information in my local area on OpenStreetMaps and it's a bit of a nightmare — speeds change quite often (e.g., schools).
     
  16. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know that. I had assumed it was 50 km/h unless otherwise marked just like it is in town. Having said that, I'm not sure I've ever come across a rural road that didn't have speed signage. Lots of examples in the city. The street right in front of my office "seems" like it should be a 60 km/h zone, but there are no signs, hence, it is only 50 km/h. The local cops are always hiding to nab poor folks going 60. I've actually kicked them out of our own driveway citing "safety concerns" for our big trucks turning in and out.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have a TomTom app on my iPhone. It seems quite good, and comparable to any of the better TomTom stand-alone units. I have found the Canadian database of speed limits to be quite accurate. So the data exists... it just must be Tesla/Navigon doesn't have it.
     
  17. sandpiper

    sandpiper Active Member

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    This makes no sense to me. My cheapo Garmin navigator is always dead-on. So the data is clearly out there.
     

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