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Baja Tesla adventure!

IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
San Felipe is very nice — caters to tourists so lots of hotels and excellent restaurants. We stayed at the Marina hotel, which had 2 Tesla chargers and 1 J1772. Very reliable voltage/amperage; a very trustworthy charger. Very wide sandy beaches in this vicinity too!

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365gtb4

Member
Jun 5, 2015
152
133
Redlands
Thanks for the writeup. It's very informative and looks like you're having a great time. I've driven Baja in both cars and motorcycles. I want to take my X down to Cabo but unsure of the current insurance situation.
How did you deal with Mexican Insurance?
 
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IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
I want to take my X down to Cabo but unsure of the current insurance situation.
How did you deal with Mexican Insurance?
Right -- for those of you unfamiliar, you must buy a separate, new insurance policy for your car while you're in Mexico, to be issued by a Mexican provider. Your American or Canadian insurance does not satisfy the Mexican legal requirements.

I looked around a lot online, and read about who others thought was good. A potential problem is that some providers don't cover very expensive cars... which can be, like, an issue for Teslas :) I ended up going with Lewis & Lewis, which seemed to have a good reputation, covered cars in the high-5-digit value range, and allowed me to both shop and buy online. I bought a Baja+Sonora 1-month policy, and printed out the result right away (they sent a copy in the mail later, as well).

Thankfully I did not need to test out how they were at claims, so no promises there! What have other people done -- let us all know below.
 

BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
Thanks for the update ! Out of curiosity, how many Teslas have you seen during your trip and have you seen any charging at the hotels you have stayed at ?
We just returned from the Baja and at many of the spots we stopped we were told we were the 3 or 5 vehicle to use their charging stations ever. People wanted to take pictures every where we went in our Model S they said we have heard of Tesla but never seen one.
In Loreto they said they had a guest come to check out their chargers as they were preparing to do a trip from Chile to Alaska with an electric pick up later this year and wanted to be sure where each station is located. It will be Interesting to watch for the vehicle as we race Baja this year.
 
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BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
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Thanks for the writeup. It's very informative and looks like you're having a great time. I've driven Baja in both cars and motorcycles. I want to take my X down to Cabo but unsure of the current insurance situation.
How did you deal with Mexican Insurance?
For our trip this past month we purchased insurance for our a 2019 Model S through BajaBoundInsurance.com they do have a max vehicle insurable value of $80000US. They have to write the policy in house, instead of online but a quick email had it all set up. We opted for 500K liability coverage. I have added two screen shots of the quotes for your reference.
 
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BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
I wanted to start a thread describing the trip down Baja California that I’m doing this winter break. I had seen the destination chargers deployed down the peninsula, and wanted to try them out! We are driving a 2017 ModelX P100D with a basket attached to our trailer hitch for extra space. With me, my wife, and our 4 kids, space is at a premium.

Our first night, we crossed the border in Tijuana and headed south to the supercharger in Ensenada.

The Ensenada charger is a upgraded v2, still quite new. I was able to pull 140kW no problem.

To maximize range for the second day, we stayed the night at Estero Beach hotel at the south end of Ensenada. The hotel is secluded off the beaten path. It’s more expensive than the hotels in town, but it’s nice and it felt perfectly safe for us and the car.

Okay the flaky internet here in Catavina precludes images, but I’ll add those once we get to cell coverage. More to come!
Now I find this thread after posting yesterday about our trip to La Paz from Vancouver BC!
I used your reports on plug share and followed your trip with interest. Also Isaiah’s trip. It seems like the three of us were the first guests at most of the charging stations. Thanks for your contributions to making our trip so enjoyable!
San Felipe is very nice — caters to tourists so lots of hotels and excellent restaurants. We stayed at the Marina hotel, which had 2 Tesla chargers and 1 J1772. Very reliable voltage/amperage; a very trustworthy charger. Very wide sandy beaches in this vicinity too!

View attachment 499021 View attachment 499022
Hwy 5 from Lake Chappela to San Felipe is now fully paved, it was a beautiful road there are still 3 short gravel detours where they are currently working on bridge replacements but they appear to be almost complete. This new section took only 2 hours 20 minutes to do. It was pouring rain so we were taking it slow under 90km the whole way, but the road conditions on a sunny day would allow to do this route in approx 2 hours I think.
 

IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
Another potential bureaucratic gotcha to be aware of is the Mexican government's FMM, or Forma Migratoria Multiple. You're ostensibly supposed to get one of these tourist forms upon crossing the border if you are travelling beyond around 20km into Mexico. Here's what the US State Department says about it:

"If you enter Mexico by land and plan to travel beyond the immediate border
area (approximately 20 kilometers into Mexico) you must stop at an INM
office at the port of entry to obtain an entry permit (Forma Migratoria
Multiple or FMM), even if not explicitly directed to do so by Mexican
officials. You must present a valid passport in order to receive the entry
permit. You may be asked to present your passport and valid entry permit at
immigration checkpoints on your route of travel."

We tried to get ours online, for which the Mexican government has a website. But it was pretty painful, and because I neglected to print out the payment receipts it turned out to be useless. I went into the customs office just past the Tijuana crossing, and ended up paying on site for brand new FMM forms instead. $50 each person, so not a trivial amount of money.

In the end though, nobody ever looked at them. Even at the many roadside checkpoints manned by well-armed 19-year-olds,l they did not ask to see the FMM. So: supposedly required, but you might end up getting away with it if you chanced not getting them...
 
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BlueJaY

Member
Jun 26, 2020
9
5
US
Thanks IdaX and BCRuth for the trip reports!

My family has done the drive from Alta California down to Baja California Sur twice: in a minivan and an SUV. We loved it both times and look forward to driving down again soon ... well, as soon as we all get through the current pandemic!

Seeing those destination chargers on the Tesla charging map all the way down the peninsula was one of the final factors that nudged me to buying a new Tesla Model Y. I had been planning on another internal combustion vehicle or possibly a plug-in hybrid, but those Baja chargers open up one of favorite road trips and erased one of the last concerns we had about going all-electric. (Our other car is a VW e-Golf.)

A few questions about operating a US-based Tesla in Baja, or Mexico generally I guess:

  1. Does Autopilot still work? FSD? Navigation? LTE data? (I know there's not LTE/cellular service all the way down, but I'm wondering if Tesla provisioned the cellular radios in our vehicles with data roaming service in Mexico.)
  2. What happens if you have a mechanical breakdown hundreds of miles from the US border? I read on another thread that there's no roadside assistance south of Ensenada. I wasn't sure if they were referring to Tesla's official roadside service. I guess that means that there is Tesla roadside service down to Ensenada, including Valle de Guadalupe?
  3. Is there any way to check on the status of the destination chargers remotely? I hope that charger in San Ignacio has been or gets fixed!
Thanks again for blazing the trail and letting us know how it went!!
 
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IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
  1. Does Autopilot still work? FSD? Navigation? LTE data? (I know there's not LTE/cellular service all the way down, but I'm wondering if Tesla provisioned the cellular radios in our vehicles with data roaming service in Mexico.)
Autopilot is fine. No LTE, as you note, but logging into Wi-Fi at hotels and such can fill the gap some, if not that much...

  1. What happens if you have a mechanical breakdown hundreds of miles from the US border? I read on another thread that there's no roadside assistance south of Ensenada. I wasn't sure if they were referring to Tesla's official roadside service. I guess that means that there is Tesla roadside service down to Ensenada, including Valle de Guadalupe?

Could be a lick of trouble... you’d probably have to pay for a tow back to friendly territory. It’s definitely taking a chance!

  1. Is there any way to check on the status of the destination chargers remotely?
Nope; I can’t think of any, at any rate. Even calling them wouldn’t help, unless they have a Tesla to test it with. When people do test it, I hope that they report back here for everyone!
 
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doghousePVD

My grandfather’s car
Dec 3, 2018
649
597
New England, USA
Great thread. I’m in planning towing a trailer to Mulege in December to join a friend.

I just got a Safari Condo A2124 but don’t have much Wh/m data yet. The only viable charging south on Ensenada are Tesla destination chargers.

I hope the hotels are open to visiting chargees, with a tip if necessary.

TT-30 will take over 24 hours to fully charge.
 
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IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
Great thread. I’m in planning towing a trailer to Mulege in December to join a friend.

I just got a Safari Condo A2124 but don’t have much Wh/m data yet. The only viable charging south on Ensenada are Tesla destination chargers..
Awesome! I look forward to hearing about your trip! Make sure you drive plenty slow, especially with the trailer :)
 

IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
Do you have data in Mexico in big cities? I’ll be in Hermosillo for 3 years with mine.
I wasn’t in any big cities. I didn’t have any data in Tijuana or Ensenada, the two biggest ciudades that we went through. I think that you might not have any cell data at all in Hermosillo, you may have to rely on WiFi when you can get it...
 

tij664

Member
May 8, 2017
402
548
Turlock, CA
In Tijuana I had LTE data and it worked just fine in December: satellite maps, traffic, and other connected services pulled up fine. I figured AT&T Mexico has service in the bigger cities and AT&T USA owns the network so that is probably why I had it, considering Tesla uses AT&T. Down in the boonies of Baja I doubt AT&T Mexico has service so it would just work with the preloaded non satellite maps.
 

panton

New Member
Mar 25, 2021
2
2
Los Angeles
Agreed. Great thread, and thanks for all the insights. Just getting a MY, (this Saturday) and plan on driving down to the tip/ Todos Santos this summer. Thinking about bringing a "donut" spare, just to be safe. My only real concern is getting a flat, that is "unfixable"... I've driven to the tip several times, and my only advice is to take your time, and DO NOT drive at night.

Be safe all, and enjoy your adventures!
 
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