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Bay Area to Disney and LEGOland. Any tips?

Discussion in 'California' started by Gizmotoy, Oct 31, 2016.

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  1. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Thanks for all the info so far...

    Follow-up question: are they more serious about having front plates in SoCal compared to up here? I ordered a The Law mounting bracket to get it installed before the trip next week, but unfortunately it arrived defective and doesn't fit through the honeycomb.

    Not sure if I should go without, try some kind of zip-tie garbage, risk it, or what. Kind of bummed since I'd planed to just leave The Law mount installed, but it just doesn't fit.
     
  2. jboy08

    jboy08 Member

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    Honestly? No, but of course it's still a risk you must be willing to take if you forgo the front plate.

    Btw, I've always had bad luck so I also have The Law installed on my car.
     
  3. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

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    12 years, mercedes-roadster-S, no front plates, never been cited in any of them despite getting tickets for other things (illegal U-turn, my wife speeding (never ME)). I wouldn't worry about it unless you intend to park at LAX.
     
  4. BrokerDon

    BrokerDon Member

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    The ONLY Orange County city I ever got a ticket for not having a front license plate was Santa Ana near City Hall... in 11 years of driving a Corvette Z06 and our Tesla Model S P85D without front plates. I wouldn't worry about it.

    Great place to visit near Disneyland is the Circle in Orange. It has lots of vintage buildings, antique shops and restaurants including the Haven Gastropub in Orange which has 2 FREE Tesla HPWCs in the free parking lot which output 40A / 198V. These spots have been reported as ICE'd evenings & weekends by others but they've always been available for me in the afternoons.

    Also if you're into shopping, just across the street from South Coast Plaza is a FREE 30A / 199V Tesla HPWC. Sometimes we recharge here on Friday nights while we get our 2 liter beer growlers refilled at Karl Strauss Restaurant & Brewery for $8.00. Ask for Danica (waitress) for the best service and growler fills.

    Both of these FREE HPWCs are listed on PlugShare... and my charging reports are under "Don's Model S".

    Enjoy your trip... and let me know if you need any other Orange or San Diego County destination advice. TONS to see and do here!
     
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  5. Hazelwood

    Hazelwood Member

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    I'm staying in Newport, at a place with no destination charging...boo! We're hitting Fashion Island tonight so I figured I'd see if the Tesla shop there would let me use their charger. Response was a big fat NO. OK, learning moment, being away from home charger sucks. Superchargers are helpful but require me to sit somewhere for an hour.

    I think I've learned it's easier to drive my big ICE car down to make life bearable without having to explain to my wife why I have to go find someplace to charge. Lesson learned.
     
  6. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    There are so many Superchargers, though. Buena Park and San Juan Capistrano are both really close, and Santa Ana is opening soon. My wife, out two year old, and myself had no trouble making it work. Bay Area to Anaheim in 2 stops: one for lunch, and we just played for 20 minutes at Tejon Ranch. Worked fine.

    I ended up just plugging into 120V at the Grand Californian, which was enough. I was back to 90% in a little over a day.

    A little bit of planning is still required, but we probably only spent 20 minutes more than we would have in an ICE. Pretty decent.
     
  7. Hazelwood

    Hazelwood Member

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    Yeah you're probably right. The two superchargers are known for being packed, typically with locals who can't afford the $3/day. I'm more disappointed the Tesla sales center in Fashion Island wouldn't support the cars they sell and let me charge a little.
     
  8. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Wrapped up the trip. Is was really easy. Hit Harris Ranch and Tejon Ranch both ways (South on Sunday, North on Monday). They were busy on the way down, but still no lines.

    I was able to charge up to 90% on 120V over a few days at the Grand Californian in Disney. I charged to 90% again at the LEGOLAND Hotel, which had 240V 30A J1772s for free out front.

    The car scared me pretty bad twice, though. I tried to get about a 20% buffer. Leaving Tejon towards Harris the car said I had enough range to leave when I had 95 miles. It's something like ~120 miles between the two Superchargers. I don't know what it was thinking.

    Then twice when I left my estimated arrival SOC dropped like a rock about 10 minutes into the trip. It went from something like 20% down to 10% in 5 miles or so of constant-speed cruising. I thought I was screwed, but it slowly crept back up over the rest of the trip. Nothing like the car actively and unnecessarily contributing to range anxiety.
     
  9. mblakele

    mblakele pre-jackpot member

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    #29 mblakele, Nov 20, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2016
    Maybe you hit some wind? That can have more effect than you'd expect, and the car's planner doesn't account for it. If you're willing to do a little setup, Tesla Winds and Elevation can be useful.

    EDIT: Or maybe that early drop was just the usual behavior where the first few miles are much more expensive than usual? Because the battery is warming up or cooling down to its operational range, I think?
     
  10. Hazelwood

    Hazelwood Member

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    I had the same problem, the range wasn't super accurate. I found if I cancelled the trip in Nav, then restarted it, it would go back up again. From Harris Ranch to the Bay Area it showed 7% would be left. I had a bike on top of my car, which I'm sure decreased my mileage considerably. I was happy to see Santa Nella opened up last week, and almost stopped to gain some extra mileage but wanted to see how accurate it was (probably not the brightest idea with a wife and kids in the car). One thing I did notice, not sure if it was an optical illusion or not, but 5 North from Harris Ranch on appeared to be slightly uphill.
     
  11. bmah

    bmah Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums

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    Reviving this thread...I'm planning a SF Bay Area to LEGOLAND (San Diego) trip. Almost two years of Tesla ownership but this is my first time doing a trip that needs multiple charging stops to the destination. Wanting a little sanity check...

    Southbound leg: Basically straight I-5. Probably Harris Ranch, Tejon Ranch, Santa Ana, destination (hotel in San Diego that has destination chargers), although I just saw a post about Santa Ana having two stalls down, so I may need to keep my options open (Buena Park as an alternate?).

    Northbound leg: I'm thinking of going up US-101 on the way home, maybe LA/Hawthorne (want to see the design center and SpaceX), Oxnard (or Buellton), Atascadero, Gilroy, then home. It seems (based on EVTripPlanner and EVTO-Tesla) that we'd be charging at Atascadero for awhile (40+ minutes?) to be able to make it to Gilroy. Is this right?

    If that doesn't work for some reason, I can always just go back the way I came on I-5: LA/Hawthorne, Buttonwillow or Buttonwillow, Harris Ranch, maybe Gustine, then home.

    Both of the northbound trips I plotted take more time than the southbound trips, probably because charging at LA/Hawthorne makes for suboptimal charging.

    (If it matters, I have an S85D with 19" wheels. Also I planned a fairly conservative buffer of 20%, but I'm willing to eat into that depending on conditions.)

    Am I doing anything obviously stupid?

    Thanks for clues!

    Bruce.
     
  12. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    Looks pretty reasonable to me. There's a bunch of different stop options for that route. Buena Park is an OK backup, but there's not much around. You might keep an eye on Santa Anna or risk it if you'd be arriving there at mealtime. We stuck to Harris/Tejon Ranch because of the food options.

    I think I forgot to mention we stopped in Hawthorne to see SpaceX on the way home. That was fun.

    The nice part about this route is that you have alternate stops for most of the route. It's perhaps less stressful because of that.
     
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  13. CalBlue 85D

    CalBlue 85D Member

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    I have not gone all the way to San Diego, but I've done the SoCal trip several times and I don't think you can go wrong on either route North or South. We used to find lines at the SC's on I5, but now that Buttonwillow, Bakersfield and Gustine have been added I rarely see a full house at any SC through the valley (even Harris Ranch!). Different story once you get into the LA basin, but the last time we drove past Buena Park there were spots available and the one time I charged at Burbank I didn't need to wait there either.

    The short story is that I don't think you even need a trip planner for this route anymore. As long as the SC's are all in working order, you will have plenty of options. I used to stop at Bakersfield to avoid the lines at Tejon Ranch, but now with the SC availability showing on the map I can judge whether I need to choose a SC based on availability or on where I want to stop to eat.

    We are driving a MS 85D too and the range is plenty on I5 or 101. Personally, I prefer 101 for the scenery, but the kids prefer I5 since it cuts about 90 minutes off the trip home.

    Enjoy the drive!
     
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  14. gaswalla

    gaswalla P4201/85/airsusp/pano/19i

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    Note that there are two chargepoint chargers in front of the Legoland hotel. They work if you use a chargepoint card, and are free.. but, they are listed as 'inactive'
     
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  15. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    When I was there they had 3 double stands, for a total of six stalls. One of the stalls was down at the time, though. The say "Decommissioned", but as you said, will work with a physical card (you can't enable them with the Chargepoint app). Spots are in the valet area, but the valets told me I could self-park there if I wanted. If they're full, you might ask the valet about it. I noticed they used them for staging to keep the hotel's arrival area clear during busy times as they're the closest spots to the hotel.

    Valet at the time said they planned to have a bunch more chargers alongside the new hotel being built.
     
  16. bmah

    bmah Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums

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    @Gizmotoy, @KF94563, and @gaswalla: Thanks for the feedback / comments!

    Off to go file my flight plan, no waitaminute--- :)

    Bruce.
     
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  17. bmah

    bmah Moderator, Model S/X, California Forums

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    We're back from San Diego. Good first long-distance EV road trip, in our S85D with AP1 and 8.0(17.8.16) software. Many thanks to everyone on TMC whose accumulated knowledge and experience made this actually pretty easy.

    On our southbound trip (Sunday 2 April) we took the I-5 route as planned. First charging stop was Harris Ranch, where we managed to get the one unpaired stall. Because we had a long lunch here, we left with a nearly full battery, but those extra electrons got used up pretty quickly when someone (cough wife cough) wanted to see how fast she could drive the car. Oh well.

    Second charging stop of the day was Tejon Ranch. We tried one of the temporary stalls to avoid getting a stall paired with someone already charging, but we didn't get a lot of power that way. After a few minutes, a couple of the cars under the canopy departed so I moved my car to get a more normal rate of charge (I would have moved whether the other cars were gone or not).

    We had planned a stop at Santa Ana, but that site was having (and continues to have) problems...on the day we did our southbound drive it was showing "limited service". So we diverted to the Buena Park Supercharger/Service Center/Store, where for the very first time I had to wait for a charging stall. In fact we got to witness two drivers getting into a heated argument over who got to go next, with one driver using her Model X to physically block the other's Model S from turning into the stall. The speed at which a Model X can accelerate towards an open charging space is...impressive. The Tesla store staff said they couldn't intervene, but another driver who arrived as this was unfolding and a security guard finally got them to play nicely. A Tesla staffer then sequenced the rest of us to avoid problems. We wasted around 20 minutes with this nonsense, but charging was otherwise uneventful.

    We stayed at the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego / Solana Beach Del Mar. It's basically mid-way between Legoland and San Diego proper. They have four HWPCs and two Clipper Creek J1772s. The HWPCs deliver a respectable 32A. There was a bit of ICE-ing, but I was always able to get a space to charge when I needed it. Over the time we stayed
    there (three nights) I saw a maximum of 3 Teslas charging there. I'd gladly stay there again if I'm in the area, but they really ought to put some padding (pool noodles?) on some low-hanging pipes that are easily bumped by the Model S liftgate (I now have a couple of dings on my liftgate, sigh). Some signage would be useful also to discourage
    ICE-ing. As has been discussed in other threads, having a destination (or home) charger really makes life a lot easier.

    We did a couple days at Legoland, which was basically the point of the trip. I was reminded that a lot of people (including tourists at theme parks) still aren't familiar with EVs and how nearly-silent they are in parking lots. One day we checked out the San Diego Supercharger just for kicks. I was amazed it's so far from the freeway.

    On our return trip on Wednesday, I routed us back via US-101. First stop was the Los Angeles / Hawthorne Supercharger, totally unnecessary as a charging stop but fun for sightseeing. The first landmark was the SpaceX Falcon 9 on display, the first one they successfully recovered. We also saw the Hyperloop test track that serves as the backdrop for one of the Model 3 spy videos. It's a bit hard finding the charger amongst the Tesla and SpaceX buildings, but it feels like a bit of an oasis in the middle of an industrial neighborhood. After we soaked up a bit of the atmosphere and chatted with the security guard, we loaded up and headed for Oxnard.

    The Oxnard Supercharger is located in a shopping area that reminds me a lot of Santana Row in San Jose, or Town Square in Las Vegas. It seems like it's pretty new because there are a lot of "coming soon" restaurants and fairly high-end shops. We arrived to a half full (half-empty?) Supercharger site, but it filled up a couple minutes after we arrived. This was our lunch stop, so our battery was almost full when we departed. We also chatted with another Model S owner about his wrapped nosecone.

    Atascadero was next. My wife redeemed her driving performance of a few days ago by beating the energy graph from Oxnard to Atascadero. In terms of the neighborhood, it was quite a change from Oxnard...my son says it's "sketchy". There was a security guard hanging out at the chargers...I halfway wanted to ask him whether he was guarding the
    vehicles or the Tesla equipment.

    Gilroy was our last charging stop, and the only Supercharger on this trip that we'd used before. It was surprisingly empty (only two other cars), but maybe because it was dinner-time on a Wednesday night.

    While at Gilroy we saw a BMW 330e (my wife drives one of these) on one of the J1772-equipped charging stations. Seeing one of these is pretty unusual (only the second one we've seen in the wild), but it was even more surprising seeing one at a public charging station...on a good day that car might get around 18 miles on battery power and with only a 3.6 kW on-board charger it takes awhile to recoup that. So it doesn't (in our minds) make a lot of sense to charge the 330e when you're out and about (and this car appeared to be far from home because it had an Irvine dealer paper plate on it). We wanted to ask the driver about this, but he was taking a nap (with the windows down, what was he thinking?).

    We detoured to San Jose Japantown for dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant, and then drove home.

    Conclusions and lessons learned:

    EVTO did a pretty good planning this trip. Great job, @aescalus! I didn't need it very much during the trip itself, but it was good for visualizing how the trip would go. (I printed out itineraries for reference during the drive.) I used a lot of the default settings, which felt like they were slightly conservative in the end, but it basically worked. A good planning tool.

    Unfortunately, no planning tool can take into account traffic delays (curse you LA area traffic!) or the time spent waiting to plug in to charge. Planning tools also need to be told about longer stops (such as meal breaks), they obviously can't guess them for you.

    Aside from the above problems, charging stops lined up pretty well with mealtimes and/or required restroom breaks. And the car was almost always ready before we were. I'm pretty sold on this part.

    I bought a kneeboard (one of those clipboard/binder thingys that pilots use) to hold a notepad and other papers. This felt
    kind of geeky but it worked pretty well to keep things organized, or at least close at hand.

    AP1 autosteering did extremely well (I've used it a lot around the SF Bay Area). Interestingly, autosteer seemed more skittish in SoCal, particularly on 405 (er, sorry, "the 405"). Not sure if the lane markings are bad (there was an Elon tweet on this many months ago) or if something else was at play.

    Trip statistics:
    • Mileage: 1154.9 miles using 356.8 kWh (309 Wh/mi)
    • Superchargers used: 8 (Harris Ranch, Tejon Ranch, Buena Park, San Diego, LA/Hawthorne, Oxnard, Atascadero, Gilroy)
    • Destination chargers used: 1
    • Degraded charging sessions: 1
    Bruce.
     
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  18. commasign

    commasign TeslaAdviceBlog.com

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    Making this same trip in June except coming from Davis area. Not worried about supercharging (lots of options now), but we're booked at the Marbrisa Carlsbad resort due to having HGVC timeshare. It seems my options for charging are:

    1) pay $17 and use one of the Legoland L2 stations (feel kinda dumb paying for parking when i have free parking at Marbrisa; Marbrisa has its own private entrance to Legoland which is a perk of staying there)
    2) CHAdeMO quick charge at one of the nearby shopping centers while we eat (how often are these available? Is it $9.95 for 30 mins? 50kW? )
    3) try to charge at the Sheraton Marbrisa Blink L2 stations for $0.59/kWh (though PlugShare reports there's really only one that's actually functional)

    Any other thoughts or suggestions? Anyone been to Marbrisa Carlsbad and happen to know if there are any 110v outlets on the outside of the buildings? We're not planning to drive around much that week so L1 charging is more than adequate for our needs.
     
  19. gnguyen

    gnguyen Member

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    I'm planning the same trip from the Bay Area in June too. Just this week I drove around between LA and San Diego a bit in an X75D. If the last place you charge as you head down is in LA (Fountain Valley) and you skip San Juan Capistrano because it's tiny and super busy, you'll definitely still have plenty charge to get to the less busy San Diego Supercharger by Qualcomm, charge up to 90% while having a meal across the street, and go back to Carlsbad for the week. Then heading back up to LA you only need to use about 50% of charge to get to another supercharger.

    From LA to SD is really only 100 or so miles so there's plenty of room to play around with making a somewhat inconvenient trip to the San Diego Supercharger. The distance and driving time between there and Carlsbad is pretty short, 23 miles.

    Looking around on PlugShare there aren't many other options right around there. Carlsbad is in the list of places to get a supercharger in the 2017-2018 expansion timeframe, which is awesome, but it won't help either of us this June.

    Do you have a ChaDeMo charger adapter? Or know someone to borrow it from?
     
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  20. commasign

    commasign TeslaAdviceBlog.com

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