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Be honest: is SCing on a long trip annoying?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by buckerine, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. tenstringer009

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    Annoying is probably a bit of an overstatement, but they can get tedious if you have to stop multiple times in one day (in my opinion). However, you know from the get-go that they're going to happen, so you either accept it as part of the journey, or find alternative travel plans (ICE, plane, etc.).
     
  2. woof

    woof Fluffy Member

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    "Annoying"? To me, no. Inconvenient at times, yes. Supercharger locations reduce my choice of routes, and hitting the same old rest stops every trip gets old. My wife is less patient than I, and I would suggest she thinks it's annoying.
     
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  3. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

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    On our recent 10,000 km return trip to Kelowna, BC via Custer, SD we found it not annoying at all. The stops actually contributed to a more relaxing driving day and if timed right, the charging stops are either at a meal time or washroom break.
     
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  4. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Lots of good feedback here. I think the overall summary is that it's not a big deal on 1-2 stop Supercharger legs. But on longer ones, it can be burdensome. When I'm with the kids, we're stopping anyway, so that's not a big deal. But when I take 1000 mile trips alone, especially in suboptimal conditions, I can be pretty annoyed.

    The last trip I took back from Portland was through stiff winds, some snow, and lots of rain. I stopped a lot and for a long stretch each time. What could have been a 5pm arrival in an ICE was a 9pm arrival in my Model S. Would I trade it to go back to ICE? No way. Because I wouldn't have taken the road trip in an ICE. I'd have flown. But there are certainly times at the Supercharger where I'm waiting and watching, like a kid in a classroom waiting for that last bell.
     
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  5. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    And people with children of a certain age, a rest stop every 2-3 hours is VERY welcome.

    And to the original question: My previous "family truckster" was a Mercedes R320CDI that could do ~700 miles per tank. I pushed it 500 non-stop miles through Texas-New Mexico once and felt like I was hit by a truck when we finally stopped for a break. 300 miles, 400 miles range in the future, I don't care. Maybe get to the point where I can charge every other Supercharger driving as fast as I want with the AC/Heat blasting. For now, I'm fine with my 2.5 year old S85 taking the family around the country.
     
  6. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

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    We also find supercharging stops relaxing.

    We have a 3 year old 60, and have roughly 10k road trip miles on it. Longest tip was two years ago and was about 4200 miles from AZ to BC and back. With a 60, we charge a bit slower, and typically need to charge higher into the taper, including the occasional 95%+ charge in order to have enough range to make it to the next supercharger or destination, so our average charging stops are a bit longer than others. Average is about 45 min, and it can be over an hour to get well over 90%. But most of the stops, the car was ready well before we were. Only a minority of stops felt too long with nothing to do (usually where there are limited amenities...).

    The big road trip 2 years ago was before the car had built-in range estimation, so we relied on EV Trip Planner for estimates. The last couple have also had the built in tool -- and it's good having both. I typically charge to 20% over, and try to arrive at 10% remaining now -- and the graphs in the car help determine if we can go a bit faster or need to slow down to help.

    We're doing another AZ to BC trip again this summer -- but taking a completely difference route. Last time was effectively I-5 up and back (with some detours to big sur/Monterey, the Oregon coast, and Vegas). This time is more circular -- will hit 10 states and provinces and see both Yosemite and Yellowstone. We'll only re-visit 4 of the Superchargers from the previous trip!
     
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  7. Joeski1

    Joeski1 Member

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    Ho hum... every supercharging stop has been like watching the grass grow... you'll NEVER get me to say I enjoy them any more than stopping for gas with an ICE except that they are free.... but time is worth MORE than money....It always has been... you can get more money.. but you ain't getting one more second of time... and the clock is always ticking.... I wanna roll..... 6222 miles and moving....
     
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  8. Lyon

    Lyon 2016 S P100DL, 2016 X P90D

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    Nope, never had a problem with stopping at Superchargers. If you're hopping between stations, 30-60 minutes is excessive unless there's nasty weather or major elevation changes in your future. I find that a 15 minute stop is usually all that's required and that's less time than my family takes to go to the restroom and eat an ice-cream cone. The car is almost always ready to go before we are.
     
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  9. John Stuckey

    John Stuckey Member

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    Dayton to ABQ.
    2.5 days ICE, two years ago.
    2.5 days SCs, this year.

    It is about a 20 hour drive. 40 years ago it would take us 24-25 hours to drive it straight through. Today 2.5 days is a good pace. Nowadays we are hopefully a little smarter and have money for motel rooms. Back then, not so much :)
     
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  10. Joeski1

    Joeski1 Member

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    It is about a 20 hour drive. 40 years ago it would take us 24-25 hours to drive it straight through.

    Now that's what I call driving!! Are the cars getting slower?? ;)
     
  11. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    #51 Ulmo, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    This makes sense. I used to want to go from San Jose to Los Angeles in one quick drive (used ICE's). Now, I have a faster car (Mercedes ICE V8 300HP), and can actually get there an hour faster if I press the pedal in further, but I end up taking a lot longer since I like to stop and rest much more often than I used to. The part that sucks is that I-5 is boring, and worse, many stops are stinky. So, inevitably I like to plan a bunch of nights where I stay over every hour or two of the journey near friends and visit. That only gets me so far, though, so there are definitely a lot of times when I find some nice stopping point and just chill.

    In youth, I didn't have the money and time to stop at hotels every day every hundred or so miles, plus I didn't have as many friends along the way. I only had time and money to just get to my destination. Now, I stop a lot anyway, and I'm old and lazy in comparison. All of this came with age.

    In a way, I see battery swap as something youth would like more than old people. Old people would get all butt-hurt that "their" battery pack was going somewhere else for someone else to use, and they'd get "someone else's" battery pack. Youth can't even afford to have anything new of their own anyway, so they don't care, plus they'd want the speed of a 4 minute battery swap over a 20 minute "useless" rest stop stop. For this reason, I see the demand for battery swap to get much more with the Model 3. Of course, with the current swap station, they'd all have to "prime" their swap by going first alone and doing the full prep version which is a lot slower than 5 minutes.
     
  12. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    Precisely.
     
  13. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    #53 Sparky, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    For me there is a sweet spot for number of stops per day. SoCal to Vegas is 2 stops and seems about right. I like stopping at Primm and having plenty of juice whether I'm ending up in Vegas or heading north through St. George.
    SoCal to Park City (~700 mi) is 2 stops too many for my preference. If it's winter I can't skip any and feel comfortable.
    And yet, the Tesla charging and dog's discharging seem to align pretty well even if I'd rather keep moving.
    Last year, traveling cross-country solo, I did 1150 miles in one chunk and oddly enough, felt pretty fresh pulling into my AirBnB.
    I slept at 3-4 of the 8 or so SCs. Those sort of catnaps work much better than the coffee + iron butt of my younger days.
    In general, if I ever feel annoyed by the need to stop and charge a couple of times, I'll fly.
    Oh wait, that's annoying.
     
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  14. thecloud

    thecloud As rhythm raced inside, the ship came alive

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    Sounds familiar. For years, I made ICE trips between San Jose and Orange County. Under normal conditions the drive would be 6 hours, door to door. Unexpected road construction or heavy traffic would throw that time off and I would be concerned about making it up somehow, like a pilot trying to keep to the scheduled arrival time. When I reached my destination, I was often out of gas. Not the car; me.

    Doing the same trip in a Model S, with two 20-30 minute pit stops at superchargers along the way, is just much more relaxing by comparison. On the north-south routes in California, the driving is the monotonous part, not the supercharger stop. It's been a shift of mindset, from complete focus on reaching my destination in the shortest amount of time to being able to enjoy the journey along the way, even if it's prolonged by an hour or so. I suppose it helps that my wife and I don't just sit in the car tapping our fingers and staring at the numbers on the charging screen while we wait impatiently to get back on the road; we get out, stretch and take a walk, grab something at the Starbucks or Yogurtland or whatever is close by, go use the restroom, decompress.

    I'll admit that this attitude probably means I'm getting older. :confused:
     
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  15. EVie'sDad

    EVie'sDad Member

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    Just returned from a 1250 mile round trip from the Bay Area to Eugene Oregon, took about 3 SC stops a day, each between 25-45 minutes, and then rested, ate and stayed at several destination locations. Took about 4 days driving an average of about 7 to 7.5 hours per day and felt rested, relaxed and enjoyed several sporting events and meals with the family. No rush, no muss. You can do 11-13 hour days and get through 4 or 5 SC's, but I don't recommend it as fatigue sets in and yes, some SC locales leave much to be desired, while others I prefer to stop at and will try to limit the less desirable locations if possible. Typically keep the vehicle between 30-90 percent charged, and being an S85D, that is far more than necessary to complete each leg of the trip. Remember, it is the journey we all experience, not just the destination we are going to. Look for things to do, and pace yourself, you will have a much more pleasant and enjoyable experience and will travel more because of it!
     
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  16. Eclectic

    Eclectic Member

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    #56 Eclectic, Jun 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
    It can be annoying, but as long as there are superchargers available it's not a big deal. I am in Montana right now and took my truck for this trip because I'm spending many miles outside of supercharger range. After arriving in Bozeman this afternoon I drove 250 miles round trip to some land I own. It would have been impossible in my Tesla. But I actually missed my Tesla on the trip....if you know Montana, there are many parts that are American autobahns (the speed limit is 80, and it's not patrolled). Had I had my P85D, I could have made the trip from/to Bozeman in roughly an hour each way. In the truck, it took over two hours each way. If Tesla put a supercharger in the vast areas I travel north of Bozeman, I'd gladly put up with a supercharger stop.
     
  17. aus

    aus Member

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    It's a PAIN, especially if you're going some place like Las Vegas from Southern California.
    If you leave after noon, a 4-5 hour drive will be 5-6 hours and if you leave after 2PM, it's a 6-8 hour drive.

    In an ICE, I can drive 80-90mph (this is the speed of traffic) easily up hills, against winds. We usually stop once to use the bathroom and maybe some fast food, but then were on the road again driving 80-90 mph. Now, if you need 2 SC sessions, you're slowed down at least an hour, and that can significantly extend you're trip if you didn't leave extra early. My buddy wetn in his S70 and he really got screwed on the drive back because of how long it took to charge. He was driving 70-80, but would have to slow down to make it to the next SC. An S85/90 should be better for the driving speed and charging, but it's still a longer stop than in an ICE.

    You're not going to get many "unbiased" opinions on a car forum, IMO.
     
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  18. Pruitt

    Pruitt Pontificating the obvious

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    I don't find the stops annoying, but I find the zig-zag route I have to take sometimes very annoying!
    Last weekend I went from Goose Creek (Charleston), SC to Huntsville, AL and back. Route was Goose Creek to Greensboro, SC, to Atlanta, GA, to Chattanooga, TN and (finally!) to Huntsville, AL. Probably and extra 100+ miles to hit chargers. Return on Sunday was significantly improved - Huntsville to Chattanooga to Atlanta to Augusta, GA (SC opened there Saturday afternoon) to Goose Creek. No more Greensboro to get to Atlanta! :D Now if they had an SC in Huntsville, the trip would be very direct (not that I plan on returning to Huntsville anytime soon).


    I'm not really complaining, mind you - this is just part of the "fun" of being one of those reaching towards the future. And we also get the thrill of seeing new infrastructure opening up for our benefit - something folks 10-20 years out will not get to enjoy.
     
  19. Pruitt

    Pruitt Pontificating the obvious

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    I have to disagree with that last statement. In deciding to skip an SC, my main considerations are the convenience (or lack of) of the charger I want to skip, and where the charger is located. For example, I'll charge to over 90% in Glen Allen, VA to skip the DC charger and make it to Newark, DE, and vice-versa on the return trip. The drive through DC is so onerous I want to get it over with in one fell swoop with no stops.

    Then again, maybe breaking up the drive around DC with an SC stop would be a good thing, depending on the time of day. Maybe I'll try it once...
     
  20. EVgeek

    EVgeek Member

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    3,500 mile adventure
     

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