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Camp Mode Battery Drain - M3

Hello Everyone.

I Tesla-camped Summer 2021 many nights across the NE USA. I also recently completed a 2-day visit to Key West, FL and stayed at a camp site (that didn’t allow Tesla charging 😠). My battery drain rate was mostly in the range of 25%-30% on all of my nights in 2021 and 2022 for 8-9 hours of camp mode. The A/C was running most nights at 70°-72°F with a couple of cool nights last Summer that required heat.

I had assumed that this drain rate was normal. However, as I make plans for a possible 2-month Tesla camping trip to the Mountain West, I researched further and noticed that most people seem to only receive a 10-15% battery drain for similar amount of time in camp mode. WTH?! Are there any special settings? I simply place the M3 in Camp Mode, force close the app and then go to sleep. I don’t recall the fan being on a high level or any other settings that are out of the ordinary. I do have my iPhone on the charging pad and my Apple Watch is likely plugged into USB (if it’s not already fully charged).

Are there any special tips that can decrease my drain rate? I mostly do boondocking but do occasionally stay at campsites that may/may not allow charging. Since I’m considering an extensive camping trip starting in July, I need to maximize the efficiencies with the car and a lower drain rate during Camp Mode would be a HUGE benefit.

Thanks for any constructive and informative comments.

Ken
 
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I've camped like 10 days in my SR+ with the NCA battery and heat pump (2021). I set inside temp for 68f, when outside is about 55f the battery drain averages out to be about 1.2% per hour. At 40f or so, around 1.5% per hour. Never camped colder than that. All the camping was done in fairly dry climates.

Don't think window shades does anything especially at night. Cars are usually very poor insulators and your energy usage should scale with the difference between interior and outside temperature.
 
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Additional info: I have a 2020 M3 SR+. I use the TESMAT privacy screen every night while camping. While most of the evenings were warm outside, that was not always the case. I did run the heat a couple of nights (when outside temps dropped to 50°F) and found that the drain rate was slightly higher. In the future, I will take Climate off of Auto and ensure the fan is running low, but I’m doubtful that will dramatically improve the situation.
 

ucmndd

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Mar 10, 2016
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Additional info: I have a 2020 M3 SR+. I use the TESMAT privacy screen every night while camping. While most of the evenings were warm outside, that was not always the case. I did run the heat a couple of nights (when outside temps dropped to 50°F) and found that the drain rate was slightly higher. In the future, I will take Climate off of Auto and ensure the fan is running low, but I’m doubtful that will dramatically improve the situation.
The fan is a drop in the bucket compared to the AC compressor or heating element. It won’t make a huge difference.

You will obviously see higher drain as a percentage of overall capacity with a SR+ than a long range car as your battery is smaller.

~30% of your ~50kwh battery is 15kwh. Over 9 hours that’s a constant load of about 1.6kw, which is not completely out of the question. Still seems a bit high but within the realm of possibility given a large enough temperature differential.
 
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The fan is a drop in the bucket compared to the AC compressor or heating element. It won’t make a huge difference.

You will obviously see higher drain as a percentage of overall capacity with a SR+ than a long range car as your battery is smaller.

~30% of your ~50kwh battery is 15kwh. Over 9 hours that’s a constant load of about 1.6kw, which is not completely out of the question. Still seems a bit high but within the realm of possibility given a large enough temperature differential.

1.6kW sounds like a lot, but still within the realm of "normal operations" for a car without a heat pump, but you'd think it'd be the case only if full blast of heat is required all night.

He let the heat run in both cars for several hours at 21C (70F) with exterior temperature around 3C (40F) to see how much of a difference the heat pump made.

Based on his test, he concluded his 2019 Model 3 without the heat pump required 2,170 watts to maintain the temperature. The new 2021 Model 3, on the other hand, needed only 735 watts.

From that test, I guess it makes sense that my 2021 with heat pump uses almost exactly half of that amount as OP's car in battery % when I camp overnight.

My suggestion to OP is to bring a sleeping bag/thicker blankets and dial down the camp mode temperature by a few degrees, it should make a noticeable difference in energy usage. Also, van life people cut out foam/bubble insulation and use them for window shades. Using that instead of Tescamp, especially if you cover up all of the glass including the pano roof, should make a good difference as well.
 
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