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Clementine Goes To Colorado!

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by DeedWest, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    #1 DeedWest, Jul 19, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2015
    Hello all. I thought I might start a neat little thread on what I'm doing: I just might be the first human in history to drive a Tesla Roadster from Dallas, TX to Durango, CO. If you have, or know someone who has, let me know so I can edit that part out. But for now, I'll keep telling myself that. It seems legendary. :smile:

    Backstory: I've been the happiest owner of Roadster 1213 since January 29th, 2015, and have put over 8,000 miles on her since. Naturally, it was time for a serious road trip. Keep in mind, when I purchased 1213, I drove to Dallas from Houston, and it was magical. There wasn't any postpartum depression, nor were there any distractions. It was myself, and Clementine, happily united on a ten-hour trip back home. From Houston, I stopped about 70 miles later in Willis, where a nice family-owned RV park was happy (and curious) to let me charge using the NEMA 14-50 (which was ironically the ONLY cable that came when I purchased). From there, I drove approx. 150 miles to Corsicana, where another kind human let me utilize their RV park. By then, it was getting dark at 6:15PM CST, so it was nice and cold, which is the perfect temperature to cause me to fall asleep...just about ANYWHERE. So, I fell asleep in a Roadster. I'd say it was a bonding experience for both of us, and hey, surprisingly comfortable...that's a plus, right?! Finally, a few hours later, I took her home to Allen, TX, which is about 25 minutes north of downtown Dallas.

    AND HERE WE ARE. Over six months later, and we're still happily wed. It just so happens there's a girl in Durango with beautiful curly hair...so I decided it was time to visit her...only this time, I would take Clem across the country, aiming to utilize only RV parks & spend as little as possible. We were due for some alone time...as the 100 mile-per-day cruises I'd grown accustomed to going on after work just weren't enough...go figure.

    THE STORY:

    There are the nicest guys on earth I've met in the DFW metroplex area thanks to a local car meet titled Cars & Coffee...or "Cars & Carcinogens", as my new friend Steve called it. Steve & Seth, owners of Roadsters #87 (Signature Green) and #94 (Very Orange, just like my Clem) respectively. Upon preparing to leave for this trip, I consulted both of them in hopes of borrowing a 115V universal connector (that yellow one). Steve was in Fort Worth, but Seth was right down the street. When I arrived, I ended up not only being offered the 115V connector, but ALSO a J1772 adapter, AND HEY LOOK: there's a lonesome Very Orange hard top sitting in the garage. Needless to say, I borrowed that as well, and went on my way. Isn't Seth the greatest human ever? Here's Clem WITH the hard top on, and I'm finding myself falling deeply in love all over again.

    IMG_5657.jpeg

    I'm not sure if anyone's as interested as I am, but just in case you are, here is my itinerary for the trip, with the distance to each next to it.

    Stop A: Wichita Falls, TX - 144 miles (Std.)
    Stop B: Quanah, TX - 95 miles (Std.)
    Stop C: Amarillo, TX - 126 miles (Std.)
    Stop D: Santa Rosa, NM - 170 miles (Partial Range Mode charge to 91%)
    Stop E: Albuquerque, NM - 126 miles (Std.)
    Stop F: Bloomfield, NM - 180 miles (Range Mode charge to 96%)
    Stop G: Durango, CO - 53 miles (Really Std. Mode)

    Upon adding up the estimated times, the entire trip will take 32 hours (minus Wichita Falls commute & charge time)

    THE TRIP - STOP A:
    Left Allen: 196 mi Range Mode; Arrived: 51 mi Range Mode

    And we're off. While I won't be charging in Range Mode 80% of the time, I still utilize the driving mode, as it likes to keep the battery cooler & restrict power to maximize efficiency. Upon leaving Allen, I have 196 miles in Range Mode. iPhone says 144 miles to Wichita Falls. I estimate having 52 miles remaining upon arrival. We'll see how this goes.

    The drive itself was beautiful. My ma lives there with her boyfriend, & has for the past four months, and yet I hadn't gotten a chance to visit yet. This means I'll have a place to stay, and shower before the homeless part of my trip commences. Upon arrival, sure enough the car says 51 miles remaining. How cool is that...AND I had the A/C blasting the entire time. However, I did encounter the two biggest annoyances of owning a Tesla Roadster, in my opinion. They were as follows:

    1.) TPMS failure - that classic "Tire Pressure Monitor - Service Required" ID in the VDS after those haunting beeps. For some reason the TPMS gets "lost" occasionally. I've seen it after hard acceleration bursts, and also on longer drives. I've heard too many stories, so I waited to see if it was a real issue. Sure enough, 10 miles down the road, it shut off. I jumped into diagnostics and made sure the PSI was happy. It was. Moving on...

    2.) A/C Theft to cool the battery - Around mile 120 of my stretch, of course the battery reached the threshold of the final blue bar in the VDS' temperature gauges. I expected this at some point, given that Texas was 102 degrees yesterday, and I was consistently cruising at 58-61 mph. Luckily, it only happened twice, rendering my A/C disgustingly warm for about 20-30 seconds, and then returning to normal state. I did notice the battery temp dropped one tier lower in temp. I will note that the hard top not only silenced noise IMMENSELY, but it also had an easier time keeping the car cool. I was able to drive with the A/C on coldest setting, but the fan setting on 2 instead of 3, in 102 degree heat. Seth, I might have separation anxiety when I return your top...

    That isn't to say these two things even bother me that much. In fact, I'm so thankful I get to drive my biggest obsession each day, that I don't even mind. I get you, Clem. I respect you.

    I stopped to charge at Wichita Bend RV park. Despite what looked like an attempted kidnapping occurring down the street prior to pulling in, it was a decent enough looking place, next to a highway & a river. Unfortunately, they didn't answer my calls ahead of time, nor when I arrived, so I filled out a slip, and dropped some cash for the electricity use in the overnight deposit box. I'm thankful that was even an option. Here's a stylish sunset photo...

    IMG_3659-1.JPG

    I spoke to a very kind family nearby, who were planning on being outside for a good while, and they agreed to keep an eye out. I had my ma pick me up, & visited with her at her home in Wichita Falls for awhile. Came back around 9:00 to check on her. All was well. Came back again at midnight. She was finished with her Std. mode charge. I took her back to ma's place, and gave the 115V connector a try for the very first time. When I went to sleep, Clem had gone to 158 Std. Mode miles from 170 from the drive back, and when I woke up, she was fully topped off at 173 miles. Awesome! 115V isn't that bad.




    Stop B - Quanah, TX:
    Left Stop A - 196 mi Range Mode; Arrived - 99 mi Range Mode
    After enjoying a rather succulent breakfast which could only be created by my lovely mother herself, I set off on my journey at 10AM. An hour & a half later, I arrived in Quanah. But that's not to say it wasn't difficult. If you save the address from Google, you'll end up 6 miles further down the highway than you're supposed to be. That set me back a good 12 miles, but once I located it via their site, it was easy to get to. It's definitely the middle of nowhere, but I was optimistic as the kind owner of the Old Cotton Gin RV Park answered my emails despite them being closed on Sunday. She happily agreed to my offering of $3.00 to charge for three hours. I was overwhelmed by happiness so I left $5.00. Here's a current photo, as I'm delightfully sitting in the shade on my MacBook, thanks to Wi-Fi that seems to reach the entire campground. How neat, technology!

    IMG_3677-2.JPG



    Stop C - Amarillo, TX
    Left Stop B - 199 mi Range Mode; Arrived - 68 mi Range Mode.
    Once again, the range was absolutely spot on, even with the A/C on full blast. Each time I drive this car long distance, I begin to worry less and less about range anxiety, even with elevation changes & wind, etc. This. Car. Works. I arrived at Amarillo Ranch RV Park, which was immensely easier to locate, due to the giant billboard signs on the way. This place is unbelievable: very welcoming, with a giant office that's surprisingly open until 8PM, even on a Sunday, and extremely friendly staff. In fact, the woman I spoke to earlier in the day, has introduced me to dozens of people, shown them my car, and fed me dinner. I couldn't say enough about this place. Evidently, the owner stated that two Model S owners came through recently and charged here. They're considering adding designated EV chargers when they remodel the entire park in a year. HOW COOL. I made sure to mention the desire for a J1772 connector supporting 70A...for us Roadster owners out there.

    Currently charging...should be done around 11:30 CST...and off to Santa Rosa, NM; 175 miles.
     
  2. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Sounds like a great trip.
    If you have any sleeping gear with you, KOAs offer Kabins for you to use overnight while your car charges (you have to sleep sometime).
    Standard hotels and B&Bs work too, but most don't have large outlets for charging.
    I can send you a list of KOAs or other RV parks if you want.

    I am not familiar with charging rates of Roadsters: for a Model S it is about 28 miles of range per hour using 14/50 outlet.
    There is a temperature moderation that the exterior outlet head imparts (if it gets too warm/hot), so sometimes it clicks off.
    Then you are limited to charge at 30 Amps in lieu of 40 Amps, and thus, it is slower.

    Road-tripping in Clementine: Sounds like you might be a candidate for 3.0 when it is released.
    Yep, that and buying a hard-top (or maybe if Seth will sell you that one...)
     
  3. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I love road trips in a Roadster. Always an adventure. Helps enormously to have OVMS or Tattler. I have great luck staying with AirBNB hosts. Of course you have to check with them first to make sure they have a 240v outlet within 70' of where you can park (I have a 50' NEMA 14-50 extension cord). I also usually offer $25 extra for the privilege of plugging in. KOA Kabins are good, too and usually cheaper but you often don't have room in your trunk for bedding, and they're not as nice as AirBNB hosts.
     
  4. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    There's something about your paint @Deedwest - you don't seem to collect road dust, at all. Even apparently when you're doing some brief driving on unpaved surfaces. H'mm ....


    And I just have to say - every time I see a picture of a Very Orange Roadster, it just takes my breath away.
     
  5. stevejust

    stevejust Pati ≡nc ≡

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  6. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    #6 DeedWest, Jul 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
    Excuse me for being a "noob" here, but for some reason I can't locate the "Edit Post" function I had been using before, which is why this story has come to a very serious pause. Anyone help?


    EDIT: I can edit here, but not my original. Hmph...
     
  7. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    You can only edit a post for a short period of time, then it's too late and you're stuck with whatever you wrote. This was implemented a few months ago after a few people abused the edit feature. Some of us still want to hear about your road trip so just add some new posts!
     
  8. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    #8 DeedWest, Jul 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2015
    Continuing on...

    Thanks, @hcsharp, as I had zero idea the edit function disappears. Fair enough. I will continue.


    Stop D: Santa Rosa, NM
    Left Amarillo: 218 mi Range Mode; Arrived: 49 mi Range Mode.
    Go figure: the car EXCEEDED the Ideal Miles due to a highly efficient drive. At this point, my slight "trip anxiety" was next to NONE. I seemed to have mastered the art of highway cruising, utilizing a "hypermiling" technique I had developed from my previous vehicle: A Honda CR-Z Hybrid. No offense to that thing, but it was...how do I put this lightly...slow. Despite THAT, I found that holding a throttle position on a hill, allowing the car to gradually slow down and not utilize any further power, will even out on an eventual hill, or when returning to a flat surface, applying slightly more power to get back up to speed. This technique, when attempted in the Roadster, seems to yield the exact same results of efficiency that it did in the CR-Z. So much so, that my overall Wh per mile for this 180 mile stretch was a whopping 190, at 55-59 mph highway speeds. This thing never ceases to amaze me regarding its efficiency.

    Santa Rosa, however, was...interesting. The initial RV park I had talked to earlier in the day: "oh sure! That'd be just fine. Come right inside and you'll be able to hook up!" upon arriving, had a highly pleasant gate blocking any entrance at night to the park. How convenient. :mad: But as always, have a backup to your backup. I decided to check out the second RV park I had talked to beforehand. Unfortunately, this had been the exact park in which an employee told me, "yeah bro, that sounds just fine. lemme talk to my manager and I'll get back to ya.". Four hours later, a call from the manager comes in. He says, "Hey. Unfortunately, we'll have to charge you a full RV rate, as we can't afford to miss out on a big rig paying full service for a spot." Now, this wasn't too bad, at $29.99, but STILL. In Santa Rosa, I highly doubted toward the odds of there being a full park, given that I hadn't seen one full yet. I begrudgingly entered my cash into the overnight deposit box, and pulled into the lot. It seemed decent, but sure enough, there were at LEAST 20-30 slots empty. Gee...how spectacular. I plugged in, and decided to set up my tent for a six hour "nap". Oh, and at this point, it was 3:15AM. Hooray.

    As expected, here's an obligatory BUTT photo from the following morning at 8:15AM.

    View attachment 88834



    Stop E: Albuquerque, NM
    Left Santa Rosa, NM: 200 mi Range Mode; Arrived in Albuquerque: 91 mi Range Mode
    With 200 miles in Range Mode (88% SOC), I was ready to head to Albuquerque. Now, upon reading the above text, some of you may be frantically doing the math. All I will say is this: YES. THE CAR GAINED MILES. IT SHOULD HAVE HAD 74 IDEAL MILES, BUT NOPE. IT HAD 91. MAGICAL.
    The drive to ABQ was breathtaking. The first stretch had a healthy bit of uphill travel. I continued my hypermiling techniques and tried to keep the Amp draw between 25 and 49 consistently, as by this point, I had discovered that was the sort of sweet spot to exceeding the Ideal Miles and actual miles traveled. Soon enough, mother nature had a different plan. There was a solid stretch of easily 50-60 miles of very gradual downhill travel. AND LET ME SAY: it was beautiful. The mountains became very attractive surrounding the highway (I took 40 W into ABQ). Feast your eyes.

    View attachment 88835

    When I arrived, my Est. Range was actually telling me I could have traveled 254 miles. That's wildly optimistic, but really neat to see.

    View attachment 88836

    So, I set up to charge. This particular RV park, High Desert RV Park, was the absolute best I had been to yet. The staff was extremely friendly & asking happy questions as usual. "It's very orange". Yes. Funny you'd say that. That's actually the name of the color.
    I got to relax in a nice air-conditioned lobby, with Wi-Fi, and pleasant classic cop shows on the TV. I couldn't have asked for more. I MAY or may not have dosed off on the couch, as it was extremely comfortable. I don't think anyone saw me...but we'll never know. I've kept it up this long, so here's a charging photo. This time, it's featuring Clem's beautiful mouth.

    View attachment 88837

    Now, this next part is the most interesting of all. If you guys can keep a secret, so can I.



    Stop F: Bloomfield, NM
    Left ABQ: 216 mi Range Mode; Arrived: 44 mi Range Mode
    As I said before, if you guys can keep a secret, I'll share this with you. I get into my Roadster just like any time before, and turn it on. I start driving down the highway, which was also downhill for a good stretch until getting on 550 N to Bloomfield. The upcoming leg was 180 miles; my longest leg yet. 7 miles down the highway, I notice this.

    View attachment 88838

    Yep. Your eyes aren't deceiving you. That's 344 miles Est. Range. Cat's out of the bag, guys. I have been secretly beta testing Roadster 3.0 this entire time, under the guise of visiting an invisible girlfriend in Durango, CO. I'm sorry to have lead you on this long.

    Back to reality: I'm 1,000% kidding. As much as I wish I did have a 3.0 battery, I don't. It was just that optimistic. My last trip yielded a whopping 167 Wh per mile. Holy smokes.

    Naturally, it was guessing my next trip's miles based on that. At this point, if I were to start spontaneously crying due to how happy this car has made me since day one, it wouldn't even be frowned upon. I'd like to think most of you fellow Roadster owners have felt such an emotion at one time or another. It's quite simply the most wonderful machine I've been lucky enough to enjoy, and it continues to surprise me like no other.

    This next leg was the most beautiful of all. I got to watch the landscape gradually change from dry mountains and hills, to taller mountains filled with TREES (I really like trees). The only bummer, is that the majority of the drive was gradually uphill. I somehow managed to make it to Bloomfield and only lost two Ideal Miles. I still adore how the car seems to never assume its mileage with extreme optimism. It's just always right.

    This photo happened to be my favorite photo yet, which was taken outside of the lobby of Bloomfield's RV park.

    View attachment 88839

    EDIT: The epic conclusion will be added tomorrow, as I'm about to fall asleep. In the meantime, I hope that my photos are showing up.
     
  9. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    I cannot see them. I don't know if anyone else can.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I suspect it was mostly conjecture that this technique worked better than constant speed. Fixed accelerator works better with gas cars due to the fuel delivery system. Generally you get better mileage with an EV if you keep the speed constant rather than the accelerator pedal (kW). The reason for this is that drag reduces your efficiency in relation to the square of your speed. So if you speed up going down a hill it consumes exponentially more energy than you gain back by slowing down somewhere else in your trip. This is not necessarily true if you have to use regen or brakes going downhill.
     
  10. GVTesla

    GVTesla Member

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    Sorry to report that I can't either.
     
  11. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    Hmm...anyone have any pointers? I used the exact same uploading tool as I did before in the initial post, where the first photos display perfectly.
     
  12. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    I tend to agree with DeedWest.

    I get MUCH better mileage by slightly easing off the throttle going up a hill, and adding a little bit as I descend down the hill/raised area.
    Did the full loop drive around Texas 6 weeks ago (4 of the 5 Superchargers/ as Corsicana was on the fritz), and averaged 256 Wh/mi.
    No, wasn't doing 75 mph... ...but I got there nonetheless.




    [​IMG] Originally Posted by DeedWest [​IMG]
    ... In the meantime, I hope that my photos are showing up.


    Back ON Topic:
    No, I cannot see second group of photos either.

    Maybe try posting from your home computer?
     
  13. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    Kevin, exactly correct! I was seeing an average of 160-210 Wh per mile AT THE MOST on the entire trip. Keep in mind, overall the trip went from 800 ft elevation in Texas, to about 7,000 ft elevation in parts of New Mexico.

    As for the photos, I actually did post them from my home computer. Are there any Admins that could allow me to edit my original post?
    Either that, or I'd be happy to upload the photos again in order, and hopefully have an admin place them in the failure photos' spots.
     
  14. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Maybe try reposting just smaller segments of your post, and add the photos in?

    When you initially post, you have a short time window to review and make sure things are in order.
    Once that period of time is past, the post becomes locked.
    I don't think the mods/admins can unlock a post in order to re-insert photos.
     
  15. hcsharp

    hcsharp Active Member

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    Believe what you want but this doesn't give you better mileage, unless varying your speed ultimately results in a lower average speed (probably the case in your experiment). Here's a little more insight from one of Tesla's blogs: (emphasis mine)
     
  16. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    You're right! As I recall, my average speed for the entire trip was around 54-59 mph. I monitored the amps being utilized very closely and drove to what seemed to yield the best mileage. On certain downward hills, in which I could minimize throttle output to 1-5 amps, I would exceed 59 mph to perhaps 63-65 at the most, but rarely did not do so.
     
  17. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    @ DeedWest --
    Any chance you could re-try posting pics?
    And the rest of the tale of the tape?
     
  18. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

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    Exactly.
    I went to Wichita, KS and back on Saturday, supercharged @ Ardmore, OKC, Perry and Wichita, skipped OKC on the way back.
    First part of the trip was driven very conservative WRT speed, and some drafting.
    Last part of trip, I drove less conservatively: like there was a Supercharger 10 miles down the road, and I still had 100 rated miles in my pack (and some cars were still passing me).

    Of specific note: the blog you quoted from was written in 2008, and Tesla had more "than 100 Roadsters" (1.5) built, delivered and on the road.
    (Talk about beta testers and early owners....)
    I don't know if some of the driving techniques that I use were being used at that time, or if the test track was close to flat.
    I do know they did not have Range Mode in a Model S when the blog was written (in 2008).
    I could not get any of the graphs to show up on my computer, so I don't know exactly what they look like.

    Slower speeds yield reliably remarkable range, faster speeds require regular stop to recharge

    Actual Data: I do know for certain that I can drive (very) effectively and use ~250-255 Wh/mi in Range Mode, which will get me around 300-305 miles of Real World mileage range.
    A/C was on, set @ 67 F.
    Headlights came on at dusk.
    Speed is equals to wind friction.
    Higher speeds creates even more wind friction.
    Wind drag is bad, causes less than optimum driving range.
    Drafting reduces wind drag, increases driving range.
    If I am lucky, I find a nice big moving van going fast, and I slip into his jet-stream.

    Or

    I can drive less effectively (faster and without drafting) and average over 320 Wh/mi.
    Just broke 39K miles, well on my way to 40K.
    Lifetime average for my car is 320 Wh/mi.
     
  19. DeedWest

    DeedWest 2011 Roadster 2.5 Sport #1438

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    This is MEGA delayed, but here are the photos that didn't seem to upload correctly.

    IMG_3682.jpg
    ^ Santa Rosa, NM - just before leaving.

    IMG_3692.jpg
    ^ Albuquerque, NM - charging at High Desert RV Park.

    WTF.jpg
    ^ My Roadster 3.0 experience. :smile:

    IMG_3718.jpg
    ^ The final stop: Bloomfield, NM.
     

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