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Colorado to California and Back Again Using Superchargers and Destination Charging

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by Cottonwood, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #1 Cottonwood, Mar 10, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014
    My son and I decided to do a Father/Son Road trip to Californian and back. He lives in Boulder, so we started there. This trip is not for records, it is not meant to be Superchargers only, but is Supercharger enabled. We are taking a reasonable pace and enjoying our way on the Supercharger Highway with side trips on destination charging byways.

    Saturday was the first day and we decided to do my normal route from Boulder to Pagosa by getting a good charge at the Silverthorne Supercharger, a little top off at the 70A J1772 at Wood's High Mountain Distillery - Home and then on to Pagosa. All went according to plan except the less than one hour charge at Wood's went longer because they were just starting the one year anniversary party, and we had too much fun talking to everyone. Here is a picture of the car charging in front of Wood's in Salida, CO.

    Salida.JPG

    Sunday, the goal was to make it to the Grand Canyon by sunset from Pagosa and enjoy ourselves along the way. We succeeded wonderfully. With a 100% charge in Pagosa, we really did not need to stop in Farmington, but decided to do so anyway as a ceremonial stop, and to stretch our legs.

    Farmington.JPG


    We hit Gallup mid-day, but the problem with Gallup is that there is a severe shortage of places to eat. We plugged in and decided to get some snacks at one of the gas station/convenience stores just down the street and eat at the Burger King in Holbrook. When we came back to the car, leafarmer had just arrived as he put it "paddling his way off of the Texas island." He looked pretty tired. I gave him my calculated charge requirement of 125 rated miles for the 96 miles from Gallup to Holbrook. By the time we had 165 and were on our way.

    Gallup.JPG

    WIth the downhill and slight tail wind to Holbrook, we only used 93 rated miles. EVTripPlanner had predicted 95. We drove a little faster, 80+, but had a slight tail wind, so it balanced out.

    The Burger King in Holbrook, was, well, fast food, but it was better than the chips in Gallup. The service was slow, so by the time we left, we had 178 instead of our planned 150 to make it to Flagstaff.

    Holbrook.JPG

    Got to Flagstaff with 54 rated miles left; that would have been 26 if we had left Holbrook to plan so EVTripPlanner has been working pretty well for us. This place is great. The hotel staff is friendly, the lobby is great with free WiFi and there are several pretty good food choices in the neighborhood. Forgot to get a picture of the car charging here, but leafarmer arrived as we were leaving. We had just enough time to take the scenic route into the Grand Canyon via 91 and 64. Calculated 180 miles as my comfort level before plugging into a 14-50 at the Grand Canyon for an overnight charge. By the time we finished talking to leafarmer, we had 203 and were on our way. Found a decent drive through car wash a few blocks from the Supercharger in Flagstaff to clean up the old girl for some pictures later; she is 1.5 years old.

    The evening drive to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon was beautiful! We made it to the "Grand View" for sunset, and to the hotel on the rim with 83 rated miles left. Monday will be a day of hiking and touring while the MS gets a break and a nice 14-50 top off at Trailer Village. BTW, as opposed to other posts, we seem to have good cell phone coverage here at the South rim and the car has a data connection.

    Grand Canyon.JPG

    From my son, DoctorDisco: "I have really been enjoying the pace of long-form Tesla travel. Sure, you don't cover quite as much mileage as in an ICE vehicle, but it's much more pleasant! You must stop slightly more often and for slightly longer. This affords you to actually get up and stretch your legs. However, with these superchargers, it's never too long; never feels like we're waiting around for the car to juice up. Also, you inevitably take in more of the incredible and interesting changing environment around you. It makes for a far less physically and mentally exhausting travel day, and far less jarring in terms of travel disorientation. So far, it's been much more pleasant than any gasoline-oriented road trip I've ever been on. Let the ICE melt and rev some Joules! Yow!"
     
  2. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    Fun time with your Son! Thanks for posting about your trip so far. :)
     
  3. leafarmer

    leafarmer Member

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    I headed straight for Kingman Monday after a 90% charge thinking that would be OK. Well, the "Scourge of Texas" winds returned in the Mojave and I limped into Barstow on my last picojoules. Funny thing is the car is so quiet I didn't realize it was wind until I noticed the tumbleweeds. So, be sure to top off!
     
  4. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Yup! WIND is a four-letter-word, especially when it is in your face. On the typical EVTripPlanner prediction, a 5 mph headwind is 10% more rated miles. My rule it to depart with 25% more than EVTripPlanner predicts. When there is obvious headwind or other weather issues, I pack in more reserve. Thank heaven, and with some reasonable planning, I have never had a tinge of range anxiety in five years of Tesla driving! :wink: ...and I am one of those that arrived home as the miles indicator changed from "0" to "charge now." I knew about those ~10-14 reserve miles, I did not tempt them, but they were my friend...
     
  5. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #5 Cottonwood, Mar 11, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014
    Today was a very interesting day, onto, and off of the Supercharger Highway, coming from and going to the interesting destination charger byways.

    We started with a very nice 95% charge in the MS as I woke up; that was going on faith; after a few successful connects with the App, I had lost touch with my MS as my son and I hiked down into the Grand Canyon. I checked in with the App as I woke up and I had a connection. I changed the charge limit to 100% and turned on the climate control. I reset the climate control 40 minutes later and when I got to the car on the shuttle, it had a nice 100% charge and was toasty warm.

    Grand Canyon Charging-sm.jpg

    Leaving Trailer Village, driving over to the hotel and on to Kingman was a no-brainer. We got to Kingman with 53 miles, plugged in, went in to Carl's Jr for some food and decided what to do next. Where we are spending tonight, Temple Bar Marina on Lake Mead | Forever Resorts, on the south shore, is in early season, and we needed food for the kitchen in our "suite." Unfortunately, the Safeway was on exit to the east, we should have stopped on the way to the Superharger. Note to self: plan stops in Supercharger City before you get there. Anyway, we unplugged, went and got groceries, then came back to the Supercharger to top off and went on out way. My calcs had us needing 180 rated miles to make it to Temple Bar and on to Vegas without any more charging. There was pretty big headwind blowing out of the north, but Temple Bar had assured me they had a 5-15 for me. That would be good for 40-50 rated miles overnight. With all that in mind, we left Kingman and were on our way to Temple Bar.

    Kingman-sm.jpeg

    The headwinds were probably blowing 20+ mph in our face, but it did not challenge our reserve seriously and we arrived with 107 rated miles and EVTripPlanner saying we needed 80 rated to make it to Vegas tomorrow. When we checked in, I confirmed the 5-15, and asked if there was a 50-Amp RV plug available. In fact, there was one right behind our room. This was amazing charging karma; planning for not charging, being promised 3-prong, 120V charging, and getting a 90% charge before sunset on a 14-50. :cool:

    Temple Bar-sm.jpeg

    Tomorrow, Vegas, and the mother-ship, Hawthorne! :biggrin:
     
  6. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    Hawthorne, Hawthorne? Or do you mean Fremont?
     
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    #7 Cottonwood, Mar 11, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2014
    There are two motherships. Hawthorne was one of the original six Superchargers, and has the Supercharger Dashboard at her site. Fremont is where the birthing of MS's happen, and it is a Supercharger location, the "mother" is in Fremont, but is it the "Mothership." This is an interesting debate. Let's just accept Hawthorne and Fremont as both being "motherships."
     
  8. slipdrive

    slipdrive Member

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    Very nice pictures, and thank you for showing how relaxing and flexible Tesla travel can be. Real world. No need to always race between superchargers. Plenty of options out there to take in Joules.
     
  9. SCW-Greg

    SCW-Greg Active Member

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    I never get tired of reading these stories!
    Thanks for sharing, and taking pics.

    Makes me want to get a new road trip going. ;)
     
  10. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    If you are stopping by Fremont, let me know. I am in the area and would come down to meet up!
     
  11. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Sorry missed the message. I should be passing through Hawthorne again mid-day on Wednesday.

    I was too tired last night, so here are the stories from two days.

    Wednesday was Lake Mead to Tejon Ranch, dropping my son off in Hollywood.

    First stop was Las Vegas, with two MS's that appeared to just parked there. Driving several miles over the speed limit, and with a stiff headwind, I would have arrived with a few miles in the battery. With the 14-50 at the shores of Lake Mead, I had well over a 100 on arrival in LV.

    View attachment 45090

    We charged to 99% in LV after reading all the "0 is 0" stories. In fact, going to Barstow, the wind turned into a tailwind. Arrived in Barstow with over 50 miles and charged for Hawthorne. Barstow was the first of the original six; with luck I will visit all six this week.

    View attachment 45091

    Hawthorne, the (well, one of the) mothership(s). Entering the LA basin at 5pm was like entering the belly of the dragon. It was great that my son was with me so that we could use the HOV lanes. Now, I understand why electrics are so popular, access to the HOV lanes with one person on-board!

    View attachment 45092

    The belly of the dragon started trying to digest us after Hawthorne, but an hour after Hawthorne, I dropped my son off in Hollywood, met his friends, and was on my way to Tejon Ranch by 7pm. The LA dragon spat me out and I made it to Tejon, to spend the night. Mine is in the center. It's amazing how many other MS owners I meet at Superchargers in California.

    Tejon.jpg

    After a night at the Best Western, I got an early start to Harris Ranch, with a 99% charge started an hour before departure. With over 250 miles in the bank, it was yet another joy of not hypermiling and driving as I wished.

    Harris.JPG

    I was on my way to Folsum, part of my tour of California Superchargers. EVTripPlanner had predicted 206 rated miles; I decided I would do another 99% charge to make it. Steak&eggs were a real pleasure. I came out with 254 rated miles in the battery, but the wind was just a little short of a gale force headwind (well, actually, 15 gusting 25). Knowing that wind is a four-letter word, I had to think. After a few moments of charge/range thought, I realized that the decision point for Folsum vs Gilroy was over 50 miles down the road, I could defer the decision. Another time, I will explain my rated miles to distance to go ratio; as long as it increases, you have no range anxiety; would monitor the ratio as I headed up I-5; I took off pacing the trucks with a 55 mph limit, actually going in the low 60's.

    15 miles before the turn onto CA-165, a semi that had been hanging 1/2 or so behind me decide to step it up a few miles per hour. When the Walmart semi came by, I decided to try a little drafting. I was amazed; drafting 50-100 feet behind the 18-wheeler, my Wh/mi usage dropped 20-30%! With that, it was a no-brainer to head to Folsum, 5 of 6 of the originals. Another semi took the exit with me. After drafting him for over 20 miles, it was a no-brainer that I would make Folsum. In the end, driving 60-70-80 with 20+ mph headwinds, drafting won; I arrived in Folsum with 50 or so rated miles and a usage of 310 Wh/mi.

    Folsum.jpg

    My conservative numbers said I needed 180 rated miles before heading off to Corning. I left with 193, and with spirited driving and the headwind, I arrived in Corning with 24 miles left. Corning was the decision point. I left my son in LA on Wednesday and need to pick up my girlfriend in Oakland Friday Afternoon. Thursday and Friday Morning are a Supercharger tour for me, myself, and I. After going through the numbers, I decide to head on up to Mt Shasta. I am so happy I did. It was a clear day and I could see Mt Shasta from Corning. The views only got better and the driving of the mountain curves better. Tonight, Sig is spending the night plugged into the Mt Shasta Supercharger.

    Mt Shasta.JPG

    So far, it's been well over 2,000 miles in 6 days. The Supercharged Highway with diversion to the destination charged byways has been great fun!!!
     
  12. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    Looks fantastic. Sorry I missed you, I drove back home to Utah yesterday.
     
  13. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Mt Shasta to Napa

    I am so glad that I did the extra drive up to Mt Shasta. Thursday Night was incredibly clear, and I could see Mt Shasta on the horizon as I left Corning! Then the road along the Sacramento River into the mountains was a sheer joy to drive in the MS after so many straight, flat miles in the Central Valley. I highly recommend this drive to any who have the opportunity.

    Friday, I drove down to pick up my girlfriend at the Oakland Airport and then to Napa for the weekend. I was driving a few miles over the speed limit and as I was coming to Corning, my estimates showed that I would make it to Vacaville with 3-5 miles left. Give the uncertainty of California traffic, I decided to do a little top up in Corning. After adding 20 rated miles in 8 minutes, I was on my way again; I love Superchargers! BTW, so far, Corning is the only California Supercharger that I have visited where there have been no other Teslas present.

    I arrived in Vacaville with 24 rated miles, so my estimates coming into Corning were pretty good; without the 20 added at Corning, I would have had 4 rated miles left. That was good confirmation, but I am still glad I took the 10 minutes out of my way to add the 20 miles; a little insurance never hurts...

    Vacaville is a nice stop with lots of places to hang out. Because I was heading into the traffic of the Bay Area and then on to Napa, I did a 90% charge in Vacaville. Several MS's came and went during that hour or so. It is amazing to see so many Teslas.

    Vacaville.JPG

    The traffic passing through Oakland to the airport and then back north to Napa was bad, but not horrible. We are staying at Meadowood which had a UMC they own setup next to their cart chargers beside of our room. I arrived with a little over 100 rated miles; it does not get better than that. They see a lot of Teslas here, but mine is the first from Colorado and the first with studded snow tires. :wink:

    Meadowood.JPG

    Now for a couple days of Napa. :cool:
     
  14. roblab

    roblab Active Member

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    Hey, Cottonwood (and friend)

    Have a great time in our Valley. I live about 5 miles up the hill from where you are, in Angwin. We'll be looking for a bright red MS!

    If you come up to see Cade Winery (where Milli's and my picture was taken) let us know, unless you are going incognito.

    Rob and Milli
     
  15. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    Great write up. Keep 'em coming.
     
  16. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    Funny we just crossed paths! Great and fun trip, enjoy it.
     
  17. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    @roblab, thanks for the invite, but I don't think we will be up that way.

    Yesterday was a day on bicycles doing a little Napa wine tasting. Today we will probably drive the MS over to Sonoma. This morning was an unexpected surprise, another MS parked next to me drinking in a few Joules...

    meadowood-2.JPG
     
  18. leafarmer

    leafarmer Member

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    Here's a photo from Harris Ranch of those palm trees. It shows the theme of my version of your road trip. Gale force headwinds!
    image.jpg
     
  19. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Monday, I drove from Napa to Fremont and took the factory tour. Lot's of fun:

    Fremont copy.JPG

    Tuesday, I had a chance to meet a person in the know on Supercharger roll out. Big news is I-70 is rolling out from Denver towards St. Louis. More hints coming...

    Then it was on to Gilroy. Gilroy has the most stalls, 4 original stalls on 2 old cabinets, 6 new stalls on 4 cabinets. Huge capacity in Gilroy! That concludes my visits to all 6 original Superchargers.

    Gilroy.JPG

    Next stop Atascadero. I decided to enjoy the drive down Route 1 via Big Sur. It was great except for the 20 miles behind a slow RV that would not use a pullout...

    Big Sur IMG_0331 sm.jpg

    Atascadero.JPG

    Last stop Beulton to make it 12 for 12, visiting all the Superchargers in California!

    Beulton.JPG
     
  20. Park2670

    Park2670 Member

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    Photos are great. Love the photo at the Fremont Supercharger.
     

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