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Contemplating first road trip, has an uphill off road component...

Hey all,

Going to do the first of many trips into the mountains in Kern County, CA for the fall. Its great biking and hiking, and the cabin we stay at is superb. Friends suggest we try the Model S this time. I'm stoked! However, on the final stretch (the private road up to the cabin) of the trip, there is a pretty steep and somewhat rugged offroad section. I feel if I go slow and raise all the way up I should be ok, but I was wondering if anyone has had any moderate offroad experience in their Model S? For reference, here are other cars that regularly make the trip. Some have more clearance than the Model S, some less: Pontiac Vibe, F250, Honda Element, Subaru Crosstrek, Jetta TDI Wagon, RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Compass.

This car is well suited for the rest of the trip, with the Tejon Supercharger being PERFECTLY situated, energy is of no concern. Just don't want to ruin anything by doing this.
 

Cyclone

Cyclonic Member ((.oO))
Jan 12, 2015
5,058
1,153
Charlotte, NC
Personally, given the list of other cars that have made that pass (presumably relatively easily), I would be more worried about damaging my paint rather than damaging the car itself. I wish you luck!

By the way, at my work, we have lots of speed bumps, some mild and some intense. I would end up bottoming out the suspension on a few of the intense once, but I was sure my body wasn't hitting the ground. My Service Center confirmed that I had a bad assumption on how air suspension worked. I thought on Very High, the car would have more room to compress the suspension as I went over the bumps. Instead, as I raised to Very High, it stiffened the suspension like being on stilts and walking like Frankenstein's monster. Once I switched to High, I stopped having problems. Thus, if the ground clearance isn't a concern at High, you might actually be more comfortable there than Very High. Good luck either way!
 

Larry Chanin

President, Florida Tesla Enthusiasts
Moderator
Aug 22, 2011
4,937
811
Sarasota, Florida
Hey all,

Going to do the first of many trips into the mountains in Kern County, CA for the fall. Its great biking and hiking, and the cabin we stay at is superb. Friends suggest we try the Model S this time. I'm stoked! However, on the final stretch (the private road up to the cabin) of the trip, there is a pretty steep and somewhat rugged offroad section. I feel if I go slow and raise all the way up I should be ok, but I was wondering if anyone has had any moderate offroad experience in their Model S? For reference, here are other cars that regularly make the trip. Some have more clearance than the Model S, some less: Pontiac Vibe, F250, Honda Element, Subaru Crosstrek, Jetta TDI Wagon, RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Jeep Compass.

This car is well suited for the rest of the trip, with the Tejon Supercharger being PERFECTLY situated, energy is of no concern. Just don't want to ruin anything by doing this.

According to the specifications web page the standard ground clearance is 5.65" and the car has a ground clearance range of 4.7" to 6.40". That's only an additional 3/4" clearance over the standard clearance.

If you do put the car in the Very High setting you must drive at less than 22 mph otherwise the car will lower the ground clearance to the High setting.

In either case there's not much in the way of additional ground clearance.

Larry
 

jerry33

(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Supporting Member
Mar 8, 2012
20,353
26,739
Texas
All of the cars mentioned have a shorter wheelbase than the Model S, so that can make a differences if the road has a lot of short undulations. The main problem I've found is the lack of sideways traction when it rains. I haven't had any particular problems with ground clearance and have rarely had to raise the suspension.
 

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