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Cross Country - LA to NYC starts at dawn tomorrow

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by DennisLevitt, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. DennisLevitt

    DennisLevitt Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Mostly Los Angeles
    I've never driven cross-country, EV or ICE. It won't be a Cannonball Run, but rather drive about six hours a day, and play tourist about ten hours a day. Mostly we'll be following the Supercharger trail, with some deviation. We want to make it easy (MS 85 with 19" wheels), and try to always have at least 50 miles of range in reserve. Justincase.


    I plan to track range, mileage, etc. on a public spreadsheet here:


    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0Ava8IVA02tLHdGItLU1oei1ULS1vanFfd2hwanlQWVE&usp=sharing



    I put a lot of details of the trip in this thread:
    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/29148-Going-Cross-Country-a-bit-more-leisurely



    And I'll post progress and thoughts in this thread.


    I'm a little nervous now, but I'll be fine once I pack.....
     
  2. Ssssly

    Ssssly Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2014
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    100
    Location:
    Orlando
    Don't forget gas money :wink:
     
  3. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    You saw my list of recommendations at Going Cross Country a bit more leisurely. Use EV Trip Planner Its predictions are really very good. If you put in your data, all you have to do is add some margin (I use 25%) and you won't spend too much extra time charging into the taper at Superchargers.

    Have fun! :biggrin:
     
  4. DennisLevitt

    DennisLevitt Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2013
    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Mostly Los Angeles
    Observations from Days 1 and 2:
    Barstow to Kingman is fine for an 85, but could be very difficult for a 60. SamO did a great job conserving mileage and made it in a 60. I charged to 257 in Barstow, and drove 65 for the first 150 miles. At that point we increased to 75 but slowed to 70 towards the end. Weather was mild. Arrived with 21. Ate at the Calico Restaurant, about 300 yards away. Diner-ish place that was.....adequate.
    Range charge in Kingman and drove straight to Grand Canyon Village. Arrived with 46 miles left after driving 65-70. The Grand Canyon is pretty spectacular. We had a reservation to charge at Grand Canyon Trailer Village. Nema 14-50 hookup. Plugged in fine. Unfortunately internet is spotty and could not communicate with the car. Returned the next morning expecting a full charge and found the Nema 14-50 disconnected from the power. Very bad news. Not positive who disconnected it. It had only charged about 15 miles so it was disconnected soon after I left about 5:30pm. Lots of people were around, lots of kids playing in the area. Two Rangers told me it was probably elk walking through the area knocking the connector off the power supply. I"m a city-person, so I don't know about elk, but it seems strange they would enter the campground in broad daylight with people milling about. My suggestion is to make sure you put the little reservation placard very visible on the dashboard,and not just in the center console. Bottom line is that we wanted to leave around 7am but didn't leave until 11:30 because we needed to get some charge at 31 mph.
    So Day 2 didn't start well. We drove out along the South Rim for more viewing of the Grand Canyon, and drove straight to Gouldings, UT in Monument Valley. I thought Monument Valley was really spectacular. It doesn't get the press of the Grand Canyon, but it's really incredible. As Cottonwood and Stevezzz pointed out, Gouldings is a good place to charge. Very friendly and easy to use Nema 14-50 running about 25 mph. The restaurant there was also pretty good. We charged enough to get to the Blanding SC.
    Blanding is not much of a town. I spoke to a few people, who were very very friendly, but not much for restaurants or things to do while charging. There is a 24 hour bathroom and some WiFi. Moab is in the center of a much larger town. Many restaurants within walking distance.
    EVTripPlanner.com has proved amazingly accurate. It said 237 for Barstow to Kingman, and we used 236. It was also only 1 mile off for Goulding to Blanding. Many kudos and thank yous to them.
     
  5. DennisLevitt

    DennisLevitt Member

    Joined:
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    #5 DennisLevitt, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
    My wife and I just finished driving from Los Angeles to Connecticut, primarily on the SuperCharger Trail. I'm very glad we did it, and doing it in a Tesla is about 10 times better than any ICE. To say otherwise is to speak from ignorance. To stop every 2 or 3 hours is not a bad thing, except that we ate way too much junk food. Our fault, should have planned better and been smarter.

    I want to summarize some of the salient points for future travelers. I also want to thank the forums at TeslaMotors.com and TeslaMotorsClub.com plus @SamO, @Cottonwood, @stevezzz, EVTripPlanner.com and TeslaWiki.net and many others for pioneering the trail and giving so much good information to us.

    1) For us, it was much better to drive fast and stop more often. East from Blanding, UT there's a LOT of superchargers. You can drive as fast as you want, NOT need to do a range charge (in an 85), and still have plenty of juice and no range anxiety. We did not do a single range charge east of Colorado, did not experience any range anxiety, and drove as fast as we wanted. And in a few cases, we even passed right by superchargers without stopping.

    2) The 3 major things that affect range are: speed, speed and speed. Slowing even from 70 to 65 makes a big difference. 75 to 65 is a real big difference. And if you're worried, drive 55-60. If you have any range anxiety at all, just drive 65 and keep comparing your range miles with the miles left in the navigation. You'll know if/when you can speed up.

    3) After speed, the elevation change and outside temperature also can affect range. Speed you can change. Changing elevation and temperature requires superpowers.

    4) Cabin electricity has very little effect on range. Heat it, cool it, listen to stuff, etc. We even regularly charged our phones and tablets. Climate control has more effect than these other things, but it's still pretty insignificant. Think how much juice is required to propel a 4600 pound car (before occupants, luggage, etc.) at freeway speeds?

    5) Outside California, the number of Tesla's drops dramatically until you reach the East Coast. Between Los Angeles and Colorado, we never saw more than one Tesla at a Supercharger. And from Silverthorne, CO to Cranberry, PA I only saw one other person charging.

    6) EVTripPlanner.com is an invaluable tool on road trips, particularly where elevation is involved.

    7) There are very useful websites, but through a lot of the middle of the country, we did not have internet coverage. We have Sprint. Maybe it's different if you have Verizon or something else.

    8) The changes to the Navigation system make finding and using Superchargers much easier. The SC tab makes it easy to find the next one. The checkered flag is pretty tight on locations, so just zoom in and it will direct you to the correct part of the parking lot.

    9) We left the SuperCharger trail twice. Kingman, AZ to Blanding, UT and also Somerset, PA to Hamilton Township, NJ. Both of those cut off significant mileage and/or provided great sightseeing. Almost all RV campgrounds (and there's a ton of them) have Nema 14-50 chargers available. Some are very EV friendly. Some are not. YMMV so always call first. You'll only get 18-32 range miles per hour of charging, but if you can charge overnight or just need a little boost, it can work out very well.

    10) Off the Supercharger Trail, we went from Kingman to Blanding and charged at the Grand Canyon Trailer Park. Yavapai Lodge/Cafe is a short walk away. But make sure you have a reservation for a space to charge, and make sure your reservation is prominently displayed on the dashboard. We were disconnected a few minutes after we left the car (by persons or animals unknown) and had to hang around for 5 hours to get enough charge to continue.

    11) We also went from Somerset, PA to Hamilton Township, NJ, stopping overnight at the Fairfield Inn in Hershey, PA. They have two public Level 2 J-1772's that charge at 18 mph and cost $1.24/hour. Perfect for an overnight stay.

    12) Obviously hotels on the road vary. Here's our experience, with the first being best:
    Fairfield Inn, Hershey, PA
    Best Western Canyonlands, Moab, UT
    Little America Hotel, Cheyenne, WY (our best meal on the trip)
    Hampton Inn, Onalaska, WI (La Crosse SC)
    Range Country Inn, Murdo, SD
    Yavapai Lodge, Grand Canyon, AZ
    Ramada Inn, Angola, IN
     
  6. Dart

    Dart Member

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    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Safe travels! It will be hard to hang out at the fantastic UW terrace without having a few beers. You may want to add an extra day to your schedule :wink:
     

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