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Cross-country road trip tips

Discussion in 'Model S' started by emog81, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. emog81

    emog81 Member

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    Location:
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    This summer, I'm moving from Washington, DC to Palmdale, CA. I'll be driving the whole way in a relatively straight shot over the course of a week or so.

    I've done a few road trips in my Model S ('13 P85), longest being TX to DC, so I'm familiar with trip planning, destination charging options, range realities, weather effects, etc. I'm still a little apprehensive for this trip, especially when I get out west with fewer charging stations/options. Just wondering if anyone else has done this or has any "I wish I would've thought of X" tips that they could share.
     
  2. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Unless you are taking back roads and doing touristy things, I would suspect that you will work your way to St. Louis and then SW on I44 to Okie City, then west on I40.

    I can only vouch for the Superchargers in NM, AZ and CA. They are spaced conveniently for most summer weather conditions. Needles to Barstow might be a little tricky in a 60, but do a range charge at Needles while enjoying the fine dining at the Dairy Queen, watch your speed at the outset, and you should be OK. There are some hills between Needles and west of Kelbaker Road, but from there it is pretty flat into Barstow.

    And there are RV parks scattered within short distances of the interstate if you need an emergency charge. Check PlugShare and the various sites that cater to campers to see if these parks have 14-50 hookups.

    Good luck!
     
  3. emog81

    emog81 Member

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    Awesome info, thanks!

    I may get a the chademo adapter (been thinking about it anyway) to give myself more options.
     
  4. ThortsMD

    ThortsMD Member

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    #4 ThortsMD, Mar 16, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2017
    I've done both east and west from California to OKC a few times. The superchargers are well spaced if staying on I-40, if you plan using the data provided by the nav system. There is one big caviot: You will be going west into prevailing winds often. I suggest charging to get plenty of safety margin (I liked 20+%).

    Meteor crater is not far from the I-40 in AZ. If you have any interest, just plan on a little extra charge and enjoy. Highly recommended. Also, there are several chargers at the main hotel near the southern rim of the Grand Canyon (PlugShare). Worked well for me.

    One other thing: summertime thunderstorms can dump a lot of water, using up range. I found that pulling over to eat/restroom/etc and let the brief storms pass made for more comfortable driving in unknown territory.

    Addition: I see that there is now a new "app for that" that looks intriguing (I have not tried it yet, see the discussion): Announcing the EV Trip Optimizer for Tesla App
     
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  5. BerTX

    BerTX Active Member

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    If it gives you confidence, then fine, but I doubt it would help much on the trip. If you are on the Supercharger path, you will not have a problem unless you under-charge or encounter unexpected weather. The odds of there being a CHAdeMO charger along the highway (that you can use) to save you is infinitesimal west of the Mississippi.
     
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  6. snellenr

    snellenr Member

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    I did Oklahoma City <-> Bakersfield in December on the I-40 route in my P85, and it was a cinch even though it was windy and the temps were in the 20s. Supercharger spacing was fine -- some sites that were installed to support the "Elon Road Trip" are original-design 4-stallers, but they work just fine.

    I had some trouble finding the Flagstaff supercharger in the dark & rain at the end of a long leg -- its unlit stalls are in a lower parking area that is a left turn just after you turn into the hotel driveway.
     
  7. rhumbliner

    rhumbliner Member

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    +1

    After a couple of coast-to-coast trips I found no need to bother with CHAdeMO.
     
  8. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    +1

    I bought one two years ago (with referral credit) and used it once in Hickory, NC. Now that there's going to be a supercharger in Statesville, NC, I doubt I'll ever need it again.
     
  9. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    from Washington, DC to Palmdale, CA.:(

    My sympathies. I hope it's awesome USAF or NASA stuff.
     
  10. Sasmania

    Sasmania Member

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    I went on a 27,000 mile roady back when there were only 185 Superchargers when I started. Now there are 350. Don't worry about it, it's pretty easy especially now.

    I bought a 50 foot extension cord for a 50amp plug. Used it once...maybe?
    No Chademo. No nothing. No problem...
     
    • Like x 1
  11. twonius

    twonius Member

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    Isn't that like 4 times across the US and back?
     
  12. HankLloydRight

    HankLloydRight Fluxing

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    Funny you mention this... I'm selling my P85+ and emptied out the back storage area, including a 25ft 14-50 extension cable -- never used.

    I built three different adapter cables using @Cosmacelf 's great PDF -- I've only used the 14-30 adapter in my second garage.

    I built a 14-50 outlet box with just two feet of 50-amp cable (bare ends), just in case I had to tap into a breaker box somewhere. Never used that either.

    I bought a Chademo adapter with referral credit -- I used that only once. I'll likely never use it again.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. Sasmania

    Sasmania Member

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    Well, yea if you went in a straight line :)

    I hit all 48 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 200 superchargers so my route was about as straight as a wad of tangled Christmas lights.
     
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  14. Trailblazer

    Trailblazer Member

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    Not sure if the OP has left for his trip yet - here are some brief notes on my recent (early June 2017) trip from Charlotte, NC to San Francisco. Did it in my ’15 85D with my wife and small dog. The trip was a breeze - most of the miles were on autopilot, and we gave ourselves 7 days to complete the drive. Only saw 5 Teslas until we crossed into California. If Tesla had a supercharger between Little Rock and Oklahoma City, we could have saved a couple hundred miles at least.

    Day 1 - Charlotte, NC to Nashville, TN
    Superchargers: Asheville, Knoxville
    Destination charger at Hutton Hotel, Nashville

    Day 2 - Nashville, TN to Little Rock, AR
    Superchargers: Jackson, Memphis, Little Rock
    Destination charger at Holiday Inn - Airport, Little Rock
    Railroad buffs will enjoy the Jackson supercharger - located right next to the Casey Jones birthplace/museum.
    Side trip to Conway, AR to visit family.

    Day 3 - Little Rock, AR to Burkburnett, TX
    Superchargers: Texarkana, Sulphur Springs, Denton
    Destination charger at Best Western, Burkburnett, TX
    Sulphur Springs may have been our favorite supercharger stop of the trip - located next to an interesting Main Street with several shops/restaurants.

    Day 4 - Burkburnett, TX to Albuquerque, NM
    Superchargers: Childress, Amarillo, Tucumcari, Santa Rosa, Albuquerque
    Couldn’t find a destination charger hotel, so settled for Staybridge Suites near the airport.

    Day 5 - Albuquerque, NM to Sedona, AZ
    Superchargers: Gallup, Holbrook, Flagstaff
    Destination charger at Best Western Inn at Sedona
    Highly recommend Sedona but beware that there is serious road construction on the 2-lane road down into the canyon from Flagstaff. Several miles of dirt and gravel. Still worth the drive, in my opinion.

    Day 6 - Sedona, AZ to Barstow, CA
    Superchargers: Kingman, Needles, Barstow
    Stayed at Ayres Hotel in Barstow (location of the Supercharger)
    Very windy all day but no range issues. Took 12-mile side trip to see Meteor Crater.

    Day 7 - Barstow, CA to San Francisco
    Superchargers: Buttonwillow, Harris Ranch, Gustine
     
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