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Cross Country Road Trip

Discussion in 'Model S' started by byan1232, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    Hey guys! I'm planning a summer road trip from NY to LA and back. Planning for a total of 25ish days. Any tips or advice I need to look out for or see? Going to be in a new model s 90D. :D
     
  2. AEdennis

    AEdennis Active Member

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    Depends on the route you take... When we did our trip last year, the I-70 route was still missing Columbia, MO... It's there now, so you can go that route...

    If you want some hints, here is a link to our preparing for a cross-country trip post.

    If you want to read the trip (the opposite direction from you, we went LA to Maine and Back (23 days).)

    Have fun!
     
  3. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    Wow thanks for the links. I was looking through the forums but couldn't find much.
     
  4. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

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  5. John Stuckey

    John Stuckey Member

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    We are planning a Dayton to ABQ roundtrip for the last of March. Check out the St Charles supercharger comments if you are going that way. The site has had intermittent problems since November 25th. I bought a CHAdeMO adapter and found a motel in St Charles that has a good charger rating on plugshare in case the site is still flaky when we get there.
    Useful sites: plugshare, chargepoint, greenlots, evtripplanner
    Overnighting at a charger or one very close is a good idea.
    I bought a SiriusXM 5 month subscription for $20 in case the longer stretches between cell towers in the west cause slacker reception problems.
    We are planning for a little longer stay at SCs because of our newbie range anxiety (ever since I ran out of gas once, 35 years ago my wife doubts me - good instincts! One reason our other car is a VOLT)
    If we were younger we might try the camping thing; get a mattress for the back rear area (see posts on fit and materials) and camp every other night at SCs.
    Relax and have some fun And leave most of the driving to the car :)
     
  6. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    im actually curious about camping at SCs. First is it okay to have my car plugged in a supercharger overnight? Also what about safety around the superchargers, just worried some insane person will knocking in the middle of the night.
     
  7. Half Dollar Bill

    Half Dollar Bill Traveller, teacher, poet, accountant

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    Well, first no-no is staying plugged into a charger when you're not using it to actively charge. You'll get grief on all the forums for doing that.
    But you're probably OK if you're sleeping in the car because the insane person knocking on your window will be another Tesla owner.
    Most chargers are located at either a restaurant or hotel so you're not going to find yourself ever feeling unsafe. Which also means they'll be well-lit so you may find it difficult to catch a few winks. But if it's a hotel, why not patronize for the night?
    Go to evtripplanner.com and map out your route. I'll give you an idea how long each driving leg will be and let you decide where you want to stop each day. You can even download the data to something like Excel to fiddle with it further. Even if you wind up deviating from the plan you'll know what to expect at each charger.
    This is going to be a great trip for you.
     
  8. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    NO! I can't believe a Tesla owner would even ask that question. It's worse than someone ICEing a supercharger, because an EV driver should know better.
     
  9. Bimbels

    Bimbels GoldMember

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    Besides being uncool - it's not necessary! You'll be fully charged quick enough that you can move off the SC and sleep in your car nearby.
     
  10. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Seems to me that camping at a SC should be fine. Overnight isn't going to be a busy time so it's not likely you'll be preventing anyone from charging. In the unlikely event that the SC fills up and someone needs your spot, you're right there and they can knock on your window or something. You don't need it, true, but it lets you keep the climate control running on shore power.
     
  11. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    About a year and a half ago my wife and I took an 11,000-mile trip around the country that included Seattle, Phoenix, and Portland Maine. We took 28 days; it was the nicest road trip we have ever taken.

    Aside from Montana then being a "supercharger desert", the whole trip was fun and incredibly easy. My only "planning" was to set a route and make sure all the Superchargers along it were within 175 miles of each other; at the time a couple of places weren't so I used plugshare to make sure I had a backup charging location for those areas. (If any charging spots are more than 175 miles apart, you can use evtripplanner to get a better idea of your chances of making it and/or where a good backup charging spot might be)

    Once we got underway, we basically traveled by TripAdvisor. We'd use it to find restaurants near Superchargers, and at night we'd use it to find and book a hotel wherever we felt like stopping (not necessarily near superchargers). It was September so we didn't have a problem with things being full.

    At each Supercharger, at the time I was still using the "add 50%" method of charging - ask the car how far it was to the next supercharger, then charge to at least that number plus 50% (which is always possible when they are no more than 175 miles apart). The 50% is meant to account for speed, weather, and elevation; usually I had a fair bit left but sometimes I used most of it. Now I'd use the Energy app's trip tab because it at least takes the elevation and speed limits in to account. But it still doesn't really account for speeding or weather, so I add at least a 20% buffer there too (which the car recommends) and more like 30% unless I'm in a hurry.

    Most Superchargers seem in pretty safe areas, though I have been at a couple of exceptions. If you're really going to camp, though, I wouldn't do it at a Supercharger - might as well use a campground that has restrooms open all night, and many have cabins or yurts or at least a good spot to put up a tent. Get an RV spot with 50A electrical service and you'll get a full charge overnight and can use shore power for climate control if you want. When sleeping in the car, I find it easy to use the phone app to adjust the sunroof vent and climate control at night. (Though it is tricky to get the climate control to run all night if you need that; I think there's a thread on that topic).
     
  12. byan1232

    byan1232 Member

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    Haha understood. Still awaiting my tesla if that helps my case. First car too.
     
  13. ElectricTundra

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    If the guy or gal is in the car it's a complete non issue. Please don't over react.
     
  14. StaceyS

    StaceyS Member

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    I would encourage you to try to get off the Interstates when you can. Obviously, Superchargers are pretty much all on the Interstates, but you can still use them and travel by INTERSECTING the interstates at Superchargers, rather than just driving the Interstate and covering ground.

    Additionally, if you plan your overnight stay to stay somewhere with a 240v 50 amp plug (NEMA 14-50, also called a 50 amp RV camp space), you can plug in and charge overnight, and have a full battery the next morning. This can easily get you 400 miles from one Supercharger to another and cover a lot more varied ground. If you can't find charging options on Plugshare, look up RV parks. Just make sure they have a 50 amp space available, its the only plug you want. (30 amp RV spaces are only 120v, not 240. Its a very slow charge, even if you can get plugged into it.) KOA has an online reservation website with park amenities, most have showers and a small general store, and if you're up for camping, its perfect.
     
  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Yes, I don't like to travel on Interstates either, but taking state highways and using Superchargers adds a good 10% to 20% to your trip. If SCs were on state highways, I'd seldom use the Interstate ones.

    Note that there are a number of KOA sites that will not allow electric cars to charge, and others charge $50 for the privilege. Most RV parks allow EVs, but there are a few stinkers. Also some state run facilities will charge you for both an RV and a car--hopefully this one has changed by now.
     
  16. StaceyS

    StaceyS Member

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    Yes. If you're looking to just cover ground, Interstates and SCs only work great.

    Haven't experienced this yet. I believe it, but haven't personally experienced it. At state and national parks, I have not had to pay anything but for the RV space, and many lodges at these parks are installing charging infrastructure. Zion National Park in UT had both Tesla HPWC as well as free J1772s. And the campsite there was $36 for a 50 amp RV space.

    I would recommend calling the RV park ahead of time. If you sense that they're going to be a pain about charging your car, thank them for their time, tell them there are plenty of other parks willing to rent you the 50 amp space without additional fees, because thats the truth.
     

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