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Cross Country Trip Planning and Blogging

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

  1. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    In a few days I will be leaving California to take a cross country road trip in my Tesla Model S. A few drivers including an official Tesla team have already crossed the country and set some records. My journey will be different with few if any goals in mind - focused on the journey not the destinations and without any reservations. I expect to do some blogging during and after the trip. Mostly related to how the journey is different in an electric car and how someone with wanderlust adapts their journey and probably a few thoughts on the journey itself. You can follow my journey on twitter https://twitter.com/TeslaOwnerBlog - no twitter account necessary.

    More info about my plans can be found here


    I have a few questions for the forum:

    1. Should I purchase some more of the after market adaptors? Will I need any of these? I've never charged in any RV campgrounds. I am very unfamiliar with RV campgrounds actually.

    2. Any suggestions on how to get from Little Rock to Witchita? I also want to stop in at the Crystal Bridges Art Museum.

    3. Are Nissan dealerships still Tesla friendly?

    4. Should I sign up for any other networks than Chargepoint?

    5. Any other suggestions from the wise forum?
     
  2. zwede

    zwede 2013 P85+

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    Cool. I'm starting to get some wanderlust also. Been years since my last road trip.

    Around here (north TX) I see mostly Blink charging stations. No idea how common they are elsewhere, but might be good to get one of their cards.
     
  3. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Search this forum for details on charging at campgrounds. There are a variety of factors to consider, including the correct adapter as well as dealing with varied and intermittent power at many campground hookups. There have been numerous anecdotes that involved needing to charge at a lower amperage and tripped breakers that caused charging to fail not long after it began. I've also inferred from the postings here that the range of comfort among campground owners regarding Model S charging is quite varied. Some are apprehensive and some are quite accommodating.

    I've also heard that the reception one receives at Nissan (or Chevy) dealerships can vary significantly from dealer to dealer and there's no way to know without calling personally and asking what their policy is.
     
  4. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    Sounds like it will be a great trip. Look forward to hearing about it.

    Concerning additional adapters
    - They are relatively cheap, but if you need one they are priceless.

    Concerning campgrounds.
    - Always call ahead. Different campgrounds have different policies on EV charging. And different policies on whether or not you can tent at the site or need to get a separate tenting site. Some will let you sleep in the car. If you do, you will want a twin size blow up mattress. While there is enough room to sleep in the back with the seats down, it is harder than a rock.
    - You will want to ask for 50 amp service. This is the same outlet configuration as the Nema 14-50 that came with your car, and what you probably plug into at home. Some campgrounds will only have 30 amp service. You can buy an adapter for these on the Tesla store. I believe it is the Nema 10-30 (someone else please confirm)
    - When charging at a campground on 50amps you will need to check your charging periodically. Some campgrounds have old breakers that can't handle the 40amp load. So your car may trip them in the middle of the night resulting in a less than fully charged car in the morning. Best option is to just dial down the number of amps you are drawing. 30 is usually ok. You will still be fully charged in the morning and shouldn't trip the breakers.
    - I would suggest sticking to the major campgrounds (ie KOA) or large ones near highways or ones that other Tesla owners have previously charged at. Some, in areas with looser regulations, have what they think is 50 amp service, and they even have Nema 14-50 outlets; but when you plug in you get a nasty surprise that the car is not charging because it's not really 240 running to the outlet.

    Concerning Chargepoint
    - I live in St. Louis and have traveled to Chicago, Denver, Lake Superior, and Milwaukee. In all cases I have used Charge points. My advice is go ahead and sign up for Chargepoint. Again, it costs very little but if you need to use it, it is priceless.

    Other advice
    These are pretty much the unwritten rules I go by when doing long trips, course I guess they are written now.
    - I keep the legs between charging stops around 180 to 200 miles. I can make 200 miles at 8 degrees F going about 55 miles an hour on flat terrain. Living in the midwest, I don't hit mountains so I've never had to adjust for elevation, so keep that in mind.
    - I watch my projected miles on the energy meter and compare it to the distance left on the nav. As long as my projected miles are greater then the distance I have left to the charging destination I'm fine. If it's not, I just slow down. I've cut it close a couple of times but I've never been stranded.
    - I start out doing speed limit, or slower if it's really cold out, and once I know I will have plenty of buffer to make the destination then I speed up. I use what I call the 2/3rds rule; when the distance I have left to travel is 2/3rds of my remaining rated range then I should have no problem making my destination and I can speed up. Though that doesn't mean I can speed uncontrollably, usually I just up my speed by about 5 mph. Of course I still keep watching my project range just in case conditions change and I need to slow down again.

    Hope that helps.
    Enjoy your trip!
     
  5. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    thanks for the help so far!!

    There are a ton of additional adaptors though. Do I really need like every possibility in the book? I found a gazillion at this very very slow site: http://evseadapters.com/adapters-for-tesla-model-s.php

    Is there like one or two RV adaptors I need?

    I have Chargepoint, will get a Blink card.

     
  6. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Get a Blink card; I'm traveling in TN right now and they are ubiquitous.
     
  7. Liz G

    Liz G P03056

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    I was thinking of the adapters that Tesla offers, not including the ChadMo.
    Shop Tesla Gear Charging and Adapters

    I have the 10-30 and 6-50, in addition to the 14-50 and 5-15. 10-30 is for RV parks that don't have a 14-50. The 6-50 we use at my husband's parents, as it is the same as the outlet his dad has for his welder. Still need to get the 14-30 which is commonly used for dryers.

    Not sure about the ones from the other site you linked to.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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  9. linkster

    linkster Member

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    One RV (since I am certain you already own a the UMC 14-50) from evseadapt... 14-50 to TT-30P (the ones from Amazon, Wallyworld will not work)

    I have all Tesla UMC adapters (except CHAdeMO) with proper extension cords for dryer and hotel/motel charging.

    Please, please, ditch the beautiful 21 "benders" for this trip and obtain a set of brutally practical Tesla factory OEM 19's for this trip with most uncertain asphalt conditions.
     
  10. tiblot

    tiblot Member

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    Are these two the same thing?

    Amazon.com: Conntek RL14109 RV 30-Amp Plug TT-30P to NEMA 14-50R 50-Amp 125/250V Adapter: Sports Outdoors

    NEMA 14-50R to TT-30P RV Plug Adapter
     
  11. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Be very careful. First of all, the 10-30 adapter from Tesla suggested a few messages above is for older dryer outlets, not for the 30 Amp RV hookup or TT-30. Secondly, the 14-50, RV 50 Amp connector is a 240/120V connection, while the TT-30 is a 120V only connection. The adapters you list are for two different purposes. The first one from Amazon will work for an RV, but not a Telsa. The second one, NEMA 14-50R to TT-30P RV Plug Adapter, will work for a Tesla, but not an RV. The difference is in how the 120V from the TT-30 is applied to the 240V pins in the 14-50; the connections are different. For your Tesla, buy the one from EVSEadapters.
     
  12. tiblot

    tiblot Member

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    I figured - thanks! Also, will the UMC even know its running off a TT-30? Since you're just plugging into a NEMA 14-50, it might try to pull 40 Amps at the start?
     
  13. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    #13 Owner, Apr 17, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2014
    Ah….so practical…. Perhaps I should go get some 19"…. Any other opinions out there? I definitely have more than enough garage space to keep four extra wheels lying around.

    Called around a bit will be hard to arrange before I leave….hmmm….

     
  14. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Normally, you do have to dial back the current with adapters to the 14-50. For example, I have my own set of 10-30 and 14-30 to 14-50 adapters from my early Roadster field tripping. However, the current combo of the UMC and MS, limit the current to 20 Amps when the voltage is 120 Volts, so there is no need to dial the current back, the car does it on its own for 120 Volt charging. It would be nice to get 24 Amps, but the car limits the 120 Volt current to 20 Amps. Not fast, but still 67%+ faster than 12 Amps at 120 Volts.

    Gather those Joules* for your Jewel! :wink:

    *One MegaJoule is approximately one rated mile, a wonderfully obscure coincidence.
     
  15. invisik

    invisik Member

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    IMHO Just get (all) the official Tesla UMC plug adapters.. our SC always has a zillion of them in stock, imagine yours will too. I've used 4 of them already, charging in random places before my HPWC was installed. They are the safest.
    Plan your route on Plugshare.com!

    -m
     
  16. Owner

    Owner Active Member

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    I stopped in Fremont yesterday and picked up all four of the other chargers. They also said that you really need all variants for any campground charging.

    Any consensus on an getting a good "approved" extension cord?

     
  17. Jdcleary

    Jdcleary Member

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    #17 Jdcleary, Apr 18, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2014
    I live within 15 miles of Crystal Bridges and you are welcome to use my HPWC (56-58 mph). (I'm also on Plugshare.com - Bella Vista, AR)

    We just returned from Little Rock and we stopped at a great place to visit - Mount Magazine, AR Lodge & Cabins with a couple of NEMA 14-50s in their Campground and hopefully another at the Lodge per my request as of yesterday. Witchita is about 220 miles from my home and there is a Tesla owner on Plugshare there. Also a public charger before getting to Witchita.

    Feel free to PM me if you decide to stop.
     

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