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DC to Lake Waccama, NC - Things to look out for?

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by kevinf311, May 11, 2015.

  1. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

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    Good afternoon folks.

    I'm taking my first long trip in my S85 this weekend. We're going from the DC area down to Lake Waccamaw in NC (and maybe out to Wilmington, too) and while I've planned and mapped and mapped and planned the Supercharger stops numerous times I wanted to tap the collective knowledge of the forums to see if there is any additional things to think about that I may have overlooked.

    Our trip down should be as follows:

    Leave mid-afternoon from a Chargepoint charger towards Glen Allen, VA Supercharger
    Charge and eat an early dinner at Glen Allen
    Leave towards Rocky Mount Supercharger
    Charge and ??? at Rocky Mount
    Leave towards Lumberton Supercharger
    Charge and ??? at Lumberton
    Final leg to the Lake, plug into the house there (just 120 :eek: )

    For the reverse, I think we'll probably try to eat lunch at Lumberton and then stretch dinner to Glen Allen. I was going to wait to see how long it takes each leg before I nailed that down.

    Has anyone done a similar trip to this and if so are there any tips I should be aware of for these areas outside of the Supercharger info from the other forums?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Xenoilphobe

    Xenoilphobe Active Member

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    First watch out for deer. Also why can't you charge on the 240 volt electric dryer outlet in your house?
     
  3. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    You might consider making a very quick stop at Glen Allen and doing a later dinner at Rocky Mount. You should still have about 120 rated miles left when you hit Glen Allen and you should need around 150 to reach Rocky Mount. If you don't know about evtripplanner.com you should check it out. It will give you pretty good time and range estimates between each supercharger.

    It seems like your destination isn't too far from the Lumberton Supercharger, so the 120 connection probably won't be a big issue if you aren't doing a lot of driving while you are there. If you have a dryer connection, that's actually reasonably fast.
     
  4. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

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    Thanks for the notes! I definitely will be watching for deer given how less aware the birds/squirrels on my street seem to be of the Tesla approaching.

    I'm not entirely sure what the outlets will be as this house belongs to a friend of mine. I'm planning on taking my RV 14-50 extension and the 10-30 adapter (both in use daily at my home) but I figured on worst case scenario of only being able to plug into an exterior 120. The laundry room is on the corner towards where we tend to park but given the insect population, I'm not sure how popular I will be if I request that the back door remain cracked for a couple hours at a time. The compromise might be that I throw on some miles while we're unpacking and then swap over to 120. TBD

    This is not a bad idea actually, I was on the fence about whether or not to do an early dinner or a late dinner. A lot of it will depend on when my driving companion will be ready to depart I guess, but taking into account the relatively short Supercharger visit at Glen Allen vs the longer one at Rocky Mount does make more sense. Maybe we'll take some snacks :D

    Thanks so much guys! I'll probably update again after we're back in case others want to draw from our experiences.
     
  5. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    I did roughly this trip with my family last summer, except we started earlier in the day and our final destination was a bit further (Myrtle Beach, SC). We had lunch at Panera in Glen Allen, and in hindsight we should have saved the longer stop and meal for Rocky Mount. The only downside to that plan is your easy-to-walk-to dining options in Rocky Mount are basically limited to two steakhouses (Outback and Texas Steakhouse) and a Courtyard Marriott Bistro. For our non-meal stops, we found that a quick snack and/or bathroom break took long enough that we never really had to wait for the car to have enough range for our next stop.

    Like your "worst case scenario," we were limited to 120V 12A destination charging in Myrtle Beach. Even with ~20 miles of driving each day for various dinner/entertainment destinations, after 3 days we ended up with plenty of range to reach the Santee supercharger (we continued down to FL instead of returning home). As LetsGoFast notes, it all depends on how long you're at your destination and how much driving you plan to do while you're there. Obviously a side-trip to Wilmington would make a big difference, though there are also Level 2 charging options in Wilmington.

    Also note that if the 120V outlet is on a 20A circuit and there are no other loads on it, you might benefit from the NEMA 5-20 adapter. It's $45 and gives you a charging rate of ~5mph instead of 3-4mph, which can make an important difference in some cases.

    Finally, +1 to evtripplanner.com, it's a great resource.
     
  6. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

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    paulkva: Thanks for the input! Luckily we are big fans of steak houses so Rocky Mount should work out alright for us. It is likely that we'll make a trip out to Wilmington but I don't have an exact plan for that yet. I figured there would be some Level 2 charging *somewhere* there and that I would cross that bridge (ha!) when I came to it.

    I'm a big fan of evtripplanner.com, I started playing around with this trip on that site prior to the software update to the Nav that plotted you through Superchargers. I still use it to sanity check myself and get the nitty gritty details about the trip.
     
  7. kevinf311

    kevinf311 Member

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    Ok, I said I'd post after the trip with my experience and upon returning I promptly forgot about that. Trip Report follows:

    We ended up getting out on the road earlier than I had thought, and this led to my first mistake. As someone who has traveled south from Maryland all of his life, I know that you never drive south on 95 in Northern Virginia. You go 301. I always go 301 and had said that no matter what, we were going to cut over to 301 because that stretch around Woodbridge is always terrible. Never go south on 95 in Northern Virginia... especially in the afternoon, especially on a Friday afternoon. I are dumb.

    We pulled up the trip on the navigation screen and it was green all the way through (even the city!) and my ideas about cutting WAY over to 301 evaporated because "maybe we're ahead of the traffic."

    Never go south on 95 in Northern Virginia in the afternoon on a Friday.

    We were the traffic. Complicated by the fact that there were a couple accidents on both 95 and Rte 1 it took us several hours more than it needed to for us to get to Glen Allen. Pressing ahead with the plan, despite it being a fairly normal dinner time, we crossed the street after plugging in to get coffee and pick up some provisions for the folks already at the lake. My driving companion asked while we were checking out how much longer the car needed and when I brought up my phone I realized we had WAY more mileage than we needed to get to Rocky Mount.

    With some coaxing, I convinced her to take over driving for the next leg of the trip and (after a quick acclimation circuit around the parking lots) we were back on the road. Once she dialed in the TACC for comfortable highway driving it was smooth sailing all the way down to NC. She's probably better with it than I am at this point. I became apparent (according to the Nav) that we'd be hitting Rocky Mount, NC about 30 minutes before the steakhouses (where we had planned to eat dinner) closed. I pulled up the menus and we decided on what sounded tasty.

    Having worked in food service for a while, I know the pain of having people slide in right before close and want a full meal. Everyone is doing their closing work, the kitchen sometimes has already been shut down, and it's just not ever going to be the pinnacle of service. To help mitigate this, I called down to the steakhouse to explain the situation. I was assured that the kitchen kept serving food until 11 and as long as we were there before 11 they'd be happy to feed us.

    Pressing on, we got into Rocky Mount just before 10:30 and swooped into the mostly empty Texas Roadhouse (which is attached to one of the hotels). I'm pretty sure the hostess I talked to on the phone was happier to accommodate us than the bartender that ended up taking our orders, but there appeared to be a wedding party occupying most of the bar area so I think we were pretty low on the annoying patron scale that night.

    Even eating with the fury of two ravenous wildebeests, by the time we got the check and paid, the car again had enough juice to make it to Lumberton. Over text message with the folks already at the lake there was discussion about skipping Lumberton. We decided since this was the first long trip to play it safe (this is funny now) and stop in Lumberton at 1:30am for one last little boost. We got back on the road and headed towards Lumberton, NC with me back at the wheel.

    I do not recommend existing in Lumberton, NC at 1:30am. Though there were many large sodium-vapor lights around the Texas Roadhouse and surrounding parking lots there, almost none of them seemed to be functioning. Couple this with everything being closed and us just kinda sitting in the car for a few minutes, this stop was less than fun. Also, we're pretty sure we saw some sort of extra-legal business transaction go down in the lot next to the chargers. The moment we had a comfortable buffer to get to the lake we jetted.

    All said, it took us 12 hours to get to the lake which is way more hours than it should have. The reasons were completely because of decisions I made though, and not because of accommodations made for the car. I used both exterior 120V and dryer circuit 240V while at the lake. When we got in, I plugged in outside and we unloaded all of the things. I didn't drive the car again until Sunday when we all piled in to visit my cousins in Wilmington for lunch and by then the car was almost completely full. It was no sweat to make it to Wilmington and drive around for the day. We made it back with plenty left on the battery. In order to leave with a max charge Monday morning, I did some of that math I'm supposed to be so good at and elected to plug into the 240V dryer circuit (requiring my 14-50 to 10-30 adapter) for a couple hours before swapping back over to the 120V in order to have the car reach 100% (well, like 97%) by Monday morning.

    The next morning we reset the lake house and packed everything into the cars and set back out. This time we decided to skip Lumberton (although the sneaky GPS still routed us through that town). Right after we set out, our path to 74/76 was blocked by an accident and we ended up taking a dirt road that paralleled it for some miles. Put the suspension up on "high" and the car tackled it with no trouble.

    The two cars met up at the Rocky Mount, NC chargers (50ish miles remaining) and we ate the lunch we had packed (which was essentially all the food we didn't eat that weekend). My driving companion swapped over to the other car and we went our separate ways. I ended up sitting with the car longer than I needed to because I was chatting on IRC and lost track of time. I set back out on the road, now alone, with my sights on Glen Allen.

    I got to Glen Allen with around 70 miles on the battery and plugged in. I decided to grab a coffee at the Panera and relax for a bit. Again, I overcharged at this stop. Partially because the coffee I purchased was McDonald's lawsuit levels of hot and partially because once I got back to the car, another Tesla owner (I'm sorry I've forgotten your name now, I'm terrible at names... your shirt matched your vanity plate though) and we chatted for a bit.

    This time, especially since my house is further east than where my friend was coming from, I made sure to take 301. Much nicer ride back, even with the stop lights. I got home with around 100mi on the battery and pretty much didn't leave the couch until morning. Trip back took a little over 9 hours.

    I hope that there might be some nuggets of useful information in the above rambling that people can leverage for future trips.
     
  8. paulkva

    paulkva Member

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    Thanks for the trip report! Glad to hear at least the charging went smoothly. And I'm generally a fan of "overcharging" if you can find a way to stay occupied at/near the charger.

    In hindsight I'm not all that surprised to hear about Lumberton at night. There were some ... interesting ... people there when we stopped last summer, though during the day I never felt unsafe.
     

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