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Driving Cross Country Female + 2 Dogs

mkmazer

Member
Jul 29, 2018
10
7
Los Angeles, CA
I'm looking at Driving from NYC Metro - Los Angeles this summer to move.

I'm going to have my two small dogs with me but curious if any females have done cross country trips alone.
  • Did you have any issues?
  • What safety items do you suggest I get?
  • Any suggestions on route/dog friendly places?
  • When leaving your dogs alone with dog mode any issues? Did you also put a sign up?
  • Is it easy to change a tire with a jack (which one should I get if so - the car is heavy!) or should I just rely on roadside assistance?
 

Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,475
1,852
Utah
The fact that females even have to worry about safety issues when traveling alone makes me shake my head at the sad state of affairs our society is in. Every male should protect every female. Always. But enough of that... back on topic.

Remember that you don't have a spare tire. In fact, you aren't even provided with a can of fix-a-flat or a battery operated compressor with your new car.

Unfortunately, even road side assistance isn't necessarily trustworthy, reliable, or safe. Take a look around the forums here, as there are several very good threads with very valuable information on what you'll need to be able to safely change your tire (assuming you've researched and bought a compatible spare), as well as information on using a tire plug kit. Most all "fix-a-flat" type products won't work with the stock tires, as the layer of sound absorbing foam also absorbs the materials from fix-a-flat type products.

That being the case, a good tire plug kit is, IMO at least, a must-have. You'll also want a good compressor, too.

At a minimum, I'd take:

1. flush cutting cutters

2. Vice grips (I carry three different sizes)

3. Rubber cement (to lubricate the plug)

4. Quality tire plug kit

5. Air compressor

6. Air pressure gauge

7. Good quality gloves. Not just nitrile gloves, but gloves that are capable of protecting your hands. It's very easy to slip while removing a nail, screw, etc. from your tire and even easier still to bang up your hands on the wheel well when removing the offending item from your tire.

Your plug kit should include a tool for removing the valve stem, as well as a replacement valve stem itself.

There are a bunch of good YouTube videos on how to use a tire plug kit. Well worth taking a few minutes to watch a few of them.

Some people say that tire plugs are not a permanent repair. Most all of those guys own tire shops, and want to charge you to do a patch repair to make your plug repair "permanent." I've used dozens of tire plugs on vehicle tires since the early '80's, and I have never had one fail. They are as permanent and robust as a professional "tire repair" and will last the lifetime of your tire. That has been my experience, at least, and the experience of a lot of other non tire store owning drivers, too. ;)

A tire plug kit will get you back on the road fast, and without the worry of having to change out a temporary spare or getting the tire "fixed" again.

The only issue with a plug kit is that it can be a bit difficult to use the reaming tool to enlarge the hole to the point that you can actually insert the plug. Believe it or not, rubber cement can help greatly with this. If you're having a hard time using the reaming tool, run a generous amount of rubber cement on the reaming tool, then immediately ream out the hole. Then coat the plug itself in rubber cement prior to inserting it into the tire. Using rubber cement, my wife was able to use a plug kit on her Sequoia out in the middle of the desert one night.

Have a safe journey.
 
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Tedsplace30

Member
Jan 27, 2019
7
7
USA
Recommendations to some of your questions.

- Good to have safety items. First aid kit (Tesla sells one if you want to go the easy route) A 12V battery jumper since the 12V accessory battery on some Model 3 vehicles randomly die. An emergency escape tool in case of an accident. Roadside can help with some of these but just good to have for peace of mind.

https://www.amazon.com/Jump-Starters/b?ie=UTF8&node=318336011
https://www.amazon.com/GOOACC-Seatbelt-Cutter-Breaker-Emergency/dp/B00JJBWMDO

- It's probably easier to use a tire repair kit which Tesla sells for the Model 3. I've used them in a pinch and work great to get you to a repair facility. If there is irreparable damage to the tire then Roadside would be the fall back, if you don't already carry a spare wheel.

Tire Repair Kit
 
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Velcade

Member
Sep 18, 2019
204
151
Midwest
To add to Phlier's list I'd bring a warm blanket, a safety vest, and a few road caution cones.

Be familiar with the car prior to leaving. Make sure you can jack the car up and remove the lug nuts.
 
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outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,630
2,786
in the moment
Dog friendly hotels are a +. They love new homes even for a night.
IMG_20200223_204827_MP.jpg
 
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Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,475
1,852
Utah
Recommendations to some of your questions.

- Good to have safety items. First aid kit (Tesla sells one if you want to go the easy route) A 12V battery jumper since the 12V accessory battery on some Model 3 vehicles randomly die. An emergency escape tool in case of an accident. Roadside can help with some of these but just good to have for peace of mind.

https://www.amazon.com/Jump-Starters/b?ie=UTF8&node=318336011
https://www.amazon.com/GOOACC-Seatbelt-Cutter-Breaker-Emergency/dp/B00JJBWMDO

- It's probably easier to use a tire repair kit which Tesla sells for the Model 3. I've used them in a pinch and work great to get you to a repair facility. If there is irreparable damage to the tire then Roadside would be the fall back, if you don't already carry a spare wheel.

Tire Repair Kit
Unfortunately, the Tesla Tire Repair kit uses "fix-a-flat" type sealant. This is extremely unreliable on the stock tires that have the layer of sound insulating foam in them. You're very lucky that it worked for you. I'm not trying to be a jerk by saying that, at all... it's honestly the case.

While Tesla's kit is definitely "easier," it is NOT a reliable solution. IMO, it's better to have something that is far more reliable even if it takes a few more minutes.

If you are lucky enough to get the Tesla product to actually seal the tire, you then need to find a tire store to actually repair the tire, as "fix-a-flat" type sealants are NOT permanent; it's a band aid to get you to a tire store.

I'm honestly not trying to be a jerk here, I just think that safety is a very important thing to consider, and the additional time/effort involved in a plug kit is well worth it.

I got so fixated on the whole tire situation that I completely blew off the safety items. Love the looks of that seat belt cutter you linked... think I'm gonna pick one of those up!
 

P3dStealth

Member
Nov 12, 2019
930
991
USA
You won't have a problem. I'm not a female but im in NY too and have done the cross country twice. You will notice you are safer and everyone is nicer when you get out of the northeast lol.

If you get a flat use roadside assistance. I wouldnt bother with tools you could make it worse if you don't know what you are doing. You can get AAA cheap also if you don't want to rely on Tesla.

You can also just come on the forum and ask for help the Tesla community is good people.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
2,809
2,722
Austin
use A Better Routeplanner for planning the trip
Check on plugshare.com for general charging info, its good for finding hotels with charging solutions, much better to get a free charge at a hotel than paying for supercharging.
Once you have the general stop location figured out using the abetterrouteplanner, use plugshare to find hotels with chargers and call them to check on charging and pet friendliness. ABRP lets you set your trip start time, so you can see where to put your overnight break and see what is in the area. The same applies to the overnight, add those stop into the route planner and it will give you a pretty good overall plan.
Definitely use the in car nav to take you to superchargers and give you piece of mind.

As others have already mentioned, take the usual long trip planning hardware with you and figure out how to contact roadside support before you start :)

Good luck, it will be great fun. Favorite bits for me are the supercharger stop, chatting to other owners and seeing where their journey is going is entertaining. On our road trips the car was always ready long before the people were :)
 
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jkdman123

Member
Jul 15, 2019
350
230
San Diego
While Phlier has given some good general info, I don’t think most people, male or female would be comfortable plugging a tire on the roadside.

I think it’s much more practical to get a small spare and keep it in the trunk, if you’re that worried about it. There are threads about what kind fit in the M3.

But I suggest getting AAA as mentioned above just to cover you in case Tesla service can’t reach you due to being in a remote location. If you stick to interstate highways I imagine you’ll be ok. Probably more charging options that way, also.

As far as safety, communicate, communicate, communicate. Let one, or several people, know where you are regularly and if you have any kind of problem. Sticking to the interstates will help provide cell coverage.
 
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outdoors

Always roaming
Aug 10, 2014
1,630
2,786
in the moment
So cute! Did you just call hotels or are their certain brands you stick with?

I use bringfido.com

Most often I sleep in the car with my pup. She does fine in the front seat all curled up. Every now and then we take a break.

More and more hotels aren't using specific rooms for dogs. They just charge a pet fee. I have about a 50/50 take on waiving pet fee if they have one. She is a working dog, yet not a service dog. So I give it a shot. She is not one for accidents.
 

animorph

Active Member
Apr 1, 2016
2,134
1,529
Scottsdale, AZ
I've been happy with the Supercharger locations we've used on our cross-country trips. I've seen comments on TMC about a couple of them being "sketchy", but we're not stopping at night very often. If you plan to drive all night I'd suggest reading the Supercharger threads here and looking at the PlugShare reviews.

It's always been interesting to explore while the car is charging. I plan with ABRP, look at each Supercharger location on Google Maps to see what's around, and plan stops accordingly. The car's nav is great jumping from charger to charger.
 

Twiglett

Single pedal driver
Oct 3, 2014
2,809
2,722
Austin
also - if you use an iPhone - share your location with find my friends. Also great for asking other folks for ideas for dining etc.
So as you're getting close to a stop, ask friends where looks good. I do that when traveling away from family
 

mattack4000

Active Member
Oct 1, 2017
2,393
932
CA
Spare tire eats into cargo space, but a full size spare isn’t a bad idea. Just stay on the bigger more busy interstate, no detour in Wyoming or something
 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
1,905
1,861
San Jose, CA
also - if you use an iPhone - share your location with find my friends.
If you don't have an iPhone but do have a Google/Gmail account, you can share your location with specific people so that Google Maps will show them where you are. It's not always a real-time/up-to-the-minute location, but most times it's good enough. My daughter and her boyfriend did this on their recent drive from Florida to Oregon and it was comforting to know how they were progressing.
 

Wennfred

Supporting Member
Apr 4, 2019
2,953
1,889
San Diego
Here’s my take on roadside assistance, there might be some areas where there are no cell phone tower signal and so using your phone to call AAA or Tesla Roadside won’t help. If you do have phone signal, it could take 2 hours sometimes to get roadside help. AAA is good to have just Incase. This company called Modern Spare, if you have the extra cash, it would be very handy to have, even if you will never have to use it, It’s good to know that if you get a flat it’s there. These are high performance tires which means you can go over 50mph and will surely get you to the nearest Discount Tire shop to get that flat tire repaired. Will post the link below. If you get it, practice swapping tires out, wear gloves. Make sure you buy 1 Jack Pad to place under the cars Jack point. I purchased one of these spares for my Model Y for long trips to Las Vegas.

One last thing about Tire Plug Kit, there’s a video by “Out of Spec” on YouTube where he hits a pot hole hard and sliced the sidewall of the tire. Plug Kits can not repairs a sliced sidewall, that tire is done. That’s why I got this spare tire.

search results - Modern Spare

Fred
 
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roblab

Active Member
Jul 15, 2008
3,448
2,503
Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
While Phlier has given some good general info, I don’t think most people, male or female would be comfortable plugging a tire on the roadside.

I think it’s much more practical to get a small spare and keep it in the trunk, if you’re that worried about it. There are threads about what kind fit in the M3.

To each their own. I don't find it difficult or uncomfortable (I'm 76) to plug a tire while on the car, and the fiber plugs seal the tires better. I don't bother to remove the tire, but just plug it on the car, and the one time I've plugged a tire on a Tesla, it lasted another 30,000 miles, to when I got new tires. That was one time in about 200,000 miles of Tesla driving.

But, you're right. I'm not "most" people. It sure is handy to know how to do things so you don't have to sit and wait for the tow truck. Wish I could drop by and show you how easy it is, especially for a bright girl. And you'll probably never have needed to learn.
 
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acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,495
1,555
Richland, WA
I’m not sure I would carry a spare tire or tire repair kit... if it’s a blow out (because of a pot hole or something) the damage will likely be too large for either a plug or sealer. You might also have wheel damage, especially if it’s a 19 or 20 inch wheel. So instead I would rely on cell service and roadside assistance, even though that could be a few hours to get an issue resolved. (If you’re really worried, maybe look at ATT and Verizon maps & if there is a noticeable difference on coverage between the two get a cheap phone with the opposite carrier you have and a pay as you go plan so you just pay for the month you’re traveling)

Use ABetterRoutePlanner and give yourself a nice buffer. Not sure if you have a standard range or long range or what, or how long you’ve had the Tesla, but don’t go razor thin. If the Nav says depart at 68% to make your next stop, charge to 80 or 85% (or full if you’re walking the dogs or having lunch, etc).

Also, while superchargers are really reliable, I would try to plan the route that has the highest density (shortest gap between them) of superchargers just in case one is down you might be able to make it to the next one.

Other than that just some common sense. If funds and time allow, stay at a somewhat decent hotel (bonus if you call ahead and make plans to stay at ones that have chargers!) and don’t plan to roll into a supercharger at 2am in the morning or something. Maybe buy a Chademo adapter (if you can get one!) just as a backup, but superchargers and emergency level 2s should keep you from being stuck.
 

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