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Driving from Vancouver, Canada to La Paz, Baja Sur Mexico

BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
I received my Model S in October and we decided to take it on a road trip at the end of January of this year. We have driven this route many times in my husband Tundra but to do it in my Tesla would be new and challenging. I had some anxiety as to no roadside assistance after Ensenada Baja, uncertain charging equipment, voltage and locations and charge times. min preparation for the trip we order the Tesla Tire Repair Kit and 2 extra Sealant Canisters. We also packed a stand tire plug kit. We took our home charging wall connector with us as well as we had read on an app that sometimes the hardware is damaged. We also picked up in San Diego a power recepitcal and box for our home charger. (My husband has done electrical work so is capable of wiring a plug if needed.) We left home with 96% charge and 564KM Range on Jan 28 and headed down the I-5 after crossing the border in Aldergrove.
We had only 3955km on my car when we left.
We used super chargers in Centralia Wa, Springfield Or, Grants Pass Or. We charged overnight using a J1772 charger in Yreka at the Fairview Clinic. Next day we charged at these super chargers: Mt. Shasta Ca, Manteca Ca, Buttonwillow Ca and Lake Elsinore Ca, these all work very well and were quick stops mostly about 20-35 minutes.
Next Stop Baja Mexico, we crossed over at the Tecate Ca crossing and made our way to Ensenada thru Valle de Guadalupe.(there are many destination chargers in Valle de Guadalupe at wineries, restaurants and hotels)
When we arrived in Ensenada we still had 256km on our charge from Lake Elsinore, we didn’t stop for a charge at one of the 4 Tesla destination chargers or the Tessa super charger located in the city, we continued South to Ejido Uruapan to the orphanage we volunteer with. My husband wired the receptivas and box into their 240v system in the shop so we used our home charger to charge while we were there, it worked great. Two days later we packed up and headed South along Hwy 1 with a plan but no time line as we were uncertain exactly what the charging would be like heading further South.
We left with 562km charge. Our first stop was the beautiful Cataviña in the heart of Northern Baja, we had gone 334.5km and it was lunchtime! We found 2 Tesla home charge units just to the left of the entrance under a shade cover. We were charging at 58.5kw or 175km/hr. There was no charge to use the charger, although we did have lunch in the restaurant. We enjoyed lunch and stroll before continuing 2 hours later.
We crossed into Baja Sur and stopped for the night at Guerro Negro at the Terrasal Inn, where we used their Tesla destination chargers overnight at no additional charge. The hotel room was $34US per night and nice and clean and quiet.
With 566km charge we continued South passing a charger in San Ignacio. Our plan to top up over lunch in Mulege was thwarted by the location of the charger at Cuesta Real hotel, it was 2 km to the closest restaurant! This location was the only disappointment of the trip, it is an old run down RV park/hotel with no nearby services. So we moved on hitting a taco stand for lunch and figured we had enough of a charge to get to Loreto. We arrived in Loreto in the late afternoon to a lovely boutique hotel Hotel Plaza Loreto, with 2 Tesla destination chargers. We had 89km left! We overnight charged and carried onto La Paz. We arrived in the northern area, El Centenario where our friends live, just afternoon lunch. There are 3 other Tesla charging locations between Loreto and La Paz that we didn’t use. In La Paz there are also 3 destination locations. We decided to use the 120v plug at our friends house as we were not needing the car for a few days. Then once we gave our friends a ride it became the vehicle of choice for our day trips so the guys gerry rigged our home charger to our friends welding set up, and we were able to charge in 4 hours to full capacity. Don’t forget to pack electrical tape and pliers to do this and also be sure the power is off before attempting. (Wouldn’t ever advise doing this but it’s Mexico and the guys know electricity) Saturday Feb 8 we headed back North, stopping overnight again in Loreto and Guerro Negro. We the took the newly finished Hwy 5 at Lake Chappela to San Felipe, we had a full charge when we left Guerro Negro but encountered heavy rains and chilly temps and hill climbs across the Peninsula, we seemed to be using a lot of battery! I was a little worried if we would make it to San Felipe, but once at ross the mountain top we hit sunny skies warmer temps and down hill, rehén kicked in and we added about 22 km to the range and arrived at the San Felipe Marina Hotel in time for a late lunch and a quick tip up before heading North ten minutes into the heart of town to meet friends for drinks and dinner. Got a full charge overnight and drove north on Hwy 5 and west on Hwy 3 back to Ensenada and back to the orphanage. Again we plugged in our home charger for while we were there, then headed north again for home.
we charged at Super Chargers in Downey Ca, Harris stanch Ca, Williams Ca, Shasta Lake Ca, Springfield Or, Portland Or, and a little top up in Sedro-Woolley Wa, and back at home on Feb 17. Over 8600km with out one issue! No problems at all with Charging, there are lots of options. Only issue we have had with the car is since the last update, pretrip the cameras have not been working correctly, so no blind spot monitoring and no cruise control. We get an error message that the cameras need to calibrate. Heading for service tomorrow morning in Vancouver BC. the car was so comfortable we were easy able to drive long 12 hour days a few days. Such a pleasure to drive! Hope you enjoyed our adventure and if you want more details about the various chargers just ask!
 

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IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
Is yours one of the Raven Model Ss? It looks like you’ve got some serious range!

Thanks for writing up your trip — it’s gorgeous down there...


PS post more pics :)
 
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BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
Is yours one of the Raven Model Ss? It looks like you’ve got some serious range!

Thanks for writing up your trip — it’s gorgeous down there...
I keep reading about the Raven, but not sure which one that is, haha. I have a 2019 midnight silver model S long range dual motor. It has a max 600 km range. I’ve charged only to 96% or 569km.

We love Baja, we race Score International off road down there and my husband is in the midst of building a Tesla powered electric buggy that he will race toward the end of this year. Right now we race in a stock VW bug!
 

BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
The first picture is sunset as we arrived in Ensenada Baja California Mexico.
2nd picture, approaching the beautiful mysterious boulders and cacti of Cataviña
3rd picture, Hwy 1 in central Baja California, beautiful road through beautiful scenery.
4th picture, orchid tree blossoms adorn my dash, love the colour
5th picture, charging area at Cataviña, charged here while we had lunch. 58.5kw, 175kw/h charged 2 hours.
6th picture, at Guerra Negro, got in just after dark. Charged overnight, at Terra Sal Hotel, lovely hotel, nice and clean.
7th picture, Cuesta Real Hotel with 2 chargers, this place has definitely seem better days, no services, 2km to closest restaurant, our only disappointing stop, we had hoped for lunch here.
8th picture, the shop at Mount ofOlives Children’s Village where we wired a plug and used our home charger we brought along.
9th picture, the lovely hotel in Loreto with two chargers that they take great pride in keeping them covered so no dust or debris can get in, stayed here twice!
 

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msomm2000

New Member
Jul 8, 2020
3
2
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Wow, this is incredibly helpful and useful information! Thank you.
I have a used 2019 Tesla S I need to get to our home north of Cabo soon.
Shipping is very difficult because of MX import rules and I am getting few takers.
With this information, I may attempt "your" drive. Nervous to say the least.
I would take the new 5 through San Felipe.
Did you need your tire kit at all? Do you think you could make the trip without the special wiring and charging you did--which seemed to be more your locational preference, than necessity?
I will next plot out the drive and stops and charges using your data.
Thanks again.
 
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IdaX

Member
Dec 27, 2016
429
546
Moscow, Idaho
I have a used 2019 Tesla S I need to get to our home north of Cabo soon.
Go for it — the drive is very doable if you allow for enough time to charge overnight. The San Felipe to Guerrero negro leg is long, but you should have no trouble in a long-range S. The tire thing is trickier — the roads were in good shape as of last winter anyway, but if you have tire trouble you’re a long way from a new one... still, you’re probably okay unless you get unlucky...
 

BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
Wow, this is incredibly helpful and useful information! Thank you.
I have a used 2019 Tesla S I need to get to our home north of Cabo soon.
Shipping is very difficult because of MX import rules and I am getting few takers.
With this information, I may attempt "your" drive. Nervous to say the least.
I would take the new 5 through San Felipe.
Did you need your tire kit at all? Do you think you could make the trip without the special wiring and charging you did--which seemed to be more your locational preference, than necessity?
I will next plot out the drive and stops and charges using your data.
Thanks again.
You should have no problems, if you fully charge in San Felipe. Hints for this longest stretch: keep your air conditioner at a low fan speed and moderate temperature, set the Regen to highest setting and turn off any accessories you don’t need. Keep at a moderate speed (80-90km/hr) Enjoy the drive the scenery is beautiful. At the turn off to Highway 1 check your battery reserves, if you are low you can go North back up to Cataviña there are two charger at the Hotel Mísion Cataviña there, it is 55km from the turn at Laguna Chapala Hwy 5 and Hwy 1 intersect. Going South it is a long stretch to Guerrero Negro, where there is charging at the lovely Terra Sal Hotel, that distance is just over 180km.
We never needed our tire repair kits, but we did end up with a bulge in the side wall on two tires after the trip, Tesla said it could have been a pothole or rough terrain, we think we might have hit a pothole in Ensenada (the roads in the city were bad) or during the small stretch of construction that was left just South of San Felipe. Most likely that construction is now complete as it was in the final stages in February.
We carried our home charger just as an emergency back up, in case equipment at the charging stations was damaged. All were in excellent condition!
We also carried the charging adaptors for the J-1772 plugs. We downloaded the PlugShare App and had these chargers mapped out just in case. Ended up only using the Tesla ones.
Enjoy your trip and let us know how you did with all the CoVid stuff along the way. Be sure you carry proof of address of your destination too as I heard that some places they are checking that and doing health checks.
Safe travels!
 
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msomm2000

New Member
Jul 8, 2020
3
2
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Great advice, thanks. This will be my initiation drive.
Current problem seems to be that the Marina hotel in San Felipe shows "sold out" for much of August. Presume they may have closed for all or part of the month. That wrecks the charging plan for the 5 drive. I will call them to see if perhaps a restaurant is open and the charger is available?
That leaves the Ensenada/1 drive. Ensenada to Catavina works. Catavina south seems to require a charging overnight in Mulege which you were not impressed by, apparently. I don't think I would risk trying to make it to Loreto from Catavina--seems like a stretch.

I am sure there will be a growing number of Tesla owners anxious for insights on traveling the Baja.

Much appreciated!
 

BCRuth

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
15
22
Abbotsford
Great advice, thanks. This will be my initiation drive.
Current problem seems to be that the Marina hotel in San Felipe shows "sold out" for much of August. Presume they may have closed for all or part of the month. That wrecks the charging plan for the 5 drive. I will call them to see if perhaps a restaurant is open and the charger is available?
That leaves the Ensenada/1 drive. Ensenada to Catavina works. Catavina south seems to require a charging overnight in Mulege which you were not impressed by, apparently. I don't think I would risk trying to make it to Loreto from Catavina--seems like a stretch.

I am sure there will be a growing number of Tesla owners anxious for insights on traveling the Baja.

Much appreciated!
Good Morning, There is a Tesla charging station in San Ignacio, we checked it out but we were still mostly charged so didn’t stop. You might also want to check if there are any non Tesla chargers near San Felipe or the surrounding areas. San Ignacio is a beautiful place to have lunch and explore the Mission.
 

panton

New Member
Mar 25, 2021
2
2
Los Angeles
Great post and info, and what a nice trip in your Model S. I have a Model Y, and will be doing the trip down this summer –– driven down plenty of times over the years, and the first was so long ago there was range anxiety with gas (had to camp out and wait for gas trucks to fill tanks halfway down, ha). Different kind of range anxiety now, but your post (and mapping the trip on plugshare) helps to alleviate any concern. I'll likely bring a spare tire to be safe. I have a tow hitch carrier, and perfect for a spare, among other things. Looking forward! Cheers.
 
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Cornellio

Member
Mar 25, 2016
15
2
Silicon Valley
Indeed a nice trip! I'd really like to go to Cabo for scuba diving. I'm in San Diego but never thought of gong down there since I see only 1 supercharger on the peninsula. The destination chargers mean lots of overnight stays it seems. Wish there more more superchargers down south.
 
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