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Epic Road Trip

I went on an epic road trip with my model Y to pick up my Roadster that was in Seattle at Carl Medlock’s shop. 4774 total miles, 49 supercharger stops for at total of 2344kWh of energy at a cost of $741 for the charging at the superchargers. Here are the highlights of the trip. Click the links for each day to see more pictures.

IMG_9275a.JPG


Day 1 – Tuesday March 1
Left my hometown Frisco TX early in the morning and made the following supercharger stops.
Henrietta TX, Childress TX, Amarillo TX, Clayton NM, Trinidad CO.

Day 2 – Wednesday March 2
Departed from Trinidad CO and made the following supercharger stops.
Poncha Springs CO, Montrose CO, Green River UT, Price UT, Draper UT, Burley ID

Day 3 – Thursday March 3
Departed from Burley ID and made the following supercharger stops.
Twin Falls ID, Boise ID, Ontario OR, Baker City OR, Pendleton OR, Kennewick WA, Cle Elum, WA
The first three days were largely uneventful. I had nice clear weather and made good time through the Rockies. I ran into some light rain, mist/fog, and intermittent drizzle in Oregon and Washington states.

Day 4 – Friday March 4
Picked up the Uhaul trailer in the morning. Met Carl at his shop in Seattle. Got a nice tour. Visually inspected my roadster and loaded it up on the trailer for the trip home. As you can imagine, my range was drastically reduced by pulling the trailer. I could “easily” make about 100 miles range on a 90% charge. I only made two supercharger stops for Day 4. Federal Way WA, Kelso WA.

Day 5 – Saturday March 5
Very long day. I woke up early and hit the road with the trailer. 8 Supercharger stops.
Woodburn OR, Salem OR, Springfield OR, Myrtle Creek OR, Medford OR, Klamath Falls OR, Alturas CA, Susanville CA. Temperatures really started dropping after sundown, and I was a nervous wreck on the last leg to Susanville. The temps were in the teens and totally affected range. I had to slow down to 50mph to make it to Susanville.

Day 6 – Sunday March 6
Reno NV, Gardnerville NV, Hawthorne NV, Tonopah NV, Beatty NV, Las Vegas NV, Henderson, NV
Seven charging stops, and I had to unhook the trailer in Reno and Las Vegas. Temperatures were cooler than I anticipated, but my range is ok to make it to my charging stops.

Day 7 – Monday March 7
I decide to go south to I-10 and I-20 instead of cutting across I-40. The gaps between superchargers are too big with the trailer. And the temperatures were forecast to be in the 30’s and 40’s (Fahrenheit).
Kingman AZ (West Andy Devine), Wickenburg AZ, Phoenix AZ (Agua Fria Freeway), Casa Grande AZ, Tucson, AZ (West River Road).

Day 8 – Tuesday March 8
Willcox AZ, Deming NM, El Paso TX, Van Horn TX
Spent a lot of time charging to 100%. There were some big gaps on Day 8. 134 miles between Wilcox and Deming. 130 miles between El Paso and Van Horn. I had to go 55-60 mph to make those legs and most of the time the speed limits were 75 mph.

Day 9 – Wednesday March 9
On the home stretch, I thought it would be pretty easy. The biggest gap between superchargers was 113 miles between Midland and Sweetwater. But from Pecos to Midland, the wind started picking up, and I had a strong crosswind. I saw the trip computer eating away at the predicted range, and I was forced to slow down. My progress became even slower as as I was forced to charge near 100% to make it between superchargers. The crosswind finally let up after sunset when I left the Cisco supercharger. My range estimates started to increase, so I was able to skip the Fort Worth supercharger and go all the way to the Arlington supercharger for my last charge before getting home.
Pecos TX, Midland TX, Sweetwater TX, Cisco TX, Arlington TX, and finally back home in Frisco TX.

In hind sight, I was pretty lucky throughout the whole trip with very decent weather with minimal precipitation and minimal winds except on the final day of my journey. If the wind suddenly picked up during one of the long 130 mile gaps, I would have been screwed. I tried to keep a backup plan going at each charging stop. I would pull up PlugShare and RV-Parky to look for Level 2 chargers in case I needed them on the way to my next charger. But that would have been disastrous if I had to pull over in the middle of the day to get an emergency charge at a Level 2 charger. It would pretty much add an extra day to my trip. If you made it this far, thanks for reading my post.

Edited to insert links.
 
Last edited:

avs007

Active Member
May 14, 2021
1,107
1,021
PacNW
Sounds Like an EPIC trip. I will say that as a new Tesla Owner who has yet to charge at a supercharger, I am VERY disappointed to see that after doing the math, the cost for that trip is equivalent to that of a Gas car that gets 26 Miles per Gallon and paying $4.00/gallon... this is nowhere near the savings it should be!!
What kinda car you have that gets 26mpg while TOWING a car on a trailer tho? I tow all the time, and only get like 8mpg while doing it.
 

im4uttx

Member
Supporting Member
May 28, 2019
402
286
Spicewood, TX
Great trip Ron! But no pictures driving the roadster anywhere on the trip? :) Probably would have complicated the drive a bit having to charge the roadster at night, but you could have had some fun while charging the Y...

I assume you're coming to Austin in a couple weeks whether we end up with tickets to GigaFest or not....
 

Big Earl

bnkwupt
Supporting Member
Jul 12, 2017
7,416
14,828
Springfield, VA
Sounds Like an EPIC trip. I will say that as a new Tesla Owner who has yet to charge at a supercharger, I am VERY disappointed to see that after doing the math, the cost for that trip is equivalent to that of a Gas car that gets 26 Miles per Gallon and paying $4.00/gallon... this is nowhere near the savings it should be!!

Did you even read the post?
 
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What kinda car you have that gets 26mpg while TOWING a car on a trailer tho? I tow all the time, and only get like 8mpg while doing it.
You're correct, I erroneously didn't take into consideration the fact he was towing a car....THAT BEING SAID, My other car is Lexus V8 that I've done long cross country road trips towing my 6000lb trailer, it gets 12mpg. By my calculations, this trip would have consumed @400 gallons of fuel.... again, at $4/gallon would be $1600 in gas. Sorry if i sounded like a hater, but while admit my original statement was wrong, I don't think I'm crazy to think I would have expected a better cost savings than just 50% of my gas guzzling truck.... obviously the car was not really intended for towing like a truck, so it would be interesting to see the cost on same kind of drive without towing.... I will also add that in fact, the supercharger cost as listed in the above trip is approx .35cents per KwH which is 3x as high as my utility cost at my house. I think ultimately, my bitch is that supercharger premium effectively takes away a HUGE amount of the savings that you should be able to obtain with an EV.
 
@gvdad Driving a Tesla is a continuous learning process, sometimes on the forums, sometimes while personally driving.

You will find Supercharging varies State to State. But in general home charging costs the least. Happily electric rates don’t change as fast as gas rates change.

Many other posters describe multi state trips with Supercharging. It is much cheaper than gas rates. There is even a popular thread on Superchargers visited that discusses locations, times and costs. Wiki - Superchargers Visited

You could add solar panels and reduce home charging costs even more. And there are threads on that as well. And often free electricity at hotels for overnight destination charging.
 
Last edited:
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My other car is Lexus V8 that I've done long cross country road trips towing my 6000lb trailer, it gets 12mpg. By my calculations, this trip would have consumed @400 gallons of fuel.... again, at $4/gallon would be $1600 in gas.

I suspect your Lexis does not allow regular fuel, so that would up your cost considerably. Premium is clocking in at $4.913, according to AAA.
 
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I went on an epic road trip with my model Y to pick up my Roadster that was in Seattle at Carl Medlock’s shop. 4774 total miles, 49 supercharger stops for at total of 2344kWh of energy at a cost of $741 for the charging at the superchargers. Here are the highlights of the trip. Click the links for each day to see more pictures.

View attachment 780168

Day 1 – Tuesday March 1
Left my hometown Frisco TX early in the morning and made the following supercharger stops.
Henrietta TX, Childress TX, Amarillo TX, Clayton NM, Trinidad CO.

Day 2 – Wednesday March 2
Departed from Trinidad CO and made the following supercharger stops.
Poncha Springs CO, Montrose CO, Green River UT, Price UT, Draper UT, Burley ID

Day 3 – Thursday March 3
Departed from Burley ID and made the following supercharger stops.
Twin Falls ID, Boise ID, Ontario OR, Baker City OR, Pendleton OR, Kennewick WA, Cle Elum, WA
The first three days were largely uneventful. I had nice clear weather and made good time through the Rockies. I ran into some light rain, mist/fog, and intermittent drizzle in Oregon and Washington states.

Day 4 – Friday March 4
Picked up the Uhaul trailer in the morning. Met Carl at his shop in Seattle. Got a nice tour. Visually inspected my roadster and loaded it up on the trailer for the trip home. As you can imagine, my range was drastically reduced by pulling the trailer. I could “easily” make about 100 miles range on a 90% charge. I only made two supercharger stops for Day 4. Federal Way WA, Kelso WA.

Day 5 – Saturday March 5
Very long day. I woke up early and hit the road with the trailer. 8 Supercharger stops.
Woodburn OR, Salem OR, Springfield OR, Myrtle Creek OR, Medford OR, Klamath Falls OR, Alturas CA, Susanville CA. Temperatures really started dropping after sundown, and I was a nervous wreck on the last leg to Susanville. The temps were in the teens and totally affected range. I had to slow down to 50mph to make it to Susanville.

Day 6 – Sunday March 6
Reno NV, Gardnerville NV, Hawthorne NV, Tonopah NV, Beatty NV, Las Vegas NV, Henderson, NV
Seven charging stops, and I had to unhook the trailer in Reno and Las Vegas. Temperatures were cooler than I anticipated, but my range is ok to make it to my charging stops.

Day 7 – Monday March 7
I decide to go south to I-10 and I-20 instead of cutting across I-40. The gaps between superchargers are too big with the trailer. And the temperatures were forecast to be in the 30’s and 40’s (Fahrenheit).
Kingman AZ (West Andy Devine), Wickenburg AZ, Phoenix AZ (Agua Fria Freeway), Casa Grande AZ, Tucson, AZ (West River Road).

Day 8 – Tuesday March 8
Willcox AZ, Deming NM, El Paso TX, Van Horn TX
Spent a lot of time charging to 100%. There were some big gaps on Day 8. 134 miles between Wilcox and Deming. 130 miles between El Paso and Van Horn. I had to go 55-60 mph to make those legs and most of the time the speed limits were 75 mph.

Day 9 – Wednesday March 9
On the home stretch, I thought it would be pretty easy. The biggest gap between superchargers was 113 miles between Midland and Sweetwater. But from Pecos to Midland, the wind started picking up, and I had a strong crosswind. I saw the trip computer eating away at the predicted range, and I was forced to slow down. My progress became even slower as as I was forced to charge near 100% to make it between superchargers. The crosswind finally let up after sunset when I left the Cisco supercharger. My range estimates started to increase, so I was able to skip the Fort Worth supercharger and go all the way to the Arlington supercharger for my last charge before getting home.
Pecos TX, Midland TX, Sweetwater TX, Cisco TX, Arlington TX, and finally back home in Frisco TX.

In hind sight, I was pretty lucky throughout the whole trip with very decent weather with minimal precipitation and minimal winds except on the final day of my journey. If the wind suddenly picked up during one of the long 130 mile gaps, I would have been screwed. I tried to keep a backup plan going at each charging stop. I would pull up PlugShare and RV-Parky to look for Level 2 chargers in case I needed them on the way to my next charger. But that would have been disastrous if I had to pull over in the middle of the day to get an emergency charge at a Level 2 charger. It would pretty much add an extra day to my trip. If you made it this far, thanks for reading my post.

Edited to insert links.
Thanks for sharing. Seems like quite the adventure.
 
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avs007

Active Member
May 14, 2021
1,107
1,021
PacNW
You're correct, I erroneously didn't take into consideration the fact he was towing a car....THAT BEING SAID, My other car is Lexus V8 that I've done long cross country road trips towing my 6000lb trailer, it gets 12mpg. By my calculations, this trip would have consumed @400 gallons of fuel.... again, at $4/gallon would be $1600 in gas. Sorry if i sounded like a hater, but while admit my original statement was wrong, I don't think I'm crazy to think I would have expected a better cost savings than just 50% of my gas guzzling truck.... obviously the car was not really intended for towing like a truck, so it would be interesting to see the cost on same kind of drive without towing.... I will also add that in fact, the supercharger cost as listed in the above trip is approx .35cents per KwH which is 3x as high as my utility cost at my house. I think ultimately, my bitch is that supercharger premium effectively takes away a HUGE amount of the savings that you should be able to obtain with an EV.
Did your cross country trips include going over any mountain passes? Just curious, because I've towed a big trailer with a Tundra V8 and a Ford F350 gasser, and those didn't get anywhere near 12mpg while towing.. I know the gas stations on the California passes are expensive AF right now. My brother just texted me a few days ago, saying the gas stations near him is already almost $7/gallon. Most of my towing was going over the Cascades and the Rockies, similar to the OP, so I know that towing over those passes is going to seriously consume a lot of energy.

But anyways, yeah, I don't think towing is an EV's strong suit, so I wouldn't knock efficiency of EV's based on Towing... I'll post back in a few weeks on one of my road trips with the Y without towing, since I'll be driving up/down the entire west coast to attend a college graduation.
 
I went on an epic road trip with my model Y to pick up my Roadster that was in Seattle at Carl Medlock’s shop. 4774 total miles, 49 supercharger stops for at total of 2344kWh of energy at a cost of $741 for the charging at the superchargers. Here are the highlights of the trip. Click the links for each day to see more pictures.

View attachment 780168

Day 1 – Tuesday March 1
Left my hometown Frisco TX early in the morning and made the following supercharger stops.
Henrietta TX, Childress TX, Amarillo TX, Clayton NM, Trinidad CO.

Day 2 – Wednesday March 2
Departed from Trinidad CO and made the following supercharger stops.
Poncha Springs CO, Montrose CO, Green River UT, Price UT, Draper UT, Burley ID

Day 3 – Thursday March 3
Departed from Burley ID and made the following supercharger stops.
Twin Falls ID, Boise ID, Ontario OR, Baker City OR, Pendleton OR, Kennewick WA, Cle Elum, WA
The first three days were largely uneventful. I had nice clear weather and made good time through the Rockies. I ran into some light rain, mist/fog, and intermittent drizzle in Oregon and Washington states.

Day 4 – Friday March 4
Picked up the Uhaul trailer in the morning. Met Carl at his shop in Seattle. Got a nice tour. Visually inspected my roadster and loaded it up on the trailer for the trip home. As you can imagine, my range was drastically reduced by pulling the trailer. I could “easily” make about 100 miles range on a 90% charge. I only made two supercharger stops for Day 4. Federal Way WA, Kelso WA.

Day 5 – Saturday March 5
Very long day. I woke up early and hit the road with the trailer. 8 Supercharger stops.
Woodburn OR, Salem OR, Springfield OR, Myrtle Creek OR, Medford OR, Klamath Falls OR, Alturas CA, Susanville CA. Temperatures really started dropping after sundown, and I was a nervous wreck on the last leg to Susanville. The temps were in the teens and totally affected range. I had to slow down to 50mph to make it to Susanville.

Day 6 – Sunday March 6
Reno NV, Gardnerville NV, Hawthorne NV, Tonopah NV, Beatty NV, Las Vegas NV, Henderson, NV
Seven charging stops, and I had to unhook the trailer in Reno and Las Vegas. Temperatures were cooler than I anticipated, but my range is ok to make it to my charging stops.

Day 7 – Monday March 7
I decide to go south to I-10 and I-20 instead of cutting across I-40. The gaps between superchargers are too big with the trailer. And the temperatures were forecast to be in the 30’s and 40’s (Fahrenheit).
Kingman AZ (West Andy Devine), Wickenburg AZ, Phoenix AZ (Agua Fria Freeway), Casa Grande AZ, Tucson, AZ (West River Road).

Day 8 – Tuesday March 8
Willcox AZ, Deming NM, El Paso TX, Van Horn TX
Spent a lot of time charging to 100%. There were some big gaps on Day 8. 134 miles between Wilcox and Deming. 130 miles between El Paso and Van Horn. I had to go 55-60 mph to make those legs and most of the time the speed limits were 75 mph.

Day 9 – Wednesday March 9
On the home stretch, I thought it would be pretty easy. The biggest gap between superchargers was 113 miles between Midland and Sweetwater. But from Pecos to Midland, the wind started picking up, and I had a strong crosswind. I saw the trip computer eating away at the predicted range, and I was forced to slow down. My progress became even slower as as I was forced to charge near 100% to make it between superchargers. The crosswind finally let up after sunset when I left the Cisco supercharger. My range estimates started to increase, so I was able to skip the Fort Worth supercharger and go all the way to the Arlington supercharger for my last charge before getting home.
Pecos TX, Midland TX, Sweetwater TX, Cisco TX, Arlington TX, and finally back home in Frisco TX.

In hind sight, I was pretty lucky throughout the whole trip with very decent weather with minimal precipitation and minimal winds except on the final day of my journey. If the wind suddenly picked up during one of the long 130 mile gaps, I would have been screwed. I tried to keep a backup plan going at each charging stop. I would pull up PlugShare and RV-Parky to look for Level 2 chargers in case I needed them on the way to my next charger. But that would have been disastrous if I had to pull over in the middle of the day to get an emergency charge at a Level 2 charger. It would pretty much add an extra day to my trip. If you made it this far, thanks for reading my post.

Edited to insert links.
 

DrGriz

Member
Sep 11, 2021
979
1,224
Idaho
@Frisco-Dad , thank you for sharing your experience. This has helped me be confident with my own plans for a cross country U-Haul trailering trip later this month. I figured that maybe with warmer temps I would have a little better breathing room for range.

One question I had, and forgive me if you already answer it. Didn't see. Tesla Owner's manual says:

Trailer Mode must always be active when towing a trailer. Some Autopilot features such as Autopark and Autosteer, as well as rear parking sensor functionality, may not be available when Trailer Mode is enabled.

So I wondered if you attempted to use Autosteer (or any other Autopilot or FSD features) while towing. They said they "may" not be available in trailer mode. It's not clear what that "may" means. I assume you used TACC, although I missed it if you said so.

If so, how did it go?
 
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DrGriz

Member
Sep 11, 2021
979
1,224
Idaho
@Frisco-Dad , thank you for sharing your experience. This has helped me be confident with my own plans for a cross country U-Haul trailering trip later this month. I figured that maybe with warmer temps I would have a little better breathing room for range.

One question I had, and forgive me if you already answer it. Didn't see. Tesla Owner's manual says:



So I wondered if you attempted to use Autosteer (or any other Autopilot or FSD features) while towing. They said they "may" not be available in trailer mode. It's not clear what that "may" means. I assume you used TACC, although I missed it if you said so.

If so, how did it go?
I can now answer my own question from personal experience. TACC is available and works great. Autosteer is not available (rational because no sensors on the trailer). There is a sway detector that can respond to trailer sway and "fight" it if needed.
 

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