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Discussion in 'Texas' started by charliepmayer, Mar 16, 2018.
Yep, new thread started. see above
Great weekend in West Texas other than almost breaking my ankle in Closed Canyon at Big Bend Ranch State Park. Don't go past the water pool if you check out that hike. It was a pretty gnarly sprain and my Salomon hiking boot saved me from a nasty break when I landed my foot in a V-groove.
Anyways, a few thoughts on the trip.
Autopilot sucks on the river road in Big Bend Ranch State Park. The steep hills make it disengage automatically on occasion and it is not good at gauging how quick to take turns or reacts instantly to the thumb wheel if slowing down that way. It works on many sections, but some sections not well at all. Otherwise its a great drive, but is just too much for the current hardware to navigate appropriately. Autopilot also has issues with passing lane sections on 2 lane highways. It goes to the middle and then jerks to the lane once it realizes its a new lane. Also, sometimes it would ride the median on right turns. Most of the time it did fine though.
I topped up at El Cosmico and crashed in my car overnight before the drive and had to top up for an hour at Stable Performance Cars in Alpine before making it to Fort Stockton. I spent the night in Terlingua by my friends trailer, but his electrical was ungrounded so I was not able to charge at his place overnight which would have elimi9nated any range concerns.
Terlingua needs a destination charger or 2 and this would alleviate almost all the concerns of range in the area. Going from Marfa to Fort Stockton along the River Road through Terlingua is just a little too far for one trip so you will need to charge somewhere on that route for an hour or more. My friend Tony who helps run Terlingua Basecamp has been in talks with Tesla about getting a destination charger out there, but ideally Starlight Theater would be the best location for it. If you have any capability to make that happen or know who to talk to, contact him about that at Terlingua Basecamp.
I ended up doing 1345 miles on my trip at 304 whm on my RWD long range Model 3. I was not worried about efficiency between chargers, but did great on the River Road drive until I left Terlingua. I pretty much stuck to my exact route and it was 23 miles more than my planned route which came from a couple missed turns. The worst efficiency was heading back to DFW in the wind at 85mph. Some of that part was up to 380 whm.
I camped all 3 nights in my car on my trip. Next time I will keep a sleeping bag instead of a blanket. The Guadalupe Mountains were cold and that made it hard to sleep the first night. I turned on the climate at El Cosmico while charging and slept pretty well, and was normalized by the time I got to Terlingua for sleeping. Not way too much room with a cooler and a spare in the car, but enough for me.
I would also not do this drive without a spare tire. You are way too far off the grid for roadside assistance. I did not do much offroad driving other than parking for hiking trails and my friends place in Terlingua.
Overall it was an awesome test of the capabilities and a great trip. I would have pulled it off the entire trip for under $100 if I didn't injure my ankle. I definitely will be going back again soon, and hopefully there will be more charging locations available in Terlingua soon.
Oh yeah, a couple other things to note. Which were also mentioned in some other threads.
Autopilot's programmed speed limits are wrong on so many areas in West Texas and limit the speed. Most of the time the speed was listed incorrectly below the posted speed and autosteer limited it. Usually it was not a big deal on areas when the road was empty and I was being effiicent, but still super annoying. In between Guadalupe Mountain to Van Horn it was 15 below the speed limit and limited me to that.
One other thing that may have its own thread is that people flashed their brights at me dozens of times since they thought I had my brights on. Sometimes I would flash my brights back to let them know those were my brights, but otherwise I tried to get better at using brights most of the time and making sure they saw me turn them off as we got close. Semis did this frequently and well over a dozen times.
rideincircles: nice write-up! I'll get with Tony at Terlingua Basecamp.
Autopilot also has issues with passing lane sections on 2 lane highways. It goes to the middle and then jerks to the lane once it realizes its a new lane. Also, sometimes it would ride the median on right turns.
Autopilot's programmed speed limits are wrong on so many areas in West Texas
Agreed - 100% correct on both of these.
Can anyone tell us how to submit this as a bug report to the proper team at Tesla?
It's not unique to West Texas. The navigation system's main focus is freeways, and even there it is lacking (eg. I-35 South of Waco, post-construction, Hwy 290 near Houston, post-construction). Coverage on two lane rural roads has a long way to go.
There are many places where cruise control works fine but EAP is hopeless because it drops to 45 mph in so many places. ... and when the change happens, it is quick and drastic. A real hazard for getting rear ended.
My X also reliably goes into panic mode on EAP in several places near home (on a 35 mph urban street). I've done the car "bug report" several times, but gotten no feedback and the problem persists.
Slowly but surely I keep dropping hints on the Big Bend NP facebook page that they need to add EV chargers or at least a couple 50 amp plugs for EV charging outside of the Rio Grande Campground. So far they said no EV charging is in the plans, but at least I keep suggesting it that it will be needed. I still have not brought my Model 3 out there yet, but may visit again in April. I may just park it in RGV to charge and do the nature hike or the river trail to the Hot Springs while that is going on. Still recovering from my ankle sprain 10 days after my trip, but I hope I can do some hiking on my trip in April. My ankle and foot are still too swollen for most of my regular shoes as of now.
As far as the autopilot issues go out here, I just hope it does not require the processor upgrade to solve the current issues. Right now that is not in my plans, but do wish I would have purchased the upgrade for $3k while I still had the chance.
The only way that'd solve it is they re-implement the AP V1 feature of reading speed limits off of signs. Don't know the details but that might have some legal hurdles regarding their past contracts with Mobileye.
I am heading back to Big Bend NP next weekend in the Chisos campground. Any idea if there are any 120v outlets available to charge around the lodge in the chisos mountains? I was hoping to see if any were available and talk with management about possibly seeing when they will install some chargers around there.
Good luck with this. National Parks are not at all EV friendly as a general rule. Plugging into a random outlet can at the very least get a severe scolding for theft of electricity, and likely a ticket if you push things. I'm sure it depends on management attitudes, but I certainly wouldn't rely on it. Even though they are concessionaires, they still are under park control. Check Plugshare -- there is a listing there in the basin for an L1 plug, but they just didn't get caught, I suspect.
You might get lucky and find a site open in Rio Grande Village with a NEMA 14-50 for $35 a day. Failing that, the RV parks in Terlingua will help you out, no doubt. EVs would be an anomaly there, and they are partial to weird.
Not exactly what you are asking for but might help you in this area; The RV park on the east end of Sanderson has 50A breaker's NEMA 14-50 plugs. Talked to the manager (owner?) and he didn't really name a price but I told him we drew about 70c/hr electricity at most, and he said if he isn't around just stuff money that you "think is fair" into the butt of the pink pig at the RV check-in hut.
Not every site has the 14-50s, the list of sites that do is painted onto the side of that check-in hut (which is also a bathroom I think).
I'm going to add it to plugshare tonight.
If relying on campsites and RV sites, consider acquiring the third-party 5-30 adapter ($85) in case you run into a situation when you have access to 120v/30A but not 240v/50A.
Campgrounds have TT-30 outlets, NOT NEMA 5-30. Please don't buy/make a NEMA 5-30 adapter hoping to charge at a campground! Also note that the TT-30 will give about 9 mph charging on a Model S/X.
TT-30 Adapter for Tesla Model S/X/3 Gen 2
Weird looking thing.
Here is a more detailed discussion:
Nema TT-30 style plug adapter? | Tesla
$60 for those of us with Gen1 connectors (Prior to 2017 I believe)
TT-30 Adapter for Tesla Model S and X Gen 1
What outlets do they have at Big Bend National Park? Do I need any other adapters? I just have what came with the car. Worst case scenario is drive to Big Bend and back just drive in my friends car around the park. IT should be able to handle Fort Stockton to chisos and back.
This looks like the only one I could order today and get it tomorrow before the trip.
Edit: Based on comments and reviews, it sounds like this wouldn't work, but the Tesla comments were a couple years old.
Would be good to find an outlet ahead of time near your house and see what happens.
I bought the 220 plug adapter for the "old style" clothes dryers that have those angled plugs. I've run into those types of outlets several times, which prompted me to get that adapter.
The kind of adapters that adapt 50A plug to a 30A socket are dangerous and should not be used. They are a fire hazard because they baypass one of the protection against overloading the circuit. I'm surprised it is legal to sell those. If you want an adapter for NEMA 10-30, buy the one from Tesla that directly connects to the UMC and set the correct current limit.
I'm pretty sure Tesla doesn't sell that one anymore. If one is desperate, and there is a plug ... Always set to scheduled charging and set the current limit before the charging starts, just to be careful.
I will answer my own question that plugshare says the RV outlets in Big Bend are 14-50. If my friends go hike Lost Mine Trail I will probably go charge for 4 hours or so. It uses 2 hours of charging just to get from Chisos and back, but I will play that by ear based on how many miles I have. I may just park my car at the Chisos campsite until I leave If there are no range issues getting to Fort Stockton and back.
No time to worry about other adapters, but will try and get a few other options for any other road trips.
Tesla just doesn't sell an adapter for every socket. My most used is the TT-30, for which I have to manually set the current limit to 24A, because it adapts to the Tesla 14-50 plug, which tells the car is can go to 40A.
I'd rather have the adapter and do a manual limit than have no charging option while camping!
Tesla does sell NEMA 10-30 UMC adapters for both Gen 1 and Gen 2.
While Tesla does not make a TT-30 UMC adapter, EVSEadapters do make those for both Gen 1 and Gen 2. These are a bit expensive ($65 and $85), but they guarantee that the car will limit the current to 24A without you having to remember to do it. That peace of mind is worth the added price IMHO.