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First 1200 mile road trip experience in the 21 MY

jacksonlui

Member
Oct 15, 2020
54
43
san diego
We took our first road trip from San Diego to Yosemite then to Santa Cruz, Monterey, SLO, Solvang, Irvine, and then home.
I was a little bit nervous, especially around Yosemite since there weren't that many charging options around the mountains.
I did a lot of research and reading and combined ABRP with Tesla's navigation which worked out perfectly.
My ABRP settings provided forgiveness (320wh, 300lbs extra, 90mph max speed).
ABRP helped create the route plan which I printed out and then for each leg I used the car's navigation.
I had set my battery to display percentage and then used the TRIP tab to get a preview of my arrival SOC.
I had set my tire pressure to 43psi for the trip and will drop it back to 40psi.
I've almost always used FSD and I did better than the expectation allowing me to skip a supercharger here and there.
I've found that it was better for me to charge to 80% each time so it gave my family extra time to stretch their legs.
In the future, I think it's sufficient to just use the computer's navigation suggestions as long as you use the TRIP to preview your arrival SOC. It's very accurate.
Then you can make suggestions based on what you're comfortable with. I like to not go lower than 15% and I like to have as much charge as possible when I reach my destination so I can actually drive around and not worry about charging. Tesla supercharger locations are in great places!

The car did most of the driving and I didn't feel tired when I arrived to each destination. I even drove overnight and hiked 6 miles that morning without issues.
FSD is pretty awesome and the engineering is fabulous. The only gripes I have about the FSD is that it wants to change lanes too often and it won't let me stay in the HOV lane. I eventually turned off auto lane change and ignored it for the rest of the trip. I was stuck in LA traffic on the way back and the auto pilot was pretty terrible. It was not smooth. It accelerated way too fast and hit the brakes too hard. The software needs some work here. The acceleration should take into account of the current and recent speed as a coefficient so it's smooth in traffic. I had to turn off auto pilot and went old school.
There were many sections where there was no LTE or 3G reception and the voice commands wouldn't work. The car's functions should be independent of cellular reception.

Overall it was a good trip. I was worried that supercharging was a hassle and it wasn't. I would recommend tinting the windows and windshield for heat rejection.
The trunk space was great and I especially love the sub trunk which seem to keep the drinks cool.
I ended averaging 280wh and saved 50% compared to gas. Max speed set to 10mph over speed limit and always used Chill Mode.
The low center gravity of the vehicle made mountain driving easy.

I use FSD as much as I can and it would be nice if it was more obvious because sometimes I have to double check to see if FSD is on versus basic auto pilot, it can be dangerous.
Also, Park (black), Drive (green), Reverse (red) should be in different colors and should be more obvious.

I've made an appointment to put LLumar Air Blue 80% on the windshield (basically clear/no tint) and the car continues to get better. I'm still waiting for my first major software update.
 
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Kandiru

Active Member
Oct 20, 2014
1,262
416
USA
Welcome to the club, when i got my MS in 2015, everyone kept telling me "wait until your battery dies" conditioning paranoia in me and my family.
"Half the speed, double the range" should be engraved on the dash, this strategy saved me not once in the pre-supercharger days.
 

LionelHutz

Member
Jan 12, 2019
236
229
CA
Funny, I did a truncated version of your trip (SD to Yosemite and back) and had an almost identical experience, albeit with regular AP rather than FSD.

I preferred Nav's charging routing over ABRP's--even if ABRP is better optimized for time it requires more stops with more potential for annoyance from broken/full chargers, and doesn't give much time to relax at any given stop. I never found Nav to be more than ~2% optimistic, and it was usually conservative.

I also found AP to be very, very poor in LA traffic. I had to take control more times than I could count to avoid getting too close to barriers or other cars, or charging up on stopped traffic at 70mph. AP jammed on the brakes so hard at one point that it sent everything in the car flying. I was actually quite surprised at how badly the system performed. It did fine on the open road, which isn't much of a challenge.

I was glad to have high quality windscreen heat rejection film, as well as an el cheapo cover for the panoramic glass. Central valley and LA basin were >100F and the car stayed comfortable.
 

jacksonlui

Member
Oct 15, 2020
54
43
san diego
Yeah, I use ABRP as a framework and decided how long I wanted to charge. I usually charged longer because I had wanted a longer break and took my time which saved me 1 extra charging stop. I got nervous when I yosemite because there were no supercharges around and we were in the mountains with lots of hills. I didn't drive in yosemite, just parked in the valley and hiked everywhere. Too bad the shuttles were not in service. FSD was good in the open road, took the driving out of driving which was nice. I didn't feel the need to speed and wasn't tired, I don't like driving much. I had a bag of chips and FSD, what more can a guy ask for besides a recliner while I drive :)
 

Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
243
363
Maryland
As far as i know there are some chargers at the valley. Not Superchargers but should top it off after a long hike
According to PlugShare, there are 8 J1772s and one destination charger in the valley. NREL and NPS are working to add more. This article says they're adding 12 to Yosemite this year. Based on the check-ins, I think 6 of the 8 on PlugShare are from the batch of 12 that NPS is adding. So that means there are 6 more to come by the end of the year, for a total of 14. (Plus the one lonely Tesla destination charger at the Ahwahnee.) It's a start. For in the valley, I would say level 2 is what is needed. You're going to be hiking and stuff, so if you're staying for a while there's plenty of time to slow-charge.

For day trippers, the planned Supercharger at El Portal will also help, although it looks to be only 4 stalls.

Adding a lot more charging may require an upgrade to the entire electrical supply to the valley. I think I read about a plan to do that, but I can't find it at the moment.

ETA: Looks like some of the additional chargers will be at Tuolumne Meadows, which is great for people who want to enjoy some of the park that isn't just the valley!
 
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Mulkogi

#teamblue
May 11, 2021
205
197
SF Bay Area
According to PlugShare, there are 8 J1772s and one destination charger in the valley. NREL and NPS are working to add more. This article says they're adding 12 to Yosemite this year. Based on the check-ins, I think 6 of the 8 on PlugShare are from the batch of 12 that NPS is adding. So that means there are 6 more to come by the end of the year, for a total of 14. (Plus the one lonely Tesla destination charger at the Ahwahnee.) It's a start. For in the valley, I would say level 2 is what is needed. You're going to be hiking and stuff, so if you're staying for a while there's plenty of time to slow-charge.

For day trippers, the planned Supercharger at El Portal will also help, although it looks to be only 4 stalls.

Adding a lot more charging may require an upgrade to the entire electrical supply to the valley. I think I read about a plan to do that, but I can't find it at the moment.

ETA: Looks like some of the additional chargers will be at Tuolumne Meadows, which is great for people who want to enjoy some of the park that isn't just the valley!
Super useful info. Thanks
 
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jacksonlui

Member
Oct 15, 2020
54
43
san diego
The problem with that is on weekends the parking is so challenging that it's unlikely you will find a charger and many times ICE cars will just park there.
I topped it off at fishcamp to 100% and that seemed to work pretty good.
 

TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
1,540
993
Belleville IL
Once Tesla adds Way Points the built in Nav system will be a much better tool and reduce the need to use third party app’s. The major issue with ABRP is its lack of “turn by turn” directions to allow a better understanding of the route it creates.
 

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