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First Road Trip on Thanksgiving with both kids

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ashp, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. ashp

    ashp New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    cincinnati
    Our S85D is my wife's daily driver and I rarely get to drive it. She has put 12k miles on it in roughly five months. Our Thanksgiving road trip was from Cincinnati to Atlanta, which is roughly 460 miles. I spent hours researching every detail I can think of to minimize stress and avoid catastrophes.

    My concerns were:
    Obviously range, but range with heat at high speeds
    wait times for superchargers during the holiday rush
    being stranded with a 3 and 6 year old
    charging at our destination

    I used EVtrip planner, read forums and tried to calculate real world range, passenger weight etc. We had superchargers roughly every 100 miles along our trip. I did not want to stop 4 times so I figured I would roll the dice and try to skip some. That made our longest interval about 200 miles.

    On Wed morning, we charged to 100% and the car showed 265 miles of range. Turned on range mode and entered our destination. The car wanted us to stop at the first supercharger at 100 miles. We skipped that and hit the next one that was at 170 miles from start. No one at the supercharger besides us and we made a quick food stop. There was a McD's and and a sit down restaurant within short walking distance. Other options were within a 1/4 mile walk. The car charged faster than we ate so we went beyond the minimum charge to reach the next charger. During our stop, I calculated a 10% penalty for using AC and driving around 75 mph. Our next destination was 110 miles and was a breeze. The autopilot is a dream. It is amazing how rested you are not having to constantly drive. A definite word of caution, you do have to be attentive. There were a couple of times when we entered construction zones and the lanes shifted abruptly. The car wanted to go straight into a cement barrier and I had to jerk the wheel to regain control from the autopilot. I have also seen youtube videos where Benz drivers had rigged up a soda can taped to the steering wheel so the car would think your hand was on the wheel. The Tesla is pretty good about only bothering you after a prolonged period of not touching the wheel. Even the lightest hand rest on the wheel kept it from bothering you.

    Our next stop was Knoxville TN. The superchargers were in a strip mall parking lot. Plenty of shopping and food options. We only needed a 15 min. charge so we all got out, stretched then off we went. Chattanooga was our last Supercharger before our destination. This supercharger sucked! Its in the rental car parking lot of the airport. Nothing to walk to and not very well lit. Again no one else charging which was the case during out entire trip there and back. We charged a little extra because the next time we were going to be able to charge is when Amazon delivered a 14-30 to 15-40 adapter to our destination. They had a 14-30 outlet in their garage so we were able to charge at 24 amps.

    On the way home things were great until it started raining. No more autopilot! We also had to use the heat which I calculated was roughly a 20% penalty. We also freaked out a bit when the car kept wanting us to make a u-turn in between our 1st and 2nd supercharger. We charged beyond what was recommended then 20 miles down the road we were told to take the next exit repeatedly. We finally figured out it wanted us to go back to the previous supercharger and charge more. We ignored it and hit the next charger with 13% battery left. Our 460 mile trip home only required 2 stops and we reached the house with 9% charge. We had to ration the heat for the last 30 miles due to range anxiety but the energy graph was very accurate. It predicted very closely what the final battery percentage would be at our next stop.

    My goal in writing this is to calm the fears for the family road trip virgins. Things were way smoother and more predictable than I anticipated. Normally after a 400 mile road trip, I need to unwind, have a few cocktails and recover. With the autopilot you arrive at your destination way more relaxed and energized, if that makes sense. In the future, if the weather is clear, this will be our road trip vehicle! Best of luck to all of you!
     
  2. andrewket

    andrewket 2014 S P85DL, 2016 X P90DL (soon 100)

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Messages:
    5,047
    Nice write up.

    You can avoid the directions to make a u-turn and return to the supercharger by turning off trip planner in settings. It's still beta (alpha, really) and is more trouble than it's worth. Turn it off and set the nav to the superchargers rather than your final destination.
     
  3. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    4,398
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    The Trip Planner wanting you to turn back and charge more at the Suprcharger you just left is the biggest source of anxiety in the car in 2015. I have learned from my Miami trip to turn off the charging destinations and key in the next supercharger myself and that served us well for going to Atlanta for Thansgiving. Glad it was an uneventful trip!
     
  4. bmah

    bmah Obscure Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2015
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    742
    Location:
    Lafayette, CA
    Great first post, thanks for sharing!

    (I agree with the suggestions of turning off Trip Planner.)
     
  5. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

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    Jan 28, 2014
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    842
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Getting my car in 2 days! Is there any value in entering your entire itinerary into the Trip Planner, making some notes, then just entering the next supercharger once enroute? Is it as useful as Harrel's EVTripPlanner.com?
     
  6. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    I have found this combination the best. Use EVTripPlanner to plan out your "big picture" of the route and then use the car's Nav to go "per leg". When Trip Planner works well, it should be near identical to EVTripPlanner with two key differences: 1) EVTripPlanner will let you go into yellow/red easily when planning your route and is better able to accommodate that, 2) EVTripPlanner lets you plan PlugShare stops as well if you are going off the Supercharger network.
     
  7. CHGolferJim

    CHGolferJim Member

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    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Thanks!! Any idea how much adjustment is required for a 70D vs. the Rated Miles estimate in EVTripPlanner for 85D?
     
  8. Cyclone

    Cyclone Active Member

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    You will have to ignore the Green/Yellow/Red and look at the rated miles column to calculate it yourself. That would be the same for a 70D vs. 85D. Roughly speaking, Yellow is 20% of your 100% Rated Miles and Red is 8% of 100% Rated Miles.
     
  9. Kandiru

    Kandiru Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    503
    Location:
    USA
    OP great writeup, jut an FYI, don't forget the other Lev. 3 chargers, public and Nissan CHAdeMOs, Plugshare shows very well which dealers are friendly.
     

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