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First Road Trip with X - mixed feelings

Discussion in 'Model X' started by caesartheday, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. caesartheday

    caesartheday Member

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    I was really looking forward to taking our first trip in the Model X. Not a huge trip - easy LA - Las Vegas jaunt...here are some of my "deep thoughts" from our first multi-stop trip.

    In the past my door-to-door from the burbs of LA to Vegas took about 3.5 hours. That's usually with a quick pit stop for bathroom and gas. This time...well - the charging stops in Barstow and in Baker (I didn't want to risk getting to baker on 6% charge) took about 6.
    Stopped in Barstow for a quick charge just to make sure I got to baker with a decent reserve - traffic to Vegas can be unpredictable not to mention a lot of uphill climb in 118 degree temps.

    Really wish that Superchargers were located in a more "convenient" place - instead the Barstow chargers are in the far corner of the far corner of an obscure hotel parking lot next to Chili's. Taking the trip with 2 kids - sitting in the car wasn't an option. So we schlepped in 118 degree heat to the outlets to use the potty - a really inconvenient walk through a car-wash and over the bushes to get to the road.

    Baker supercharger is really big - shaded by immense solar panels. But also in the most remote area of an already deserted by the devil himself desert landscape. This is where we wanted to recharge to at least 80% to get to Vegas with a decent reserve for a few runs. That took about an hour - again sitting in a car not an option with kids - so schlepped again to Mad Greeks for some gyros - at least a third-mile walk. The temperature on the world's largest rectal thermometer showed 116 - probably broken because it felt like devil's taint.

    We made it to Sin City with about 30% reserve - enough to go to a restaurant and back.

    So - the whole thing made me miss the quick squirt of gas and be on the road in 5 minutes paradigm from just months past. I know, I know - I'll hear from some of you about that sentiment for sure. I really wish that the charging was faster and/or that chargers were in areas more populated and frequented by human beings instead of lizards and tumbleweed. For reference, another SC on that stretch is in Yermo, with the Eddie World candy shop - as if I'm not a masochist enough to drive with kids to Vegas - much less with a sugar rush.
    Really not looking forward to the trip back because of the extended stay experience that is charging on the road - especially in those locations. I'm sure that elsewhere there are SC's that are within civilized areas of the country - some I hear even have wifi and lounges...but for the LA-Vegas trip - next time I think I'll fly and fully recharge with free peanuts on Southwest flight.
    Heading up to San Francisco in the fall - let's see if that's any better.
     
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  2. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

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    I assume u have a 75 ? I have done this multiple times in both P85D and XP100... depending on your comfort level of charging ..my charging stops typically are less than 30min ..I don’t do Barstow ..Baker ..it’s one or other ..in early days only had Barstow ;).,it’s easy now with so many chargrers ..primm ..south strip
     
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  3. Seanjay

    Seanjay Member

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    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Southwest stopped serving peanuts last Tuesday.

    Seriously.
     
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  4. Yinn

    Yinn Active Member

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    It gets easier the more trips you do. You learn your car, what the range indicator means, short charging, and you get better at planning.

    I too used to be a time keeper. I'm famous doing a 8.5 hour, 525 mile trip in a about 6-6.5 hours by only stopping once in a gas car. Usually it would be 4 hours in, with the gas needle near empty, the wife insisting that that is indeed the limit and we need to stop.

    I used to time those stops to make sure they were fast and efficient. I had a right off the highway exit in mind and I'd drop off the wife and kids at McDonalds to use the restroom and pick up some food. I'd go right next door to get gas and use the facilities while it filled. Once filled, pick up the wife and kids, strap in and back on the road. Eat in the car. I'm not sure I could shave any more time off of it, but it still added 20-25minutes to the drive. (My wife did not appreciate the suggestion that we could make it the whole way if I was allowed to purchase a Diesel Cayenne)

    We still do that trip to visit family in a 75D. The first time I tried it, we ran it empty and charged it full to try to cut out as many stops as possible. It took forever, the first charge alone took over an hour and the total trip took almost 12 hours and turns out I lost a lot of time and range by travelling 15-20 minute out of my way to charge. Now, I stop 5 times for charging for an average of 15-20 minutes each time, still a bathroom break and quick stretch, and keep my state of charge between 30%-80% because that's where it seems to charge the quickest since it tapers off at the ends.

    My actual time on the road is still about 6-6.5 hours, but I have an additional 1.5 hours in charging so it's still longer. But 8 hours is a heck of a lot better than 12. My other less urgent family members will do the same trip in a gas car in about 8-10 hours typically because they stop just as frequently (and often for longer) than I do.

    One interesting thing is that I did the trip again in a gas car and found that I now realized just how exhausted I would get after 3 hours or so. The trip is mentally slower but mentally easier when you have your next SC stops coming up.
     
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  5. testarossa

    testarossa Member

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    arizona
    Living in Phoenix we go on several road trips a year with kids on tow to So. Cal. and Colorado. It's one of the reasons why I'm still on the fence about buying a Tesla when you add a new element what to do with the entertainment of children in the middle of heat or cold while the battery is recharging.
     
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  6. bob_p

    bob_p Active Member

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    Road trips in our 2012 S P85 were an adventure - especially in 2013 before there were any superchargers.

    Our P85 had a practical range of around 170 miles (based on keeping charge between 10-90%, driving at posted speed limit + 5 MPH) - much less than the official EPA rated range of 265 (or 212 miles using 80% of charge).

    When we took a 2500 mile road trip several years ago, we had to stop at every supercharger - usually with less than 2 hours of driving time followed by 30 to 60 minutes of charging (often needing to get to 90% or above, which takes longer).

    The experience with our S 100D and X 100D is quite different. For road trips, they get much closer to the rated range. We can typically go 3+ hours of driving between charging stops - and often can leave the chargers with less than a 90% charge to get to the next stop. While this is still more frequent than having to stop to get gas with an ICE - the spacing with the 100 battery packs is reasonable - and far enough that we sometimes want to stop earlier than needed for a restroom break or snacks.

    Smaller battery packs will require more frequent (and possibly longer) stops - that's the trade-off in saving the cost of the larger battery pack - but it's still better than the experience in the early 85 (and smaller battery packs) with RWD...
     
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  7. idoco

    idoco Member

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    I've haven't done the LA to LV trip personally. But according to EVTripPlanner it's a 3:55 minute trip to the strip that includes one 15 minute charging stop.

    For the return trip you could then charge at a destination charger near the strip while you are in LV. Or use the North LV SC while having a meal.

    EV Trip Planner

    Fueling on a long trip with an EV is a different paradigm than with an ICE.

    ICE: full-->1/4 tank-->full-->1/4 tank--> full
    EV: full-->1/4'ish-->3/4 -->1/4 -->fullish.

    You don't need to fill up every time. You just need to recharge enough to get you to the next destination with enough buffer for safety. Also if time is a concern and if possible you want to avoid charging below 15% and above 85%. The charge rates are slower below and above those numbers.
     
  8. HandleX

    HandleX Member

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    SF Bay Area
    Took our first road trip a week after picking up the X at the end of June. I'm also a "get there as fast as you can traveler," so I knew that with supercharging I was going to have to ease up on my expectations.

    For the trip we went from the Bay Area to Orange County, and then to Vegas (with a preteen and a 4 year old). For the first part of the road trip we packed a lunch and went from San Jose to the Kettleman Supercharger. To ease range anxiety we did a 10 minute stop at the Holister (Casa De Fruita) Supercharger. At Kettleman we did about a 45 minute lunch, enjoyed being in our "exclusive" lobby, and bought some swag. On the road again I wanted some driving around miles for the OC, but wanted to avoid superchargers in busy areas, so we stopped at the Santa Clarita Supercharger. We then went to our resort in the OC.

    For the OC to Vegas portion we stopped off at the Yermo Supercharger which is right off the freeway. When all our stuff is in the car we have one adult stay and the other takes the kids to the bathroom. At Eddie's World I cleaned the windshield while the wife and kids went inside, explored, and took care business. They returned and I made a quick trip through Eddie's World, and then we left. The kids enjoyed the stop and we got away with only one purchase there. Also, they are constantly cleaning the rest rooms there, so even though they have a lot of foot traffic everything is clean. For driving around Vegas miles you can stop in Primm or the Vegas Blvd Supercharger. The Vegas Blvd Supercharger is nice and we ate at the Lazy Dog Restaurant one night which everyone enjoyed.

    So yes, time is added to the trip when having to Supercharge, but that doesn't make the trip worse. I embrace the stops as opportunities to explore and bond more with the kids. At Kettleman I was able throw down some Tesla knowledge on the family. My wife and kids tried out some shirts and I bought a hat. At Yermo I enjoyed the kids telling me about all the candy they saw. Even at the short stop at the Casa de Fruita (Holister) Supercharger my oldest marveled at all the old equipment on display.

    Do I still drive fast between stops? Yes.
    At stops do I stress about getting back on the road? No. Now I just enjoy the family more, because I'm not in GO, GO, GO mode.
     
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  9. ToddS

    ToddS Member

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    Jupiter, FL
    It's definitely a different mind set for getting places. It is a slower pace, but with AutoPilot, I don't feel the need to get there as much.

    Also, know that the car learns your driving habits and the estimates will be much closer after a while.
     
  10. ba2002

    ba2002 Member

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    I'm waiting for a bigger battery X before I replace our ICE road trip vehicle for the same reasons.
     
  11. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Active Member

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    'with kids'
    every 3mo or so we make the 8hr each way drive to see family and grandparents. I make 0 stops for gas and 2 bathroom stops, picking up food for the road on one of those.
    With the EV planner, most of the vehicles on the list are easily over 10hrs. Ugh. Tesla pickup had better have ridiculous range. 8hrs is right at the tipping point of meltdowns
     
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  12. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

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    #12 jboy210, Aug 9, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    I bought an airplane because of trips like that. 4 hours at 150 knots is 600 nm (700 statue miles). California to Montana or Colorado non-stop.

    But you know what happens. Hey, let's go visit your mom in eastern Wisconsin. Now it is NorCal to Wyoming, 1 hr on ground, Wyoming to Minnesota. 45 minutes on ground, and then to eastern WI,

    Bottom line, no matter what you travel in you, will want to travel further faster and with fewer stops. Now, I am waiting for a Star Trek transporter.
     
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  13. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I think you are spending more time charging than is necessary; the last 10% or so of battery capacity takes much more time than the first 70%. I appreciate that you are a new owner and you want to be sure to have an adequate buffer, and that’s fine. With time you will get a clearer sense of how much buffer you need and I think you will spend much less time charging. That said, it is certainly true that long distance trips take more time in a Tesla than in an ICE. Personally, I hate to sit in a car for more than 90 minutes at a time and I welcome the charge breaks. But I readily concede that summer in the desert is no time to be outside and sitting in the car is boring. ICE drivers who are content to sit still for many hours driving and are used to 3 minute gas stops may have trouble adjusting to the slower pace of EV long distance travel.

    You haven’t stated if you have a 75 or a 100. If the latter you should only need to charge once for the trip you describe.
     
  14. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Active Member

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    I'm actually back to consider flying the trip. For a while you couldn't find a ticket under $500 (and this is a sub 2hr flight) but prices for this jog have come down to $200 before extras.
    Normal trip: Have breakfast, leave at 8, get there 4pm, have dinner. $250 total gas and tolls roundtrip

    Flight?
    leave at 8am
    1hr drive to airport(weekday rush hour traffic)
    2hr for check in and security
    1130am takeoff
    1:30pm arrival
    2pm get bags
    2:30 rent large vehicle w' carseats
    1hr drive to family
    Arrive at 3:30 assuming no delays, total cost $1200

    All of my airplanes are in the shop. If only I could drive to Europe.
     
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  15. jboy210

    jboy210 Supporting Member

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    Yep GA has it all over commercial airlines in time. For us it was drive to hangar 15 min. Pull plane out of hangar, put car in hangar, and taxi out 20 minutes. Fly from Bay Area to say Scottsdale 2.5 hours, they bring rental car to airplane so time from airplane to car 5-10 min. So total 3.5 hours.

    Downside is cost. $350/hr aircraft operating expense + $40/day for rental car.
     
  16. Anzir

    Anzir Supporting Member

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    Central Florida
    So I tried the website for a trip that we recently took in our ICE SUV last weekend. It recommended we stop at a supercharger but not charge... is that normal? The second supercharger on the list it said to charge for 37 minutes.

    This is the text from the "details" tab:

    Charge at Altamonte Springs, FL Supercharger from 229 RM to 229 RM (There's no need to charge here)
    355 East Altamonte Drive Altamonte Springs, Florida United States 32701 Altamonte Springs FL
     
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  17. TexasTeslaRacing

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    North Dallas, Texas
    The plain or roasted kind?
     
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  18. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Active Member

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    I'm jealous! Can't wait until everyone owns a flying car. the skies will look like WWIII
     
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  19. Barklikeadog

    Barklikeadog Active Member

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    fixed :)
     
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  20. idoco

    idoco Member

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    It's normal for an ICE SUV not to charge at a supercharger. It's a really smart trip planner :rolleyes:

    But seriously...the only time I've ever seen that is when adding a charging stop manually. If it's not needed it might look like that. Post the link to the trip (or the starting and ending points).
     
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