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Great Road Trip - Key Observations

Discussion in 'Model S' started by robatbeach, Jul 26, 2014.

  1. robatbeach

    robatbeach Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Maryland
    Many of you have already had this experience, but we packed up the Tesla (who needs a van or SUV) and our one year old and went on our longest road trip yet. Previously, we had only done Morgantown, WV-MD and NY-MD. This time we went all the way to Iowa. I just love mentioning that to people, because many still don't expect that you can do that in an Electric car (that's what's so awesome about Tesla).

    So key observations:
    a) car worked flawlessly. I did have a couple false alarm warning messages that self-cleared at one point on the way out that went away after a reboot (one of the few times I've needed to reboot in 8 months of ownership)
    b) superchargers are awesome and convenient. We had used them before, but not on this sort of trip. They were well placed. We skipped as needed depending on whether the little one was asleep or not. For stops where we weren't eating dinner, lunch or stopping for the night, by the time we changed her and used the bathroom, it had already been enough time to get enough range back. I never felt that I was extending the trip or waiting on the supercharger. Only one stall at one location that seemed to not want to sync with the car; others worked fine.
    c) destination charging is still a challenge. At least Sioux City had just put in a J1772 chargepoint station. However, the hotel wouldn't provide a plug, so had to jog or walk 2 miles to and from the sole J1772 station. Since not charging overnight usually, it is just too slow especially if the station is not right near what you're doing for the day. 30A doesn't cut it for destination charging.
    d) AC better on battery range than windows/pano roof once above a certain speed; it's been said before in other threads, but easily confirmed for us, so I thought I'd reiterate.
    e) you do start to drive differently; despite owning for 7+ months without having changed driving habits much, I definitely changed driving habits on this sort of road trip to get better range (even when I didn't need to; was just more cognizant of it).
    f) I have yet to see ICE'ing at superchargers and did not have to wait at any superchargers. So, been lucky. That included places whose signs indicated that general parking was allowed. However, most of these superchargers are out of the way enough of prime parking.
    g) many Tesla owners you meet at superchargers are incredibly friendly and its fun to swap stories, but per a few threads here, there are some folks that completely ignore you and won't even look at you when you get to your car and they're supercharging.
    h) some Superchargers have better food and bathroom options around them than others
    - we're not large national chain restaurant fans and that limits our options, but there are many superchargers with good options within walking distance
    - you take your life into your own hands when walking some times; Cranberry Twp was the worst to get to the Primanti Bros. I dropped my wife and baby off, made it across the turnpike overpass reasonably well given no real sidewalk and then almost got mowed down by a BMWer making a left who then cursed me out even though I had the Walking Man symbol (did she somehow know I was a Tesla owner and was just envious ;-))

    Continuing to love this car. Makes me want to take some more road trips. :biggrin::biggrin:
     
  2. drewnick

    drewnick Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Boca Raton, FL
    Awesome post. Thanks for the insight. We take delivery on Tuesday and start an East Coast road trip (start: Miami | destination: unknown) and a lot of this was good to know. We've done plenty of East Coast roadtrips in our Suburban, but with two kids, we decided we can do it in the Tesla. We'll have owned it for 3 days (2 in the shop for wrap) when we commence.

    I've already encountered point c (destination charging) in my planning. That will improve with time.

    Also looking forward to the "supercharger experience" in meeting other owners. I am not over-outgoing but like to make friendly conversation so looking forward to making some acquaintances with kindred spirits at the SCs while we wait.

    I'm already working on the Epic summer '15 roadtrip schedule.
     
  3. robatbeach

    robatbeach Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Location:
    Maryland
    Enjoy your trip. You'll love the car. You won't have to wait long at superchargers where you're not planning to be for lunch and dinner if you plan to reach the lunch, dinner and end of the day locations with a lower charge. For any overnight stop, we stayed at a hotel close to a supercharger, so it really was being at the destination for almost 2 weeks that was our most inconvenient charging.

    Your biggest challenge may be getting used to the car, regen, not getting too ridiculous over your new acceleration capability, maintaining a KW/mile rather than maintaining a particular speed, and other techniques since you'll be so new to the car, but really those are all easy to pick up.

    Have fun!

     

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