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Help me road trip near the Rockies

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Shinteetah, Jan 18, 2016.

  1. Shinteetah

    Shinteetah Member

    Nov 17, 2015
    I'm considering a long run along the SC corridor, but will need to break north around Missoula, MT and head to Calgary. I searched for threads here, but as charger availability seems to change frequently, I thought I'd ask anyway.

    PlugShare says there are some chargers along the route, but most seem to be for overnight guests only, and I don't have the time to stop overnight every 200 miles. Others haven't had anyone check in for a year or more so I'm not sure if they're still an option. Can anyone advise if there are quick-charging options in the area?

    (I currently don't have dual chargers, but I'm considering it, so if that would be a good idea before the trip, please tell me!)

  2. cpa

    cpa Member

    May 17, 2014
    Central Valley
    I did a quick check on PlugShare and there is an RV Park in Great Falls across the street from a Heritage Inn. Five bucks to charge all night. Lethbridge is about 190 miles away--cold weather might make this run dicey, (I did not check EVTripplanner for elevation gains/losses) nor am I familiar if you will be driving into a north wind either. Anyway, there is a Sun Country 90A plug at Water Pure & Simple in Lethbridge. Dual chargers will permit 72A charging for a minimum of 15kW at 208V, or about 45 miles added per hour. Not sure of the distance from Lethbridge to Calgary, but 3-4 hours in Lethbridge ought to see you through to your destination.

    If you need to travel to Missoula and then north to Kalispell it looks like you are destined to use NEMA 14-50 plugs. I have not bothered to check distance and usage along that route.

    Hope this gives you some food for thought. Dual chargers might be the way to go!
  3. StaceyS

    StaceyS Member

    Jul 10, 2015
    Bend, OR United States
    Dual chargers are nice if you plan to use anything over 40amps. (Note: Dual chargers will give you up to 80a charging.)

    If you're "crossing a charger desert", try to plan your trip so you spend the night somewhere in the "desert". This is the easiest way get through remote areas because waiting around in a remote RV park for a NEMA 14-50 plug is neither fast or very fun.

    If you've got a route where you need 2 charge stops to get between Superchargers, either consider a different route, or plan for something to do while you're waiting. I note if you go up to Coeur d' Alene in Northern ID, you can drive north on Hwy 95 to Creston, where there's a Tesla HPWC (doesn't give the amperage, maybe you can call them and find out). From there, you might get a meal while you add range, and the spend the night somewhere between there and the Revelstoke Supercharger.

    Best thing to do is call ahead as you're making these plans. Plugshare doesn't always have the current or correct information. If an RV park is open, make sure they have "50 amp hookups". RV parks don't really understand the time impact that a 30 amp outlet has for us compared to a 50 amp outlet (the 30 amp outlet is 120v at RV parks, the 50amp outlet is a 240v NEMA 14-50). There are way more RV parks than what shows up in Plugshare. Again, call ahead and find out before you drive out there and discover their closed, or their 50amp services are actually rented to long-term tenants.

    If it were me, I'd add a day and drive further west and aim for the Hwy 97 corridor in Canada. Lots of SCs along there, and I'd enjoy the drive through the mountains. I'd SC in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, head north to Creston, top up there while eating dinner, and then spend the night somewhere along Canada Hwy 3 heading west. Next day, drive to Penticton where there's a ChaDeMo charger, or if you can make it, Kelowna Supercharger (depending on where you spend the night and if you can fully charge overnight). Then you're back on the SC network all the way to Calgary.

    There seems to be lots of charging options along Hwy 3 along the border. For something like this, do whatever you can to get your car is plugged in every moment its not driving you down the road. Stop for lunch? Do it where there's a charger. Spend the night? Make sure you can plug in and end up with a full charge the next morning.
  4. roblab

    roblab Active Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Angwin (Napa Valley) CA
    @cpa and StaceyS

    Excellent advice. I bought my first Model S before there were any superchargers. We also didn't have PlugShare. We did a lot of calling motels to find those few that had a 14-50 outlet, and then we drove, a little slower for more range, to an RV Park. During the 3 or 4 hours there, we would take a walk (like a couple miles, once while it was snowing) into town for some pie. We scoped out the town first on Google Street View. Then on to the next overnight motel, if needed. We had one stretch of 350 miles we did this way quite often.

    Google will also find the 14-50 plugs. Search for "50 amp RV parks near (where you are going)".

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