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Just returned from a 3 week roadtrip in all types of conditions

Discussion in 'Model 3' started by RachH, May 3, 2019.

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Have you taken a road trip in your Tesla yet?

  1. Yes

    73.6%
  2. No

    5.2%
  3. Not yet :-)

    21.3%
  1. RachH

    RachH "Christine" Model 3 Blk Obsidian, LR, AWD

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hello fellow Tesla enthusiasts!

    I know there have been a LOT of posts about road trips here and there however I literally just experienced every type of road condition and weather in one long 3 week road trip so figured I would share. If you want 'technical specifics' I am happy to share them with you in a PM but this post is strictly about the overall experience and the 'fun' of it.

    On a personal note, I used to love to drive then somewhere along the way (probably due to the soul sucking traffic in LA) I started hating it. That is until I got my Tesla- Model 3, AWD, LR. Now I love driving again so that makes the purchase all the more worth it. Even traffic is better due to the auto pilot and great sound system. And after this road trip, I love the car even more. I would go through the ordering process all over again (I was a day 1 reservation holder and lets just say it didn't go that great)- it's that good. Best car I have ever owned hands down.

    I got laid off from my job and was in a bit of a funk so I decided to make lemonade out of lemons and go on a road trip. I have free supercharging so even better. And I gave myself a challenge- to shake some stuff up- and do something I have never done before at least once a day- which was kind of easy since i was driving to some places I have never been. Fun experiment to clear the head and reset.

    I started in LA, where I live, then went to see the poppies near Lancaster. Beautiful. And then drove on to Joshua Tree for 2 days. I stayed at a friends house who lives 'off the grid' so I had to drive on 'roads' of sand and some 'roads' that didn't really seem like roads. No issues at all- I just drove slow and steady. Never felt I was going to get stuck. Check! He said I was the first Tesla to come down their road :)

    Then I drove through the Mojave Natural Preserve to Vegas. Stunning. Because I have the long range (and filled up in Twentynine Palms- just in case- before I left), I never had to worry about making it through the desert. Check!

    Powered up in Primm then went on to Vegas and stayed a couple of days. Funny enough, I had a lot of people in Vegas freaking out about my car- wanting to know all about it, see it up close, etc. I get used to LA where you throw a rock and can hit one on every corner. But Vegas? Who knew people would be so enthusiastic. I opened my frunk in front of the hotel and drew a crowd. And the valet guys kept asking me- are you sure you don't want to valet- so they could drive it. I even took one on a test drive and showed him all of the bells and whistles. It was fun.

    Then I drove up through St George through Utah then across to Grand Junction CO. Plenty of chargers along the way. Gorgeous country.

    Then on to Silverthorne (near Vail) where I encountered snow. No issues there either. To be fair it was not heavy snow but snow none the less. Drove like a dream. Obviously colder weather than the desert so I used my friends 110v in the garage to keep her plugged in during my stay so I didn't lose any power. And bonus- there was a supercharger down the street from my friends house so I topped off before I left. And I of course took my friend for a test drive and now he is buying one. Check!

    Then from Silverthorne to Denver for a few days. Hit some snow and then some really heavy rain coming down into Denver. And you guessed it- all good. No issues. Felt solid on the road. Used more energy (as you all probably know) in the cold and up and down mountains but I charged more than what it said to get to my next destination and I was all good.

    Found out when driving in the Assisted Cruise Control option (can't remember technical name) that the car will automatically slow down around curves if the cruise is going too fast to make the turn which is a really nice feature. I was ready to take control at all times (and would usually drive without cruise on winding roads) but I wanted to experiment. Car slowed down every time to take the curves safely. Excellent feature.

    In Denver, met a few other friends who I also gave test drives and they are buying one too. Check!

    My Mom decided to fly into Denver from Texas to join me on this next leg of my road trip- kind of an early Mother's Day, mother/daughter adventure. We left Denver and went to Jackson Hole WY. Gorgeous country. My mom kept calling it 'Gods Country'. I drove all the way there because she was enjoying the sites so much.

    On a side note, I decided to do an experiment. I kept saving the footage on my USB so I could save the beautiful scenery along the way- and have some video. It's not the best video in the world but it is still really good to share the journey w/family and friends. I would put the car on auto pilot and try and take photos along the way. Made my mom a little nervous but I got some good shots. We even facetimed my Dad so he could see the scenery as well. You can't do that in an ICE vehicle. I'm sure I freaked some fellow drivers out who had no idea I was on auto pilot. I'm going to put together a video with snippets from the video footage and still photos and I'm giving it to my Mom for Mother's Day as a memento.

    Jackson Hole is a really great little town. I'm definitely going to go back and spend some time. We were on a time schedule so only stayed the night and walked around a little during the day. And awesome enough- a supercharger there too.

    Then on to West Yellowstone where we charged again. We were going to go into Yellowstone but the weather was really stormy. Going through the mountains on the way to Jackson Hole- the Tetons- were stunning and all of the area around Yellowstone was stunning. Weather was cold and rainy and roads were really up/down and curvy. We saw deer and Elk right by the road and narrowly missed a fox running across the road as well as a jack rabbit. Car handled all of it perfectly.

    Realized by accident that when I engage assisted cruise control, sometimes it will automatically set to the speed limit and other times it will set to whatever speed I set it at- depending on how I press the toggle. Not sure how to explain how to do it so I encourage you to experiment on your own. Pretty cool.

    Then we went on through more of WY, then Idaho, then WY then Montana. We lost track on what state we were in most of the time. We stopped in Laramie WY to charge and the electricity was completely off in that side of town. No electricity anywhere. I tried two different plug ins thinking something was wrong with my car or the charger itself but no- no electricity at all. That was a first. There was a guy and his sons at the supercharger and they were in a hurry so they backtracked and went back to the previous supercharger 44 miles away- so 88 miles total out of the way- after I told him he didn't have enough energy to make it to the next supercharger. We decided to just enjoy a nice lunch and when we came back, electricity was back on.

    On a side note, the guy who owned the other Tesla was under the impression that he could just drive slower to get to the next supercharger. It was over 100 miles to the next charger and he only had 89 miles of charge. As far as I know there is no way to get 100 miles out of 89 driving up and down hills even if you go 50 miles an hour. Please correct me if I am wrong but I would not gamble on that one.

    Then we drove on to Butte and stayed the night. Charger there too. Score!

    Mom decided to drive and had a lot of fun with the car. She said it made her nervous because the car is my 'baby'. I told her to just relax and have fun. She said that she has a hard time 'feeling the road' with the car and she can't feel when the car is not steady on the road- comparing to my old SUV. I told her it's not that she can't feel the road it's that the car is always steady on the road and solid- never feels out of control. After thinking about it, she agreed.

    My mom used to race cars so she is not a 'normal' mom and/or driver. She knows cars and she loves my Tesla. She said it's a dream to drive.

    Then we drove to Moses Lake to stay the night then on to Seattle the next day. I stayed a couple of days outside of Seattle with a friend and her family and my mom flew home. Great Mother/daughter trip with awesome memories.

    I stayed north of Seattle and there were chargers EVERYWHERE. The hotels also had chargers. That was a nice change compared to other parts of the country who haven't caught on yet.

    Realized that if I press the break just a bit harder then it holds like the brake does. I had seen on the screen where it says 'hold' but didn't realize what it was and that I could take my foot off the break. This is EXTREMELY helpful on hills so you don't roll back. Something most of you probably know but throwing it out there in case you don't.

    I introduced my friend Donna and her daughters to the car and they loved it. The girls asked if they could just stay in the car and hang out in the driveway. I took them for a test drive per their request and they just wanted to keep on driving. I stopped at a half hour. They had fun with the seat heaters, the games and the internet. They asked if they could just key up a movie on the internet and stay there for a few hours. And this is an 11 and 17 yr old. Future Tesla owners right there :) AND I think I talked their mom into getting one too.

    At this point, my neck and shoulders were pretty sore from driving so much. I remembered seeing somewhere that I could change the steering so I went into the controls and changed the steering from 'standard' to 'comfort'. That helped a lot.

    Then I drove down from Seattle, charged in Aberdeen then on to Corvalis for the night. Then down to Grants Pass and over to the coast again. Stayed in Trinidad CA in a beautiful cabin on the ocean and in the Redwoods for the night. Then on to Ukiah to charge and go to Orr Hot Springs for the night to soak and relax. Then north of San Francisco to see my cousin for the night in Petaluma (where there is also a supercharger) then on to the Central Coast to Paso Robles for the night. Hit some hot springs there and then back home to LA.

    In the past, road trips for me were all about the A to the B and how fast I could get there. Since I have gotten my Tesla, it has been more about enjoying the ride- though I do drive fast (though safe) to get there cause it's fun. I actually stop and getting a meal as I charge instead of stopping at a gas station and eating a bunch of junk as I drive. It's been different for me. Made me learn some patience and my body is thanking me for it. Instead of being exhausted everyday and having my body vibrate and feel I am still on the road (when I try to sleep), I am now more relaxed. The car is just so comfortable. The music selections are amazing and I went the whole trip with only a couple of songs repeating themselves. Chargers are everywhere now. Hotels are adding them for free.

    I decided to just make the trip leisurely and not get stressed about having enough charge, driving slower, not using air, etc so I always just charged more than what it said to charge to get to my next destination- at least 10 to 20 percent more- and I never had an issue. After driving TX to CA and southern to northern CA a couple of times- and now this trip- that is always my rule of thumb. Better safe than sorry.

    Anyway, thanks for reading. I know it was long but it was a long roadtrip. The overall takeaway? I love my car even more than I did when I got it. Best car I have ever owned and well worth the stretch to buy it. Car handles well in all driving conditions and weather. And even after driving for 3 weeks, I would still jump in and drive some more. Best road trip ever!! I encourage you to go out and smell the roses. See some of the country you haven't seen before. It's beautiful! Do something you have never done before just because. Happy traveling!!!
     
    • Love x 35
    • Like x 21
  2. don3978007

    don3978007 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2019
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    London, Ontario
    Great trip an story. I’ve had my car for 10 days and can’t wait for my first road trip.
     
    • Love x 1
  3. RachH

    RachH "Christine" Model 3 Blk Obsidian, LR, AWD

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Btw, I did have a couple of 'buggy' things that happened.

    - After charging at the hotel with a 220v, as I was driving out of the parking lot, the screen went black. Kind of freaked me out. I did the reboot and it was fine

    - When I was driving just outside of San Fran (after charging at a supercharger) my blinkers stopped making sounds, I had no volume on my radio and my phone didn't have sound through the speakers. Kind of weird. Again, I rebooted and it was fine.

    I had read that this can happen so I just rebooted and went on my way.

    Both times were after charging. I have had another issue once before after charging on a 110v.

    Anyone else seen this correlation?
     
  4. RachH

    RachH "Christine" Model 3 Blk Obsidian, LR, AWD

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm excited for you!!! It takes road tripping to a whole other level. Let me know if you need any suggestions and/or help :)
     
  5. rdskill

    rdskill Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2019
    Messages:
    32
    Location:
    South Florida

    Fantastic trip! I hope to make a nice long trip (2500 mile) in my 3 SR+ (bought it 3 weeks ago) this summer.

    As for the freezing screen/audio... Its a common problem. I've had it happen while on an on-ramp. :eek: However, I was just updated from 2019.8.5.1 to 2019.12.1.2 tonight so I hope that will address that problem.

    Good Luck in your future trips and employment. :)
     
    • Like x 1
  6. C141medic

    C141medic Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,295
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Very cool. Sounds like you had a blast.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. mswlogo

    mswlogo Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2018
    Messages:
    3,349
    Location:
    MA
    The issues you mentioned just keep persisting for many folks. No back up camera, no sound, no rear/bass sound, random reboots. It can happen to anyone any time.

    You can get incredible range if you drive slow even with hills and exceed the range left. But that is risky. If you are cutting close cut the heat as much as possible and drive slow. And go easy on the starts. I can routinely get well under 200 wh/mi around town with no heat. And that’s with AWD.
     
    • Disagree x 1
  8. Mo City

    Mo City Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    USA
    First road trip in my Model 3 will be Houston to St. Louis in late July.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. Rottenapplr

    Rottenapplr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    617
    Location:
    LOS ANGELES
    #9 Rottenapplr, May 4, 2019
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    I did a 6 hr road trip my second day of ownership. Love the range on this car.
     
    • Like x 2
  10. mvermef

    mvermef Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2019
    Messages:
    15
    Location:
    Houston
    Wow nice write up. I have my delivery next week, first road trip will probably be to Waco so wife can check out all things Magnolia.

    After that mini road trip there promises to be a massive one at end of June to beginning of July to get the kids for summer break out in Cali to bring them back the long way.
     
    • Like x 1
  11. puckpurnell

    puckpurnell Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2018
    Messages:
    163
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Awesome. Posted on a other thread about letting my grand-D’s drive my M3 on private property. Like the girls you had with you, they were wild about the car. About to go from Hartford to Ottawa to Montreal and back home. Should be fun. Thanks for your story. Hope you get a new job...if you’re looking.
     
    • Like x 1
  12. ngogas

    ngogas Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2018
    Messages:
    1,580
    Location:
    Utah
    Wow great adventure. I wish I had that much time. How many miles did you gather up?
     
    • Like x 1
  13. Zorg

    Zorg Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2017
    Messages:
    865
    Location:
    Fremont, ca
    Thanks for taking the time to write about your road trip. Reminds me that I need to go back to Yellowstone. Such a magical place.
     
    • Like x 1
  14. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    2,475
    Location:
    McKinney, TX

    You really should drive slowly around town for the first few days of ownership, varying your speed and acceleration, so that the valves can seat properly and the oil can...oh, wait...:p
     
    • Funny x 7
    • Like x 1
  15. Rottenapplr

    Rottenapplr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    617
    Location:
    LOS ANGELES
    I should vary rpm speed and avoid launching the car for the first 1000 miles for engine to break in.


    Wait there’s no engine under the hood????
     
    • Funny x 1
  16. jim0266

    jim0266 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2019
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    akron., ohio
    Wonderful story! This is exactly why I purchased the Model 3, for trips like this.
     
    • Like x 2
  17. Exscite

    Exscite Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2018
    Messages:
    96
    Location:
    Los Angeles CA
    RachH,
    Great road trip report, in a great car, driving in a beautiful country. We have to do some time it in our all white (inside and out) Model 3 ...
    It would be nice if you post a link to your pictures (taken while you were on autopilot for example) and to your Tesla videos.

    In fact, next week we plan a long trip from LA to central Arizona. I've already packed a thermometer to take temperature reading in the desert to see the effect of the glass roof.
     
    • Like x 1
  18. Dre78

    Dre78 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2018
    Messages:
    240
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Sounds more like you took some lemons and made souffle!?

    Thank you for sharing!
     
    • Funny x 1
  19. kwjw

    kwjw New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2015
    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Kirkland, WA


    Thanks for the very informative trip info.
    In the early summer of 2015, my wife and I also took a road trip around the US in our 2013 Model S, about 8600 miles, in a little over 2 weeks. There was a point between a SC in Oklahoma and one in Albuquerque, NM where it was about 280 miles between the SCs, and our estimated range (at 65 mph on a flat) was 265 mi.. Also, there were a couple of mountain ranges in between that were about 4000 to 5000 ft elevation that we had to go over. We found that if we went slower, like around 40 mph we would get more range, so we started out, going about 60 mph on the flat and downhill, and about 40 mph up hill (in the truck lane). We made it to the NM SC and even had about 38 miles of range still left on the car.

    Here's what my wife wrote about the whole trip:
    TESLA model S travels 8632 miles circling the U.S. without gasoline using only TESLA Superchargers. The TESLA began it's journey near Seattle, Wa; headed E to Maryland; then S to Orlando, Fl; then W to San Antonio, Tx; then on to Bakersfield, Ca; then going N on I-5 back to Seattle/Bellevue, Wa.

    The new trip planer made it possible to see all the Superchargers ahead in red, see the distance to each one and then give specific directions to find them. Several nights the couple folded down the back seats and slept on their air bed in a dbl sleeping bag when there was 'no room in the inns', and when in Wyoming, the Supercharger wasn't yet ready and they used an RV park to charge overnight. They used the 'frunk' to store their camping gear which left the rear open for other cargo. In Savannah, GA, the Supercharger was located in the airport pay parking garage, and not knowing whether payment would be required after charging, they asked at the airport information desk and to their surprise were told that for Tesla owners they would validate there parking stub for three hours of free parking.

    Sometimes the TESLA drove slower, 45-50 mph increasing the range to around 300 miles allowing the car to go farther than the original estimated charge range. The distance between Superchargers around Albuquerque, NM was over 280 miles, and the estimated charge range was around 265 miles. Going slower allowed the TESLA to arrive on the other side of Albuquerque with 38 miles of range left, after climbing up two mountain passes to over 4000' elevation. IMPRESSIVE!

    Twice the TESLA was rescued: First, the screen froze for several hours before getting to DeFuniak Springs, FL with only two miles of range left, and Tesla road-side assistance told them how to reboot the system and it was working again in a few minutes. Because the screen was frozen, they didn't know where the Supercharger was located in the town. They found the Supercharger one and a half miles away, and they just barely made it. Then, the car was plugged into the Supercharger in Oklahoma and it wasn't working, even after trying three different plug-ins, but there was a TESLA Tech there, who had just flown there to reset the breakers, which had tripped during a lightning storm. THANKS,TESLA FOR THE INCREDIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!

    The trip was like pioneers traveling in a space/earth ship. The couple LOVED their amazing adventure!
     
    • Like x 2
    • Love x 1
  20. Rottenapplr

    Rottenapplr Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2019
    Messages:
    617
    Location:
    LOS ANGELES
    ^^^

    That’s a great journey. I’d love to take mine cross country. Maybe after the warranty period.
     

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