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Kicked Out of a Motel for Charging at 12 Amps

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
I think the cause would enter into it. I mean, if a fire started because there was a fault in the hotel wiring, that's certainly something that can be argued in court.

It could be but is that really where you want to be? The UMC owner manual has a warning not to use extension cords and finding yourself fighting a big insurance company attorney is probably not fun.

I agree that the OP was on the receiving end of an attitude he didn't deserve, but I still think that there's a huge risk in plugging in like that without permission.
 
Dec 3, 2012
460
35
Elizabeth, CO
No worries, Al. As you say, the key lesson to takeaway from this is to always get explicit permission before you plug in to charge (even at 120V and 12 amps), and to not use an extension cord. Its probably also worthwhile to let motel people know that you base your decisions on where to stay at least partially on whether they have EV charging facilities or not.
 

anticitizen13.7

Not posting at TMC after 9/17/2018
Dec 22, 2012
3,638
5,761
United States
Wow, this was a very interesting story. I hope that more hotels offer charging spaces in the next 3-4 years. Hopefully as the public becomes more educated about EVs, the likelihood of unpleasant situations like this one will decrease to virtually nothing.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,024
1,013
Since he wasn't using it as a substitute for fixed wiring, would this still have applied? Or is the 'run through windows' enough to be in violation?

The text of the code makes it an "or" situation. However, it is a bit of a gray area, as electrical code tends to cover electrical infrastructure and leaves things like actual loads and appliances outside the scope. As others have noted, probably isn't a gamble you want to make. :)

- - - Updated - - -

I think the cause would enter into it. I mean, if a fire started because there was a fault in the hotel wiring, that's certainly something that can be argued in court.

During my TESLIVE talk, I put up my insurance policy text. It specifically excludes cause as a factor. If you break the law by violating NEC, you take the risk, regardless of whether it's a grease fire or someone lighting a match in his room or the extension cord catching fire.

2. We do not insure under any coverage for any loss which
would not have occurred in the absence of one or more
of the following excluded events. We do not insure for
such loss regardless of: (a) the cause of the excluded
event; or (b) other causes of the loss;
or (c) whether other
causes acted concurrently or in any sequence with the
excluded event to produce the loss; or (d) whether the
event occurs suddenly or gradually, involves isolated or
widespread damage, arises from natural or external
forces, or occurs as a result of any combination of these:

a. Ordinance or Law, meaning enforcement of any
ordinance or law regulating the construction, repair
or demolition of a building or other structure.
[...]
d. Neglect, meaning neglect of the insured to use all
reasonable means to save and preserve property at
and after the time of a loss, or when property is
endangered.
 

ModelS1079

Member
Jun 23, 2012
871
139
Suburban Boston
Wow - this story is one for the ages. Years from now remind us all to recall this story as the currently infantile charging network expands and the situation in which you found yourself seems itself archaic and unimaginable...
 

hcsharp

Active Member
Jun 7, 2011
3,379
1,341
Vermont
Personally I think if you rent a hotel room with an outlet in it, then you have a right to use that outlet as long as your use is safe and legal. It's the hotel's responsibility to make sure it is properly and safely wired. If I want to use an iron and hair dryer in a hotel room (> 12A combined), I certainly don't have to ask permission! Why should an EV be any different? If it's illegal to run an extension cord through a window that's another story. Otherwise if you rented a hotel room with an outlet, permission to use that outlet is implied (if legal and safe) and I see no reason to have to ask.
 

NigelM

Recovering Member
Apr 3, 2011
13,386
555
Northern Virginia
If I want to use an iron and hair dryer in a hotel room (> 12A combined), I certainly don't have to ask permission! Why should an EV be any different?

Because the EV is not in your hotel room and you're charging it in a manner contrary to manufacturers warnings. And yes, we still need to educate other about EVs, it's easy enough to ask permission when we want to charge.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,373
3,360
Phoenix, AZ
Personally I think if you rent a hotel room with an outlet in it, then you have a right to use that outlet as long as your use is safe and legal. It's the hotel's responsibility to make sure it is properly and safely wired. If I want to use an iron and hair dryer in a hotel room (> 12A combined), I certainly don't have to ask permission! Why should an EV be any different? If it's illegal to run an extension cord through a window that's another story. Otherwise if you rented a hotel room with an outlet, permission to use that outlet is implied (if legal and safe) and I see no reason to have to ask.

Because what you are advocating would not be considered by most to be a "reasonable use" of the facilities. I don't think you would get very far in front of a judge trying to explain how plugging a car into your hotel room's outlet, via an extension cord through the window, is the same or consistent with plugging in a hair dryer or electric tooth brush. Plugging a car into your hotel room's electrical outlets is not consistent with the intended use of the facilities. Who does that?

To the OP, please don't be offended by my opinion - I feel that the establishment acted in a totally inappropriate manner. They could have addressed this in a classy way, but judging by the online reviews of this place, classy is not something that is in their vocabulary. As EV owners (I will be an owner in a month!), we are challenging the establishment and blazing new trails where none of have gone before. As such, we should keep in mind that others are not as educated about the technology as we are. We need to be sensitive to how our actions will be perceived.
 

brianman

Burrito Founder
Nov 10, 2011
17,526
2,994
Plugging a car into your hotel room's electrical outlets is not consistent with the intended use of the facilities. Who does that?
The phrase "hotel window extension cord" triggers no interesting hits for bing or google image search. That seems to support your point pretty well.
 

hcsharp

Active Member
Jun 7, 2011
3,379
1,341
Vermont
Because the EV is not in your hotel room and you're charging it in a manner contrary to manufacturers warnings. And yes, we still need to educate other about EVs, it's easy enough to ask permission when we want to charge.

My comments were conditional on his actions being safe and legal. Perhaps you missed that. Suppose for a minute that he had parked close enough that he didn't need an extension cord and didn't do anything illegal. Would you still feel the same? I would consider that to be a normal use of the outlet that came with my room because it's not exceeding the rated amperage and not doing anything unsafe. I don't see why being inside or outside has anything to do with it (unless that makes it illegal or unsafe). As I pointed out you could do worse things inside the room!

Because what you are advocating would not be considered by most to be a "reasonable use" of the facilities. I don't think you would get very far in front of a judge trying to explain how plugging a car into your hotel room's outlet, via an extension cord through the window, is the same or consistent with plugging in a hair dryer or electric tooth brush. Plugging a car into your hotel room's electrical outlets is not consistent with the intended use of the facilities. Who does that?

We might disagree on what is reasonable use. I would consider it to be reasonable use if it was safe, legal, and otherwise was not preventing anyone else from using the facilities. We've entered an era where burning fossil fuels for most personal transportation is certainly not reasonable. If you drive an EV, it seems perfectly reasonable to me to plug in your car. And I don't see why using the outlet that came with your room in a fashion that is safe and legal to be inconsistent with the intended use of the facilities.
 

ViperDoc

Roadster 1305
Jun 24, 2011
419
210
Vermont
Motel charging

My comments were conditional on his actions being safe and legal. Perhaps you missed that. Suppose for a minute that he had parked close enough that he didn't need an extension cord and didn't do anything illegal. Would you still feel the same? I would consider that to be a normal use of the outlet that came with my room because it's not exceeding the rated amperage and not doing anything unsafe. I don't see why being inside or outside has anything to do with it (unless that makes it illegal or unsafe). As I pointed out you could do worse things inside the room!



We might disagree on what is reasonable use. I would consider it to be reasonable use if it was safe, legal, and otherwise was not preventing anyone else from using the facilities. We've entered an era where burning fossil fuels for most personal transportation is certainly not reasonable. If you drive an EV, it seems perfectly reasonable to me to plug in your car. And I don't see why using the outlet that came with your room in a fashion that is safe and legal to be inconsistent with the intended use of the facilities.


This all reminds me of an experience where my son had a baseball tournament just out of range of my Roadster. I needed to find a way to charge in the field, and I couldn't find campgrounds but figured I would charge at a Nissan dealership (who I had called and cleared this with). Well, the Nissan Leaf charged just kept faulting with my Roadster, so I tried to charge at the motel. It didn't like the extension cord, so I drove the car right up to the sliding glass door of my room (eg, drove it on the grass), and got it close enough that I could charge overnight from an outlet in the room. On my way home, I hit Henry Sharp's charger to add a few miles so I didn't have to worry about my speed!

I will be glad when our Roadsters get more range!
 

Crispix

Member
Jun 24, 2013
311
97
San Diego
I think this thread should just be called, "Kicked out of a motel for charging" -- sounds like it had little to do with the amperage, extension cord, or anything rational. Or maybe it should be called "Kicked out of a motel by a lunatic manager". There are so many ways to handle a conflict, this hotel manager was way out of line by any metric.

I'm looking forward to the Trip Advisor review (hope it gets approved soon) just so I can click the "helpful" button!
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
530
Skaneateles, NY
On a related note, I'm at an inn and spa right now in NY and charging on one of their outdoor 120V sockets they typically use for christmas lighting. Arrived yesterday and plugged in immediately. I had asked permission on the phone when I made the reservation weeks ago and they said it was fine. However today I found someone had unplugged me and just thrown my cord on the ground. No idea who. The car is registered with the inn so they know who it belongs to. No note on car, no messages left for me. I don't have a clue who unplugged me. I just plugged it right back in. I figure if there's really a problem they'd just contact me... Then again it could just be some punk who is jealous or thinks he's funny. Not cool as I'm low on charge and need the range to get home.
 

Ron95030

Member
Dec 15, 2012
48
39
Lost Gatos CA
@yobigd20: did you leave a contact card on your dash with a cell number to text or call? Whoever did the unplugging was malicious, no doubt. And you might invite further scorn with a midnight call... but perhaps you turn off your phone at night. I'm just curious.
 

yobigd20

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2012
5,929
530
Skaneateles, NY
@yobigd20: did you leave a contact card on your dash with a cell number to text or call? Whoever did the unplugging was malicious, no doubt. And you might invite further scorn with a midnight call... but perhaps you turn off your phone at night. I'm just curious.

Nope. But they have my number and room at the front desk. I had to register the car when I checked in. So if it was someone from the hotel they should know how to reach me...
 
I have to disagree with the original post on a couple of points. I don't think many of your listed mistakes were mistakes. Your only mistake was in attempting to give an @$$hole motel manager some money. If you can charge your phone in your room, then you can charge your Tesla from the wall socket. This guy was a flat out dick. Pardon my French, but he was an idiot. You seem to be a very forgiving person, but especially with 12 amp regular old wall outlet charging, there is no reason that a place should get angry about the outlet usage unless they would also get angry in the exact same manner about smartphone charging IMHO.

Report him on Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc.

He clearly deserves it.

Cheers.
 

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