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Learnings/Feedback from completed Car Camping Roadrip

PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,501
1,360
Seattle
Another thing I did that I forgot to mention in my first post is install a trunk roof mat like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Mixsuper-Customized-Soundproof-SoundProof-Protective/dp/B07TX7FNYR
Tip: There are a million versions of these and they are all the same so order the cheapest version on Aliexpress or eBay

When we went on our first trip we noticed some sharper metal areas below the rear deck/trunk roof. This cotton mat protects you from cutting yourself when adjusting your sleeping position or shredding a blanket/sleeping bag on an edge.

It also had the side benefits of covering up some soundproofing that I applied to the trunk roof and it looks much more finished as it matches the rest of the trunk lining. I though it was worth it for the ~$45 that I spent on it.
 
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Sorry but I'm having trouble parsing your statement. Are you saying that you were married to this woman and then divorced her and she became your girlfriend??

This is generally parsed as 'My wife ( who, at the time of the event about which I am writing, was my girlfriend )'...


One imagines it conveys a sense of adventure and excitement and daring that the (now) wife no longer possesses :p
 
So I was driving south on I5 in Northern California, and one of the rest stop exits had a "EV Charging"sign. But, they had also put a little sign below it that read "FAST". I didn't need to pee, but I pulled off. Turns out Chargepoint is putting EV chargers at rest stops now...... I just wish Tesla would join them.

Between NYC and DC, on the I-95/Jersey Turnpike corridor, Tesla has at least one Supercharger each direction on the Turnpike (albeit only 4 stations at the one I stopped at) and at least one in Delaware, a couple in Maryland. Makes it way more convenient than getting off the toll road, getting back on. The recent stop we made on the Turnpike also had a few other fast chargers; one was out of commission.
 
I am fully aware of the comedic value of the following post;

What excatly does 'Dog' mode do that is different to 'Camp' mode - would that change anything when sleeping in the car?

People passing by would see on the screen a message that Dog Mode is on, no need to call the police or animal rescue (or something to that effect) and keep the temp around 70-something. And if you leave a window cracked, you might get a biscuit! :)
 

PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,501
1,360
Seattle
Just uploaded a video of our experience using the Exped Megamat Duo 10 - we loved car camping in it in our Tesla Model 3!

Please check it out!

https://youtu.be/RY9DNl8U8Bw
Nice job showing how it packs up! It was one of the reasons I went w/ the Exped over the foam mattress alternatives that tend to take up most of the trunk. It's not the easiest mattress I've ever deflated and packed up but is worth the small tradeoff in ease of use for the relative comfort.
 

PNWLeccy

Active Member
Jul 11, 2019
1,501
1,360
Seattle
Where did you find the correct sized megamat? It doesn't seem to be available on any site, including the manufacturer's.
Yea i bought it from REI but it seems to be sold our virtually everywhere right now. I bet it has something to do with everyone flocking to national parks/campsites due to Covid and buying up all the gear
 
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smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,300
2,250
CA Bay Area
OK Back from sleeping in my car for two weeks on a camping road trip. Here are two quick observations
1) Get RV Leveling Blocks. If you sleep in the car you either want the car perfectly flat (if you removed the rear seat), or you want the rear end up 3" if the seat is still installed. They also can be used if you get stuck in sand. Technically a 12 pack would be great but you can make a 10 pack work. https://amzn.to/2XdQZI4
2) Going anywhere sandy/muddy/snowy? Get a tow strap. Macho guys&gals with trucks who love to pull out stuck vehicles are all over the place. Unfortunately, most of them don't carry a tow strap. https://amzn.to/3k0OrGW
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,300
2,250
CA Bay Area
FYI. This adapter works for charging from 120V 30A plugs at campground and is cheap:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00STD8SUO
Or for about the same amount of money, but a ton more flexibility....:
https://amzn.to/3gpBYdO
https://amzn.to/3gwClTK
& 6/3 SOOW (approx $3.19 a foot) wire from Home Depot. Most 30Amp plugs aren't located in the perfect spot. You can easily put 10-25 feet of wire in between the connectors and make it also an extension cord.
Want to make it even more useful? Grab this https://amzn.to/31a0edt , and keep a screwdriver in the car. Just swap the wires between plugs (And the one plug does both 14-30 and 14-50 depending on which pin you insert.) Now you've got an extension cord that can connect your car to a TT-30 outlet, a 14-30 outlet, and a 14-50 outlet. Just make sure you set the charge amps in the car correctly.

PS: Feel an overwhelming need to be able to charge anywhere? Pick this up as well. https://amzn.to/3hZ9yI8 It's a combo 6/30 and 6/50 plug. Now you can use old style dryer outlets AND welder outlets!

PPS: 6/3 SEOOW would also work and is slightly more flexibly. Either type can be purchase online for a little cheaper. But with shipping.... buying locally is usually cheaper. If you want to save a little on the cable check with local electrical supply houses.

PPPS: PLEASE LABEL THE CORD AS "FOR EV CHARGING ONLY. SET CHARGING AMPERAGE MANUALLY" We're saving money and weight by using 6/3 wire, which means the 240v neutral is not connected. In a 240V situation, the neutral is only used when the device also needs 120V. So, for 240V the charger just needs the two hots, and the ground. For 120V plugs, such as the TT30, the neutral acts like the second hot.
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,300
2,250
CA Bay Area
Wiring up adapters is quick and easy. Last week I was staying at a rental house. The dryer was way inside the house so no chance of using it's power. The garage outlets were 15 amp receptacles, but on a 20 amp breaker. I ordered an adapter from Amazon but didn't realize the vacation home address wasn't a real address so after waiting two days USPS refused to deliver.

I went to the local ace hardware store, and in less than 5 minutes I had a 5-15 plug, a 5-20 socket, and a couple feet of 12/3 SOOW. I stripped the wires with a kitchen knife, found a screwdriver in the garage, and wired up the adapter. It worked perfectly. The adapter cord never got warmer than the UMC cord. The slightly higher charge rate was very useful. It might not seem like much, but the additional 480W adds up over time. For a 12 hour period, that's an additional 5.7kW. And if you're sleeping in the car, the additional 480W means you wake up with +5kW instead of +1kW.

This only worked because I already had the nema 5-20 plug for my UMC.
 
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smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,300
2,250
CA Bay Area
Of course, what I'd much rather buy instead of a regular extension cord is a UMC extension cord. Something that connected on one end to the NEMA adapters, and on the other end to the UMC. Then I could use it with any outlet that I have Tesla NEMA adapters for.

And... I just figured out how to do it! I think. Give me a few weeks to order some parts off Ebay ;-}
 

n2mb_racing

Active Member
Jun 14, 2014
1,527
1,387
durham, NC
Of course, what I'd much rather buy instead of a regular extension cord is a UMC extension cord. Something that connected on one end to the NEMA adapters, and on the other end to the UMC. Then I could use it with any outlet that I have Tesla NEMA adapters for.

And... I just figured out how to do it! I think. Give me a few weeks to order some parts off Ebay ;-}

Nice.
Also, for that 14-50 plug, if you just leave out the neutral, it will work in 14-30 and 14-50 outlets. The UMC doesn't use it and if you adapt to 6-50, there's no where to put it anyway...

I've thought about building a cheap converter from two 120v plugs to one 240V, NEMA 6-15 outlet. Something like this:
110/125V To 220/250V Welder Power Connector Electrical Adapter 6-50R 3-Pin 5-15P | eBay

But, using a NEMA 6-20 or 6-15 socket.

However, I believe it would require two non-GFCI outlets, and I can't imagine finding two non-GFCI outlets, on different circuits, anywhere accessible at a rental house.
 

smatthew

Active Member
Jun 9, 2018
1,300
2,250
CA Bay Area
Since the electrical panel is usually in the garage, why not just use the method used by the guys refinishing my wood floor....
Roy R - alligator clips.jpg

To be honest, this is a better job than the guys at my place. They just shoved the bare ends of the wire into the power entry lugs
DO NOT DO THIS!
It may be tempting. But there is NO protection at all. You mess up, you're connected to the power line outside. And the transformer won't blow up, but you might.
 

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