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Lessons learned from a 2300 mile road trip

Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
172
136
South East USA
Not going to give a detailed trip report as it will not be useful and tons of people have already covered it. This is more of some unexpected issues that came up on a trip from SC to Northern Virginia to Pittsburgh and back via Winston Salem.

1. The onward trip to NorVir was straightforward with the superchargers in Archdale and Lynchburg located on Sheetz stations and only taking 20 mins max. In fact at Lynchburg we had just brought the food out to the car when it indicated we were ready to go.

2. Home charging in NorVir was only 110V and was slow and raised it from 17 to 75% over 40 hours. I thought I had struck gold when I found I could pull the car into the garage and the charging cord extended all the way to the laundry room adjacent to the garage. But then I found out I had the standard 110V adapter and the 14-50 adapter for the 220V but not the all important 14-30 dryer plug adapter. Since I will be going to that house often I decided to buy it from Tesla. After all, it is only $35.

3. At Brezelwood, PA I pulled into the only empty slot of the 8 superchargers that were there. Charging was slow at 50-60 kWh and it took the longest time. I am concerned what will happen when Elon opens all Superchargers to non-Tesla EV that may charge even slower, we may have no open slots left for Tesla vehicles.

4. In Pittsburgh the car guided me to a supercharger in a grocery supermarket ( I think Giant). But when I went in and circled the parking lot I could not see any superchargers. I was perplexed and as I came out and initially decided to go much further out but in the last minute I made one more attempt and returned back. I saw a parking garage and decided to enter and circled inside and there I spotted 8 superchargers in a dark and dinky area. It could be easily missed but for the fact there were two vehicles that were actively charging. I am not sure if the screen indicates the exact location of the supercharger.

5. At Mt. Hope, WV the supercharger was slow even though I was not adjacent to any Tesla. It stopped charging after 10 mins. Since I was about to eat, I just unplugged and plugged back. It charged for 10 mins adding barely 5kEh and stopped again. I then decided to move to a lot and it started to charge vigorously at 150kW and completed the process in 10 mins. Lesson learned - if it is slow for unexplained reason, move to another slot.

6. Another lesson learned was not to arrive at a decent sized city and pull into the hotel hoping there will be supercharger in the city or have free hotel charging. This happened in Winston Salem and we realized that we did not have charge left for bother dinner pick up and onward journey the next day to a supercharger. We had to go 21 miles out to Colfax, NC to find a supercharger and charge sufficiently so that we can easily start the next day without any anxiety.

6. Finally the back seats of the Y can cause nausea in people who are a bit prone to car sickness during long rides. After having no issues with the middle seat of out Acura MDX, both my spouse and daughter had nausea sitting in the rear seats of the Y and my daughter even threw up once. So I don't think that either will come along for long road trips if they have to occupy the rear set most of the time.
 

janjablonski

Member
Aug 16, 2020
20
23
Chicago
Thanks for the write up. When traveling to a city I usually look up charging stations in PlugShare by hotels that I am staying at so I can charge there and save some money on Valet or kill 2 birds with one stone for parking.

Also, first time I've heard Northern Virginia called NorVir 😀, I'm from the area and we always called it NoVa.
 

GeekyDoc

Member
Jan 18, 2021
73
29
PA
Thanks, interesting read. I'm curious about the motion sickness being exacerbated in the Y since my daughter is prone to it as well but usually happens when she rides in the third row of our MDX.

Did you use the Tesla built in app to plan your trip or ABRP?
 
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Johnny Vector

Member
Jun 21, 2020
252
385
Maryland
I suspect the motion sickness thing is very specific to individuals. My daughter has always been susceptible (we had to turn around on a trip to Ocean City when she was 2 because the car was full of toddler-barf and also flies from when we opened the doors to clean it up). But she has no problem in the back of our Y. (Along I-95 between Maine and Manhattan, anyway. If we were on California 1 North of the bay, all bets would be off.)

As an astronaut-adjacent professional, I am given to understand that one's susceptibility to motion sickness on the Earth is almost completely uncorrelated to whether you get space sickness. Maybe the Y is like that. It does kind of drive like a spaceship, I guess...
 
My 17 year old grand daughter accompanied us on an 1100 mile trip throughout Florida and she sat exclusively in the back seat and never once complained of nausea. I asked her numerous times how was she doing back there and she said she was comfortable and it was roomy. It could also be she was just glad to be out of the house and on a road trip...
 

Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
172
136
South East USA
Thanks, interesting read. I'm curious about the motion sickness being exacerbated in the Y since my daughter is prone to it as well but usually happens when she rides in the third row of our MDX.

Did you use the Tesla built in app to plan your trip or ABRP?

Anytime my daughter or spouse sat in the middle row seats of our Acura MDX or the Honda Odyssey minivan they had no motion sickness even on long journeys. But on the last row seats they always had it. Anytime they sat on seats that were directly over the rear wheels they had nausea, and sometimes vomiting. I am resigned to the fact that it will only be a two person long distance car in our family.

I used my desktop as well as the android ABRP app to plan for the journey and it was a bit conservative. It advised 3 charges on the way from SC to NoVa. The Tesla app was more realistic and took us to chargers when we were between 10-15%. We also charged about 5% more after the car stated we were ready to go. That led us to only make 2 supercharger stops. From then on I relied predominantly on the Tesla in car for guidance.
 
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Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
172
136
South East USA
Thanks for the write up. When traveling to a city I usually look up charging stations in PlugShare by hotels that I am staying at so I can charge there and save some money on Valet or kill 2 birds with one stone for parking.

Also, first time I've heard Northern Virginia called NorVir 😀, I'm from the area and we always called it NoVa.

After seeing Superchargers in cities like Greenville, Charlotte, NoVa, Pittsburgh I got a bit overconfident and led my guard down and did not think that a relatively decent sized city like Winston Salem would not have superchargers. That was a mistake. My hotel stay there was free and unfortunately there was no free charging, or even a 110V outlet for any trickle charge. Glad I did the road trip as that is the only way you learn about these issues with EV that you have to address and that you would not think twice while using an ICE vehicle.

Tesla has done a great job with its in built app for navigation and charging that I never had range anxiety. After reading the article about the guy who did a NYC to Boston trip in a non Tesla vehicle and could not find reliable charging even in that short 220 mile hourney in a place where one would expect tons of chargers, I am glad I paid the premium for a Tesla vehicle for its supercharger network.
 

Y_tho

Member
Mar 14, 2020
68
50
Maryland
3. At Brezelwood, PA I pulled into the only empty slot of the 8 superchargers that were there. Charging was slow at 50-60 kWh and it took the longest time. I am concerned what will happen when Elon opens all Superchargers to non-Tesla EV that may charge even slower, we may have no open slots left for Tesla vehicles.
Thanks for the writeup. Regarding Breezewood: that's a 150kW Supercharger, so with you nabbing the only open slot, that means you were paired with someone, explaining the slower charging rate. Between Breezewood and Pittsburgh, there's a 250kW SC in Somerset, where you don't have to worry about pairing.

Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be a convenient way to search for V3 Superchargers (I couldn't find a way on the Tesla site, nor in the ABRP app).
 

Daekwan

Member
Mar 9, 2021
91
94
DC
I've heard the motion sickness in Tesla's is mainly from regen braking. Some people just cant handle the torquey start/stop nature of the vehicle.

Anyways thanks for sharing your tips. Definitely a few things I learned there. Some I already knew.. which is why I ordered the 14-50 & 14-30 adapters before I ever purchased the vehicle. Both remain permanently in the vehicle along with the mobile charger so that I can charge up at destinations if staying for an extended period of time.

It's also the main reason why I went ahead and paid a couple of thousand to purchase the wall connector and have a licensed electrician install it on a 60A breaker along with a 100A subpanel, and 14-50 outlet in my garage. Wanted to future-proof my EV purchase as much as possible.. as I dont see myself buying another ICE vehicle again. Im pretty confident that I can now charge my EV.. (or practically any EV) as quickly as possible.. in many places including my home.
 
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LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
596
686
Arkansas
1. That's a fantastic feeling when it happens, but unfortunately it's pretty rare :( I usually sit and let it charge, eating at that Supercharger. Depending on the upcoming route the additional charge has allowed me to skip a site.

2. I also have a NEMA 14-50 adapter and expected to use it more often, but have only ever used it at home. I have a 30 amp marine plug adapter that I got from 3rd party and have used it at several marinas. It's roughly twice as fast as a 110/15A adapter, obviously, but still won't fully charge in one overnight session.

3. That's a 150kw "V2" charger where neighboring stalls share a charger stack. There are increasingly more "V3" Superchargers where the speed is 250kw and the power is not shared between stalls. The roll out for non-Tesla support will likely be a long time from now and many more Supercharger locations are rapidly coming online. Tesla in-car navigation takes Supercharger site activity into consideration when planning routes, so if an upcoming site is very busy the navigation will have you avoid it by routing to an adjacent site, or charging longer at a previous site in order to skip the busy one altogether. In my multiple cross-country drives I've never even had to share a charger at a V2 location that was in a "remote" location away from big cities. The big cities are all getting more Superchargers and all the new ones are V3. I think your concerns are valid but I think they are less sever than you might be imagining.

4. I've had this happen as well! Parking garage locations are the most difficult to pin correctly, it seems. I'd like to see additional information on the display once the car is within 1000 feet or something. Maybe a custom map. In addition, many of the parking garage site are "Urban Superchargers". They have a very different, smaller, appearance and are only 72kw. Be prepared for those to take a very long time. I believe they are only included in long distance route planning on rare occasion, but there's no notification of the difference unless you tap on the icon to see what type it is.

5. On MANY occasions I've abandoned a charging session to move to another stall. Usually because it's a V2 where I'm sharing a charger and another stall opens up. But I've also had plenty that were just bad charging units. Supposedly this can be reported to Tesla but they provide no feedback to the user so you have no idea if anything is being done. Also they claim they know it's not working and there's no need to report it. I suspect the latter is true, as they can see the charge rate and length of time and likely have alerts when it's slow or short.

6. PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You is your friend for this one. Enable the Tesla Destination and J1772 options. Make sure you have your J1772 adapter with you - it came with the car. I've charged overnight at hotels or nearby garages probably 25+ times. It makes the previous Supercharger session a smidge shorter, and potentially eliminates TWO of the next day's charging stops. Almost certainly one.

7. I've read this before and it worries me. I've personally gotten quite nauseous in the backs of other cars, even on short drives across town. But I'm not sure I've ridden in the back of a Model Y yet (I'm usually the driver). I have upcoming drives this weekend with a group of four so it will definitely be a topic for us.
 
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Level 1

Member
Aug 10, 2021
59
49
Earth
to find a supercharger and charge sufficiently so that we can easily start the next day without any anxiety.

I think what you did is just good in general. I forget where I saw this, I think it was in someone's post about winter driving, but they said on long trips, to avoid pulling into your hotel late at night planning to charge in the morning. The reason why, was that the battery would still be at a good temperature if charging in the evening after a day of driving... but the next morning after waking up, the pack would be cold, and you would lose time waiting for the pack to warm up for your morning charging session.

the back seats of the Y can cause nausea in people who are a bit prone to car sickness
Is your Y a Performance?
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
968
823
United States
After seeing Superchargers in cities like Greenville, Charlotte, NoVa, Pittsburgh I got a bit overconfident and led my guard down and did not think that a relatively decent sized city like Winston Salem would not have superchargers. That was a mistake. My hotel stay there was free and unfortunately there was no free charging, or even a 110V outlet for any trickle charge. Glad I did the road trip as that is the only way you learn about these issues with EV that you have to address and that you would not think twice while using an ICE vehicle.

Tesla has done a great job with its in built app for navigation and charging that I never had range anxiety. After reading the article about the guy who did a NYC to Boston trip in a non Tesla vehicle and could not find reliable charging even in that short 220 mile hourney in a place where one would expect tons of chargers, I am glad I paid the premium for a Tesla vehicle for its supercharger network.

There is a lot of FUD directed at non Tesla EV's out there. I have traveled all over the country in my Bolt EV, and at the start back in 2017 it was a bit rough in my home area, but it has gotten easier and easier as time passes. As of last year I wouldn't hesitate to take the Bolt anywhere in the US... the charging on the Bolt is glacially slow compared to our MYP, but other than that it is a great car. Latest FUD is that I am going to die in a house fire caused by my Bolt battery spontaneously bursting into flames. Far less vehicle fires with the Bolt than with your average ICE car, but it is a catastrophic calamitous emergency situation because it is an EV and thus in the public eye. I remember when the claim was Tesla's were a huge fire hazard. It was FUD then for Tesla, it is FUD now for Chevy, but Chevy is handling the situation totally different than Tesla did and it is going to cost them a huge amount of money.

Keith
 

Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
172
136
South East USA
Our daughter is prone to motion sickness as well. Driving on autopilot and aggressive regen in stop and go traffic are the triggers. Chill mode helps.
I may have to check but I thought they removed the chill mode in the newer reg braking options. I might be wrong. My older Model 3 SR+ had the chill mode
 

jwuwu

Member
Feb 21, 2020
165
315
Bay Area
I purchased the Tesla NEMA Adapter Bundle and plan on taking it on trips "just in case". That covers most of the common outlets except for the TT-30.
I bought the Tesla NEMA Bundle too and tbh I don't really use anything in there besides the NEMA 15-40 (RV Parks) and 14-30 occasionally at some airbnbs.

My wife just got a model 3 and I bought her this-


About $170 with tax in CA.

and also a nice heavy duty 15' 14-50 extension cord on Amazon-


(it was way cheaper though, $50 when I got it. I would look elsewhere or different brand)

I think all of this should be sufficient.
 

Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
172
136
South East USA
It's also the main reason why I went ahead and paid a couple of thousand to purchase the wall connector and have a licensed electrician install it on a 60A breaker along with a 100A subpanel, and 14-50 outlet in my garage. Wanted to future-proof my EV purchase as much as possible.. as I dont see myself buying another ICE vehicle again. Im pretty confident that I can now charge my EV.. (or practically any EV) as quickly as possible.. in many places including my home.

Luckily when I built my home I had them run 50 amp 220V power cables and put in 14-50 outlets on either side. On one side I connected the plug in version of the gen-2 wall charger that I got on the Tesla site long time ago.

On the other side I had a gen-2 direct connect wall connector that could go up to 100 amps. I had an electrician connect it to a 80 amp fuse on the panel, set the connector to 80 amp max and had it mounted on the wall adjecent to the panel in the garage. Luckily he was a friend and charged me only for materials. Now I have a 64 amp max output (80% of 80 amps) connector on one side and 40 amp on other side.
 
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Kamban

Member
Aug 21, 2019
172
136
South East USA
There is a lot of FUD directed at non Tesla EV's out there. I have traveled all over the country in my Bolt EV, and at the start back in 2017 it was a bit rough in my home area, but it has gotten easier and easier as time passes. As of last year I wouldn't hesitate to take the Bolt anywhere in the US... the charging on the Bolt is glacially slow compared to our MYP, but other than that it is a great car. Latest FUD is that I am going to die in a house fire caused by my Bolt battery spontaneously bursting into flames. Far less vehicle fires with the Bolt than with your average ICE car, but it is a catastrophic calamitous emergency situation because it is an EV and thus in the public eye. I remember when the claim was Tesla's were a huge fire hazard. It was FUD then for Tesla, it is FUD now for Chevy, but Chevy is handling the situation totally different than Tesla did and it is going to cost them a huge amount of money.

Keith
I t could be FUD but I just referenced to this story that caught my eye a few weeks ago


At least I felt it would not have occurred had the author had a Tesla
 

Fourdoor

Member
May 31, 2016
968
823
United States
I t could be FUD but I just referenced to this story that caught my eye a few weeks ago


At least I felt it would not have occurred had the author had a Tesla
Yes, if you don't have a Tesla you actually have to do minimal planning before making a road trip. Thirty seconds of checking with A Better Route Planner shows that there are ELEVEN DC fast chargers along the easiest route from Boston Mass to NY NY, with several more just a bit off of the route. The best for his use would have been the Electrify America station in Stratford CT.

Keith
 

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