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Long distance road trip with kids... am I crazy?

Discussion in 'Model S: Driving Dynamics' started by BrettS, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. BrettS

    BrettS Member

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    I live in Orlando and my parents are in Albany, NY while my brother lives in Washington, DC. I'm debating driving up from florida sometime this summer to visit the family. I just got my 2015 model S about 2 months ago, so this would be my first long distance trip with that car.

    My kids are 10 and 11 and have done road trips before (they mostly just keep themselves entertained with an ipad or whatever)

    Do you think it's feasible to do a long trip like this? Any tips or anything as I try to plan it out? I'm also wondering about destination charging at my family's houses. I'm thinking that maybe their drier plug and an extension cable might be the best option there.

    I may also try to take the autotrain (which goes between Washington and Orlando) in at least one direction to save a bit of driving. The kids have always wanted to do a train trip anyway.
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Banned

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    If your kids have done road trips before, a road trip in a Tesla isn't much different (well, add in a few hours charging time).

    That trip is insane though. You'd add 5-6 hours of charging to the trip.

    Check details on evtripplanner.com
     
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  3. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    Well, fortunate for you, there are MANY superchargers along the East coast route from Orlando to Washington. You should have no trouble range wise even if you have a 60KW EV. You didn't mention what car you have. My trips are between Nevada and Tennessee (2400 miles) so I don't take the I80 route across Wyoming where there is currently a supercharger black hole. Nor do I ever take the I40 route across Arkansas (another black hole at present). I have no trouble planning these long horizontal trips across the USA (in an X100D).

    As for destination charging, I always carry a heavy duty 25 feet extension cord for 120 V nightly charging at my relatives house. It only adds about 40 miles over night charging, but better than nothing. Most homes will have at least one outlet on the outside of the house. Sure, a dryer outlet would likely double your nightly charging. And then there are a LOT of other non-Tesla charging stations for potential emergency. If you not have a Chargepoint card (or one of the others), I suggest you sign up and carry one just in case.
     
  4. andrewket

    andrewket Well-Known Member

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    #4 andrewket, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    We've done Miami and Orlando from the DC area twice, once round trip and the other via autotrain one-way. It's one of the easiest tesla road trips you can make on I-95 (ample SpC and warm weather). On the second trip we came back via I-81. A bit longer, but the change of scenery was nice, and there were a few kid friendly things to do along the way (pigeon forge, TN). There is one SpC hop that was near the limits of our XP90D while taking a 30mi voluntary detour, but all you need to do is slow down a bit if needed. We arrived with 8 rated miles left. The tesla trip planner is very conservative. Once you've become accustomed to driving efficiently and have more experience you'll quickly start ignoring the car's warnings about slowing down to make your destination etc and will compute it on your own.

    Our kids did fine - watched movies on their devices etc. The train was also fun and super easy. On the second trip we stayed a day in SC on the beach. We had to drive a bit out of our way but it broke up there drive. It just depends what your goals are.
     
  5. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    #5 kort677, Jun 5, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    the car is not the issue, it is very capable of making the trip.
    the variable is your children and if they are capable of being a passenger for what to them might seem to be a very long tedious trip.
     
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  6. shelbri

    shelbri Member

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    I did a very similar road trip, going from CT to West Palm and back over the Christmas vacation 2 years ago. I was with my 13 y.o. daughter and her friend (wife and son went skiing). The girls had a blast and still talk about the trip. They would ask what the next stop was, went online and then said things like - "there is a Panera Bread there -can we get lunch" or "its at a mall, can we walk around while charging."

    During the ride, I hung an ipad in a RAM holder to the pano roof and they played thier movies through the sound system. It was fun listening the movies and hearing the laugh or scream at scenes.

    If you are not trying to break land speed records, it is actually a very enjoyable trip. Everyone knows where the next stop is going to be. At no point did we feel like we were waiting for the car to finish charging as it was usually only a 20-30 minute charge. If you need to save time, hop on a plane.
     
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  7. JClu

    JClu Member

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    I think road trips are very do-able in Tesla's, if you have the right expectations and plan the trip out more carefully than in an ICE.

    My family and I did a 2,100-mile trip between Chicago and Oklahoma back in March with our 5-year-old twin daughters, and the kids did great. With 5-year-olds, they need a break every 2-3 hours anyway, and each stop it takes a good 20 to 30 minutes for bathroom breaks, so we never had to "wait for the car to finish charging."

    Regarding charging, we brought the charger cable with us, but we always had enough charge with just SuperChargers.

    Here is the more detailed description of our trip: https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/threads/thoughts-and-lessons-learned-after-a-one-week-2-100-mile-il-ok-trip.88931

    Good luck!
     
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  8. Galve2000

    Galve2000 Member

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    If you broke the trip up over the course of 2 days it would be easy. I don't know that I would do Orlando to DC in a day tho. But my limit is 700 miles in a day. I mapped it and its roughly 850 miles vis superchargers so you could push it and do it all in one long day.
     
  9. shelbri

    shelbri Member

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    I completely agree. On my trip, I was the only driver so we did an overnight in Santee, SC while heading South and Lumberton, NC heading North.
     
  10. CalBlue 85D

    CalBlue 85D Member

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    I like road-trips and my kids, who are about the same age as yours, travel well. So, when I say go for it, I'm speaking from that perspective. In the past year, we have done several medium and long range trips in our MS and I've never had any issues with the kids being bored due to charge delays. As others have said, the car is usually ready to go sooner than we are by the time we grab something to eat or drink and use the restroom. The biggest issue with the MS is I won't let them eat in the car ; ). But hey, that gives them something to do when we do stop.

    The other issue was charging four or five devices while we travelled. I tried carrying a portable battery, but the re-charge time was about 12 hours for a battery with sufficient capacity for multiple devices, so I couldn't keep it charged very easily on a multi-day trip. I added a 12v outlet for the rear seat and that solved the problem and allows us to charge devices for people up front and in the back seat at the same time.

    12-volt outlet for rear seat on pre-facelift MS
     
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  11. JClu

    JClu Member

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    Good rule, same rule applies here lol
     
  12. wcolyer

    wcolyer Member

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    I have had my car long enough (4+ years) that eating in the car was a rule we broke oh around 4 years 11 months ago. If I am going to have a car, I use it as a car.... Anyway, road trips in your Tesla with the kids can be fun. I have done most of mine from the SF Bay Area to LA and San Diego. The kids have never been a problem and the stops are frequent enough that they do not wear out in the car. Mine are now 9 and 11.

    We are leaving for a cross country try next week. You can check out our intro video here.
     
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  13. Fiddler

    Fiddler Member

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    Our southbound, February, 2017, DC to Orlando trip in our X90D was easy. More SuperChargers on I95 than we could use. Extra planning was NOT necessary. We stopped at relatives and made lots of side trips, which made it fun. The car needed fewer and shorter stops than my stomach and bladder. No issues. Kid friendly.

    Coming back to DC, northbound was very different because we choose the longer, inland i81 mountain route. Extra planning WAS necessary and challenging. We had to plan the route around charging. We had to drive slow and double back to SuperChargers to make side trips and cancelled several side trips because of charging issues. NOT kid/family/spouse friendly.

    When the rest of the highways have SuperChargers like I95, Tesla road trips will only require a little more planning than an ICE trip. YMMV
     
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  14. daxz

    daxz Member

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    With @BrettS 's S60 planner is showing around 9-10 hours charging. Bigger batteries charge quicker and don't need to go as full.

    My family is also debating taking our first family trip in our P85 for a 1.5K+ mile each way trip. The teenage kid's biggest concern is back seat comfort (I've got original style seats). My plans would be to stop around 500-600 miles where we normally stop which also happens to be where one of the longest charging sessions is needed.
     
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  15. andrewket

    andrewket Well-Known Member

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    Odd, we had the opposite experience. More kid friendly things to do along 81. Pigeon forge was a lot of fun, and we never had to double back. Do you have a 60/75? We did push the limits on our 90 on one hop, but only because of a side trip. Had we driven straight through it would have been easy.
     
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  16. James Anders

    James Anders Member

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    Give the kiddies regular doses of Benadryl. ;)
     
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  17. Mark Bloomston

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    we've done lots of road trips, including columbus, ohio to tampa. it's a blast in the tesla. supercharging allows the driver to recharge too so going straight through doesn't need to be a big concern if you are so inclined. sounds fun. we might do the same from ft myers.
     
  18. RubberToe

    RubberToe Supporting the greater good

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    Definitely think a long trip is feasible. See the movie "Home Alone" for additional ideas about making the trip more enjoyable...

    RT
     
  19. RayCzar

    RayCzar Member

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    This. My kids are a bit younger but they can't handle more than an hour or two before needing to get out. So we plan our SC stops in areas where they can get out and run around. If we pack a picnic lunch, even better so they can play even longer.

    When we get back to the S, they're tuckered out and take a nap or just sit quietly for a few hours. Add in some interesting stops along the way where the kids can sight see and ask questions, makes for an enjoyable trip.

    Frankly, in my opinion, I like these longer trips anyways. I get more rest breaks, the kids get some additional entertainment that involves more than an iPad, and it's just less stressful overall. S or ICE, if the journey to the destination is enjoyable, then you'll have more to remember and look back upon.
     
  20. LoL Rick

    LoL Rick Like Buttah

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    I've done Tampa to the Poconos and East Hampton, and a separate trip with @Btrflyl8e to Williamsburg, VA. Easy Peasy. The only issue I had was getting my passenger on the return trip from NY to operate on the car's schedule. He would drink up while we were charging, and then 20 minutes into the next leg he would have to pee. @Btrflyl8e can relate similar experiences with her passenger.
     

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