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Lots of summer road trips - how to maximize

I have a LR AWD Y arriving on Monday, 142xxx vin. Very excited and have been ogling Teslas for almost a decade of Volvo driving. I work in the summer camp industry and therefore, have a lot of driving to do May-August from downstate NY to upstate (Adirondacks, Catskills and Poconos). At our office / home, there is a home charger my coworker uses to charge his X and we'll be sharing. At each camp, there will obviously be 110 and possibly some 240 outlets depending on location I can park. At each camp, when I go, I usually stay for a few days and barely go anywhere so even 110 will be fine. The typical routes are about 200 miles each way. Depending on trip, there are between 3 and 8 super chargers between the various destinations. So I don't completely trash my battery this summer, what's the best plan of attack here?
 
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For sure there will be 110 so if I'm there for 4-7 days, who cares how long it takes right? 240 will be most likely next to an industrial building like kitchen, laundry, etc. I know it says not to use an extension cord but if it's a proper gauge and high quality, we should be ok?

Yes, you can fully charge from empty in about 3 days on 110v @ 15A. You can use an extension cord, but you may need to reduce the amperage in order to keep plug/cord/breaker temps from getting too hot.
 

jcanoe

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Oct 2, 2020
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You should assemble a charging kit that you can rely on for charging at the summer camp locations. Start with the Tesla Mobile Connector kit that comes with the Tesla vehicle. The kit includes a NEMA 5-15 power plug adapter. That will work with any grounded 15 amp or 20 amp 120V outlet. If you want add to the kit then consider a NEMA 5-20 power plug adapter.

You can purchase additional power plug adapters for the Tesla Mobile Connector from the Tesla Store (either individually or as a set.) True RV campgrounds commonly offer a 30 amp receptacle known as a Travel Trailer 30A (TT-30), a 120V, 30 amp outlet. Tesla does not sell a TT-30 adapter but this can be purchased from EVSEadapters.com.

You will want to add a contractor grade three prong extension cord, or several. A shorter cord, up to 50 ft. can be 12 or 14 gauge. If you also decide to bring a longer extension cord, up to 100 ft., it should be 10 gauge or 12 gauge. Only use an extension cord if needed, use the shortest length extension cord that can reach the electrical outlet. Do not daisy chain the extension cords together.

Tesla provides a table that can give you an estimate of how many miles of EV range are added per hour of charging with each type of 120V or 240V circuit when using the Tesla Mobile Connector. Gen 2 NEMA Adapters

The Tesla vehicle also comes with a Tesla J1772 charging adapter so you can use any Level 1 or Level 2 charging station (some require an account, others are free.) Download the Plugshare app onto your phone to locate public charging stations near your location. Use A Better Route Planner on your phone or on the web to help plan your trips, determine charging locations.

I would use the Tesla Supercharger network when you need to charge on the road. Although using the Supercharger network will cost perhaps $0.30 per kWh (some places a bit more or a bit less) using a Supercharger will save you time. I would not be concerned about the Tesla's battery pack when Supercharging. The Tesla vehicle will manage the charging session to protect the battery pack.
 

jcanoe

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Oct 2, 2020
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Maryland
@jcanoe thank you for the detailed explanation! During my first trip(s) of the season to each camp in May, I will scout out plugs, cord distances, etc and purchase appropriately.
Be aware that you must have a proper grounded outlet to be able to charge. Pick up a small outlet tester for under $10 on Amazon, this will diagnose common wiring issues. One like this: https://www.amazon.com/Gardner-Bend...&keywords=outlet+tester&qid=1615599529&sr=8-9

Also, outlets that are more than 5 years old, especially if they are outdoor outlets should be replaced as they get corroded, wear out and then don't make a tight connection with the plug. (Every camp has a handyperson/caretaker as I recall. Find out what the caretaker likes to drink. Ask them to change the receptacle for you once you figure out where you can plug in.) Use only a commercial grade or hospital grade receptacle. These come packaged not loose in a bin at the big box hardware store or electrical supply store.

The Tesla Mobile Connector chassis is not designed for all weather use. Try and keep the Mobile Connector chassis (the electronics unit) dry and off of the ground. Even placing the chassis on a brick or cinder block is better than leaving the Mobile Connector chassis on the ground. This will only be an issue if you use an extension cord because the Tesla power plug adapter is only 1 ft. long. Bring along one or two short bungee cords, some velcro tape or similar. You will want to hang the Mobile Connector chassis from a nail, hook etc. to support the Mobile Connector chassis so it does not hang supported only by the plug and receptacle.
 
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It sounds as if you have lots of time to charge, and plenty of charging opportunities otherwise. I wouldn't stress too much, or spend a bunch of money on extension cords and adapters.

It's likely worth buying a L14-50 plug set for the mobile connector for $35. Then, if needed, buy off-the-shelf adapters to L14-50 for anything else you encounter. You'll need to explicitly set a lower charge current, and it's not as convenient as buying the correct plug set from Tesla (which will signal the appropriate current limit and has a temperature sensor to detect overheating), but spending $35 for a one-time charge doesn't make sense.
 
I did a similar thing last year, in my first road trip with the Y. Our place in Maine is on an island, and we rent a boat from the local marina to get there. Made a deal with the owner to plug in and pay him for the electricity. There was a convenient 120V 15A outlet near the docks. Plugged the mobile connector right in, rented the boat, and headed off. Checked it every day from the app to make sure it was still charging. When the remnants of Hurricane Isaias came through, the GFCI on the outlet tripped and it stopped charging. I just reset it the next time I went to the car and it went back to charging. Took about 3-1/2 days to fully charge, and a day or so to recharge after local trips, but I never had to head to the nearby supercharger.

And the number of questions I got about the car! Everyone was curious, and I bet I got a few people thinking about EVs who hadn't been considering them. Also hopefully the marina is thinking about adding actual charging points. Most people just come for the weekend so level 1 is only semi-useful, but a few L2 chargers will be a big selling point in a few years. And they do have slips with shore power, so they know about providing electricity to customers.
 

Rocky_H

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Feb 19, 2015
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Boise, ID
It's likely worth buying a L14-50 plug set for the mobile connector for $35. Then, if needed, buy off-the-shelf adapters to L14-50 for anything else you encounter. You'll need to explicitly set a lower charge current, and it's not as convenient as buying the correct plug set from Tesla (which will signal the appropriate current limit and has a temperature sensor to detect overheating), but spending $35 for a one-time charge doesn't make sense.
First off, that's not even a typo, since you repeated it, but it's a brain lapse. The L means "locking", so those are the twist lock plugs. What you mean is just 14-50, not L14-50. But I don't really agree with this. We used to have to do that kind of hokey stuff years ago when there were few types of Tesla plugs available, and there weren't proper adapters that signaled the amps. Now we do have those.
buy off-the-shelf adapters to L14-50 for anything else you encounter. [...] but spending $35 for a one-time charge doesn't make sense.
And this doesn't even make sense. You're suggesting buying adapters for everything, but then say buying adapters doesn't make sense.

Just get the real proper adapters that signal the current. Anything that Tesla doesn't officially sell, you can get from EVSEAdapters.com.
 
Just an update on this situation. I've been doing these trips for 2 months now. Each camp location has put in (or already had) a 14-50. In 2000 miles I've driven only had to SC once. Yesterday did a 200 mile trip from downstate to upstate NY in near perfect conditions (mid 70s to high 60s, no wind). Charged to 100% and arrived with 33%. This is an amazing vehicle!
 

jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
5,330
5,821
Maryland
Just an update on this situation. I've been doing these trips for 2 months now. Each camp location has put in (or already had) a 14-50. In 2000 miles I've driven only had to SC once. Yesterday did a 200 mile trip from downstate to upstate NY in near perfect conditions (mid 70s to high 60s, no wind). Charged to 100% and arrived with 33%. This is an amazing vehicle!
What is your lifetime Wh/mi?
 
I did a similar thing last year, in my first road trip with the Y. Our place in Maine is on an island, and we rent a boat from the local marina to get there. Made a deal with the owner to plug in and pay him for the electricity. There was a convenient 120V 15A outlet near the docks. Plugged the mobile connector right in, rented the boat, and headed off. Checked it every day from the app to make sure it was still charging. When the remnants of Hurricane Isaias came through, the GFCI on the outlet tripped and it stopped charging. I just reset it the next time I went to the car and it went back to charging. Took about 3-1/2 days to fully charge, and a day or so to recharge after local trips, but I never had to head to the nearby supercharger.

And the number of questions I got about the car! Everyone was curious, and I bet I got a few people thinking about EVs who hadn't been considering them. Also hopefully the marina is thinking about adding actual charging points. Most people just come for the weekend so level 1 is only semi-useful, but a few L2 chargers will be a big selling point in a few years. And they do have slips with shore power, so they know about providing electricity to customers.
I’ve been thinking about this for our trips to an island off of Stonington, Maine. However, my wife said don’t you dare bring that Tesla there and try and talk to the locals about charging it. I said I would offer to pay and she said they will have no clue when you say how’s $10-20 sound, which is way more than a full charge. But I digress.

Bigger question though, is keeping the mobile connector outside. It almost always rains over the course of a week up there. Even with a GFCI outlet, is it ok to do that? Is there any advice for charging/plugging in for a week outside on the dock at the marina?

I just did ABRP and maybe leaving unplugged for a week isn’t much of an issue either?

5E38993B-1946-4FB0-ADF8-CA215A7BD97F.jpeg

Looks like about 25% to get from the closest supercharger. If we round up to 30% then round-trip 60%, add 2% per day for phantom drain for a week roundup to 20%. So total is 80%. Would this be a safe calculation to justify bringing the MY for this trip? If I conservatively have 20% left to get back to Bangor then I don’t have to worry about charging at the marina. Happy to hear people’s thoughts.
 
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jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
5,330
5,821
Maryland
Everything you need to know should be in the Tesla Gen2 Mobile Connector Owners Manual: https://www.tesla.com/sites/default...bile_connector_owners_manual_32_amp_en_US.pdf

See page 2 for warnings regarding using and/or exposing the Mobile Connector to water and inclement weather.

Make sure you are using a properly grounded receptacle when using the Mobile Connector.

Do not use the Mobile Connector when either you, the vehicle or the Mobile Connector is exposed to severe rain, snow, electrical storm or other inclement weather.

Protect the Mobile Connector from moisture, water and foreign objects at all times. If any exist or appear to have corroded or damaged the Mobile Connector, do not use the Mobile Connector.

If rain falls during charging, do not allow rain water to run along the length of the charging cable, causing the electrical outlet or the charging port to become wet.

Do not use an extension cord (but we all know you can use an extension cord if it is of proper gauge and good quality, not too long.)
 
Despite the warnings against using the Mobile Connector outside in rain, there was no trouble for me last year other than tripping the GFCI in the outlet.

Of course, your mileage may vary. I have a second MC that I leave at home, so if I permanently destroy one with rain I can still charge at home without having to stretch my Clipper Creek cable messily over the car while waiting for a new MC to arrive. A wall connector of course would work the same way if you have one (or a J1772 charger in a more convenient location than mine). And honestly, if the rain from a hurricane remnant isn't enough to damage it, I think it's a pretty low risk to leave it outside in normal Maine weather (just make sure it's not lying on the ground). Most likely the rain in Maine won't strain the phantom drain.

Now, In my case we've been using our marina for literally generations, so they know me, and they're quick to do what they can for a reliable customer who doesn't trash their boats. But I would go ahead and call yours to ask if they're cool with plugging in somewhere for a little extra cash. It's Maine, where (just for example) places that sell well pumps make a little extra by selling beer too, so it's probably safe to assume that everyone is up for a little side hustle. Plus it gets them thinking about installing actual chargers, and it won't be long before that will be a selling point for them.

If you end up just leaving the car there unplugged, you should turn off sentry mode. It may drain more than 2% per day.
 
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For sure there will be 110 so if I'm there for 4-7 days, who cares how long it takes right? 240 will be most likely next to an industrial building like kitchen, laundry, etc. I know it says not to use an extension cord but if it's a proper gauge and high quality, we should be ok?
Have you actually ever charged at 120 vac? If yes, then you know you are not likely to gain much mileage. You'll mainly be replacing the the charge that is lost through idle usage.
 
Have you actually ever charged at 120 vac? If yes, then you know you are not likely to gain much mileage. You'll mainly be replacing the the charge that is lost through idle usage.
That's not true at all. See all my posts above in this thread. If you're talking about winter in Canada, yeah maybe it will take the whole 1.4 kW to keep the battery warm, but in the Maine summer you gain about 4 mph with a 120 V 15 A circuit. That's with sentry mode on. Takes about 3 days for a full charge.
 

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