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Model S Camping mode, Plugged in, Hatch open, Tent filling with A/C!!!

jkennebeck

Member
Apr 29, 2016
189
439
Richmond, VA
So you have your Model S and you bought a couple hundred dollar tent that attached nicely to the hatchback.

You've pulled into your RV site at the campground, plugged the car in and set up the tent. Using any of the API apps out there (Induction, Dashboard etc) you set your car into camping mode and the nice cool air comes rushing into your tent.... But after 30 minutes it cuts off!!!! The only way to get it to come back on is to close the hatchback and start the process over. Which is a little inconvenient if you want to sleep through the night in comfort.

With a great suggestion from a member on TMC there is a simple and elegant solution.

The reason the camp mode fails is that every 30 minutes those API app's send another ping to your car to turn the A/C on. If the car notices that the hatchback is open that ping fails.

So the suggestion and solution is to "trick" the hatchback into thinking its closed.

Take a small cylindrical object (wood, rubber, plastic just be careful that it won't cause damage) and click the latch on the upper part of the hatchback and its "closed" now as far as the car is concerned. So when that next A/C command comes in from the API app, it stays ON and YOU STAY COOL (or warm depending on your settings)!!!!!

So now you can charge, or at least keep the battery connected and the A/C running through the night!

One note, be careful when you get ready to actually close the hatchback. First you need to double click the back of the key fob, this will result in the latch resetting and a couple loud beeps. Then just manually and carefully push the hatch down and it will close and lock.

photo attached, I used a small metal letter opener as a test. i'm going to keep something softer for actual repeated use. it just needs to be small enough to close the latch. doesn't even need to stay in in.
tesla hatch.jpg
 

BerTX

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,568
Texas/Washington
Very nice! Thanks, I had another solution but much more complicated.

Note that this still does not solve the (frequent for me) issue when you are camping in an area with no connectivity and the apps won't work...
 

Blissedout

Member
Sep 25, 2016
157
79
Weston CT
Very nice! Thanks, I had another solution but much more complicated.

Note that this still does not solve the (frequent for me) issue when you are camping in an area with no connectivity and the apps won't work...
I think if you combine the hatch lock trick and unofficial camp mode (put car in neutral, set the parking brake manually, turn off lights manually, turn down dash brightness) it will work.
 

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
1,529
1,130
Tampa, FL
Ah I see. I wonder how long the battery will last with the AC on and cooling a tent with the hatch open.

Outside temp: 91F
A/C setpoint: 74F
rear hatch open, no tent
car in neutral, emergency brake manually set.

The car was drawing about 2000 watts for the first 5 minutes or so, but after that, over a ten minute average, it was drawing about 990 watts..
That's about a kilowatt, so every hour you would drain the battery by 1 kwh, or 8 kwh over 8 hrs. A full 90 kwh (84.5 kwh) battery would last about 85 hrs.

My daytime running lights stayed on until I selected range mode.
 
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SeminoleFSU

Voluntaryist
Apr 5, 2013
1,467
364
Atlanta, GA
I think someone posted a newer solution involving a mouse jiggler USB stick. That seems like the most elegant solution to me outside of just adding weights to the driver's seat
 

EVCarGUy

Member
Sep 28, 2016
277
326
California
I think someone posted a newer solution involving a mouse jiggler USB stick. That seems like the most elegant solution to me outside of just adding weights to the driver's seat

Yep, and later in that thread someone said they bought one, and it didn't work. I bought one, too. It didn't stop the car from turning off the instant I closed the door.
 
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Reactions: SeminoleFSU

TIppy

Active Member
Jul 8, 2016
1,529
1,130
Tampa, FL
Outside temp: 91F
A/C setpoint: 74F
rear hatch open, no tent
car in neutral, emergency brake manually set.

The car was drawing about 2000 watts for the first 5 minutes or so, but after that, over a ten minute average, it was drawing about 990 watts..
That's about a kilowatt, so every hour you would drain the battery by 1 kwh, or 8 kwh over 8 hrs. A full 90 kwh (84.5 kwh) battery would last about 85 hrs.

My daytime running lights stayed on until I selected range mode.

These measurements only included the power from the main pack. There is another 350 watts being drawn from the 12 volts battery, and it will have to be periodically recharged from the main pack. So the total power is 1340 watts instead of 990. A 90kwh pack would last 63 hours under this load. After 8 hours approximately 10.7 kwh would be consumed.
 

MarcusMaximus

Active Member
Jan 2, 2017
3,789
16,514
Los Gatos
Perhaps someone with a Twitter account can tweet Elon to request a true camping mode, since he seems to be responding to feature requests via Twitter during the past few days.

Please yes. Went on a camping trip this last weekend. This was the one thing missing. Having to perform unnatural acts and pray to the gods coated in the blood of a goat to get enough signal to get Remote S working is not a proper solution.
 

D.E.

Uncorked
Oct 12, 2016
764
985
Ann Arbor, MI
I tried "camping mode" while parked for the eclipse. That was neutral, brake set using console screen. I was parked in a paved parking lot in direct sun. It was 80F rising to 90F or so as the day wore on, with the inside temp set to 70F, fan set to "3". The car used about 6 miles of range for each hour the A/C ran.

I didn't figure the electrical useage otherwise but this range of range figure seemed useful.

Toward totality, the cars lights became an issue so I put the car in park.

When we left, 45 minutes or so later the car had turned off. The A/C was off and it took a minute or so for the car to get turned back on. We left and the mirrors remained folded. There was heavy bumper to bumper traffic. Eventually I turned down a side road, parked, and did a brake pedal depressed both scroll wheel pressed reset. After that I walked away from the car, it locked, and I walked back, the car unlocked and the mirrors unfolded. Driving home otherwise all seemed well.

I'm not quite sure why this happened. Anyone else see anything like this after using the "camping mode" to keep the A/C running for a few hours?
 

BerTX

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
May 2, 2014
3,505
3,568
Texas/Washington
I use this tent.
https://www.amazon.com/Rightline-Gear-110907-SUV-Tent/dp/B00NGJEN5K

Be aware that whatever tent you choose, it is not going to work at all campsites. Some RV are paved and will not allow tent stakes to be driven in. Others have rocks or logs dividing the area for the car from the area for the tent, and it is just about impossible to get the two close enough to make it work.

In general, if you are staying for several nights and can verify before arrival that the specific site you want to use is workable, then it is worth the trouble. For one night stays, setting up and tearing down the tent is a royal pain.
 
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