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Model S Western US Tour

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Bugeater, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    OK, since folks at TESLIVE wanted me to post this sooner than later, here it is.

    First of all HoneyBug's and my trip was from May 18 to June 7, 2013.
    We traveled a total of 5540 miles in 21 days.
    Only 4 days were spent not traveling. Those were spent in Yellowstone, Kansas City visiting family and Grand Canyon.
    We used 1686.7 kWh of electricity, averaging 304 Wh/mi.

    And like HoneyBug says, we're still married!

    Here's a link to the Google Map of our trip. We started in the Silicon Valley and headed north.

    Model S US Tour

    We were originally planning to continue on to St Louis and down through Memphis and Texas, etc. but decided not to due to better understanding travel time and hearing about tornadoes and hail along the way. Instead we doubled back from Kansas City to Denver and then headed south.

    Soon I will post a link to photos we took along the way.

    There was only one time when we ran out of charge. That was when a small minded RV park manager chased us out of their park. The next park also said "No" because they didn't know how much to charge us. We coasted to a stop 3.3 miles from the third RV park which was VERY accommodating! Our Model S said we had 26 miles remaining when we stopped. A call to Tesla Customer Service had us on the back of a flatbed tow truck within an hour!!!
    That was a great lesson and we never had trouble again.

    The longest we traveled in a single day was from Las Vegas, NV to Los Altos, CA. We traveled 570 miles in almost exactly 12 hours including 3 supercharger breaks, lunch and dinner.
    After the first few days we realized that 2 charges at RV parks during the day was too much. After that we settled on charging overnight, traveling in the morning, charging at an RV park, traveling in the evening and then stopping for overnight.
    We stayed overnight at Hotels and Motels most of the time but did sleep in a backpack tent 3 or 4 nights.
     
  2. CalDreamin

    CalDreamin Member

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    Very cool trip!

    Did the RV parks typically charge you for a day's use of an RV slot? Were most of them EV-friendly?
     
  3. mhpr262

    mhpr262 Member

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    Huh? the display really told you you had enough juice left for 26 more mile and then the car suddenly quit??? o_O

    I always thought the display would go down to zero and then you would STILL be able to travel a not so trivial distance (like 10-15 miles) before the car stopped..? Some error of the display/computer?
     
  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I'm confused by that line as well.
     
  5. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Yeah, you're the first person I've heard who had the S stop on them when there was more than 0 miles of range displayed. I'd take it up with your service manager and see if you can get it escalated up to Engineering.
     
  6. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    And please get back to us with whatever information you are comfortable sharing. Thanks.
     
  7. MikeC

    MikeC Active Member

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    That is an awesome trip, thanks for posting it. But I'm also confused about the 26 miles.
     
  8. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    I am surprised by the 26 miles incident, I have driven down to 3 to 10 miles several times and had no issues. Those were the early days, I don't do that anymore. I also don't recommend that.
     
  9. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I've done 6, 2, 4, 7 rated before with no surprises like the 26 issue.
     
  10. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    I have heard of two Roadsters that had that issue (long ago); I believe it was a firmware problem that was fixed.

    I had never heard of it with a Model S until just after the "Road Trip 101" session at TESLIVE when an attendee asked me about it. Unfortunately her conference badge was turned around so I didn't catch her name or handle. Could that have been HoneyBug? Or has this happened to two people?
     
  11. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    When the car stopped on us I tried rebooting the dash and console computers and putting it back into drive, but no go. Well, my wife took it to the Menlo Park service center Monday after we got back. They had engineers look at the logs and all they could find was that it shifted into neutral. I certainly tried several times to shift info drive but at the time it didn't do any good. The service center drove it down to 17 miles later that week, but they couldn't reproduce the problem. It was 90+ degrees when it happened, but I have no idea if that affected it or not.

    When I would get to an RV park I would tell them about the Motor Trend report where it said it would cost about $12 - $13 for a full charge. If I were charging overnight I would give them up to $20 which I figured was quite fair. If it were just for an afternoon charge I would offer them $10 or so. They sometimes just said, "What a cool car!" and not charge me anything!!! 99% of the folks at RV parks were just very nice folks.
    Note that some older RV parks only have 120V 30amp service. That's why you should call ahead and ask first. One such RV park loaned me an adapter that plugged into 2 30amp outlets and gave me 240V at 30amps. Obviously their outlets were wired with 240V, but split into 2 120V outlets. In spite of having to lower the amps I was charging with, by morning the car was fully charged!

    We certainly won't go on such a long trip again until there are superchargers all along the way. It was quite an adventure...
     
  12. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    Here is the link to the photos on Google+: Google Profiles
    Please let me know if this link doesn't work.
     
  13. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    Yes, I believe that was HoneyBug you spoke to.
     
  14. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    When you say "coasted to a stop", are you referring to a loss of power to propel the car while driving? Were there any warnings that you could see displayed on either display? If not, please be as specific as you can (if you feel comfortable sharing) as this is unprecedented in a Model S AFAIA.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Link does not work as you need to grant permissions to 'everyone'. There should be a blue 'share' button in the upper right hand corner.
     
  15. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    Discoducky, I think I have made it public now!

    We were driving along interstate 70 in Kansas. Suddenly there was no more power. The rated mileage said 26. The car slowly coasted to a stop. I don't remember any messages on the screens. Tesla service said all they could find was that the car was put into neutral. I rebooted the central display twice with no luck, and the instrument cluster once with no luck either.
    I tried to put the car into drive, but nothing I did helped. Then I called Tesla Owner Experience. They tried to walk me through a few things but no luck. Then they sent a flat bed truck. The truck took me the last 3.3 miles to the RV park where I was headed and left me to charge. After several hours and a good charge we were on our way again.
     
  16. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

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    #16 ChadS, Jul 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
    Nice to have met Honeybug. You have some great pictures in that album - looks like a wonderful trip.

    Your car clearly did stop with charge left; but perhaps lack of charge was not why it stopped? It could have been some problem that made it take the car out of gear and keep you from putting it in gear. That would explain why you didn't get any messages about the car shutting down, as well as why it couldn't be reproduced by low charge.

    Frustrating either way, I know - the car still wouldn't go when it should have. But it doesn't necessarily mean that we have to start worrying about the accuracy of the rated miles display.

    By the way, when my car was fairly new I once lost power going up a hill - very disconcerting. It turns out I was going for the windshield wipers that are on the other side in my other car, and brushed the gear selector and put it in neutral. I know that's not your problem though, as in my case it went right back in to gear when I asked it to.

    So what would keep the car from going in to gear? That doesn't leave any errors on the screens or in the logs? And doesn't get fixed after a reboot, but does fix itself after some time and a charge? This smells like a flaky sensor issue, but it seems most sensors giving readings bad enough to keep the car from going in to gear should result in a message of some kind.
     
  17. toto_48313

    toto_48313 CAN P #5

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    I'm currently on a longer family road trip.
    We left Montreal, QC on July 1st, went through Sault Ste Marie, I-90, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Fremont (attend the Teslive ride), Vegas, Monument Valley (where we did nice shot of the Tesla in the dirt), currently in Alamosa Colorado aiming to Kansas city in the coming days... 3 weeks, more than 5,000 miles, and 2,000 left.
    I'll share more on that experience when back home (Montreal), in about 10 days.
     
  18. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    When you get home please list all the places you charged!
     
  19. Bugeater

    Bugeater Member

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    toto_48313, Great trip! We'd all like to hear details when you get a chance! I did the charging locations in Google Maps Lite. Was pretty easy actually to get them from Google maps and then share them.

    Wow, 7K miles plus! How long do you expect it to take altogether? Ours took 21 days. In my case it was just my wife and I. How many on your trip?
    If you take I-70 to Kansas City, don't stop at the KOA in Goodland Kansas. They told us to "Get Out Now!" However Shady Grove Campground and High Plains Camping were very happy to see us!
     
  20. TommyBoy

    TommyBoy Member

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    Wowza, Bugeater! I'm more impressed that you made that trip on those 21" tires without a spare!!! We did Yellowstone a couple years ago in our ICE and it was pretty brutal!
     

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