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Model Y Roadtrip Experience pt. 3 - Winter Drive to Aspen, CO.

Hello all,

Just got back again with another ten days Roadtrip experience in the Y (12/20/21 - 12/29/21), this time it's in the winter and snow, so much snow! We decided to drive from NorCal to Aspen, CO and hit the slopes during the Christmas season, which was a lot of fun. Colorado is beautiful, can't wait to go again in the future.

Here are the stats for the trip I pulled from TeslaFi-

Screen Shot 2021-12-30 at 11.29.04 AM.png


Tires. Tires. Tires!

Before the roadtrip, I thought I'd be fine with the Vredstein Quadtrac Pros I had for a year but I measured the tread depth and I was at about 4/32" all around at about 20,000 miles on those tires on the inductions. Colorado requires the tires to be 3/16" tread depth or more. To be safe I decided to replace my tires out with a new set of Vredsteins Quadtrac Pros but tirerack and other places were out of stock until February of next year on the 255/40r20s. After some research and looked through reviews I went with the Michelin Pilot Sport All Seasons 4 XL and got them on a week before the trip. I also considered getting winter tires but I live in CA and don't have space to store another set of tires. The Michelins felt nice and overall really solid, I think they are more quiet than the Vredsteins. I still really like Vredsteins though, they're cheaper by $400, has the snowflake rating, and handles great in wet weather but I had only driven it in light snow last season. Both tires are way better than the stock ones that came on the inductions. I think the Michelins are great in the snow, definitely worth the cost.

I'm glad I changed out the tires because I drove through three different snow storms to get back to NorCal from CO and I don't think I would be able to do that without these tires. It gave me the confidence I needed to go through all sorts of road conditions which were gnarly at times, especially in Salt Lake City with a snow squall in the evening on dec 28th. My first time driving in such conditions.

I also carry an auto socks instead of chains in case I need more traction. Haven't used it yet.

Charging

The tesla onboard charging recommendation is still more accurate than ABRP. I don't even bother to look at the ABRP (A Better Route Planner) recommended charging percentage except to look at the potential superchargers that I can stop at on our route. In the winter/icy conditions, I found I need to charge 10% more of what Tesla recommended, especially if the temperature is below 20F in order for me to arrive at the next charger with 5% left. On a route from West Wendover, NV to Elko, NV (108 miles), I went with the Tesla recommended of 80% charge with the estimated arrive of 10% but ended up arriving at 0% because the freeway was icy and the average temperature was 13F. This was on the new update- 2021.44.25.2. And for some reason, the yellow stay below a certain speed notification never came up at all so I monitored and adjusted my speed myself to make it to the Elko supercharger.

The first half of the trip I was able to use the last 900 referral miles I had left on my account (RIP referrals). And the whole trip charging cost me about $170 in supercharging and chargepoint. Not bad.

I charged the car whenever I am near destination chargers and made sure to charge to 95% so I can use the extra charges to defrost the car and prevent it from freezing over. Defrosting the car uses about 2-3% of the battery each time.

Driving

From the Bay Area to Aspen, it's about 20hrs drive each way with charging time. I drove only during the day time and stopped right when it got dark since I didn't want to deal with any averse road conditions during the night. Took us about two and a half days each way.

I have FSD and I only used it when I was comfortable with the drive being relatively drive and a straight shot. Anything that involved the ice, snow, and/or curvy roads, I drove myself. I drove the speed limit or less to try and retain the range.

The holiday update with the lane change blind spot camera is super useful, it's my favorite new feature of the update. Long overdue.

I drove in chill mode and kept the regen at standard even though I have the option to turn it down to low. With chill mode and some controlled one pedal driving, I had no issues, just mild slipping sometimes with icy conditions rolling from stop in heavy snow.

Speed from Nevada to Colorado range from 70mph, 75mph, to 80mph, definitely takes a hit on range on top of the cold weather. Thankfully a lot of supercharging options along the way.

Driving in Utah's snow squall in the evening was quite an experience- low visibility and unable to see where the lanes are on the freeway gave me an adrenaline rush, was lucky there wasn't any accident on our route to our hotel.

Hotels

Didn't sleep in the Y on this trip, my wife wasn't open to the idea during the winter time and we had quite a bit of gear with us. Since the road conditions are very fluid and could change anytime, we decided to book the hotels the day of, towards the end of drive. My wife would look up some of the hotels around the last charging stop and we would stay around the area. A plus if the hotels have destination chargers, Plugshare app is really useful and will let you know which location has what type of chargers.

There is a supercharger in Aspen next to a hotel and quite a few level two destination chargers around the area and snow resorts. Aspen also offer free shuttles that take you around to different ski resorts in the area. We really enjoyed our time at the Buttermilk resort, I'd drive my Y there to charge, they have four J-1772 Chargepoint chargers in the back parking lot and the Aspen supercharger right next door.

Defrosting

The tesla defrost is great. Not only can I do it remotely, it melts the snow around the window and make it easier to open the car, I don't even need to scrape the snow off much when the car is snowed in. I can just lightly brush it off when I get to the car and be on my way. Just wished there was a defrost option for the wheel well, the frozen slush is not pleasant to drive in sometimes with the MYP wheel gap, I thought something was wrong with my tires because I felt some bumps while I drove but it was just ice/slush stuck in the wheel well. Had to stop at a few self washing car wash to blast them off or chisel them off while supercharging.

Mudflaps & Snow

Wish all the other drivers on the road have some sort of mud-flaps, should be standard for all the cars on the road. Got quite a few chips on the windshield and doors from other flapless cars' flinging snow/dirt debris while they're passing by on the freeway. It is what it is. I'll go ahead and touch the paint chips up with the repair kit. I have the EV Mudflaps which held up very well in the snow.

I also see some cars who don't brush off the snow on the roof, especially coming from Reno. I stay as far away from them as possible since they're dropping chunks of snow grenades left and right.

Complaints (On the Holiday Update)

I'm not a fan of the UI-

I like to check the tire pressure with a single right swipe under the car icon while I'm driving, now I have to go to Car icon > Service to look at the same information. Seems like a lot of my workflow takes an extra step with the new UI, which is quite frustrating.

The sentry live view is cool but pretty useless when my phone doesn't alert me when sentry is set off so I can go into live view to take a look or better yet, alert us of the sentry video and let us view sentry recordings directly from the Tesla app.

Auto seat warmer is like the auto windshield wipers. I can't trust the car to know when my ass needs to be warm or not so I prefer to do it manually.

Overall

I enjoyed not having to clean bugs off of my windshield and front bumper in the winter but the range hit in the cold definitely required more preparation, time charging the car, and less use of FSD/autopilot. Still a very enjoyable roadtrip and a great experience. Just need a set of good all season/snow tires with good tread depth. Currently at 33k miles on the model Y and going. I love taking it on the road on adventures like this, more to come!

Happy New Year!

mY Pic Tax

2A9E134A-5A7E-42B3-9D25-AF4C300B87CD.JPG


IMG_0989.jpg


IMG_1045.jpg
 
Great write-up. I too am annoyed by those who leave all of the snow on the top of their car and get on the highway. I've seen enough youtube videos of this destroying windshields etc.

I have the same Michelin's and did a lot of snow driving in the past week on them (albeit 19s for me) -- they are very impressive in the snow for all season tires.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jwuwu
Agreed on Write up - will add my anecdotal since you have the only "Snow Ice Range" article posted in last year" winter ice yesterday 1/2/2022 - Model 3 - 2022 mfg 11/21:

Memphis TN Supercharger (Terrible location!!) to Sikeston/Minor MO TSC - leg distance 159 miles
Started with a OS perceived 22% estimated SOC upon arrival at next hop Tesla Supercharger - Headed out ~74% SOC - Temp 37F
Started at 70 mph till Blytheville AR - 84.5 miles out - (Famous Dodge's Chicken must stop) Ice storm hit - dry pavement 10-15 mph head wind
My Trip Temp Speed Range Chart has that temp and speed with standard conditions at 3.69 miles/kWh or 271 watt/mile - estimated discount that by 10% due to the head wind 20+.
Now ICE accumulation on road and slow down to 50 miles per hour - 1 other car spun out off road 100 feet - miles ahead of me
Now checking trip computer and at 10% SOC upon arrival - YIKES!
Found a truck to draft behind (5 Spaces) for 40 miles at 63 mph - computer showing instant at 362 watts/mile to maintain 10-11% SOC upon arrival at Sikeston/Minor MO
Discount off standard 60 mph rate (3.5 miles/kWh or 286 watt/mile) for this ICE leg was 21%
 
  • Informative
  • Like
Reactions: MY-user and jwuwu

SFNM Jack

Fueled by the Sun…
Aug 31, 2021
206
192
Santa Fe, NM
Hello all,

Just got back again with another ten days Roadtrip experience in the Y (12/20/21 - 12/29/21), this time it's in the winter and snow, so much snow!
Hey man…. Excellent write up…. As a new owner living in the west where winter is real and chargers aren’t as closely spaced I found this invaluable. Thx!!! Oh, and good to see snow in Aspen…. An old haunt of mine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jwuwu
Hello all,

Just got back again with another ten days Roadtrip experience in the Y (12/20/21 - 12/29/21), this time it's in the winter and snow, so much snow! We decided to drive from NorCal to Aspen, CO and hit the slopes during the Christmas season, which was a lot of fun. Colorado is beautiful, can't wait to go again in the future.

Here are the stats for the trip I pulled from TeslaFi-

View attachment 750109

Tires. Tires. Tires!

Before the roadtrip, I thought I'd be fine with the Vredstein Quadtrac Pros I had for a year but I measured the tread depth and I was at about 4/32" all around at about 20,000 miles on those tires on the inductions. Colorado requires the tires to be 3/16" tread depth or more. To be safe I decided to replace my tires out with a new set of Vredsteins Quadtrac Pros but tirerack and other places were out of stock until February of next year on the 255/40r20s. After some research and looked through reviews I went with the Michelin Pilot Sport All Seasons 4 XL and got them on a week before the trip. I also considered getting winter tires but I live in CA and don't have space to store another set of tires. The Michelins felt nice and overall really solid, I think they are more quiet than the Vredsteins. I still really like Vredsteins though, they're cheaper by $400, has the snowflake rating, and handles great in wet weather but I had only driven it in light snow last season. Both tires are way better than the stock ones that came on the inductions. I think the Michelins are great in the snow, definitely worth the cost.

I'm glad I changed out the tires because I drove through three different snow storms to get back to NorCal from CO and I don't think I would be able to do that without these tires. It gave me the confidence I needed to go through all sorts of road conditions which were gnarly at times, especially in Salt Lake City with a snow squall in the evening on dec 28th. My first time driving in such conditions.

I also carry an auto socks instead of chains in case I need more traction. Haven't used it yet.

Charging

The tesla onboard charging recommendation is still more accurate than ABRP. I don't even bother to look at the ABRP (A Better Route Planner) recommended charging percentage except to look at the potential superchargers that I can stop at on our route. In the winter/icy conditions, I found I need to charge 10% more of what Tesla recommended, especially if the temperature is below 20F in order for me to arrive at the next charger with 5% left. On a route from West Wendover, NV to Elko, NV (108 miles), I went with the Tesla recommended of 80% charge with the estimated arrive of 10% but ended up arriving at 0% because the freeway was icy and the average temperature was 13F. This was on the new update- 2021.44.25.2. And for some reason, the yellow stay below a certain speed notification never came up at all so I monitored and adjusted my speed myself to make it to the Elko supercharger.

The first half of the trip I was able to use the last 900 referral miles I had left on my account (RIP referrals). And the whole trip charging cost me about $170 in supercharging and chargepoint. Not bad.

I charged the car whenever I am near destination chargers and made sure to charge to 95% so I can use the extra charges to defrost the car and prevent it from freezing over. Defrosting the car uses about 2-3% of the battery each time.

Driving

From the Bay Area to Aspen, it's about 20hrs drive each way with charging time. I drove only during the day time and stopped right when it got dark since I didn't want to deal with any averse road conditions during the night. Took us about two and a half days each way.

I have FSD and I only used it when I was comfortable with the drive being relatively drive and a straight shot. Anything that involved the ice, snow, and/or curvy roads, I drove myself. I drove the speed limit or less to try and retain the range.

The holiday update with the lane change blind spot camera is super useful, it's my favorite new feature of the update. Long overdue.

I drove in chill mode and kept the regen at standard even though I have the option to turn it down to low. With chill mode and some controlled one pedal driving, I had no issues, just mild slipping sometimes with icy conditions rolling from stop in heavy snow.

Speed from Nevada to Colorado range from 70mph, 75mph, to 80mph, definitely takes a hit on range on top of the cold weather. Thankfully a lot of supercharging options along the way.

Driving in Utah's snow squall in the evening was quite an experience- low visibility and unable to see where the lanes are on the freeway gave me an adrenaline rush, was lucky there wasn't any accident on our route to our hotel.

Hotels

Didn't sleep in the Y on this trip, my wife wasn't open to the idea during the winter time and we had quite a bit of gear with us. Since the road conditions are very fluid and could change anytime, we decided to book the hotels the day of, towards the end of drive. My wife would look up some of the hotels around the last charging stop and we would stay around the area. A plus if the hotels have destination chargers, Plugshare app is really useful and will let you know which location has what type of chargers.

There is a supercharger in Aspen next to a hotel and quite a few level two destination chargers around the area and snow resorts. Aspen also offer free shuttles that take you around to different ski resorts in the area. We really enjoyed our time at the Buttermilk resort, I'd drive my Y there to charge, they have four J-1772 Chargepoint chargers in the back parking lot and the Aspen supercharger right next door.

Defrosting

The tesla defrost is great. Not only can I do it remotely, it melts the snow around the window and make it easier to open the car, I don't even need to scrape the snow off much when the car is snowed in. I can just lightly brush it off when I get to the car and be on my way. Just wished there was a defrost option for the wheel well, the frozen slush is not pleasant to drive in sometimes with the MYP wheel gap, I thought something was wrong with my tires because I felt some bumps while I drove but it was just ice/slush stuck in the wheel well. Had to stop at a few self washing car wash to blast them off or chisel them off while supercharging.

Mudflaps & Snow

Wish all the other drivers on the road have some sort of mud-flaps, should be standard for all the cars on the road. Got quite a few chips on the windshield and doors from other flapless cars' flinging snow/dirt debris while they're passing by on the freeway. It is what it is. I'll go ahead and touch the paint chips up with the repair kit. I have the EV Mudflaps which held up very well in the snow.

I also see some cars who don't brush off the snow on the roof, especially coming from Reno. I stay as far away from them as possible since they're dropping chunks of snow grenades left and right.

Complaints (On the Holiday Update)

I'm not a fan of the UI-

I like to check the tire pressure with a single right swipe under the car icon while I'm driving, now I have to go to Car icon > Service to look at the same information. Seems like a lot of my workflow takes an extra step with the new UI, which is quite frustrating.

The sentry live view is cool but pretty useless when my phone doesn't alert me when sentry is set off so I can go into live view to take a look or better yet, alert us of the sentry video and let us view sentry recordings directly from the Tesla app.

Auto seat warmer is like the auto windshield wipers. I can't trust the car to know when my ass needs to be warm or not so I prefer to do it manually.

Overall

I enjoyed not having to clean bugs off of my windshield and front bumper in the winter but the range hit in the cold definitely required more preparation, time charging the car, and less use of FSD/autopilot. Still a very enjoyable roadtrip and a great experience. Just need a set of good all season/snow tires with good tread depth. Currently at 33k miles on the model Y and going. I love taking it on the road on adventures like this, more to come!

Happy New Year!

mY Pic Tax

View attachment 751456

View attachment 751457


View attachment 751458
I have to ask, what % is your tint? It looks nice but a tad too dark for us maybe.
 
Hey man…. Excellent write up…. As a new owner living in the west where winter is real and chargers aren’t as closely spaced I found this invaluable. Thx!!! Oh, and good to see snow in Aspen…. An old haunt of mine.
haha np, glad I could help. Aspen is truly beautiful and magical!

I have to ask, what % is your tint? It looks nice but a tad too dark for us maybe.
The pics make the tint look really dark. It’s actually 35% in the fronts, looks way lighter in person haha.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: ap105
Did you do the wind screen too? What kind of tint? Ceramic?
No windshield tint. I only tinted the from two driver and passenger windows. Yes, it's ceramic at 35%.

I guess my phone makes all the windows look nicely tinted huh? It's an iPhone 13 Max Pro.

Here's a better pic to show the tint in it's more realistic shade-

IMG_1042.jpg
 
Last edited:
  • Informative
Reactions: SFNM Jack
Great write up. I ordered the Quadtrac Pro last September and the ETA is now April 2022. That will give me plenty of time to wear down the stock Goodyear which are absolute trash on snow. I also want to do a winter road trip to Utah.
Yeah, agreed with the Good Years, they're no bueno.

Woah, that's quite a long wait with the Quadtrac Pros. It's totally worth it. You'll definitely feel and enjoy the difference, felt like driving a brand new car. The ride is softer and much quieter than the Good Years.

Utah was great! Have a good trip when you go!
 

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