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My 3600 Mile Model X Journey

Discussion in 'Model X' started by Aljohn, May 27, 2016.

  1. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    After spending what seemed like an eternity waiting for my Model X, watching the forums daily, hoping for any glitter of news, living vicariously with through the early Founder and Signature owners’ experiences, I took delivery of my X on April 19th. I have spent the last 30 days enjoying my Model X, and just concluded a 3600 mile journey visiting family and with friends, then to our annual golf outing to the Robert Trent Jones Trail in central Alabama.

    This is my first TesIa, so I will try to organize this thread so readers can choose which section of interest.
     
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  2. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Trip Planning: I drove from Atlanta to Western Maryland and Northern Virginia to visit family. All along the way, I was dependent on the Super Charger Network and Tesla’s Trip planner to avoid “range anxiety”. The navigation system mapped out the Super Charger stops perfectly. Fortunately, my route had Super Chargers every 120-210 mile intervals (I used EVTripplaner.com to validate the route first). A few things learned –

    1. Watch the Energy App which shows the Projected Range remaining which is based on my actual driving speed, and road conditions – not the “rated range” on the dash. Comparing this to the miles to destination in the Navigation Screen removed any anxiety. In a few cases, I arrived with 20-40 miles remaining.

    2. Don’t think like an ICE driver. The Trip Planner will alert you when there is enough charge to continue to the next SC or destination. The Super Chargers are FAST for 100+ miles of range, as the battery “fills”, the charge slows. Don’t think “FILL UP”. It takes less time to stop at the next SC, so when Trip Planner says to continue – Drive On!

    3. Generally, the Navigation will take you to the address of the Super Charger. In a couple of cases, I wasn’t sure where the Chargers were located. Plug Share App will tell you exactly where the Super Charger is located -- i.e.: In the rear parking lot of the XXX Hotel. Another means is switch the Navigation Swing to Google Earth mode. Expanding the screen will show exactly were the charger is with landmarks around the Chargers. In one case, I had to call Tesla Support – they provided me the location using Google Earth – It was (oddly) in the middle row of a parking lane in a shopping center.

    To be continued…
     
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  3. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Member

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    You took delivery 1 day before me and your initial road trip was double the miles and three times the length of ours. Jealous. We also have family in Alabama and were over there last weekend. Looking forward to reading the rest. I'm ready to get back to road tripping and not dealing with crazy doors :)
     
  4. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    @Aljohn - excellent report and excellent tips on supercharging. You did great for first time Tesla owner. Welcome to the Tesla family! Keep the reports coming.
     
  5. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Continued

    Auto Pilot …

    Over the course of the trip, I used the Auto Pilot about 40% of the time. I keep the Lane Departure Warning (vibration) on. After a while, I realized the Auto Pilot did a better job keeping in the lane than I. In one case I completed passing a truck in the center lane of a three-lane road. When clear, I pressed the stalk to return to the lane in front of the truck. The X would not move over. I tried again, and the X didn’t respond. About the time I was ready to move manually, a car I never saw had passed the truck on the right – out of my view. The X saved me from colliding with the car making the right lane pass.

    When in moderate and heavy fast moving traffic, I generally decided to drive and not us Auto Pilot. It was not so much the X couldn’t handle it – I couldn’t! I guess I will need more time to gain confidence. There were times during the trip the Interstates were poorly marked. The painted lines were worn and barely visible. Those are the times the driver needs to take over. I can only suggest: "Always pay Attention"

    On the drive back from Western Maryland thought the Appalachian Mountains, there was rain, fog and spray from the 18 wheelers. The combination made the lane markers difficult for me to see. Again, the X indicated it could use Auto Pilot, but I decided not to engage, since I needed to adjust the speed due to conditions.
     
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  6. Pollux

    Pollux Member

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    @Aljohn - great posts! Thanks!
     
  7. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    #7 Aljohn, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    Installment 3...


    And then there was the Deer…

    While driving on a three lane Interstate a vintage GM sedan decided to ride my rear at 80 MPH. Suddenly a deer decided to cross the road; it hesitated and then made a run for the opposite side. It was so close to my right, I could see its eyes. I imagined it hitting the X and destroying the massive windshield. In an instant, I thought my X would be totaled 800 miles from home in my first three weeks of owning. My wife was screaming! As the deer made its last lateral dash toward me, I couldn’t stop -- the sedan was two car lengths off my rear end. I gunned the X… the motors (P90D) accelerated instantaneously quickly getting to 100 MPH. When we passed the deer, had the passenger window been open, my wife could have patted it on the head. The X cleared the deer by 2 feet to the rear. The sedan riding my bumper was not so lucky. The driver never saw the deer at all because the car was too close to see around the X. It took out its hood and destroyed the windshield on the sedan. The driver was fine, but clearly shaken. Had I had an ICE and transmission lag, I would have never been able to get out of the way. It made the $20,000 upgrade worth it. My wife didn’t settle down for the rest of the day! Sometimes you NEED Insane acceleration!
     
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  8. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    Wow! I am shaken just reading this...wow!!!!
     
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  9. Drivin

    Drivin Member

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    #9 Drivin, May 28, 2016
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
    You were traveling 80mph and saw the deters eyes
    You then accelerated from 80mph to 100mph
    During that you were so close to the deer you could have had touched it, but it was moving so slowly that it Cleared the back of your car by 2 feet but then miraculously it managed to get in front of the next car in the 0.16 seconds that it took the car in back of you to cover that 2 car lengths.

    Well, that is just totally believable.
    Deers easily can Easily accelerate so quickly - it probably was a ludicrous deer.
    Ludicrous.
    Totes. Believable.

    Reminds me of :
    Dear Road and Track,
    I never thought this would happen to me.
     
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  10. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Obviously, you misunderstood. The deer was moving perpendicular trying to cross the road -- not running along side -- they can't do 80 MPH. Avoiding it before it reached my lane was paramount. Sarcasm is a form or whit.... At least spell things correctly, least your whit be doubted.
     
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  11. EinSV

    EinSV Member

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    Thanks for the posts @Aljohn. Look forward to hearing more ....
     
  12. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    #12 Aljohn, May 29, 2016
    Last edited: May 29, 2016
    ... the journey continues:

    The Curious Cop

    Traveling north in Virginia, I passed a “speed trap" with 3 marked and unmarked police cars awaiting those in a real hurry. The Model X is sneaky quick, so I learned to drive with cruise control on without Auto Pilot. I saw the officers on the side of the road, and had no worries since I was within a couple of miles of the speed limit. About a mile pass, I noted one of the police cars in my rear view mirror. Gave it little thought, but he never passed me lumbering along in the right lane. Then the lights came on … I couldn’t imagine why he was stopping me. I pulled over the shoulder, and he pulled in behind me. Since we were on an interstate with little shoulder in the mountains of Virginia, he came to the passenger side of the X. After some “obligatory” information that the stop was being recorded, he asked “How Long I had the Model X.” He said it didn’t know any were out on the road yet. I said I was about 2000 to be delivered. He, of course had to have a reason for stopping me. Just wanting to see the Model X was not a sufficient reason. He said: My widow tint seemed excessive – I had the front windows tinted to the legal limit (35%) for Georgia. After checking the license and registration, he returned and measured the tint with his meter. Yep, it is 35% within the limits in Georgia. Have a nice day. Off we went and he got to see the Model X up close. No harm, No foul!
     
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  13. SMSMD

    SMSMD Member

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    @Aljohn Very helpful and informative posts..Keep up the good work..eager to read more.:)
     
  14. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Enjoy the Drive

    No matter what car one is driving, ultimately it comes down to whether it is relaxing and comfortable to drive. I had expectations of the Model X since I had previously made the same trip in my Audi Q7 and A8. Vehicle must help the driver and passengers arrive rested, stress free and relaxed from the trip. Make no mistake – nothing does away with traveling 600 miles no matter how one breaks it up. The Model X was as comfortable to drive as my Audi Q7. The Model X seats are supportive and comfortable. I would strongly suggest that anyone on the “fence” over ordering the Premium Interior to opt for it. It makes a difference on long trips.

    Temporarily, I have a 2013 Model S as a loaner while my X’s driver’s door molding is replaced. This is the first time – other than quick test drives – that I have been able to compare the prior generation S to the Model X. The Model X’s air conditioning is much improved. In the Model X, I hardly notice it is running. I seldom hear the fan running. It cools faster than the Model S Loaner, more efficient in the Atlanta heat with no “hot spots” in the car. I did note in the X, that the rear and center seats air handlers are only on when the seats are occupied. I assume to save battery and improve the range.

    I opted for the Ultra-Hi Fi Sound. It was a good choice, since music is good company when traveling on the road. I used the USB port most of the way, but discovered Tune In on the return trip allowing us to listen to the local Atlanta station we enjoy. The Ultra-Hi Fi sound is outstanding (to my ear). The cost of the up-graded sound may not be for all, but I am glad I opted for the upgrade.

    The return trip was long. Both my wife and I had appointments the following day, so we had to make the 800 mile return in 12 hours. Again, I had to rely on the Trip Planner and the projected miles indicator. The Trip Planner, on occasion, flashed: “You MUST keep under 55MPH to reach your destination” as we traversed old US Highways which run opposite the interstate general NE to SW direction. At one point, Trip Planner altered the route to closer Super Charger, but I soldiered on. We arrived at the Super Charger in North Carolina with 14 miles of projected miles. Whew. The Model X was thirsty, and it was a good time to have dinner, so it was a full charge stop. My wife had to pick up her car from her mother’s day visit with family and drive back to Atlanta. I had no time to mingle, and started the last 350 mile trek alone. It was two more Super Chargers, then home. Somehow, the trip planner was routing me to the Super Charger past my house, so I waited longer than needed at the final stop.

    Over-all the Model X was a pleasure to drive. I am completely satisfied with my X.
     
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  15. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Member

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    If you are outside of the vehicle and it is hot and the A/C is on, does the fan sound like a freight train? I can hear mine from far away and it is louder than an ICE. This is only when the fan is at 10 though. Once it settles down all is better.

    Also you can force the rear and center seat A/C on by switching from 'Auto' to 'On' for the Rear HVAC. We had to do this because our child seat and dogs did not register as the 2nd and 3rd rows being occupied.
     
  16. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    Yes as @ohmman has pointed out in another thread..the loud AC...it's a parking lot vehicle locator feature :D
     
  17. Aljohn

    Aljohn Member

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    Oh.. I don't have preconditioning on, so I haven't walked up the the X cooling down. At one Super Charger, I took out my cleaning cloths and detailer to clean off the front bugs. The fans cooling the battery almost sucked the cloths out of my hands. It was LOUD...
     
  18. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Member

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    Sounds like we are all in the same boat then. Inside the car the sound isn't so bad, but when the car is either cooling the battery during Supercharging or cooling the cabin from a high temperature the fan is crazy loud.
     
  19. paintpolisher

    paintpolisher Banned

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    The S is this way as well.
     
  20. paintpolisher

    paintpolisher Banned

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    Thanks for your great reports John. We are headed out on June 10th for a two week 3k mile round trip that will take us as far north as Bar Harbor, ME.
     
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