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My first trip far away from home in my tesla

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Dhnelson26, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Dhnelson26

    Dhnelson26 Member

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    I live in Boca Raton florida and wanted to go to the sun and fun air show in Lakeland florida in the morning and coming back the same day at night. Checking the map and counting miles I saw that from home to port st lucie supercharger was 78 miles, no sweat! But from port st lucie to Lakeland was 128 miles..Humm. No way I could make it back to port st lucie on one charge I though.......what would be the plan then? I checked out other charging stations and there were not many in that area, saw one at Kohl's Lakeland, only 2 miles from the air show location. One of my friends told me: I have a cousin in Lakeland, we could leave the car in his house charging in his dryer plug while we watch the show! ok, so I have "two cards" in my hand, but something on my head kept telling me: take hour wife's car for this trip (gasoline engine). My friend told me: let's go and try your car on a long trip, it will be an adventure, so out we went!
    We were five friends in the car plus 5 portable chairs a cooler with water and ice and a couple of small bags. This will be a real test for the Tesla as a travel machine! I drove aggressively to port st lucie as I knew I had all the energy available there, I had never supercharged my car before. I arrived and was pleased with the location. I was amazed when I hooked up the charger and saw 240 miles per hour charge! Wow!. I "filled up" to 262 rates charge and in 30 minutes I was driving at 75mph towards Lakeland. We enjoyed internet music from all over the world and even made bets: whoever guessed the closest number for the rated range at which will have the car at arrival at Lakeland will not pay for the event ticket. Well, it happened that we were talking and making jokes and we missed the exit to route 60 and there was no way to turn around for 32 miles! What?!!!! How could this be possible! Well, we had to drive all the way to Orlando and then go down to Lakeland a 45 min detour and of course "burning" precious energy. We arrived to our friend house at Lakeland at 12:30pm and I happily took out all the adaptors that I just have bought at the Tesla store in Dania beach. Guess what? none was the correct one for the receptacle at the dryer! Now what? Well, let's go to the kohl's EV charging station that I've found out previously (plan B), we went there just to find I needed a card (Chargepoint) but apparently at kohls they will give you one. spoke with the manager at customer service and they didn't find any card. One of my friends came and told me: don't even bother, the charging station says: repair or service needed. Now what.? I could hear the airplanes above...the air show was going on and I didn't even know how I was going to go back home. We decided to go to Home Depot and buy a receptacle that will fit one of the tesla's plugs. We did, but at first we were getting only 6mph charge! I was freaking out! We finally figured it out and finally got 21mph charge which sounded about right for that kind of setting. It will take about 6.5 hrs to charge it enough to get back to port st lucie. We arrived in our friend's car at the air show late 3:30 but had a wonderful time, then at 8:15pm we had managed to get our batteries charged to the magic number:150 miles rated range!, GPS distance to port st lucie was 128 miles. I drove towards the supercharger with a/c off, all unnecessary items off (even the radio) and held a steady 62 mph speed, watching with one eye the road and the other the energy monitor, well, we arrived to our "oasis" of energy with only 9 miles to spare. We had dinner and the car charged beautifully at the supercharger. After that, no more anxiety! Cool A/C, all lights on, music, and speed! That day we drove 450 miles in total, and it was a great experience!
    To end up: When you plan your trips, take more energy (rated miles) 15% minimum (20% to be comfortable ) than the actual mileage that your trip requires and always try to have have several options for charging where you go.
    Maybe this car it is not meant to be for the absent minded driver, as you need a "pilot" approach when planning a long trip. I use my tesla every day (100-120 miles), but has always come home easily to my 60mph charging station. Today after my experience, I feel comfortable going far. Best car ever! Love my tesla!

     
  2. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    This is a great testimony! It was good that you had a not-so-good experience the first time out. You learned valuable lessons and your anxiety will be significantly diminished for future trips.
     
  3. apvbguy

    apvbguy Banned

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    sounds like a great time.
    FWIW: the A/C and especially the radio's power consumption is almost negligible, so doing without in order to save energy isn't worth suffering. the best way to conserve energy is to watch your speed.
    There is a huge difference in power consumption when you drive 65 MPH instead of 75 MPH, the axiom is the faster that you drive, the more time it takes to get there.
    YMMV
     
  4. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Glad it all ended well and you had the patience to deal with the 20 mph charging.

    As you probably now know there are two kinds of dryer outlets, old or 10-30, and new or 14-30. Tesla sells adapters for both. Most new homes have the 14-30 for the dryer. The only difference between the 14-50 that comes with the UMC and the 14-30 that is the new dryer outlet is the shape of the "neutral" pin. Because the UMC does not use the "neutral" connection, it is safe and possible to cut the "neutral" pin off of the 14-50 adapter and plug it into a 14-30 outlet. The only thing that you have to remember to do is to set the MS current down to 24 Amps so as not to trip the 30 Amp circuit breaker. It does not happen often, but I once charged at a friend's house that had a low-power European dryer that used a 14-30 outlet, but was fed by a 20 Amp circuit breaker. There, I had to set the charge rate back to 16 Amps.

    Another alternative is to start calling RV Parks in the area. You can often make a deal to use one of their 14-50, 50-Amp outlets for the day. Just ask for 50-Amp service.

    I agree that the radio and A/C don't use that much power. In fact, it's far better to drive at highway speed with the windows up and A/C on, than windows down and A/C off.

    Happy road tripping, and yes, doing trip planning like a cross-country flight really helps when you are living off the land.
     
  5. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    Fun read. One takeaway: never miss your exit!

    My bag of Tesla adapters is full (well, except for CHAdeMO) and I use the 10-30 adapter in my garage at 24A. It's good to be prepared for any eventuality.
     
  6. digitaltim

    digitaltim Sig737 VIN628

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    Great story…

    If you find yourself without your ChargePoint card, just call them when at the station. They can enable it remotely. I did this a few times early on before I had received a card.
     
  7. Jeff N

    Jeff N Active Member

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    And their 800 number is listed on the charging station itself.
     
  8. gg_got_a_tesla

    gg_got_a_tesla Model S: VIN P65513, Model 3 Res Holder

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    You can start a charging session from the ChargePoint mobile app too:

    ge3u7u7y.jpg
     
  9. TeslaSinHR

    TeslaSinHR Member

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    Nice story. I think the first long trip for every Tesla owner is a little nerve-wrecking - especially once you are out of super-charger range. Figuring out charging options ahead of time - like you did - is an excellent first start. As others have mentioned, driving slow is the best way to conserve those precious electrons when you run into trouble. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will get with it; plus you will accumulate the accessories (like adapters and charge station cards) and little tips and tricks.
     
  10. Dhnelson26

    Dhnelson26 Member

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    Good to know. Thanks.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Good point, I could feel the drag with the windows and rooftop open, after a while I decided to close down everything and turned on the vent with the a/c compressor off, (temp at low and fan speed 4) it was a 72 degree night, so it wasn't that bad.
    next day I had to wash the rooftop spoiler from all the bugs that we're hitting it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, speed is what it counts. I noticed that 62mph was like the most economic speed. If I climbed to 65mph it made a difference in the range. When I was sure to make the supercharger I increased the speed to 72mph. It was quite a learning experience.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Very good advice. Thanks
     
  11. HHHH

    HHHH Member

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    I did this last month when the wife and I drove to San Fran, stayed at the Grand Hyatt downtown, Valet wanted $55 for the night, plus I wasn't very comfortable with his careless demeanor. I parked myself at the same parking garage that the Grand Hyatt uses on the same floor and enabled the charge point from my phone (1st time), long story short I charged all night for $22 and saved $33 in the process just a couple spots away from the Grand Hyatt Valet parking spots and even had the attendant watching my car for me, worked out perfect.
     
  12. TeslaSinHR

    TeslaSinHR Member

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    You'll do even better if you slow down to 55. I was driving from San Francisco to Portland a few months ago. Since I had done many road trips and really pushed the range of my car to the limit (see my avatar for evidence) I was quite comfortable with estimated how much charge I really needed to get somewhere. For kicks, I was attempting to spend the least amount of time at each supercharger. Well, I miscalculated on the Corning to Mt Shasta leg and realized that I would be about 20 miles short based on estimated range on the energy graph. The first thing I did was pull over and check PlugShare on my cell phone for where I could charge before Mt Shasta - luckily there was an RV park that I could plug into. Then I continued my journey at 55 mph (speed limit was 70). It is really hard to drive that slow in the awesomeness that is the Tesla Model S when everyone else is passing you. I was able to reduce my usage enough to make it to the Mt Shasta supercharger with only 3 miles left on the car.
     
  13. apvbguy

    apvbguy Banned

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    if you leave the tesla parked in your garage the car would be even more efficient, ok that's an absurd comment.
    the point is at what point is it absurd to sacrifice speed and safety in order to get a few more miles out of the car. many studies have shown that high speeds are not the cause of highway crashes, the disparity in speed causes a lot of problems. driving 55 on a roadway where others are traveling at much higher speeds is quite unsafe.

    YMMV
     
  14. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    I find it interesting that you respond this way to this post but you provided virtually the same answer--to slow down--in your original post to this thread. Personally I would not find it "absurd" to drive 55 in a 70 zone in order to arrive at my destination. I am not the cause of an accident by driving within the legal limits. Interstate highways have a 40 MPH minimum speed limit. You are correct that disparity causes the problem but it is because there are too many unskilled drivers who cannot manage to control their vehicle at the unsafe speeds they choose to drive.
     
  15. apvbguy

    apvbguy Banned

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    not to belabor this point but there is a huge difference between slowing down to 65 MPH where the speed limit is 65 MPH and the volume of traffic limits the speed that you can travel at than it is to cruise at 55 MPH where the limit is 70 MPH and the average speed is much higher than that.
    a rule of thumb I use is that if greyhound buses and 18 wheelers are zooming by you, you are travelling too slowly. My advice would be if you do want to travel at lower speeds plot out a route that avoids the high speed roads.
    YMMV
     
  16. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

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    Thanks! You made my point for me. :wink:
     
  17. TeslaSinHR

    TeslaSinHR Member

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    I generally agree that going WAY slower than the flow of traffic is at least inconsiderate of everyone else. But in my experience, even driving 5 miles below the speed limit I still catch up to a surprising number of other vehicles. In that section of highway I was driving there isn't much traffic and trucks and buses are limited to 60 mph and it was uphill so I wasn't going a whole lot slower than the flow of traffic.

    Plus if you leave of car in your garage you make zero progress to your destination. There actually is a sweet spot for driving the Tesla and is not zero mph - it is closer to 55 on flat ground.
     

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