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My trip from Phoenix to Seattle in a Roadster 1.5

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by xytor, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. xytor

    xytor Roadster #221

    Jan 13, 2015
    #1 xytor, Feb 18, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
    Hi all,
    There has been some interest in logging my trip from Phoenix to Seattle, so I'll catalog it here.

    1. Started in Phoenix, with a full charge at the seller's house. After the charge he took down the wall charger and I put it in the passenger seat along with my bags. I then had dinner with a friend in Phoenix, and we had some fun in the roadster.
    2. Without any additional charging, I headed off to Flagstaff (144 miles away) on my way to the Grand Canyon. I didn't anticipate the 6000 ft elevation increase. Realizing that range would be tight, I slowed down to 55mph on the 70mph highway. Due to the climb, I was using up ideal miles faster than actual miles. 20 miles outside of Flagstaff, the display reported that range is uncertain. So I tried to charge at Motel in the Pines, but they refused to let me plug in. So I put the hazard lights on and drove to my destination (La Quinta Inn) at 45mph. At this point the display was warning me that the charge level was critical and I needed to plug in right away. Luckily the folks at La Quinta allowed me to use their regular wall charger. The next day, it was at 28 miles.
    3. I stopped at the Flagstaff KOA and for about $10, they let me charge at one of their 50A RV hookups. After a few hours, I was ready to proceed to my next destination: Trailer Village at Grand Canyon South Rim (101 miles away taking the 89 and the 64).
    4. After seeing the majestic canyon, I arrived at the Trailer Village and they let me charge for free at the 50A RV hookup.
    5. My next destination was Williams, AZ (59 miles away). The Canyon Motel and RV Park let me charge overnight at their 50A RV hookup for an additional fee of about $10. They did have an "EV charging station", but it was just a regular wall outlet. Clearly insufficient for the Roadster.
    6. In the early morning, I drove to Kingman, AZ (116 miles away). Due to my good experience with the Flagstaff KOA, I charged up at the Kingman KOA. Nominal charge as usual.
    7. My next stop was Las Vegas (104 miles away). I left my car at the TM service center and they charged it overnight. They were nice and did a safety inspection and dropoff/pickup from my hotel, the Luxor. They also gave me a small demo of the MS P85D which was mind-bogglingly fast in insane mode. My brain actually shut down for a few seconds (which was ok since I was a passenger)!
    8. Next, I went to Barstow, CA (156 miles away). Since this one was a bit far compared to my other distances, I wanted to be safe and stopped in Baker first. However, Clark's Mobile Home Park looked deserted, and nobody answered the phone. None of the businesses along the main road allowed me to charge either. So I continued on to Barstow. More problems there... The folks at the Las Vegas service center told me about a roadster charger in barstow, but when I got there it was no longer installed. I could even see the Tesla logo upside-down behind some kind of plastic cover. I went across the street and charged a little at the Burger King. I called the people at the nearby Barstow/Calico KOA, but the new owner apparently has a bone to pick with EVs and no longer allows them to charge. But I had nowhere else to go. So I bought a full RV spot for about $50. I didn't feel too bad since that's what some people pay for a tank of gas.
    9. My next stop was Bakersfield (130 miles away), where I charged at the Bakersfield Palms RV resort. They charged a flat fee per kilowatt. I ended giving the nice clerk $3.
    10. My next stop was Coalinga (100 miles away), where I charged at the Roadster HPC at Harris Ranch. I met some cool people there asking about my roadster, including the founder of PlugShare, who gave me a hat! This was like the Mecca of Tesla owners because of the supercharger, battery swap station and the roadster charger. Lots of nice people.
    11. Next up was Stockton (139 miles away), where I stayed the night and charged at the J1772 plug of the Best Western Plus.
    12. The next stop was Sacramento (50 miles away). I stayed with a friend and we went to the Tesla Motors in Rocklin. While the roadster was charging and getting replacement knobs, we test-drove the MS P85D. I have to say that as a driver, it felt slower than the roadster. Definitely slower than being a passenger. I stayed the night and headed to my next destination in the morning.
    13. My next destination was Williams (60 miles away). I charged at the Almond Grove Mobile Home Park for $0.50/kW. I spent $5.00 total.
    14. Next up was Orland (43 miles away), where I charged for free and ate at the Berry Patch Restaurant (Roadster HPC). This one was hard to find because it was closer to the freeway then Google Maps showed.
    15. My next stop was Mount Shasta (120 miles away). This was a bit risky due to the elevation gain, but by this time I learned how to conserve charge very well. I charged at a 50A RV hookup at the Mount Shasta City KOA while visiting a friend. Since it was late and nobody was there, I left them $10 in an envelope. After visiting with a friend and getting some nice photos, it was time to head on.
    16. I stopped in Yreka (38 miles away) to charge at the Comfort Inn Roadster HPC and went to Starbucks for some breakfast.
    17. By this time I was filtering PlugShare to only use the Roadster chargers. They're free and fast, so it was clearly the way to go. My next stop was Seven Feathers in Canyonville (126 miles away). I was a bit scared of the elevation issues, but again, I conserved the charge just fine. I ate lunch while the Roadster charged and then moved on.
    18. My next stop was at SeQuential Biofuels near Eugene (91 miles away). At first the HPC didn't work, but after asking inside, somebody came out and turned it on.
    19. Another visit with a friend! This time in Portland (112 miles away). We had some fun in the roadster despite only having about 30 miles of range left. In the morning he went to work while I charged at Two World Trade Center's HPC. While it was charging I visited the Oregon Historical Society Museum, as it was the only one open on Monday.
    20. Almost home! My next stop was the Burgerville in Centralia (91 miles). Another good burger while charging at the HPC.
    21. Finally arrived home in Lake City, Seattle (91 miles)! Felt good to be home after over a week travelling. Parked it in my driveway and went to bed. My cat Buddy was sure happy to see me. Next day I charged it at the J1772 charger at work.

    So that's it! My epic 1850 mile trip documented in excruciating detail. Maybe I'll post some photos later.
  2. bart513

    bart513 Active Member

    Feb 27, 2013
    East Hampton
    Amazing trip and thanks for the story! Remember not to put the pedal to the metal if you have less than abot 40-50% SOC:)
  3. jordanthompson

    jordanthompson 2010 2.0 Sport, VIN 0683

    Apr 27, 2011
    Satellite Beach, FL
    What an epic journey! Sounds like you had a great time and really had a opportunity to get comfortable with your Roadster. This thread should be retitled "Bill and Teds Excellent Adventure". Really cool and thanks for sharing.
  4. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    Hamilton, Texas
    I love reading about this sort of thing. Thanks for posting! Pics would be great too.
  5. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

    Jul 16, 2009
    It's almost enough to make me miss road trips in the Roadster. Almost - Superchargers just make things too easy. But I sometimes miss places like "green" gas station in Eugene - great food and really friendly people. (Perhaps they were just especially friendly to me for donating the EVSE. Too bad I could never convince them to leave it on; I'm worried about something trying to use it after hours when they aren't there to unlock the power switch).

    KOA has a national policy to charge $10 for EVs, but as you have discovered a lot of them don't seem to know about it. At least many in CA have; it's a lot harder talking them in to it in MT or WY.
  6. purplewalt

    purplewalt Active Member

    Jun 9, 2013
    Dallas, Texas
    Great write up by xytor on his first road trip experience.
    Wonderful experience you will always fondly remember and retell.

    It is good to know that KOA has such a nationwide policy: $10 is mostly what I pay when I have charged there.
    Yes, I costs more if you get a Kabin.

    I think I must have had bad luck last Summer @ St George, UT, they wanted like $18 or $30 for only a topping up charge on my way to Vegas.
    BUT I do highly recommend using KOA RV parks to anyone on their way to somewhere off the Supercharger Network.
    I always call ahead to confirm they will allow EV charging.
    And what the cost will be.

    KOA has a handy little Directory for all of US and some Canada locations.
    Great resource to carry for Road trips.
  7. Strib

    Strib Member

    Jan 3, 2015
    Alamo, CA
    Great writeup, xytor. A road trip you'll always remember. I chickened out and trucked my Roadster from Houston back to the SF Bay Area - didn't think I'd find many charging opportunities until I was out of Texas. Maybe I should have checked on KOA.
  8. supersnoop

    supersnoop Tesla Roadster #334

    Mar 24, 2014
    You didn't mention if you charged or drove in range mode. In standard mode, the car will reduce power at 25 ideal miles remaining, but there are another ~25 miles available after that runs outs, which can be seen in max-range mode.
  9. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

    Mar 24, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Did Bonnie see the bit about the Barstow Roadster charger being gone? She saved the one at Harris Ranch... ;-)

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