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Need help planning road trip from Washington DC to Phoenix AZ

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by swegman, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Not sure if this is the right place to post this. I would like to drive my P85 from the Washington DC area to the Phoenix AZ area. However, I can not figure out where I can charge the car along the trip. Is there a site or program that can tell me where to stop and charge (ideally on a 14-50 or greater outlet/charger)? Any recommended charging places, be it public, camp sites, hotels, etc?

    It would be great if I could drive about 225 miles, stop to charge (on a fast charger) and then drive another 225 miles in a single day. If I can only drive 225 miles a day, it will take about 10-11 days for the drive.

    According to google maps, I would be taking I81 in the VA area to I40 and take I40 almost the whole rest of the way.

    Thanks for any help you can give.
     
  2. jebzter

    jebzter Member

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    Download the applications like Recargo, Chargepoint, Blink and Plugshare. Also the recent update to your Tesla software will show the Supercharging stations.
     
  3. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    If you come down I81 i can offer 48 amp J1772. I'M on plugshare in Kingsport. While there are plenty of 30 stations i have yet to find a high power option. If a CHAdeMO adapter comes out the Cracker Barrels in TN offer fast DC charging. I think we have 16 units on line. It is a shame we cant use them.
     
  4. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    #4 stevezzzz, Aug 7, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
    Your plan to drive two legs with one mid-day charging stop is doable, as long as you can find at least a 10kW charge opportunity (usually a NEMA 14-50 at an RV park). Just be aware that it's relatively rare to find spots capable of delivering a full 240V at 40A continuous, so you're likely to charge at a slightly lower rate than you expect.

    The AllStays Camp & RV app is extremely useful for planning road trips. I just got back after a road trip from Denver to St Joseph, MO, and used the app to find RV parks with 50A plug-ins along the way. That said, there really isn't just one app for all charging spots: you need them all.

    If you pass through Denver, I'm located north of the city just off E-470 and my 14-50 is registered with PlugShare.
     
  5. GlennAlanBerry

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    Hi stevezzzz,

    Where did you end up charging in Kansas? I'll be driving from Parker to Topeka in September, and I have the route and charging somewhat mapped out, but I'd like to hear your experience. Thanks!
     
  6. Plug Me In

    Plug Me In Member

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    Register for Plugshare as that would be your best bet to find private HPWC, along with public chargers, assuming you have twin chargers and would benefit from those. I'm on Plugshare in Lynchburg, VA (off Hwy 29) with a 14-50.
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Roadster Signature #55

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    I would also recommend that, in addition to the Plugshare app, you should check out the Plugshare website. It has a very useful Trip Planning feature, which is not included in the app.
     
  8. swegman

    swegman Member

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    dhrivnak, thank you for the offer. I appreciate it and will let you know if I need a charge where you are.

    I have twin chargers and have the plugshare, recargo, chargepoint and rv parks apps for the iphone. But none of the apps provide an easy way to plan a trip. As far as I can tell, I need to use google maps to plan the basic drive route, and then split that up into approximate 200 mile intervals and start looking for charging locations nearby. It looks like RV parks offer 14-50 charging but what do I do while the car is charging? and are there hotels near the RV parks?
     
  9. GlennAlanBerry

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    Well, you are looking at about seven hours to get 200 miles of range back on a NEMA 14-50. Some people just sleep in the trunk/back seat with the seats folded down, using a mattress pad of some sort. That is what I plan on doing for my much shorter road trip in September.

    Some RV parks allow tent camping and some don't. A cross-country road trip using only NEMA 14-50 to charge will be a somewhat time consuming adventure. Typical L2 30 amp public chargers are even worse. Since you have twin chargers, if you can find some HPWC available on Plugshare, that will be so much better.

    A long road trip without SuperChargers is just going to be a little painful compared to how it will be over the next couple of years.
     
  10. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    #10 dhrivnak, Aug 7, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
    The wait while charging can be challenging. Bring a good book. But places vary widely. Some are campgrounds are a mile or two off the road with nothing nearby. Some are near malls or parks where the stop can be quite pleasant. For our place if you are walkers and the weather pleasant we are next to the green belt with several restaurants in walking distance or bikes can be left out. But it is a bummer if weather does not cooperate. I just completed a 550 mile trip yesterday and plan the same Sat/Sunday to make it back home so it can be done.
     
  11. Tesla 940

    Tesla 940 Member

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    Wow a "true" road trip!

    RV Campgrounds is probably the way to go. Go to AAA and get the state books for the states you are travelling through. Look for interesting things to do that are close to the RV campgrounds. Sometimes it is possible to get transportation from the Campground to the activity. You could be at the Campground for 6-9 hours. A modified approach is to look for interesting things to do and then find near-by campgrounds. Spend what ever time is needed to "see the sight(s)" then head on to the next location and repeat, repeat, repeat.
     
  12. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Figured out the following driving segments with google maps. Tesla advised to keep the segments to 170-200 miles if driving a P85 at 70/75 mph:

    1. DC area to Natural Bridge, VA (203 miles)
    2. Natural Bridge, VA to Abingdon, VA (161 miles)
    3. Abingdon, VA to Knoxville, TN (128 miles
    4. Knoxville, TN to Nashville, TN (180 miles)
    5. Nashville, TN to Memphis, TN (212 miles)
    6. Memphis, TN to Conway, AR (160 miles)
    7. Conway, AR to Alma, AR (116 miles)
    8. Alma, AR to Oklahoma City, OK (195 miles)
    9. Oklahoma City, OK to Elk City, OK (112 miles)
    10. Elk City, OK to Amarillo, TX (149 miles)
    11. Amarillo, TX to Tucumcari, NM (113 miles)
    12. Tucumcari, NM to Albuquerque, NM (173 miles)
    13. Albuquerque, NM to Gallup, NM (140 miles)
    14. Gallup, NM to Hollbrook, AZ (95 miles)
    15. Hollbrook, AZ to Gilbert, AZ (177 miles)

    Alternatively, instead of segments 2 and 3, I could do the following:
    2 Alternate. Natural Bridge, VA to Kingsport, TN to use dhrivnak's charger offer (198 miles)
    3 Alternate. Kingsport, TN to Knoxville, TN (99 miles)

    Now to locate chargers at the end of each segment. Major cities should not be a problem, but am concerned about the smaller cities/towns.

    What are people's opinions about these charge stops?

    dhrivnak, in your opinion, am I better off doing segments 2 and 3 or doing Alternate segments 2 and 3 (taking up your kind offer to charge at your place)? I have no idea whether there are chargers/campgrounds in Abingdon, VA at this moment. That is the next step in planning this trip. Gotta say it would be a lot easier and quicker with an ICE car. But not as much fun.

    Thanks.
     
  13. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    #13 dhrivnak, Aug 7, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
    Abington is a nice little town and it looks like there is a charger at the higher ed center with town not too far away. I am an easy 35miles down the road. I think you will find the Abington charger to be about 6kw where mine is 11.5. So if you have the time and like quaint older towns Abington is nice. If you want to minimize charging time I am a better bet. Part of your decision will be where to spend the night. Most hotels will at least let you plug into 110.

    Marriott Nashville Airport has charging as does La Quinta in Cookeville along the route. Also all the Cracker Barrels between Knoxville and Nashville have 30 charging.
     
  14. DEinspanjer

    DEinspanjer Member

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    Natural Bridge KOA is a great stop. If interested, I suggest hiking or biking over to the Virginia Safari Park and taking their tractor tour then walk the zoo section to soak up a few hours of charge time. :)

    In Jackson, TN, the Casey Jones Village has 240v 30 amp chargers and the museum and minigolf to entertain. If you end up needing a faster charge, my sister lives between Jackson and Memphis (in Mason, TN) and they have a 14-50 in their garage that I could coordinate for you.


    Definitely look at camp grounds, but another neat trick I found when making the road trip from Salem, NH to Mason, TN was to check out RV sales and repair shops as they frequently have 14-50 outlets and a few of them were happy to let me leave the car there to charge while I stayed in a hotel or went site-seeing. Also, I stopped at a few Nissan dealerships in VA and TN to charge while eating, and they were all very nice and very eager to see and talk about the car, so if you do that, prepare for lots of Tesla Time.

    As for planning, definitely check out Find your next scenic drive on myscenicdrives.com for a very effective routing and planning app complete with EV charging location search.
    Also, EVTripPlanner can provide you turn by turn kW usage that takes elevation, speed, and tire size into account.

    You can see the original details of my trip (some modifications were made in route for extra stops and alternate charging locations) here:
    Trip from Salem NH to Memphis, TN | a different road trip awaits on myscenicdrives.com

    We would attempt to do about 220 to 300 miles in the morning, have a long charging break, another 220 to 300 in the evening, and then stop and charge for the night.
    Even with a highway speed of 65 to 75, you can still make halfway decent energy efficiency if you watch the instant kW usage meter (right side of the speedometer) like a hawk and do your best to keep it under 20 kW as much as possible and definitely avoid going above 40 kW for more than a few seconds. It might mean dropping down to 60 or so on up-hills, but if it means you can make a 260 mile leg instead of 220, I found it was worth it.
     
  15. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Thanks for the input. Will mull it over. I have not taken the car on any trip yet, though I may take it to NYC this weekend. I mainly have driven it around the DC area and have a lifetime energy usage of about 345 kWh. Not sure why it is so high. Maybe because of all the stop and go, and short drives.

    - - - Updated - - -

    dhrivnak. do you know what type of chargers Cracker Barrel has (current capability)? Chargepoint, Blink, etc., and what the cost is to charge. I have all the UMC adapters that Tesla offers. Also, would you know whether there are Cracker Barrels beyond Nashville?

    DEinspanjer, thanks for the links. Will check them out.
     
  16. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Cracker Barrel are Blink J1772 and are $1.50/hr. The also have CHADeMO but of no use without an adapter.
     
  17. DEinspanjer

    DEinspanjer Member

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    One of the cracker barrels we stopped at did not charge an hourly fee. Also, if you subscribe to blink plus (middle tier) the fee chargers are only $1/hr. We checked a couple west of nashville but they didn't have chargers. The ones with chargers make a triangular route between nashville knoxville and the city south of them.

    Sent from my GT-P7510 using Tapatalk HD
     
  18. Enadler

    Enadler Member

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  19. Tedkidd

    Tedkidd Member

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    Drove from Rochester NY to Jackson WY and back this fall (where I got to play with my aunt and uncles s85 extensively :biggrin:). Figuring out how to get their car to Florida was interesting, for about an hour, then I realized the planning process might take longer than THE DRIVE!

    Trip planning that includes fuel range, rest stop, and overnight planning would be useful for planning trips with ANY vehicle. My TDI, for example, gets about 550 to the tank. Be nice to plan fuel stops, then rest stops, then overnights. Really surprised google maps doesn't have something for this.
     
  20. DEinspanjer

    DEinspanjer Member

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    Check out Build your custom road trip | myscenicdrives.com Road Trip Planner . It is exactly what you are looking for. I used it for our big road trip from NH to Memphis, TN and back. Using it right now to plan what appears to be a tricky gap in coverage from Santee, SC to St. Augustine, FL. 271 miles when the best typical range I've seen indicated is 260, and in the most recent updates before bitter cold, only 240 even on range charge. I am planning a booster stop at a Nissan dealership half way cause I highly doubt being able to make it in this weather without.

    With the My Scenic Drives site, start a route, then go into the route settings and set the vehicle type to Electric and put in your typical estimated mileage. They added a bunch of the super chargers over the fall, but I noticed that the newer ones I mentioned above aren't in there as charging locations, you have to search by address and manually add them as charging stops.
     

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